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    Sarbanes-Oxley and privatization frequency in America by Steveson, Patrick Taylor

    The quality of financial records is a topic of constant debate, even more so during times of recession. The United States faced a banking crisis in 2002, which rocked the very foundations of the business sector. Sarbanes-Oxley passed in response to the banking crisis, implementing a series of new standards applying to all U.S. public company executives, and firms as a whole. Consequences for fraudulent activity have evolved to be more severe, and external auditors have become more autonomous. This thesis analyzes the frequency of firms going-private in the United States. Going private transactions were collected from January 1, 2007 to February 5, 2014, in order to further investigate the behavior of the privatization trend in America. The study concluded that there was a decline in the overall number of firms going private, in addition to a change in the industries witnessing the highest frequency of privatization. Furthermore, the FEI surveys concluded that compliance costs have declined over the years following the passage of SOX. These declines support that SOX may no longer be driving firms to privatization as compliance no longer implies as significant of a financial burden.