David has some choice insight about Skype and eBay.
Here's my take.
1) The ebay leadership of old all screwed the pooch. They applied pre 1.0 mentality to a post 2.0 company. (deduct 5 billion points)
2) The new eBay leadership is saying to the current crop of Skype executives (is this version 5 or 6?) sink or swim. (add back 1.3 billion points due to write down)
3) Selling Skype to some company with more money than God (Vodafone or 3 comes to mind) will get back another 1.5 billion (add back 1.5 billion)
Net Net--no earn out, eBay breaks even on paper....
BUT....ONLY IF THERE IS A BUYER...