Insight, foresight, and hindsight were on the Fool's menu this week. Help yourself to some of our best dishes; no tip required.
What You Should Know About Banker Bonuses
There's a new twist in the banker-bonus saga. In the coming weeks, big banks will report average per-employee total compensation for 2009. Brace yourself for the coming drama with a look at Fool writer Morgan Housel's roundup of previous compensation figures from Morgan Stanley
Morgan uses his past stints in investment banking and private equity to shed light on how compensation can be based on factors outside bankers' control, like monetary policy and favorable regulations, rather than skill and hard work.
"That's what's infuriating about banker pay. It isn't that they're earning mountains of money. It's that they're earning mountains of money based on factors they had nothing to do with," writes Morgan. "The success of banking, more so than any other industry, is based on privilege rather than performance."
Avoid the Iceberg That Could Sink Your Portfolio
The iceberg that Motley Fool Stock Advisor analyst Nick Kapur sees is made not of ice, but of old people -- lots and lots of old people. OK, it's not that simple, but Nick has the stats to show that: "It seems the developed world is on a path to slow destruction … we've gotten too old too fast, and we're not willing to have enough babies to make up for it."
The key phrase there is "developed world." Nick points investors to parts of the world that look much like the U.S. did at the turn of the 20th century, including Brazil, Indonesia, and India.
"The U.S. and its developed brethren are not doomed by any means, but the world is changing, and if you have any interest in taking advantage of it, I seriously suggest you latch onto some of these larger-than-life trends," writes Nick. He points investors toward companies like Yum! Brands
The Real Losers in the Tiger Woods Scandal
Nick Kapur was working hard this week, looking for ways to profit from long-term trends (the iceberg mentioned above) and rebuking executives at companies that dumped Tiger Woods as "short-term, reactionary thinkers driven more by day-to-day public image concerns than long-term economic benefits."
General Motors, Procter & Gamble
Tiger's going to roar back onto the links someday, Nick reasons, and he'd buy shares if Tiger were a stock, because the golfer's been oversold. "He's a discounted and valuable economic asset that has serious long-term potential."
Make sure to check out the numerous comments on this article as well as the poll results. Readers take Tiger to task, and Nick, too. There's talk of business and morals and their intersection. The big winner in the poll was to let Tiger sit in time-out for a while.
PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, and Telkom Indonesia are Motley Fool Income Investor choices. Telkom Indonesia is also a Global Gains recommendation. Accenture is an Inside Value recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Telkom Indonesia and Procter & Gamble.