The Gathering Storm

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As I have endlessly pointed out for a very LONG time, big business has become corrupted.

Not all, but literally thousands of businesses (big and small) are filing amended SEC reports.

Whenever I tried to point out certain corporations Bush and those in his administration were connected with, or worked for or sat in management positions of, I got a lot of screeching about how "I" hated big business. I stated over and over that I did not hate big business, I hate corrupt big business.

Logic dictates you do not make a profit out of thin air, or as the cases have proven to be, out of smoke and mirrors.

Enron never had a product, they took over deregulated companies and became the middle man.

This is exactly what brought on regulation of critical industries in the first place.

If you can get a better price on a product by going directly to the producer, why would you purposely allow a "middle man" to come between you? The only advantage is to the middle man.

And when that middle man has bought up all of the competition, prices do not go down to benefit the consumer, prices are set to benefit those who have least earned it.

Not you, the consumer, paying with the money you work hard for, not the producer who takes on the cost of creating and making the product.

No, it is those who's only claim to big profits is their ability to manipulate and coerce the consumer and producer.

What set of ethics and standards are the middle man living by?

Are they YOUR standards and ethics?

I told you so.

The Gathering Storm

Robert Kuttner dismantles Bush's record on corporate ethics.

By Robert Kuttner

Web Exclusive: 7.11.02

Despite a tough-sounding speech, George W. Bush is suddenly vulnerable on the defining domestic issue of his presidency. The cascading corporate scandals are more than a temporary blow to investor confidence. They are a serious threat to American capitalism -- and Republican doctrine.

Bush is at risk of becoming a Cinderella president. Terrorist attacks elevated him from an untested pretender with no mandate into a popular commander in chief. Now a domestic economic crisis, eerily reminiscent of Bush's own dubious financial history, could turn him back into a bumpkin.

On issue after issue, Bush's grand strategist, Karl Rove, has sought to blur the differences between Bush and his political opponents -- to "take Democratic issues off the table," as Rove likes to say. Tuesday's New York speech tried to get Bush back ahead of the curve and position him as tough on corporate crime.

But this act will be much tougher to pull off. Real reform demands not just tougher penalties; it will require an ideological reversal of two decades of Republican theory and practice.

For, as even Bush tacitly admits, the remedy for the self-dealing, the accounting frauds, and the other conflicts of interest that are now placing the entire economy in jeopardy is government regulation -- something the Republicans have vilified since Ronald Reagan.

The entire system of self-regulation has collapsed. Free markets, it turns out, don't prevent brokers from peddling junk to unsuspecting investors while they enrich themselves or auditors from conspiring with executives to cook company books.

Market discipline doesn't stop insiders from selling shares they are promoting to the public even as the company is rotting from within or senior company officials from looting the pensions of workers or CEOs from scheming to pump up stock so they can cash in options. Only regulation can change these perverse incentives.

Moreover, the career of George Bush himself epitomizes the kind of self-dealing and insider enrichment that men like Ken Lay and Bernie Ebbers raised to new heights. Bush can tactically shift his current policies, but he can't erase his own record. Just as one corporation after another now faces close scrutiny of past dealings, so does Bush.

In the Harken affair, Bush served on the board of a company that falsely inflated its earnings -- a smaller-scale version of Enron or WorldCom. Only eight days before the Harken Energy Corp. was forced to disclose large losses, Bush, who was given the stock on very favorable terms for serving on the board and for "consulting," sold his stock for $848,560. Once the losses were made public, the stock plunged. It's highly improbable that Bush, an insider, was ignorant of the company's real finances when he dumped the stock.

Bush failed to file timely documents disclosing this insider trade.

When the SEC (in the regime of the elder George Bush) investigated and excused Bush of wrongdoing, the SEC's general counsel was one James Doty, who had been George W. Bush's lawyer when young Bush, fronting for a group of businessmen, bought the Texas Rangers baseball club. Imagine the Republican indignation if the Whitewater investigation had uncovered anything like this kind of misconduct on the part of Bill Clinton.

So Bush is credible neither personally nor in terms of the remedies he proposes. His proposal of prison time for corrupt executives is a phony.

The SEC already has the power to prosecute criminal fraud. All it takes is someone tougher than former lobbyist Harvey Pitt in charge. The real need is a total restructuring of corporate governance and tight regulatory prevention of conflicts of interest at all levels. It's the barrel that's rotten.

