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Stock Options Makes Strange Bedfellows

April 5, 2004
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The old cliché about politics making strange bedfellows is alive and well when it comes to the issue of option expensing.

Among those opposing the new government proposal to expense options: liberal Sen. Barbara Boxer from California and conservative Sen. George Allen from Virginia. Boxer and Allen support a bill that would mandate the expensing of stock options for the top five company executives, but not for the rest of a company’s workforce. Start-ups would also be exempt under their bill.

"Requiring the expensing of all stock options won't prevent high-profile corporate scandals,” Boxer says. “All it will do is result in workers losing their stake in the company they work for and prevent companies from sharing the wealth they create with their workers."

FASB has issued a proposal that would require companies to expense options on their income statements. Interested parties can discuss the proposal in the Benefits Forum.

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