Your Patriotism Is Up To You

In a recent post ( that has been reported in many outlets, Mike Rowe (known for Dirty Jobs and his narration of Deadliest Catch) makes an engaging case about how politicians, players, and the NFL brass are using football and the controversy about kneeling vs. standing to make their own points. It’s a short and thoughtful read, and I highly recommend it. Mr. Rowe reminds us that our country is what we make of it. His opening words are a good reminder to all of us:

“In democracies, we the people get the government we deserve. We also get the celebrities we deserve, the artists we deserve, and the athletes we deserve. Because ultimately, we the people get to decide who and what gets our attention, and who and what does not.”

As I do not believe that this is a controversy that is among the most important in this country at this time, I should probably stop writing now. I don’t watch a lot of football, and when I do, I usually miss the kick-off and opening ceremonies, because something else I was doing was more important.

Like many people, however, I have been giving this issue a lot of thought. Continue reading “Your Patriotism Is Up To You”

Will Market Forces Drive Change at Equifax?

OK, so the Equifax breach is a big deal. A BIG deal. Nearly half of Americans are affected[1]. Their information (and possibly yours and mine) has been accessed by some entity who is probably up to no good. There’s been hemming and hawing and biting of fingernails, but, other than a fairly precipitous fall in Equifax’ stock price,[2] it’s unclear what penalties Equifax may suffer resulting from its potential mishandling of all of our financial data.

What potential penalties are in the pipeline?

  1. Class Action lawsuits – generally these turn my stomach. I always tend to picture a bunch of too tanned lawyers drinking tropical cocktails in the Caribbean comparing the numbers of persons who have joined their class action the way some overconfident men compare shoe sizes. I know this is likely unfair. However, like many Americans, I worry that we are an overly-litigious society.  There’s another reason I don’t think much of class actions. The companies at fault never seem to learn much. We’ve all received checks in the mail because this bank or this auto manufacturer did something wrong and is making it up to me by sending me a check for $19.47. Whoa, let me pay off the mortgage! Was the problem solved? You tell me. How many of you have received a second check from the same entity a few years later for another infraction?
  2. Government investigations. Several state Attorneys General and government agencies have indicated that they will be investigating the breach and the responses of Equifax, its Board, and “C” suite. These will likely be lengthy goings on and unlikely to result in any near-term change in Equifax’ data security policies and practices. With any luck, necessary policy and practice changes will result from the recommendations of the “independent cybersecurity firm” that Equifax has engaged[3]. Hopefully, these will occur earlier than any government orders or settlements could provide.

Continue reading “Will Market Forces Drive Change at Equifax?”