Re: Don't they have accountants in Japan?
I agree with your take on the pressure exerted on companies by the financials and stock exchange. I recently had a student from a big international IT firm and he told me that it's completely insane. The company in question makes nice profits, but if the profits are not according to expectations, then all hell breaks lose.
To get the stock from dropping, measures are being taken, like randomly cutting personnel (which has proven to be a bad idea, they go about that differently now) and cost cutting taken to extremes (like revoking expenses for a conference which was already paid for). If you really think deeper on this, it almost becomes terrifying. Instead of just boringly delivering a good product and decent profits, companies are partially driven by the whims of the stock exchange and financial markets.
I think the move to go private by Dell has been a very good idea; why let yourself be vulnerable to all the stupidity, driving the current markets, and prevent yourself from just executing a longer term strategy?