Monday, October 27, 2008
A lot has been written and said on TV about executive experience and how it might relate to the work of a president in the White House. Well, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney both had executive experience before they became President and Vice President of these United States and it did not, in my opinion, help them do a very good job. Also the heads of Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and AIG all had executive experience too, and we know what kind of a job they did for their respective companies. So, my question is: What is so great about executive experience, if it is just time spent at a desk with no thinking taking place? Which reminds me of a line from one of Saul Bellows' novels in which he described the mind of the mother of his girl friend as working like a sewing machine, the needle going up and down, but no stitching taking place. In this presidential election we have four people with little if any executive experience. Yes, I know Sarah Palin is the Governor of Alaska, and that is executive experience. But here the United States has an opportunity to pick a president and a vice president with an education and intelligence. The people will have to decide who those two people are and what ticket they are running on. I figured that out a while ago, and I voted. I hope Americans will go to the polls and vote too.
The Sunday New York Times had a nice little article in the Sunday Business section of the paper about the three heads of the three major rating agencies, spell that companies, giving testimony before the House Committee last week. I am still waiting for someone at a higher pay grade than mine, remember I am retired, to say that the responsibility for the rating of fixed-income assets, such as notes and bonds, belongs with the Federal Government. The private sector can not do this important work any more than the players in the NFL can officiate the games in which they are playing. When someone at that higher pay grade comes to that conclusion, perhaps the markets will free up like a drain does after it receives a bottle of DRANO.