Why The Tax Cut Bonuses Ring False

Every once in a while, when a baseball player hits one out of the park at an away game, the fan who catches the ball throws it back on the field. Why celebrate the opponent’s achievement? As rebukes go, it’s not subtle.

Sometimes I wonder if the rank and file employees who got $1,000 “tax cut” bonuses might give it back to their employer or use it to light a cigar. The list of companies giving $1,000 bonuses to employees in the wake of the tax cut keeps growing. AT&T, Alaska Air, Charles Schwab, U.S. Bancorp, Tyson Foods and Comcast, among others, have doled out $1,000 raises. read more

The Feminine Touch, Hopefully

Jane Fraser was selected to be the next CEO of Citigroup, the first woman to run a “money center” bank.  One can only hope that she will best the performance of her predecessors.  Aside from a decade of irrational exuberance in the price of Citigroup shares (see graph below) any time frame in which one might evaluate them, year to date, one year, five years, or say 25 years, the performance is abysmal. 

And let’s not forget, Citigroup was a stock that was trading at $557 before the Great Recession.  At today’s price of about $50, the leadership prior to Ms. Fraser’s ascent lost more than 90% of the value once held by shareholders.    read more