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Punishing shareholders twice

In response to the Perspectives column written by Charles Cooper, "House to FASB: Drop dead!":

Not being an accountant or Wall Street person, I have no fancy explanation why expensing options is bad business. But as a layperson, I have to question the chaos that would result from such action.

Except for the privileged few, options are rarely exercised any more. They are so underwater that it would take Robert Ballard to find any value in them.

If a company declares charges against profits to account for options granted (but not exercised), it punishes all shareholders twice: once when the charge is made, and again when the charge must be reversed--when the options expire.

And during all the time that the options are underwater, the "value" depresses company performance (on paper) and does nothing to protect "the little guy."

Disclosure: I once worked for a company that granted me options that were declared at $189 a share and a year later were worth $1.56 a share.

R.W. Walden
Fort Worth, Texas