Saturday, March 3, 2012


According to an AP story today, Rush Limbaugh, in his apology to Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke, said "he 'did not intend a personal attack' on her."

This is astonishing! He called the young lady a prostitute and slut during his radio talk show.

Add to this the news alleging that New Orleans Saints defensive players were paid a bounty to injure players on opponents' teams...and the as usual unusual comments by GOP candidates. Where's the PR?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bring value

If you are a corporate executive or an entrepreneur, you need to ask yourself this question: Are you bringing value to consumers, or is your business preying on people?

Honestly!! Are you bringing quality products and services to consumers? Are your goods and services fairly and competitively priced? Does your business respect customers and employees?

Why ask such questions? Because...doesn't it seem that things are out of kilter? That many business leaders -- not all, but a considerable number -- are ignoring business fundamentals. At a time when we really need to bring our economy back by bringing value.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Religious dogma...tiresome?

Henry Blodget, discussing the birth control/Catholicism issue on his Business Insider site, points out: "...the world has changed since the Bible was written..." when "there were a couple of hundred million people on the Earth, and fewer Catholics. The birth of new humans in those days was pretty much offset by the death of existing humans...So of course Catholics were well-advised to be fruitful and multiply back then, especially given the Church's desire to have more and more people become Catholics (more revenue and customers for the Church -- what business doesn't want to grow?). But now it's 2,000 years later. And there are 7 billion people in the world, including over a billion Catholics. And this population growth is absolutely unsustainable. And we now have some basic science that helps us control (or at least limit) it.

"So the Catholic Church's position on this issue is utterly absurd. Like some other Catholic positions and behaviors, it's also damaging the Catholicism brand."

Indeed yes! To say nothing of damage to various other brands as well. The Republican party, for instance. In particular, staunch conservatives who mix religious dogma with politics. Such constant, increasingly tiresome messaging about religious beliefs must be undermining the GOP brand. Religion is okay as long as it's not overdone.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Persona sweepstakes...Who wins?

Honestly, now! Which visual image works? Barack Obama singing a short rendition of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" at the Apollo Theater, or GOP candidate Newt Gingrich dressing down the media during the most recent political debate in South Carolina? Putting aside political preference, your progressive, moderate or conservative leanings, who wins the persona sweepstakes? Ask yourself...How would Newt, Mitt, Rick or Ron come across on stage at the Apollo Theater?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

On the same page

We agree with Fareed Zakaria. In his Washington Post opinion piece, today, Zakaria writes: "The great winner of this recession has been Germany. That country faced a crash just as dramatic as all others; in fact, Germany's GDP declined more than that of the United States in 2008, yet its unemployment rate rebounded fast. There are many explanations for German success, but as Elisabeth Jacobs details in a new paper from the Brookings Institution, government policies that created incentives for business to think long-term, value their workers and invest in capacity all helped. The German system gives incentives to train workers and keep them employed..."

Zakaria is talking about fundamental values and business fundamentals, what we point to in our columns and in stories posted in this blog.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, also today in his article about banking, writes: "When young people go into finance, I hope that they'll show judgment, balance and principles instead of their elders' penchant for greed and rigging the system."

We wrote recently in American Banker: "When you think about it, shouldn't the core business of banking be the channeling of financial resources in support of enterprise? If your business and industry can play a key role in building the enterprise of individuals and businesses, aren't you adding value to society and the economy?"

And we said in our Business Insider column: "What various businesses seem to be ignoring, today, are fundamental principles that once governed the pricing of products and services. Whereby businesses raised prices when they actually improved goods and services, or brought new goods and services to the marketplace. In the past, pricing more closely reflected real, tangible value."

In another Business Insider column, we noted: "With a weakened self esteem threatening to seriously derail (our) great nation, leaders in business and government can play an important role in boosting American spirit. They can refocus on fundamental values." Including, "a renewed commitment to treating employees with respect, and recognizing their role in a company's achievements and success."

We all agree. Solid values and fundamentals are important.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cynicism and fries

Maybe at another time but now, the revelation that Food Network star Paula Deen was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, even as she was featuring fatty food cuisine on her TV shows, might not have been a big deal. But it surely is, because Deen just happens to have been named spokesperson "for a program designed to help people suffering from the disease," according to stories in the media. And...the company who hired her produces "the diabetes drug Victoza (which) is part of the program."

Considering negative public opinion of big business, government and other institutions, right now, and at a time when public cynicism, as much as cheeseburgers and fries, is the order of the day, you really have to wonder about this whole situation.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Battling for our brains

They're trying to swallow our brains...our mass psyche. Big business and politicians. The politicians, GOP candidates and Congress, may -- or may not -- be doing too well. Time will tell. Since the most popular political game, right now, bickering, negative campaign advertising, etc. has produced quite a result...84% disapproval of Congress, according to a recent opinion poll. This compares to only 81% previously. So, shouldn't politicians be getting some clue that things may be haywire?

But politicians continue the battle for our psyche, along with pharmaceutical companies, financial advisory firms and other businesses that bombard us with what can best be described as 24/7 advice. Wheat products are good for you. You need more dairy in your life. You need to follow this or that path to secure your financial future. Popular TV and radio talk shows are entirely focused on the moment. Or anorexia. Or exercise...treadmill exercise was great a few weeks ago. This week it's not. Lift weights instead.

Gout is rearing its ugly head. And COPD...a what the hell is that? kind of malady not too long ago. Before it was the focus of pharmaceutical company advertising.

But...the most important question of all: Do pharmaceutical companies have anything in the pipeline to ward off what's chomping on our brains?