Dispatches from District 48
This makes no sense to me. The SEC is working to protect Dell shareholders by ... taking $100 million of their money.
I think the SEC's logic is that it is punishing the corporation (i.e., current shareholders) for decieving potential shareholders -- to dissuade similar misleading statements in the future.
If you were lured into buying Dell shares by the misleading disclosures, well, it sucks to be you, pay up. If you took advantage of the misleading disclosures and then sold at a higher price, well, good on you, because the SEC's remedy doesn't touch you.
While $100 million sounds like a big number, it's only about a nickel a share, and of no economic consequence to shareholders.
This is the same thing as when people talk about the size of an executive's golden parachute. It rarely amounts to more shareholder value than the price variation of a stock in a given trading day.