NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The dumbest thing Timothy D. Cook has done as Apple (AAPL) CEO is listen to other people, particularly the toxic peanut gallery of Wall Street analysts, self-interested and egomaniacal billionaires, financial media hacks and a misguided segment of tortured rank-and-file shareholders.
First, Apple should have never done a dividend or buyback. I was against the idea from the beginning. Not because, in and of itself, it's a bad idea, but because, from a theoretical standpoint, it's the type of thing that contributes to the erosion of the culture that made Apple great.
We don't respect that culture enough as Apple's primary catalyst; as such, "we" take it too lightly and do things to crush it. Tim Cook, the leader of "we," deserves the blame.
If you need earlier proof of where I stood (and stand) on this, consider a Seeking Alpha piece I wrote in March of 2012:
... It's about the slow and methodical, yet unintentional dismantling of a culture and a company that everybody agrees Jobs built, using a unique brilliance, not an all-too-common, by-the-book style.
To argue that Tim Cook "put his stamp" on Apple by going with the dividend and buy back is patently absurd. This is hardly original. Cook put everybody's mark but his own on the company with this move. It's even more frightening to think that Cook might actually agree with the crowd that he followed.
Cook answered to David Einhorn and Carl Icahn. These guys might act like they lost or didn't get exactly what they wanted, but that's crap. They have such large positions on an underperforming stock that all they sought was a way to pump their returns. These guys don't consider Apple conceptually because they don't care about AAPL. They care about their positions and making even more money.