It's summer vacation time, and we're following our tradition of digging into the files and reprinting columns from the past. This one from June 2003 deals mostly with the accounting for stock options.In those days, of course, there was a lot of Chicken Little shouting that the mandatory expensing of stock options would destroy free enterprise and the rest of Western civilization. Everyone jumped on the bandwagon to save options and to keep financial statements from being polluted by bad numbers.

Well, SFAS 123R did pass and has taken effect, and nothing bad has happened, except for the revelation that a great many managers were seeking even greater plunder from shareholders by retroactively choosing their option grant dates when the stock was at its lowest level. The expression "egg on your face" came to mind as we re-read this one.

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