Saturday, June 06, 2009


The Empire of Rent-Seeking strikes back.

...GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, whom one would think has better things to do, was so upset that three shareholders -- Deneen Borelli, Jesse Watters and Tom Borelli -- would ask him questions about the GE-owned networks' liberal bias, trade with Iran and lobbying for cap-and-trade that he ordered retaliation against a news media outlet that reported they had done so.

Quoting the LAWeekly story:

GE Chairman Jeff Immelt ordered a GE company-wide ban on all of THR's parent company: advertising, editorial, the works. After a few days, the ban was reduced to GE's NBC Universal against Nielsen Business Media's The Hollywood Reporter and lasted six weeks.

I'm of mixed mind on this. Since GE is a private company, they have the right to do whatever they want to do with their money.

But it certainly is petty and little tacky.

And Immelt did not invent the "GE as Rent-Seeker" model of business. Jack Welch was a master at that; it is known that GE lobbyists wrote most of the tax-reform bill of the first Bush term (which made GE exporting an extremely profitable line-item...)

However, GE does have a serious conflict and is trampling all over the ethics-garden when it simultaneously pushes the "Green Line" of BS over its broadcast "news" networks AND holds significant positions in finance and industry which would profit from "green" profligacy of the Federal Gummint.


Deekaman said...

Immelt is the Devil. No doubt. And clearly GE stands to profit handsomely from any "green" legislation or regulation. I think the cross the ethics line pushing it in their media. More than just a little.

Anonymous said...

Immelt is a weasel in love with his own power - take a look at the look on his face when he's sitting next to Obama at their "economic team" meeting. I'd expect the same bodily fluids dripping off his chin as the MSM.

As someone who has worked for two of the GE companies (and used to be proud of it), I and many others, believe Immelt is destroying it. None of the joint venture carbon trading stuff has been publicized internally, but from we have suspected the use of GE Capital for this purpose for a while. It wouldn't make sense to only be pushing wind, solar, and Healthcare IT without the GE Capital angle as they are three of the smallest P&Ls in the company. Immelt recently had a global employee "townhall" webcast where an employee asked and expressed concerns about him being a bit too chummy with the Obama administration. His response was that government was going to be a part of the company's future and if you didn't believe that there would be no place for you on his team. Since then, every Business and P&L leader has been openly touting Cap & Trade as a great thing for the economy. More interesting timing.

Now all the employees get weekly propaganda messages telling us to "talk up" the company. The NBC group is just the external propaganda arm.

Anonymous said...

Why does this not surprise me?

OTOH, if he would actually WATCH some of the crap the NBC franchise is putting out, he might change his mind.