March 8, 2005

For 404 Delay, When Do You Determine Accelerated Filer Status?

When the SEC granted the extension to non-accelerated filers and foreign private issuers last week – delaying the implementation of Section 404 by one year per my blog of March 3rd – the SEC Staff received several calls on the status of issuers that are not currently accelerated filers, but who become accelerated filers at some point before the implementation date of July 15, 2006.

At PLI’s “SEC Speaks” on Friday, the Staff confirmed that those filers must be in compliance with 404 at the time they become an accelerated filer. In other words, they do not get to take advantage of the delayed implementation date.

Disclosure of Corporate Political Contributions

Over the past few years, a number of bills have been floated on the Hill to require disclosure regarding corporate political contributions – but none of them have gotten the requisite support. The Center for Political Accountability has been fighting for this cause for two years and recently released a report entitled “The Green Canary: Alerting Shareholders and Protecting Their Investments.” Read more in this interview with the Co-Directors of the Center.

For Warren Buffett Fans Only!

Berkshire Hathaway has posted a copy of its 2004 Annual Report, including Warren’s famous letter to shareholders. One oddity is the fact that Warren personally has copyrighted his letter to shareholders – can he do that? If he writes the letter in his capacity as chair of the board, doesn’t his work inure to the benefit of the company?

In his letter, Warren’s sage advice about evaluating a company’s prospects includes asking this question about the CEO: “Is he/she overreaching in terms of compensation?”

Am I a Journalist?

Yesterday’s NY Times carried two interesting items on blogging. One article regarding whether bloggers can be protected under state law to protect their confidential sources. The other article noting that a 23-year old blogger had obtained permission to attend White House press briefings (after extensive attempts to procure the press pass – read about the saga on his blog).

For the first few years of blogging, I didn’t consider myself a journalist in the least. I still don’t think I qualify in the traditional sense – but I sometimes refer to myself as a journalist when I try to explain to relatives what I do or try to distinguish myself in this town chock full of lawyers…