What does the CAC40 really stand for?


I've been thinking about the stock exchange issue for quite a while now and wanted to share my thoughts on how certain composites were put together.

Let me explain. Some time ago, one late evening, after having closed my laptop, I was zapping on the TV and landed upon an interesting documentary about the CAC40.
I learned to my bewilderness that the CAC40 does not technically reflect the actual 40 largest corporations listed on the French stock exchange.

Apparently some kind of college (a bunch a highly selected and very knowledgeable individuals) come together a couple of times a year to debate about the values of the stocks and then decide whether the list should be adapted. Nothing to it would you say but my first question was: to which extent is this actually biased?
Fortunately, the interviewer had the same reflex and that's where I fell from the addict to the cellar (typical French or maybe Belgian quote: je suis tombé du grenier à la cave) when I heard that certain stocks could be ranked 47th but still be part of the CAC40. Moreover such corrections do not happend on a monthly basis, if you see what I mean.

The reason for such a process is that it apparently would be too difficult to adjust in real time. The person interviewed said that it would be a hassle to adapt it to quickly and I agree on this as we all know how those markets can move on a whim. But surely, in an age of more symetric information, I do believe that such processes should actually be adapted or at least reviewed.

It's often the same issue with Web Analytics. You report on some huge problem but by the time that it actually gets fixed, you can sit back, relax and hope that your client will move soon on the issue. It can sometimes take months.
And I'm not even talking about the fact that you should link the reportings to the processes in order to assure that you get the real picture.
I've got a couple of friends who are specialists in BPR – Business Process Reengineering, a mouthful – and the feeling I have is that Web Analytics – which is not only about measuring the success of your public website or your Intranet – should be used for any application that renders any kinds of logs. Then, this information should be put into the perspective of BPR in order to define more productive ways of working.

Businesses are moving, linking the online or the benefits of those technologies to their actual business models. I regularly see processes that went typical from print towards the website to now move in the opposite direction: your CMS (or what you want to call it, ERP of Marketing) centralises for other channels and pushes information according to needs.
A CMS can easily deliver content in Quark Express if needed. At least, ours does. We also integrate directly the CMS to WebTrends for example.
All is done in order to assure that human resources are used in the most productive way, which is not a small issue here in Blegium. Wasn't that the promise Alan Greenspan made when he didn't acknowledge the "irrational exhuberance"?
That's where we are today for me: productivity can be increased if the CEO is not afraid of thinking out-of-the-box and putting into question the way business is done today, in order to assure the future.

But then again, those CEOs are hiered and fired by those that hold the stocks. Why then take risks? funny conundrum.
Anyhow, it might be time that stock exchanges also adapt their processes in order to assure that the listed stocks actually reflect their position, instead of continuously bidding on one another.


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