But by the mid-1990s, they were beating expectations 70% of the time, which was only possible only if CEOs and CFOs were manipulating expectations and earnings.Then we had the bubble and bust, driven by option compensation.
What are the aspects of business today that keep us locked in this casino mentality?Roger: The focus on shareholder value maximization has sapped the authenticity of executives.But rather than do that, as Peter Drucker suggested, we have bought into the shareholder value view of the world. The simple and compelling idea was that with stock-based compensation if shareholders do well, so will managers and if shareholders do badly, so will managers.We run companies for the owners and players, not the fans. That produced perfect alignment – or so we thought.They have become more focused on Wall Street analysts than on their customers.
And they have become willing to sacrifice the welfare of their employees to attempt to meet the expectations of Wall Street.In business, however, we’ve gotten to the point where management is incentivized by the spread – not the real game. Roger: It has become one – and not for the better of the world, that is for certain.In football, we know that teams can’t keep beating the spread forever.The NFL has outperformed Major League Baseball on every dimension.That’s because football has been run for the fans, while MLB was run for the owners and players.The point spread is the exact analog of a stock price.