It’s not often that a change in accounting rules could reduce the probability of war. But that’s exactly what happened at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last month.
On August 22, the SEC finally enacted long-overdue regulations requiring any oil company that is publicly listed on a U.S. stock exchange to report the tax, royalty, and other payments it shells out to foreign governments where it operates. Previously, companies were able to conceal this information, enabling a culture of corrupt payoffs that kept the petrodollars flowing into authoritarian leaders’ coffers – even where it directly contravened U.S. interests.
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