An informal look at economics, finance, and statistics
The tediousness of treasure hunting: Are secrets buried in SEC filings?
Morningstar’s nifty blog, Footnoted, has a post that begins with a gentle jibe at the mainstream media’s reporting of “When-Did-Romney-Leave-Bain?” fuss. What I find much more interesting is the post’s reminder that SEC filings contain many “secrets” (or juicy tidbits) just waiting to be dug up:
Now, these may not be secrets in the true meaning of the word. And they’re certainly not classified. But with over 650,000 filings made to the SEC in 2011 that just don’t get much or any attention, it’s a bit of a stretch to say there’s no secrets just because the filings are public. Companies know this, or they wouldn’t do things like file a lengthy 10-Q (as Hewlett-Packard did at 5:19 pm on a Friday afternoon last month). Or file an annual report that was over 2,200 pages.