Exxon and Shell want global government. Or the equivalent. At least when it comes to regulations that will force the oil giants to disclose payments to foreign governments for doing business in their countries.
Why? So that looming European disclosure mandates can be synced — the letter uses the term "equivalency" — with the U.S. requirements. The United Kingdom, the letter notes, is "moving quickly" to become the first European Union state to implement E.U. transparency rules.
If the U.S. commits to acting this year, there's enough time to influence the U.K and hence the overall E.U approach, Exxon and Shell argue in the letter, noting the benefits of a "coordinated and harmonized global transparency regime."
Conversely, "no one benefits" if multinational companies must file separate kinds of disclosure reports in separate places.
"An ideal solution to the issue might be that compliance with the reporting rules in one country would be deemed to satisfy the reporting requirements in another country notwithstanding variations in detail," adds the May 1 letter to SEC commissioners, which surfaced on the SEC's website a few days ago.