Friday, October 12, 2007

Bush's "Zero" Response to Backdating Stock Options

If anyone thought President Bush was right on for his statement on people taking food and water after Hurricane Katrina, they're in for a shock. His "zero tolerance" for wrongdoing flies out the window as income levels rise dramatically. Nearly one third of CEO's benefited from backdating stock options according to studies, in violation of their own corporate policies and SEC rules. A Wall Street Journal interview shared the President's response to a question on this practice of illicit personal enrichment at the expense of shareholders.

WSJ: Do you include backdating of stock options as one of the things you're worried about or that you've seen that troubles you?

PRESIDENT BUSH: There's a variety of reasons why stocks go down and people benefit. And I'm sure that's one of them, but as I understand it, the SEC is looking into that quite vigorously.

WSJ: When did you have that communication?

PRESIDENT BUSH: I can't remember, John. I've felt that way for quite a while.

WSJ: So you think this inquiry has been going on for a while now?

PRESIDENT BUSH: I can't tell you exactly how long the inquiry has been going on, but I can tell you that I've expressed my opinion. And as a matter of fact did it -- if I'm not mistaken, did it in New York City, was it a year ago?


PRESIDENT BUSH: January. Publicly.

WSJ: I'm curious, though, if you see --

PRESIDENT BUSH: Once again, you didn't hear a word I've said.

WSJ: I wrote the story about that speech.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, thank you. (Laughter.) Just teasing. (Laughter.)

Earlier in the talk, George talked about shareholder's holding corporate boards accountable on CEO compensation and he couldn't intelligently talk about backdating, a practice that robs individual stockholders? Give me a break! Where is the President's "zero tolerance" for corporate theivery outside natural disasters? If there was any doubt our Chief Executive is an idiot insider, it's now gone from my mind...