Martha’s net worth takes a plunge.

So they found poor Martha guilty the other day and now her net worth has dropped by $85 Million.

Ouchies.

I’m no big fan of Martha’s mainly because off-camera she’s a right royal bitch to most people she deals with, but I still feel a little smidgen of sympathy for her over her current tribulations.

Just the same, the temptation to say “couldn’t have happened to a nicer woman” is almost overwhelming. grin

9 thoughts on “Martha’s net worth takes a plunge.

  1. I don’t care for Martha Stewart, but the fact that I have no sympathy for her doesn’t come from my dislike of her.  She committed a crime.  Now she has to pay for it just like anyone else.  If it had been you or I that had done this, we’d have been fined out the wazoo and sitting in prison long before this because we don’t have the money she has to tie up the court system.  And that’s my 2 cents for today.

  2. I agree with etherian on this but I also feel that Martha is a diversion from the real problem which is the Enron’s, Worldcom’s, and Arthur Anderson’s of this world. You have to admit that in THAT pond even Martha Stewart is a pretty small fish. I am happy she got nailed for her wrong doing and it would be nice if I thought that this was an indication that we as a country are finally becomming intolerant of the cheating and theft commited by the wealthy as well as the middle and lower classes.

    Sadly it wont last because everyone feels that they too will someday be rich and dont want to ruin the system until they have a chance to abuse it. Unenlightened self-interest.

  3. I was actually in the jury pool for the trial, filled out the 35-page questionaire (128 questions), but I doubt they would have sat me since my sister-in-law was a live-in nanny for a family that lived across the street from her.  She’s got lots of horror stories about Martha.  She’s not a neighborly person.
    With that said, what she did was wrong and she should pay the price, but I am wondering why dirtbags like Ken Lay are still walking around free?

  4. What bothers me about this whole damned ordeal is the fact that a lot of the hype surrounding this trial was around the character of the defendent, not whether she was guilty or not.  One of my family members worked as the caterer for her show - from what I’ve heard from him: she’s just a very meticulous woman who needs everything “just so”.  As my mother said (and I share her sentiments), if it was a man who acted the same way towards his profession, he’d be seen as… well… professional - but Martha’s a woman, so she’s just a bitch.

    However, I could care less about her character in regards to all of this bullshit.  What aggrivated me the most was an article in the Hartford Courant today telling what she could have done to clean up her “bitchy” image.  WHO THE HELL CARES?!  If she likes to drink Evian, wants to wear a $20,000 purse to her trial, and has blonde hair, that should have absolutely no effect on the verdict.

    Which leads me to think: was this just an act of a jury saying “we’ve had enough of her”?  It seems enough people have a vehement hatred to such a proud, stuck-up woman.  Moreso, they seemed more fed up with her celebrity friends supporting her than Martha herself.  I don’t even know enough about the trial to say if she was actually guilty or not, but it’s just my opinion there were injustices here.

    From what I’ve heard, she got a call from her broker, he told her to sell the stock, and she did.  I would have done the same damned thing. 

    Meanwhile, while she’s getting incarcerated, the governor of my state, John Rowland of Connecticut, has been “investigated” for months regarding questionable use of his power (he appointed people on his staff that worked on his cabin as a free “gift” to him).  He hasn’t been impeached yet, nor has he gone to trial - he’s just looking for distractions while everybody’s looking at Martha instead.  Justice for all my ass.

  5. I’m a bit late in responding but…

    She wasn’t convicted “just” because she got a call from her broker. The broker (actually the broker’s assistant) called saying that a huge investor will be selling all of his stock of the company tomorrow, you should too (wink, wink). That’s called insider trading. The loss of such a big investor causes a huge slump in the value of company shares as investors think that the big kahuna (the major investor) probably had a reason to leave. By selling her stockholdings before buyers knew that the sale was going to happen was profiting from their ignorance. Buyers would buy stock from her that she “knew” would go down, that’s no longer speculative as the market is supposed to be.

    It’s not murder, but no one expects her to do 20 years for what she did either…she still deserves to be punished like anyone else doing insider trading.

  6. But she wasn’t charged with insider trading.  They threw out the securities fraud charge.  The only thing they ended up convicting her for was lying about WHY she sold.

  7. The way I read it is she was accused of Securities Fraud with regards to investors in her own company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. The judge dropped those charges (rightly so in my opinion) but was found guilty of insider trading:

    “The government’s star witness in the case, Douglas Faneuil, Bacanovic’s former assistant, testified that his boss ordered him to pass the inside tip about ImClone to Stewart.”

    Dunno exactly what the nuances are, maybe I should read the case…

    Btw, from the same CNN article:

    “About an hour after the verdict was read, Stewart—wearing a fur around her neck and a black overcoat and carrying a brown leather bag—strode poker-faced down the stairs of the courthouse, accompanied by her lawyers, and left. She did not respond to questions shouted at her by reporters.”

    http://money.cnn.com/2004/03/05/news/companies/martha_verdict/

    Kinda disgusting that they have to mention what she wears; I hate CNN.

  8. Okeedokee, did some research.

    So Waksal (aka Big Kahuna) was indicted for insider trading. The FDA was to reject an application for one of ImClone’s drugs. His using this information and his telling this information to his family was using inside information.

    Now to Martha…

    She gets a tip saying Waksal is selling tomorrow. The thing is, this is a criminal trial and the insider information has to be proved beyond any reasonable doubt. The government can’t prove this so they settle for charges that she lied and obstructed justice. (Her personal assistant doctored some computer files and other such occurences)

    She’s not off the hook for Insider Trading. The SEC stayed it’s case pending the outcome of the criminal trial but now will sue her in a Civil Action for Insider Trading.

    From a boston Globe article:

    “The heart of the illegal insider trading case revolves around Stewart’s role as the recipient of a tip—that is, as the receiver of information—and what the government said was her obligation to evaluate whether the tipper—Bacanovic—breached a trust with his employer, Merrill Lynch. The brokerage firm’s policies prohibit disclosure of confidential information about one client to another client.”

    The case will be determined by whether or not Waksal’s selling is deemed public information.

    For a whole lot of info on the case you can see Stephen Bainbrige’s Blog (a UCLA law prof.)

  9. Thanks, Pepe.  It makes sense that if the judge didn’t think they had enough evidence to make a criminal case, the government would try again in a civil suit.

    I don’t remember the specifics, but it would be interesting to know whether at that point Waksal was going to sell, or had in fact already sold.  You might possibly argue that the latter would be public knowledge, but knowledge of an unfilled sell order would be insider knowledge indeed.

    I’m still waiting to see Ken Lay flayed alive, though.  He wiped out the savings and jobs of thousands of people.  That’s a more serious crime in my eyes than trading on an insider tip and being a well-dressed bitch.

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