Friday, July 17, 2009

Intimidation - The Government Way of Doing Business

It seems Obama isn't the only one who issues threats of intimidation and termination to get what he wants. Paulson testified yesterday to Congress he threatened to fire the CEO, Ken Lewis, of Bank of America for wanting to back out of the merger deal with Merrill Lynch.

While I find the threats of intimidation nauseating, I'm not feeling sorry for Mr. Lewis. Mr. Lewis had a responsibility to act in the best interest of his shareholders, employees, and customers. If he felt the deal with Merrill Lynch was a stinker and would put BoA in a bad, almost disasterous, position, why did he agree to the deal? Why didn't he walk away from the government, allow the Treasury to fire him, and then go to his shareholders with his concerns? Wouldn't that be the honorable thing to do? Mr. Lewis had an opportunity to demonstrate not only leadership, but integrity by putting his shareholders, customers, and employees before his own self interest. When companies that hire executives who put their own self interest first, they kinda deserve what they get. Isn't that how we got into this financial mess...everyone looking to make a quick buck?

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