GE can’t afford very much at all these days, so it probably goes without saying that the $200 million check it now has to cut to the SEC isn’t ideal. Of course, it probably should have thought about that before instituting accounting practices—if you could be so generous as to call them “practices”—that had more to do with its former CEO’s relentlessly positive ethos than anything approaching reality.
The company misled investors by failing to explain that one-quarter of its GE Power profits in 2016 and nearly half in the first three quarters of 2017 stemmed from reductions in its prior cost estimates, the SEC said.
The order also finds that GE failed to tell investors that its reported increase in current industrial cash collections was coming at the expense of cash in future years, the SEC said.
And Larry Culp & co. had better properly account for this little cost, and all the others, or else.
As part of the settlement, GE has also agreed to report to the SEC for a one-year period about compliance related to its power business and GE Capital’s run-off insurance operations.