This is the time of year when a lot of corporate managers spend a lot of money publishing annual reports with full-color, high-glitz covers.
So here's a quiz.
Which corporation featured:
(a) a tiger superimposed on a computer-processed picture of the entire Western Hemisphere;
(b) a doctor treating sick kids at a refugee camp in Thailand;
(c) a billboard with the cry "Buvez-Drink";
(d) a pretty model wearing a stunning white jacket;
(e) a flying red horse;
(f) a mommy rabbit and four bunnies plus a butterfly and three daffodils;
(g) a no-nonsense unglossy black-and-white statement.
If you answers were (a) Exxon, (b) Bristol-Myers Squibb, (c) Coca-Cola, (d) DuPont, (e) Mobil, (f) PepsiCo and (g) Bell Atlantic, you win the Salmagundi Wall Street Watchers Award.
Bell Atlantic won our Making a Virtue of Austerity Prize after a year in which its share prices took a licking; PepsiCo got Good Fun Honors, and BMS scored high in the Corporate Good Guys category.
Each report assured stockholders that management was astutely dealing with the recession and was marching earnestly toward bigger and better performance. Per-copy costs of the reports went unreported.