Damage Control: Changes in Disclosure Tone after Financial Misconduct
58 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2018
Date Written: July 6, 2018
This paper examines whether managers attempt to mitigate the negative outcomes of financial misconduct by altering the tone of required disclosures. Using a series of difference-in-differences analyses, we show that following fraudulent activity, managers use more negative and litigious words in disclosures, as compared to a matched sample of control firms. We find managers that have a larger set of negative outcomes, such as those with foreknowledge of the fraud committed, are more aggressive in altering disclosure when compared to peer firms. Our results also suggest that negative outcomes due to financial misconduct, such as monetary fines and reputation loss, are mitigated by altering the tone in financial disclosures. Altogether, we conclude that managers alter disclosures to reduce the set of negative outcomes they face following securities law violations.
Keywords: Disclosure, Tone, Securities and Exchange Commission, Fraud, Reputation
JEL Classification: G38, K22, M41, M48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation