Saturday, January 08, 2005

An 8k is more than 5 miles!--a look at 8ks

And I thought an 8k was just short of 5 miles ;)

Transparency is a good thing and increasing. For instance you no longer need to just guess at what benefits the CEO gets? Companies have increased the reporting of these benefits. Where? In their 8Ks,

From: Yahoo! News - Look to 8-Ks for Exec. Benefit Details:
"While the 8-K has been around for years, often languishing in the backwater of regulatory filings, big changes put into effect in late last August now require companies to report a greater variety of developments

In addition to the beefed-up role of the 8-K, the commission has made it clear that it will no longer tolerate foggy, obtuse or incomplete information about pay at the top, as well as boardroom relationships. To make its point, the SEC recently fired off cease-and-desist orders to two iconic U.S. companies -- Walt Disney and General Electric Co.

Two weeks ago, Disney was cited by the SEC for not disclosing the fact that three directors' children "were employed by Disney" from 1999 to 2001, among other items. And in late September, the SEC argued that GE's handling of former Chairman Jack Welch retirement benefits in filings with SEC "failed to fully and accurately disclose the 'facilities and services' Welch would receive in retirement."

The next question is "does this increased disclosure affect behavior?" My guess is that it will and CEOs will receive fewer of these benefits. Transparency usually has that effect. A non finance example? Many (not all) food manufacturers are now taking the trans-fat out of foods after it was required that they report on the types of fat in the food.

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