August 21, 2017

Know the difference between ordinary private sector citizens and corporate leaders engaged in crony statism.

Sir, Rana Foroohar writes about “a role for corporate leaders who think about more than share prices… Some are calling on the private sector to take up the mantle of US leadership.” “Business can fill the leadership vacuum” August 21.

Boy, the aspiring Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerbergs of this world just got to love her. But, as I see it, many corporate leaders do not really belong to the ordinary real private sector, they are too much often just representatives and members of the crony-statism sector… as in “I called up Mike Spence, [then governor] reminded him the we were the biggest tech employer…”

Look for instance at those big banks loving it when they can leverage their equity manifold lending to “the safe”, like sovereigns and the AAA rated, and express no concerns at all with the fact that this stops them from lending sufficiently to the SMEs and entrepreneurs.

Do I disagree with Marc Benioff, head of Salesforce, when he states: “CEOs have to be responsible for something more than their own profitability. You have to serve a broader group of stakeholders — from employees to the environment — and when politicians don’t get things right, corporate leaders have to act”? Absolutely not! They have all the right to do so… but, any strengthening of corporatism, should also come with the label: “Warning, allowing corporate leaders to speak out too much for the ordinary private citizen’s interests, might be very dangerous for the health of society.”

PS. As another example look at a Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein selling himself of as a responsible citizen, while at the same time he approves of financing dictators that odiously violate human rights.