Man Without Qualities

Friday, July 19, 2002

Harken Up The Wrong Tree II

As predicted here previously, entrepreneurial companies and business executives don't like the restrictions on options being proposed in Congress. And they're doing something about it.

If House Minority Leader Gephardt is successful in keeping the issue alive for the next few months, one can expect a fairly severe tear between the Democrats (and McCainiacs) and business generally. The Times says;

Leading the parade were two prominent venture capitalists, John Doerr and Floyd Kvamme, two Silicon Valley legends. Joining them were Alan Patricof, a well-known New York venture capitalist, and executives and lobbyists from Cisco Systems, Intel, Dell Computer, AOL Time Warner and Sun Microsystems. In addition, 126 biotechnology chief executives wrote an open letter to Congress on this issue. These companies are also enlisting rank-and-file employees in a Web-based grass-roots effort, as well. ... Mark Hesen, president of the National Venture Capital Association in Washington, said: "We have 14,000 emerging growth companies in our database. We've got venture capitalists all over the country who have been active."

The key disclosure here is the reference to the "venture capitalists." Those are the people who finance the companies who need executives. Venture capitalists are a kind of shareholder.

The Times and much of the media coverage of this entire affair is still missing the point that what it is shareholder value that needs to be be protected. And when once-Democrat-leaning, big risk-taking shareholders start telling Congress to back off in the face of politically charged public hysteria, that's a pretty good sign that something big is happening.

And it's not what the class-warriors at the Times think is happening.

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