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Showing posts with label Dow Citigroup TRV CSCO Cisco Systems stock prices. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dow Citigroup TRV CSCO Cisco Systems stock prices. Show all posts

June 10, 2009

Another reason private equity is better than public money

Do you remember those economic books in the Nineties raising the alarm that the economy was not being calculated correctly because economists were still measuring carbon paper for typewriters and not paying attention to computer chips or the Internet?
I think the Dow is still caught up in that time warp.

Consider this. The Dow board decided that Travelers Companies Inc. (TRV) and Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) should get included in the Dow - only this month. As for GM and Citigroup, they have finally been given the heave-ho out of the index. GM has been part of the index since 1925 but after declaring bankruptcy this week, it would be shocking to say the least, for it to maintain its status within the index. Citigroup was also removed and quite right too, with its US government stake in the company. Why did it take so long?
Everyone knows the Dow as the oldest and most quoted index when it comes to financial markets. You may have also heard that the index is a weighted average of stock prices of its 30 components. What is not well known however are the criteria for selecting the component stocks that go into the index. As a matter of fact, I have no idea what the exact criteria are and would love to learn (if you do know can you email me?). We do know that the Dow Jones editorial board makes the final decision on which components to select.
Here's what really bothers me. This is why I question the public markets. When you consider the immense power that this editorial board has by making such a selection, it makes me wonder just how good a reflection of the true economy lies in the Dow and why it's still such an important barometer for the general public. More importantly, could there be any conflicts of interest in the selection process?