6. ESSAY QUESTION: What does it mean to say that managers should maximize shareholder wealth "subject to ethical constraints"? What ethical considerations might enter into decisions that result in cash flow and stock price effects that are less than they might otherwise have been?
7. ESSAY QUESTION: The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 limits, but does not prohibit, corporate insiders from trading in their own firm's shares. What ethical issues might arise when a corporate insider wants to buy or sell shares in the firm where he or she works?
8. ESSAY QUESTION: Do some reading in periodicals and/or on the Internet to find out more about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act's provisions for companies. Select one of those provisions, and indicate why you think financial statements will be more trust-worthy if company financial executives implement this provision of SOX.
9. ESSAY QUESTION: The SEC is trying to get companies to notify the investment community more quickly when a "material change" will affect their forthcoming financial results. In what sense might a financial manager be seen as "more ethical" if he or she follows this directive and issues a press release indicating that sales will not be as high as previously anticipated?
10. ESSAY QUESTION: A manager at a "Check Into Cash" business (see Focus on Ethics box on page 192) defends his business practice as simply "charging what the market will bear." "After all," says the manager, "we don't force people to come in the door." How would you respond to this ethical defense of the payday-advance business?
11. ESSAY QUESTION: Bond rating agencies have invested significant sums of money in an effort to determine which quantitative and nonquantitative factors best predict bond defaults. Furthermore, some of the raters invest time and money to meet privately with corporate personnel to get nonpublic information that is used in assigning the issue's bond rating. To recoup those costs, some bond rating agencies have tied their ratings to the purchase of additional services. Do you believe that this is an acceptable practice? Defend your position.