In this epsisode, Paul talks with Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, entrepreneur and investor. They discussed Cuban's experiences as a serial company founder and his perception that the stock market has turned investors from company shareholders into hackers looking to make money by exploiting the system.
A born entrepreneur, Cuban's earliest big success was as co-founder of MicroSolutions, a systems integration company he sold to CompuServe. The sale of his next startup, multimedia and streaming provider Broadcast.com, turned him into a highly visible billionaire. Since then, he has invested in or founded a number of companies, primarily in the technology and entertainment industries. Cuban launched the high-definition television network "HDNet" in September of 2001 with Philip Garvin. With Todd Wagner, he established media company "2929" with holdings including film production companies HDNet Films and 2929 Productions, movie distributor Magnolia Pictures, home video distributor Magnolia Home Entertainment, the Landmark Theatres chain, and a stake in Lions Gate Entertainment. After purchasing a majority stake of the Dallas Mavericks in 2000, he turned the struggling team into a consistent playoff contender.
Kedrosky: I’m here with Mark Cuban, entrepreneur blogger, bon vivant, owner of Dallas Mavericks, Chairman of HDNet. Good to have you here, Mark. Did I miss anything, by the way, in the intro?
Cuban: No, you actually put in too much.
Kedrosky: Oh well, better too much than too little. Although, you know what? It could go on too long. I’m bad that way. So let’s kind of, before we get to what I really want to talk about which is sort of Wall Street entrepreneurs and young companies because you wrote a really provocative and entertaining piece called “What Business is Wall Street In?” I guess it was almost a month ago now. But before getting back to that, I thought, you know, it might be fun to talk a little bit about your sort of background with respect to these evil Cretans on Wall Street and maybe go back to a little bit of Mark the trader, Mark the hedge fund manager. So how did you, what was your original encounter with Wall Street? And, you know, I know the story, but it would be great to have you tell it a little bit.
Cuban: Actually, going back to 1990, I sold my first company, MicroSolutions, to CompuServe and MicroSolutions was a local area network systems integrator and I made what to me at the time, still is a lot of money, I think I netted about $3 million all in on that sale. And I interviewed some brokers and ended up with a buddy, a guy who ended up being a friend, who was at Goldman Sachs and my goal at that time was to retire and to just have fun. I bought a lifetime pass on American Airlines and just traveled around and so I decided that my investment strategy was to be more like a 65 year old than a 29 or 30 year old and was very, very conservative. But as I talked to my broker more and more on a daily basis, he would always ask me questions about technology companies and because, you know, we were one of the largest local network systems integrators in the country when we sold, I had a good understanding on an in-depth of products from Microsoft, Novell, you know, the old Synaptics and roughly they, all those companies that, you know, you have to go way back to remember. And so they would ask me questions and the next thing I know, the Goldman Sachs analysts were on the phone and all these heavy hitter analysts were on the phone and it became apparent to me that my technical knowledge was a little bit more advanced than some of those on Wall Street who were making decisions on stocks. So that’s when I kind of gave up my widows and orphans approach and started trading stocks and that was the early 90s and it worked out very, very, very well for me. I think I took that $3 million, which is about $2 million after tax, and turned it into about 10x, just having boom years. Which a lot of people did in technology in the 90s and that was just, you know, from probably 1990 to 1995. And then right around that same period, my broker from Goldman said, “You know what? I’ve got a fund starting, a hedge fund, and we’d like to take your track record and use it as the start of the hedge fund and have you as an advisor,” which I did and we started a hedge fund that probably 18 months later got sole to a bigger hedge fund. And so I had a short, but happy, period that I traded and helped them trade and then we turned around and sold it. And from there, we started AudioNet which turned into Broadcast.com. And we started that in 1995 as the first audio streaming and one of the first video streaming companies. I financed that for the most part myself and my partner, Todd Wagner, put in some money as well. And then we raised some money from folks like Motorola and Intel after we’d been in business a couple of years. And then in July of 1998, we had renamed it Broadcast.com and took it public in what was at that point in time the largest IPO, first day gain of an IPO in the history of the stock market.
