Tuesday, July 23, 2002

More Options

I received a bit of email regarding my ignorance in accounting and economics by some people with greater expertise than I. I think that they missed my point.

I am not an accountant, but I have issued and exercised options. We were printing money. The public supplied the cash. The cost to the corp was negligible: one of printing and administrative. And this was in the 80's before the exuberant 90's and the tech bubble, or whatever it was that just happened. In those olden days, if the corp performed, the stock rose and options were exercised. If not, not. I do appreciate the technical points my readers made, but the point of my post was that, from an amateur's perspective, and lawmakers are nothing if not credulous amateurs when it comes to business, the importance of expensing out of options is a POLITICAL issue. Economists can argue the merits all they want, but the result of such debate will only acquire the force of law if congressmen and senators find an issue that will enhance their re-election chances.

For a truly cogent explanation of what is going on in Washington today on these matters, Jack Kemp captures the gist of it in a column out today.