Carl Icahn: Smart, Stupid or Just Plain Screwed?

You have to shake your head at how this Microsoft/Yahoo misadventure has ended up. Yahoo turned its nose up at a huge 50% premium, then Microsoft handled negotiations about as clumsily as a contractor after Friday drinks , and then Carl Icahn tried to insert some adult and shareholder-friendly thinking, only to get blown up today.

The latest revelation? Microsoft apparently "categorically" told Yahoo’s board in a meeting four days ago that it would, under no circumstances, buy all of Yahoo, not even at the $33 price it pseudo-offered for the company weeks ago.

That is frickin’ nuts. How could Carl Icahn be expected to stick-handle his way past a founder/CEO given too much initial slack, plus a deranged CEO-salesguy whose board trusts him so little with acquisition offers that he had to first mumble "$33" up his sleeve, and then had to walk away from it a scant few weeks later. Nuts. Absolutely nuts.

Now, could Carl Icahn could riding back in with Microsoft after Yahoo fires Yang, changes its board chair, etc.? Sure, but why would he hang around to do a deal at lower prices than the one at which he (and his friends) purchased a stake? That’d be stupid, and he’d have a moral victory but be financially screwed.

Anyone see another outcome in here? Because I don’t right now.