With the Dreier scheme, Stein Bagger and the IT Denmark scandal and the uncovering of what appears to be the biggest Ponzi scheme in history in New York (Madoff), does it get any worse? One thing is clear - that many of the "recognized authorities" were solely convinced with apparent success and greed, rather than sound business review. How could Ernst & Young name Bagger "Entrepreneur of the Year"? How could so many influential investors invest with Madoff?
If we asked 100 people on the street if they believed in guaranteed permanent profits in their investments or guaranteed rises for no work, most would recognize this as impossible. However apart from the human suffering inflicted, this false belief, coupled with ever increasing greed, has led to wanton spending not just in bonuses but also in departments such as marketing.
Recently Casey Jones wrote about this in an interesting article in AdAge (12.18.08). If I were to put a practical spin on it, I would ask questions like this? If a non-profit can achieve national media response with one billboard after just a few days, what do so many companies spend millions blanketing cities with billboards that no-one notices? This true example shows how organizations, that have to take care in spending, can find ways to more success in advertising than the established big spenders.
Perhaps value for money in operations should be a more important issue when considering investment.