Corporate transparency

Owen Byrne
Wed, 9 Jan 2002 00:39:42 -0400

On Tue, Jan 08, 2002 at 06:35:05PM -0800, Adam L. Beberg wrote:
> On Tue, 8 Jan 2002, Owen Byrne wrote:
> > Economic torchbearer to the world. Please! Now that the NASDAQ pyramid scheme
> > has collapsed and hitech companies are actually forced to respect GAAP (and
> > kissing goodbye to profits)
> People are still reporting pro-forma last I heard, tho I have been without
> CNBC for a while.



I was talking to a friend at Nortel who said that if Nortel had to account for options
properly, they would not have had one profitable year. And if that had happened, there
would have been a lot less people foolish enough to have invested in the company.

> > I think things are heading back to the early 90s
> > where every economist in the US was trying to figure out why the US couldn't
> > compete with Germany or Japan, or South Korea, or frankly, just about anyone.
> Because we're the out-of-shapest, greediest, highest cost of livingest,
> unablest to play well with others bastards on the face of the earth? Dah!

See I think it has something to do with this. In the early nineties, the 
US was beset by problems, constantly being told about how the Japanese and the
Germans were kicking their ass. So Americans (collectively) tried new things, worked
a little bit harder, until they were on top. Now Japan has been down for several years,
kicked around, beaten up, left for dead, economically, I think its time for their
Its my Avis Economic Theory - Second always tries harder.

> > Now assume that a mass publicity campaign results in 100,000,000
> > corporations out there as each and every individual in the US goes out
> > and registers as a corp. Suddenly the legal advantages of a corporation
> > gradually disappear as investors and lendors adjust to the new reality.
> Well of course, the point is to shift all the risk to the many while
> shifting the gains to the few. You wanted dividends? Ha!. The few gain all
> the money and control, while the workers are duped into thinking they have
> it better then slaves.
Imperfect information - in other words - leads to profits higher than required by the
risk for those that have better information.

> The current "best practice" is to get some friends to build a HUGE
> infrastructure, go bankrupt, then buy the wrackage for milli-cents on the
> dollar. Everyone can't do that, someone has to be the sucker.
> Where was that web site that showed the crosslinks between all the boards of
> the fortune 500? The 500 companies actually only share about 200 board
> members between them or something like that. If you're not born into it,
> you'll never be in it.
Old Italian saying - There are only three ways to get money - you can be born to it, you can
marry it, or you can steal it.

I believe its mostly the schools. I could have done my MBA at Stanford (accepted) 
but the price was out of reach. While at my local business school, someone
suggested that the experience at Harvard, Stanford and other top B-schools in the US
was more about "anointing royalty" than education.

Its good to see that cynicism is alive and kicking!