The Buzz: June 17, 2002

SEC Proposal Targets CEOS; States Rated on IT Potential; E-Tailer Sales Still Growing; Pirates Ahoy!

SEC Proposal Targets CEOS

The federal government, still trying to get a handle on corporate accounting practices in the post-Enron world, is looking to make CEOs more accountable.

The Securities and Exchange Commission last week debated whether to push for a measure that would force CEOs to sign off on their companies quarterly and annual reports to better ensure their accuracy.

If the SEC decides to go forward, the proposal will be put out for a 60-day public comment period.

States Rated on IT Potential

Massachusetts, Washington and California are the states most prepared to succeed in the New Economy, according to a report released last week.

The Progressive Policy Institute, using more than a dozen indicators ranging from the number of high-tech jobs to the number of new, fast-growing companies to the percentage of adults online, said some states are better positioned than others to flourish in the new, IT-influenced economy.

Rounding out the top five were Colorado and Maryland; at the bottom were West Virginia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama and Wyoming.

The think tank also outlined measures states can make to prepare themselves, including focusing on the quality of jobs, business incentives and the quality of life. To take advantage of the economic opportunities brought on by the New Economy, the report says states must invest in the "knowledge infrastructure," including education, technology and training, to ensure companies will have the skilled workers and tools needed.

E-Tailer Sales Still Growing

Online retailing, while not experiencing the rapid increases predicted just a couple of years ago, is continuing to grow.

About 56 percent of e-tailers reported profitable online operations last year, up from 43 percent in 2000, and those numbers should rise this year, according to, which released its annual study last week.

Overall, shoppers spent $51.3 billion online last year—a 21 percent jump from the year before—and are expected to spend $72.1 billion this year.

Pirates Ahoy!

Unlicensed software that is rumming on many of the worlds computers


Pirated Software, 2001

Retail Value (Millions)

Change Since 1996

















United States








Source: Business Software Alliance/International Planning and Research Corp.