Steven Maasland wrote:
>Contrary to most Americans who are never satisfied, no matter what they have, most
> Europeans and most definitely Italians recognize that more is not necessarily
> always better. The Campagnolo family has always known their market and their
> results have always satisfied the family's standard of living goals (this also
> reflects the TA attitude). The same can definitely not be said about the
> Shimano, Trek, Cannondale (add almost any other bicycle industry company)...
> shareholders' needs. Personally, I would far prefer to have been a Campagnolo
> shareholder than one in any other bicycle company.
>As perfect evidence of this, a former Italian employer of mine turned down a
> contract that I had arranged for him that would have ensured him net profits of
> close to a million dollars per year. He simply said, "I don't like the business
> partner!" To most Europeans, being able to say something like that is worth
> much more than the 5th house, the 10th car, the bigger bank account...
I'd like to think your rosy view of Europeans was true, Steven, but it's not. We have just as many money-grabbing, money-motivated people here as in the US. Italians, in particular, judging by the level of corruption in business and political life in that country, are certainly not immune to the lure of the Euro. I've no reason at all to doubt the ethics of the Campagnolo family but I don't think their admirable philosophy can be extrapolated to the rest of their countrymen.
I'd agree that American companies do seem very eager to maximise returns for their shareholders but there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, with growth this year for the Eurozone forecast (by the IMF) at 0.5% while your economy is set to grow by about 2.4%, you're doing something right.