SEC Probing Steve Jobs' Health Disclosures - HotHardware
SEC Probing Steve Jobs' Health Disclosures

SEC Probing Steve Jobs' Health Disclosures

A Bloomberg report citing "a person familiar with the matter" indicates that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has begun a probe into the disclosures made by Apple regarding Steve Jobs' health, to determine if in fact investors may have been misled.

The "Steve Jobs Health Story" has taken on a life of its own, in a soap opera-ish way. First it was noted at last year's WWDC conference that Jobs look gaunt and tired. There were multiple denials over any health issues by Apple and Jobs, including a December report by Jim Goldman where he said that "sources inside the company tell me that Jobs' decision was more about politics than his pancreas." However, as recent as early January Jobs admitted he was skipping Macworld because of a "hormone imbalance" which sounded innocuous (but could have meant more). Then last week, the hammer fell (on the stock) when he said he was taking a medical leave through the end of June.

And last week Bloomberg reported that insiders have told them Steve Jobs is mulling over a liver transplant.

Every time one of these news items / rumors appeared (including a fake story last year about a heart attack), Apple stock would dive. As an analyst said to Steve Wozniak recently, "He is such a part of the value of that stock."

That said, an SEC investigation, as well as possible shareholder lawsuits, are to be expected. James Cox, a law professor at Duke University told Bloomberg:
"The good news flipped by the bad news makes one wonder what Apple knew. It's not surprising for the SEC to come in and look afterward, given the pressure and publicity regarding their handling of a lot of cases."
Yes, he's thinking of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme, among others. Still this seems rather uncharted territory, and once again delves into just how much of a person's life, CEO or not, should be public knowledge. It would also be hard to prove exactly how much Apple knew. Of course, Steve Jobs is a unique case, with his near-cultish following.
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I think the SEC is setting a very bad precedent, getting involved with things they shouldn't be. Unless they can show exactly how much *actual* influence Jobs has to the companies bottom line vs. any other possible replacement CEO, they should butt-out.

Anyone who actually thinks that Apple will fold without Jobs has probably already pulled out their money. The rest of the fluctuations are caused by people (and computer) pulling out everytime they see these health stories because they know that _historically that's when the stock price dives_. It has nothing to do with Jobs' actual value anymore.

Eventually, everyone dies. If we keep going down this road, one day the SEC is going to be asking people at random companies if they *knew* their CEO was a smoker and if they tried to cover it up to the public.

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3vi1:
I think the SEC is setting a very bad precedent, getting involved with things they shouldn't be.

Exactly!

The man's health is HIS health and if it has an effect on stock prices, then so be it. (too bad!, tough cookies!, shucks Mabel!)

It's not a measure of control exercised by Jobs to influence the Stock Market,....it's just him getting sick and trying to keep on living.

3vi1:
If we keep going down this road, one day the SEC is going to be asking people at random companies if they *knew* their CEO was a smoker and if they tried to cover it up to the public.

Yeah, and I can see CEO's being restricted from flying, or driving fast cars too. This could go way overboard, real fast.

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SEC I suppose could look at this but don't waste to much time. Did Jobs make money on it was he trading during his illness? Otherwise, he could say he feels like crap and retire. By back a ton of stock and in 6 months say he feels better and get hired back.

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