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Lie Initiated Stock Option Research

A scandal over improper share options sweeping American boardrooms has engulfed the biggest player yet, with the resignation of Bruce Karatz, a Californian housebuilding magnate whose name is synonymous with suburban living. Karatz, 61, quit yesterday after 34 years as chief executive of KB Home, where he earned $155m last year, making him America's second highest paid corporate boss. A furor over share options erupted in the spring when ERIK LIE, an associate professor at the University of Iowa, published research suggesting that scores of US executives had benefited from grants set on remarkably fortuitous dates - typically on annual, monthly or quarterly lows in the stock price - giving them bumper profits when the price rose. The article also appeared in THE AGE in Australia.

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