Friday, September 23, 2005

Agency Calls On Frist About Timing of Stock Sale

A spokesman for Senator Bill Frist, Republican of Tennessee, said Thursday that the Securities and Exchange Commission had contacted Mr. Frist's office about the sale in June of his shares in HCA, the giant hospital company founded by his family.

Mr. Frist, whose brother Thomas F. Frist Jr. is chairman emeritus and the largest individual shareholder of the company, disclosed earlier this week that on June 13 he asked the managers of blind trusts controlling many of his assets to sell any of his remaining shares in HCA.

The sales occurred just as the share price reached a new peak and shortly before the company's announcement in mid-July of lower-than-expected quarterly results sent the price tumbling.

I liked that headline--the SEC "Calls On" Senator Frist. Hearing the doorbell ring on a sunny Sunday afternoon to see that SEC Agent Smith is "calling on" you is, I would imagine, only slightly less awful than opening the door and seeing a hooded guy with a scythe.

If this goes down, it would have the semi-hollow feeling of getting Capone on tax evasion, but I'm happy to live with anything that works.


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