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Author Archives: Joe Queenan

Joe Queenan is a regular contributor on business issues, corporate culture, and financial follies to Barron's and The Wall Street Journal.

A Billion Here, A Billion There

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Remember when a billion dollars still seemed like a lot of money? Neither does anybody else. Consider: A newspaper revered for its ability to articulate the deepest concerns of the American people reported that the government’s controversial TARP program could result in massive losses to taxpayers as a result of financial legerdemain. The putatively terrifying story, appearing under the headline ...

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Getting Real

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Not long ago, a photograph of Liz Claiborne CEO William McComb jammed into a seat in coach class appeared in the The Wall Street Journal. The article described how CEOs were forgoing trips on private planes and even giving the thumbs-down to first class and business class as a way of cutting costs. Such selflessness was bound to get the ...

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The Invisible Black Hand

The decision by the federal government to bail out the Mafia but allow the Cosa Nostra to go under has left investors bewildered and enraged. Ever since it became apparent last week that neither the Mafia nor the Cosa Nostra could survive without a massive infusion of capital, Americans have waited with baited breath to see if the feds would ...

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Pushing the Envelope

Sometimes the solution to a seemingly insurmountable problem is staring us right in the face. Beethoven used to bust flimsy harpsichords into smithereens until somebody hit on the practical solution of the grand piano. Holland would get flooded every winter until somebody dreamed up the idea of the dike. China suffered the depredations of marauding barbarians for centuries until it ...

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