How the Drive for Quarterly Earnings Corrupted Wall Street and Corporate America
Publication Date: April 13, 2004
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With a new Afterword by the author and a new Foreword by Mark Cuban
In this commanding big-picture analysis of what went wrong in corporate America, Alex Berenson, a top financial investigative reporter for The New York Times, examines the common thread connecting Enron, Worldcom, Halliburton, Computer Associates, Tyco, and other recent corporate scandals: the cult of the number.
Every three months, 14,000 publicly traded companies report sales and profits to their shareholders. Nothing is more important in these quarterly announcements than earnings per share, the lodestar that investors—and these days, that’s most of us—use to judge the health of corporate America. earnings per share is the number for which all other numbers are sacrificed. It is the distilled truth of a company’s health.
Too bad it’s often a lie.
Alex Berenson’s The Number provides a comprehensiv, brutally factual overview of how Wall Street and corporate America lost their way during the great bull market that began in 1982. With wit and a broad historical perspective, Berenson puts recent corporate accounting (or accountability) disasters in their proper context. He explains how the wheels came off the wagon, giving readers the information and analysis they need to understand Enron, Tyco, WorldCom, Halliburton, and the rest of the corporate calamities of our times.
Mark Cuban is an American entrepreneur and owner of the NBA s Dallas Mavericks. A pioneer of the dot-com revolution, Cuban first arrived in Dallas in the early 1980s where he immediately became a fan of the then-brand new franchise. Cuban s purchased the team in 2000 and heralded a new age of success for a franchise now considered the sixth most valuable team in the NBA.