Kedrosky: I remember.
Cuban: Yeah, it was a great day. It was a fun day. I remember all of it because we were celebrating quite a bit of it. But we …
Kedrosky: Before you go much further …
Kedrosky: … further into that, can I just spin you back for one second? As you think back about your sort of trading days, as they were in that sort of, you know, those happy days when everything went up and to the right. You know, you talked a little bit about this sort of realization that you found you knew a little more about this stuff than many of the analysts did and that’s I think an eye opening experience for many people when they first run into the sell side. What other sorts of lessons did you walk away with from that period, at least as sort of your initial exposure to Wall Street, that was either, you know, sort of disabusing you of some myth that you thought were true or reinforcing something that you already believed?
Cuban: You know, I would always look at Wall Street as a value proposition, that if it was a good company, the stock went up, and if it was a bad company, it didn’t. And I learned an early lesson that marketing a company, or as my broker called it, getting long and getting loud, was a primary approach of Wall Street. That companies went up because people thought that companies were going to go up. Or stock prices went up because people thought the stock price was going to go up. And it became interesting to me because, you know, I’d go into – you know, I’ll give you an example. Not to pick on a company, but I remember when Novell came out with a competitor to DOS. Novell DOS, if you remember back into the 90s, and I remember going into Best Buy and the front shelves were just stocked, stocked with Novell DOS and I knew it was a failure, absolutely knew it. And I recognized that Novell had bet their company, not bet their company, but really bet a big part of their future on this product and that Best Buy obviously didn’t understand what was going on with computer products because they had, you know, invested such a huge amount of shelf space. And that’s really when right around that time I started shorting stocks as well because I also recognized that while stocks were marketed and went up more because of everybody piling in or everybody agreeing with the marketing, that also created a lot of inefficiencies to the short side because people really didn’t take the time to understand the products. And so by putting in the time and recognizing some of the mistakes that they made, I could make money on both sides of the aisle.
Kedrosky: And how about sort of in the Broadcast.com period, you know, through the IPO filing process and the road show taking that public. That must have been highly entertaining.
Cuban: Oh my goodness. I mean, you know, and I remember we were so nervous going into the road show – Todd Wagner, Jack Riggs, our CFO, and I – because we just expected to get just hit with a ton of questions from the most advanced analysts and investors in the world. And you know, on the road show, for an IPO, you’re going, you know, ten cities in six days and it’s just nonstop, no sleep, you know, go make a presentation, hop on a plane and go make a presentation. You know, go to London and make a presentation. You’re just all over the world in six days and we, you know, we just knew that someone was going to be able to dig a hole into our story and so we practiced, practiced, practiced, practiced. So we had our scripts down, you know, we tried to come up with every angle of question. We got our friends to ask us, you know, our investor friends to ask us questions and then we went on the road show. And you know, at the beginning there really weren’t any questions and, you know, then the questions that we were getting asked were like ridiculous, showing that they had not done any homework at all, that they were just there to buy a hot IPO. And we actually would start goofing off in the middle of the road show. And, you know, I lost a little bit of respect for Wall Street, but it also paid off huge dividends for me in the long run because, you know, it was part of that experience that really helped me understand that, you know, we truly were in a bubble when we sold the company to Yahoo! and that it wasn’t smart to stick around to see what would happen and so that’s why I collared my stock after we sold.
Kedrosky: So …
Cuban: I’m glad I learned that lesson.
Kedrosky: Yeah, it was a good time to learn the lesson because everything was going up. Or up until it wasn’t anyway.
Kedrosky: So take us forward from there, and I mean, you had a bunch of sort of entertaining encounters with Wall Street in the intervening period, both through some small cap and larger cap stocks, but sort of – you know, how, just talk through your sort of evolving relationship with financial markets maybe.
