Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Greedy Execs Saw 9/11 As A Way to Enrich Themselves

This really deserves its own post:

Not long after the Twin Towers came down and part of the Pentagon was disintigrated, the Wall Street Journal reports that a number of companies have admitted backdating options in aftermaht of 9/11. KLA-Tencor (KLAC), Affiliated Computer (ACS), Take Two Interactive (TTWO), Progress Software (PRGS), Corinthian Colleges (COCO), Monster Worldwide (MNST), Brocade (BRCD), United Health (UNH) and Broadcom (BRCM) are all mentioned in the article.

"Amid the stock-market swoon that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, dozens of companies granted stock options to top executives or other employees. Now, some of those companies are saying the grants were in fact made weeks later -- and backdated.

The disclosures are the latest wrinkle in a backdating scandal that involves more than 140 companies and has resulted in more than 70 firings or resignations of corporate officials. (
See related article.) The new information suggests some executives profited from the market's plunge following Sept. 11 by manipulating options grant dates." Click here to read more.

I supposed the execs are not total monsters and didn't rejoice on 9/11, but the message here is "wow we have an opportunity here to make some money... whoo hooo!" That's bad enough.

As C.S. Lewis wrote,

“The greatest evil is not done in those sordid ‘dens of crime’ that Dickens loved to paint. It is conceived and moved, seconded, carried, and minuted in clean, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices.”

2 comments:

Steven said...

What really boils me is that a lot more companies took advantage of 9/11 at all, legit or totherwise.

see

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115292514221107632.html?mod=Leader-US

from

http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2006/07/post911_option_.html

Illegal. No. Morally bankrupt. Yes.


CEO: We just had the worst disaster take place in decades, what should we do?

Board: Well, we could pledge resources or make a cash donation to Red Cross.

CEO: Hey that sounds great...but first since this is gonna tank the market and our share price why don't we grant ourselves some options..than make the donations to make ourselves feel better.

Board: Hey that sounds great...lets call our banker...oh wait their offices were in the towers...Damn.

CEO: No worries we can just get someone else.

You would think that at some point someone whould have said...hey this ain't such a bright idea.

Jim K said...

They guys in pinstripes not better than gangbangers and the like.