So my last post was on Sir Allen and the defenselessness of investors against his attempts to wile away their fortunes.
Now we turn to flower of a different color. One with a substantially better reputation, Apple. Though perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to separate the two.
Here is a chart of Apple’s stock return along with dividends
You can see that the last time Apple wrote a check to its investors was in the mid 1990s. Meanwhile you can tell by the share price and the volume (lower bars) that most of the money “invested” in Apple has occurred well after that.
But surely Apple is producing a product and making profit much, different than what Stanford did. Well where is that profit going?
Much of it is going into a War Chest that is earning largely negative interest rates.
Its clear why Apple Executives might want to build up a fund to be able to battle it out with Google as long as possible. Its not clear why that is to the benefit of current shareholders.
Lets see what else Apple Executive saw fit to spend shareholder money on:
Here are Apple Headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA
Nice digs. But apparently not nice enough. Apple wants a new facility. One fit for the Masters of the Technological Universe.
Here are so renderings of the proposed new building
And a cross section
How about the champion of the new Apple, Steve Jobs. Here is the home that Jobs demolished to make way for his new home
I don’t have pictures of Job’s new home or his new yacht. But I know the later is being designed by Phillipe Starck. One of Starck’s creations is below
None of this is to say that Job’s is a bad man or that Apple hasn’t done wonderful things. Instead its to compare this level of consumption with the payout to Apple shareholders.
Let’s add up how much of the iMac, iPod, iPhone, MacBook and iPad profts have been paid out to the owners of Apple. Well lets think. . . oh yes I have it now, ZERO DOLLARS! Not one single penny.
So far is this really different from what Allen Stanford did? I hear some of his investors actually got redemptions. But, I am sure Apple investors will get their money some day, right.
I mean how many pioneers who dominate their industry in a world class way ever go on to not pay back their shareholders.