Monday, November 24, 2008

Nov. 24: Don't Be Shy About Reigning In Corporate Bigwigs

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Maybe this is where New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg can use his vaunted expertise.

That's because, let's face it, there is no way Citigroup should still be contributing financially to the New York Mets' new stadium if it's so far in the hole that it requires a $326 billion federal bailout. For the time being, Citigroup is still in the partnership.

AIG, which is quickly becoming the poster company for how not to behave after a federal bailout, is keeping its corporate partnership with the British soccer team Manchester United.

Last week, members of Congress got very upset at the chief executive officers of the Big Three U.S. automakers for flying to Washington in separate corporate jets. O.K., Congress, how about turning that anger into action? How about holding CEOs to a higher standard of behavior?

More than a century ago, Congress began to crack down on abusive businesses with antitrust laws, child labor laws and more. Other regulations were put in place a few years ago, after the collapse of Enron. Congress shouldn't be shy about stepping in again - and reigning in the companies that are still living it up at the public's expense.

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