Sarebbe come se il Corriere e le TV attaccassero Corrado Passera o Alessandro Profumo - gz
By: GZ on Martedì 27 Dicembre 2005 23:16
Vuoi sapere perchè Wall Street oggi ha perso un punto percentuale secco a dispetto di notizie positive negli ultimi giorni e del periodo natalizio ? E perchè le obbligazioni sono salite in linea retta ? (e perchè siamo andati al ribasso sugli indici americani oggi ?...)
Barron's, il settimanale finanziario più importante in lingua inglese, ha messo in copertina un ^inchiesta durissima sui conti di General Electric#http://online.barrons.com/article_print/SB113538493672231014.html^, ^GE#^, la multinazionale con più fatturato e dipendenti d'America sotto il leggendario Jack Welch mostrando che ha per cinque anni inflazionato gli utili riducendo i contributi aziendali al fondo pensioni fino al punto che aveva un deficit teorico del 70%. L'ammontare sarebbe di NOVE MILIARDI DI DOLLARI.
CNBC il canale finanziario di cui General Electric è padrona (Nota Bene....) ha intervistato ora l'autore dell'articolo che ha detto in sostanza che hanno truccato i conti sfruttando le ambiguità e complicazioni della contabilità delle assicurazioni e ha suggerito papale papale che ha truccato i conti in modo illegale
Sarebbe come se il Corriere attaccasse Tronchetti o Corrado Passera di Banca Intesa o Cesare Geronzi di Banca di Roma/Capitalia in prima pagina suggerendo che hanno truccato i bilanci per un miliardo di euro.
E Sarebbe come se l'autore dell'inchiesta comparisse sulla rete TV La7 di cui Telecom italia è proprietaria e sulle altre reti TV a ripetere che hanno probabilmente truccato i conti (sarebbe più probabile un invasione di cavallette della pianura padana)
(per Passera ci sarebbe forse da fare qualche inchiesta sulla contabilità delle Poste "risanate" che ha usato come trampolino di lancio per arrivare a Banca Intesa, per Geronzi..... Tronchetti è solo un esempio)
La questione contabile è un attimo complicata perchè riguarda il business finanziario di ^GE#^, è qui sotto per chi la vuole leggere, ma anche se non risulta che siano cose perseguibili è servito a riportare l'attenzione sulle manipolazioni della contabilità complicatissima nei business finanzari
Jack's Magic -- Part II
UNDER-RESERVING WAS INDEED an industry-wide phenomenon during this period. But the scale of ERC's deficiencies is epic. Was the unit blind-sided or was it straining to deliver the double-digit earnings growth Welch always expected? Was anything illegal done? That is unclear.
At the end of 2001, ERC had net property and casualty reserves of $12.3 billion. The $9.4 billion in eventual additions means there should have been 76% more there when Welch handed Immelt the executive-washroom keys. Compare ERC's reserve deficiency with that of its larger competitor Gen Re, owned by Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) since late 1998. Gen Re had its own underwriting woes in the late-'Nineties. It's taken a total reserve charge of $1.9 billion since 2001, principally linked to "the 1997 through 2000 accident years," Buffett ruefully noted in Berkshire Hathaway's 2004 annual report. Yet $1.9 billion is a mere 14% addition to the $13.6 billion in total net reserves that Gen Re carried in late 1998, the last reporting year before Gen Re was acquired by Berkshire.
ERC has long been part of GE Capital, a financial unit whose businesses included everything from equipment leasing and insurance to consumer and commercial finance. Under Welch, GE Capital delivered double-digit earnings gains, year in and year out, regardless of what was going on in the financial markets. At its peak in the 'Nineties, the unit was generating about 45% of GE's earnings.
To some observers, GE Capital was always something of a black box during its glory years. It sailed through the late 'Eighties-early 'Nineties' collapse in commercial real estate with nary a scratch, despite having to foreclose on a number of properties. The story was much the same for its onetime huge leveraged-buyout loan portfolio. The collapse of Montgomery Ward in 2000 caused not a hiccup in GE Capital's earnings, even though it had loaned hundreds of millions of dollars to the retailer. And GE Capital, a major aircraft lessor, has flown unscathed through the airline industry's crisis. Nonrecurring capital gains from GE Capital's insurance and equity portfolios always seemed to make up for any tough quarter.
Analysts covering GE, mostly manufacturing geeks, didn't delve deeply into GE Capital, even though it was the top contributor to its parent's earnings, because it was outside their sphere of expertise.
To his credit, Immelt appears to have somewhat reined in the free-wheeling culture at GE Capital, which he's restructuring. Since becoming GE's leader, he has been dumping GE Capital's insurance operations, including bond insurer FIGIC, its Japanese life insurer and a U.S. auto insurer, and is sharply reducing its interest in Genworth, a mortgage-guarantee and life-insurance outfit. After selling Insurance Solutions, GE will be all but out of the risky reinsurance game. Immelt also has improved transparency at GE Capital by breaking it into several separately reporting units.
Immelt was dealt a weak hand when he took over. He had to contend with the global economic slump, heavy claims losses from 9/11, collapsing profitability in the plastics market, plummeting demand for power systems and a vicious aircraft-sale downcycle. Immelt has handled these problems while pouring cash into Insurance Solutions' reserves and restructuring GE Capital. Earnings in 2002, 2003 and 2004 rose only 2.9%, 7.1% and 6.6%, respectively -- numbers Welch would sneer at. Yet GE seems to be regaining its mojo.
This year, it probably made $1.72 a share, 6.8% above 2004's figure. But Immelt has forecast 12%-17% 2006 earnings growth from continuing operations, which would produce earnings of $1.92 to $2.02 a share. (The Street's consensus estimate is $1.98.) The '06 figures exclude Genworth and Insurance Solutions, as discontinued operations.
For Welch, the disclosure of the under-reserving is the latest blow in a retirement marked by a lucrative second career as a speaker, consultant and writer, along with some unflattering revelations.
First, there was a nasty divorce from his second wife, Jane Welch, incensed by his affair with Suzy Wetlaufer, then the Harvard Business Review's editor and now Mrs. Welch No. 3. Divorce papers disclosed the gold-plated contract Welch got from GE in the mid-'Nineties, which granted him lifetime perks, including free use of an $80,000-a-month New York apartment and a corporate Boeing 737, reimbursement for restaurant meals, access to GE seats at sporting events, and payment for country-club and security fees.
Welch quickly renounced the package, which seemed excessive for someone whose employment at GE already had vaulted him into Forbes' 2001 list of the 400 richest Americans, with an estimated net worth of $680 million, in part helped by the sterling performance of GE stock in his last years at the helm (see chart).
Welch is still a totemic figure in Corporate America. On Wall Street, he remains Jumpin' Jack Flash, as one analyst admiringly dubbed him, for his cheerleader verve, canny management insights and star power. But, like many stars, his celebrity seems to have depended as much on appearances as performance. Without the ERC smoke machine, GE's 1997-2001 numbers would have been far less lustrous.
Still, he's likely to remain a legend, though now in more senses of that word than before.......