“While a member of the board at Harken Energy (in 1990), Bush sold $848,560 in stock a few months before the company reported a $23 million loss.” – N.Y. Daily News, 7/9/02
Also Exempts Executives Whose Last Name Begins With “B”
New York, N.Y. (SatireWire.com) – Vowing to restore faith in capitalism itself, President Bush on Tuesday promised to strengthen accounting laws, impose long prison terms for executives guilty of fraud, and punish any acts of corporate corruption that didn’t happen in 1990.
|Bush addresses Wall Street|
“We will use the full weight of the law to expose and root out misdeeds,” the President said during a speech on Wall Street. “My administration will do everything in its power to end the days of cooking the books, shading the truth, and breaking the law, unless it occurred the same year as, say, the Cincinnati Reds won the World Series.”
“Also, it doesn’t count if a person’s last name begins with the letter ‘B,'” he added.
Critics immediately cried foul, noting that as a director of Harken Energy Corp., Bush sold nearly $850,000 of company stock on June, 22, 1990, just weeks before Harken restated earnings and the share price plunged. Analysts, however, said the President’s oft-repeated defense – that he is innocent because the sale occurred in the same year that “Dances with Wolves” won the Academy Award for best picture – now begins to make sense.
During his Wall Street appearance, Bush did not refer to his days in business, and instead focused on restoring faith in the markets. To achieve his ambitious goals, he unveiled a 10-point plan, which includes calls for:
¤ A new task force to expose and prosecute white-collar criminals, which the President described as a “financial crimes SWAT team, overseeing the investigation of corporate abusers and bringing them to account no matter if the abuse occurred in 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, or 2002.”
¤ Corporate officers who benefit from false accounting statements should forfeit all money gained by their fraud, unless that number equals $848,560.
¤ Corporate leaders who violate the public trust should never be given that trust again, unless they run for President.
¤ Those who sit on corporate boards must be willing to accept responsibility. Explained Bush: “I urge board members to check the quality of their company’s financial statements, to ask tough questions about accounting methods, and to check and see if the problem began on the same day that, say, Article IV was added to the Constitution of the Chickasaw Nation, ’cause if it did you’re a-okay.”
Bush ended his speech by appealing to the best in all of us.
“Today, I am calling for a new ethic of personal responsibility in the business community,” he said, “an ethic that will increase investor confidence, regain the trust of the American people, and not be retroactive.”
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