Category Archives: Information

Loose lips, revisited

The prior post was about what you say and in what medium.  So’s this one.

“SEC Probes Musk Tweets On Possible Tesla Buyout,” The Wall Street Journal, August 9, 2018 A1.  Were Elon Musk’s tweets about having lined up financing for a buyout false or misleading?  The SEC may want to know.

So, is information false or misleading?  I thought we had freedom of speech?  And (altogether too much) freedom to tweet?

Falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater is still a bad thing (thank you, Justice Holmes).  As is misleading your shareholders.

Should a CEO of a listed company know better?  Loose lips sink ships.

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Filed under Accuracy, Communications, Compliance, Compliance (General), Controls, Corporation, Definition, Duty, Employees, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Investor relations

Value

The value of information can be calculated in multiple ways, from multiple viewpoints.

“My Boss Makes What? (Employees Work Harder If They Know),” The Wall Street Journal, August 6, 2018 R1. Salary transparency makes people work harder.

Is what you make “private”?  Should it be?  Whose interests are served by keeping this information private?  Who owns it, you or your employer?  Do anyone have a duty to keep this private?  Why would your employer want this kept quiet?  To avoid Sally complaining that she works harder/better/faster/quieter than Sue, and should be paid more? Or to keep a competitor enticing Sally away?

Ask yourself why you want to keep your salary private.  Sure, you don’t want marketing agencies targeting you because you’re wealthy, but they probably can approximate your salary anyway.

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Filed under Access, Accuracy, Communications, Controls, Corporation, Culture, Duty, Employees, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Managers, Ownership, Privacy, Third parties, Value

Gee, what could go wrong?

“Facebook Asks Banks for Customer Data,” The Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2018 A1. “[T]o offer new services to users,” Facebook asks banks for “detailed financial information about their customers.”

I can see what’s in it for Facebook, and maybe for the banks.  But isn’t this your information?  Shouldn’t you have some control what the banks do with it?  Are you comfortable with the controls the banks and Facebook will place on this information?  It might be convenient for you, but at what risk?

Do we remember Cambridge Analytica?  Will Facebook try to do this in Europe?

To whom do you complain?  Your elected representative?  Your bank?  The state or federal regulators?

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Filed under Access, Controls, Corporation, Duty, Duty of Care, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Investor relations, IT, Oversight, Ownership, Privacy, Protect assets, Security, Third parties, Uncategorized, Who is in charge?

Clarity

“Read This Extremely Important, Totally Incomprehensible, Completely Convoluted Information About Your Broker!” The Wall Street Journal, July 28, 2018 B1. Confusion over required SEC disclosures.

A four-page summary.  But will people read it?  Will most people read more than 4 bullet points?  Unless, of course, there’s a prize.

What value is disclosure if it is in language that the average person won’t read or won’t understand if he/she does?

Governance or Information?  And a pinch of Compliance?

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Oops.

“Vanguard Messes Up Messages To Clients,” The Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2018 B10.  Money manager with over $5 trillion in assets under management sends text messages to clients that the money manager had processed loans against their 401(k) accounts.  But the customers hadn’t requested the loans.

Imagine the customer reaction.

How important is it to get your client communications right the first time?  Are you in the trust business?  Is claiming a “systems issue” enough?

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Filed under Accuracy, Communications, Controls, Corporation, Data quality, Duty, Duty of Care, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Investor relations

Higher learning

Sometimes, I select stories just for the headline I can write over it.

“Temple Is Probed Over Online MBA Marketing,” The Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2018 B5. University accused of deceptive marketing to prospective MBA students.

What is the lesson here?  School may have tweaked some test data to improve the school’s ranking.  Did non-students learn more than students?

Dean lost his job.  The school’s reputation takes a hit.  US News & World Report it told the school can’t verify its information.  Maybe the ex-Dean can be the subject of a case study in the Ethics curriculum.  Or a Compliance course, if the school has one.

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Filed under Accuracy, Compliance, Compliance (General), Controls, Culture, Data quality, Duty, Employees, Governance, Information, Internal controls, To report

If it’s not free

How much is it worth to you to have access to the Internet on a plane trip?  Apparently, less than they are charging for it.

“Airline Wi-Fi Isn’t Connecting to Profits,” The Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2018 B1.  Is it because the service is too slow, or too expensive?

I adjusted years ago to the lack of quality Internet service while in the air.  I actually like the peace.

But if an airline chose to compete by including this in the ticket price, would it drive traffic?  How many people actually pay for this out of their own pockets, rather than charging it off to their employers?  Do employers notice or care?  What’s your policy?

Is this Governance or Information?  Both?

 

 

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Filed under Access, Controls, Information, Interconnections, Internal controls, IT, Value