Through our hearings we have heard from the different industry segments and we have heard about many of the different communications issues that this Committee must address.
Today, we here about how what we do legislatively and how we do it may impact investment and jobs in America from our panel of Wall Street experts.
In the four years after passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, hundreds of billions of dollars flowed into the communications sector, pushing stock prices up more than 300 percent. But then the bubble burst. Some estimates indicate that the communications industry lost more than 90 percent of its peak market value in a matter of months, and as a whole lost nearly 500,000 jobs, $2 trillion of market value, and accumulated nearly $1 trillion in debt.
While there were many reasons for the collapse, uncertainty stemming from the 1996 Act certainly played a part. Former FCC Commissioner Furchgott-Roth estimates that nearly 2/3 of the rules passed to implement the 1996 Act have been completely or partially overturned. And some rules remanded to the FCC still have not been revised 10 years after passage of the 1996 Act.
As we listen to our panel today the Committee must consider how we can be sure that any legislation we approve is clear, competitively neutral, and readily implemented. Among the issues the Committee may consider are whether to impose statutes of limitation in challenges to new legislation or rules. Likewise, it may be wise to impose strict time limitations on items remanded to the FCC.
We will also have to listen carefully to ensure that our legislation does not arbitrarily favor one industry segment over another, altering the flow of capital away from market forces and consumer choice.
Witness Panel 1
Mr. Aryeh B. BourkoffManaging Director, Media - Cable & Satellite, Entertainment Equity & Fixed IncomeUBS Investment Research
Mr. Kevin M. MooreWireline Telecom Analyst, Managing DirectorWachovia Securities
Mr. Craig E. MoffettVice President and Senior AnalystU.S. Cable and Satellite, Broadcasting
Mr. Luke T. SzymczakVice PresidentJP Morgan Asset Management