Financial Accounting Blog

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

RJR refuses SEC request for documents. In class we talked about the various uses of financial information by people external to the corporation. Management has to do a balancing act between providing information useful for accurately pricing the stock while avoiding providing information that could be used against the company by its competitors or others.
"Rather than being a case of us refusing to turn over documents, this is a case in which the SEC has refused to provide us with agreements that preserve confidential and highly sensitive information," Moskowitz said in a telephone interview Thursday.

"What the SEC is asking us to do is to break out the specific dollar figure amounts of the money we spend on smoking and health litigation," he said. Those amounts are currently combined with other expenses such as marketing and sales, he said.

The SEC wants the specific amount that RJR pays for litigation, he said.

"This could be used to try to persuade a a jury to award larger damages," Moskowitz said. "We do not have a problem providing it to the SEC if they agree to honor the confidentiality of that information."