A Goldman Sachs report on stock buybacks shows a suspicious clustering in the fourth quarter, just when management bonuses are being calculated.
These expensive gambits weaken the health of companies by gutting their cash reserves to jack up the share-price, which is one way of thinking about "building shareholder value" (if the shareholders you're thinking about are giant hedge-funds who don't care about the health of the business and just want to asset-strip them, sell their shares, and move on to the next business).
The "job creators" who benefit from this move are long gone by the time the business starts to teeter, and the management teams that run the buy-backs get huge bonuses for "creating shareholder value." The actual working stiffs at the company -- and the suppliers and customers that support it -- are left holding the bag.
Notice how the bulk of buybacks are concentrated in the fourth quarter, with the obvious intent of goosing prices at year end so as to lead to higher executive pay for “increasing shareholder value”? In fact, these companies are being gradually liquidated. Issuing debt, which public companies have done in copious volumes since the crash, and using it to buy shares is dissipating corporate assets. They are over time shrinking their businesses. That is also reflected in aggressive headcount cuts and cost-saving measures. Even though analysts like to tout the cash that companies have sitting on their balance sheets as a source of potential investment, as we’ve discussed in previous posts, public companies are so terrified of even a quarterly blip in earnings due to incurring expenses relating to long-term investments that they’d rather do nothing, or go the inertial path of cutting costs to show higher profits.
Goldman Makes It Official That the Stock Market is Manipulated, Buybacks Drive Valuations [Naked Capitalism]
(Image: Ouroboros, Zanaq, CC-BY-SA)
Yahoo’s sale to Verizon means that Yahoo’s sub-companies — Flickr, Tumblr and a host of others — are now divisions of a phone company, and as you might expect, being on the payroll of a notorious neutracidal maniac with a long history of sleazy, invasive, privacy-destroying, monopolistic, deceptive, anti-competitive, scumbag shakedowns has changed the public […]
What was last week posed as an indefinite leave of absence is now for good: Travis Kalanick, CEO of scandal-wracked rideshare company Uber, announced that he is leaving the company. “I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to […]
Chinese state media reports on a $28/RMB188 app that browses webcams whose default passwords haven’t been changed, allowing subscribers to watch the goings-on in stores, living rooms, bedrooms, children’s rooms, and anywhere a CCTV might be installed.
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]
The Bragi Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones are far more than your run of the mill Bluetooth earbuds. While the earpiece design makes these earbuds ideal for exercise and activity, and passive noise cancelling is conducive to a more serene listening experience, these buds go well beyond just playing music.First of all, they can actually […]