Daniel Okrent

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Some companies that have lived through the free fall of their market value have learned to reprice with the frequency of a fat man visiting the refrigerator. It’s always defended as a way to keep employees, yet no one ever seems to ask: If they feel entitled to share so lavishly in the upside yet not bear any responsibility for the downside, do you think maybe we’ve got the wrong employees? What seems to be forgotten here is that stock options are by their very nature speculative; if they were meant to be guaranteed, why not hand every new hire a fat, juicy check for deigning to occupy one of your cubicles?

So let’s try some logic, Ms. CEO: Nasdaq tumbles. Your stock goes down. If market conditions are to blame, so does everyone else’s stock. If you’re worried that all the talent will flee, the company across the street is probably worried too. So why not just hire all of its panicky, selfish, greed-motivated employees to replace your own?

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