business news in context, analysis with attitude

In a memo to managers of his Berkshire Hathaway investment company that was designed to warn them away from making the kinds of compromises (backdating options awards, using apparently illegal means to track down media leaks, etc…) that have caused legal problems for companies like Hewlett Packard and Apple Computer, Warren Buffett used a sentence that reflects greater wisdom and broader implications:

"The five most dangerous words in business may be 'Everyone else is doing it',” Buffett wrote.

Furthermore, specifically referring to backdating, Buffett wrote, "My guess is that a great many of the people involved would not have behaved in the manner they did except for the fact that they felt others were doing so as well…So, at Berkshire, let's start with what is legal, but always go on to what we would feel comfortable about being printed on the front page of our local paper, and never proceed forward simply on the basis of the fact that other people are doing it.”
KC's View:
Amen. On so many levels.