When did things change from when a company's primary focus was their products and service to their stock prices? When did things change from a company being concerned about the value of their product or service to just the value of their company stock?
Boy, if this annoying as hell. Stocks are sluggish because of investor's "feelings"? What happened to customer's "feelings"? The only feelings companies are concerned about as it pertains to customers are the ones that cause them to pull their hard-earned money from their pockets and hand it over to these corporations. Why are corporations so enthralled with gouging the public of their money by stressing that their actions (i.e. lay-off, outsourcing their suppliers from off-shore, reducing quality while increasing prices) are due to increasing their profit while at the same time they artificially inflate the price of their stocks (i.e. Enron, Global Crossing, TYco, etc.) so as to make more money?
Where is all of this money going? It sure isn't going into the employee's pocket (those that are left behind after a lay-off tend to have more work dumped on them and no pay increase). The only time you actually hear about employee's pay is during any labor dispute. This is when corporations yell how the employees are distroying the corporation because they want so much money. I guess the corporation does not want anyone or anything to interfere with THIER ability to line their own pockets. All that extra money (profit) shouldn't be going to those who actually do somethign to earn that money, but to those that do absolutely nothing and add no value.
Did you ever notice that when lay-offs occur that only those that actually did something are the ones affected? You never hear about any executives being let go (well, at least let go WITHOUT this great multi-million dollar severence package). Imagine how many people you could keep and for how long if you got rid of the over-paid severence packages. But that's not acceptable to the corporate executives. Remember their rule...themselves first, then the company. And the employees are not even in the equation.
So, someone tell me....why should I care about investors? I'm not referring to institutional investors (i.e. your mututal funds, 401K's, etc.) but the individuals. How much clout do they actually exert on corporations? Or are they another phantom that the corporation puts out there so as to have a scapegoat to blame their own incompetance on? If a company puts out a good quality product or service, why should I care about its investors or its stock price? If the company's product or service is of good quality and the company is well managed, then the risk of the corporation folding are minimal or non-existent. Right?
So, I guess I just answered why a corporation's stock prices are more important then its product and services. Because the corporate executives can mask their incompetence at managing the corporation by inflating the stock price. People will not ask probing questions as long as the stock prices are going up. The corporate executives and board of directors don't want anyone asking questions about their competence to run the corporation. And as long as they don't have nayone asking probing questions or looking over their shoulders, they can pretty much spend as much time as they need to line their pockets and enhance their own careers.