You’re right, Charles. It's probably best to evaluate what someone has to say without bias because even rich windbags may say something worthwhile.
What gets me about this whole thing is that if AOL had crashed and burned, as it would have without the dot-com boom, Steve Case would not get such gentle treatment. The fact that he’s rich gives him credibility that has not been earned by his history. This wealth is based on trading bubble dollars for the real dollars of Time Warner assets.
Case reminds me a bit of Maurice Greenberg, who was the CEO of AIG. The US taxpayers bailed out AIG and in return took 80% of the stock. But there was still 20% that was left with the shareholders. Without the bailout AIG would have gone bankrupt and all of the shares would have been worthless. So Greenberg’s stake had worth only because of the bailout.
Greenberg then sued the US government, complaining that he, and the other shareholders, had been forced to accept the deal that the US government offered. Greenberg never acknowledged that without the bailout, his diminished stake in AIG would have been worth nothing.
With Case we see him speculating on all of the wonderful things that he could have done if he had not gone for the Time Warner deal. The fact is, he was lucky that there was a company that was stupid enough to agree to being purchased with AOL’s bubble dollars.
Given this history, I have a hard time listening to anything that Case has to say, even if it's valid.