Cuban: Oh boy. After Broadcast – well, I spent a little bit of the money on a basketball team and that took up a lot of time.
Kedrosky: Yeah, that’s a busy thing.
Cuban: Yeah. But some quick stories. I remember being on the Mavs team bus and, obviously with the stock, it’s just going through the roof still – this was still in the early 2000 – talking to our coaches and them saying, oh, you know, so and so is saying I should buy this, I should buy that, I should invest in this company and invest in that new internet company. And I kept on trying to tell everybody, don’t do it. You know, NASDAQ’s at 5,000 – it’s going down. Don’t be shocked if it hits 2,000 again. You know, and everybody thought I was crazy and their excitement just made me understand that I was kind of definitely right if you will. And then, you know, things started to go down and from there, you know, I tried to be opportunistic in terms of my investing, where companies I felt were undervalued, I tried to jump in. But I really became very, very, very cynical about Wall Street across the board. You know, I was involved in – you know, I tried to teach … you know, it’s funny. You know, I hadn’t really talked to people about this before. But there were times when I thought, you know what? I want to go through a learning experience. Like I made a very, very half-ass attempt, if you will, to get involved with a company called Register.com which was about seven dollars a share in stock and the price of the stock was right around there and, you know, I thought, well you know, I just wanted to get to that five percent level just to see what happens, just to go through the learning process and then go through the process and potential acquisition process. And once again, it was a learning experience where, you know, people were in stocks, you know, other people who had ownership in Register were in it because they were either trying, just thought it would go up because someone else was trying to buy it, they were just [inaudible] it, or on one other case with an investor, it was like, well we’re going to, you know, this guy’s an idiot at the company, that guy’s an idiot at the company and we want to team up with you to put you in there. And they really didn’t have their own solution. They just thought, they just didn’t like the people. And it really got me to understanding that people of all sizes, it didn’t matter what the size company, it didn’t matter what the intent was – people tend to work on themes. You know, they jump on a theme and they stick to that theme because I think people have the desire to be right as much as they have a desire to make money. And with Register, I realized very, very quickly that I couldn’t add value and that I really was in over my head in terms of trying to outmaneuver some of these folks because they had their theme in mind and then it just became, you know, how quickly they could maneuver management to come on to their point of view. So I got into Register very quickly, got out of Register very quickly. I had another experience right around the same time where I started buying into Lionsgate and this was, gosh, I don’t even know exactly how many years ago. But it was interesting because the stock was trading at about a buck and a quarter or a buck thirty, give or take, and I knew who Lionsgate was because of our experience at Broadcast.com trying to license content. We actually did license content from them and some of their shows to actually stream and video on Broadcast back in late 1999 – shows like Judge Mills Lane had a reality show and Della Ventura – just shows out of nowhere. But I went to them and started talking and I got contacted by a shareholder that a huge block of stock. A huge block of stock that he was willing to sell to me for $1.33, but in essence would have given me control of the company, something I really was excited to do. So we went to our lawyers and said, “Okay, I really want to do this. Tell me if there’s any reason I can’t.” Well, I went to the wrong lawyer because this lawyer said, “Well, because it’s a Canadian owned company, if you bought the stock, the Canadian government could just come in and basically take it away from you because of this reason, that reason and this reason.” And so you know, I’m like, “Are you sure?” And I had someone else tell me, “No, you don’t have to worry about that. Just keep it the way it is and that’s why it’s been able to exist the way it does.” But this is the lawyer I trusted, this is the guy I was paying the big bucks to, right? So I backed away from the deal. Well, you know, two months later, someone else comes in, buys all that stock, takes control, you know, in essence takes control of the company and just basically laughs at me. And a little bit expensive, very, very, very expensive lesson learned. I could have controlled an up and coming studio in Hollywood and all because this lawyer was concerned about Canadian law which didn’t scare anybody else. And so it was an expensive lesson learned that, you know, sometimes the best advice isn’t.
