The Shock Doctrine

The Wall Street Journal on Dick Cheney's Halliburton Stock Options

Excerpt from Cassell Bryan-Low, “Cheney Cashed in Halliburton Options Worth $35 Million,” Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2000, www.wsj.com [Note: subscription required]

“Richard Cheney recently cashed in options valued at about $35 million in Halliburton & Co. . . .[the Dallas oil-services company where he served as chairman and chief executive for five years before stepping down last month to become the GOP vice presidential nominee.]

“Mr. Cheney was one of five Halliburton insiders who sold a combined total of 859,232 shares for $45.09 to $53.44 a share, or about $45.4 million, between Aug. 10 and Aug. 31, according to First Call/Thomson Financial . . . . [which tracks trading activity among company insiders.]

“Mr. Cheney exercised options to sell 660,000 shares between Aug. 21 and Aug. 28, according to First Call. The sale, which was the largest by a Halliburton executive to date, insider-data analysts say, netted Mr. Cheney an $18.5 million profit after he paid about $16.4 million to exercise options. . . .[An option allows an individual to buy a stock at a pre-set, or strike, price. If the stock price goes up, that individual then can buy shares below market value.] Mr. Cheney exercised options at between $21 and $29.56 a share, and sold them for $52.28 to $53.93 each.

“Mr. Cheney also disposed of 39,200 company shares he held outright, worth $2.1 million, by transferring them to Halliburton for payment of a federal income-tax withholding obligation, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. At the end of August, Mr. Cheney held 189,800 shares outright, and 500,000 unvested options.”

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