Thursday, May 13, 2004

Trowbridge Ready

This is a time of grinding legal processes here and no material change to the business environment will occur for many months. The battle which must take place is between business as usual and the threat of mandated "transparency" of business performance information. The SEC is sending shots across the bow that enforcement is not yet backing down. The SEC has, in the last two years, gone from assessing fines of a few thousand$ to many million$. Methinks the SEC will become addicted to the cash flow. Eliot Spitzer is going to nail Grasso to his cross of gold. The bank fines negotiated to avoid a jury trial have essentially eliminated liability insurance as a risk management option. Meanwhile the corporate lobby institution, the Business Roundtable, is flooding the public with propaganda that is having an effect in reverse of that desired.

In anticipation that the SEC will not back down on 404 indefinitely, corporate activity towards the transparency battle has picked up - all in a direction away from compliance. Management still thinks it can buy off the auditors. Meanwhile, the army of promoters of transparency tools are considered aliens hostile to business. What a delicious mess this is!