Thursday, October 19, 2006

Wild Card

Conservatives are right; The New York Times is full of it. This morning’s paper reports that "bubble gum dropped on a sidewalk takes three weeks to change from pink to black." Where exactly is that sidewalk? Boulder, Colorado, perhaps, where the gum basks in clean mountain air? Here in Manhattan that estimate is as inflated as the severance package of an options-backdating CEO. Closer to an hour, I’d say. Minutes, if you conduct the experiment on the bottom of your shoe.

So I kick myself for quoting the paper of record the other day. In this post, I took the word of Times business columnist David Leonhardt that "the negotiation over a chief executive’s pay is one that never seems to fail."

This turned out to be an overstatement, because what Leonhardt said never happens has now happened - at least once, anyway. In an 8-K filed last Friday, Wild Oats Markets, Inc. reported that it hasn't been able to negotiate a new employment agreement with its CEO/President, Perry Odak, and won't renew his old one.

In defense of myself and the good Mr. Leonhardt, this is surely an aberration. Wild Oats is an organic food company headquartered at the farthest fringes of Proxyland. Yes, these tofu-chomping folks have their offices in Boulder. Their NASDAQ symbol is OATS. No doubt they bring their dogs to work, mountain bike at lunchtime and wear hemp drawstring pants around the office. And if they chew gum, I'm guessing they buy it here.
While I’m confessing my sins, I must disclose that this post is backdated. I wrote it Friday and dated it Thursday. (Thursday was bad – you don’t want to know.) The blogger backdating scandal: All of the cheating, none of the cash.