Reform America
We the People demanding a voice.
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Politics & Power

What's new on The American Borders Forum this week? Preview pane at the bottom of the page.

The Corporate Shell Game: Changing Names To Hide The Past

Anyone who has seen the advertising for Ally Bank has seen a portrayal of an institution that does business in a different way by putting their customers first. If you do a little research you find that Ally Bank is simply a renamed GMAC Financial. In an effort to distance themselves from their own spotty fiscal history and ties to the bankrupt auto giant General Motors, GMAC Financial changed their name to Ally Bank and launched an aggressive advertising campaign to grow their customer base by offering unsustainable interest rates to its customers using the funds given to them by the federal government in the well publicized bank bailouts of 2008 and 2009.

This type of corporate name shell game is nothing new. After the Enron debacle involving Arthur Andersen, the consulting arm of Arthur Andersen that was in large part responsible for the poor business advice given to Enron changed its name from Andersen Consulting to Accenture. With a new name they pursued an aggressive campaign to paint themselves as a leader in business consulting and over a short period of time swept their past under the carpet with a new name and new image. Despite being involved in what was at the time the largest corporate scandal in U.S. history Andersen Consulting / Accenture came out smelling like a rose.

The American consumer needs to be suspicious of things that sound rosy and bright. We need to do our homework and not be fooled by good commercials and shell game trickery. Simply changing the name of a company does not undo the misdeeds of the past. GMAC like Andersen Consulting made poor decisions that led to the fall from grace of their companies. Changing the names of the companies did not change the corporate culture within the companies that led them to near ruin. GMAC Financial took billions in bailout money because they made poor business decisions that cost their customers money. Changing their name to Ally will not change that any more than Andersen Consulting changing their name to Accenture or Phillip Morris changing their name to Altria changed the nature of their businesses.

Corporations donít change their basic culture with a simple name change. It takes a major change of leadership and philosophy to really change a corporation. If you leave the same poor decision makers in the same positions of power, or worse yet promote them, the company will not improve. We as consumers need to be aware of the history of the companies we decide to do business with. Ally Bank may have a great ad campaign but it does not change that they are the same people that made the poor business decisions that made GMAC Financial eligible for billions in federal bailout money. If they had a reputation they could be proud of they would not need to change their name to improve their image. Companies work very hard to build name recognition in a competitive marketplace and spend years building up brand loyalty. If they are willing to walk away from the name theyíve had for years the old name is damaged goods and the company has bigger problems than their name.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom | Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article

We Need Your Help

Reform America is putting together a new resource for our visitors and we need your help. We need you to tell us about the local banks and businesses in your area that you have done business with. We need to know the good and the bad about the local businesses in your community.

In an effort to truly stabilize our national economy we need to stabilize our local economies. To stabilize our local economies we need to support the businesses that keep our neighbors and customers working. Part of doing that is re-distributing the money in our communities from the wealthy corporations who outsource labor while laying off American workers to the local businesses that hire our friends and neighbors.

Itís also time to expect more from the banks that we let use our money. Some corporate banker in New York doesnít care one whit about Joe Smith in Peoria because he has a million other Joe Smiths to fill his pocket if this one leaves but the banker in Peoria who only serves Peoria cares about Joe and will do more to serve Joeís needs. We need to start working together to support the businesses in our back yard that actually care about us and our needs.

To help people find the businesses in their areas that deserve our support we are developing a new web page with information provided by you the people in the communities. By not only listing the local businesses but also giving local feedback about them we can help make the decision to make a real change for the good of your community easier. If youíre like a lot of us, youíve been doing business with the corporations for a long time and itís a hard habit to break but if we all make an effort to stimulate the economy of our own communities we will see the jobs come back and things improve fare sooner than if we wait for the politicians and CEOs to help us.

The government is not going to save us this time and the fat cats on Wall Street just donít care. We will have to save ourselves if we are to turn things around. You can help us save ourselves. Please tell us about the banks and businesses in your community. We will add the information you give to that of others and build a comprehensive national resource for people wanting to fix our nation from the ground up.

By May of 2010 we hope to have enough information compiled to launch a page devoted to supporting small local businesses across the nation. Over time we will continue to expand the information to include more businesses in more communities until we have a comprehensive listing of all the good small businesses that locals recommend in every town, city, county and state in America. We know that this is an ambitious goal but we also know that you, the American people, can help make it a reality. To send us information about the small businesses in your area you can e-mail us at advocacy@reform-america.net. We will send you a confirmation e-mail and add the information you give us to the national database.

From now until the time of the new page launch in May the names of all contributors who wish to be will be included in the "Thank You America" page border for the new page. Your friends and family will be able to see your name and know you cared enough to try to make a difference for your community.

Reform America Staff | Give your feedback on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article



Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to: stories@reform-america.net



Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to stories@reform-america.net





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