The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week
|Doom and Voom
1. Flipping the Bird at CablevisionWell, you can say a lot about Chuck Dolan, but you can't accuse him of wishy-washiness. Once he fixates on a bad idea, he holds on to it for dear life.
Dolan, to remind you, is chairman of Cablevision
As was widely reported last week, Cablevision's board gave up on Voom, and the company sold off its key satellite assets.
But what wasn't so widely reported was Dolan's assessment of why Voom went down the tubes.
It had nothing to do with the obvious reasons why
Voom was near-doomed from the start. Voom, for example, faced intense
competition from the comfortably established EchoStar
No, that wasn't the problem, according to Dolan. Instead, it was Our Litigious Society, which apparently makes it impossible for company directors to Be Brave and Do the Right Thing.
Really. In a memo that leaked out of Cablevision (at least one analyst believes it authentic, but the company declined to comment on the authencity of the memo), Dolan and one of his sons -- also an executive at Cablevision -- wrote that they believed the board's decision "has to do with today's post Enron regulatory climate, which places great emphasis on the potential legal liability of directors who sit on the boards of corporations involved with new enterprises."
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