Dirt Diggers No. 2
May 1, 2002
Editor: Philip Mattera
Dirt Diggers Network:
The Network has grown more than 100 percent in the past week. We've
now got more than 30 people on the list. What we haven't seen yet is a
growth in traffic. Please feel free to respond to anything in this digest or
to raise something new by contacting the moderator.
There was only one response to the initial posting about the high-priced
SOCRATES database of corporate social responsibility profiles.
Will Collette wrote:
Haven't used SOCRATES. Don't recommend buying in. Generally, I prefer to
do my own, from-scratch analysis of a company, since we must frame our
analysis first around our own interests and only secondarily around
others. Our first filter is union or non-union. Then come categories
like finances, adverse filings, OSHA, EEOC, etc.
Services that compile and package information are of limited use. The
internal AFL-CIO database, UNICORE, is a fine service for corporate
family trees, union affiliation, unfair labor practices, OSHA, NLRB
elections, etc., but is still mainly useful as a guide, not as the last
word on a target company.
I love taking a look at some other person's analysis of a company.
Always helpful. But when I deliver finished product, I'm the one
responsible for it and I have to be sure it is correct and complete.
I [Phil Mattera speaking here] agree with Will that doing research
from scratch is always desirable. I was asking about the usefulness
of SOCRATES in the context of quick-hit research that some of us
occasionally have to do.
In any event, Will's posting led me to think it might interesting to
ask people on the list to share their favorite *less well-known* sources
for doing primary research on companies and their executives/directors. For
example, I like to check out the online docket of the U.S. Tax Court
http://www.ustaxcourt.gov/docket.htm in the hope that my target is
involved in a dispute with the IRS and may have had to put its
tax return in the public record.
If people send in some of their favorite lesser-known-but-valuable sources,
I'll compile them for the next digest. To keep it manageable, let's limit it
to one source per person. Be sure to include URLs for websites.
Reminder: to contribute to this source list or to submit any other posting
to the Dirt Diggers Network, send an individual e-mail to the moderator:
Phil Mattera at <email@example.com>.