May 19, 2006

THESE are the people the Republicans in congress just made huge tax breaks permanent for. It's for our own good.

Tax breaks to the very wealthiest help us average people. Don't you get it?

When we put more money in their hands, they immediately invest it in ... well, something or other, which then creates jobs and gives us peons enough dough to go bowling every now and then.

Sure, it'll cost the country literally trillions of dollars, but hey... these people are what makes our country great. They need it more than you, and don't forget it.

The Wall Street Journal recently broke the latest corporate scandal with the help of professor Eric Lie from the University of Iowa, who posts an excellent "explainer" here.

It seems quite a few CEOs with enormous stock options were miraculously picking up these options when their company stock were at their very lowest prices, and just before they rebounded again, ensuring that they made several millions of extra dollars.

As the post at "The Big Picture" asks, Luck, or something else?
"On a summer day in 2002, shares of Affiliated Computer Services Inc. sank to their lowest level in a year. Oddly, that was good news for Chief Executive Jeffrey Rich.

His annual grant of stock options was dated that day, entitling him to buy stock at that price for years. Had they been dated a week later, when the stock was 27% higher, they'd have been far less rewarding. It was the same through much of Mr. Rich's tenure: In a striking pattern, all six of his stock-option grants from 1995 to 2002 were dated just before a rise in the stock price, often at the bottom of a steep drop.

Just lucky? A Wall Street Journal analysis suggests the odds of this happening by chance are extraordinarily remote -- around one in 300 billion. The odds of winning the multistate Powerball lottery with a $1 ticket are one in 146 million.

Suspecting such patterns aren't due to chance, the Securities and Exchange Commission is examining whether some option grants carry favorable grant dates for a different reason: They were backdated. The SEC is understood to be looking at about a dozen companies' option grants with this in mind.

The Journal's analysis of grant dates and stock movements suggests the problem may be broader. It identified several companies with wildly improbable option-grant patterns. While this doesn't prove chicanery, it shows something very odd: Year after year, some companies' top executives received options on unusually propitious dates.

The analysis bolsters recent academic work suggesting that backdating was widespread, particularly from the start of the tech-stock boom in the 1990s through the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform act of 2002. If so, it was another way some executives enriched themselves during the boom at shareholders' expense. And because options grants are long-lived, some executives holding backdated grants from the late 1990s could still profit from them today."
Also note the chart they provide with stock graphs and when the CEOs exercised their options.


At 5/24/2006 5:51 PM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

The Explainer...

Is that kinda like the Decider.....

At 5/24/2006 10:48 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

HA! Welllllll... no exactly...

An Explainer actually does somethign worthwhile and educates people.

The "Decider", at least in Bush's case, is a vapid incurious moron who'd have better luck making decisions by spinning a beer bottle.


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