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Yahoo Shows How The Wall Street System Is Broken

Leaving aside whether or not the potential Microsoft takeover of Yahoo is a good idea (strategically), I’m surprised the whole idea hasn’t caused more analysis on how Wall Street works (or doesn’t). The fact is, Microsoft’s first offer back in January was a 62% premium on the market valuation of Yahoo. It only went up from there, but Yahoo never took the offer.

Juxtapose that fact with another fact that according to Wall Street / business schools / the financial system, corporations are expected to maximize shareholder value, and we have a problem with the current example. Even if Yahoo is able to create enough value at some point in the future to meet the value offered by Microsoft in January, it would not be enough. This is because of the “time value of money” concept that Wall Street loves. Without diving into detailed examples, let’s just say that one dollar today is worth more than one dollar at some point in the future.

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