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1) If Enron had paid dividends(and taxes, and salaries) it would have been moere difficult to get into this mess as it would have had a cash flow crises a while back.2) All financial numbers are subject to maniplation including dividends.Currently earnings and revenues are more subject to manipulation than any other. With dividends you atleast have proof positive that they exist and the the company can issue checks that are honored.3) If a business is really that good it should be able to produce more profit than it can reinvest. The excess profit can go to dividends, stupid projects, the cult leader CEO. Which would you prefer?4) When MSFT was a smallish company sure reinvesting in MSFT made sense. Windows is a mature product, Office is more or less mature, MSFT has a choice spend the excess profits on silly adventures (Xbox?), salaries or dividends. 5) "I feel that there is a widespread irrational desire for dividends."Nah!!! Most investors look down their noses at dividends, growth is still the false god of this market. 6) I feel that there is a widespread irrational desire for tax avoidance. I suggest you worry about making money, taxes are a minor consideration.7) Stock buybacks are mostly used to justify CEO pay packages and bailout large investors that want to exit their stock positions. I tend to be a buy and hold type. Buybacks do little for me.8) "Excess cash should be returned to shareholders as a dividend if theshare price is overvalued."Why should the CEO of a restaurant chain be charged with determining value? I doubt most of them can. They should do what they do best, invest in their #@$% restaurant chain and return anything they cannot invest effectively to the shareholders.Shareholders can simply buy shares with their dividends, if the shares are indeed overvalued.9) "avoid additional taxes?" avoiding taxes is not the same thing as making money.
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