Kedrosky: Well, and sometimes you know, these inefficiencies are a good thing. In the sense, the Canadian law exposure made the price even more inefficient than it was and probably kept the price down, right?
Cuban: Well, exactly. And it was a great opportunity but, you know, there’s always a better lawyer I guess and I just got the wrong one. But I learned. I mean, it taught me that, you know, Wall Street again isn’t, like you just alluded to, isn’t always 100 percent efficient, that you really need to get a second opinion sometimes because everybody, everybody has their own approach.
Kedrosky: So, just before we kind of flip over to sort of the, some of the more recent stuff and this business of Wall Street, and it just crossed my mind in the middle of what you were saying just there that, you know, you were talking about, you know, someone – I think you said it was a broker you ran into in the 90s who said sort of, you know, getting long and loud. And I don’t want this to come across the wrong way, but it strikes me, has that sort of been your modus operandi in some ways as an entrepreneur as well? Sort of getting long, getting really deep into something and then just making sure people can’t stop hearing about it?
Cuban: Yeah, as much as possible. You know, if you’re promoting a company, particularly in the internet age, like I mean, you know [inaudible] starts with somebody saying or somebody showing something and then it has to have some substance to it in order for it to take off on its own. But yeah, I mean, the Mavericks are a perfect example. You know, we were probably the worst official sports franchise of the 90s and no one was coming to the games. And the only way that that was going to change was if I put myself out there and let people know what I was trying to accomplish and that we were entertaining and a good value and fun and you needed to come out and see us. And you know, we haven’t won that elusive championship yet, but we’ve certainly established ourselves as, you know, we have the longest sell-out streak in the NBA as an example and we’re definitely an entertainment destination. And we’ve definitely established ourselves in people’s mind.
Kedrosky: Yeah, and I think that’s also been true – I mean, it just strikes me, this is kind of a core competency of Mark Cuban. I mean, this is something – similar story at Broadcast.com and maybe back at MicroSolutions as well, I don’t know.
Cuban: No, no, you’re absolutely right. I mean, in both of those companies, I remember, you know, I would spend hours every single day e-mailing even – you know, back in the 80s, I’ve got e-mails that I’ve kept going all the way back to CompuServe e-mail in the 80s where anybody who was on a CompuServe forum or I would post on CompuServe forums. That’s how we started out. I mean, I would go on CompuServe forums and any discussion forums I could find online – AOL forums back then, even Prodigy forums back then – and tell everybody that would listen about what AudioNet was doing like I had done with MicroSolutions. And, you know, we started getting e-mail. I remember setting up AudioNet in the second bedroom of my house and saying, “Hey, if you’re a Dallas fan,” you know, just posting this everywhere, “come to this web site, download Real Audio software and take a listen,” and you know, that’s how things took off. And, you know, I do it probably to a lesser extent now with, you know, companies that I’ve recently gotten into like [inaudible].com, FilesAnywhere.com, Superfeedr.com, because you’ve got to get the word out there because if people, you know, there’s so many information points, information touch points for everybody these days that you’ve really got to get the word out there in order to have anybody know who you are.
Kedrosky: That means, what’s the point of having a megaphone if you don’t use one?
Cuban: Exactly. Right. And that’s one of the beauties of sports. I mean, I wish I could say it was something, you know, I only say smart things and that’s why people listen. But the reality is, you know, sports creates the hugest megaphone that there is. You know, you can have a company that – you can be Steve Jobs and have the ultimate megaphone, microphone on Wall Street, but even with Apple, even though there’s 20 web sites covering it every minute of the day, there is, you know, beat writers and reporters and every mainstream media outlet in Dallas, Texas covering the Mavs in addition to 20 plus web sites covering them every single day. So sports creates a very unique megaphone that, you know, has created a lot of opportunity for me.
Cuban: And I’ve used it [inaudible].
