A Tale of Two Shoes: Another Battle in the War Against Working People

Much to their dismay, publicly traded corporations are required to report on their financial performance to the federal government. The people who run these corporations bitterly object, insisting that they are good guys and would never mislead anyone about their operations and that really, it’s no one’s business – really, not even people who own stock in their companies, who should just trust them.

When we all know you should never trust a guy who says “Trust me.”

The first shoe:

On April 22, Beneficial Bancorp, the largest bank corporation based in Philadelphia, reported its financial performance for the first quarter of 2016.

Among the highlights:

  • Net income rose seven percent ($2.1 million).
  • Net interest margin was up over the previous quarter and up over the same quarter of 2015.
  • Net charge-offs were down.
  • Deposits rose two percent, to $2.87 billion.
  • The bank repurchased more than six million of its own shares.

Not too shabby, huh?

The company’s president certainly thought so: “We are pleased with our performance during the quarter,” declared Gerard Cuddy, Beneficial Bancorp’s president and CEO. “We are excited to have completed our acquisition of Conestoga Bank on April 14, 2016. We believe the acquisition, which will increase our total assets to approximately $5.5 billion, will provide even greater strength, size and stability for our customers, employees, shareholders and the communities we serve.”

Okay, maybe not all of those employees.

The other shoe:

Kicked to the curb.

Kicked to the curb.

CEO Cuddy is pleased with his company’s performance but apparently not pleased enough because the very same day Beneficial Bancorp announced its financial results for the first quarter of 2016 it also announced Cuddy would usher 11 percent of those employees to the door before the end of the second quarter of 2016.

“It is painful. It is the worst,” CEO Cuddy said. For some reason, he seemed to think that the bank not having laid off people in recent years justified doing so now.

Wall Street, of course, loved it: the value of Beneficial Bancorp’s stock immediately rose.

It was a business decision and my personal benefit wasn't a consideration at all.

“It is painful.  It is the worst.”

The Curmudgeon wishes there was a third shoe, because he knows exactly where he’d like to stick it.

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