Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Completely worthless

As I expected,  my Eastman Kodak stock became completely worthless last week when the company emerged from bankruptcy and the old stock was cancelled.  So I will be able to write off my loss on my 2013 taxes.

It is perhaps of some interest that although every informed person knew the stock was about to become worthless, trading continued (valuing the stock at a few cents a share) right up to the  end.  So the stock market is not perfectly efficient.

I contributed to this inefficiency in a small way by not selling my shares last year.  This was a result of my natural sloth and the fact that the proceeds would have been small relative to the hassle involved (given that I was holding paper certificates).  As it turned out this worked out well as the recent raise in the federal capital gains tax rate means the write off will be worth more to me in 2013 (although this is just luck, I wasn't considering it at the time).


  1. Maybe not completely worthless? I can imagine a small market (eBay?) for paper stock certificates, especially the more artistically interesting ones.

  2. Ebay has a lot of them for sale but they don't seem to be fetching much. I haven't looked at my certificates recently (they are in a safe deposit box) but I don't think they are anything special and I doubt they are rare. So still more hassle than it's worth to sell them although I don't suppose I will throw them out. Probably I should attach a note explaining they are worthless so no one in the future wastes a lot of time trying to value them.