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This column was originally published on RealMoney on Dec. 28 at 11:53 a.m. EST. It's being republished as a bonus for readers.

Look at these suckers taking up this



. It's hysterical. Has anyone ever thought that perhaps there is no business at Covad? That it shouldn't exist at all?

This is a company that has raised more than $1.5 billion in capital -- including $984 million in equity -- with nothing at all to show for it.

Covad was one of those companies that sprung up because of the 1996 "Telecommunications Travesty Act." I call it a travesty because it managed to bamboozle billions of dollars out of people -- with the willing help of


Jack Grubman. The idea was always that the law would force the


of the world to support a new group of freshly formed parasites like Covad that could force their way into the central offices around the country.

Of course, the courts can't enforce everything that they would like. The state politicians tended to be owned by the Verizons of the world, and the ramp for DSL, Covad's bread and butter, turned out to be difficult to execute.

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No matter, Covad was worth $7.4 billion in 1999, as befitting a "national broadband supplier," because those buzzwords were worth gold. The main asset that Covad had, the one that people loved, was the antitrust lawsuit against Verizon, the one that was supposed to give Covad billions in value and open the central offices but good.

Now the lawsuit's been settled and Covad has the long-awaited 50% bounce from wherever it was before. Except this time it is from 60 cents. To which I say, for what I am sure won't be the last time for this nine-lived cat,


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