Update on backdating

Cite this Article
Geoffrey A. Manne, Update on backdating, Truth on the Market (December 20, 2009), https://truthonthemarket.com/2009/12/20/update-on-backdating/

It’s been quite a while since we discussed backdating here at TOTM.  But back when it was all the rage, we were substantial contributors, formulating (we believe) some of the first fundamental explanations of the issues.  Some of the best posts from our backdating archive are here:

I look pretty young but I’m just backdated, yeah (Geoff Manne)

Option Backdating: The Next Big Corporate Scandal? (Bill Sjostrom)

Backdated options and incentives (Bill Sjostrom)

Jenkins channels Manne (Geoff Manne)

Explaining Backdating (and Jenkins Channels Manne Again) (Josh Wright)

No, Matt, executive compensation is not all about norms (Geoff Manne & Josh Wright)

Thoughts on Walker on Backdating (Josh Wright)

Along with Larry Ribstein (of course) we were early critics of the law, economics and reporting of the backdating “scandal.”  One of our posts, “No, Matt, executive compensation is not all about norms,” was made into a short law review essay.  Geoff’s “I look pretty young but I’m just backdated, yeah” post was one of the first substantial criticisms of the claims in the Wall Street Journal article that broke the story.

Although we basically gave up the backdating reporting as the story dragged on, we have been interested to watch the spectacle unfold.  And it has been quite a spectacle.

With the latest”mockery of justice” in the prosecution of these cases upon us, we thought it might be a good time to revive some of our old posts for readers who might have forgotten that there was once a substantive debate over the topic, rather than a series of prosecutorial embarrassments.

Frankly, as Larry notes, the embarrassments stem in part from the fact–as we have discussed in the posts linked above–that these cases never should have been brought in the first place.  Maybe a reminder is in order.