The Association of U S West Retirees



Nacchio prosecutor cites profit obsession
Stricklin says he disagrees with those who say, "Greed is good."
By David Milstead
Rocky Mountain News
Friday, May 25, 2007

Cliff Stricklin, first assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Colorado, spoke to the Denver Rotary Club on Thursday in some of his first comments since the conclusion of the Joe Nacchio trial in April.

"I got a lot of people accusing me of being a communist.  I'm on the record discussing this. . . . Judge Nottingham told me: "I don't want you trying this guy because he's rich."  I said, "Your honor, I'd never do that -- I'm a Republican."  (The scandals) are an indictment of a profit-obsessed culture, one that's ruthless and puts the shortterm ahead of the long-term goals of the company.  It was that sort of corporate culture that had a hand in bringing down the Goliath of Enron and the very innovative company that was Qwest.

On former Enron Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow:

"I can't say I enjoyed my time around Andrew Fastow as much as with (two lower-level employees).  I didn't identify with him as much.  But this guy is clearly one of the smartest people I've ever been around in my entire life . . . the defense was licking their chops, "Blame it all on Fastow."  It didn't work because of his demeanor on the stand.  He would say, "I stole?  We stole."  That's a lesson I've learned.  You can make mistakes, big mistakes, be vilified by an entire country.  That doesn't matter to him because he knew he made mistakes, fessed up and took responsibility for his own actions."

On Joe Nacchio:

"At AT&T, when he came to work at Qwest, he was worth about $5 million.  As he went on, and his work at Qwest progressed, his net worth was half a billion dollars.  You think about the wealth he was building when he sold his shares -- when you have $250 million, why take the risk?  It's stature in the community;  it's a way of keeping score."

On Gordon Gekko's, "Greed is good," from the movie Wall Street:

"Greed really is not good.  There's nothing wrong with making money.  There's nothing wrong with making a lot of it, and having that as a goal.  But at some point it's possible that it's such your goal, you lose your moral compass and it becomes your god in life. . . . The apostle Paul said to Timothy, "the love of money is the root of all evil."  Not "money is the root of all evil."  It's often misquoted -- that's a big difference.",2777,DRMN_23916_5554518,00.html