Archive for Saturday, March 6, 2004

Stewart puts face on issue, prof says

March 6, 2004

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The convictions of businesswoman Martha Stewart on Friday may bring the issue of investment security closer to home, a Baker University professor said.

A jury found Stewart guilty on four counts related to her selling of ImClone stock in December 2001, including obstruction of justice and lying to the government.

"I think her familiarity through the various businesses that she has developed brings this to the public's consciousness in a way that Enron, for example, doesn't," said Kevin McCarthy, associate professor of business and economics at Baldwin's Baker University. "I think her familiarity makes the issue more accessible."

Business leaders and the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, which protects investors and markets, have been working to improve regulation, stop insider trading, and prevent stocks and securities fraud.

The challenge in improving regulations, McCarthy said, is enforcing those regulations. Stewart's conviction "probably does not increase the confidence of investors in how our markets work," he said.

Stewart was not charged with insider trading, and a securities fraud count that alleged she deceived investors in her own company was thrown out by the judge.

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