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"Only in America" is right!

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By Kendall J from The Crucible & Column,cross-posted by MetaBlog

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"Maybe I shouldn't disagree with the Oracle of Omaha," I interjected, "but I think that the stock [Coca Cola] will take a big hit tomorrow [the day after announcing the resignation of CEO Doug Ivester]."

Unfortunately I was proved to be right as the stock declined about 10%. Warren [buffet], to his credit, chased me down in Washington the next day to say, "I'm sorry, I was wrong and you were right. You are the new oracle!"

At the next finance committee meeting, when the Coca Cola CFO asked him a complicated financial question, Warren responded by saying, "I don't know, you better ask Paul!"

The "Paul" in this excerpt is Paul F. Oreffice, former CEO and Chairman of the Board of The Dow Chemical Company. The excerpt is from his new autobiography Only in America: From Immigrant to CEO which I just finished. This is a wonderful book, overviewing the extraordinary life of an charismatic industrialist and I heartily recommend it.

Born into a middle class Jewish Italian family in 1930's Italy, Paul's father was persecuted by the Fascists, and his family fled on the last commercial vessel to leave Italy before it entered World War II. Abandoning everything and emmigrating first to Ecuador, and ultimately to the United States, Paul finished college at Purdue and began work at Dow in 1953, ultimately earning the position of CEO, and then Chairman. Having experienced both the best and the worst the world has to offer, Paul succeeded because of his character and upbringing. His experiences sharpened his outlook on life, and allowed him to develop the principles, attitudes and habits that would bring him lasting success. At Dow he was instrumental in transforming a national chemical company into one with a global reach, and innovated the use of some of the financing mechanisms to operate globally. His hard charging, get the job done attitude makes for some interesting stories.

It is the story of Paul's development and his adventurous outlook on life that make this book worth the time. It is a glimpse into the benevolent world of one of America's titans, and into the environment that America offers men who wish to make something of themselves.

I first met Paul Orefice as a young co-op student at Dow (he was the key executive on the Dow recruiting team for his and my alma mater, Purdue University), and he served as an inspiration for me early in my career. You'll understand why when you read this book.

I met him for a second time last month when he signed my copy of Only in America.

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  • 17 years later...

Orrefice, a name he fully deserves... 

This man and his company Dow - - perhaps most famous for developing Agent Orange and killing 20,000 people in Bhopal - - polluted America and the world, tested toxic chemicals (including Dioxin, one of the most carcinogenic chemicals known to man) on unwitting American prisoners, while denying it all, for profit and status.

He truly is the anus of a company that evacuated its bowels all over the world.

How you can celebrate such a man is beyond me. Did someone pay you to write this fictitious hagiography of such a disgusting man?

All my love,

abc x

 



 

Edited by abc
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In 2014, Dow gave $4.5 billion to its shareholders -  but has not contributed ¢1 cent to clean up Bhopal.

20,000 deaths in the immediate aftermath. 

Paul Orrefice should be tried for crimes against humanity.

And your proud of this guy? LOL - Only In Amerca.

 

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First, the Bhopal accident was in 1984, what happens in 2014 is totally irrelevant. Second, the accident was at a Union Carbide plant, and Dow acquired UC only in 2001. Third, UC paid the contemporary equivalent of 100,000,000,000 cents for this. Fourth, the number of deaths in the immediate aftermath was 2,000, not your hallucinated 20,000. Finally, Paul Orrefice had no connection to the accident, at most Warren Anderson might, and in fact Keshub Mahindra, the chairman of the Indian company that was actually responsible, was arrested, tried and convicted for various crimes connected to the accident. Did someone pay you to write this fictitious denouncement of an American hero?

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