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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Jonah Marshall, Don't Josh With Us

OK, he has other things on his mind. And the intro to his piece which opens "Sometimes, Seriously, Sometimes" is an amusing bit on how some Bush officials want to blame corporate misconduct on Clinton, which we have covered. But Marshall lets himself get dragged into a Fortune article about "The 25 Greediest SOBs in America", or some such. Let's see what happens:

"Fortune has just released its "Greedy Bunch," its list of the 25 greediest CEOs. That's an admittedly subjective category. And the methodology Fortune chose is a touch complicated. But the essence of it is a measure of who cashed out the most while their stockholders were losing the most."

I smell trouble. "Highly compensated" does not equal greedy, as Derek Jeter and Steven Spielberg remind us. And a low current stock price may simply be a reflection of the poor current market, rather than an indicator of incompetent or corrupt management. WARNING, Josh, WARNING! But let us see how he proceeds.

"I did a quick bit of research through the campaign filing data. And out of that 25 I came up with 10 who were Bush campaign contributors..."

Oh, man, a bunch of people who may or may not be greedy, some of whom gave to Bush. I want to wave you off, Mr. Marshall. Are you going to name any names?

"Two of the Bush donors on the cash-out-derby list are also participating in Tuesday's Economic Forum in Waco, Texas. In fact, number 11 on the list, Charles Schwab, is the keynote speaker at the panel on Small Investors & Retirement Security."

And there it is. The first CEO Marshall actually mentions is Charles Schwab, of, by what must seem a wild coincidence, the Charles Schwab Corporation, a pioneer in discount stock brokerage. Now, Marshall, or Fortune, or someone may be about to tell me that Charles Schwab, who founded his company in the 80's, is in some way comparable to the get rich quick scam artists who looted Enron. But this is too silly to discuss. Schwab & Co. has been around for several decades, the founder is still with it, and, as for all Wall St. / financial services firms, the current market environment is difficult. I give this a full "Humbug!"

Marshall has some interesting points about the summit and some spending cuts proposed by Bush after this little debacle, but I am too peeved to notice. The closing of the right-wing mind - you saw it here, live.

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