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(According to the “Options Scorecard,” here, there are 115 companies under investigation one way or the other.) The current stage seems to involve the slow but steady defenestration of numerous senior company officials.An October 17, 2006 list is only a couple of days old, it is already out of date, because it omits the recent departures from KLA-Tencor (here and here), Altera (here), Sapient (here) and Safe Net (here).But that study only looked at option awards to CEOs.A faculty discussion paper released late last year at Harvard Law School showed that a similar statistical pattern held with awards of options to outside directors (facetiously titled Lucky Directors, by Lucian Bebchuk, Yaniv Grinstein, and Urs Peyer).A statistical study points to a pattern of stock option backdating that favors outside directors, not just executives.So there's a chance that a university president or other high-profile charity director participated in the process.For example, the ran an October 17, 2006 article entitled “Is Steve Jobs Safe?” (here, registration required) (short version: not enough information yet).

Then there were the waves of announcements from companies stating that they or regulators were investigating their options practices.

By my count, more than 40 executives have lost their jobs so far. These circumstances have to be uncomfortable for executives at companies undergoing options timing investigations.

Both investors and the individuals themselves have to be wondering about the executives’ continued tenure.

All prescribed at the federal level because the states can’t be trusted.

There are still a lot of folks out there who want to throw federal regulatory (and criminal) solutions at every perceived governance problem.