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Lie Research Leads To SEC Scrutiny

It cannot be often that U.S. authorities are prompted to scrutinize the accounting practices of scores of large U.S. companies as a result of research by a Norwegian academic in the corn-growing state of Iowa. But that appears to have been the effect ERIK LIE has had on the Securities and Exchange Commission, not to mention the U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York. Lie's research at the University of Iowa into stock options has prompted a widening probe into the possibility that companies may have back-dated the granting of stock options to senior executives. His research has shown that an unusually high number of executives benefited from the grant of options at the lowest possible strike price just before a surge in their companies' share prices. "It's good to get some recognition for some academic research," says Lie, speaking from his office at the University of Iowa. Versions of this story also appeared in MSNBC.COM and EURO2DAY (Greece).

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