Private ownership no guarantee in hard times


Last year, I wrote about Chrysler being owned by a private group, and whether private ownership is a way for corporate growth and innovation.

Given that Chrysler will be cutting 25% of salaried workers, it seems that when times are tough, even private owners will be impatient and not only public companies facing shareholders.


Waterloo Region among lower cost business centers in the North East


Among cities in the North East of the USA, and Ontario and Quebec provinces in Canada, Waterloo Region came out to be the 5th least costly place to do business in.

Waterloo Region is cheaper to do business in than Buffalo, NY, Baltimore, MD, and Detroit, M, but more costly than Sherbrooke, Que, Lexington, KY, and Charleston, W. Va. Out of the major centers closeby that are cheaper, London, Ontario and Chatham-Kent are cheaper.

The study includes labor cost, income taxes and transportation. 

The Corporation: a psychopathic entity, with psychopaths for CEOs


In 2003, a Canadian 3-hour documentary titled The Corporation was released.

Documentary: The Corporation

The documentary is critical of the modern-day corporation, exposing it as "a person" from the legal point of view, and evaluating its attitude towards society and the world at large from the eyes of a psychologist.

One of the conclusions is that a corporation is a psychopath.

Robert Hare: criminal psychologist

This conclusion is grounded in the work of 71 year old Robert Hare, professor emeritus from the University of British Columbia in criminal psychology. He is known for having developed the Psychopathy Checklist, used by police around the world, as well as other occupations such as firefighters, teachers, nuclear plant workers, and more.

Hare also co-authored Snakes in Suits: When the psychopaths go to work in 2006 with Paul Babiak, a New York industrial psychologist.

On to psychoanalysing CEOs

In a July 2005 article on Fast Company titled Is your Boss a Psychopath? Hare's checklist is used to evaluate several high profile CEOs, and Fast Company found that many of them scored as "moderately psychopathic". The article is full of descriptions of corporate psychopaths, such as:

glibness and superficial charm; grandiose sense of self-worth;
pathological lying; conning and manipulativeness; lack of remorse
or guilt; shallow affect (i.e., a coldness covered up by dramatic
emotional displays that are actually playacting); callousness and
lack of empathy; and the failure to accept responsibility for one's
own actions.

A British study concludes that they are:

superficially charming, egocentric, insincere, and manipulative, and just as likely to be grandiose, exploitative, and lacking in empathy

CEOs are the perfect example of non-violent psychopaths. The only difference between the successful psychopaths (CEOs) and the non-successful ones (regular criminals) is that the latter are more impulsive and physically aggressive!).

The article goes on to distinguish between the destructive, transient, in-it-solely-for-self-gain psychopath and the productive narcissist, who shares some traits (e.g. disregard for others, self centered), but is out to change the world and is loyal to the corporation and shareholders.

The Corporation: Watch the video online

Finally, you can watch the The Corporation documentary by clicking on the image below.l

Google buys mobility web sites : Jaiku and Zingku


Last month, Google purchased Zingku, a mobility social networking web site. Today, they announced that they acquired Finland based Jaiku, which allows posting short messages that friends receive on their mobile phone, much like Twitter.

Google Phone?

With the rumored GPhone set to launch before end of 2007, Google seems to be reaching out wider in the mobility field.

One in three Britons dreams of emigrating to ease financial worries


According to the Daily Mail, one in three Britons dreams of emigrating to ease financial worries.

They quote a YouGov poll citing cost of housing and tax burden on the middle class. People between 25 and 34 are the most likely to leave.

If that is the case for Britian, I wonder what the ratio in Egypt would be?

Strong Canadian dollar, low inflation, low unemployment and steady gasoline prices


Several indicators of a strong economy are causing the rise Canadian dollar.

Fuel prices

Something strange has been happening to gasoline prices. For the first two weeks of September, it only fluctuated between 96 and 98 cents per litre, despite crude oil prices exceeding $80 per barrel and only a few dollars from the all time record of $84. Moreover, the price was identical in all stations around the city.

This last week, the price fell to as low as 92.5.

This is all good news, but why was gasoline 130 cents when Hurricane Katerina hit?

Private ownership: A way for corporate innovation and growth?


Two recent corporate news items caught my attention: the trend of taking large corporations from public to private ownership.

The first is Chrysler, whose parent Daimler Chrysler is selling a majority stake in to to Cerberus for $7.4 billion. The second is BCE (Bell Canada's parent company) who will be a private company for a $51.7 billion deal.

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