Economics for One

Apple’s Board is Wrong

First, some disclosures:  I’ve met Steve Jobs; we live near each other and have several friends and acquaintances in common.  Also, my wife worked at Apple for a while, and we have a number of friends who still work there.  Notwithstanding his reputation as a tough boss, the limited interactions I’ve had with Steve have all been pleasant, and he has been very gracious.  I also hold Apple stock.

Recently, we’ve learned that Steve Jobs had liver transplant surgery in Tennessee two months ago.  This has led to a public debate about whether or not Apple’s board should have revealed the extent and significance of Steve’s ongoing health issues.

On the one side are professional investors, such as Warren Buffett, who say the information is material, and therefor should have been revealed.

On the other side is Apple’s Board, supported by many members of the public, who say Steve’s health issues are a personal and private matter, and really nobody’s business.  It’s a compelling argument, and is consistent with most people’s beliefs that health matters should always be private.

But they are wrong. Read more…

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