Professor Froward's Slough of Despond

Proud purveyor of flawed generalizations and vacuous tautologies.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Earnings per share

The Great Burger King Ice Cream Flap is overrated, I believe. The fools threatening jihad do need to get a grip (threatening to decapitate random civilians over an ice-cream cone? The Catholics would just sell the damn thing on EBay and get on with their lives), but big companies cave on that kind of nonsense pretty lightheartedly if they think it'll cost them money not to. That's really all there is to it. In the words of John Fort, who preceded Dennis "Employee Loan" Kozlowski as CEO of Tyco (and followed, after the indictment):

The reason we were put on Earth was to increase earnings per share.1

Within the law, thankyouverymuch. But that is their job, and when they do their job, your pension fund wins, their employees win, and they win. This game is called "it's not the Middle Ages any more, okay?"

1 "Earnings per share", not "share price". There's a big difference. I like that guy. He's an engineer. The quote is from The New Yorker, February 17 & 24, 2003, page 135. I keep that issue around for a killer John McPhee piece that hasn't been collected yet, but the Fort line is nice to have too.