Blogging in Berkeley. Notes on news, politics, law, and technology in the US and China. [This blog is inactive. I am now staying busy and having a great time at UVA Law.]
Thursday, March 30, 2006

Hemlock: "The working day starts in a deserted hotel ballroom. Rows of chairs face a dais, which has a long table on it. Behind it is an expanse of scarlet curtain and a cheap polystyrene and cardboard sign. My suggested snappy slogan ? ?Another year of mindless, impulsive deal-making and obscene shareholder returns? ? was rejected in favour of the more prosaic, even moronic, ?S-Meg Holdings 2005 annual results announcement?, in order not to confuse the literal-minded audience. In a few hours, these veteran business reporters, some even in their 20s, will be sharpening their pencils and testing their tape recorders, while TV cameramen and newspaper photographers circle around the podium trying to capture the Big Boss looking down on the assembled press corps at his most statesmanlike, profound and visionary.

To our Chairman?s left will be: the spotty accountant, starring as the nervous Chief Financial Director; Number-One Son, starring as the blinking and fidgeting scion destined one day to run the operation into the ground within days of inheriting it; and the Deputy Managing Director, starring as himself. To the great man?s right will sit the other Deputy Managing Director, starring as the man who can convincingly dismiss disappointing numbers as aberrations, and ? trying desperately not to be noticed ? me, starring as the Company Gwailo, mute but incontrovertible evidence that this must be a modern, international organization. I will hide behind the screen of a laptop PC, apparently controlling the Big Boss?s brain as he extols the wondrous benefits of contemporary Cantonese business management practice. "

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