Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dick Parsons On David Faber's Program This Noontime

I think David Faber's noontime CNBC program, Strategy Session, hit a new low today. The big guest was Dick Parsons, now non-executive chairman of Citigroup.
Simply seeing Parsons had me scrambling for the remote. Listening to Faber ask Parsons to assess the nation's economic situation had me nearly gagging.
Let's review Parson's sorry record. He was in senior management at TimeWarner for years, most recently as CEO from 2002-2008. Nearby is a chart which provides a look at the company's stock price, versus the S&P500Index, for a long period including that timeframe.
It isn't pretty, is it?.
In fact, TimeWarner's price fell off a cliff shortly after Parsons took over, while the S&P soldiered on. TWX never really recovered, but, inexplicably, Parsons became a sort of Teflon-CEO.
Then there's Citigroup, where he replaced the disgraced Bob Rubin in 2009.

Citi has enjoyed virtual government ownership, and Parsons isn't the CEO. Despite the apparent modest rebound of Citi's share price, it hasn't really moved in a year.
From where, precisely, does Parsons derive such lofty respect and reverence? What is it that I'm missing that he did to earn such near-deification by Faber and CNBC?
Yet another example of what's wrong with business media journalims. Glorifying losers and mediocre CEOs so they can get guests and fill air time. Instead of grilling them on their past or current failures.

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