Posted: Mar 25, 2014 9:20 am
by johnbrandt
Shareholders didn't seem to notice it even happened. We've seen companies privatised here in Australia (which luckily didn't suffer much at all) since the crunch, but this still results in the changes to a business which mean the only thing that matters in the business anymore isn't efficiency, isn't providing a service to the public, isn't providing people with stable jobs, but doing whatever it takes at whatever cost so that the shareholders can see their share prices rise and rise. That's all that matters...the share price, nothing more, and even then it only matters while the price is going up...if the business fails, they'll dump it quicker than a hot potato and move to something else where they can demand ever-increasing profits at the cost of everything else. Nothing matters but that. Not how the business is actually performing for the long term (as we see under-performing managers and CEO's still getting bonuses even when they fail), not stability and service to communities by creating local jobs (if it can be done cheaper by contractors or in some foreign country, then sack all the local workers to save a few bucks), etc.

My old boss listing the soft drink company I worked for, but he realised one important fact: "Once you have shareholders, nothing else matters except the shareholders".

I sometimes think it might have been a little sad that Australia didn't get a sharp wake up call from the GFC and just appeared to cruise through it easily. Maybe a little jolt might have been good for the system.

Be interesting to see what happens in years to come if people learn from what happened...