Category Archives: Definition

Labels

Labels are shorthand.  Does the person using the label mean the same thing as you do?

“For Some Bonds, It’s Too Easy Being Green,” The Wall Street Journal, August 20, 2018 B1.  A quarter of Chinese bonds marketed as green bonds were rejected by “a de facto watchdog for the market” as not really being environmentally friendly.

On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog.  In the world of finance, who validates your dogness?  What does it say about a company that tells fibs about the greenness of their bonds?

Are labels inherently suspect?  Or inherently believable?

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Filed under Accuracy, Communications, Controls, Culture, Definition, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Third parties

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

Fraudster

“Theranos Settle Investor Suit As Firm Runs Low on Funds,” The Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2018 B3.  Investors alleged Theranos had defrauded them by making false statements about the company’s technology.

This joins the long (and growing) list of people suing for harm caused by this company.  Are the directors in the dock?  The CEO and former president are.

False statements are information, in a sense.  The is the kind of basic, bog standard stock fraud that led to the creation of the SEC.

Who’s going to get the last drop of blood out of this stone?

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Filed under Board, Communications, Compliance, Compliance, Compliance (General), Controls, Corporation, Culture, Data quality, Definition, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Employees, Governance, Inform shareholders, Information, Internal controls, Investor relations, Oversight, Oversight, Protect information assets

Falsely shouting fire?

“FCC Proposes Revamp Of Online Documents,” The Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2018 A3.  Proposed revision to process for receiving public comments after fake comments filed in the net neutrality discussion.

How does the government restrict our ability to lie to the government where the payment of money or the issuance of a license is not at issue?  Is filing comments under someone else’s name not protected speech?  Or is it fraud?  Yes it’s false, but is it fraud, if all you’re trying to do is sway a regulator’s position?  Is this the same as falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater?

I’m not in favor of submitting comments under a false name or names.  But can the government protect this when people are attempting to petition their elected representatives?

I file this as a restriction on the ability of government to govern all behavior (therefore Governance) and under Information (does it matter that it’s fake?).  Maybe Compliance, seeing as the Constitution applies.

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Filed under Accuracy, Controls, Data quality, Definition, Duty, Governance, Government, Information, Third parties

Loose Lips, Volume III

“Egypt Passes Media Law Targeting ‘Fake News,'” The Wall Street Journal, July 17, 2018 A18.  Traditional media and larger social media outlets now subject to penalties for spreading fake news, defaming, or inciting hatred.

Think how quiet the TV would be in the US if there was a similar law here.  Oh, wait.  We still have the First Amendment.

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Filed under Communications, Compliance, Compliance (General), Controls, Corporation, Definition, Duty, Employees, Governance, Information

Privacy

“Alphabet, Apple Prodded On Privacy,” The Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2018 A3.  Congress asks how Google and Apple use “your” information, such as what you say and write and where you are.

Which is more interesting, the questions or the answers?

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Filed under Access, Controls, Corporation, Definition, Duty, Duty of Care, Governance, Information, Internal controls, Ownership, Policy, Privacy, Security, Technology, Third parties

Location information

Apparently, if you’re on Verizon, 75 companies know where your phone is.  Is that worth anything to anybody?  Who owns that information and who can sell/rent it?

“Third Parties Know Exactly Where You Are,” The Wall Street Journal, July 16, 2018 B4.

Well, I like to have Uber and Google Maps know where I am.  And FindMyPhone.  Who else?  Do I control that?

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Filed under Access, Controls, Corporation, Definition, Duty, Information, Ownership, Technology, Value