Up until this point in time I would have considered Amazon to be one of the most sound companies on the face of the planet. To be a good company, you have to make good business decisions. Appointing a political hack who has a track record of disastrous outcomes to your board isn’t what I’d call a sound business decision.
What are the disastrous outcomes you say? From Doug Ross:
In 2004, observers were “astonished” to discover that a key member of the 9/11 Commission had a fatal conflict-of-interest. Jamie Gorelick had served as a Deputy Attorney General under Bill Clinton from 1994 to 1997. It was later revealed that Gorelick had established a pre-Patriot Act “wall” that prevented the foreign intelligence and criminal investigative communities from collaborating. Gorelick’s wall “specifically impeded the investigation into Zacarias Moussaoui”, the so-called “20th hijacker.”
Where did she turn up after that delightful stint in Justice? Though she had no training or experience in finance, Gorelick was appointed the Vice Chairman of Fannie Mae and served in the role from 1997 to 2003. During that six-year period, she earned over $26 million. During Gorelick’s tenure, FNMA suffered a $10 billion accounting scandal, an ominous harbinger of the firm’s looming troubles. FNMA’s 2008 collapse, of course, helped touch off the mortgage meltdown.
Let’s see. That’s two trillion dollar disasters with one woman’s fingerprints. Not bad. Not bad at all. So I guess the question needs to be asked, what the heck is Amazon thinking? I’m sure, however, it has less to do with thinking and more to do with paying back some back room political favor granted years ago.
The well connected continue to be well connected. For her appointment to the board, Gorelick will earn about $665,000.
Something tells me I may be buying fewer Kindle books in the future.