The Japanese and foreign media are both salivating over what might become of Michael Woodford, the ex-President and CEO of Olympus. In reality, who really cares, and what does it matter? The New York Times is reporting that “An outside panel appointed by Olympus to investigate its financial scandal issued a harsh report Tuesday, calling the company’s recently departed management ‘rotten to the core.’”
The panel, led by a former Japanese Supreme Court judge, also details the roles it claims were played by three former Nomura bankers in arranging a cover-up, and it says Olympus paid the bankers for their efforts. It also criticizes Olympus’s auditors, KPMG AZSA and Ernst & Young ShinNihon, for failing to expose fraud at the company.
The report says that Olympus had persuaded several banks, including Société Générale of France
OK, enough. French investment banks have been behaving badly in Japan and hiring low end “talent” and castoffs from other investment banks for a long time; this is nothing new, ask any financial headhunter in Tokyo. KPMG and Ernst & Young? Firms staffed by people wishing they could make investment banker bonuses. Again, why is this news?
But back to the main point. While the Grey Lady asserts that managers at Olympus were “rotten to the core,” Woodford must see some hope in the firm if he truly wishes to return as CEO and/or President. And there might just be enough foreign ownership of equities for that to happen.