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Wachovia Goes Mum on Earnings Calls

If you want to hear about Wachovia's third quarter earnings on Oct. 22, you'll have to listen to a recording made by CFO David Ziener and Chief Risk Officer Ken Phelan. No questions, please.

This stiff-armed approach is being adopted now that Wachovia is about to be taken over by Wells Fargo, which has declined questions during quarterly earnings reports for some time.

Companies aren't required to answer analysts' questions, but many do so because it fosters transparency that benefits shareholders, the company, potential investors and the public at large.

You might think Wachovia would consider such transparency a good thing, especially since the Treasury Department will invest $25 billion of public money into Wells Fargo equity as the West Coast bank rescues Wachovia and its customers from the abyss.

Unfortunately, corporate arrogance doesn't necessarily go away when a bank nearly fails.

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