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More to the point, there varying aspects of each of these different sorts of activities that make the activities more or less arguably criminal.

The variables that potentially might make options related activities more arguably criminal can be seen best in an extreme example.

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Each of these kinds of activities is different, each involves different actions, and each arguably involves varying levels of culpability, both potential, and in some cases, actual.Moreover, one critical element – whether or not Jobs personally benefited from the options practices–is the subject of heated debate.For example, a January 11, 2007 article entitled “Apple Chief Benefited From Options Dating, Records Indicate” (here, registration required) presents a perspective that the options he was granted in December 2001 and that were backdated to October 2001 personally benefited him when he later traded the options for registered shares he subsequently sold at a profit.The media has jumped on the story, looking for scapegoats and all too eager to see this story as one more example of “greedy” corporate executives enriching themselves (supposedly) at shareholder expense.There is no doubt that some of the media coverage has swept with too broad a brush, and lumped together many companies and many kinds of activities as if the activity and the companies were all equivalent and equally culpable.

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