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When Executives Hit the Links: Does Golf Affect Stock Prices?

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When the indoor putting green became a necessary accoutrement to the chief executive office, everyone assumed that the “golf or work?” conundrum had been answered with a resounding “both.” But, as the Times reported recently, there is no tenable substitute for well-manicured sand traps and tree-lined fairways, even when your hedge funds are collapsing.
Yesterday, the Bespoke Investment Group blog posted the recent scores and handicaps of five CEOs: Stanley O’Neal of Merrill Lynch, Richard Fuld of Lehman Brothers, James Cayne of Bear Stearns, John Mack of Morgan Stanley and Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs. The Dealbreaker question of the day: is there any correlation between a CEO’s golf game and that other hobby, making money? Here are the results:

CEOs Ranked by Handicap
1. Stanley O'Neal (9.9)
2. Richard Fuld (10.3)
3. James Cayne (15.9)
4. John Mack (17.0)
5. Lloyd Blankfein (32.1)
CEOs Ranked by Percent Change in Stock Price This Golf Season
1. Lloyd Blankfein (+6.9%)
2. Richard Fuld (+3.14%)
3. Stanley O'Neal (-1.3%)
4. James Cayne (-3.49%)
5. John Mack (-9.86%)
Lloyd Blankfein, by far the worst golfer of the bunch who, on a really good day shoots under 110, pushed Goldman stock up nearly 7% since April. This could mean several things: while other executives hit the links, Blankfein is holed up in the office; his short game is only strong in the financial sector; or he is confused about how golf is scored. You decide.