The relentless focus on quarterly results in Corporate America is a distortion driven by Wall Street’s expectations game and nearly everyone is compelled to participate for the sake of their own take-home compensation.
This goes a long way toward explaining the dearth of daring in the economy these days and the preference for “easy” financial engineering (buybacks, dividend hikes) versus the harder work of strategic spending, hiring and expansion.
At some point, the pendulum swings back the other way. Let’s hope it’s this year. Unless you think trillions of corporate dollars parked overseas, seeking to avoid both risk and taxation, is in any way productive for anyone.