RegFD Snags Siebel
It’s hard to imagine a company, much less a large and reputable one, breaking any obvious SEC laws these days. After witnessing so many companies and executives disgraced in public, you’d reckon that companies would go above and beyond their means to keep integrity at the top of their priority list.
But oh no, in the words of George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”, and corporate memories seem to always have acute Alzheimer's. Such is the recent case of Siebel Systems who has gotten itself in a bit of hot water by allegedly breaking the SEC’s RegFD.
RegFD (Regulation Fair Disclosure) forbids companies from disclosing non-public and material financial information to select groups. It appears that last year Siebel was telling rosy tales of company’s performance to a select number of investors, while publicly painting a slow-quarter picture for the public. The result: those select investors bought in the stock cheap and locked in profits when the rumors began to hit the street.
The stunning part of the story is that Siebel was fined for the same misconduct in 2001, so they should have known better to repeat the same mistake. This time it appears that the SEC is ready to handle the matter in court and it could cost Siebel millions.
Please guys, add a little Ginko Biloba to your daily nosh.