[Previous] Book Investigation: The Genius of the Beast | Home | [Next] David Deutsch's Anna Story

Mark Cuban Blog Comments


SEC sux


SEC lawyers harassing billionare and wasting his time by interrogating him in court trying to find out what a blog post is

with serious stakes

jfc :(

and the govt lawyer doesn’t get it. blogs posts too complex.


not bad. says fix for economy is entrepreneurship, not small tax policy adjustments

2012 cuban:
This administration has failed us in terms of transparency. Transparency , IMHO was a key feature of what I hoped for when I voted for Obama in 2008.
being an obama voter does put his “who cares about the tax rate” thing in a scarier light

like i could see Howard Roark not caring what the tax rate is

but when it’s cover for being left-wing then :((((((

and i do disagree with cuban that tax rate has no effect on behavior

it has limited effect on behavior b/c most ppl focus on specific life roles and stick with those, tax rate be damned

they are more interested in their social role than economic efficiency

but it matters for ppl who aren’t just single-mindedly paying huge sacrifices and costs in pursuit of an (often bad) goal


i like this one


Your business is at risk. For a lot of money. No matter what type of business you are in, you are susceptible to a patent infringement lawsuit. The worst part about this risk is that there is nothing you can do to protect yourself.
talks about that a bunch. argues his point. ends with this:
What can you do as a small business person to protect yourself ? Honestly, nothing beyond complaining to your Congressperson. The only option I have found is to buy into companies that aggressively sue over IP. It is a hedge against patent law. Put another way, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Sucks, but there aren’t any other options that I can see.
what do you think of this hedge strategy? :/


oh god Cuban’s understanding of economics is pretty bullshit
Shareholders , whether they own shares directly or through mutual funds or pensions do not live in a corporate vacuum. Their lives are impacted by far more than the share price of a stock. Every layoff in the name of more earnings per share puts a stress on the economy, on the federal, state and local governments which is in turn paid for through taxes or assumption of government debt by….wait for it.. the same shareholders CEOs say they want to benefit.
suppose that firing some people saved a company $1,000 but did harm to the economy of $100,000.

is that in the best interests of the shareholders?

yes b/c that harm to the economy is divided over a hell of a lot of people, while the benefit to the company is divided over way fewer people. (more than 100x fewer).

if i own 1% of the company, and i'm 1 person out of 300,000,000 in the US economy, then i'm up $10 - $0.03 = $9.97. And look at how little difference the damage to the general economy made to me.

you can try to argue some other factors affect the math a little bit. sure. but the math isn't even close. since it's not a close call at all, small adjustments won't change the result.

running your company to make sacrifices for the general good is not self-interest. it’s altruistic suicide.

and that's even with exaggerated made up numbers that are super favorable to what Cuban is saying.

with real numbers, it’s more like you fire someone to improve your company and that’s a good thing. your company does better so it does more business with other companies and it’s an overall win in addition to being a win for your company individually.

it’s good for the person being fired, too. who the hell wants to work a job where they are creating less value than their salary? who wants to be lied to that they are creating value when actually they are a leeching moocher who is destroying value by going to work everyday? all those hours they spend working, and their boss decided to be “nice” by lying to them that they were being productive, when actually they were spending a large part of their life destroying wealth, and he wanted to be “nice” by having them continue doing that?

for more on this topic read _The Virtue of Selfishness_ by Ayn Rand. Chapter 4, *The “Conflicts” of Men’s Interests*
I have a simple question. Why are profitable companies laying off people ? I can see if a company’s survival is at stake. If payroll can’t be met. If debt can’t be paid. Then layoffs are a necessary evil. Even if companies have created cash flow deficits through their own mistakes, that’s the nature of business. Mistakes are made. What I have a problem with is that discussion of executive pay never includes whether or not the executive has been good enough to pre empt or prevent layoffs.

Executives are not stupid. Usually. They recognize that killing off employees can juice a stock price. Even in this market. Which in turn can juice the value of their options and compensation. At the companies I run, we have cut raises, put a freeze on hiring, done what we need to do, but we have done all we can to avoid layoffs. Why ? Because its the right thing to do. Its the patriotic thing to do. I’m selfish enough and arrogant enough to think that maybe if I pay attention to the big picture that I can impact the big picture.
he wants to sacrifice capitalism for what he thinks is a noble cause.

and no one stands up to him.

but i will.

his vision here is IMMORAL. it’s MEAN. it’s UGLY. it’s BAD. he couldn’t pay me to do things this way. it’s too awful.

what he's talking about, in real terms, is tricking people into wasting their lives. they slave away 8 hours a day trying to produce and be a worthwhile productive part of society. people try so hard to earn their place and feed their family.

how would they feel if they found out they were spending 8 hours a day working but it was all a dirty hoax. really they were moochers on welfare. but people were afraid to hurt their feelings, so no one told them. their boss, instead of telling them about a problem, covered it up so they never had a chance to solve it.

isn’t that fucking awful?

