Re: sponsibility

From: Dave Long (
Date: Mon Apr 02 2001 - 13:27:59 PDT

> Unavoidable, Tom. The deal structure was what it was.

Avoidable, Jeff. You took the deal; you cashed in.

Let's look at the choices involved:

1) you chose to be compensated in a more complicated
   manner than the average bear. To an entrepreneur,
   this is known as "taking risks". If you don't want
   to do the hard work and make the sacrifices of time
   to learn about your personal financial situation,
   choose vocations that allow one to file an EZ.

2) you did the deal, and chose to cash in, thus changing
   your balance sheet by:
        - adding "restricted shares"* as an asset, and
        - adding "taxes due"** as a liability.

3) instead of making allowance for your taxes, a current
   liability, out of current assets, you chose to meet
   that liability with restricted shares in a volatile
   security. If you hadn't attempted to hedge, this
   would be a case of "making financial plans based on
   finding the winning lottery ticket tomorrow". As
   you did hedge, I applaud your having the courage of
   your convictions in simple textbook economics despite
   the recent LTCM debacle.

Choices, choices, choices. The outcome may not be
what you wanted, but you (of all people) can't claim
that you didn't choose it.

Yelling at the umpires' call (because the rules aren't
what you thought they were) is poor sportsmanship.


* If the idea behind SEC rules is to discourage bubbles by
  ensuring that principals, rather than outside investors,
  wind up holding the bag upon popping, it sounds like they
  were actually effective in this situation.

  Jeff may wish the government to be more like the companies
  in which he invests. I'm glad that the government, unstable
  as it may be, hasn't gone from 109 to 3 over the past year.
  (that would be a libertarian paradise, wouldn't it?)

**I was going to post that (income != d/dt(wealth)), and so
  there is no reason to realize income unless one needs it
  for consumption. This case makes me realize that one must
  realize income both for consuming and for meeting one's
  current outstanding liabilities.

  Hey, if CMGI is awfully undervalued, you've got a heck of
  a tax basis and won't be paying on any gains until it has
  come back up. Look on the bright side.

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