When we think of insider trading, Ivan Boesky, Michael Milken and Martha Stewart come to mind – but last month brought a pair of unusual cases:
Marvel Comics decided to kill off Captain America. They wanted this to be a surprise to readers (which might have worked out better if CNN and other media outlets hadn't reported the fact the morning the comic came out), so they didn't inform the comic book shops. They did, however, inform Wizard magazine, the major journal for comic fans, who promised not to leak the information ahead of time.
But Wizard also buys and sells comics and somehow it didn't occur to them that information given to the journalism side shouldn't be shared with the retailing side: so they ordered extra copies of the Captain America comic, bought up online Google ads (essentially, whenever there was an online article mentioning Captain America that week, a Wizard ad offering the comic would be first to appear), and prepared for the comic book speculators anxious to bid $50 or more for a magazine that was instantly sold out at most comic book shops.
Nobody's going to jail for this, and technically it's not illegal – but notwithstanding the fact that this concerned a Captain America comic book, it was a sad day for journalistic ethics.
Of a much more serious nature, Mark Wiens, CFO of the Canadian pet food company Menu Foods, sold 14,000 of his 31,000 shares in the company on February 26 and 27. February 26 was the day the company began getting reports about dogs and cats dying from contaminated pet food, though it wasn't until a week later that the public became aware that these were not isolated incidents. Menu Foods recalled 60 million cans of pet food on March 16, after the deaths of at least 16 animals. By that point, the stock price had dropped 40%.... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.