Thursday, February 16, 2012

Why Falcone's plan B should be rejected

I have an old computer under my desk. Its a Toshiba laptop from about 1998. I run Puppy-Linux on it because it can't run anything more powerful.

Its good for purpose - a low powered device.

I am told by the physicists that if I use it for high-powered uses I will blow circuits and destroy my the local network.

So I go to the Department of Defence and say can I swap my old low-powered device for your high-powered supercomputer?

Of course they would laugh.

Now the WSJ is reporting that Phil Falcone has a Lightsquared Plan B. He wants to swap his spectrum which is specifically only available for low-powered use for the Department of Defence's spectrum, spectrum which is available for high powered use.

The Department of Defence should just laugh.

If this gets past the just-laugh stage I worry for American democracy. If this actually happens we know the scope for corruption in America is unlimited.

If the DOD wants to part with its valuable spectrum just auction it. Giving billions of dollars to fading - soon-to-be-bust hedge funds. That is beyond any semblance of decency.

Phil, for the sake of decency and because you are ultimately a patriot - just put Lightsquared in Chapter 11. Leave the corrupt obtaining of public assets to Chinese billionaires and Russian Oligarchs. You are better than that.



Bleichroeder said...


Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the FCC initially approve the Falcone plan before backtracking under intensive lobbyist pressure from T/VZ (the world's most seasoned monopolists) and the GPS industry? I mean, its not like the GPS guys own any spectrum or have built out any infrastructure. Phil certainly doesn't do himself any favors with the way he's presented himself in public but it seems like you're a bit unduly critical here. He does own the exclusive right to broadcast on those frequencies and he did initially get the approval from the FCC so I don't really understand your moral outrage. If anything, it sounds like he got screwed. I mean, interference or not, it doesn't sound like the GPS industry has much legitimate reason to complain other than saying 'but this is how we've always done things'. The FCC was fully aware of his plan to build a terrestrial network from the get go and its not like he pulled a fast one on them...

Amit Chokshi said...

Is Falcone really better than that? He is under investigation for securities fraud, no? Innocent until proven guilty or if you can buy off your accusers/reg capture but nonetheless, hard to say if Falcone is much better. Also didn't he take out a loan against one of his funds that he gated investors in in order for him to pay taxes? bizarre guy but I like his brashnass, treats his investors like utter crap and they can't get enough. those same investors will take their capital out for a nice loss when they can and roll it into the next one hit wonder.

Pacioli said...

Anonymous said...

Sometimes, it's good to go back and read comments with the benefit of hindsight. This is an extract from Harbinger's 2/March/2011 letter to investors;

"LightSquared is an investment that truly exemplifies our ability to be novel and
unique in our approach and active in opportunities where we can be the driver of returns.
Reflecting on the past year,

LightSquared has achieved a number of significant milestones since
Harbinger fully acquired Skyterra on March 27, 2010. Coinciding with this acquisition,

LightSquared received approval from the Federal Communications Commission (the “FCC”) to
pursue LightSquared’s business plan and to modify certain terms of the ancillary terrestrial
component authorization, which enhanced the commercial attractiveness of the terms under which

LightSquared’s spectrum licenses may be used to operate the terrestrial portion of LightSquared’s
mobile broadband network. Early this year, the FCC issued an order further enhancing this
commercial attractiveness by endorsing LightSquared’s plans for integrating the satellite and
terrestrial portions of its network. LightSquared recently closed on an additional $586m loan,
bringing total debt and equity raised to over $2bn, thereby de-risking its business. Additionally,

LightSquared’s seasoned management team, lead by Sanjiv Ahuja, has successfully secured LightSquared’s initial wholesale customers. We are extremely excited about the progress
LightSquared has made in its efforts to capitalize on the scarce spectrum asset it holds, and the
progress it has made towards producing what we expect to be outsized returns for our investors.
We look forward to keeping you updated with LightSquared’s progress in the upcoming weeks.".

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