Saturday, April 15, 2006

Worthy bits

As Monk indicates - its been a busy week for both of us. So, in no particular order, here are some articles that I think are worth your time.

1. The New York Times had a big front page article today (above the fold) breathlessly reporting that six retired generals (with pictures) were calling for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's resignation.

A very good counter here.

President Bush's strong defense here.

2. Massachusetts Governor and presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's plan for universal health insurance in Massachusetts. Brendan Miniter's riposte here.

3. This wants me to stop using Google.

4. The Titanic went down 94 years ago today.

Out of all of the Titanic's passengers, 74 percent of women lived while 80 percent of the men died. Interesting, no?

5. Sad but true.

Historian Niall Ferguson might have been correct when he urged the application of U.S. power in far-reaching corners of the globe, but wondered whether we had the right stuff to pull it off: "America's brightest and best aspire not to govern Mesopotamia but to manage MTV; not to rule the Hejaz but to run a hedge fund. Unlike their British counterparts of a century ago, who left the elite British universities with an overtly imperial ethos, the letters ambitious young Americans would like to see after their names are CEO, not CBE [Commander of the Order of the British Empire]."

6. Hank Greenberg, ex-CEO of AIG, expounds:

"One of the biggest problems" facing America's competitiveness at the moment "is regulation," he states. He notes the legislative fiasco that flowed out of Enron--Sarbanes-Oxley. "Any time you publish regulations in a crisis mode, you probably do it wrong," he says, and as proof he points to all the companies now listing in London rather than New York.
After Enron, "the regulators became far more aggressive, threatening boards of directors with all kind of dire things if they didn't do certain things. What happens? The board simply takes over. And when that happens you don't have a company that is thinking about innovation or risk-taking. . . . And once you stop thinking about risk and thinking only about compliance, you are no longer going to be a growth company."

7. Greenspan doesn't like Sarbanes-Oxley either. (HT Instapundit)

As someone who works for a major international bank - Sarbanes-Oxley and the attitude that permeates corporate governance today - is a disaster.

8. DUKE LACROSSE - This is starting to remind me of Tawana Brawley. I think the actions of some of the team members are far less than stellar and IF this case is to be found without merit - where does the lacrosse team and Duke University go to get their reputation back? A good news site here.

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