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Business Letters

January 17, 2010

Re: "Heads of Wall Street firms admit errors but deflect blame for crisis," Jan. 13:

How dare these so-called bright boys just admit errors in judgment but insist on not even being blamed for the crisis! And, seemingly without any bit of shame, still defend their right to bonuses!

If the "heads" of these financial firms have any modicum of self-respect or empathy for regular, tax-paying citizens, they should, at the very least, sign away all the shares of stock they have in the firms they head and surrender a major percentage of their salaries and bonuses since 2007.

I can only hope the Obama administration will have the backbone to push through more stringent monitoring of these financial firms.

Victor W. Monsura

Garden Grove

Booking a ticket would be cheaper

Re: "For sail: 200 homes on cruise ship," Jan. 11:

The story described "homes" for sale on the ship Utopia, from a mere $3.7 million (for 1,400 square feet) to an eye-popping $26 million (for 6,600 square feet). Ouch!

The proverb "a fool and his money are soon parted" most definitely applies here. Imagine spending that kind of money, then being told that you "do not own the ship or common areas." Unacceptable. Let the buyer beware!

David Tulanian

Los Angeles

How to fix NBC management

Re: "Drama circles Leno’s 10 p.m. slot," Jan. 9:

TV producer Kurt Sutter's remark about NBC showing some kind of contrition misses the whole point: They need to decapitate upper management and start over.

Successful networks run on executive might. What NBC could use is another Brandon Tartikoff and Grant Tinker. If they were earnest in their quest for success they would be chasing the likes of Barry Diller and teaming him with guys who have produced successful series like David Chase -- but that's an act of courage that over-leveraged corporations rarely make.

Instead, they're likely to drag out another licensed oldie from Dick Wolf. I'm beginning the wonder if NBC stands for Numb Beyond Compare.

John Thomas Ellis

Kentfield, Calif.

Promoting more driver distraction

Re: "Ford’s Sync puts apps in cars," Jan. 8:

Thank you, Ford Motor Co., for the latest series of gadgets and gimmicks designed to help drivers do everything but keep their eyes on the road.

Perhaps now the California Department of Motor Vehicles will take a giant leap forward and update their driving tests to include: navigating a left-hand turn in rush-hour traffic while texting your mother, parallel parking while checking film schedules and driving through a crosswalk while watching TV, with points added for every stroller, wheelchair and elderly person struck by this "grown-up" version of bumper cars.

Flo Selfman

Los Angeles

Save Northrop from new CEO

Re: "New Northrop Grumman CEO shows why he got the job," Jan. 7:

My family works for aerospace companies in Southern California. The news that Northrop Grumman Corp. is moving its headquarters to the Washington, D.C., area is a shock to us.

Is it possible to motivate the mayor of Los Angeles or the governor of our state to stop the planned action of new Northrop Chief Executive Wesley G. Bush? We strongly believe it will affect many companies along with Northrop.

The CEOs of the financial companies are responsible for our present economy. This CEO will destroy what is left of Southern California's economy.

Reba Palit


Hoping for a few residual checks

Re: Company Town blog post, "Warner Bros. new releases to stay off Netflix for 28 days," Jan. 6:

Most people don't realize that a lot of us that are in the entertainment business depend on residuals from the sale of DVDs. I don't think having to wait a month to rent a movie is asking too much.

Jerry Trent

Studio City

Hard to borrow if credit's frozen

Re: "U.S. consumers again borrow less," Jan. 9:

This article makes it seem as though the drastic reduction in consumer borrowing and use of credit cards is voluntary when it is not.

It's impossible to use credit cards when the banks have closed our accounts or reduced our credit limits to the current amounts owed -- while simultaneously raising interest rates to ungodly highs on existing balances.

These actions in turn cause significant drops in credit scores because of our new debt-to-credit limit ratios, thereby making it difficult if not impossible to get new loans.

If, in fact, consumer spending accounts for 70% of the economy, then we will continue to suffer through this recession until something is done to bring the banks under control.

The Credit Card Reform Act was a joke. The banks rule the world, will never agree to reasonable consumer-oriented regulations, and will continue to punish us with arrays of new fees and higher borrowing rates.

Does anyone remember that using our ATM cards was originally free?

Steve Fondiler

Oak Park

3 rules to keep CalPERS clean

Re: "Go-betweens got $125-million-plus for arranging CalPERS deals," Jan. 15.

If the California Public Employees' Retirement System really wants to eliminate the problems with middlemen soliciting business, then CalPERS should immediately implement three rules:

1. No former employee or ex-board member can appear before them for three years in any capacity or representing any entity whatsoever.

2. Any former employee or ex-board member appearing before the board must clearly disclose any and all payments that would be made to them for any business they secured from CalPERS.

3. All current board members must recuse themselves from any presentations made by former board members or employees with whom they served or worked on the board.

Jerry Schneir

Santa Monica

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