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Publication: Investor's Notebook
THE EXECUTIVE WAY OF STINKING

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       Investor's Insight - Friday, April 14, 2006           
          "A Digest of Investment Opinion From the 
             World's Leading Financial Advisers"

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Comment The Post Below...


THE EXECUTIVE WAY OF STINKING
by Scott Burns

Q: Why do financial journalists, such as you, not raise 
a stink when top management at different corporations 
(like Ford) lay off thousands of employees while retaining 
their jobs? A rational person would think that the finan-
cial community would call for the removal of the board of 
directors, the CEO and all the top lieutenants anytime this 
happens.

But no, it's just accepted practice to lay off the inno-
cents.

It's the same old story, time after time. The top people 
that ran the company into the ground in the first place 
make more money for laying off their employees who had 
nothing to do with it. Maybe we need an investor revolt. 
-- C.C., Dallas

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NEW DISCOVERY LOWERS CHOLESTEROL QUICKLY, NATURALLY

PRINCETON, NJ - A clinical study at UCLA confirms that a
safe, natural supplement reduces cholesterol absorption
40% or more with no side effects. Says CholesterolWatchers
Medical Director Dr. Arlene Donar, "With high cholesterol
you need to do something now. Take it with meals and..." (more)

Lower your cholesterol naturally

------------------------------------------------------------

A: Don't hold your breath. Investors revolt when they 
lose their money, not when workers lose their jobs. Even 
when investors lose their money, they are ill-inclined to 
lead palace revolutions. Most just sell their shares. 
They take their money where it will be better treated. 
Whether employees keep their jobs is a secondary consid-
eration to investors -- though most would prefer to own 
shares in companies that were hiring new workers and rais-
ing their pay.

That's the way it is.

While the behavior of American executives in recent years 
has been egomaniacal and self-aggrandizing to a degree most 
people find repulsive, the situation we are in would be 
little different if they were more admirable. We would 
still be facing disruptive technological change. We would 
still be confronted by massive international competition. 
Those are the real problems. And they have eliminated the 
bargaining power of most workers. 

Executives aren't the cause of these changes. They are only 
the messengers.

Then again, it would be nice if they didn't stink so badly 
when they delivered the message.

Q: It is becoming clearer every day that the folks in Wash-
ington have absolutely no idea how to fix the problems star-
ing us in the face: unfunded Social Security, Medicare, 
federal budget, private pensions, etc. Since they obviously 
plan to just let the train wreck happen, how do we best 
prepare for it financially?

I am 69, my wife is 60, and we are both retired. We own 
the standard mix of foreign and domestic stocks, bonds, 
iBonds and cash. -- L.R., Tyler, Texas

A: You're not alone. My mail bag is growing heavy with 
questions from readers who are discouraged about federal 
and trade deficits, energy prices, employment prospects, 
etc. 

In fact, I think there are a number of independent actions 
we can, and should, take to increase our personal safety 
and security.

------------------------------------------------------------

NEW DISCOVERY LOWERS CHOLESTEROL QUICKLY, NATURALLY

PRINCETON, NJ - A clinical study at UCLA confirms that a
safe, natural supplement reduces cholesterol absorption
40% or more with no side effects. Says CholesterolWatchers
Medical Director Dr. Arlene Donar, "With high cholesterol
you need to do something now. Take it with meals and..." (more)

Lower your cholesterol naturally

------------------------------------------------------------

The first is to take our health as a major personal res-
ponsibility. This means being physically active, eating 
right and acting as though our bodies deserved at least 
the preventive maintenance of a car. Few do this, and our
failure to take personal responsibility is one of the major 
drivers of medical costs. Skeptical readers should check 
the trustees' reports for Social Security and Medicare, 
where they will learn that the unfunded liabilities of Med-
icare Part D alone are already estimated at twice the un-
funded liabilities of Social Security and as large as all 
U.S. Treasury debt.

The second is to clean up our personal balance sheets. 
This means going on a strict credit diet, eliminating 
credit card balances and high-cost personal debt. For 
older people, it means eliminating home mortgages. For 
younger people, it means having a home mortgage they can 
manage through thick or thin. Doing this will not be a 
cause of great suffering: Consumer purchasing power will 
rise when less is paid in interest to lenders.

The third is to take steps to reduce personal energy con-
sumption. This means buying fuel-efficient cars even when 
less efficient cars are easily affordable and treating 
money spent on home energy consumption as money poorly 
spent. Energy imports account for a major portion of our 
negative balance of trade. The same money, spent domesti-
cally, would boost the domestic economy.

(Questions about personal finance and investments may be 
sent to Scott Burns, The Dallas Morning News, P.O. Box 
655237, Dallas, TX 75265; or by fax: (214) 977-8776; 
or by e-mail: scott@scottburns.com
Check the Web site: www.scottburns.com. 
Questions of general interest will be answered in 
future columns.)

(Investor's Insight reflects the opinions of experts. It does 
not recommend any specific investments, and no endorsement is 
implied or should be inferred. For more information, contact 
the individual firms cited).

COPYRIGHT 2006 UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE

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