Changing investor disclosure could transform the world of blogging
I have previously written about blogging and Regulation FD, which is a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulation that requires egalitarian dissemination of substantive news that could affect the share price. On the face of it, blogs and RSS are the perfect way to allow perfectly equal access to news by everyone. Yet this is not allowed by current SEC regulations. So Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems, has written to Christopher Cox, the chaiman of the SEC, to ask him to change the regulations to allow blogs and similar tools to be used for disclosure of substantive news. He says that previous conversations with Cox indicate this will be heard with receptive ears. Schwartz has of course disclosed this on this own blog, together with the full letter to Cox. If this change is approved, this will be an enormous boost for blogs, because it will mean investors and intermediaries will have to monitor the blogs of public company officers, and it will allow company directors to disclose substantive information on their blogs, in turn reducing the governance issues of corporate blogging. It makes all the sense in the world to use the power of RSS to disseminate information – this in fact would be a significant improvement to current mechanisms – so with just a tiny variation in the regulations on what are appropriate ways of disseminating corporate information, blogging could become quite a different world, with the development a thoroughly corporate segment of the blogosphere focused on egalitarian diffusion of investor information, and by-the-by, resulting a deeper and broader view of public company activities, and better informed investors.