Yahoo and the luxury syndrome

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The ancient teaching that we should respect only those who distinguish themselves by virtues is more relevant today than ever.

The list of virtues is not that long; their common denominator is self-control.

The lack of self-control is a major reason why so few people exhibit any virtues whatsoever.

When we take a closer look at the life style of top managers it seems that luxury has become a compensation for the lack of self-control. A recent example we can see in the press nowadays is Yahoo’s recent $7M party despite the fact that the company is not showing signs of a turnaround… the parallels between shopaholics and top managers are all too obvious to elaborate on. Marissa Mayer is not the only one: we could also look at the overwhelming majority of the hedge fund managers that typically go after CEOs in tough times, while almost never challenging them on their discretionary spending in good times.

The only objection that may be raised in this regard is the case of managers who are running successful operations (meaning that they meet expectations for now) and still lead a lavish life style.

Let’s not forget that on the one hand the feeling of no control doesn’t subside even when the numbers are good (only the most stupid managers believe that the surface is all there is) and on the other hand the access to luxury itself has become a motivation to be in the game in the first place, thus a viscous circle as well as the hypocritical nature of the game becomes obvious.

This also explains why there is no respect between the players despite how desperately they crave it.

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