I get digest emails from the Economist every Thursday, on politics and business. Two things caught my eye in today’s edition.
- Chrysler appointed Robert Nardelli as its CEO. This is the same guy that left Home Depot after employee and investor dissatisfaction with his management and personal style, with a severance package worth about $210 million. So the guy pisses off people at Home Depot left and right, is run out of the company, but gets hundreds of millions in bye-bye pay… and then Chrysler hires him? Isn’t Chrysler supposed to be in trouble as a company? What do they see in him?
- Trump Entertainment Resorts reported a second quarter loss that was more than double that of last year’s. So they’ve been losing money all along, just like all of the other business ventures run by Trump, and yet their share price surged when they released their earnings report?! Are the investors sane?!
I’m going to rant a bit now, because I’ve wanted to say this for a long time. Donald Trump has to be one of the most overrated businessmen ever. On the whole, his career and life are an exercise in ridicule.
Take business: for years, he’s managed to do poorly in his ventures. He’s had a few successes, but on the whole, he’s run project after project into the ground. The ones that are still standing are so heavily in debt that they should be dead by rights. Yet investors continue to sink money into his ventures in spite of all evidence to the contrary. The guy cannot run a business in the black. He’ll run them all in the red, and he’ll pay himself tens of millions while his companies wither away.
Take life: he managed to get a TV show that was a hit with the general populace — that in itself was incomprehensible. He, the clueless, poorly performing CEO, dared to dole out business advice to others, and to act as a role model for other businessmen. If Trump is a model for American business and leadership, then God help us, because we’re headed for the crapper!
Take style: the man looks like he’s got a dead cat on his head. Over the years, he’s persisted with that cockamamie hairstyle to the chagrin of decent people everywhere.
Trump seems to be rubbing it in our faces: he’s ridiculing us. He may be saying something else, but his actions say, “Look, I’m going to thumb my nose at all of you. I’ve got you all eating out of my hand even though I can’t run a business to save my life.” In spite of this, people clamor to kiss his behind and stand in line to invest in his businesses. I don’t get it.
It seems to me that greedy losers do best in modern business, and Americans on the whole love to celebrate them. The two people I mentioned in this post are just a few of the guilty parties. But then, is that any wonder when almost every CEO has ridiculous compensation packages regardless of their job performance, and when companies (especially those that deal in non-physical assets) are stupidly overvalued? I think we’re headed for the crapper, and Trump and others like him are the icing on the cake that’s going to give us the runs.