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Stephen H. Baum
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Entries by Stephen H. Baum

Emergency Medical Treatment: Reviving the Body of the Auto Industry

(1) Comments | Posted November 24, 2008 | 3:23 PM

Putting aside the hubris and lack of self-awareness of the automobile CEOs -- reminiscent of the Congressional appearance of the tobacco companies -- what do we do with the moribund bodies that are their business models?

Ask for a plan? Not even close. Current leadership is blinded. Let them become...

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Obama and Pelosi's First Conversation

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2008 | 10:42 AM


Pelosi: Mr. President, so glad to have this first conversation with you about our agenda and priorities.

Obama: I am glad too. I look forward to working with you and the House to bring the change American needs.

Pelosi: There is so much we...

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Dont You Get It? We Need a President of All the People!

(1) Comments | Posted November 11, 2008 | 2:46 PM

The pressure on Obama from self-centered, single-Issue constituencies has started.

Don't you get it? We have an opportunity unlike any other for decades: a chance to bring people together for the common good, repeat: common good. This means uniting people on something they all want, not pursuing again a...

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Raging Bull at Merrill: Will He Pay Us Back?

(0) Comments | Posted November 9, 2008 | 11:52 AM

When Kelsey Hubbard asked me on Market Watch my view of what went wrong at Merrill (before Stan O'Neal left), I said that my sources pointed first to O'Neal's proactive reduction of risk management and total disregard for the human capital of the venerable institution.

My sources had told...

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McCain's Concession Speech Question

(2) Comments | Posted November 7, 2008 | 1:46 PM

John McCain's otherwise gracious concession speech included a line to the effect of "I don't know what more we could have done to have a winning campaign." Here is food for thought for Senator McCain and the Republicans who must now make a choice between collaborating to make democracy work...

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Low Self-Awareness and the DNA of Republican Failure

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2008 | 6:09 AM

When leadership fails, the fail-point is somewhere down this chain:

Ignorance - I didn't know
Incompetence - I knew, but didn't understand the implications
Insouciance - I knew, I understood, but did not care
Cowardice - I knew, I understood, I cared, but I was afraid
...

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Traits of a Leader: Obama

(1) Comments | Posted November 5, 2008 | 8:26 AM

Leadership -- the act of moving a group of people to work toward a vision that resonates with deep motivations.

Leadership in crisis -- conveying a sense of not only that vision and the first credible steps toward it in the larger context of a clear approach or plan,...

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Obama Infomercial and Your Brain

(0) Comments | Posted October 31, 2008 | 12:23 PM

Barack Obama's informercial last evening resonated with many people. There is science underlying its effectiveness. Neuroscience.

There is a part of your brain that makes you uneasy, upset, afraid when you sense that things are out of control. As it gets more active, it sends signals to other parts...

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Republican Party Needs Leadership Laxative

(0) Comments | Posted October 27, 2008 | 11:47 AM

This isn't my Republican Party, neither Bush nor McCain.

I was a Rockefeller Republican. At least that's what I thought: socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Encourage entrepreneurs and free markets to do their best. Keep sensible oversight to curb abuses. Help fund the most important projects that make education...

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Financial Crisis: 60 Minutes Revives Investigative Journalism

(10) Comments | Posted October 27, 2008 | 10:09 AM

Even on subjects as hot as the financial crisis, much of the "news" and comment we see on TV lacks real depth, revelation of key facts and critical thinking. 60 Minutes has revived investigative journalism. More please.

60 Minutes asked experts for the real key to the crisis. Answer:...

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Invitations to Corruption By American Leadership

(0) Comments | Posted October 20, 2008 | 1:42 PM

Two headlines last week in the New York Times, each a worry in its own right, but taken together should set off your alarms:

"Bush Aides Say Religious Hiring Doesn't' Bar (Federal) Aid"

"Federal Leap Into Banking Has Its Perils - In the past, favoritism trumped innovation"

The first is...

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AIG Gives New Meaning to "F*ck-You Money"

(0) Comments | Posted October 19, 2008 | 9:46 PM

It is especially hard for the outrage of a Congress tainted by its aiding and abetting what Warren Buffet called an economic Pearl Harbor (not an apt analogy since we attacked ourselves this time) to be credible. It must come from the electorate and CEOs with the right values.

Outrage...

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"Bridge" Loan To Bear Stearns - Who's The Real Dummy?

(32) Comments | Posted March 21, 2008 | 6:33 PM

So Jimmy Cayne was playing in a bridge tournament while Bear Stearns was going down the tubes. And now, two dollar bills are taped to his offices to make fun of the fact that the stock price has fallen to $2. In bridge, one player is always sitting on the...

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Ethics in Sports: Will The Real Patriots Please Stand Up?

(1) Comments | Posted February 3, 2008 | 4:51 PM

Grandma -- a.k.a. Phil Simms of the New York Giants -- in his role as TV sports commentator a few weeks ago offered these principles in explanation of why he saw no problem with the Patriots' taping the signals of the Jets:

1. There is no specific...

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Advice from Grandma: 2007 Edition

(3) Comments | Posted December 20, 2007 | 4:35 PM

Phil Simms, or "Grandma" as he was called when he quarterbacked the New York Giants Football team and seemed slow afoot, did the commentary for the Patriots/Jets game today. He is slow in a much more important dimension.

When asked his view of Bill Bellicik's team filming the signals...

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Advice From Grandma, 2007 Edition

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2007 | 6:48 PM

Phil Simms, or "Grandma" as he was called when he quarterbacked the New York Giants Football team and seemed so slow afoot, did the commentary for the Patriots/Jets game today. He is slow in a much more important dimension.

When asked his view of Bill Belichick's champion...

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Wall-Eyed at Wal-Mart: You Be The Judge

(10) Comments | Posted August 30, 2007 | 9:20 PM

It was never my intention in my blogging about leadership to focus so narrowly on ethics. But my long-held belief that most of the top dogs try to do the right thing most of the time -- act with good purpose toward the enterprise and all it touches -- is...

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Huffy Postings

(2) Comments | Posted August 23, 2007 | 2:32 PM

I am appalled but not surprised at many of the postings in response to my note, "Whole Foods But Not the Whole Truth" (July 25, 2007). When I decried CEO John Mackey's deception in bashing a company he was trying to acquire (by using a pseudonym for his postings),...

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Whole Foods But Not Whole Truth

(9) Comments | Posted July 26, 2007 | 6:07 PM

Recent news about Whole Foods' CEO, John Mackey, indicates that he used a pseudonym ("Rahodeb") to post commentary on Yahoo's financial site. Nothing new in that.

However, the articles further indicate that his comments included negative remarks about his smaller competitor, Wild Oats (an acquisition target of Whole Foods). Mackey's...

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