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Bad Director! No biscuit!
January 5, 2002 1:52 PM   Subscribe

Bad Director! No biscuit! Apparently, the incredibly civilized British have found a way to rid themselves of stupid executives. Using the Insolvency Act, executives can be banned from starting new businesses, or from "materially taking part" of an existing business, if they can be proven to have no idea how to run one ethically. (As opposed to the American model, where this bozo can lose 50 million dollars, and then get hired as an "visionary" executive at Yahoo, where he promptly directed the layoffs of the majority of technical staff.) My question becomes, how do we implement the "stupid manager law" here in the states...and if we did, would there be anyone left to run the RIAA?
posted by dejah420 (6 comments total)

 
I'm not sure that we can legislate common sense, much less intelligence, but stockholders' demanding more responsible corporate behavior is a good goal.
"The U.S. Supreme Court says a corporation is a person, or at least must be treated like one when it comes to most constitutional protections. Like the right to speak. And the right to act in the political arena — giving campaign contributions, lobbying and advocating its agenda. Now, if a corporation is in fact a person, with full constitutional rights, then it should act like a moral human person...To determine whether a corporation is acting morally, we propose that Congress legislate a Corporate Character Commission (CCC). This would be a 10-person panel, with members chosen from the human person community. Ideal candidates would be ethicists, philosophers, corporate criminologists and the like," write Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman in their article: "Corporations Behaving Badly: The Ten Worst Corporations of 2001."

Whether you agree or not, take a look at their Top Ten. Bad Corporations!
posted by Carol Anne at 3:03 PM on January 5, 2002


Call me cynical but I can't believe that the people who fill our government's campaign coffers would ever allow their legislative lackeys to even think about passing a law like this.
posted by homunculus at 3:33 PM on January 5, 2002


The problem is that the people who invest don't use the same kind of judgement you or I do. I have a lot more experience with private, VC-funded companies. It seems bizarre, but having cratered a couple of companies before is actually considered a positive quality by many VC's looking to install a CEO in a business. I once asked why, and the VC replied, "He learned his lessons on someone else's money."


The unfortunate effect of this is more than just randomly picking incompetents -- it creates a revolving door that keeps a CEO, any CEO, no matter how bad, in the "CEO loop" -- moving from company to company wrecking and destroying legitimate work, aided by VCs who think failure is legitimate experience, and won't look at successful "non-CEO" candidates.
posted by lisatmh at 4:05 PM on January 5, 2002


Here's one to bookmark - the Catalog of Global Carpetbaggers - "a database on the activities of the modern corpirates"(transnational corporations). This is an ongoing project that was started in 1991, and some of the entries are not up to date, but it's a useful starting point for figuring out who's who and what they're doing.
posted by ferris at 4:47 PM on January 5, 2002


This would be a 10-person panel, with members chosen from the human person community

Whew! That's a relief!
posted by fuq at 5:48 PM on January 5, 2002


My question becomes, how do we implement the "stupid manager law" here in the states...and if we did, would there be anyone left to run the RIAA?

Funny that. Record companies seem to be making money these days. Less of it than before, be assured, but better than most that get their profile on FC.

Don't take that to mean that I like the RIAA or think they are responsible moral agents as a whole. They just know how to turn profits is all.
posted by cleetus at 6:43 PM on January 5, 2002


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