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Veronique Frizzell


An Experimental Website about using numbers: finance, Excel, math, and data

Front page Aug 24 - 30



Another go with the flow week. I do have one report to work on but otherwise, it looks like an easy week. I need to talk with the owner to see what else he needs done and give him some advice on some things. Maybe this will kickstart some stuff.

Yesterday, I read an article in Carl Icahn’s Tumblr. He says a lot of stuff that appears to make sense, but at the same time, I know he is part of a group of financiers who have led the shareholder revolution to the point where every thing is done for shareholders and shareholders only. We’ve reached the point where we have short-term thinking, pigging at the trough, and, generally, disdain for the welfare of others and the environment. In the article, amongst other things, he was preaching shareholder activism, which is a tired subject. We’ve had shareholder activism since the ’80′s, and look where we are today: a high degree of inequality and declining progress for all. The last activism that Carl led, that I heard of, was to demand that Apple load up on debt and then turn around and give the money to the shareholders. Don’t know what the debt will be used for but the tactic was deemed as a way to provide shareholder value. Yeah, what a concept! Transfer money from the banks (who are not saintly themselves) to the wealthy shareholders and leave the company saddled with debt at a time when business is very turbulent. It’s like he learned nothing from the Great Recession. He’s still in the 80′s and 90′s.

Loading up on debt for no other reason than to send the money to the shareholders (and himself)? This kind of feels like a legalized form of thievery couched in terms of shareholder value.

Shareholder value should be a dead concept and I believe more and more people will think of something different, something that will encompass ALL stakeholders, not just for the few.

The link to his Tumblr:   http://carlicahn.tumblr.com/post/94535545751/the-bottom-line-by-carl-icahn