Friday, September 14: The U. S. Securities and
Exchange Commission today issues an order that waives certain
regulations to allow companies and executives to aid in supporting
the prices of their stock shares. This is being done in order to
prevent a wave of panic selling opf shares when the stock markets
resume trading next week.
This is a temporary expedient and
will be in effect for just next week if the markets meet expectations
and reopen next Monday. It will permit publicly traded companies to
buy their own stock on the open market without observing a limit on
the number of such shares that they may buy back. Company directors
and senior executives who had issued sell orders just before the
markets closed will now be allowed to go back into the markets and to
attempt to repurchase their companies' stock.
Using their emergency powers for
the first time, the members of the Commission have loosened some
accounting and capital rules; they have also eased off on certain
lending restrictions that had been placed upon mutual funds.
These emergency actions demonstrate
the Commission's anxiety over what they expect will be the situation
when trading does resume. The Commission members seem to fear that
there will be a huge oversupply of sell orders for many stocks,
and few matching buy orders. They therefore hope that, by allowing
companies and their officers to repurchase shares above the normaly
limited amounts, some stability can be injected into the markets.
In another action designed to
cushion the effects of the disruptions caused by the terrorist
attacks on September 11, 2001, the U. S. Internal Revenue Service
announced on Friday, September 14, 2001 that it was granting tax-filing
extensions to businesses, individuals, and non-profit groups which
were involved in or harmed by those atttacks. They will now have up
to an additional 10 months in which to file returns and to pay any
taxes which might be due. This ruling applies to all taxpayers in New
York City and in Arlington County, Virginia, home of the Pentagon
building. If other businesses or individuals can show that they were
harmed because of lost or damaged records, because of death of an
employee or employees, or injury to them, or if their operations were
impacted because employees aided in the rescue and relief efforts,
they will receive filing/payment extensions also.
In the case of individualswho may
have already had extensions, including extensions to October 15,
2001, they will now have an additional 120 days beyond the October
date, in which to settle accounts with the IRS.
Corporations will now have until
January 15, 2002 in which to make estimated tax payments. The government
will waive penalties on excise and withholding taxes, if they are
deposited by November 15, 2001. This policy was announced by Terry
Lemons, who is a spokesman for the IRS.
In order to claim the extension,
taxpayers are being told to write "September 11--Terrorist
Attack" in red ink at the top of their returns. Also, all
taxpayers everywhere, who have returns or taxes due from September 11
through September 24, 2001 have until September 24 in which to file
and to pay any taxes due.