Saturday, July 15, 2006

Headless Wall Street Monster

Tom Wheatly - 02/07/2006 05:51 am

Here is the actual "fun site"

Richard Kaye - 02/07/2006 01:28 pm

Interesting site, though nothing there seems particularly new to me. This could be why I watch little TV. I don't think there's anything there for Paul F to object to - I'll bet he'd agree with most of the content. Ditto the Orwell shirt - the right likes Orwell (quite a bit!), they just don't like Republican administrations being referenced to him.

What changingchannels implies, but doesn't go far enough with is the current American obsession with record profits. As a small businessman (and thus a capitalist), I know you can't operate without turning a profit - you're bankrupt otherwise. But where is it written that every quarter must not merely operate in the black, but that profits must exceed the previous quarter's? Your stock loses value if you turn a steady profit that doesn't keep growing - what sense does that make? Can anyone corner someone with a business degree and explain this to me without blather?

Tom Wheatly - 02/07/2006 08:00 pm

In a word..."No"

I work with a guy doing his masters in economics, and when I say EXACTLY what you said here (as I have done) He will roll his eyes and get the condescending thing going. When I point out to him that infinite growth is a bogus concept and does not exist in nature, or that one look at a photo of the Earth snapped from the moon missions can tell you it's bunk (since the entirety of our bizzyness operations including ALL our resources and real estate fits within the field of the lens - he just shakes the "oogabooga stick" and goes into his "economic shaman " rap - the blather to which you refer! All self-referencing circular logic and a pile o' crap....

I heartily encourage you to pick up a copy (now in paperback) of "Wall St" by Doug Henwood of the Left Business Observer (to which I subscribe) a BRILLIANT guy who explains the 3 card Monty table of the stock market and many of the economics concepts so miserably misrepresented by the Columbia Bizzyness School crowd.

Do the link bro' :^}

Joe Code - 02/08/2006 11:07 pm

Investors have been spoiled rotten by double-digit growth numbers during boom times. It's a headless monster that screams bloody murder when the growth spike starts to level off. Companies may be in the black with 1% growth during a recession, but the institutional investors start calling for heads to roll even before the economy starts to recover. Fund managers scream the loudest because if their funds tank they'll find themselves in a serious pickle.

When I was at Biz Clybern they had meteoric growth for 10 years. Nothing but good news. A Forbes magazine survey even voted their management the most admired in the their industry (number 5 among all industries). Then the recession of the early 90's hit and suddenly the bloom was off the rose. Biz wasn't losing money, but the meteroric growth hit a snag, which caused an avalanche of crticism from Wall St and the wholesale replacement of all the top executives. That's when the Dilbert principle kicked into high gear. It didn't matter that they were making mind-numbingly dopey decisions. All that mattered was the appearence of competence through cost-cutting and layoffs.

It's the same all over. The headless Wall St monster roars and the mindless jackoffs in charge cower in their corners and heap layoffs and other asinine measures on the alter to appease it. But nothing ever appeases the headless monster but endless growth. There was a time when managers and board members were motivated by more than just "stock holder equity" now that's the only thing that matters to any of them. It's pathetic.

Tom Wheatly - 02/09/2006 03:20 am

Ooooh, good rant! Nicely spewed! My hat is off to you chum :^}

I may add this from reading Doug Henwood - the saddest silliest thing is that the ordinary citizen investor thinks he is getting any genuinely useful information from the media on investing...Anybody who tells the warty truth about the competence of management or real state of a company's prospects is going to alienate their source of information and find themselves "shut out" of the information channels. Hence the endless drivel with nothing truly sharp, telling (or accurate) getting said - On this the regular guy is supposed to make investments and "win" like the the characters that inhabit the backrooms, boardrooms, and dealmaker soirees?

Joe Code - 02/10/2006 11:32 pm

Tom: Thanks. I must have been channeling the spirit of George Bailey. ;-)

Sounds like the White House press corp. If the former explains Enron and Worldcom then the latter explains the Iraq war.

The two methods of controlling information to the press have to be related. Obviously the Bushies learned it from their pals in the corporate world, 'cause this shit's been going on since at least the 90's.

I propose we strengthen the Freedom of Information Act and add an amendment that includes corporate boardrooms. ;-)

Tom Wheatly - 02/11/2006 09:19 am

Right you are sir! (highyooooh!)

Support the SEC rules changes that will FORCE transparency on executive/CEO compensation!!!

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