Corporate ‘Knights’: Bro. Conrad Black on Bro. Maurice Strong, Bro.Warren Buffett and Bro. Bill Gates

Funny Oped by Bro. Black who spent decades as a member of  the secret Freemason-Politician Bilderberg-Meetings, which have been promoting a one world  Global U.N. Government scheme for the past fifty years, by manufacturing and using/abusing various ‘events’ and ‘crisises’ thoughout the world. ‘Conservative’ Black also wrote a 800 page biography on Bro. Stalin’s best bud Bro. FDR.

Guess Lord C.  Harbour has had a change of heart while at Camp Coleman, at least while his new appeal is underway. 

Wish he had elaborated a little more about his ‘old friend’ Bro. Maurice Strong though. Perhaps for the next dispatch from the sunshine state eh ?

National Post
July 11, 2009

Conrad Black: Capitalists celebrate capitalism’s enemies
Conrad Black, Full Comment

Last week, I wrote in this space about Corporate Knights, a magazine insert (in another Canadian newspaper) whose editorial mission consists in large part of feting tired left-wing icons. The lively response to my column brought the information that this astounding organization had a celebratory day of festivities in Toronto last month, at which its chief private-sector financial supporters were given awards as Canada’s most “sustainable” corporations. As a special reward, they all got to hear from Ralph Nader that corporations are evil and should be nationalized, and from my ineffable old friend Maurice Strong about environmental imperatives.

How can the Royal Bank, Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal, Alcan and Investors Group go through this charade? Nader’s whole career has been an anti-climax since he exposed the safety shortcomings of the Chevrolet Corvair almost 50 years ago, except for his under-recognized international benefaction of providing the margin of victory for George W. Bush over Al Gore (self-elevated inventor of the Internet), by taking 1% of the vote in the 2000 presidential election. Nader is a stuck record, background music to half-a-century of socio-economic evolution. What were hundreds of well-heeled Toronto executives and their innocent guests doing, paying through their unperceptive noses to listen to him?

Maurice Strong is, as a Monty Python narrator might say, something completely different. I have known him for 25 years and have always found him an original character and an engaging scoundrel. His corporate ethics have often been questioned by people a good deal less fastidious than Ralph Nader. Did anyone in this well-stuffed room see the irony in Nader sharing a platform in his fulminations about the evils of capitalism with one of Canada’s formerly most uninhibited corporate raiders, who moved on to plunge up to his eyeballs amid the corruption of the United Nations? Probably none of them thought of Lenin’s assertion that capitalists were so stupid and greedy that they would sell him the rope with which he would, and in many cases did, hang them. But Maurice probably did.

One of the greatest ailments of contemporary capitalism is the mousey ambiguity of most of the lions of finance. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are two of the most ruthlessly competitive businessmen in U.S. history, which is doubtless the main reason why they are also two of the wealthiest. But Buffett seems almost to believe his own masquerade as America’s friendly Uncle Warren, all smiles and wrinkles rippling amiably out from his twinkling eyes as he sprinkles bons mots and Nebraska saws upon us like stardust. Bill Gates’s less aphoristic performance as the world’s rich altruistic nerd is a little less verbally gymnastic a walk-on part, but is well-costumed in corduroys and a viyella shirt.

Their business and dissimulative talents and their good charitable works are beyond question, but it is all almost enough to incite nostalgia for J.P. Morgan’s admittedly peevish “The public be damned!” or certainly Roy Thomson: “Why do you want to make more money, Lord Thomson?” “To buy more newspapers.” “Why do you want more newspapers?” “To make more money.” JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Thomson Reuters are all great (and sustainable) companies, and I doubt that any of them has ever paid to listen to Ralph Nader or Maurice Strong.

The real “corporate knights” are people who stand unapologetically for something useful. Donald Trump is an unambiguous capitalist, a very high quality builder, a civically minded New Yorker who has helped the city through some difficult moments, and is personally a very generous and unpublicized philanthropist and a tenaciously loyal friend. Another is Ken Langone, who stuck with New York Stock Exchange president Dick Grasso when he was being persecuted by Eliot Spitzer, after he was deserted by his other blue-ribbon directors.

And there are Canadian corporate knights, too. Frank Stronach has a strange share structure and an unusual range of assets. He built up a splendid auto-parts business, had to rebuild it after the adoption of free-trade agreements with the United States, has had a colourful foray in gambling and entertainment and has seen off the market vulture who brought down Lehman Brothers. When opportunity knocked, he made a strong play to get Opel back from General Motors, which would establish Canadian ownership in the automobile industry for the first time since R.S. McLaughlin sold Buick to General Motors after the First World War.

Where is the outburst of public admiration for Frank Stronach, and when is the banquet to thank him for what he has done for Canada? Even Ralph Nader could not imagine that Canada would be on the cusp of such a corporate repatriation, not even when Frank’s daughter was a federal minister.

Galen Weston is one of the world’s greatest retailers, now locked in mortal combat with Wal-Mart. The Weston-Loblaw group has to carry the dead weight of Canadian unionization, kits out quality stores in always new ways, advertises and markets very imaginatively and has never had a serious quality-control problem or political controversy. The Weston family has been highly respected for 100 years, especially its present leaders, Galen and Hilary Weston and their talented son and daughter.

But the connoisseurs of corporate worthiness are taking their time saluting Weston’s defence of the Canadian food and dry goods market against the Wal-Mart monster, which floods the world with cheap and often defective Chinese products, and puts competition to the wall with its minimalist approach to sites, personnel and compensation. Apparently, they are simply too busy taking in lectures from capitalism’s enemies.
National Post
cbletters@gmail.com

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