July 10, 2009

A Recap of Thoughts on Apple and Illness Disclosures

With the latest news from this Bloomberg article that the lack of disclosure over Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs illness is being investigated by the SEC, it seems appropriate to recap some of my prior thoughts about duties a company may – or may not – have when it comes to disclosing illnesses of its senior management team.

Since my legal analysis hasn’t changed – even though the disclosure challenges that Apple faces has – my “recap” consists simply of linking to my two prior posts on this topic:

More on Steve Jobs and Disclosure of Health Issues

A Delicate Disclosure Issue: Steve Jobs’ Health

Here are some thoughts from other folks worth noting:

Steve Jobs and Apple: Here We Go Again

Experts: Apple Disclosure ‘Falls Short’

Warren Buffet Piles On Steve Jobs About Secret Transplant

Apple Broke the Law By Lying About Steve Jobs Health

Was Apple ‘Adequate but Late’ on Jobs?

The Steve Jobs Health Factor & the Law: Gauging Materiality

Apple Succession Plan: Nobody’s Business?

Governance Expert: Apple’s Jobs’ Disclosure “Dismissive,” Insufficient

Poll Results: What You Said Apple Should Have Done

Last August, I posted a poll in this blog about what Apple should have disclosed. Here are the results from that poll (note more than one answer was permitted per respondent):

– 31.1% – Should have disclosed Jobs’ condition because company had duty to update due to “common bug” comment

– 6.7% – Should have disclosed Jobs’ condition because he had history of health concerns

– 37.8% – Should have disclosed Jobs’ condition because he’s so important to the company

– 23.7% – Need not have disclosured Jobs’ condition because company doesn’t need to respond to rumors

– 14.1% – Need not have disclosed Jobs’ condition because he has right to privacy

SEC Weighs In: California IOUs as “Securities”

Yesterday morning, I blogged about “Trading California IOUs on the Web” and gave some thoughts about whether the California IOUs were eligible for an exclusion from the definition of “security” under the ’34 Act, as well as how California securities law might apply to the IOUs.

Last night, the SEC weighed in by releasing a statement that provides the Staff’s position that the IOUs are “securities” (but that they are not registered with the SEC since they are municipal securities) and that intermediaries may need to register as brokers or alternative trading systems, etc. The SEC also issued this related “investor alert.” As noted in this LA Times article, the SEC is worried about investors being defrauded when being talked into reselling these things…

– Broc Romanek