Kedrosky: Yes, you have. Let’s go to a different kind of megaphone which is the blog and specifically this, “What Business is Wall Street In?” But you know, feel free to sort of insert any editorial of why you do the blog. But at the same time, I want to just read an excerpt from this May 9th piece on the blog called, “What Business is Wall Street In?” and it’s just the opening paragraph or so. And you say, you wanted to stimulate discussion. You said, “Let’s talk the real problem that regulators, public companies, investors, shareholders and traders face. The problem is that Wall Street doesn’t know what business it is in. Regulators don’t know what the business of Wall Street is. Investors and shareholders don’t know what business Wall Street is in. The only people who know what business Wall Street is in are the traders. They know what business Wall Street is in better than anyone else. And to traders, whether day traders or high frequency or somewhere in between, Wall Street has nothing to do with creating capital for business, its original goal. Wall Street is a platform, it’s a platform to be exploited by every technological and intellectual means possible.” And then this will be the last line, “The best analogy for traders is they’re hackers.” I liked that.
Cuban: That says it all, doesn’t it? Yeah.
Kedrosky: I thought it was a great metaphor. So other than trying to irritate the crap out of Wall Street I suppose, you know, how – do you believe that? Do you believe that Wall Street was initially involved with creating capital for business or is that – I mean, because some would say that’s a somewhat Panglossian view of Wall Street, that it’s always been self serving and if it accidentally raised capital for companies, that’s great, but it’s always been about people pursuing their own self interest.
Cuban: Well, no, I actually believe it, you know, and trying to just hunt up a definition. I wasn’t just doing that to serve a purpose or to serve a metaphor. I mean, I really believed it because, you know, companies to grow need capital. And you know, there was a day even going back from the mid 90s and going backwards from there where you could talk about any CEO of a private company and one of their goals was to go public. And going public, you know, created two situations. One, it created personal wealth, but two, it actually did create the opportunity to create/add capital to grow your business. And you had, you typically had to use that capital to grow your business and I think, you know, that is – that used to be the core business of Wall Street. And you know if you go back even further, not only were you trying to grow your business with that capital, but until maybe the mid 70s I guess, I’m not a perfect historian on it, you typically also had to pay dividends to your shareholders. And I think once we got into the go-go days of growth stocks, you know maybe you started with the Nifty Fifty, but once it extended to companies on the NASDAQ and when the Microsoft’s and the Borland’s and the Apple’s went public and investors said, you know what? You don’t need to return us cash. We want you to push the stock price higher. I think that’s when things started to change. Back in the day, people owned shares of stocks – remember mutual funds, you know, weren’t always around and people who owned shares of stock from post-Depression through the 70s, looked to get a return on it via dividends. And it made perfect sense because in the capital structure, you know, bonds are safer than stocks. And if bonds are paying 6 percent, then your stock should pay more than 6 percent because you’re taking more risk with stocks, right? And, but we got away from that because at some point the brokers started marketing the fact that if you held on, if you just bought held, your capital appreciation would get you more than dividends and companies who could really grow their company should invest in their business rather than returning dividends. And I think we got away from that as well and people started buying stocks simply because people told them to because they would go up in price. And I did this in my blog as well. I said, “You know, a non-dividend paying stock is not a whole lot different than a baseball card.” You know, you bought Mickey Mantle because …
Kedrosky: I’ve read that. I think that’s spot on. I read that in one of your earlier comments. And I think far too many people miss that, that it is no different.
Cuban: Yeah. I mean, you can buy a piece of art, you can buy a Mickey Mantle or a baseball card, I was a stamp collector when I was in high school. And it was like, you know, I learned with stamps that a stamp’s worth what somebody’s willing to pay for it and stocks have become no different because there’s really no obligation for the CEO to return any capital back to a shareholder. And because there’s no obligation from the company to return capital to the shareholder, I think the shareholders – and there’s no responsibility to the shareholder to participate any longer in the company, you know, what is a shareholder? Who buys shares of stocks in companies any more actually believing they own the company? Nobody. Nobody.
