|As long as nobody gets anything
right, we’re fine- Corporate
Modern corporate culture can claim a distinction that
nobody else in history can claim – They’re all time experts
in finding ways of losing money. From catastrophe to
disaster they go, merrily spreading their resumes. Even
politicians can’t really claim to be in this league.
If you check out corporate bankruptcies, scandals and
various disasters over the last few years since the year
2001, it’s an interesting picture.
The accounting scandals alone are a full page on
Wikipedia, and that’s just the ones that have been
• 2001 Pacific Gas and Electric- Bankruptcy
• 2001- Enron (“The smartest guys in the room”.
Must have been a very small room.)
• 2002 WorldCom- Massive fraud.
• 2002 Arthur Andersen- Obstruction of justice
conviction in relation to Enron
• 2002 Global Crossing- Bankruptcy
• 2005 MG Rover- Mismanagement
• 2005 Delta Airlines- Bankruptcy
• 2005 Refco- Fraud and related bankruptcy
• 2008- Bear Stearns- Mortgage securities
• 2008- Lehmann Brothers. Mortgage securities
• 2008 Washington Mutual- Bank run and mortgage
• 2008 Royal Bank of Scotland- Insolvency
• 2008 IndyMack Bancorp- Bankruptcy
• 2009 General Motors- Bankruptcy
• 2009 CIT- Bankruptcy, despite TARP and other
• 2009 Chrysler- Bankruptcy
• 2009 General Growth Properties- Bankruptcy
...You get the idea. There are many more. Corporate
behaviour is now almost synonymous by definition with
criminal or illegal behaviour. Of the top 10 pharmaceutical
companies, 8 have been convicted. A case involving
Merck is worthy of note, even involving fraudulent vaccine
This is a pattern across the corporate world. The question
is why does anyone take these people seriously? They’re
thieves, in practice, not geniuses. They get caught with a
The usual pattern is:
Fraudulent, criminal, or other practices go on until
simply can’t be hidden any more.
Investors invariably lose out, usually severely.
Everything is done with other people’s money, and
nobody makes the slightest attempt to protect
During the GFC, America proved for the first time that it
was able to lose money faster than that could make it. The
American property market, also a major investment
market, collapsed almost entirely, thanks to corporate
incompetence and criminal behaviour.
The image of success
The really interesting thing is that the corporate model is
still the stereotype for success. Apparently being a
corporate criminal is now a legitimate aspiration and
The same culture gives rise to endless stories of
grievances from the workforce, including unacknowledged
work, stolen work, bullying, psychotic managers, and
useless micromanaging executive freeloaders of all kinds.
There is some method in this madness. The theory is that
as long as nobody knows, or checks, or in fact does the
job properly, everything’s fine. That was certainly the case
in many corporations listed above.
These corporations blundered along for years, spraying
other people’s money around like confetti, and nobody
even bothered to check up on them?
Corruption, of course is also a major player. It is quite
unbelievable that all these catastrophic mistakes could
have been unknown to so many people, so often, for so
long, or that the methodologies were unknown.
If you know how to read figures, you really don’t need to be
told. The mistakes are everywhere, and in many cases,
the mistakes are highly visible before the actual hitting of
The amount of damage done to the global economy by
these corporations alone is astronomical, in dollar terms.
Millions of investors, homeowners, and employees have
had their lives economically crippled by this worthless
collection of vermin.
So the moral of the story is: “As long as nobody gets
anything right, we’ll be fine.” As long as people tolerate
this, as long as people are prepared to accept
unsupported information, as long as the media turns its
insane little piggy eyes elsewhere, that’s the future for
investors, homeowners, and employees.
It’s a sickening culture, and it’s now mainstream. Just
about everybody you do business with has about a 50%
chance of being an active, practising criminal, and about a
100% chance of associating with, knowingly or
Roberto Saviano in his book Gomorrah outlined the
methods of the Mafia in doing business and managing
businesses. There is absolutely no difference between the
way the Mafia does business in Naples and the way global
business is conducted, particularly by major corporations.
Bernie Madoff wasn’t alone in his business dealings, and
neither is the corporate world. Don’t be surprised to see
“revelations” of endless interconnections between the
corporate culture and organised crime. They are virtually
indistinguishable from each other now.
Interestingly, the same basic principle applies to
incidences of pure corporate stupidity and incompetence.
As long as nobody is paying attention, not questioning
figures, and not seeing the unbelievably obvious,
(Makes you wonder what all those “institutional investors”
do for a living. They appear to be quite happy to watch
large amounts of the money go down the drain, and
collectively have yet to raise so much as a whimper on the
subject of their apparently never-ending investment
mistakes over the last 12 years. There’s only one likely
reason for that situation, too.)
Start looking for another planet, folks. You’re going to