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Thursday, March 11, 2010

That's Business

USA Today had a really good story yesterday on the plight of Mount Airy, North Carolina.  The town and its residents have taken a big hit because of the downturn in the textile industry.

It reminded me of an episode several years ago.  I owned stock in a company called Fieldcrest Cannon.  It made towels and bedding.  The company closed one of its bigger plants in the Carolinas.  Hundreds of people were thrown out of work.  The price of the stock went up.

Don't get me wrong.  I like money, but I felt dirty.  I felt awful that I made cash on the backs of the unemployed.   My broker at the time had a philosophy that I shared:  "You'll never be sorry if you take profits."  I sold the stock, made a few bucks, and never looked back.

I could have made more if I hung with the stock.  It just wasn't in me.

A lawyer friend and I were having a chat yesterday.  We both follow the business world quite closely, and we often don't understand it.  Some things make absolutely no sense.  We did agree that even if the economy recovers, it will be a much different system.  Things will never be the same.

I fear that at least one rule will remain:  Money is more important than people.