Another Brick In The Wall


Was reading the Wall Street Journal at lunch.

Three things:

  1. On the importance of a classical education: During the HP/Compaq merger, Carly Fiorina insisted that the code names for the two companies be "Heloise" and "Abelard", respectively. If anyone asked, they were told that the love letters of Abelard and Heloise were an important part of French medieval literature. Which they are (even though they were written in Latin). What they weren't told was the fact that Abelard had his nuts cut off by Heloise's family (something that anyone who'd ever taken a course in medieval literature would know). Hmmm. Sounds like a metaphor for the whole HP/Compaq deal, don'tcha think? Incidentally, Compaq's CEO didn't find out what happened to the real-life Abelard until well after the merger had been consummated. Hmmm. You think he might have had cold feet if he'd taken History 407: Intellectual History of Medieval Europe?
  2. On why the New York Sun will fold this year: The Sun wants to be a different, alternative, conservative second paper for the movers and shakers of New York, a niche that they claim is unfilled. Of course it's filled. It's filled by the Wall Street Journal.
  3. On sharing the pain: The Journal is reporting that United Airlines has won some important concessions from its unions in its attempt to stay alive: pay cuts of 19% for pilots, 9% for flight attendents, and 13% for dispatchers, mechanics, ramp workers and customer-service agents. I'm wondering, though, if United's officers are also cutting back: after all, a 9% cut isn't going to make a lot of difference to the day-to-day lifestyle of someone making a million bucks, but it does make a difference to someone making $20,000 a year. What digging I did do suggests that United's CEO took home $0 in salary in 2001; instead he received 400,000 stock options (currently underwater, of course).


Tee hee. A CEO with a twisted sense of humor? Now, there's a switch...

Yes, as opposed to a CEO who's just twisted.

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