Friday, January 18, 2008

Accounts and Accountability

Bobbi and I are watching our 401 and 457 retirement accounts pretty closely these days. Like many people in our age groups we have religiously put a way a little money every pay day into these funds. Bobbi has always had a good head for what funds to put the money in and when to reallocate them into other funds as the market changes. However this current meltdown in the stock market has affected us to no small amount.

Every time one of these financial giants announces a multi billion dollar loss the nation's middle class takes it in the ear. I would like to see something similar start happening to the corporate Boards and CEOs of these groups. The Boards usually stay invisible on these things but they should be held accountable too. The CEOs shrug their shoulders, resign, and leave with millions or tens of millions or hundreds of millions of the share holders money.

The Boards condone these actions which are all brought on by the next quarter's 'bottom line' which they say the stockholders only care about. I wonder if that is really true. In many cases I don't think it is.

There needs to be accountability but there wont be. If we can't even get the New Mexico Legislature seriously interested about conflict of interest and accountability and ethics laws, then how can we expect corporate America to ever do so.

4 comments:

phat-chance said...

Barbara Ehrenreich was in Santa Fe last year and one of the questions she answered was how to deal with companies that refuse to support upping the minimum wage. She replied that perhaps it's time for cities to start thinking about what kind of businesses they want in their community. She suggested that cities might set standards concerning what businesses they wanted to do business with . She didn’t give many specific examples . But as I think about it, what kind of businesses would we want to encourage? What standards would we like to impose? Could we impose higher taxes or deny incentives to companies who overpay their execs, take government bailouts, profit from war, have a high ratio of executive to employee indictments, move their headquarters off-shore to avoid taxes?

WilliamHenryMee said...

But Jim, this is a federal problem and like President Truman said: “The buck stops here.” So this is President Bush’s fault for not exercising oversight. But we all knew he wouldn’t because he took campaign contributions from the financial, mortgage loan and housing industries. Then he appointed cronies of the industries to relax the regulations on those industries that protect consumers like you and I. Then whammo you have a recession; designed and made by George W. His tax cuts for the wealthy were taken 90% overseas to invest in companies that were taking away American jobs; mainly in China and India. How else could this have turned out? We all need to remember that Bush-Cheney are the culprits and hold them accountable even after their terms. The information on the Reagan trickle down theory is out and it doesn’t work. The best way to recoup your wealth is to vote all Republicans out.

Prabhu Singh said...

Voting out Republicans is just politicking, if we really want a change, we have to vote out all corruption. Most people in Washington are owned by a corporate sponsor, doesn't matter their political party. Sometimes I think Democrats are worse because they say nice things to the people, but then do the same things as Republicans.

WilliamHenryMee said...

Prabhu---Democrats can be disappointing and disorganized. Being the real party of the big tent is like an aircraft carrier backing into port---it can take ten minutes to change direction. It is hard for us to move forward and we are not as effective as Republicans. They move in lock-step like Nazi's and never speak ill of their leadership. Yet, so many of their stances on the issues and campaign tactics are downright Un-American and anti-democracy. So give me the Dems any day......

But anything you can do to improve the Dems will be appreciated.