FORTUNE -- Earlier this week, I wrote an article saying Wal-Mart could afford to significantly increase what it pays its employees.
My basic argument: Wal-Mart, like all companies, has to split up the money it generates between investors, lenders, and workers. And when you take a look at where shares of Wal-Mart (WMT) are trading, it seems to imply that the company could pay its workers more, and investors less, without upsetting Wall Street. So what's holding management back?
Bloomberg writer Matt Levine said not only that my argument was wrong, but "with a pristine Euclidean wrongness unusual in financial commentary." So, basically, he was impressed. Levine and I took to Twitter to hash out our views on the issue. I think I won out. But you decide for yourself.
(Note: Two of the tweets are out of order. Once we got going, replying to each other's tweets, our debate at one point broke into two conversations. I put those two tweets in the order that I thought made sense in the context of the larger conversation.)
The world's largest retailer is under fire for its low wages. But the numbers show it can easily pay more without tanking its stock.
FORTUNE -- When a Wal-Mart executive boasted at a Goldman Sachs investor conference in September that 475,000 of the company's U.S. store associates make more than $25,000 -- meaning that a large portion of its 1.4 million workers in the U.S. make less -- a long-simmering debate MOREStephen Gandel, senior editor - Nov 12, 2013 10:27 AM ET
Mike Novogratz, principal of the asset management firm Fortress Investment Group, thinks CEOs need to have a "moral revolution."
By Lauren Silva Laughlin
FORTUNE -- Mike Novogratz and the other principals of hedge fund Fortress Investment Group (FIG) became instant billionaires when the company went public in 2007. Like many other uber-rich on Wall Street, their wealth, some of it created by loose monetary policy, has become the target of criticism from politicians MORESep 27, 2013 9:13 AM ET
Critics of Obama's minimum wage hike say it will make it harder for employers to hire. Not too long ago, some of the biggest employers actually supported higher wages.
FORTUNE – In Tuesday's State of the Union address, President Obama promised (again) to raise the federal minimum wage to $9 from $7.25, which would boost pay for the nation's cashiers, janitors, and other low-wage workers.
Judging by failed efforts in the past, MORENin-Hai Tseng, Writer - Feb 14, 2013 11:06 AM ET
Wall Street's marquee investment bank is having a hard time finding an untainted board director.
By Beth Kowitt, writer
FORTUNE – In times like these, companies might need a scorecard to keep track of the alleged misdeeds and missteps of those at the top. Take, for example, an especially problematic seat on the Goldman Sachs (GS) board. On March 19, 2010, Goldman put out a press release announcing the nomination of MOREMay 25, 2012 5:00 AM ET
America's biggest companies smashed records for earnings in 2011. Too bad the party can't last.
FORTUNE -- Given the sluggish recovery and a strapped consumer, you'd expect to see corporate America trudging along, not racing for glory. In fact, the Fortune 500 are thriving as a group. Unlike the U.S. economy, they've shown quicksilver agility, rapidly shifting their product mix and producing more goods at little new cost. This nimbleness belies MOREShawn Tully, senior editor-at-large - May 7, 2012 12:00 PM ET
It may be tempting in certain foreign markets to float a little money to key players in order to get business, but studies show it often doesn't pay off in the long run -- even if you don't get caught.
FORTUNE – This week, a spate of U.S. companies have been accused of unscrupulously bribing their way into foreign markets. Adding to Wal-Mart's debacle in Mexico, the Securities and Exchange Commission MORENin-Hai Tseng, Writer - Apr 26, 2012 11:43 AM ET
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has generally not been used to catch top executives. That might be changing.
FORTUNE -- No top executive of a major U.S. company has ever been charged in connection with U.S.'s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act bribery law. Wal-Mart's (WMT) CEO Michael Duke could be the first.
Lawyers and FCPA experts say that Duke and other top Wal-Mart officials may have violated the law when they allegedly signed MOREStephen Gandel, senior editor - Apr 23, 2012 6:52 PM ET
Amazon.com is a retail powerhouse. But why are investors so enamored with its shares as it continues to produce disappointing profit growth?
FORTUNE -- Ah, Wall Street. You're always surprising us, aren't you? When Amazon.com reported earnings on Monday, you did the opposite of what we might expect. The online retailer's profits were down -- below expectations, even -- and yet you decided that the appropriate response was to bid up MOREDuff McDonald, Contributing Editor - Apr 28, 2011 2:53 PM ET
Peet's is one of the best-positioned small-cap growth names in the restaurants and coffee space. It's an opportunity Starbucks shouldn't miss.
By Howard Penney, Hedgeye
Devotees of Peet's Coffee and Tea may cringe to hear this, but Starbucks should take a good look at the chain's potential as an acquisition. The surge in coffee prices is an overhang, but not a deal-breaker to Peet's growth story. Any commodity concern-induced dips in the share price MOREFeb 23, 2011 2:37 PM ET
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