March 2009

The Noble Life

You’re facing a crisis.
“Know what you can control and what you can’t.” People challenge and criticize you.
“Refrain from defending your reputation and intentions.” Some people use harsh language and bombast.
“Conduct yourself with dignity.”

If you’re looking for the calm while working your … Read More

“Taxpayers to DeSantis: Drop Dead”

Re-interpreting a New York Daily News headline from 1975, the following is in response to a resignation letter written by Jake DeSantis, former executive vice-president, A.I.G. financial products unit to Edward M. Liddy, chief executive of A.I.G., appearing in the New York Times on Wednesday, Read More

Mr. Ethics

You’re trapped in an elevator with a guy who looks like a cross between Al Franken and a computer nerd. You’re a little uneasy. Wait, he just put his hand in his pocket, reaching for… a BlackBerry.  You discreetly look over his shoulder to … Read More

What’s the Answer?

Coming off an incredible week of outrage over the $165+ million A.I.G. bonuses, the question that many in the media and Washington continue to focus on is this:  How do we get what we need from these people without giving them too much, but … Read More

Late Night with Obama

Jay Leno: “Please welcome President Barack Obama.” (Applause) President Obama: “Thank you.” (Applause) Obama: “…Let me just say, I think Kevin (the band leader) looks good in a suit.” (Laughter)  “He looks a little like Secret Service.” (More laughter)

Nice opening line.  Did he write … Read More

Doesn’t he know that movie stars belong in the tabloids… police arrested… D.U.I. photo on TMZ? What’s this, Ann Curry interviewing him in Darfur? Must be a movie shoot or something.  I turn up the volume.

Watching the NBC Dateline story, I learn that … Read More


Early in my career, I would read the morning papers and make a list of those organizations that were facing ethical crisis.  I’d then write a letter addressed to both the president of the organization as well as the head of Human Resources offering my … Read More

Entertainment vs. News

Who do you believe – entertainment or news? That’s not a trick question. Last Thursday, CNBC’s lead financial reporter and host of Mad Money Jim Cramer paid a visit to Jon Stewart’s Daily Show on Comedy Central.  It was a showdown of sorts.

Stewart … Read More

Resurrecting the Chimp

About a third of the way into the memoir is one of those ‘40s, Hollywood pictures taken at some swanky restaurant like the Brown Derby by an eager, gossip columnist back in the days when people taking photos of stars had the “reasonably” good sense … Read More


“Everybody does it.”  “I hardly ever lie.” I collect ‘em, like baseball cards. “You don’t understand, Jim,” the owner of a large company once told me, “it’s just industry practice. We don’t want to do these things, but if we want to operate from a … Read More