that is the concrete real-world meaning of what Cuban is talking about.

treating people so DISHONESTLY is not kind. it’s mean and rotten as all hell.

the world has plenty of idealists willing to sacrifice things like money to ideals. like Cuban.

what the world needs is people with brains, willing to sacrifice poorly thought out “ideals” to reasoned consideration.

yes there are some short-sighed decisions made which are mistakes. that happens. that isn't the issue here. no one is against trying to think through the long term where there's enough predictability to do so. that's hard and important and everyone tries to do it well. Cuban uses short sighted decision as a false alternative to attack. the fact is short sighted decisions can happen with Cuban's approach or mine, and wise longer term thinking is alos possible with both. time horizon isn't the issue. the issue is when Cuban wants to keep people from being fired whether they are productive or not because he thinks keeping someone in an unproductive job, so they don't switch to a better situation, is somehow a moral imperative (when it's actually a great dishonest evil that prevents better allocation of people where they would be useful and happier being productive. Americans don't want to be turned into charity cases, and have this kept a secret from them.)

remember that math we did above? basically the only thing that will change the result is if the benefit to the shareholders is actually approximately zero or negative. that's it. in those cases, all of what Cuban is saying is irrelevant. if firing someone loses the shareholders money directly, there isn't any debate. yes mistakes get made sometimes, but they are just individual mistakes, not a systematic problem.

Cuban talks about the case where a CEO is shortsighted and is doing something that loses money for the shareholder directly, and tries to use that as his argument to deal with the case where a CEO decision does make the shareholders money in the direct sense but arguably maybe hurts the economy or is bad in some other vague way. and he tries to say, choose altruism over profit, choose other factors over profit. but then a lot of his argument has to do with how sometimes CEOs make mistakes by not accurately forecasting the future well enough and seeing all the angles. but it's uncontroversial to try not to make mistakes that directly lose shareholder money, that's such an easy target. and Cuban tries to use arguing against the easy target to prop up his argument on the controversial topic, which is the case where firing someone does benefit the company individually but (in Cuban's view) harms society/the-economy in a more collective vague way.

what cuban wants, it's clear enough, is to not fire some people who are being unproductive (not even fire them after exhausing some other options like paycuts or retraining – obviously sometimes a person is unproductive today but you can adjust something and fix it, firing isn't your first resort). but a large chunk of his argument isn't about that case that matters, which is dishonest.

I thought I might comment on this post (writing a concise version of my main point here) but then I read at the bottom:
Comments are closed.
Why close the discussion? wtf? lame.

I have tweeted to Cuban asking why he's blocking further discussion. I do not expect a reply but I like to give people a chance and twitter is the contact info he makes available (not email, and not blog comments on this post). I will update this post if he replies.

I can tell you that dealing with the costs of overwhelming bureaucracy was always a far greater problem than taxation [the context here is businesses, not individuals]. Why ? Because taxes come AFTER PROFITS. The price of dealing with bureaucracy, patents, professional fees and of course competition had a far nastier impact on their ability to succeed than tax rates.
Good point. There's some details where this isn't true, like sales taxes on things you buy for the business. And income taxes raise the salary you have to pay people, which costs businesses money before they get into profit. And if you tax profits it has differential impact on different industries and their ability to attract capital and provide adequate return on investment to compete with alternate uses of that capital, so there is an economic inefficiency in how it biases what industries get how much capital. And some other stuff. But yeah this is important and is roughly accurate regarding taxes on the profits of businesses.


remember that issue earlier about whether taxes determine behavior?
But I do know that I have continued to add to my cash balance or sovereign debt from around the world (that I have owned for a while now and has been profitable and is very, very liquid.) The stocks I still own for the most part pay me a nice cash on cash return, or I have owned them for a long, long time and have more in gains than I want to pay taxes on.
he's changing his behavior regarding what stocks to have his money invested in, cuz of tax reasons.

3. Cash Creates Transactional Returns. What does this mean ? It means that you should analyze what you spend money on over the course of a year. You will get a better return on your money by being a smart shopper and taking advantage of cash, quantity or other types of discounts than you will in the stock market. Saving 15pct on the $1k dollars worth of items you know you will absolutely spend money on is a better return on your money than making 15pct in a year on a $1k investment because you don’t pay taxes on it.
Here Cuban advocates most people change their behavior due to how taxes work.


This post is about a scheme where the Government loans money to companies to create jobs.

If these companies could use capital well, why don't they get it from for-profit lenders? Since when is the government good at judging what companies can use capital well? ugh.

I’m the last to be politically correct and the last thing I am trying to be here is politically correct. I honestly don’t give a shit what you think about me. But I think being the person I want to be includes not blurting out throw away jokes about sexuality, race, ethnicity, size, disability or other things people have no say in about themselves.
First, that is kinda politically correct.

More important, this is the usual claim that sexual orientation isn't a choice, it's completely outside of someone's control and responsibility. Where is the argument for that assertion? As always, there is none.

Elliot Temple on February 5, 2015


What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)