Kedrosky: Nobody, no.
Cuban: All you’ve got to do is look at the volume of companies, you know, particularly big cap companies. You know, they’re trading how many tens of millions or hundreds of millions or even billions of shares of stock a day? You know, how many times do they turn their entire outstanding number of shares of stock?
Kedrosky: Right, I mean, the NASDAQ 100 turns the float on something like a monthly basis. I mean, it’s astonishing.
Cuban: Yeah, it’s crazy. So in essence, we no longer have shareholders. We have people who rent shares of stock hoping they go up and we have what I alluded to in my blog post, say specifically in my blog post, we rent hackers. People who look for opportunity in the market and look to exploit it. And when you take a tip from your buddy that, you know, Blue Star Jets is going up, you think you’re hacking the system, right?
Cuban: You know, hey my buddy gave me a password to this web site, so you don’t have to pay for it. It’s no different. But what’s really changed over the last five years probably, maybe even less than that, is the cost of technology has dropped dramatically, dramatically. And the speed of connectivity has increased dramatically. So you can buy, you know, the fastest Pentiums for hundreds of dollars, you can string those together into incredible processing power, connect them on to a direct connect into Wall Street and have enough processing power to churn any algorithmic process that you think works into the system and hopefully spit out pennies per transaction or percentage, basis points per transaction, and aggregate it all into something bigger. And that’s what we have become.
Kedrosky: Yeah, and I think your point was really driven home again by the flash crash there almost a month ago. I mean, there was a great example of how, even if you want to argue that the benefit of all this churn has been increased liquidity, the reality is all of that liquidity goes to zero when you need it most.
Cuban: Well yeah. I mean, in businesses, there’s a saying that says, “Responsibility without authority is worthless, and authority without responsibility is worthless.” You know, and one of the biggest lies on Wall Street is that these volume traders create liquidity because it’s not real. There’s no responsibility that’s associated with that authority. And like we saw in the flash crash, you know, they played musical chairs and decided to stop playing and the system – you know, there wasn’t a problem with the flash crash. It did exactly what it was supposed to do. Right? It worked exactly the way it was supposed to work.
Kedrosky: Yeah, guys turned off the ignition and walked away.
Cuban: Exactly right. And the people who had, you know, stop orders and sell orders and whatever it was and market orders, they got killed.
Kedrosky: They all got ticked off in the plunge.
Cuban: Exactly. And so the market worked, all the pieces worked exactly like they were supposed to work. And it just – and when that happens, it just shows everybody else more the inefficiencies. It’s like, you know, hacker conferences. You know, when they go in and they get together and they tell people how to – you know, there’s – oh what’s the name of the little magazine, Hacker 3000, or [inaudible] …
Kedrosky: Yeah, the one that has the Vegas event on a regular basis where they talk about ways to hack into the energy grid.
Cuban: Yeah. And there’s even a little magazine that says, okay, here’s how you get into Best Buy’s telephone system. And that’s exactly what happens because just as it’s cheaper and faster and more efficient to deal with information, but it’s also just as efficient because of this digital age to exchange tidbits and kind of have all these financial hackers get smarter, smarter, smarter, smarter. And they’re not really creating liquidity. They’re not market makers in the true sense because they’re not, they don’t have the responsibility that has come with being a market maker where you have to, you’re required by regulation to create liquidity for stocks. That responsibility isn’t there and so we’re opening ourselves up. You know, like you said earlier, stocks go up until they don’t; systems work until they don’t and when they stop working that’s when all the shit is exposed – excuse my French – and then the regulators come in and they react. You know, they regulate by litigating and that’s not the way to solve problems.
Kedrosky: So, and we’ve got just a couple of minutes left. And so in the last couple of minutes, you propose some, I think, tentative solutions, but you at least make some suggestions. It’s not all criticism here. So why don’t you talk about a couple of the things that you propose in terms of possible ways of reforming Wall Street through longer holding periods or changing tax policy on dividends, that kind of thing.
