News & Events

Lie: 10 Percent Of Options Backdated

Every day this week as the Enron headlines have receded, corporate America has watched a steady drip-drip of news coming from another enfolding scandal: stock options backdating. The issue has now spread beyond the executive suite after McAfee, a software antivirus specialist, on Tuesday fired its general counsel after finding an "improper episode" as part of an internal review of prior stock options policies. For investors, Wall Street analysts, corporate governance specialists and companies themselves, the question is how far this could spread. ERIK LIE, associate professor of finance at the University of Iowa, believes that up to 10 per cent of US corporate stock options were backdated. His research was a leading factor in sparking a series of company probes by the U.S. attorney and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The article also was published June 1 on, and MSNBC.

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