David Kirkpatrick

August 20, 2008

Just in time for the NFL season, TMQ is back

Filed under: Business, et.al., Media, Sports — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:24 pm

Gregg Easterbrook’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback is an NFL season staple. When he’s on it’s a great read and when he’s off the column is almost insufferable.

One aspect of TMQ is either a bonus bit of fun or just annoying depending on your perspective, but it’s a guarantee that along with pro football you’re going to get a random bit of commentary on either some of Easterbrook’s pet causes or maybe just something he’s researching for a magazine piece.

This week’s TMQ had a riff on the ongoing problems facing Fannie Mae, and a focus on corporate overpay scandals.

Easterbrook makes a great point with this bonus bit of business commentary.

From the link:

This is the core lesson of CEO overpay scandals: The corrupt or incompetent executive always keeps the money. He may be caught and embarrassed by bad press, but he keeps the money while someone else — shareholders, taxpayers, workers — is punished. Raines recently settled a federal legal complaint by agreeing to return about $3 million of his $50 million, but kept the rest; his employment contract was worded such that even if he was malfeasant, whatever he took from company coffers was his. Hilariously, federal prosecutors claimed victory because Raines “surrendered” to the government a large block of stock options — options now worthless, owing to the Fannie Mae decline Raines helped set in motion by lying about Fannie numbers. Until Congress enacts a law that allows money taken by corrupt or incompetent executives to be recovered, the lying will continue. Lying by CEOs is what society rewards!

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