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The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week: Nov. 30

2. Mason's Dilemma

Andrew Mason would fire Andrew Mason if Andrew Mason thought Andrew Mason was the wrong person for the job.

How do we know that for sure?

Because Andrew Mason told us of course!

Groupon's (GRPN - Get Report) CEO spent some time talking about his favorite subject -- himself -- at a Business Insider conference in New York this week. In response to rumblings that the company's directors would be discussing his performance during a regularly scheduled board meeting, Mason replied that it would be "weird" if they did not.

"It would be more noteworthy if the board wasn't discussing whether I'm the right guy for the job," said Mason. "If I ever thought I wasn't the right guy for the job, I'd be the first person to fire myself."

That's fair. But it also got us thinking about what it would take for Groupon's founder to sign his own pink slip.

Clearly it's not the stock's performance. Groupon stock has lost 85% of its value since the company went public at $20 last November. Heck, the stock traded as low as $2.60 earlier this month and Andrew still didn't say farewell. Nope, it can't be the stock.

Nor can it be his ability to generate earnings or meet Wall Street estimates. Groupon reported a net loss of $2.98 million in the third quarter. Sales rose 32% to $568.6 million, missing the $591 million average analyst estimate. Operating cash flow decreased 35% year over year to $42.1 million. Meanwhile, all-important international revenue fell 10% from the second quarter. So it can't be the earnings, sales or cash flow that would cause Andrew to oust Andrew either.

Could it be an accounting restatement? Losing Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz as a board member? Getting blitzed at a town-hall style company gathering and telling his troops, "Sorry, too much beer?"

Nope. Nope. And (burp) nope. Mason did all those dirty deeds as well and still kept himself employed.

Oh brother, what a brainbuster! We are at a total loss. Too bad there is only one man who can solve this puzzle.

Guess who?
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