Earlier this month Carl Icahn said he’d respond to a Wall Street Journal story criticising his record on corporate boards. Today, via his blog, he did. Carl’s argument: He’s not the problem — it’s that most boards are wimpy rubber stampers, so Carl’s brand of sensible, sober activism stands out. One day, he predicts, “historians will marvel at why the press won’t write more about the egregious abuses and mismanagement of corporate boards in America.”
Why are journalists so disinterested in investigating corporate malfeasance? Carl has some theories: they’re intimidated by PR; they worry they won’t get access to management if they criticise them; they’re beholden to their own corporate ownership (in the WSJ’s case, Rupert Murdoch); or, it’s just easier to say nice things than unpleasant ones.
On thing Carl leaves out: There might be fewer journalists with time to look at corporate malfeasance, period. What with the whole collapse of the industry and all.
Carl, meanwhile, has more time on his hands than you’d think — enough to publish two long posts in a day. In the second one, he announces that he won’t be attending the Yahoo (YHOO) shareholder meeting tomorrow, since his presence would “turn into a media event for no purpose”.
And while he disagrees with Jerry Yang and Roy Bostock “on many points,” he says “I believe both gentlemen genuinely wish that we will be able to work together to enhance value.”
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