The Curse of Black's Perle
According to the Hollinger report, Conrad Black and Richard Perle richly deserved each other.
The section from Pages 482-492 is devoted to his exceptional shortcomings as a director. "It is, of course, possible for a conflicted board member to act at least somewhat responsibly," Breeden writes. "As a conflicted Executive Committee member, however, Perle did not. Rather, his Executive Committee performance falls squarely into the 'head-in-the-sand' behavior that breaches a director's duty of good faith and renders him liable for damages under Delaware law." (The investigative committee was stunned when Perle admitted that he frequently didn't bother to read documents that he signed.) And because Perle routinely placed his own interests ahead of those of Hollinger's public shareholders, the committee concluded, he shouldn't be allowed "to retain any of his Hollinger compensation, including his Digital Incentive Plan bonuses, salary and directors' fees. The Special Committee intends to pursue a recovery from Perle, either consensually or through litigation."
Back when he was threatening to sue Seymour Hersh for libel, Perle must have come into contact with some good lawyers. He may need them.
Daniel Gross is the Moneybox columnist for Slate and the business columnist for Newsweek. You can e-mail him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter. His latest book, Dumb Money: How Our Greatest Financial Minds Bankrupted the Nation, has just been published in paperback.
Photograph of Richard Perle by Alex Wong/Getty Images.