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This column was originally published on RealMoney on Feb. 17 at 9:03 a.m. EST. It's being republished as a bonus for readers.

Maybe Pierce Roberts just doesn't get it. The whole point of



is to outspend


(SIRI) - Get Sirius XM Holdings, Inc. Report

and lock in bigger and bigger talent. The whole point is to recognize that the market likes this concept so much that you have to finance the hell out of the company when things are good right now and let the recriminations begin later.

Unless, of course, you get tired of the charade. I believe that people underestimate the importance of

Roberts' resignation from XM, just as they overrated the importance of hiring Oprah. Roberts was a retired investment banker from Bear Stearns. XM will have to do so much financing that his departure has to have consequences among his friends at his old bank, even though the last two deals were done away from Bear.

More important, because Roberts is rich and can be his own man, the resignation seems almost


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-like, meaning Roberts in his heart just couldn't take the losses and couldn't continue to hold the united front that there isn't a price to be paid anywhere that is too high for talent, given that satellite radio is

"the future."

Of course, Take-Two seems like a dishonest firm to me; no one seems to think that about XM. But this resignation is more than just a red flag, it's a veritable Jolly Roger. If a man on the inside believes there are problems, what the heck do I know -- I gotta sell.

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just reported. Mel Karmazin will put a nice spin on. And no one from his board will pull a Roberts. But given that XM and Sirius share a lot of the same models and expense structures, I believe that Roberts' leaving puts a cap on the whole group.

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It also gives the Emperor Has No Clothes gang against satellite radio the absolute killer argument to stay short, if not double down, on the whole industry.

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