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Letters to the Editor for Tuesday, March 10

Letters to the Editor for Tuesday, March 10

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Welch unapologetic for failures at GE

Jack Welch, GE’s former CEO who died on March 1, was known for doing the impossible during his 20 years as CEO. He raised earnings every quarter like clockwork and the stock price kept climbing.
However, questions began to arise on the quality of the earnings and the sustainability of the earnings.
In reality, he was using financial engineering to raise the stock price to enrich himself with stock options. Because the increase in earnings was not sustainable, during his last years as CEO the reported increases in earnings were partly due to a $9.4 billion insurance reserve deficit from its insurance businesses.
Jeff Immelt, his successor, was forced to pay the deficit before selling the business to Swiss Re at a loss of billions. Welch’s disastrous financial services acquisitions nearly bankrupted GE during the 2008 financial crisis.
I thought Welch would show regret and apologize to GE communities, retirees and stockholders for his disastrous strategy to transform GE from a respected successful manufacturing company to a financial services company. However, in a typical egomaniac way, he shamelessly said in a Wall Street Journal interview that his strategy was perfect, but blamed Jeff Immelt, his successor, for the destruction of GE. “The decline of the company pained him. ... he gave himself an A for the execution of its operations and an F for his choice of successor.”
Mark Markovitz

New benches on way to Schenectady

In answer to Scott Spofford’s March 6 letter (“Downtown needs benches for resting”), I would like to point out that a beautiful bench is in front of City Hall, and more are coming to Schenectady.
Artist Peg Foley, with several other local artists, created “Schenectady & Me,” an art project which will create public art like sculpture and benches throughout the city. Adults and children will create pictures showing what they like about Schenectady. These will be scanned on ceramic tiles. Hundreds have been done already. The organization, Schenectady Creative Arts Network, has a Facebook page: SCAN. Creating art together will hopefully encourage people to share ideas, build social networks and produce attractive benches for seniors, the handicapped and anyone needing to sit.
Helen Steiner

Schumer should resign over remarks

Sen. Charles Schumer’s recent actions are a disgrace to his office and dangerous to the Supreme Court. They are thinly veiled physical threats which have no place in public speeches given by those in positions of leadership. Sen. Schumer’s childish, mealy-mouthed “clarification” of his remarks is in itself proof positive that his demagoguery was in fact a threat. His contention that his remarks were an attack on “Republican senators” is an excellent example of a laugh-out-loud lie. I call for Sen. Schumer to resign in shame for threatening two members of the Supreme Court and for the naked threats to be investigated by the Secret Service, since they were uttered in public, rather than within the speech penalty protected halls of Congress.
Rob Dickson
Clifton Park

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