Update: On July 20, 2007, after complaints from issuers and others, the SEC suspended access to the lists referenced in this article . Commission Chairman Christopher Cox said in a statement that the SEC “is considering whether the use of interactive data tags applied by companies themselves could permit investors, analysts and others to easily discover this disclosure without need of an SEC-provided web tool at all. In the interim, the companies’ disclosure regarding their business contacts in the five nations will continue to be available through the SEC’s EDGAR database, and findable using our new full-text search capability.”
THE U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has added a new tool to its website that enables investors to see which companies refer to business activities in terrorist states in their most recent annual reports.
The State Sponsors of Terrorism pages cover five countries that the U.S. State Department views as state sponsors of terrorism, including Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.
Clicking on a country brings up a list of companies that reference business activities in those states.
Click on a company name and you get an extract from the company’s filing. There’s a link to the complete filing as well.
If nothing else, what the SEC has done here is demonstrate the effectiveness of “surfacing” information that otherwise would be buried deep in the bowels of a large document that almost no one will read in its entirety. Homing in on information like this will be made even easier when all filings are tagged in XBRL.
Of course, right now you can use the SEC’s Full-Text search to look for other things, like “country club,” “emissions,” or whatever you desire.
Now, if only other regulators would get a clue, we might get somewhere.