The Greed Cycle Essay

836 Words Aug 26th, 2011 4 Pages
Article Review: - The Greed Cycle, by John Cassidy

The article by Thomas Cassidy, points out the instrumental role that greed plays in the modern corporation. Modern Economists have always seen greed as not only a necessary element in the corporate environment, but as also a vital part of the successful evolution of a public company. As the article points out, “Economists from Adam Smith to Milton Friedman have seen greed as an inevitable and, in some ways, desirable feature of capitalism. In a well regulated and well balanced economy, greed helps to keep the system expanding”.
In the early public companies, greed was not seen as a danger, as the implicit trust that managers would not slack off, and would run the company in the
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They went on to state that competition would not solve this dilemma. This lead to a re-evaluation of the goal of corporations, from merely maximizing revenues, to maximize the value of the firm, as it was determined in the stock market.
Once the goal of corporations became maximizing the value of the firm, they attracted wealthy “corporate raiders”, who used this new corporate philosophy to launch many takeover attempts on companies, with the intent on restructuring these companies, as to increase their stock prices, so that they can “refloat” them for a considerable profit. Most of these takeovers were financed with borrowed money, hence the term lever­aged buyouts, or LBOs. As the article states, “In a typical LBO, the acquirer would buy out the public stockholders and run the com­pany as a private concern, slashing costs and slimming it down. The ultimate aim was to refloat the company on the stock market at a higher valuation”. Initially this was seen as one of the best remedies for the agency issues that surfaced between shareholders and mangers. However as the economic climate changed, many realized that the LBO was not the answer. “When the economy went into a reces­sion during the early nineteen nineties, many of the firms that had gone private, such as Macy’s and Revco, couldn’t keep up their interest

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