As the list of companies embroiled in the brouhaha surrounding backdated options continues to grow, the effect on their stocks, and the mutual funds that hold them, seems to be shrinking.

"It's a matter of half-empty or half-full," said Erik Lie, whose research at the University of Iowa first cracked the case, and drew regulators' attention to this latest version of covert executive compensation. "The fact that we are discovering these things, setting examples, and setting regulations to prevent scandals from erupting again might give investors more confidence," Lie said.

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