Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Teaching Moment for the Private Sector in "The House of Cards"

Most of the Netflix series The House of Cards is nothing more than a great  depiction  of the lying, scheming, dishonesty and the general immorality that goes on in Washington D.C. Even Politico has printed a story discussing how accurate the show is:
 Actor Kevin Spacey says his Netflix show "House of Cards" isn't that far from the reality of politics in Washington.

"Look, for me, it's like performance art," he said Sunday on ABC's "This Week." "We can get done shooting on a day, and I'll come home and turn on the news and think: 'You know, our storylines are not that crazy, they're really not.'"

With some exceptions, "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos cut in, such as politicians murdering people who get in their way.

"I've heard from lots of people," Spacey said. "Some people feel that 99 percent of the show is accurate, and that the 1 percent that isn't is that you could never get an education bill passed that quickly."
But there is one small subplot in this season's series that offers an important teaching moment for the private sector. Kevin Spacey's character in the series, along with the character's wife, want to get rid of an aide. But, the character has too much dirt on them, so they can't just fire him. What they do instead is arrange for the aide to be hired away at a much higher salary.

The billionaire commodities trader Marc Rich followed this rule. I know a bunch of Rich's former traders and they told me Rich would never fire anyone, even a secretary. He would arrange for them to be hired away by another firm.

Going further along this theme, a serious financial operator I know was having trouble with a certain individual regulator. The regulator wouldn't stop probing and investigating, so the operator got a friend to hire the regulator away from this government agency---end of the aggressive investigations.


  1. Anything and everything that promotes distrust of the government is good for libertarianism

  2. The fact that people in DC LOVE this show exposes how vile and sick they really are. They can't see their own evil is exposed.

    Sick. Sick, wrong and uncalled for.

  3. I love when you post these little business tips like this from time to time.

  4. The interjection by Stephanopoulos denying the possibility of political murder is interesting. Surely Stephanopoulos recalls that on the infamous Linda Tripp tapes, both Tripp and Lewinsky mention they feared for their lives if their testimonies did not comport with political exigencies. That is to say, if they did not lie to cover for Clinton. Of course, in polite company the mention of suspicious deaths during the tenure of Stephie's chief benefactor, such as those of Vince Foster, Ron Brown, and several others, is to reveal oneself as a disreputable "Clinton hater". We are not to consider the good evidence that these deaths were indeed political murders.