Cuban: Yeah. I mean, incentives work and there’s a couple of things that I think Wall Street is trying – well, let’s just say the US citizens need to look towards. One, I think you do need to encourage capital formation and business formation, particularly with unemployment the way it is. And so, you know, I’ve always been a big proponent of not taxing people who invest, particularly in smaller companies, and then hold those shares of stock. They actually become shareholders. So I think you ought to reward people for being shareholders. You know, if you hold, if you invest in a company while they’re private or an IPO and you hold them for some period of time. You know, pick out the year, I’d say five years, then because you’ve held it, because you’ve actually been a shareholder, you shouldn’t be taxed when you sell those shares of stock. And I think that primarily is the key to doing business. Now, I also think that because there are so many transactions that really don’t do anything except try to hack the system, I think there should be a transaction tax as well. I think a lot of people would come back and say, “Well, if there’s a transaction tax, you’re going to kill liquidity, you’re going to kill volume,” and I don’t know necessarily that you would kill it and the simple reason why I don’t think you would kill it is what else are these people going to do?
Kedrosky: Right. Well, that’s exactly right. It’s not like they’re going to go back to buy and hold, right?
Cuban: Right. And you know, traders are traders. You’ve seen, just look at day traders. You’ve seen the best and the worst of being a day trader over the past 15 years, yet, you know, they’re still there. They’re not going away. And there’s – you know, I guess another rule you could say, the bigger, the more pages in a regulation bill, the more, you know, the law of unintended consequences are going to attack you, right?
Kedrosky: And it’s just a more complex voice mail system for hackers to hack into.
Cuban: Exactly right. Which means, even if you put a transaction tax in this, they have to use more leverage to get to the same economic results and you can argue if that’s good or bad, but they’re going to find a way because that’s what they do. And I think our regulators haven’t figured that out. You know, it’s kind of like the Kerry tax. Okay, so if you put the Kerry tax as regular income, what are the VC’s going to do? So instead of making – I had this conversation with somebody who said, “Well, if they were making $600,000 and now they’re making $400,000.” Okay, what are they going to do instead? Go play basketball? You know, work at McDonald’s? You know, get a job in a bank?
Kedrosky: Subsidize their income, right.
Cuban: No, they’re going to do the same thing. Right? If they’re making $6 million and they’ll make $4 million – like, that’s bad, right?
Kedrosky: Right, right. Because we need to subsidize their way back up to $6 million because it’s so good for us.
Cuban: Right. So now, you know, what’s the bigger picture? The bigger picture is because they’re hackers, you’re always going to get hacked. You can’t just avoid it. You know, the Department of Defense is always getting hacked and they’re always learning how to plug the next hole, right, because there’s always a next hold. Unfortunately, taxpayers have to pay for that and so you have to find a way for tax, for the people who are doing the hacking to pay for it. Of course, they’re going to bitch and moan just like everybody is going to bitch and moan when taxes go up. No one likes more taxes. But unfortunately, someone’s got to pay for that defense system and I think if anything we’re going to see a transition in the regulatory environment, or hopefully we will, so it’s more like Network Associates or McAfee or Norton, you know, when they have all their continuous analysis of viruses and hacker attempts and for all their software which really in real time, I think, the actual federal regulations systems have got to go where there is a real time analysis, where they have these MIBs like you put in network systems when you manage local network. So it’s all real time stuff, right? Well, yeah, you’ve been through all that. Right? So it’s real time analysis. So there’s something out, you know, there’s all these big graphical displays showing what’s happening and where across the, in terms of all the inefficiencies that the traders/hackers look for and then have to be paid for. And you know, the people who create the pain should be paying for the pain.
Kedrosky: That’s a probably great point to stop on. So thanks very much for doing this hackers, hackers and markets and Mark Cuban. Mark, I appreciate you taking the time. This has been really great.
Cuban: Appreciate it. It was a lot of fun, Paul.
# # #