Trashing Brands and Other Stuff
On January 17, after warning of production delays that resulted in penalty payments, Airbus announced it would have an operating loss in 2006. Meanwhile, Boeing is kicking butt. In the Nov. 28, 2006 edition of The New York Times, Leslie Wayne reported that Boeing is turning down orders:
At Boeing, for instance, orders for its 787, nicknamed the Dreamline—which will not hit the market until 2008—are so strong that it is sold out for four years, and the earliest a new customer can get a plane is 2013. In all, 36 customers have ordered 455 planes. The venerable 747, which was headed to the end of the line, has, meanwhile, received a reprieve as airlines have shown renewed interest in the plane. Other popular jets have a two-year waiting list.
11/02/06. The New Robber Barons: Is It Time for Salary Caps on Publicly Held Corporations?
I mentioned my brief brush 30 years ago with a very young hotshot entrepreneur, Walter Forbes, who went on to become chairman of Cendant (CompuUCard/CUC, Avis, Ramada, Days Inn, Century 21). After two mistrials, Forbes was convicted of a $14 billion accounting fraud, and “takes his place in the pantheon of corporate rogues along with Enron’s Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling, Bernard Ebbers of WorldCom, Tyco’s Dennis Kozlowski, and the Rigas boys of Adelphia.”
As a result of that column, a U.K. reader sent me a private e-mail that said, “I wrote the first successful mailing for CompuCard over here. More to the point, I just KNEW Forbes was a crook. I could sense it. The 21st century is getting more and more like the mid-19th every day—I remember reading ‘The Robber Barons’ years ago.”
On January 17, District Judge Alan H. Nevas sentenced Forbes to 12 years in the minimum-security federal pokey in Otisville, New York and to pay $3.725 billion in restitution. John Christoffersen of the Associated Press reported, “The 64-year-old New Canaan, Conn., resident asked for leniency based on his age and charity work.”