Charter Communications Chairman Paul Allen is reported to be personally in a position to reap benefits from a coincidental interplay between Charter’s Chapter 11 restructuring of debt and provisions in the stimulus bill signed into law earlier this week.
A clause in the bill includes multiple provisions for suspending and delaying taxes on debt. The provisions would reportedly benefit Allen, who is not only chairman of Charter, but also one of its largest shareholders. By one calculation, the new law could save Allen up to $4 billion.
The industries lobbying hardest for the inclusion of the provision were casinos, home builders and telecommunications, according to Dow Jones, which quotes David Postman, a spokesman for Allen’s hedge fund Vulcan Inc., saying, “No lobbying was done on behalf of Mr. Allen for that provision, at all.”
Allen is certainly being singled out for having the bad luck of being associated with one of the most prominent Chapter 11 filings at the moment. With the economy in recession, with financiers being held responsible for being major contributors to the mess, and with bankers refusing to use already-disbursed stimulus funding for its intended purpose, while continuing to pay themselves enormous bonuses, no billionaire is getting a pass these days, especially not for benefiting from stimulus provisions.