Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Sony Fesses Up, Slashes Its Dividend, Too

howard-stringerDividend cuts are like gigantic write-downs that swept through the corporate world last fall and early this winter: The first few seem like a big deal. But by the end of the run, no one raises an eyebrow.

So Sony’s (SNE) announcement that it will cut its dividend by a mere 15 percent is a real yawner. After all, Sir Howard Stringer’s company has already announced brutal results and a corporate shake-up in recent months. And the dividend cuts aren’t nearly as dramatic, as the ones, say, the New York Times (NYT) or CBS (CBS) have recently unveiled.

Just give it a few more months. At that point, the surprise will be companies that continue to offer any dividend at all.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work