Your article confirmed my view that politics is a business ("The CEO mayor," Special Report, June 25). It takes the right combination of managerial, risk-taking, and political skills to succeed in Corporate America, and those same skills can work on the national level in politics. The daunting task of fund-raising is all-consuming and reminds me of venture capital and the public-offering sequence of Wall Street. Imagine if a candidate could self-fund a campaign and extend successful, impatient pragmatism to the White House. Branding New York was a useful means of creating a perception that Gotham is a world-class city. Citizen-customers have been attended to, their needs have been considered, and now that can translate into votes.
A New York minute equals 30 days in Washington, and that gap has hurt the entire country. The 311 service initiated by the mayor helped New Yorkers see that communication with the government shouldn't be exempt from the progress of the Information Age.
Michael Bloomberg's fortune was made by showing the details of Wall Street finance, and he believes in openness, not obfuscation. Capitalism and efficiency shouldn't be confined to the private sector. We are fortunate to have a person of Mayor Bloomberg's caliber bringing energy and boldness to the challenges we face.
Steven A. Ludsin
Your story on Michael Bloomberg nailed it: A high-profile politician can be pragmatic, progressive—and popular. And while New York City's CEO has jumped from the Republican Party for a possible White House bid as an independent, his style should be a model for all conservatives. A well-run government is not all that different from a well-run business. Tough decisions today, even unpopular ones, can lead to a large payoff tomorrow when combined with a sound long-range strategy.
And Bloomberg is not only fiscally responsible. He's also a champion of the environment, as he has proven with progressive initiatives ranging from the installation of hundreds of energy-efficient traffic lights to the promotion of hybrid taxis.
To be certain, the GOP is going to miss this CEO mayor, but if anyone can continue to keep the series of islands that make up New York City afloat, Bloomberg can.
Republicans for Environmental Protection
Mayor Bloomberg may be doing great things for the city of New York. I don't live there, so I'll take your word for it. But those of us who live in other parts of the country wish he would leave the rest of us alone.
After he started harassing gun dealers in other states, the federal government told the mayor that not only had none of the targeted dealers broken any laws (none has been prosecuted based on the mayor's actions), but Mayor Bloomberg himself may have violated federal gun laws in pursuit of those dealers.
Much of the controversy over home loans these days is the direct result of people signing documents without first reading and fully understanding them ("The foreclosure rescue' racket," News & Insights, June 25).
It is a well-established principle of law that, where there is a written agreement, oral statements are not part of the agreement and should not be relied upon. Persons whose reading comprehension is insufficient should seek advice from someone other than a counterparty to any agreement before signing.
By prohibiting deals that are profitable to the property "rescuer," the Massachusetts Attorney General throws a monkey wrench into the above process, which does no favors to anyone. The AG would better serve the public by getting the word out that people should not sign documents that they have not first read and understood, and that they should not rely on oral statements by counterparties to written agreements.
Unfortunately, our politicians routinely set bad examples by passing legislation that they themselves have not read and fully understood.
James A. Kirk
Just curious: How many of these homeowners would still be in their homes if the bank went through with the foreclosure? How many would ever be able to buy a home again?
I don't see how [the foreclosure business is] different from the banks except the owner at least has a chance to get some equity or remain in the house—outcomes the banks would never go for.
Your story failed to tell readers about how honest, ethical professional real estate investors such as myself buy property from owners in foreclosure without resorting to any of the games, gimmicks, and tricks detailed in the article. We provide owners in foreclosure with much- needed debt relief and help them avoid the financial stigma of having a mortgage foreclosure recorded on their consumer credit files for seven years.
Metro Redevelopment Tampa
As a Silicon Valley CPA with numerous entrepreneurial clients, some of them first-generation immigrants, I've seen the American insourcing trend developing for years ("Guess who's hiring in America?" Global Business, June 25).
A weak dollar, increased globalization, and the growth of high-tech and other businesses in India, China, and throughout the developing world are bringing job creators in the form of entrepreneurs who, luckily for America, want to start businesses in the largest economy in the world. NUMMI, a Silicon Valley joint venture with General Motors (GM) and Toyota (TM), proved the concept that foreign companies in the U.S. do far better when they employ U.S. citizens.
With the debate currently raging in Congress regarding immigration, Americans would do well to remember that this country's economic wealth was built on an entrepreneurial spirit primarily fueled by immigrants. As a result, we should be encouraging immigrant entrepreneurs to locate in the U.S., not putting up barriers to keep them out.
Alan L. Olsen
Olsen & Co.
With France producing 80% of its electricity using nuclear power, it would benefit the U.S. to convert as soon as possible ("From peak oil to Dark Age?" Outside Shot, June 25). We possess the technology and resources but, it seems, not the political will to move forward quickly.
The French have the cleanest air,the lowest electricity costs, and the fastest trains in Europe because of nuclear power. France has built 56 nuclear plants since the U.S. built its last one 30 years ago. Spent fuel is recycled. And the safety of nuclear power is outstanding—just ask the U.S. military people who live in close proximity to nuclear reactors in our aircraft carriers and submarines.