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Volume Control

"Not to be a New York-centric snob about this, but can any fan of the New York Nicks or the Rangers be at all surprised that Cablevision has messed up?"

Jon Friedman, MarketWatch

A Jaw-Dropper

“It’s not yet clear how many options were granted to [former Cablevision vice chairman Marc] Lustgarten posthumously or whether they were ever exercised. But really, does it even matter? Such a jaw-dropping indiscretion does not speak well of the company’s underlying ethics.

John Paczkowski, Good Morning Silicon Valley

A Family Affair

“Of course, back-dating options is wrong, and the Dolan family that controls Cablevision (and others in many other industries) did it primarily to enrich themselves. At least in this case, when they did so, they didn’t exclude the widow and children of a key executive who had already died.”

Barry Orton, Marginal Utility blog

Won’t Cross the Pond

“About 100 other U.S. corporations are now under investigation for improper stock option manipulation. Mr. Lustgarten’s enrichment from beyond the grave is the most graphic illustration yet of the phenomenon, which has caught out some of the country’s biggest, including Apple Computer. Fortunately, this form of fatcattery — posthumous or otherwise — is unlikely to catch on here. The rules on share options are too rigid.”

James Harding, The Times of London

The Anxiety’s Accounted For

“I am glad that they [Cablevision] have restated numbers appropriately, but it does not impact the strength of their operating performance. And more broadly, there has always been a Dolan fear among investors that you have to put up with in owning Cablevision.”

Pali Capital analystRichard Greenfield, in The New York Times

No Good Deed …

“They are trying to help his estate out. They’re trying to be nice to the family, but come on.”

Andy Serwer, CNN

He Should Have Known

“Apparently, Cablevision awarded options to a vice chairman after his 1999 death but backdated them to make it appear they were awarded when he was still alive. The company also improperly awarded a compensation consultant options but accounted for them as if he were an employee — yes, I did say a compensation consultant.”

Dave Ibesen, 5 Blogs Before Lunch