The Covid-19 pandemic is revealing latent weaknesses at large, well-established companies who may now require state support. This report argues that those weaknesses pre-date the current pandemic and are a consequence of excesses in the non-financial corporate sector during the post-2008 economy. Those excesses include: i) historically high levels of dividends and buybacks which, in many cases, exceeded earnings and hollowed out reserves ii) the growth of low-prime debt, which risks being downgraded to junk in the current crisis and iii) a build-up of ‘fair valued’ assets, often intangible assets such as goodwill, which are vulnerable to write downs that could push firms into negative shareholder equity.
|Series||Report. Centre for Research on Accounting and Finance in Context (CRAFiC)|
- Share buybacks
- Creative accounting
- Corporate collapse