From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

December 2021
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Economics of the chemical enterprise. 5. Moat Nation of Steven Brill
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Networking, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 7:08 am

Steven Brill outlines the changes that have occurred
triggering the financialization of the chemical enterprise
that we have highlighted through the work of Rana Faroohar 

Brill points out that business today has taken on a new meritocracy
with a “get rich quick” philosophy that works through cut-throat
tactics  and the flooding of political influence money that no 
longer prioritizes the common good, but “win at any cost” for
the privileged few.
The resulting model finds successful businesses protected by
“moats” that shield off predators.  Moats he describes as good
product lines, great reputations, predominant market share and 
sterling management who hire the best of the best teams that
savvy investors will seek out. 
More and more we see AI and robotics impinge on human
roles.  So in addition to seeking cognifying roles in our careers, 
consider what John Meacham has urged
  - do practical work in the political sphere employing your highest
   - respect and insist on true facts and deploy reason (avoid 
dictators who lie frequently assuming that repetition will lead to
   - keep history in mind.
Just doing chemistry is not enough for professionals.

One Response to “Economics of the chemical enterprise. 5. Moat Nation of Steven Brill”

  1. site admin Says:

    Robert Reich’s recent book, The Common Good, teaches us about his
    perspective of the the changes that impact Chemical industry and R&D–

     1, …whatever-it takes-to-win politics Nixon and Watergate conspiracy/
    the lengths to which Nixon was willing to go to win at any cost Robert
    Bork’s Supreme Court hearings and attacks/ Dems systematically
    defame and vilify someone in public life/ following Court nominees—
    Thomas, Garland treatments by political opponents …

    whatever-it-takes partisanship in election finance, overcoming legislative
    stalemates with executive orders

    2. …whatever it takes to maximize profits Michael Milken and 1980s
    corporate raiders mounting hostile takeovers of corporations where raiders
    make a killing influencing the short term value of stocks Milken and 
    others invented high risk junk bonds . Raiders targeted companies that 
    could deliver higher returns to shareholders if they abandoned other 
    stakeholders—labor unions, pay of workers, ESOPS, automation, 
    abandoning communities by shuttering factories moving to lower tax locales. 

    Jack Welch morphed GE into a $400B firm by slashing jobs and benefits 
    of workers and retirees. Monikered as “Neutron Jack” Corporate raiders 
    have become “private equity managers” and activist investors. Corporations 
    exist to maximize shareholder returns which was a change from a balance 
    of the interests of shareholders, the community, the customer and the 
    employee. Executives indicate a fiduciary obligation to maximize investors’ 
    returns. Example, Jared Kushner’s real estate company uses arrest warrants 
    to collect debts owed by low-income tenants, often taking on thousands in 
    legal fees, because of its fiduciary obligation. After the company sued one 
    of its tenant for moving our of her apartment without giving the company 
    notice two months (having done so), the company argued a win judgment 
    and garnished her wages. Do not break leases and fear consequences if you 
    do so. 

    3. Lew Powell memo Wall Street bail out Whatever it takes to rig the 
    economy Powell wrote the Chamber of Commerce that the American 
    system is under attack from environmental, consumer and labor stakeholders 
    who seek to enforce regulations formed for the common good. Powell pushed 
    for corporate money to flow into politics and formation of public affairs 
    offices in Washington with registered lobbyists and PACs. 

     Very good, thoughtful dialog worth reading.

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