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Sarbanes to step down in 2006

Corporate treasurers across the land could be forgiven for heaving a collective sigh of relief at news that Senator Paul Sarbanes, the longest serving senator in Maryland history, has announced he will not seek re-election to a sixth term in 2006.

Not that corporate treasurers are a known to be a vindictive bunch, but Senator Sarbanes was the man partly responsible for enacting the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation that has added millions to governance costs at multinationals.

Senator Sarbanes entered the national spotlight in 2002 as the chief architect of broad corporate reform legislation enacted after the collapse of Enron. The "Sarbanes-Oxley" legislation is named for him and for Michael Oxley, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

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