Power Point: Think before you cut

“The idea of a company that’s earning money, not losing money–that’s not, let’s say ‘industrially endangered’–to have just cutbacks so they can earn another $12 million or $20 million or $40 million in a year, where no one’s counting, is really a horrible act when you think about it, on every level.”

— IAC Chief Barry Diller at yesterday’s Reuters Media Summit. During troubled times like these, Diller contends, companies have a higher obligation than the pursuit of earnings–namely, not adding unnecessarily to unemployment. Following his comments: today’s government report that the U.S. shed 533,000 jobs in November. It was the largest monthly loss since December 1974. Those job cuts bring this year’s total to 1.9 million. So now, according to cnnmoney.com, total jobs lost in this recession surpass the 1.6 million lost in the 2001 recession.

Diller also blasted the chiefs of General Motors , Ford (F) and Chrysler for being “incredibly, shockingly stupid” on their first bailout go-round: “Why would I give money to someone so dumb to go to Washington to ask for money and fly in a Gulfstream?” – Jessica Shambora

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