Thursday, August 19, 2010

Corporate Boards are like Pro Athletes.

Corporate boards are like professional athletes.  Very few of them care about anything but their personal way of life, even if that means forgoing maintenance on the vehicle which put them in such a position in the first place.  Corporate boards, like athletes, are actually slaves to the people who manage the funding underpinning their way of life, not because they're too dumb to figure it out for themselves, but because they are able to partition their responsibilities neatly, "It's just a job, when can I get the private jet to Bali?"

Recall Capital One releasing tons of reserves after 1q2010, Home Depot raising their dividend after 1q2010, STI instituting a dividend while still saddled with TARP and a Texas Ratio over 40, and so many other examples of common idiocy at the highest levels of corporate management.  At least one hopes it's idiocy.  COF gapped the morning after the release and hasn't been within 2% of that opening tick since.  Try to remember that these measures develop at the behest of Wall Streeters who, through voting power, control the lifestyles of board members via appointments, comp packages, and ultimately advice and share price when it comes to option exercise and expiry.  Wall Street also does not care about investing.  It's just a job.  It's just a trade.  As long as the board member keeps his ticket on the gravy train, Wall Street gets assuaged, even if at the cost of the business and/or the retail shareholder.

In this office, any company buying stock, raising dividends, and/or acquiring at this point in time goes on the watch list for shorting.  If a company can't support its stock price through performance then all the rest ain't no different than the gold plated gas cap on my '86 Cutlass Supreme.

The longer a market defies its nature, the larger the reversion candle will be.