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And to say it's up to the bean-counters to catch this situation is silly, because the whole reason you're using phony dates is so that the bean-counters won't know what you really did.And this is why defenses to backdating sometimes get hard for me to understand. Both houses of the Iowa General Assembly passed the bill to couple the Iowa tax law to federal tax law for 2015, with the exception of bonus depreciation (HF 2433).The House of Representatives vote was overwhelming, and the Senate was unanimous.And, second, yes, there is more: And the “more” is more strained and incredible than the fact that accounting rule APB 25 was used by the SEC and prosecutors to destroy billions of dollars in the value of companies, lay waste executive careers, and put in prison—as examples or scapegoats—just five executives from the thousands of companies that “restated” company earnings when APB 25 was “clarified.” There is a context, here, without which the backdated options frenzy and the stop-at-nothing drive by prosecutors to put Grey Reyes in jail makes no sense. He is of a generation that emerged from college, law school, and even business school imbued with a crusading spirit against the supposed social destructiveness, immorality, and unfairness of capitalism—as personified by the most successful, wealthy entrepreneurs, businessmen, and, in particular, financiers.In a recent article, David Stockman, the famous first Office of Management and Budget Director under Ronald Reagan, charged that President Barack Obama has appealed to class-warfare, resentment of the financially successful, more than any other Democratic president since FDR. We have seen this played out, again and again, by the waves of moral outrage against a particular businessman, or business practice, that is whipped up by ambitious crusading reporters and given a sense of legitimacy by government prosecutors.The debates before the votes featured complaints about how school funding is suffering because businesses get the same Section 179 deduction on their Iowa returns as on their federal returns.
When then-general counsel Nancy Heinen emailed Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs such a spreadsheet on January 30, 2001, she noted that it was a bad idea to choose January 2 as the grant date--even though that was the day the stock had been at its lowest--if they wanted "to avoid any perception that the Board was acting in appropriately [sic] for insiders prior to Macworld announcements." (They ultimately chose one of the next-best dates from after Macworld.) Now isn't it obvious to everyone on that email that shareholders are being misled?Didn't they understand that ethics is a slippery slope; that once you compromise on this, there is no turning back?Sadly, we have seen too many ethical lapses and lack of disclosure to shareholders in the technology world.The prosecution, even by advertising nationally, could find no investor who could assert coherently that the “misstated” information had any impact on their investment decisions. I will offer two answers to that very understandable reaction. ) the backdated options frenzy stirred up, beginning in 2005, by story after story in the Wall Street Journal, stories that only rarely mentioned that backdating options was not illegal and was practiced by hundreds of Silicon Valley companies, but spent paragraph after paragraph talking about corporate greed and describing the homes, cars, vacations, and other luxuries of the wealthy.In this case, anti-capitalist journalism led and set the pace for Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement and Justice Department prosecutions.