What Did Steve Jobs Know, and When Did He Know It?
Joan Heminway has a great blog post on securities law aspects of the Steve Jobs health story. In part she argues:
At any rate, assuming the existence of a duty to disclose, both the general standard for materiality and the specialized probability/magnitude balancing under Basic v. Levinson, 485 U.S. 224, 232 (1988), for analyses of contingent or speculative information, may be applicable here. Is there a substantial likelihood that information about Jobs’ health is important to the reasonable investor in the market? Is there a substantial likelihood that disclosure of Steve Jobs’ health would be viewed by the reasonable investor as having significantly altered the total mix of information available to public investors? Finally, viewing information about Steve Jobs’ health as contingent or speculative information about his continued tenure as the CEO of Apple, does a balancing of the probability that he will not be able to continue to lead Apple against the magnitude of his departure from Apple (as an iconic founder/CEO) counsel disclosure? Yes, yes, and yes.
To read more of Joan’s views, check out her article on the materiality aspects of Personal Facts About Executive Officers.