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176. Does an Installment Sale Defer the Tax on Recapture of Accelerated Depreciation? No. Can the Tax on Recapture of Accelerated Depreciation Nevertheless Be Deferred When an Installment Sale Occurs? Yes.
162. Transfer a Family Business to the Next Generation During the Parent's Lifetime, Retain an Asset for Income, Give the Transferee a Stepped-up Basis, Defer the Gain on Sale, Support the Parent with Deductible Rent, and Finance the Transaction, Too
July 17, 2010
"It’s not what you know," the well-known expression goes—Google produces about 1,150,000,000 results!—it’s who you know. (I wish that whoever popularized the expression had known at least to get it right, with "whom" you know.)
I understand the rationale of the expression, and it has its element of truth. I can tell you, though, that when someone tries to persuade me of a new business idea or business venture by placing more emphasis on who (he never says whom) he knows rather than what he will do, I figure there must be some weakness in the what. It’s a strong indicator, for me at least, that hearing about the proposal is not worth my time.
It may strike you differently, but emphasis upon one’s contacts when one is trying to sell an idea or venture comes across to me as bragging, or puffery. If I like the proposal and then ask for references, that’s the time to hear about contacts. Unless I’m already persuaded about the idea or venture, I don’t care to know that the promoter attended a White House dinner, for example, or is best friends with Warren Buffett.
If the merit of the proposal isn’t apparent, the promoter’s purported popularity or influence won’t make it any better.
Even with regard to what you know, please let the brilliance of the proposal speak for itself; don’t try to close the deal by telling me you are brilliant because you thought of it or put it together. Your being self-impressed won’t impress me—but it will cause me to think that what you are proposing is of questionable merit.
An exception when whom you know can be more important that what you know, is when what is at issue is an introduction to someone, and what is being sought is a contact of that person to make the introduction.
What about you? Does someone else’s bragging, or someone’s emphasis on the important people he knows, cause you to question the merit of the matter at hand?—Stan Crow
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The Latest Installment addresses situations, questions and issues which are brought to us in the course of the consideration, negotiation or execution of transactions. We don't use the real names of parties to transactions, and we may edit the statement of the question to try to tell the story better. Please feel free to comment, or to take issue, or to raise your own question or situation. If you do the latter, please do not relate any confidential information.
The Latest Installment blog is edited by Stanley D. Crow, who is president of S.Crow Collateral Corp.