THE WYLY BROTHERS: SETTING A GOOD EXAMPLE

Floyd Norris’ column in the Times today is, in a word, awesome. The most succinct explanation of the brothers’ actions to date. But because it hides behind the paper’s “TimesSelect” wall, only the privileged few (read: not cheap) FBvians can access it. So here’s its gist. The brothers, as alert readers of FrontBurner know, transferred stock options to foreign trusts and then cashed out the options in that trust without paying taxes, which is seemingly against the law. But Norris writes the government may not do much to stop the brothers’ crookedness (oh, alright, “alleged crookedness”), because the Wyly brothers were crafty (oh, alright, “wily”) in their dealings. If that’s the case, and the government concludes there were no violations, Norris writes:

[T]hen any executive who wants to secretly benefit from trades in his company’s stock will know just how to do it.

Hello, Enron II.

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