Handicapping Profits

In The Confiscation of American Prosperity, I looked at the correlation of poor corporate profitability with CEO’s low golf handicaps, as well as the use of corporate jets, and membership in far off country clubs.

Later, I learned of the relationship between CEO’s oversize mansions and negative corporate performance.

Liu, Crocker and David Yermack. 2007. “Where Are The Shareholders’ Mansions? Ceos’ Home Purchases, Stock Sales, and Subsequent Company Performance.” http://ssrn.com/abstract=970413

Now I see that Business Week has found a similar relationship (though not statistically analyzed between gold handicaps and subprime mortgage losses.

“… we started with Golf Digest’s inaugural ranking of the top 150 golfers in finance (October 2007). We then averaged the handicap indices of the best three at each firm. At the head of the list is Bear Stearns. The company and its CEO, James Cayne, have been in the news as two of their hedge funds melted down in the subprime mortgage crisis.”

At the time of the subprime meltdown, with banks bleeding money, Here is the Handicap index for the top firms: Bear Stearns, 0.3; Morgan Stanley, 1.3; Lehman Brothers, 1.5; Merrill Lynch, 1.9.

Foust, Dean. 2007. “Wall Street’s Leader Board.” Business Week (12 November): p. 102.

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