The Economist points to a very interesting study by Stanford’s David Larcker and Anastasia Zakolyukina on the use of deception in the business environment (HT: Brian McCann). The article’s title, “How to Tell When Your Boss is Lying,” gets at the thrust of the piece. Larcker and Zakolyukina look at conference call transcripts from 2003 and 2007 for evidence of determinants of companies who later ran into problems in the form of serious financial restatements or accounting errors. Can you identify a CEO or CFO engaging in deceptive conduct during a conference call? What sort of “tells” would you look for?