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Module 1 Discussion

What does it mean to say that managers should maximize shareholder wealth “subject to ethical constraints”? What ethical considerations might enter into decisions that result in cash flow and stock price effects that are less than they might otherwise have been?

Module 2 Discussion

Investigate in detail the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) from the Internet, periodicals, or academic journals.  Select one of the provisions of the Act, briefly describe it, and indicate why you think (or do not think) financial statements will be more trustworthy if company financial executives implement the provision of SOX you have chosen.  In the Title to your initial response posting, please name the provision (for example: Section 404) so your classmates can see which provision you have chosen to analyze.  Please provide reference(s) for your response(s).

Website for the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

You can use Google and enter the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002 to get thousands of websites to get you started on your response to this question.  Below is a good one that also gives you a great, straight-forward summary of this Act and its importance to the financial markets, as well as a list of the Sections of the Act with links to the details of each Section:

Module 3 Discussion

In early 2020, the United States government had more than $23 trillion in debt (approximately $80,000 for every U.S. citizen) outstanding in the form of Treasury bills, notes, and bonds. That number is now growing due to the current coronavirus situation.  From time to time, the Treasury changes the mix of securities that it issues to finance government debt, issuing more bills than bonds or vice versa.

With short-term interest rates near 0 percent right now in the middle of 2020, and still very very low, historically today, suppose the Treasury decided to replace maturing notes and bonds by issuing new Treasury bills, thus greatly shortening the average maturity of U.S. debt outstanding. Discuss the pros and cons of this strategy.

Module 4 Discussion

What does the efficient market hypothesis (EMH) say about securities prices, their reaction to new information, and investor opportunities to profit? What is the behavioral finance challenge to this hypothesis?

Do you personally believe the EMH argument or the behaviorist argument?

Module 5 Discussion

Financial executives insist that there should be no separation between an individual’s personal ethics and his or her business ethics. “It’s a jungle out there” and “business is business” should not be excuses for engaging in unethical behavior. Many firms have ethics codes which are based on economically rational concepts such as integrity and trustworthiness, which guide the decision maker in attempting to increase shareholder wealth. Of course, some employees sometimes choose to not comply with their firm’s ethics code.

How do ethics codes apply to project selection and capital budgeting? What are the potential risks to a company of unethical behaviors by employees? What are potential risks to the public and to stakeholders? Please explain how Saint Leo’s core value of integrity is reflected in your answer.

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