January 7, 2008
Skeptics Speak Out on XBRL
Anyone who is even a casual observer of the SEC these days must know that Chair Cox is a fervent advocate of XBRL interactive data. It has its skeptics who doubt its utility to investors and see it as an expensive gimmick pushed by audit firms and consultants. This is a debate that is sure to go on for some time. CFO.com, XBRL Skeptics Abound.
Interview with HCA CEO On Going Private
HCA CEO Jack Bovender talks about life as a private company after the 2006 LBO took the health care company private. He says that previously he spent about 15% of his time talking with mutual funds and investors; now he focuses on longterm planning and not quarterly reports. WSJ, HCA Chief Enjoying
The Private Life.
CNet Networks May be Target of Proxy Contest
A consortium of investment funds led by Jana Partners reportedly seeks to take control of the board of directors of CNet Networks, whose shares have underperformed its competitors.' The group recently sent a letter to the CNet board about its plans, which the company has not disclosed. CNet has an 8-person staggered board; the consortium seeks to replace two directors and amend the bylaws to increase the board to 13 and then fill the new appointments. CNet bylaws, however, state that no shareholder can propose bylaw amendments unless it has owned at least $1000 worth of shares for a year, which the consortium may not have. NYTimes, Investors Said to Seek a Takeover of CNet.
Criminal Trial of GenRe, AIG Executives Begins Today
The criminal trial of five former executives of General Re and AIG begins today. They are accused of engaging in sham transactions to boost AIG's loss reserves. Since AIG has admitted that the accounting was improper, the challenge for the prosecution is to prove that the executives knowingly broke the law and to keep the trial simple and straightforward for the jury. Defendants include GenRe's former CFO and an assistant general counsel. It is not known whether Warren Buffett, whom defendants say approved of the deal, will testify. WSJ, Insurance-Trial Goal:Keep It Simple.