Monday, September 15, 2008

Who was it that called Bush's the CEO presidency

I guess maybe they were right.

The Bush is as big a failure as Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and AIG.

Having worked, and done work for dozens of corporations I always feel ill at ease when anyone suggests that the government should be run like a corporation.

With the news about Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers today, it seems obvious that maybe the government ought not be considered a business, or be run like one.

And it should serve as a warning to anyone stupid enough to suggest that Social Security ought to be privatized (John McCain). Imagine where we'd be today if the entire Social Security account were tied to the performance of companies like Merrill and Lehman.

I'm not an economist, and I don't pretend to understand all the complexities of modern finance, but I think I'm smart enough to ask some simple questions about a frustratingly complex system.

Is the modern corporation too complex to be led by a single individual or CEO? Is the single-leader CEO a model too antiquated for companies as large and complex as today's companies?

Should complex, high-risk, high-return, high-loss, extra-regulatory financial schemes be allowed (hedge funds, mortgage bundling, derivative products) without regulation? And if they are, should taxpayers be required to bail them out?

Should executive bonuses be put into escrow for 10 years to determine if the high-risk behaviors of companies have put the fundamental soundness of companies at risk?

No comments: