Saturday, March 6, 2010

Barron's Seems To "Forget" Than Fred Hassan Resigned Was Let Go -- On November 4, 2009

Somewhere along the line, the fact-checkers at Barron's "Inside Scoop" (Byline: Avi Salzman) misplaced the "Ex-" keys:

. . . .Fred Hassan, the chairman and chief executive officer [sic] of Schering-Plough (SGP), bought 34,000 shares for about $29.83 each. . . .

It was the first big buy at the company in at least six years. New director William Barr bought $200,000 in stock in February, but before that the largest insider buy at the company was a $174,000 purchase in 2005, according to . . .

This would be a smallish error, except that -- as irony would have it -- were Mr. Hassan still the Chairman and CEO of legacy Schering-Plough, he'd likely neither be permitted (under his coproate conflict governance rules, triggered because this buy is slightly over the $1 million threshhold), to make this investment, in his own name; nor possess the free-funds (well, maybe that part is a stretch -- he already had taken $45 million from legacy Schering-Plough in just 2007 to 2009).

He most-likely wouldn't have been asked onto TimeWarner's board -- and in turn, he'd not likely invest such a concentrated sum -- if he could not keep an inside eye on it. He is by no means a fool -- he knows how this game is played, at the masters' level. Funny stuff; or not so.

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