The Leaders Notebook

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U.S. Exports Up in Some Sectors

March 24th, 2009 · 2 Comments · Playing a Bigger Game, Sliding Down the Razor Blade of Life

When I travel internationally, I am generally struck by how different business reporting is outside the US.

There is usually no “International Section” or “World News” separate from the rest of the reporting in the way we often see in the US.  In example, today’s Asia version of the WSJ includes stories ranging from changes in outlook in Singapore to the US debate over government powers.  Companies are cited on the front page which do not even make the radar screen in our papers.

And yet, this trip I am also seeing similarities.  There are stories about executive compensation (both current and severance), inappropriate corporate use of government bailout funds, re-examination of tax avoidance strategies and searches for assets to reimburse those impacted by fraud and malfeasance.  But these stories are not about US companies.  In fact, there are stories from France, Korea, Japan, the UK and on an on.  Pick any of them and you could substitute familiar names like AIG, Bernard Madoff and not impact the integrity of the story at all.

And if you need more proof that we are an interconnected global society… here is the other big story today.  Millions watched as Japan defeated South Korea 5-3 in a dramatic extra innings victory at the World Baseball Classic, played in Los Angeles. California.


2 Comments so far ↓

  • Tom Swift

    It seems universal that people take a great interest in the suffering and misdeeds of others. The Germans have a word for enjoying this: schadenfreude. I wonder if they have an equally useful word for “the press profiting by sensationalizing the suffering of others?”

    Sorry, Barry, but after the public farce over AIG compensation, I’m not feeling charitable towards the fourth estate.

    Try to imagine how one could explain and justify a management compensation system in the middle of a 21st century witchhunt. Let’s hope TARP money doesn’t flow to the Yankees.

  • I. Barry Goldberg

    Hello Tom- thanks for ringing in here.

    Actually, I agree. Business news reporting is way out of hand. Come to think of it, all news seems to cater to our more prurient interests and fan the flames of outrage. Yet, we also see abuse when there is insufficient transparency. My own take is that this goes back to any asset overused becomes a liability.

    This post was less about the reporting- which might make great fodder for a different post, but more that the conditions impacting us (including press coverage I guess) are endemic and global.

    As for the Yankees, it could be that even the federal government would be an improvement in management.