Is it just me or does Bush sound very disingenuous talking about cracking down on the accounting abuses of big business? First, he has taken more big business political donations than any politician in history. Is there any company that he doesn’t owe a favor to? Second, I have been waiting for him to slip up and say something like, “If anyone knows something about corporate accounting abuses and insider trading, it’s me.” The taint he carries from his past personal business dealings (Harkin, Rangers, etc) is pretty dark. Third, this is a problem he can’t turn over to President, excuse me, Vice President Cheney due to the investigation into Haliburton’s questionable accounting.
I nominate Donald Rumsfeld for the joint position of SEC chief and Secretary of Defense. He can root out terrorists and bad journal entries at the same time.
Can you tell that my company’s stock went down over $2.00 today even after we announced better than expected earnings and no one is questioning our accounting? This is what the stock analysts call a bull(shit) market.
The rich get to abuse the system and get richer – yeah, I’d like to see it stopped too, but I’m not holding my breath.
This story will probably fade away too. It doesn’t look like there was anything illegal about it, though it does make Bush look a bit two-faced for condemning the practice now. Bush probably thinks $180,000 is walking around money. Who would be concerned about pocket change like that?
It’s like the whole Martha Stewart thing. The woman has million in cash, owns a billion dollar company, and wipes her ass with hundred dollar bills. The she sells off stock a day before an annoucement that the company’s petition to sell a new drug is denied, saving herself something like $30,000, and people freak out screaming "insider trading!’. Seriously, that’s less than pocket money for the woman. The problem is, people really don’t like her. The press thinks she’s too cutsey. So when she does something that maybe might be kinda wrong, she gets crucified. Her company, which is still damn sound and worth a fortune, takes a huge stock hit. Just wish I had the money lying around to snatch up 1000 shares while it’s still in the toilet (for no good reason).
As for Bush fixing bad accounting. He’s an idiot. He is so beholden to these companies that he can’t sneeze without asking permission from them. Enron was so deep in the Bush administration that they were appointing Enron executives to government positions. And we expect the administration to crack down on these people? Bah
And we as invenstors (those of us who dabble in the market) are the ones that get boned. We get told that these companies are making all this money, trusting in the system to protect us from the lies, and it all breaks down. Most of it has to do with existing laws as well. The company I work for had a initiative come down from the top saying that we need to charge our time towards capitalizable projects so that our profits would grow. It’s double talk and numbers games. The company is still paying employees the same amount of money, but thanks to the law, they can spread the cost out over 10 years, meaning that only 10% of the employee salary is reported…even though it was all paid out! That makes for artificial profits. Yes, it saves money in taxes, but it also misleads investors because they think the other 90% of the employee salary cash is sitting in an account somewhere, ready to pay debts and keep the company afloat…but it isn’t.
I think it is pretty much hypocritical for the majority of politicians to be railing against “irregular accounting practices” and “profit taking through stock options”, that is fraud and theft to you and me. (Maybe not to you David :wink: )
They all accept loads 'o cash from major companies and PACS and are beholden to them all. I wonder if we examined the finances of our trusted officials and representatives in D.C., how many have made a fortune off a friendly tip from their associates. I would be surprised if the number was not large.
They will continue to shout at the top of there lungs as long as it is a guy on the other side of the aisle being looked at. When their contributors pop up in the news, it will be so quiet you will hear the crickets chirping in the corners of the Congressional chambers.
I have a friend that works at Ernst and Young. He says that the problem is not as widespread as the media is making it. That is pretty hard to swallow when there is a new well-known company in trouble every other day or so.
Bristol-Myers/Squibb has approx. 1 Billion dollars in accounting irregularities.
This one is really going to hurt Bush, because it’s on the list of things he’s suggesting should be banned.
'They all accept loads ‘o cash from major companies and PACS and are beholden to them all. I wonder if we examined the finances of our trusted officials and representatives in D.C., how many have made a fortune off a friendly tip from their associates.’
Few politicians get rich in office; they make their money during periods between holding elective office/retirement, marking time on various corporate boards. Corporations are perfectly happy to shower ex-politicians with money for their connections. Insider trading among politicians, by contrast, requires way the heck too much involvement while they’re in office for it to be a general problem.
Daschle refusing to release his tax returns and maybe, just maybe, using political influence for donations (shock!) isn’t in the same galaxy as insider trading.
Well, I think it’s safe to say that politicians often don’t say what they think.
Social Security reform is a good lie detector. Seems like both sides know it needs to be fixed, but no one can grow balls big enough to risk pissing off the gray panthers. I’d say that kind of lack of legislative activity is less than honest.
Well, in the current scandal the Democrats are attempting to translate Bush’s vulnerability on the issue into more SEC enforcement, less CEO crime, etc. It’s one thing to run scandals just for the sake of harassing the opposition, another because it clearly indicates the positions of your opponent.