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jerryking : sweating_the_assets   4

Hyena capitalism receives a swift kick from the Unilever giraffe
25 February/26 February 2017 | FT| Robert Armstrong.

the rise in hyena capitalism — broadly, the emphasis on squeezing the maximum present return out of assets — is an effect of low economic growth. When the number of US workers was increasing and innovation was delivering faster productivity growth, there were lots of reasons to invest. Today it just makes more sense to focus on cost.....More generally, it may be that, since the financial crisis, spooked managements and, in the case of public companies, investors have become increasingly risk averse — more so than the state of the economy would justify. So money piles up on balance sheets, is paid as dividends, or goes to repurchase shares. Investment falls, despite the availability of cheap credit to fund new projects.
It also looks increasingly likely that the change in management incentive structures, in particular the increase in share-based incentives and shortening tenures for top executives, have made company leaders less inclined to invest. there is a risk that it could become self-reinforcing. Lack of investment affects not just future productivity, but also demand. At the extreme, if no one invests, no one earns and there is no growth. If companies are forgoing opportunities to invest, they are depriving the economy of customers with money to spend.
More insidiously, it could be that hyena capitalism undermines trust in the institutions and mores that makes corporate capitalism possible in the first place. If workers know they are regarded as dispensable cost centres, why should they commit to learning company-specific skills and procedures? Why not shirk instead? If the gains from corporate transformations go overwhelmingly to investors and financiers, why should voters support free market policies?
Capitalism needs both giraffes and hyenas. But in a time of modest growth, low productivity growth and rising inequality, one must keep an especially close eye on the hyenas.
CPG  Unilever  3G_Capital  private_equity  public_companies  consumer_goods  Kraft_Heinz  inefficiencies  capitalism  sweating_the_assets  undermining_of_trust  deprivations 
march 2017 by jerryking
TTC to probe conversion of two GO train tracks - The Globe and Mail
KALEIGH ROGERS

The Globe and Mail

Published
Wednesday, Jul. 24 2013

The feasibility study will look at the impacts of including more vehicles on the busy lines, but TTC CEO Andy Byford said its worth considering as the corridors are not at capacity yet.

“It does seem to me there is some spare capacity. At the end of the day, we should be looking to sweat the assets and maximize use of all rail corridors in this city,” Mr. Byford said, adding a more substantial relief line to the east end would still be needed.

“That takes time to construct, and it’s $8-billion that we don’t currently have. Certainly as a stop gap, I think we should be talking to GO to say, ‘Is there anything that we can do in a much shorter time frame?’”
transit  TTC  DRL  Toronto  urban_intensification  urban_planning  sweating_the_assets 
august 2013 by jerryking
Clayton Christensen Wants to Transform Capitalism | Wired Business | Wired.com
By Jeff Howe
02.12.13

Howe: You’re working on a new book now, right? The Capitalist’s Dilemma. How is that related to the Innovator’s Dilemma?

Christensen: I wrote a piece for The New York Times just before the election. I was wrestling with a paradox. If you look at the financial measures of prosperity in the economy, things seem to be going just great, especially company balance sheets. They haven’t been so strong in decades.

Howe: High market caps all around.

Christensen: It looks like the economy is emerging from the recession in an exciting way, but we’re not creating more jobs or income for the average person. And in all humility, I think I articulated a simple model that explains why. The bad actors are business school professors like me who have been teaching people what I call the Doctrine of New Finance. We’ve encouraged managers to measure profitability based on a return on net assets, or return on capital employed. That encourages companies to liberate their capital, so they invest in efficiency innovations, which means they can make more money with fewer resources. But what the economy ultimately needs are empowering innovations—like the Model T, the transistor radio. Empowering innovations require long-term investments, which tie up capital for years and years. So companies are using capital to create more capital, and consequently the world is awash in capital but the innovations we need to advance aren’t there.

Howe: What’s the solution?

Christensen: I don’t know the solution, but I believe solutions exist. The government can’t dictate, “Oh, that’s an empowering innovation and that’s not.” But what government can do is create tax rates that transform what I call migratory capital into productive capital. Migratory capital flows to investments that will maximize the speed with which it can then be withdrawn, which plays to the doctrine of new finance. Productive capital wants to stay on the job and not go truant after 366 days.

Howe: Can we structure a tax code that encourages that?

Christensen: Absolutely. The idea would be to peg a tax rate to the length of time the capital is deployed. The longer the capital is invested, the lower rate it’s taxed at, until it gradually approaches zero and maybe goes negative
disruption  Clayton_Christensen  capitalism  innovation  books  ROCE  management  capital_flows  sweating_the_assets  moonshots  breakthroughs  tax_codes 
february 2013 by jerryking
Lessons from Private-Equity Masters
June 2002 | Harvard Business Review| by Paul Rogers, Tom Holland, and Dan Haas.

The Four Disciplines of Top Private-Equity Firms

Define an Investment Thesis

Have a three- to five-year plan

Stress two or three key success levers

Focus on growth, not just cost reductions

Don’t Measure Too Much

Prune to essential metrics

Focus on cash and value, not earnings

Use the right performance measures for each business

Link incentives to unit performance

Work the Balance Sheet

Redeploy or eliminate unproductive capital—both fixed assets and working capital

Treat equity capital as scarce

Use debt to gain leverage and focus, but match risk with return

Make the Center the Shareholder

Focus on optimizing each business

Don’t hesitate to sell when the price is right

Act as unsentimental owners

Get involved in the hiring and firing decisions in portfolio companies

Appoint a senior person to be the contact between the corporate center and a business
HBR  Bain  lessons_learned  private_equity  metrics  investment_thesis  measurements  dispassion  incentives  constraints  leverage  focus  sweating_the_assets  unsentimental  debt  owners 
november 2011 by jerryking

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