Mammon category archive
Thom wonders whether media corporations’ quest for profit is affecting their news coverage, in particular in choosing which stories to cover and which to ignore (or, at least, to de-emphasize).
Trump’s political appointees will get raises as federal employees furloughed during the Trump shutdown suffer.
Peter Whoriskey explains the hedge fund buy-out con and how it stiffs honest working persons. A snippet:
“It was a long, slow decline,” said Amy Gerken, formerly an assistant office manager at one of the stores. Sun Capital Partners, the private-equity firm that owned Marsh, “didn’t really know how grocery stores work. We’d joke about them being on a yacht without even knowing what a UPC code is. But they didn’t treat employees right, and since the bankruptcy, everyone is out for their blood.”
The anger arises because although the sell-off allowed Sun Capital and its investors to recover their money and then some, the company entered bankruptcy leaving unpaid more than $80 million in debts to workers’ severance and pensions.
For Sun Capital, this process of buying companies, seeking profits and leaving pensions unpaid is a familiar one. Over the past 10 years, it has taken five companies into bankruptcy while leaving behind debts of about $280 million owed to employee pensions.
Facebook is the Wells Fargo of “social” media.
You may have heard about the Payless Shoe chain’s “Palessi” prank, in which Payless invented a tony ersatz brand, “Paylessi,” and gulled folks with more money than sense into paying hundreds of dollars for $20 shoes.
At Psychology Today Blogs, Utpal Dholakia draws three lessons from this. Here they are; follow the link for a detailed discussion of the Paylessi prank and of each of these items.
- We should be skeptical of recommendations given by influencers and so-called experts.
- We should treat brands like wrapping paper on a Christmas present, not the present itself.
- When making a purchase decision, we should pay attention to the product features that really matter.
Thom and David Dayen discuss the career of Treasury secretary Mnuchin, aka “The Foreclosure King,” who Dayen describes as “the fox that is guarding the hen house.”