Taxpayers Must Become Activist Investors: Icahn
What the government did at GM should be a lesson: get rid of bad leadership
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2009 11:05 AM CDT
In this Cot. 11, 2007 file photo, private equity investor and chairman of ImCLone, Carl Icahn speaks at the World Business Forum in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)
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(Newser) – Barney Frank was right when he said a retention bonus is “a nice word, it turns out, for extortion,” writes Carl Icahn for the Huffington Post. “Very few managers are irreplaceable, especially in this economy”—so why do they get paid extra to stay with a company they've run into the ground? “In many cases, the companies are better off without them,” Icahn contends.

Rick Wagoner's ouster from the top job at General Motors was a hopeful sign, because it indicated President Obama isn't afraid to throw the bailout's weight around. “In effect, the government has become the world's biggest activist investor,” Icahn writes, “making the same kinds of demands that any activist or creditor should rightfully make in return for its investment.”