Which, of course, you shouldn't assume since any sensible employee can see that if his each stock option is worth less, he should get more of them.
The total compensation to executives granted back-dated options was either unchanged or, perhaps, lower than it would have been, since people tend to irrationally over-value a bird in hand (in the money options) to a dozen in the bush (out of the money options).
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But it all became worse than a pseudo-scandal, in fact.
(The practice seems to have been particularly popular in the tech sector.) In 2007, New York City's municipal employee pension fund sued Apple over the backdated options.It was a tax advantaged way for companies to pay executives. Shareholders were correctly told the number of options granted and the price of the options.No one's pay was "inflated" by backdating, unless you assume that the alternative would have been awarding executives exactly the same number of options at less-advantageous prices.They are routinely appointed by federal and state courts to serve as leaders in national litigation.The majority of our attorneys are or have served as directors and officers of local, state, and national bar organizations, including the Public Justice Foundation, Consumer Attorneys of California, New York Trial Lawyers Association, Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, and the Bar Association of San Francisco.Described by The American Lawyer as “one of the nation’s premier plaintiffs’ firms,” Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, is a sixty-plus attorney law firm with offices in San Francisco, New York, and Nashville. We have served as court-appointed Plaintiffs’ Lead or Class Counsel in state and federal coordinated, multi-district, and complex litigation throughout the United States. that only represent plaintiffs in individual, group, and class action lawsuits.A federal judge dismissed the case but class-action lawyers working for the pension fund kept the litigation going.Eventually, Apple settled the case, to the tune of .5 million.The basic idea was that many companies seemed to award stock options on days when their stocks were at low-points, which increased the value of the options when the stock increased and made the stock cheaper to buy for the executives.The academics concluded that something funny was going on.