Jan 27, 2008

Sean Corrigan: Dot-com speculators should look in the mirror

What never ceases to amaze, is people’s prodigious ability to indulge in a little cognitive dissonance when they think it will make them rich.

For several years past a coterie of solid, sceptical writers and contrarian investors have been cogently pulling apart matters like GM’s wild pension fund assumptions, GE’s earnings smoothing from its unregulated, quasi-banking arm at GE Capital, Cisco’s aggressive use of pooling, Intel’s Dot.Com ‘investment’ gains, Microsoft’s stock options scheme, Dell’s aggressive use of put options to pad the income statement, a host of senior Execs’ avoidance of full regulatory filing by the use of total return swaps and non-recourse loans to cash in their options grants, IBM’s ability to achieve double digit earnings growth with barely changed revenues – and more besides.

But ain’t it funny how nobody listened to any of this when stocks were going up 5% a day just 'cos Battapaglia & Blodgett, Abbey & Acampora, and Glassman & Greenspan were egging the mug punters on to believe in the New Paradigm?

Oh, those bandits in the boardrooms, those shyster lawyers, those crooked accountants and devious wildcat bankers, that energy regulation-killing Rubin, that options-expense scotching Liebermann, that money-pumping, cheerleading Fed Chairman – why could they not just continue with the game just a little longer so I could have got mine out before the House of Cards came tumbling down!

I’m sorry, people! Most of you were warned, you just chose not to heed it, so, when you start moralizing about ‘Infectious Greed’, just remember to look in the mirror when you mouth the words.

~ Sean Corrigan, "Take It Like a Man," LewRockwell.com, July 24, 2002

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