Monday, March 10, 2008

Logical Choices

I’ve been lackadaisically browsing the testimony from Friday's executive compensation hearings just in case California Congressman Henry Waxman unearthed anything that we in the left-wing antibusiness press (bugbear of Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo) didn’t already know about. BTW, you can’t imagine how excited I am to be part of a vast pinko conspiracy I didn’t realize existed; I suddenly feel like a heroine in some pious movie about the McCarthy hearings who's played by Hilary Swank, or maybe Charlize Theron in one of her uglified star turns, and gets to face down Senator Joe and even take the Fifth.

It was fun to read Mozilo’s inexplicably illegible e-mails, especially the one where he complained that the chintzy bastards at Countrywide had picked up his wife’s travel expenses but were expecting him to pay his own taxes on that perk. But this mode of thinking, which you might call Mozilogic, is nothing new.

For example, years ago I worked with a senior executive who made a rare foray from his C-suite office up to the humble accounting floor to address an urgent perk-related matter. You see, he'd driven his own car to a company golf outing where he’d played 18 holes with some clients, followed by drinks and dinner, then returned to the club parking lot to find that tree sap had dripped on his hood. This, he asserted, necessitated the intervention of an auto care professional. (In keeping with my newfound radical identity, I’m now pretending I drive a dusty VW bus, so don't ask me to opine on the fine points of sedan sap removal.) Being an early adopter of Mozilogic, this exec demanded that the company pick up his sap cleaning costs. I actually think someone found the courage to tell him no, but perhaps I’m just remembering the incident with a kind of slo-mo, Vaseline-on-the-camera-lens nostalgia.

This whole reminiscence has also triggered in me a slo-mo, Vaseline-on-the-camera-lens nostalgia for this post I wrote over a year ago, long before Countrywide became a mascot for the subprime crisis. At that time, I noted Mr. Mozilo’s presence on the Home Depot compensation committee, which had handed over $210 million in severance to resigning CEO Bob Nardelli. But if you believe Mozilogic played a role in the Nardelli story, you're obviously utilizing Leftwingloonybinlogic.


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Anonymous said...

Ha! I should have known Mozilo and Nardelli had ties other than both being selfish bastards who both screwed the little man to no end.