Monday, March 1, 2010

Financial Slime

I've made my living in the financial markets for a long time. The linked article talks about how CEO's and other corporate executives frequently hedge away the risk on their large holdings of company stock. The parts of the story that are nefarious are a) the dramatic underperformance of these stocks after the insider has hedged their position and b) the fineprint notation/description of the hedges. Most times, investors are unaware that the insider has completed a synthetic sale of most/all of their position. It's not that these hedges should be outlawed; rather, it's that they must be made explicit and readily available to investors. When you see the chart showing the stocks' actions after the collars and pvf's have been implemented, the stink is palpable.

Hiding Behind Their Hedges-Business Week March 8, 2010

Before and After Hedges-Chart

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