This issue's cover story on knowledge management explains how improved access to important information can help senior executives make better decisions. Now more than ever, given these challenging financial times, poor judgment can lead to calamitous financial results-a good example of this Conseco Inc.I have been monitoring Conseco's financial problems for more than a year, and my interest has been heightened in the aftermath of the accounting scandals involving Worldcom and Enron. Although the Carmel, Ind.-based company continued to reassure its creditors that it would easily meet any of its looming payment deadlines, Conseco abruptly changed its message on Aug. 9, saying that its turnaround plan was not sufficient and that a "radical change in the company's capital structure" was required.

"The businesses of Conseco are good businesses that can have bright futures," Conseco Chairman and CEO Gary Wendt stated on Aug. 9. "The problem with Conseco has been the over-leveraged capital structure of the parent."

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