Friday, May 4, 2012

The Dumbest Idea in the World – Maximize Shareholder Value

Long time readers will recognize one of my favorite pet peeves in this title. The world changed in the 70s when shareholder value became the mantra in business schools. The end result is pretty clear these days … the 1% have a much larger share of the wealth while the rest are sucking an egg, figuratively speaking.

But its actually much worse than that. I get pretty uptight when I see the CEO salary curves against the rest of the population. These people are specifically incented to make great short-term numbers and their bonuses and salaries are outrageous. Their salaries are in fact set by members of the board, who are often CEOs themselves. Talk about a vested interest. This little cabal does not always answer to the shareholder, who might not actually prefer that 90% of the profits be paid each year to the CEO (lots of stories like that these days.)

It’s just another marker along the path of the destruction of Capitalism by rampant greed. No rocket science there at all.

And so I arrive at my point … I was absolutely delighted to be pointed to an article that analyzes the phenomenon in great detail. It’s a fantastic read, although it certainly portends disaster if this broken system is not fixed. The people sucking the wealth out of the world won’t fix it … why should they? The government is a bit busy sucking up to the rich for those fat post-governing contracts, so counting on them is a bit optimistic :-)

So who? Actually, I don’t know. We can only hope that something forces the change without truly wrecking all of our lives. The system has shown marked fragility in the last half decade and it is hard to imagine these fuck ups lessening in frequency, greed being the difficult master it is.

Anyway … blah blah blah :-) … read on: