Anyhow, there you have it. And that is why The Business Press Maven gives out bonuses to journalists in the form of a coveted "Nod of Approval" award when they show evidence of understanding the economic system we live under. Michael Kuchwara, you win. Now let us speak of mergers. There is no larger point to make here, but I want you, the savvy investor, to take note of how writing about the same merger changes tone depending on whether the journalist is writing from the perspective of the acquiring company or the acquired. First Business Week on IBM's ( IBM) acquisition of Cognos:
"IBM, Cognos, and the End of Best-of-Breed: The software giant's $5 billion acquisition of Cognos shows how difficult it is becoming for midsize software companies to survive on their own."
Now, a word from Forbes: "IBM Goes Cognos Crazy." However: I do want to point out how the often-excellent Breakingviews.com column from The Wall Street Journal makes the point, not made above, that the acquisition reduces the value of IBM's service business. Read: " Why Big Blue May Still Lag ." The Business Press Maven, in his own humble estimation, was at the typical top of his game last week in criticizing the business media for being at the typical bottom of theirs . They presented Robert Rubin as genius, ignoring his years in the muck at Citigroup, and they made excuses for CEOs leaving reeling financial firms with big pay packages. That's why John Gapper, writing in The Financial Times, was such a welcome departure and earns today's second Nod of Approval. Like a rose rising out of wreckage, Gapper wrote "Sadly, it pays to retire disgracefully" and made the appropriate case that it serves both the concept of truth and the bottom line to fire these people instead of allowing them to resign with dignity and considerably more loot. Well done, Gapper, and sir, The Business Press Maven genuflects in your general direction.