Thursday, January 24, 2008

Questions on Telco Immunity for John Hodulik and Friends

One thing that nobody is talking about is the money involved if the telco retroactive immunity bill DOESN'T get passed as part of the FISA bill.

If you are a telco legal person and have several massive multi-million dollar lawsuits hanging over your head, and possibly some C-level executives bosses facing jail time, don't you think you would work every angle to get that immunity? If you are someone who is facing a big financial hit might you authorize some "walking around money" to help the problem go away? (Like my lingo? Picked that up from "The Wire.")

What would you do as a telco lobbyist? Who would you talk to? What would you offer? (Legally of course!)

What if you are a financial analyst in the telco space?
Are financial analysts even paying attention? If not, then I'll bet it is because they know the telcos have told them "We've got it covered."

Because if big money at stake they will NOT be pinching pennies to get that immunity. What is that phrase the poker players use? I think they might go "all in". So we could be looking for them to tip their hand because of their eagerness. And we might want to ask the analysts, "What do you estimate the telcos are spending to get immunity? Enough to show up as a hit to quarterly earnings? Or will it just going to be under the standard "Government Affairs" budget and "consulting fees"?

I'm sure they have told the analysts that no silly bloggers like Glenn Greenwald or Jane Hamsher or failed presidential candidates will get in the way of their immunity. Besides, they just have to go to DiFi because they know she'll listen to reason, she understands the needs of the stockholders (which trump everything for some people). They will talk to her about the jobs lost in her state if they don't get immunity. They will remind her how they were just being Patriotic!

If a telecom financial analyst DID stumble on this, there are some questions I would ask them:

1. What would it cost the companies if they lost this retroactive immunity fight? Who would be hit the hardest?

2. Is this fight factored into any financial models? Why or Why not? If they lose, will that have an impact on EPS?

3. Do they know about the efforts being made to battle this? (Do they even consider the efforts worthy of notice? If not why not? Have you gotten assurances that the telcos WILL get immunity? What makes them so confident? Have the telcos received assurances? From whom?

4. Are the bloggers who can mobilize a group of people even part of the equation or are they discounted in favor of "real people." aka lobbyists?

Who would I ask these questions? To start, these people:

Telco financial and market analysts

John Hodulik
, UBS Securities LLC

Qaisar Hasan
, an analyst with Buckingham Research for Verison

David Barden,
Telecom Analyst for Banc of America Securities

Chris Larsen, Telecom Analyst for Credit Suisse

Todd Rosenbluth, Telecom Analyst for Standard and Poors

We may never know the answers but at least we got the questions out there.

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Blogger TRex said...

Hey, Spocko-

Your old girlfriend Melanie Morgan is stalking me.

Should I tell her you said hi?


8:21 PM  
Blogger S2 said...

I think its cynical of you to think that the telecoms, as well as members of our government, see this problem as a profit issue.

I prefer to think of them as honest brokers attempting to achieve the delicate balance between protecting our liberty and liberating our protectors.

You make our leaders, both civic and corporate, sound like greedy monsters.

6:41 AM  
Blogger Eli said...

If the shoe fits...

10:16 PM  
Blogger kelley b. said...

You don't become a Leader unless you are a greedy monster.

So it's natural Spocko makes it sound that way.

Cynicism is the first step to good science.

Keep on truckin', Spocko!

2:18 PM  

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