Wednesday, 11 March 2009


This post is from a grumpy old woman rankling over corporate incompetence and corruption, enabled by executive greed and cowardice. The very first of the pearls of corruption seeded in ‘93. The young Lambcut was a Fortex shareholder/supplier. At the same time, on the other side of the world, Enron’s criminal executives were lying to their corrupt and incompetent Board. At the end, what was left of the Enron executive collapsed into self serving chaos, and the traders took over, picking clean the chewed bones of shareholder and employee money. That’s who really paid. So, we had a big re-jig of the governance and reporting rules. Did it work? Like fuck it did.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, regular folks responsible for the vast bulk of New Zealand’s foreign currency returns, suffered death by a thousand cuts from over regulation at the hands of the Clark government. The noble and necessary convention of free and frank advice, steel balls stuff, got lost in the ensuing genteel over feminised ether. Executive and bureaucratic cowardice increased. So here we all are watching the financial Zeppelin go down. And, ohhh the humanity. Who pays now? You and me, amigo, that’s who, along with millions of even less fortunate sods elsewhere.

It’s not that the corporates don’t deserve a piano wire noose of regulation to tighten viciously around their selfish little necks. It’s just that, if that was the reaction, you and me, amigo be rest assured we would pay for it yet again.

And we could all smell the stink of well paid executive and bureaucratic cowardice that still hung heavy in corridors of public and private power. If an executive or bureaucrat was not happy with governance and reporting lines, they could easily move from one lucrative job to another leaving the unpalatable wiff of fetid financials behind. No family or personal commitments were jeopardised by a sideways move in a buoyant market.It was roses all roses.

Notwithstanding this, there is shadowy, and not so shadowy evidence of shonky governance and reporting generated in happier times, now surfacing all through the current financial Armageddon. Overseas, breathtaking executive salaries are still being paid in the face of the corporate collapses, books overcooked to crispy, and the trading floor still is a headless chookery.

We are not much better in the antipodes, just smaller, so the sums are a bit less breathtaking.

Our severely contracted job market is unlikely to inspire executive courage in all but a few with titanium testicles, but, if there was ever a time for scrupulous and stalwart reporting, its now. Gird your loins ladies and gentlemen. Show some courage. Don’t let your Chief bullshit the Board. Don’t allow your name to appear on dishonest or manipulative board papers. Now is the time for financial integrity. In the land of shiny arses and in the land of shiny cars.

1 comment:

Sally said...

Well said roarprawn. "Don’t let your Chief bullshit the Board. Don’t allow your name to appear on dishonest or manipulative board papers. Now is the time for financial integrity."

May the same standards apply to Chief Executives and board members (the councillors) of Local Body Councils.