peHub Second Opinion

***Quiz: Which republican Secretary of Treasury publicly stated that tax-deductible interest is all a buyout has going for it? (Answer below.)

***VC bloggers are lamenting the rise of corporate-backed blogs as they contemplate corporate or institutional backing themselves. What? One of them even uses the phrase “Blog War.” I know VCs are way ahead of the world when it comes to things like blogging, but as a blogger myself I have to wonder, what are they so worried about? The Internet is full of voices, what’s wrong with having a boss who provides you with, among other things, a loudspeaker?

***Speaking of blogging, rookie blogger Carl Icahn (, never one to back down from a battle, has started a blog war of his own, squaring off against The Chicago Tribune’s Eric Benderoff. Read his post, titled “It’s Not That Simple Eric.” The lack of a comma before “Eric” conveys a subtle tone of condescension that I particularly enjoy.

***Keeping with the amusing blog theme, FT Alphaville liveblogged the Bradford & Bingley shareholder meeting in a most amusing fashion. Best part: the stats roundup.

Final tally
56 shareholders
22 security guards
15 reporters
40-50 BB staff
3 felts from Finsbury

***The Deal Professor does it again, with How to Fix M&A: Part 2.

***Answer: Nicholas Brady, in 1993, of RJR Nabisco:

“The substitution of {tax deductible} interest charges for {taxable} income is the mill in which the grist of takeover premiums is ground.” In other words, the RJR deal worked only because the post-buyout financial structure would enable RJR to all but avoid paying corporate income taxes for years.

(Source: The Washington Post, December 3, 1993)