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October 19, 2011

Olympus financial confusion continues, Olympus admits it paid nearly $700 million

UPDATE (October 20, 2011): There are a few more updates at Amateur Photographer UK - look for the "NEWS UPDATE" links there for even more...


It is starting to look like the firing of the CEO was only Act #1 in the developing Olympus saga. There is some confusion as to what the situation is, but the invisible hand of the market has punished the Olympus stock in Japan.

The fired CEO started a wild fire by alleging strange and suspicious payments made by Olympus, with the Cayman Islands involved (see British Journal of Photography et al)

Olympus initially denied these, but Reuters wrote a couple of hours ago that Olympus confessed that it indeed paid nearly $700 million to "deal advisers". One of the questions now is to figure out how much of this was incompetence and how much of it was foul $play$?

More on this at Amateur Photographer UK (five separate articles), dpreview, EoS HD, dpnow, Peta Pixel, Zone 10, Small Aperture, Pixiq. etc.

This is also covered by non-photography sites including The Financial Times, Reuters (and earlier), New York Times, WSJ, etc.

Forum discussions at GetDPI forums, Olympus SLR forums at dpreview (thread #1, thread #2), et al.

One obvious question out of this is, "what does this mean for cameras/lenses?". Unfortunately given the current fluidity and uncertainty of the situation, it is hard to really tell at this moment. This situation may turn out to be just a blip on the radar in the grand scheme of things, or, on the other extreme, just the tip of the iceberg. As Asia sung, only time will tell, since we are now in the heat of the moment!

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