The controversy over options backdating just won't go away, and with good reason.According to the latest count, more than 120 companies are under investigation for doing it. In September, the heretofore-worshipped Steve Jobs was in the news with an apology for past backdating misdeeds at Apple. Even though he denied receiving any backdated options, he apparently approved some, but claims he was unaware of any accounting impropriety.

While it seems hardly possible to say anything new, we think it's essential to make the unequivocal point that backdating (including its variants) is nothing but bad ethics. Furthermore, no one will come out of this smelling good: not management, not auditors, not policy-makers and not even accounting professors.

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