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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Mormon Stock Index 

I'm not sure that the Mormon Stock Index is really of any great value.

The Mormon Stock Index tries to measure the stock market performance of companies run by Mormon executives. More than 50 companies have been part of the index in its two year history, including more than 30 companies on the index today. Companies are included as long as they have a Mormon executive on their management team, and as long as the company's public stock market capitalization exceeds $100 million.

Note that they don't say "chairman" or "CEO" - they simply say executive.

Therefore, as of today, the following companies (which are not run by Mormons, but have a Mormon executive somewhere or another) are listed:
  • American Express Company - Gary Crittenden, CFO and Exec. VP

  • Diebold - Wesley B. Vance, COO

  • Dell Computer - Kevin B. Rollins, Vice Chairman

By that same token, my department at work can be considered a "Mormon department" because there's a Mormon in the department. Or it could be a Roman Catholic department. Or a Lutheran department. Or a non-practicing Hindu department.

While we're on the topic, all of the rumors about the Mormons owning this or owning that company are, for the most part, bogus. I've heard American Express described as Mormon-owned, but it turns out that the most Mormon thing about American Express is the religious practices of its CFO.

It turns out that the Mormons do own some businesses, but not Coca Cola or anything like that. Welcome to Deseret Management Corporation:

Deseret Management Corporation (DMC) is a for-profit business holding company affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Church). DMC oversees the commercial companies affiliated with the Church, including Beneficial Financial Group, Bonneville International Corporation, Deseret Book Company, Deseret Morning News, Hawaii Reserves Inc., Temple Square Hospitality Corporation, and Zions Securities Corporation.

Let's take a quick look at Bonneville:

The company owns and operates radio stations in Chicago (WTMX-FM, WILV-FM, WDRV-FM/WWDV-FM); San Francisco (KOIT-FM/AM, KDFC-FM, KZBR-FM); Washington D.C. (WTOP AM/FM, WGMS-FM, WWZZ-FM, WWVZ-FM, WXTR-AM, WFED-FM); St. Louis (WIL-FM/AM, WVRV-FM, WARH-FM); Phoenix (KTAR-AM, KMVP-AM, KPKX-FM); Idaho Falls/Blackfoot/Pocatello (KBLI-AM, KCVI-FM, KFTZ-FM, KLCE-FM, KSSL-AM, KSLJ-AM, KTHK-FM); St. George/Cedar City (KDXU-AM, KREC-FM, KSNN-FM, KUNF-AM) and Salt Lake City (KSL-AM/FM, KRSP-FM, KSFI-FM, KUTR-AM); plus KSL-TV in Salt Lake City, Bonneville Communications, Bonneville Satellite Company, and Bonneville Interactive Services.

As for Coca Cola:

The Coca-Cola Company is far too sizeable a business entity for any one person or group to own, even if that group were Bill Gates and Kerry Packer. Big Red is a publicly traded company (New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol KO), with 15% of the shares held by insiders (former and current executives plus the families of those who built up the company) and 9% by SunTrust Bank. The remaining 76% of the company is owned by various and sundry institutional and individual investors, some of whom may indeed be Mormon.

Coca-Cola's largest individual shareholder is Berkshire Hathaway, a company run by Omaha, Nebraska, stock-picking guru Warren Buffett. Berkshire Hathaway holds 200 million shares, or 8% of the company, a stake valued at $11 billion. Atlanta's Emory University has Coca-Cola holdings amounting to $3 billion, making it one of the richest universities in the U.S.A.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

I always wondered about that Mormons & Coca Cola urban legend, so thanks for clearing it up!

What is the purpose of the Mormon Stock Index anyway? Is it some sort of competition? Do these guys lose universes in their afterlife if they don't "perform" up to quota or make a certain profit?

Mormons have strange practices, IMHO.
I spent 7 years in the stock industry and never knew there was a Mormon Stock Index. Fascinating.
I've haven't researched to see who put it out. Frankly, I'm the person who wonders about Christian business directories (I think they send the wrong message to unbelievers).
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