Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Obamacare and the great Al Dunlap flim-flam

In case you haven't heard, the administration is going to inflate the number of Obamacare enrollees by counting applicants who placed health plans into a shopping cart but never checked out.  Because an intention to maybe buy something is as good as a sale!

Hmmm...I think I've heard this story before.  Back in the mid-1990s, Al Dunlap took over as the CEO of Sunbeam Corporation and, only a year into his tenure, Sunbeam reported record earnings.  It turns out that Dunlap was engaging in "channel stuffing" to make sales numbers look better temporarily.  Wikipedia explains the rest:
However, industry insiders were suspicious when they discovered certain seasonal items were being sold at higher volume than normal for the time of year. For instance, large numbers of barbecue grills were being sold during the fourth quarter. It turned out that Dunlap had been selling products to retailers at large discounts. The products were stored in third-party warehouses to be delivered later. This strategy, known as "bill and hold", is an accepted accounting practice as long as the sales are booked after delivery. However, Dunlap booked the sales immediately.
To recap: a bunch of products were being held in limbo, likely never to be sold, but the head honcho re-defined a "sale" to make his numbers look better.  The main difference is that Dunlap was brought up on charges by the government for fraud.

Extra - Me and Iowahawk, GMTA.

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