Thursday, September 21, 2006

WARNING: Writer is not responsible for this content

The most telling proof to date that corporate-governance watchdogs desperately need to be put on a leash: CBRL Group, the parent of Cracker Barrel and Logan’s, today issued a statement declaring its quarterly dividend. The actual disclosure of the financial information required 97 words.

The qualifiers, disclaimers and other defensive statements required by lawyers extended to 656 words.

The notable excerpts included an explanation that “forward-looking terminology” could include such words as would, could, regular or continue—“or the negative or other derivatives of each of these terms”; the warnings that business could be affected by avian flu or mad cow disease; and the heads-up that an executive’s inadvertent glimpse of a black cat could bring nine years of bad luck.

Okay, we made that last one up. But it kind of fits, doesn’t it?

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