Monday, June 18, 2007

The ultimate hostile take-over: America, a goose that was ripe for the plucking....

Remember back in the 1980s when those Wall Street dudes in slick new suits whom we politely called "corporate raiders" would look around for companies with the fattest pension plans and the most assets and say to themselves, "Hummm. We got a hot one here. This goose is ripe for the plucking!" And what happened next? The company that was currently in their cross-hairs would go on the chopping block and be gutted and royally screwed. Back in the day, this act of legal highway robbery was called a "hostile takeover."

According to, "In a corporate raid, a company purchases another through a hostile takeover (often with an leveraged buy-out) because their assets are worth more than the value of the company. As soon as the new owners complete the acquisition, they close the company and sell off all the assets."

If you remember your old-school history, what happened then was that corporate raiders gutted company after company in America and life was good. For them. Not for us. But then one day one of those corporate raiders was analyzing which company to loot next when it suddenly occurred to him. "What is the largest company of them all? What company has the biggest pension plan we can sack? Which company has the most money, is the most profitable, has the largest physical plant and the most rolling stock?"

Hint: It wasn't General Motors. It wasn't General Electric. And it wasn't General Foods.

Oh, rats. You've already guessed the answer. That's no fun. Yes, the correct answer is "America".

"Some analysts feel that hostile takeovers have an overall harmful effect on the economy, in part because they often fail. When one company takes over another, management may not understand the technology, the business model or the working environment of the new company. The debt created by takeovers can slow growth, and consolidation often results in layoffs." Sound familiar? If not, just go ask your mailman. Or someone in your National Guard. Or perhaps someone who used to live in New Orleans....

And this is the story of what happened to the corporate raiders of the 1980s. They just learned to think bigger. America was there for the sacking. The raiders moved in. Can you blame them? Why think in terms of looting companies for mere millions or billions when there are trillions to be had! "I know! Let's call it privatization!"' And they did.

America was a plump goose that was ripe for the plucking. So we were plucked. And now our goose is cooked.

PS: Just exactly how did these unscrupulous corporate raiders achieve the hostile takeover of America? It was easy. They just got control of the stockholders' votes. How'd they do that? By manipulating unwary stockholders' proxies in both 2000 and 2004. In 2000, they manipulated the stocks by using the "Supreme Court" option. And in 2004, the "Diebold Option" turned the trick. A takeover doesn't get more hostile than that!

PPS: "When one company takes over another, management may not understand the technology...." When America's corporate raiders took over the Oval Office, they neither understood nor cared about the technology of democracy and smooth-running government. They were only interested in profits. And what turns a profit the fastest? War, of course.

If you look carefully at the wars on Afghanistan, Palestine, Darfur, Somalia and Iraq through the rose-colored glasses of these guys, then you'll stop seeing a hopeless bloody quagmire and start seeing nothing but PROFITS. Heck, from the point of view of the corporate raiders who now run America's Boardroom for their own personal gain, even Vietnam was a great victory!

Always remember, America, that the whole purpose of the war on Iraq is to make money for Halliburton. That's all. That's it. Seen from this angle, this "war" -- that most Americans mistakenly preceive as a failed military operation and a bottomless money pit -- begins to make perfect sense.