Many of those CEOs granting fraudulent stock options for themselves and others may have rationalized it by thinking, hey, everyone does it, plus it’s a ‘gray area.’ Backdate the options so they’re worth more, whoa, we are so clever…
Gregory Reyes, CEO of Brocade Communications, allegedly did this. Now he could get 20 years in prison. Maybe it wasn’t so clever after all. He’s hardly alone. Upwards of 100 companies are being investigated for doing the same.
It’s not like they were hard up for money either. But that didn’t stop them from using the company as a personal piggy bank to enrich themselves and others.
Despite the unctuous protestations of those involved, there most certainly were victims. The company, the workers, and the shareholders, they all got fleeced, as a tiny, arrogant few grabbed millions more for themselves. Ah yes, this must be that ‘invisible hand of the marketplace’ that capitalists are so fond of speaking about. A few got wealthier, the rest got the finger.
“Authority will be respected when authority is respectable.” Right now, politically and economically, this country is run by a kleptocracy intent on stealing whatever they can, and screw the law and you too. Loot the company then bail out with a golden parachute worth millions. (If they don’t go to prison, that is, since their excesses have finally become so grotesque that the government can no longer ignore them.)
We can do better. We must do better.
[tags]stock options,backdated options[/tags]