Here are three links that you must find time for this week:
- Can Ge Still Manage? by Diane Brady (Business Week, 4/15/2010)
It is important to disclose upfront that I am a GE alum. It’s been almost ten years since my departure, but I still watch the company I grew up in professionally.
Brady’s thesis is that earnings and stock price have been under pressure for most of CEO Jeff Immelt’s tenure. With a quick acknowledgement of the dismal economics over the last decade, Brady wonders if GE’s storied management can no longer cope with the times.
Immelt describes the successful managers at GE as overachievers, working-class roots, resilience, the ability to be challenged and to learn, a tendency to be self-reflective, and a desire to grow. But then he adds the most important line from in the piece:
“[T]here’s always this impediment of ‘Why do we have to change if we’re good?'”
- Inside Job from This American Life
The folks from This American Life teamed up with ProPublica to dig into the subprime mortgage mess. This epsiode rivals their Peabody award winner episode The Giant Pool of Money. This is also important journalism given the suit filed on Friday by the SEC against Goldman Sachs for the same thing that these reporters found hedge fund Magnetar doing: building questionable financial instruments and then betting against them.
- Michael Lewis’ Big Short and Our Appetite for Apocalypse – An Interview with Christopher Lydon
This is one of the most interesting interviews I have listened that Lewis has given on his new book. Lydon is animated and asks insightful questions, but at times, tries to turn the discussion political with using the Iraq War as a comparable metaphor for the economic collapse. The Charlie Rose interview with Michael Lewis is also good.