On Wall Street, Reassurance Before the Fall - Mergers, Acquisitions, Venture Capital, Hedge Funds -- DealBook - New York Times

Don't show up with a happy face in the public. It might indicate that your company is in deep trouble.

On Wall Street, Reassurance Before the Fall - Mergers, Acquisitions, Venture Capital, Hedge Funds -- DealBook - New York Times: "Many chief executives of troubled companies put on a happy face for the public — right before their companies go off a cliff, Andrew Ross Sorkin notes in his latest DealBook column.

These efforts to bolster confidence, he writes, have become especially conspicuous amid the current financial crisis — with the C.E.O.s of firms like Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and most recently Wachovia, offering comforting words before the fall.

Are these assurances purely disingenuous or just a smart assessment of how quickly rumor can turn into a self-fulfilling prophesy?

Either way, says Mr. Sorkin, happy-talk executives put themselves in legal jeopardy. And when
when we start seeing pictures of C.E.O. perp walks, the crime, he says, won’t be theft or some other kind of financial chicanery, it will be some kind of fraud — probably lying to the investing public."
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