Corruption-gawkers, as well as politicos, should take a keen interest in this Wall Street Journal story (subscription required) that describes Vice President Dick Cheney's amazing testimony to the SEC about a hefty accounting violation that took place under his watch at Halliburton
The problem? Cost overruns in the late '90s. The shady Halliburton solution? Change accounting policies and book those expensive overruns as revenues. (Hey, we'll probably collect them someday, right? Why wait until we settle them?) The fallout? Halliburton paid $7.5 million to settle the charges with the SEC.
Now, Ex-CFO Gary Morris has told the SEC that he discussed these plans with Cheney. But when questioned by the SEC back in 2004, the Vice President -- otherwise famous for his micromanagement -- took the Sergeant Schultz defense: "I know nothing!" Worse yet, he shifted the blame to his lieutenant. In other words, I'm in charge, but not when the spit hits the fan. In that case, the buck stops down there, somewhere, with someone else. Truman must be shaking his head.
At the time of publication, Seth Jayson, a top-10 CAPS player, had no positions in any other company mentioned here. See his latest CAPS blog commentary here. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Fool rules are here.