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Volume Control

Shock Devalued

“When the backdating brouhaha started unfolding earlier this year, most companies that 'fessed up to an options problem saw their stock prices whacked, at least initially. But as more companies get pulled into the fray — the number of firms under scrutiny has passed 100 and grows larger by the day — the shock seems to be wearing off.”

Kathleen Pender The San Francisco Chronicle

Last Year’s Model

“Most investors rolled their eyes and ignored these giveaways. Now that backdating and spring-loading are the issues du jour, accelerating the vesting of options is so … 2005. (I guess.) They don’t ignore them now. They’ve simply forgotten them.”

Jack Ciesielski, AAO Weblog

Eat the Rich

“I think a lot of what passes for moral outrage or deontic analysis on this issue is really normative political argument about wealth distribution, and consistent with good old American populism, going after rich people is pretty easy.”

Jeff Lipshaw, PrawfsBlog

Lost In a Sea of Black Ink

“Everyone is writing about options backdating and that means there will be at least as many misstatements as correct statements.”

Ken Grady, Grady’s Retail Crier

Unintended Consequences

“As usual, the winners in this scandal are mostly top executives, and the losers are ordinary shareholders. The irony, of course, is that stock options were designed to align the incentives of executives and shareholders by giving executives a stake in the company’s share price. Instead, in an astonishing demonstration of the law of unintended consequences, stock options display the irrepressible ingenuity of avaricious executives and their friendly boards.”

Lee Drutman, The Providence Journal (Rhode Island)

Trial by Media

“I expect that irresponsible journalists will keep flogging this story to within an inch of death, and numerous corporate executives will be facing jail time as a result.

Larry Ribstein, Ideoblog