May 25, 2006

An Excellent Audit Committee Report

I’m excited about our new webcast series that deals with audit committees and their advisors. The first three of these webcasts are:

The Evolving Relationship Between Lawyers and Auditors (6/15/06)
Audit Committees in Action: The Latest Developments (6/22/06)
How to Develop a Whistleblower Compliance Program Today (7/13/06)

Learn practice nuggets from the experts – such as why Home Depot’s audit committee report contains more useful information for investors than do most other proxy statements (but curiously, Home Depot is under fire for making its financials less transparent by deciding to stop giving comparable-store sales numbers, a key retail-industry benchmark as noted in this recent WSJ article).

The US Post Office Weighs In on E-Proxy

In the analysis of e-Proxy comment letters submitted to the SEC from my blog a few months ago, I neglected to mention this hilarious 13-page comment letter from the US Postal Service.

The Post Office obviously has a vested interest in “keeping those proxy statements coming” – I imagine this is the first time they have ever submitted a comment letter to the SEC. For example, look at page 3 of their letter for a discussion of “consumer expectations and preferences.” Consumers? Not investors? Maybe the SEC has a broader – double secret? – mandate than the one they have owned up to…

No-Holds-Barred Responses to Investor Queries

Continuing on the theme of something light for the 3-day holiday: Expeditors International is notorious for its no-holds-barred responses to investors’ questions, which it publishes regularly on Form 8-K under Item 7.01. They can be pretty darn funny. Here are my favorite lines from the latest edition

– “Sustainable?” Given enough time, the sun is not sustainable, however, we think it is a good bet that there will be daylight tomorrow.

– This was not an “open-ended, broad question” it was an interrogation that left us exhausted just reading it. We did not ‘indulge” your question, we endured it.

– If you seriously are buying into this thinking, you have been sipping the integrator Kool-Aid. Hopefully you haven’t swallowed, but just in case you have, let us attempt to provide some financial Ipecac here in hopes that we can induce vomiting before your investment psyche is permanently altered.