Every once in awhile I peruse NASA PDF files for interesting reading. I ran across this today.
It amazes me how some people are fortunate enough to make a living just by thinking up stuff like this. I know a fellow in Cleveland that does this at Glenn Research Center.
If it is feasible to do this, it seems a cheaper way to get to the surface of Mars than a direct landing. The delta-V requirement to get to Phobos is much less than Mars.
However, this project would require research into new materials technology to make a cable strong enough to do the job.