The calm before the storm…

Just before the (mostly) third quarter Qs start flying, there’s a bit of a lull in SEC filing-land. Not to mention that there were no filings yesterday because of Columbus Day. But this 8-K filed by Google (GOOG) last week was mildly interesting for a few reasons: for one, it’s Google and the curiosity about the company seems to be endless — just witness Blogging Stocks’ Google blog.

But more importantly, it sets a "maximum bonus" for top executives (excluding CEO Eric Schmidt and Presidents Sergey Brin and Larry Page) of $3 million for the second year in a row. Now a quick skim of Google’s most recent proxy shows that the four top executives who could have qualified for the bonus didn’t even come close to the $3 million, despite the fact that the company had the same maximum in place for 2005. Indeed, none of the bonuses even hit $1 million, despite Google’s strong performance. Which brings me to the third interesting thing about this filing: in 2005, Google’s board determined the maximum bonus back in February 2005, when they filed this 8-K. But they waited until October to set the maximum this year. Since the two exhibits — the one filed last week and the one filed in February 2005 — are virtually identical, other than a few date changes, what’s the reason for the delay?