There is a Republican leader on this issue, but his name is John McCain. Senator McCain has called for Harvey Pitt's dismissal and has teamed up with leading Democrats to demand tougher reforms.

Other Republican legislators are defecting from the administration and rallying to Democratic proposals in a manner previously unknown in the Bush presidency. The Sarbanes bill, resisted by the White House, would toughen accounting standards and oversight. It cleared the Senate Banking Committee 17-4, with wide Republican support, and is headed for quick floor action.

Many Wall Street leaders, fearing an investor meltdown, are clamoring for even tougher regulation, including prohibitions on corporate insiders dumping shares while they are working for the company.

Bush can perhaps get away with slogans about leaving no child behind and pale imitations of liberal measures on prescription drugs and patients rights. But he can't effectively lead on this crucial issue because so much of what infects corporate America reads like an ideological and personal biography of George W. Bush.



-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), July 20, 2002

Answers

Try A Little Tenderness

Words and Music- Harry Woods Jimmy Campbell Reg Connelly, 1932

Verse 1

She may be weary, women do get weary

Wearing the same shabby dress.

And when she's weary,

try a little tenderness.

Verse 2

You know she's waiting, just anticipating

Things she may never possess.

While she's without them, try a little tenderness.

It's not just sentimental

She has her grief and cares.

And a word that's soft and gently

Makes it easier to bear.

Verse 3

You won't regret it, women don't forget it.

Love is their whole happiness.

It's all so easy, try a little tenderness.

-- (alms @ Cherri's shabby dress.com), July 20, 2002.


ďAs I have endlessly pointed out for a very LONG time, big business has become corrupted.Ē

Well Cherri, whoopdy fucking doo!!! How many tons of food stamp groceries did you shove down your pie hole figuring this out? We donít need a fat welfare ho to tell us the obvious, you stupid cunt.

Big business has ALWAYS been corrupted, to some degree.

How bout we talk about the corruption in our public assistance programs. That is an area where you really are an expert.

Dumb bitch.

-- Oink (oink@welfare.hog), July 20, 2002.


Shove it, Oink. Cherri has posted another excellent article by Robert Kuttner, properly placing the blame where it belongs. It was the Newt revolution which led to the disasterous de-regulation in the securities business, and the present administration is just acting tough for show. (Harvey Pitt, of whom Bush recently said that he put Pitt in to clean up the mess, started his tenure at the SEC by giving speeches promising "a kinder gentler SEC.")

-- Peter Errington (petere7@starpower.net), July 20, 2002.

Kiss it Errorton.

Donít you have a fact to fuck up?

Asswipe.

-- Oink (oink@welfare.hog), July 20, 2002.


Oink, I just gave you two facts, about the Newt revolution, and about Harvey Pitt when he became SEC Chairman.

Can you refute them?

Can you even comprehend them?

You sound like you have the brains of a Naderite. (Hint, because you probably need one, I do not mean that as a compliment.)

-- Peter Errington (petere7@starpower.net), July 20, 2002.



Oink = Roloboy @ hatemail

He's been going through withdrawal the last few days when the forum was down and he had no one to spew his hatred upon. With all that bottled up hatred building up inside him, he's likely to go overboard for a while.

-- lol (roloboy@stupid.conservo-niggah), July 20, 2002.


I thought it was odd that Rolo was absent the same time Oink was as well.

-- (maybe@a.coincidence), July 20, 2002.

Nope, it ain't no coincidence. Roloboy is definitely Oink the pigboy. He is so full of shit that it takes 2 assholes to spew it all out of. BWAAHAHAHAHAAA!!

-- (Roloboy@ignorant.badmouth.niggah), July 21, 2002.

Who you callin "pig", honkie fool?

-- (roland@hatemail.com), July 21, 2002.

I callin you pig, niggah! Wutcha gunna do, call whitey on me? Sheeeet niggah, I'll put a cap in yo ass!

-- lol (quit kissin @ whitey. ass), July 21, 2002.


There are too many racists on this board for me to continue here.

Kisses.......

-- (Algernon C. Braithewait III @ Ptown.MA), July 21, 2002.


Okay, kiss my ass on your way out, Algernon you fag.

-- (put on kneepads @ i'm. bending over), July 21, 2002.

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