Wednesday, February 08, 2006

THE GRASSO CIRCUS IS COMING TO TOWN: I see from the Wall Street Journal today that the Grasso Circus Train is approaching the station: "Having sparred for 20 months, New York state's attorney general, Eliot Spitzer, and former New York Stock Exchange chief Dick Grasso say they are ready to take their legal fight over Mr. Grasso's Big Board compensation to court."

I expect that the Grasso Circus will be one of the hottest-selling tickets in town. The only problem is that, like most circuses, the Grasso Circus is just that -- a show. An expensive, politically motivated entertainment.

If he wins, who benefits? The Journal reports today that "Mr. Spitzer has alleged that Mr. Grasso's $188 million compensation package was excessive under New York's not-for-profit law and that Mr. Grasso should return much of the money to the NYSE."

So Spitzer is essentially functioning as a kind of government-paid attorney for the millionaire retirees and securities firms that are the owners of the NYSE. I hope he loses. Grasso was paid fairly, and I can prove it! In fact, I did prove it. However, you'll have to read about it in April.....

UPDATE: Bloomberg says the trial may be moved until after next year -- after the gubernatorial elections. Good news for Grasso -- and for Spitzer, who was not pursuing a slam dunk case after all. I'll bet the case is dropped.

So, if the case is delayed, Spitzer gets the publicity without the chance of losing a high-profile case before the elections. Grasso probably gets off the hook entirely, as he deserves. The man earned the money, as I say.

A win-win situation! Unfortunately, the judge hearing the case is a killjoy who believes in an outmoded concept called "speedy justice." Come on, judge! Get with the program.

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