Economy Politics Rochester

PAETEC: Just Business

To be clear, there is as yet no evidence of criminal activity in the PAETEC / Windstream deal. Which is not surprising. There is also nothing in the deal which, in terms of gross corporate governance, violates any maxim of ethics. Also not surprising.

But is that and should that be the limit of our concern? The Rochester Business Journal seems to think so:

After Paetec, Rochester Business Journal:

But either way, the first obligation of Paetec’s board is to its shareholders. Anyone who thinks otherwise has forgotten that Paetec is publicly held-and has not been paying attention to what Mr. Chesonis has said a number of times since 2007.

This same basic idea is echoed, ad nauseum, by Rochester’s own Corporate Council Mayor Tom Richards. But is that and should that be the limit of our concern? I’ve made the point in the past that getting indignant about the situation isn’t going to make it any better. But somewhere between screeching about Bob Duffy needing to get involved and the bland corporate boilerplate response is what is probably a better position for the leader of a city about to lose its shirt. Again.

No, there may in fact be nothing wrong here, in terms of the rules of the game that lawyers and judges have setup for lo this many centuries. But this is somebody’s home. This is Rochester. And if Midtown wasn’t what we remember its former glory to be, prior to being knocked down, it is still our pride and the center of the town we call our home… even if we’re really from East Rochester or Gates. Business is not just business for us.

We do not need to be told that we lost fair and square. We don’t need “funeral chatter” about how Midtown “isn’t suffering anymore” or “has gone to a better place” or that the result was always a risk with such a tricky procedure. We need someone to stand up with an ounce of pride and, without groveling and insisting “we’ll do all we can to keep them here,” get in the game and find out what it takes to make the sale. Are we really going to beg a company from fucking Arkansas to stay in New York State? Is that the level of pride we’ve been reduced to? Because our leadership can’t come up with anything better?

And lets be fair: I’m not talking to Mayor Richards myself. I’m not a journalist; I’m not interviewing him or watching him be interviewed or editing interview film. I have no first-hand knowledge of how he feels about anything. Perhaps the news media, in its panic to cover such a big story, is missing the nuance of the Mayor’s position. Maybe the effervescent positivity corporate lawyers are so famous for isn’t coming through.

But then, the news media is hardly anyone’s only outlet, is it? Pretty sure that, even in these hard economic times, Blogger accounts are free.


More Kodak Details

MSNBC has picked up the story of Kodak’s troubles.


Kodak Suspending 401k Payments, Warning of Bad Returns for Q4

Well, you knew it had to happen. A consumer electronics corporation in the midst of the worst Christmas buying season in a long time was going to suffer, and now its reporting the crisis to Wall Street. Kodak is suspending 401k payments, freezing executive salaries and withdrawing it’s “Second-half Guidance,” which is basically a prediction of it’s sales for this quarter.

I hate to say it – really, really, really hate to say it – but it seems like layoffs might also be in the works.


Back Online! Items of Interest This Morning

Whoa, did that suck! I switched hosts to a new VPS service, which rocks, but unfortunately found myself bested by Apache2 and the site went down for a few days. Sorry for the interruption! A big thanks to Rottenchester of The Fighting 29th, who was able to straighten out the mess with my configuration and get my back online. Thanks!

And in items of interest this morning, whilst I work on updating the news section:

As a sign of the times, the NYT is reporting that office space in Manhattan is rapidly emptying out ahead of the looming recession. I hope they cleared out the upper floors first. Those are some nice streets to have to wipe the Investor Class off of.

And here in Rochester, the Irondequoit Town Board will be meeting on plans to make the Medley Center – known on this site as the Diddly Center – even less useful than it was as a mall. Don’t miss the comments section on this one.

I find it sort of ironic that they want a movie theatre in the Medley Center when they already have one down on Culver where you can catch a movie, eat some popcorn and watch teenagers knife-fight in the parking lot. We really need another one of those in town? Seriously?


The Worm Turns

A major source of the revenue that fueled Bush’s 2000 and 2004 wins has turned to sunnier pastures in the Democratic Party, Bloomberg reports:

Bush Business Donors Shunning McCain for Democratic Candidates || Worldwide

Bankers and investors don’t point to specific policies affecting their industry in explaining McCain’s lack of support. Grano, a McCain backer, said disappointment over what he calls the “terrible” execution of the Iraq war may account for some of McCain’s difficulties. Bush’s job performance is another oft- mentioned reason.

“There’s a great deal of dissatisfaction with the Republican Party,” said Mallory Factor, a merchant banker who co-hosts a weekly meeting of conservatives in New York City and raised more than $1 million for Bush and his party four years ago. “People are just fed up.”

And so, Republican power all but inevitably stripped for another few years, the savvy business community places its bets on the winning horse(s). It’s a cyclical thing: business plants it’s seeds in in the sound economic planning of Democratic presidencies, then rapes the field in the tax-slashing Republican presidencies.