Prof. Jayanth R. Varma’s Financial Markets Blog

A blog on financial markets and their regulation

The joys of Edgar full text search

In November of last year, I blogged about the benefits of being
able to do a full text search of all filings with the US SEC. Paul
Kedrosky’s infectious greed blog
describes some innovative ways of using this feature that I had not
thought of at all. Kedrosky says: “I have an ‘interesting
word’ search that scans SEC filings and feeds ’em back to
me. Out this one popped, much to my childish glee.”

In the filing
that Kedrosky refers to, the “interesting word” is
followed by the following sentence: “Mr. Chapman then forcefully
informed Mr. Shahbazian that it was inappropriate and inadvisable for
the Chief Financial Officer of a public company to utter such
blasphemy to the advisor of a 9.3% ownership stakeholder in the
Issuer.”. This leads Kedrovsky to propose “the 11th
Commandment: Thou shalt not blaspheme >9% shareholders.” It also
leads to an interesting comment on Kedrosky’s blog: “And
nothing so clearly reveals the inner mind of the [venture
capitalist]… Blasphemy is restricted to saying bad things about God
… We all know that most VCs view themselves as quasi-divine beings
… But it is invaluable to actually hear a VC claim godlike status
publicly. One can only assume the word hubris will mean something to
Chapman one day. ”

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