Friday, June 25, 2004

meanwhile, back at the boardroom, the looting continues.

Stock options are compensation, compensation is an expense. Why is this so hard to understand?

" the House Financial Services Committee voted to override the Financial Accounting Standards Board's decision to force companies to account for all stock options as a compensation expense.

The bill, which has an alarming number of co-sponsors in the House, would instead require the expensing only of options granted to a company's top five executives. Plus, according to Reuters, it would delay implementing any change for a year so that the Securities and Exchange Commission could study its potential impact.

Wow. As if the options-expensing rule, which was first proposed about a decade ago, hasn't been studied enough. As if expensing options granted to an arbitrary number of employees makes more sense than expensing all of them. Would Congress be so agreeable if, say, FASB decided that Intel didn't report any of its debt other than the money owed its top five creditors?

The dumbest thing here, though, is how so many congressmen have convinced themselves that -- with the help of a few meetings with lobbyists and a few big-pocketed constituents -- they know better how to accurately write up financials than do the professionals who have been debating accounting theory for years.

Yes. Congress has done such a good job with the public sector's finances that it can't help cleaning up the private sector's, too."

... The Coalition of the Conniving and the Clueless strikes again!

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