Archive for January, 2010

Fix corporations to fix campaign finance

January 30, 2010

The US Supreme Court’s wrongheaded decision on corporate campaign contributions raises the specter of billions of corporate dollars flooding the electoral process. But the core issue goes beyond campaign financing. It’s time to restore corporate sanity, as I wrote in The Guardian. From spending millions on lobbyists to paying eight-figure bonuses to self-proclaimed masters of the financial universe that collapsed the global economy, corporations have gone crazy. The problem is simple – shareholders that own companies have lost their rightful power to supervise the executives who manage them, so can’t prevent them from acting recklessly and spending investors’ money foolishly; the inmates are running the asylum. The solution is also simple – fair corporate elections that give investors a legitimate chance to elect boards of directors that will, as the law requires, protect shareholders’ investments. Until corporations fix their own elections, they shouldn’t meddle in others.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, financial crisis, and cheap lingerie.

Ask not how Obama changed Washington…

January 19, 2010

Assessing Barack Obama’s first year as president, I’m not surprised by the disappointing list of accomplishments and continued business as usual in Washington. But I didn’t expect the nation’s political conversation to get away from Obama’s White House as badly as it has, given what an astute campaign his team ran. I still hold out hope that president and his team are merely incompetent or just going through a bad patch and that the Nixon’s funeral rule doesn’t apply.

At the 1994 funeral of Richard Nixon (which I watched in Beijing during my first visit to China, right before cycling to Mao’s tomb in Tiananmen Square), I understood why all the living ex-presidents, regardless of party, and incumbent Bill Clinton felt obliged to attend. But when Clinton took the podium and said good things about Nixon, it taught me a key lesson: Clinton and Nixon and the rest of the politicians at that funeral were all on the same side, and that wasn’t the side I was on. I’m still hoping that someone on my side has finally gotten into the White House, and that they will deliver change we can believe in.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, financial crisis, and cheap lingerie.

Nopenhagen saviors US, China deserve praise

January 7, 2010

In the fallout from last month’s failed climate change conference, the US and China emerged as villains. But the real blame for turning Copenhagen into Nopenhagen rests with the UN, small developing countries, and environmental groups. Those parties had little to contribute to the negotiations and were committed a flawed concept that, even it had been adopted, would not have effectively curbed emissions. The US and China, countries that really can make a difference in emissions, came up with a plan that can actually help save the planet, and they deserve to be praised for it.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, financial crisis, and cheap lingerie.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 107 other followers

%d bloggers like this: