Martha Stewart Insider Trading Case

1725 words 7 pages
ETH 501
Module 1
Case Assignment

The Martha Stewart insider trading case was a high profile case filled with uncertainty. In order to say whether or not Stewart handled her indictment responsibly, it is necessary to start with an assumption regarding her guilt or innocence. For the purposes of this paper, based on the information I have read about the case, and based on the fact that she was found guilty of all counts (although not all specifications) in her stock conspiracy trial (with the exception of the security fraud charge which was thrown out), I will assume that she is guilty. ( Based on that assumption, there are several reasons that Martha Stewart did not handle her indictment responsibly which can be summarized
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It implies that discovery of the latter as evidence would be less harmful than discovery of the former. However, the fact that she ordered her assistant to return the evidence to it’s original state is also confusing. This case is filled with examples of consequentalism, and these examples point to Stewart being an ethical egoist only worried about the consequences to herself. Modifying evidence is certainly not a responsible action that one would expect out of the CEO of a major corporation. Potentially the most ethically vulnerable of her actions had to do with the obstruction of justice and false statements made in response to the accusations. Stewart made a series of statements that were made public throughout the month of June 2002. In addition, the website was created to tell her side of the story. Stewart was well aware of the fact that the value of the stock of her own company had a great deal to do with public opinion of her. The series of statements made in June 2002, and the website, were made with the intent of preserving or perhaps even increasing the value of her own stock by improving her public image. These statements were effective in increasing the value of her stock as is evident on multiple occasions in June 2002 when the stock prices of MSLO increased after the statements were released. These actions are easier to defend than the previous. Given that


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