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September 18, 2005

A Corporate Criminal Robbing Workers & Taxpayers

In a just society, this man would be in jail, instead of let loose to victimize more Americans:

Robert Miller is a turnaround artist with a Dickensian twist. He unlocks hidden value in floundering Rust Belt companies by jettisoning their pension plans..

As chief executive of Bethlehem Steel in 2002, Mr. Miller shut down the pension plan, leaving a federal program to meet the company's $3.7 billion in unfunded obligations to retirees...

Now Mr. Miller is at Delphi, the auto parts maker that was spun off by General Motors in 1999. If past is prologue, one of the most powerful turnaround tools at his disposal will be his ability to ditch Delphi's pension fund.

Let's be clear about what these kinds of financial moves are about. Companies made contracts over many years committing them to pay for the pensions of their workers over many years. The employees did that work and the pension money owed is their money.

Defaulting on those obligations for the benefit of private profits is nothing more than theft. It may get dressed up with a suit and the robbery is done with a pen, but these are the "looters" who should be on the front page of our newspapers in the crime section.

Posted by Nathan at September 18, 2005 09:02 AM