Are Our Business and Financial Executives a Bunch of Incompetent Crooks? Yes of Course.

12 12 2008

As I sat down and looked at our 401-K and the substantial loss we took the last 6 months, I became angry, very angry at our legal system that allows incompetent and crooked business and government leaders to get away with robbery and fleecing the citizens out of their hard earned money.
I am sure I am one of the tens of millions of hard working American who were taken to the cleaners by a do nothing government that allowed callous, arrogant, incompetent, mediocre and crooked business leaders and executives to fleece us out of our money under the watchful eyes of the Federal Reserve, the Bush Administration and Congress both under a Republican and Democratic leadership. Our government simply failed us and failed to protect us and to represent our interest and stand up to these crooks on Wall Street.

But then as citizens we really do not have any one to represent us or speak for us. Our Congress since long time became a publicly “closed” corporation owned by lobbyists who invests some $1.5 billions in members of Congress and their staff on annual basis and as such, members of Congress, both Senate and House of Representatives look only to lobbyist for guidance and instructions. The lobbyist owns the body and sole of our executive and legislative branch of government. Congress simply does not speak for us citizens; it speaks for the powerful corporations and the lobbyists they represent, its stockholders. The $700 Billion bail out package to the incompetent crooks of Wall Street and the quick way it was approved is but a proof of that. Do not really understand why we as tax payers have to bail out a bunch of incompetent, highly paid executives who proved they are nothing but crooks and scoundrels?

Now Detroit is in town asking Congress for a bail out. Frankly I do not know what the hell the top executives of GM, Ford and Chrysler have been doing all these years while getting paid tens of millions of dollars only to produce poor quality products, in addition to taking consumers for bad ride.. Of course the delay in grating this bailout shows the “class warfare” our country is going through. For the Republicans and the Administration it is OK to bail out Wall Street with no restrictions on the salaries and wages of Wall Street. Now Republicans are up in arms about the salaries and wages of auto workers and the kind of benefits they get. Of course we all know that Detroit workers are too highly paid for the work they do and the lousy product they produce but certainly it is unfair to treat Detroit different from Wall Street. If it is up to me, I will let the entire Wall Street and Detroit go bankrupt and use the $700 Billions to invest in new business and financial corporations with different mind set and with new sets of rules for managers. I think the country will be much better off if all these companies simply hit the dust.

Several years ago, I had the misfortune of developing a first class product( a smart chip that tracks the service and maintenance of cars no matter where the service was performed available to car owners in their own pockets) that by all measures held lots of excitements for consumers and car owners who wanted the rights and freedoms to have control over their own service records substantially saving hundreds if not thousands of dollars on the costs of repairs. I am sure all of us without exceptions have been taking for a bad ride by a dealer or garage owners simply because we did not have immediate and full access to our complete service files of our cars. I even was able to get two patents for the application.

Since I did not know the industry and business well, I took the bad decision of hiring top executives from the industry, both automotive industry and warranty with the idea and expectations that these executives know the industry better than I and they will be able to make the application works. I was wrong, very wrong, and couple of million dollars wrong. I yet to recover from such bad and costly experience. I paid for the mistakes of hiring lousy executives and I think that Detroit should do the same.

Couple of years later and couple of millions down the drain, money that went into the pocket of these executives, they laughed all the way to the bank, and I cried all the way to the bank. I am sure I and the company would have been better off hiring a young MBA graduate to manage the company and launch the product rather than entrusting the company and my misfortune to highly paid executives who did not deserve nor earn what they got from the company. They were simply mediocre and incompetent at best who simply took me for a fool and I was. I had to work very hard overseas raising money and taking out second mortgage to pay executives whose only interest and purpose was to collect a check just like the guys in Detroit. I was told to go ahead raise the money and they will deliver the business. I did raise the money and they deliver nothing but misery for me and my family. Yes, my friends the Auto business  and the industry with very fe exceptions, ( Morty, perhaps the most honorable of the bunch) from the executives in Detroit to the dealer down the street is perhaps the most corrupt and unethical sector of our economy with no scruples and sense of honesty and decency. The industry is simply full of mediocre managers who are professional crooks.

This experience and what I see going on in this country for the last 30 years from the Saving and Loan scandal to the Junk Bond scandals, the Internet bubble, the Enron and the WorldCom fiasco convince me that this nation business is run and managed for the most part by a bunch of incompetent mediocre and crooks.

Of course to every rule there are exceptions. The shining exception is Bill Gates and few others who are not only very smart, very competent business executives but very decent and committed citizens and Bill Gates of all executives deserve and should earn the title of the Best Executives ever in the history of the USA. Of course there are few executives who also put the interests of their companies and the interests of their stockholders and the interests of citizens and consumers ahead of their personal interests and who operate under strict code of personal and professional ethics. However these executives are far and few in between.

Perhaps there should be laws that can put behind bars, incompetent and mediocre executives who take their companies and shareholders similar to the laws that put trustees of estate and foundations behind bars for incompetence, misfeasance and malfeasance. Perhaps every executive should be held personally responsible for the failure of the companies they manage. Companies and the hard earned dollars of stockholders should be held in trust by these executives and similar standards of cares like that of foundations should apply. Too bad our Congress and our administrations allowed business executives to fleece us and rob us blind and get away with it.

What this country and the world need is a national and international commission similar to the one formed after September 11th to investigate and hold responsible all those who contributed to the collapse of our economy and that of the world. These executives are so similar to the terrorists who attacked us that they should be put behind bars for life. Those executives who take millions of dollars in salaries and compensation only to end up taking their companies and our shares in these companies to ruin are by definition incompetent and crooks. It is time not only to rebuild and retool our entire infrastructure, but to retool the minds of business and financial executives and give them some dosages of competence, honesty and integrity. They simply shamed this nation and the world.

Sami Jamil Jadallah

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