WSJ wins Pulitzers

The paper won the public service award for its probe into backdated stock options - and for international reporting on the adverse impact of China's booming economy. The award on options backdating is likely to be controversial - at least in some circles - because, believe it or not, the practice of going back to pick favorable dates to price your stock options is not necessarily illegal (though many executives did it illegally). Though more than 140 public companies have been under scrutiny for backdating, there have only been a few criminal cases. By the way, one of the most prominent executives now being investigated by the feds is former KB Home CEO Bruce Karatz, who was forced to resign late last year after an inquiry by the L.A.-based homebuilder found evidence of backdating that went back to the late 1990s. The joke about Karatz's case is that the extra money he made from backdating over seven or eight years amounted to a mere $13 million - peanuts compared with his total compensation in 2005 of $135.6 million.

Updated post

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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