Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Corporate Image

The NYTimes carried a article on turning Natural Gas into diesel, making a cleaner fuel than current diesel made from the sulfur byproducts of Crude Oil. It is a grand idea, except for the fact Natural Gas reserves are themselves limited. It will use up those Reserves in areas where current exploitation of the Natural Gas is uneconomical. The Processing Costs also seem competitive or cheaper than the Processing Costs of the sulfur byproducts, but what will We do with the later if We switch to the former? My commentary on Processing Costs remains important: it is actually the most important issue whenever discussing Energy source development of any type.

The Nikkei Exchange was closed down because the small investors became scared that a Government investigation of a Company would engender more investigations. What does this tell Us? It simply means all small investors believe Japanese Companies have been 'cooking the books' to show Profits. Small investors may be a little too small if they invest in Ventures which they expect are misrepresenting their Profit ratios.

The SEC is set to implement regulations to provide transparency for Stockholders in the rates of Executive pay. Again We have an issue, not with clarity, but with the deliberate misrepresentation of fact by Companies. The issue need not actually concern the art of misleading Stockholders, simply the belief in the self-same misrepresentation. Companies has a real problem with Image, with some part of it based in fact.

The basic problem may will be Corporate tendency to obsufcate Costs. A great share must come from the actual rates of Pay for Employees, not just Corporate management. There is common belief Corporate R&D is engaged in to provide the lucrative positions for Corporate Executives, not for profitable Ventures to be undertaken for the Company. The Lobbyist Scandal in D.C. does not help Corporate image, as who pays for the Lobbyists? All get smeared by the same brush!

There has to be change in Corporate reportage, and it cannot be ordered from the outside of the Board room. It took from 1930 until 1960 to really get the small investors back into Stocks, whether or not small investors are important to the overall functioning of the Markets. Another bloodbath where Stockholders lose as much as had the Japanese investors will drive them away. Corporate leadership then will be faced with institutional investors whose job is competent analysis of Corporate reports. The Corporate Board room had better start thinking about Others than themselves. lgl

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