FEAR AND LOATHING

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Americans are irate. They assign blame for tumbling stocks to greedy CEOs, accounting shenanigans and wily investment bankers.

According to a poll of 1,000 likely voters (registered voters who stated their intention to vote in 2002), conducted in June 2002 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research Inc. and Public Opinion Strategies for National Public Radio, 73 percent of Americans are “very angry� (90 percent are “very angry� or “somewhat angry�) about Enron executives selling their stock at a profit while employee pensions lost value. Roughly the same number expressed anger over CEOs taking big bonuses and lavish perks as their companies were failing and stockholders were losing money (71 percent “very,� 90 percent “very/somewhat�). A majority are also upset about securities companies providing false/exaggerated analyst reports in order to sell certain stocks (52 percent “very angry,� 86 percent “very/somewhat angry�).

An online survey of 300 investors conducted by InsightExpress in late June asked pointed questions regarding the role CEOs play in corporate misdeeds. Three-fourths of the respondents said a chief executive's actions and credibility are a direct reflection of a company's operating practices, but only 1 in 3 (32 percent) view CEOs as trustworthy. More than half (54 percent) believe these executives are fully aware of their company's accounting, revenue recognition and investment activities.

Source: Gallup Organization


NOTHING NEW

A majority of likely voters say fraudulent reporting on Wall Street has always been commonplace.

Which statement better describes your views?

Total
The recent revelations of fraudulent and misleading financial reporting by major corporations and investment brokers are relatively new incidents that have raised unfair alarms in what is generally an honest and ethical industry. 28%
Fraudulent and misleading financial reporting by major corporations and investment brokers has always been commonplace among Wall Street insiders and will continue to occur frequently despite the negative publicity. 64%
Source: Zogby International
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