In a preceding post I discussed why the price of debt has little influence on investments. What about the cost of equity? Firms usually use (considerably) far more equity than debt to finance their investments. So the cost of equity need to matter more. In a recent study , Murray Frank and Tao Shen investigate how the price of equity and the weighted average expense of capital (WACC) influence investments of US firms. Remarkably, they locate that the cost of equity and the WACC are positively connected to corporate investments. Firms with a higher estimated cost of equity and WACC tend to invest substantially much more. That is a very strange result. We would count on firms with a higher price of capital to invest much less, not more.
Somewhere along the way, Yahoo stepped into a blockbuster of great fortune from having invested in Alibaba, the huge Chinese firm that combines the best of PayPal, eBay and Amazon and issued its equity more than here. Yet Yahoo stumbled a couple of times. It picked itself up, stumbled once more, and reached a point of not becoming positive what that best subsequent step must be-except to separate the business into its Alibaba components and its website components and let one more big organization, with sources adequate to take dangers with it, determine what that next strategy must be.
The quintessential instance, however, is the retail bank branch. You can talk with employees behind the Barclays counters, but frequently they are just there to enter data into a centralised method that tells them how to deal with you. To some degree these employees have agency – the ability to make quasi-autonomous choices – but the dominant trend is for them to turn into subservient to the machinic technique they work with, …Continue Reading >>>