Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Insider Trading

Martha stewart went to jail for insider trading. Christopher Balkenhol pay some penalty for the same crime, but won't go to jail.

Former Oracle Corp. vice president, Balkenhol will pay $198,000 to settle insider-trading charges stemming from trades he made in advance of news about acquisitions by the company, federal regulators said on Monday.

The SEC charged that Mr. Balkenhol learned about the acquisitions of Siebel Systems Inc. and Retek Inc. from his wife, who worked as the lead executive assistant to Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison and two co-presidents. His wife had access to their schedules and was aware of significant merger-related meetings, the SEC said.

If Martha was quiet when FBI talked to her, she could have avoided the prison term. She was punished mainly because of perjury. Insider trading alone didn't put her in trouble. Balkenhol is lucky to get away with just the penalty.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

As Market Cools, Home Buyers Seek a Way Out

WSJ ran an article about the creative ways thru which buyers bail out of the contracts.

For some builders, the disputes are contributing to cancellation rates as high as 30% and writedowns in some markets. "People will go to great lengths to get out of a legally binding transaction," said Larry Sorsby, chief financial officer of Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. "They were willing to ride the real-estate boom on the way up, but some are not willing to ride it on the way down."

Duh...!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Supersonic SEC

SEC accused two Hong Kong residents of insider trading. I am surprised by the quick and swift action from SEC. The alleged insider trading happened just last week. SEC already filed the lawsuit!

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan named as defendants Kan King Wong and Charlotte Ka On Wong Leung, a married couple. It alleged they made "highly profitable and highly suspicious" stock purchases based on inside information between April 13 and April 30.

You can read the complete story here. I hope that all law enforcement agencies act with such a speed!