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At the G8 summit in Alberta, 'President' Bush is 'deeply concerned about some of the accounting practices that take place in America'
June 26, 2002
KANANASKIS, Alberta -- Here's an abbreviated transcript of comments made by President Bush on the WorldCom (WCOM: news, chart, profile) accounting scandal. Bush spoke to reporters during a short appearance with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Group of Eight summit. President Bush: "I am deeply concerned about some of the accounting practices that take place in America. "Today the revelations that WorldCom has misaccounted $3.4 billion is outrageous. We will fully investigate and hold people accountable for misleading not only shareholders but employees as well. "There is a need for renewed corporate responsibility in America. Those entrusted with shareholders' money must -- must -- strive for the highest of high standards. "The good news is, most corporate leaders in America are good, honest, open people who care deeply about shareholders and employees, and our economy is strong. But when we find egregious practices such as the one revealed today, we'll go after them. "The market isn't as strong as it should be for three reasons. One, corporate profits. There's no question some sectors of our economy are recovering from the slowdown, but they'll recover. "Secondly, there are still some concerns as to whether or not the United States and our friends and allies will be able to prevent further terrorist attack. There are some concerns about the capacity of the enemy to hit us again. And I want to assure American investors and our friends that we're doing everything we possibly can. The government's on full alert, attempting to run down every hint and every lead. "And thirdly, there are some concerned about the validity of the balance sheets of corporate America. And I can understand why. We've had too many cases of people abusing their responsibilities. And people just need to know that the SEC is on it. "Our government's on it. After all, Arthur Andersen has been prosecuted. We will pursue within our laws those who are irresponsible." "Having said that, I do believe the economy is strong, and I know that most people that run businesses in America are aboveboard, honest, care deeply about their employees and their shareholders." WorldCom Inc.
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