• 03.20.08

Work/Life: When Worlds Collide: What Bear Stearns Could Learn From Paris Hilton



  • I guess when an organization as huge as Bear Stearns takes adive, it is only natural for the government to step in and create some buy-outterms that mean JPMorgan will be guaranteed not to suffer any losses by bailingout their competitor.  But itcertainly puts the average citizen’s life in perspective, since no one is outthere giving us any sweetheart deals when we fall behind on a mortgage paymentor take advantage of low-interest-rate balance transfer on our creditcards.  Okay, so Bear Stearns is alynch pin of the economy, but there seemed to be an element of “if it doesn’tkill you it will make you stronger” missing from the cut-throat world ofbusiness here.  I mean, as my daughterwould say, “it’s like, you know,” they didn’t have to work for it.  
  • Which is why it may be a cosmic coincidence that on the sameweekend that all this financial disaster news hit the wires, so did a storythat Paris Hilton will soon have her own MTV reality show, called “ParisHilton’s New BFF (Best Friend Forever),” in which a series of male and femalecontestants will move into a house with Paris and compete to become her newbest friend.   This iscertainly a major, and potentially frightening, melding of work and life, butcould also provide an unwitting guidepost toward a more stringent qualificationprocess for the next company to go belly-up jeopardizing our nation’swell-being.
  • The court of public opinion is where pretty much everythingis decided upon these days, so why not make troubled corporations suck up totheir prospective buyers on national television, letting the rest of us decidewhether or not they are truly worthy of being saved?  Those who want to be in the first round of contenders forbecoming members of Hilton’s entourage have to submit preliminary stats to aWeb site.  This could work fortroubled financial outfits as well. Basic questions like “do you consider this groveling?” “are you preparedto give up a yacht or two?” and “I mean, really, how, in your own words, did itever come to this?” are excellent ice-breakers.  
  • From there, those concerned should definitely spend timewith each other, confined in a house, just to see who gets on whosenerves.  This could not only leadto some great on-camera snit fits, but could ultimately reveal to viewers thatthe troubled company has a “difficult” personality and may have to startwatching late-night television for credit consolidation offers if they don’tchill out.   Far fetched yousay?  Let me support this thesis byquoting Paris Hilton herself.  Whenasked who she would consider as having what it takes to be her new best friend,she replied, “Someone I can just trust, someone who’s not gonna stab me in theback…”  If that doesn’t haveresonance in corporate America, I don’t know what does.