Monday, July 22, 2013

ayn rand killed sears...,


salon | Eddie Lampert, the legendary hedge fund manager, was once hailed as the “Steve Jobs of the investment world” and the second coming of Warren Buffett. These days, he claims the number 2 spot on Forbes’ list of America’s worst CEOs. He has destroyed Sears, the iconic retail giant founded in 1886, which used to be known as the place “Where America Shops.”

America now avoids Sears at all costs, thanks largely to Mr. Lampert and his love of twisted economic logic.

So when you walk into a Sears store today, you find a sad, dingy scene with scuffed floors and chipped paint. Tense-looking workers hover over merchandise scattered onto ugly display tables. Hardly makes you want to buy a microwave.

Conclusion:  The lessons of Crazy Eddie seem so obvious that a bunch kids running a lemonade stand could understand them. You have to know something about the business you’re running, especially a big one. Success requires cooperation rather than constant competition. Greed is ultimately destructive.

The invisible hand of the market appears to have attempted to slap Lampert upside the head to teach him these things. But he remains committed to his nonsense, and the real losers are all the hard-working people who have lost their jobs, and the potential loss to the American economy of two revered brands.

It’s probably a good thing Ayn Rand never tried to run a business.

3 comments:

John Kurman said...

"It's probably a good thing Ayn Rand never tried to run a business". Actually, no. Think about the cultural climate if Ayn Rand had run a business, and without question, thoroughly fucked it up. "Train wreck" would be a mild term. How about "train wreck" if the train was powered by Chernobyl, and was carrying kitties and puppies and cute little bunnies and frail little widows and orphans that got ejected screaming, covered in flames, their pathetic severed limbs peppering an appalled and horrified audience, which in turn sets them to projectile vomiting a liquorish substance which peculiarly increases the radioactive volatility of the nuclear meltdown, causing both the atmosphere to catch fire, and the nether regions of magma to churn into a new batch of continent-wide supervolcanism.


On second thought, no, after fucking trashing the industry, she'd walk out unscathed like Christ through Hell, with a nice severance package, do a few turns through the revolving door between Treasury and Wall St, and end up with a really nice place in Connecticut or Bimini.


Because, unlike her fucked-in-the-head fictions, that's what actually happens.

CNu said...

Koch Industries is run utilizing this model, (business units competing with one another and buying common services on an open market) and with the exception of a severe network security issue impacting their infrastructural commons a decade or so ago, (one from which they learned their lesson, quick, fast, and in a hurry) it doesn't appear to have negatively effected their operating results.

John Kurman said...

I would submit that, when it's easy to make money despite yourself, that business model works just fine.

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