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WSJ Apologizes To Conrad Black
Jul 07, 2010
The Wall Street Journal editorial page apologizes to Conrad Black. This is good to read, although the WSJ editorialists are perhaps the least culpable of all media in the persecution of businessmen. The truly vicious do not apologize.
Ungrateful Wretches. According to an article at Forbes.com: “A group of 49 individual ticket buyers who say the proposed $3 billion merger between UAL Corp.’s United Air Lines Inc. and Continental Airlines Inc. would hurt airline industry competition have filed a fuit seeking to stop the deal (“Ticket Buyers Sue To Stop $3B Continental-United Deal”). This is the ultimate consequence of all those economic theorists, from Adam Smith on, who have attempted to justify capitalism morally by arguing its subservience to the consumer. The producer must obey the orders of the consumer, they said. Very well, reply these consumers of air travel, we shall give the producers orders, and we shall have them legally enforced.
“For Whom the Dell Tolls” Carolyn Horner, writing on the blog OpenMarket.org, argues that the highly competitive market for personal computers should serve as a warning to antitrust persecutors who want to target any market leader of the moment, ,such as Dell was for a brief while.
And speaking of Dell: As I noted back on June 11, the former market leader is still being subjected to many persecutions, although nobody seems quite sure of the details. The NYT reported on talks between Dell and the SEC regarding “financial irregularities” in the company’s relation with Intel—which sounds like some violation of the government’s Ten Thousand Commandments. (Any resolution, Dell said, would not bar founder Michael S. Dell and would not involve admissions by the company.) Dell is also mentioned in an antitrust suit filed against Intel last November by NY’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Andrew Cuomo. And Dell is still suffering under a “long-standing [5 years and counting] investigation by the S.E.C. into its accounting practices.”
Where does he go to get his reputation back? Joseph Cassano is, as I wrote a couple of weeks ago, the man who did not crash the world, Michael Lewis and his acolytes (such as wretched Gretchen Morgenson) to the contrary notwithstanding. He is scheduled to testify today before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, and Ira Stoll’s invaluable Future of Capitalism blog has a preview of his prepared testimony.
Another defeat for the prosecution of businessmen, though not without years of suffering for the victims: the Bristol-Myers case.