Friday, October 29, 2010

At All Costs

When my hairdresser - my hairdresser - announced that she was getting into the mortgage business in the early years of this decade, I knew something was wrong.

What was actually wrong was far beyond my wildest imaginings.*

This relentless drive by corporate CEOs to maximize revenues, cut expenses and enrich themselves and their shareholders at all costs is disturbing. Frontline's expose of BP, and its culture of cost-cutting and ignoring safety, is another example.

It's nothing new, and probably not even surprising, but it is dangerous for the future of our society.

*h/t to my longtime source, John Bates of Avalon Advisors, for passing along the book excerpt


  1. It's happening from Wall Street to Main Street, all over the country. My chosen field was mortgage banking but I left it during a merger and never looked back. Unfortunately, you can't run from it, it's that widespread. I'm totally worried about our collective futures and am convinced that we have to stand up for good ethics.

  2. Business ethics is one of my passions, Lori. You were very lucky to get out of the mortgage biz while the getting was good.

  3. I'm shocked by the story at your "imaginings" link. I guess I shouldn't be. What amazes me is that people did these things. Not corporations. People. How scared/greedy/sick do you have to be to be willing to ruin someone's life for a buck? And when are we going to put these scumbags (from top level to bottom) behind bars?

  4. People will do a lot of things, persuaded that a) everyone else is doing it and/or b) someone in authority tells them to do it.

    Think about the Milgram experiments

    It takes years to investigate and unravel frauds like these (as I remember from my years covering the federal district court in LA) but I think eventually some of these will be prosecuted.

  5. Your links with this post and comments are exceedingly interesting, Karen. Thanks.