18 February 2016

The Stock Buyback Gimmick


Amazon is by no means unique in utilising this tactic. Raise money through public offering of stock, then when things slow down a bit you can buy back that stock and thus with fewer stocks available the price of each share effectively becomes worth more. You value appears to increase. Some companies like IBM will even take on debt just to buy their own stock.

The stockholders get nice dividends and yet often the company at the same time will tighten the belt, streamline and lay off workers. They can actually be doing poorly and yet make it look like their doing great on the NASDAQ or the S&P 500. It's fictitious and deceptive and yet many line their pocketbooks with earnings in this manner while at the same time thousands of people are unemployed as a result. Families and communities are destroyed because they foolishly built their houses on the sands of greed and lies.

Amazon is not suffering but they're using the same gimmicks to drive up their stock and make Bezos even richer. Amazon is in a game not unlike the Saudis... just in a different sector of the market. They can sweat a bit and take some hits if in the meantime their competition is eradicated.

Of course in the end some of these companies push it too far and suddenly it is revealed that the emperor has no clothes. They have a wonderful stock market value but then they'll have a really bad year or a scandal and suddenly it's revealed that the whole thing was a vapor, a house of cards.

How many Christians are riding this wave, working for these companies and profiting from these tactics? How many work in the financial industry and justify this game as just the nature of the system? And the same folks will sell these lies to their clientele and generate ample fees in the process? Is this what the New Testament teaches about work and our attitude toward money?

Of course not, but Sacralism can work wonders. Change the goal and the ethics change too, not to mention one's Biblical hermeneutic. Salvation and Kingdom building are recast as wealth and power and suddenly the New Testament can be made to justify the scheme and aid in its rationalisation.

How wonderful to build the Kingdom with lies and make your living by the same. What a glorious 'vocation' indeed.