The Price Of Transparency

German executives are finding it hard to adjust to more rigorous financial-disclosure rules

Pity the poor Haffa brothers, Florian and Thomas. Around this time last year the two Bavarian businessmen were closing in on the purchase of the late Jim Henson's Muppet empire--a $680 million deal that brought Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and the denizens of Sesame Street into the fold of their company, EM.TV & Merchandising. They were the toast of the high-flying Neuer Markt, a sub-exchange that the Deutsche Borse (German Stock Exchange) set up for sky-bound new issues like theirs.

Look at 'em now. The Neuer Markt is floundering with the rest of world stock markets, Florian is out...

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