Bethany McLean’s Weekend Reading List: Doctors, Private Equity, SoftBank, and Investors’ Environmental Goals

Corruption, lobbying, corporate malfeasance, and frauds: a weekly unconventional selection of must-read articles by investigative journalist Bethany McLean. 

 

I love this piece because it sits right at the intersection of two of my favorite issues: The festering problems with private equity, including the push for profit maximization, and the impact journalism can have. 

 

 

 

 

Read it in conjunction with this. Because purportedly, the great majority of investors are saying that the main goal of a company should no longer be maximizing returns. Is that really what they believe, or is that just the politically correct thing to say? And if that is what they believe, how do you measure those other goals?

 

 

 

 

(For a longer take on the dark history of companies that try to do good, read this book: Yes, sorry to say, it is a dark history.) 

 

 

 

 

Oh, but the business world is nothing but schizophrenic. Because for all the profit maximization that takes place, there is also the opposite, which is loss maximization, ie WeDon’tWork. I thought this was the best explanation I’ve read of how SoftBank works, and the writer has an… interesting past. (H/T my friend Ravi.) 

 

 

 

 

And a quick extra. Yes, yes, it’s my ongoing obsession with pensions, but it’s a quick read, and I think a telling one. This crisis will not “just” be financial. It will challenge the very composition of our society.

 

 

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