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In the past week we reviewed several cases that focused on the tribulations of foreign countries. As in most prior discussions, we agreed the British and the Americans were primarily at fault. For instance, LeGrand Lewis sympathized with Mexico President Miguel De La Madrid for continuing to take more money – mostly from Wall Street – than the country would be able to pay back. “If someone kept giving me money and there was no recourse against me [not paying back] … (pause) .. I guess I would take it too”.

This was perhaps savory preparation for the class’ discussion of Enron later in the week. Cindy Wang sympathetically noted that, “Enron was not consciously taking advantage of India”. It was unconscious.
When it came to our first day back from our four-day weekend, there were several new comment category introductions.

The Tag-Along “Troy is a brand manager and he knows what’s he’s talking about”

Iehab Ibrahim explaining why he agrees with a global Tata brand.
Trash Talk “It’s nasty.” Fritz Burkart describing the equity structure of

Tata Industries. The Oral-B “In the US, you’re not worried whether your toothpaste will kill you or not”. Jonathon Waggoner pontificating on the importance of brand in U.S. vs. developing nations.

Charity Case In trying to explain his support of Timberland’s charitable activities, Rahul Mehendale conjured the following insight into the company’s motivations. “I like the fact that they’re doing this without any perceived benefit”.

Arkansas Special “Rationality and investing do not seem to go hand-in-hand.” (laughter)… “If you saw my portfolio, you’d understand.” Jonathon Waggoner, musing how Mexico’s experience is similar to his own.
Demographics

Question: What type of people are the distributors?

Answer: Old people.

Pav Powlowski explaining the age group of coffee distributors to Paul Marshall and the management of Kuerig.

April 29, 2002
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