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Thank you for inviting me to appear before you today to testify on the global competitiveness of America’s capital markets.
America’s ability to win--and not just compete--in the global economy depends in part on our having the world’s most efficient capital markets. Substantial reforms in this area will be required for America to continue to be the most successful economy in the world and the best source of high paying jobs and enough economic growth to sustain the Baby Boomers and their children when they retire.
Last year, the London Stock Exchange recorded 129 new listings by companies from 29 different countries. In the United States, NASDAQ gained a net of fourteen and the New York Stock Exchange a net of six. In a press report by the London Stock Exchange on the reasons for its success, it cited that "about 38 percent of the international companies surveyed said they had considered floating in the United States. Of those, 90 percent said the onerous demands of the new Sarbanes-Oxley corporate governance law had made London listing more attractive."
Recently, New York Stock Exchange CEO John Thain told the Senate that last year that not a single top ten initial public offering (IPO) (by size of market capitalization) was registered in the U.S., and that 23 out of the top 25 largest IPOs in the world were registered outside the U.S. last year. This is contrast to the year 2000, when nine out of every ten dollars raised by foreign companies was raised in the U.S.
These are only a few indications that the very nature of our times will give the United States no choice but to transform or decay. We must make the bold changes required to enable our capital markets to flourish and our economy to win in the global marketplace or we will cede our leadership position to others.