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May 07, 2003
Blogging Around

Sometimes I don't know why I bother to blog at all. I should just post a link every day that says, "go read Avedon Carol.

On the other hand, John Duffy has a life and he's going to go pay attention to it for a while. I don't know what the "manuscript" is that's removing him from the World O'Blogs for months on end, but I hope it's for a book, or at least a dissertation, and that I'll get to read it. I also hope, selfishly and not with his best interests at heart I realize, that the lure of blogging is too much for him and that he comes back very soon. In the meantime, he leaves us with a pretty good list of Better Rhetors to contemplate.

Kevin Drum, over at CalPundit thinks CEOs should have to work for a living. Kevin doesn't seem to understand the concept of being in charge. Being in charge means more money and less responsibility. Kevin should take a look at the White House for an example of how this works.

He's right about the article on Buffet. Read it. And read some opinions on the same subject, including a dissenting one.

The latest cover stories indicate why. It's true that many corporate CEOs continue to glean high salaries, bonuses and stock awards and options even though their firms' stock prices have been declining. But why should that be surprising? When the economic wind is at your back, it's easier to make lots of money. In tough times, businesses need great managers more than ever. How to attract them? The same way that sports teams attract them. With high compensation. It's not very complicated.
The core weakness in this argument seems to me to be the one that everyone smells but no one wants to mention in public. CEOs and executives who have a huge stake in a corporation doing brilliantly in the short-term, so they can make a killing on their stock, aren't the best people to put in charge of a corporation's long-term health.

These guys are treated like star pitchers. Bring them on, pay them a mint to win a few crucial battles, then replace them with someone else in a month. They should be treated like Volvos. Get one, pay a little extra for the maintenance, and expect the darned thing to keep on producing at top level for fifteen years.

Free agency went a long way toward destroying "team spirit" in baseball and it's doing the same thing to corporations. (And that's my last shot at a metaphor for a long time.)


Following Up On the News

Looks like I spoke too fast on the subject of Mitch Daniels, Bush's Budget Director deserting before the economic ship sank leaving to run for public office. Buzzflash says Daniels was about to get hit with an insider trading investigation.

And the smell hanging around Halliburton just won't go away.

Halliburton Co. is under fire for doing business in countries the US has identified as "sponsors of terrorism."
I'm just saying, okay? Halliburton, while manifestly an example of How Not To Run A Responsible Corporation is not alone in having done business with the USofA's "enemies" and it's always a mystery to me how these stories get pinched down this way.

Hey! Hey! Looks like even the measly $350 billion budget-busting tax plan might be in trouble.

If every company on the list of those working with Iraq since the imposition of sanctions was hitting the news, then the good citizens of this country might get a grasp on just how huge this problem is, but nooo, we have to obsess over one corporation. (Is this because the press sees Halliburton as vulnerable, or because the Cheney connection makes better headlines? If the latter, then why didn't the Bush/Enron story play bigger?)

The Taliban is back! and they're hoping Bush still doesn't care about Afghanistan.

And there's more on the "black prom and white prom" story.

I feel eyes on the back of my neck. Maybe I should be working.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:02 AM


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