Every once in awhile I come across some really off-the-wall news or read about a CEO, CFO or other executive that makes ill-advised or questionable comments. To that end, I'd like to share a couple goofy things that have happened in the market in the last month or so.

News Corp. (NYSE:NWS)
Almost all directors who sit on boards of public companies have extensive corporate backgrounds, or a thorough knowledge of the financial markets. These qualities don't seem overly important at News Corp. Rupert Murdoch recently nominated Natalie Bancroft to serve on News Corp.'s board.

Bancroft's stats: She's 27, lives in Switzerland and is an opera singer or wants to be one. She's acknowledged that she has virtually no experience in commerce or journalism.

Perhaps Fox is looking to class-up "The O'Reilly Factor". (To read more about the story, see "Opera singer on News Corp. Board".)

Whole Foods (NYSE:WFMI)
Whole Foods' chief executive officer John Mackey was outed earlier this year for posting comments on message boards about the company and its business activities. However, Mackey has retained his job, and the incident seemed to have faded from the headlines.

That was until the company brought up the subject again this past week by announcing it had amended its code of business conduct and instituted a policy whereby its executives are prohibited from posting comments about the company, or its competitors on websites. (To read more on the story, see the Reuters article "Whole Foods Bans executives from online forums".)

Folks, is this really necessary? Announcing this stuff is just make headlines and brings the whole scandal right back to the surface. You would hope the company's well-healed officers would know that message boards were off limits by now. Perhaps a quiet, internal memo would have sufficed.

Citigroup (NYSE:C)
When a company closes out a quarter, accountants usually pour over the numbers and the controller and CFO work extra hard to make sure what is going to be reported in the earnings release is as accurate as possible. In mid-October Citigroup announced a sizable quarterly loss, and the investment bank had also made it clear that it was going to take $3 billion in charges as the result of its subprime risk.

Then, just a couple of weeks later, it was reported on November 4 that, oops, the company might take up to an additional $11 billion in write downs.

What gives? Did an accounting ledger fall behind a desk and not get noticed on the first go around? Eleven billion is kind of a big number. It's hard to pass that off as a rounding error. This one takes the cake.

Bottom Line
Every once in awhile I come across some really offbeat news. And I just have to share it with you. Stay tuned, because Q4 earnings season is just around the corner, and there's bound to be lots of excuses and funny news stories out there.

For more market follies, check out The Ghouls And Monsters On Wall Street.

Looking to cook up a market-stomping stock portfolio? Check out our FREE report "7 Ingredients to Market Beating Stocks" and get started right now!

Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    Allstate: How Being Boring Earns it Billions (ALL)

    A summary of what Allstate Insurance sells and whom it sells it to including recent mergers and acquisitions that have helped boost its bottom line.
  2. Options & Futures

    Cyclical Versus Non-Cyclical Stocks

    Investing during an economic downturn simply means changing your focus. Discover the benefits of defensive stocks.
  3. Investing Basics

    How to Deduct Your Stock Losses

    Held onto a stock for too long? Selling at a loss is never ideal, but it is possible to minimize the damage. Here's how.
  4. Economics

    Is Wall Street Living in Denial?

    Will remaining calm and staying long present significant risks to your investment health?
  5. Stock Analysis

    When Will Dick's Sporting Goods Bounce Back? (DKS)

    Is DKS a bargain here?
  6. Investing News

    How AT&T Evolved into a Mobile Phone Giant

    A third of Americans use an AT&T mobile phone. How did it evolve from a state-sponsored monopoly, though antitrust and a technological revolution?
  7. Stock Analysis

    Home Depot: Can its Shares Continue Climbing?

    Home Depot has outperformed the market by a wide margin in the last 12 months. Is this sustainable?
  8. Stock Analysis

    Yelp: Can it Regain its Losses in 2016? (YELP)

    Yelp investors have had reason to be happy recently. Will the good spirits last?
  9. Stock Analysis

    Is Walmart's Rally Sustainable? (WMT)

    Walmart is enjoying a short-term rally. Is it sustainable? Is Amazon still a better bet?
  10. Stock Analysis

    GoPro's Stock: Can it Fall Much Further? (GPRO)

    As a company that primarily sells discretionary products, GoPro and its potential falls right in line with consumer trends. Is that good or bad?
  1. How do dividends affect retained earnings?

    When a company issues a cash dividend to its shareholders, the retained earnings listed on the balance sheet are reduced ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital?

    The difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital is investors have already paid in full for paid-up ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    A convertible bond represents a hybrid security that has bond and equity features; this type of bond allows the conversion ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does additional paid in capital affect retained earnings?

    Both additional paid-in capital and retained earnings are entries under the shareholders' equity section of a company's balance ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What types of capital are not considered share capital?

    The money a business uses to fund operations or growth is called capital, and there are a number of capital sources available. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between issued share capital and subscribed share capital?

    The difference between subscribed share capital and issued share capital is the former relates to the amount of stock for ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center