Friday, April 11, 2014

Repeal Sarbanes-Oxley!

My Zimbio  Fellow Republican...

In 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley legislation became the law of the land.  This legislation fundamentally changed the way companies large and small perform accounting, including a very important provision about the way we account for stock options.  The voice track for the legislation (at least the stock option part of it) was that many people lost alot of money because of internet-bubble-company-hype and, oh by the way, top leadership of Corporate America is making too much money via stock options.

Make no mistake.  This legislation passed because rich people lost lots of money investing in internet start-ups.  They should know better.  Rich people also typically make lots of money in the stock market, so I guess it's ok when they have a losing streak every once in a while.  Think of the Titanic protagonist (Rose's fiance) who jumped out of a tall building after he lost his fortune... that guy deserved it, right?

Top leadership of Corporate America will always be hideously well paid... that is hard to fight, and I'm not sure we should legislate against it.  Some approaches to compensation would appear to be appropriately labeled theft, and people who thereby benefit should face criminal prosecution.  But I would argue that stock options isn't one of the "corporate theft" challenges.

Sarbanes Oxley is great for the accounting profession and terrible for low level start-up employees, who no longer receive generous option packages.   Oh, sure... the few start-ups backed with inside money and powerful connections that drive momentum... those start-ups grant enough options for more than the few senior exec's to get rich.  But the underdog start-up can't take care of it's loyal employees the way it once could.

Sarbanes Oxley is criminal.  It is helping the very, very rich continue to accumulate more and more of the earth's resources.  It is stopping thousands of "average Joe/Josephina's" from getting rich when their smart, hard working company grows exponentially and goes public.  And it may be blocking the most important innovators from monetizing their smart ideas (before Google, Microsoft, or some other reincarnation of IBM steals those ideas and implements them... see also Google/Silicon Valley campaign against patent and copyright legislation;)

Ok.  That wasn't very nice.  Sorry Bill Gates and Eric Schmidt, et al.  But you get my gist.  Repeal Sarbanes Oxley!!!  I'm tired of hearing people yell about repealing Obamacare....


My Zimbio  Believe I was sitting on the ground preparing for a road march when I heard about Grenada.  The Rangers jumped in at several hundred feet without reserve 'chutes (not enough time to deploy if you'd needed it, evidently).  The American students on the island were rapidly located and secured.  All the real fighting was supposedly complete when the 82d Airborne got to the island.

Many of my colleagues were angry... missed a chance in a lifetime to do a combat jump, get the combat shoulder scroll.  Who knew the 2d Armored Cavalry would demonstrate the prowess of a well trained crew and the M1 tank on the sands of Iraq?  At the time, Communism was a vital doctrine and my military didn't know the definition of fatwa, much less the ramifications of one from a respected cleric (or even a high-born thug).

Times change.  After a decade in the Middle East, our military may appreciate a vacation... while we await the next great challenge...  Would be good to see just people in charge in Afghanistan when we leave... much blood has been shed working with our brothers (and sisters) to seek improvements.