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Jim, thanks for the concise overview of the differences.
Probably the most important sentence is part of your summary:
"Using ROIC, it's difficult for a CEO to window-dress and hide the fact that his great returns are in essence being bought at the expense of an extra debt load."

You've convinced me (along with reading the Fool papers you mention) to convert to ROIC as time permits.

That "extra debt load" I contend is very late-90's thinking -- the use of LOTS of OPM (Other People's Money). The results of that philosophy remain to this day in the former high-flyers of 2000-2001. Most of them are now low-flyers. [i2, Ariba, and Commerce One come to mind.]

In the 00's, the trend is to traveling lighter, using IMW (Incoming Money Wisely). That should show up in higher ROIC's.

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