ESL founder and Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert released his annual letter to shareholders yesterday, in which he unloaded a year's worth of angst. First, the rating agencies. While Eddie understands that they sometimes err on the side of caution, he just doesn't agree "with all of the critical qualitative conclusions." Next, business leaders, regulators, public officials and journalists- they're all the same. They "have become an echo chamber of self-support and self-congratulation, whether on TV, in print or at numerous conferences. Their words and their actions are often self-serving and they are typically regarded and reported on as if they were obvious and selfless."
Eddie, who's not just a piece of meat, also tells us that he reads. And he reads big, complicated books too. His latest one? Thomas Sowell's Intellectuals and Society.
For those not familiar with his writings, Thomas Sowell is one of the clearest and most insightful writers of our era. I look forward to every book and column he publishes. In this book, he discusses the "vision of the anointed" and how their views shape society regardless of their merit. He describes how often these views conflict with reality without altering these views and, paradoxically, sometimes strengthening them. I couldn't help noticing the parallels between his comments and the "vision of the anointed" in the financial and business world over the past few years.
Maybe time to form a book club with Bove?