Monday, July 26, 2010

Obama Fires Another CEO

News reports of British Petroleum's (BP) CEO Tony Hayward being fired circulated the newswires over the weekend.  As of this writing, BP has not yet made it official.

I've been wondering under what authority our President believes he has this power or moral authority. 

Hayward is the latest in a pretty high level list of CEO's and executives to cross the increasingly authoritative Obama Administration.  If Hayward is truly out, he joins General Motors's (GM) Rick Waggoner and Lehman Brothers' Richard Fuld.  Fuld was not technically fired, but Lehman was allowed to go bankrupt, which eliminated Fuld's existance. 

Of course, our president has spared EVERYONE at his pet firm, Goldman Sachs (GS), aka "Government Sachs".  So what if they were central to the ruination of the global economy?  They admitted no wrongdoing.  Why jump to conclusions?

Let's not forget the "shotgun wedding" of Bank of America and Merrill Lynch.  Was Kenneth Lewis pressured to acquire Merrill?  Nah!  Lewis clearly WANTED to overpay. 

Don't get me wrong.  All of these executives had a lot to answer for.  However, these matters were best addressed by the companies' respective board of directors and shareholders, not by presidential dictum.

My question concerns exactly what gives our President either legal authority, moral authority or the basic qualifications to be making these uni-lateral decisions. 

President Obama has NEVER held a private sector job.  President Obama despises capitalism.  President Obama has NEVER run a company, nor created a single job except at government expense.  What makes him qualified to stuff his political views down corporate America's throat?

It's easy to demonize these companies.  NO company in the America exists to benefit either consumers or environmentals or regulators.  Their mission is to benefit shareholders.  The interest of shareholders may be at odds with a political agenda.  If you want social responsibility, better you turn to the many 501c3s.

If we extrapolate, we can conclude that NO CEO has any job security.  If you run a company involved in tobacco, alcohol, fast foods, munitions, gaming, pharmaceuticals, finance, banking, or just about anything else, you are at grave risk.  If you kowtow to Obama, your shareholders will be upset.  If you protect your shareholders, Obama will be upset.  Sounds like a pretty bad recipe to me.

Of course, if you're a racist, like Sherry Sherrod, you get an apology.  Last Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs apologized  to Shirley Sherrod, fired the day before from her job as Georgia Director of Rural Development for the Department of Agriculture.  Ms. Sherrod's blatantly racist comments would have gotten virtually anyone else run out of town.  Trust our President.  He can separate right and wrong.

You get Obamacare whether you want it or not.  Never mind that he exempted Congress and himself from the legislation that was touted as so good for America.  Oh, and you're not paying enough in taxes.  Just because your small business is the only driver of the economy.  Pay more in taxes and let Uncle Sam spend the money that they believe was never yours in the first place.  Only by their good graces do they allow you to keep any of it.  Be grateful.

The press told us that Richard Nixon was an imperial president.  I don't recall Nixon firing CEO's.  Nor Reagan, nor Kennedy, nor Johnson, nor Ford, nor Carter nor Clinton nor either Bush.  In fact, has ANY CEO being fired by a sitting president?   Isn't the private sector supposed to be PRIVATE? 

Obama has a legal background.  Has he read the Constiution?

Marko's Take

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