Study Finds|Studies Useless

     We need to stop studying things.
     OK, maybe we ought to continue studying sciency things, but all other inquiries must be halted.
     How else are we going to get anything done?
     After all, the more we know, the less we do.
     I’ve been noticing this phenomenon of investigative constipation for quite a long time now and a classic example appeared last week in the form of a 68-page report from the California State Auditor on management of the California State Bar.
     The report was titled “The State Bar of California — Its Lack of Transparency Has Undermined Its Communications With Decision Makers and Stakeholders.”
     Not the catchiest title and maybe a trifle misleading (or nontransparent) since the report says, among other things, that Bar officials essentially misled stakeholders — which apparently either means California lawyers and/or angry townspeople hunting vampires — about the bar’s finances and probably overpaid executives.
     Also the Bar’s Client Security Fund had $2.2 million — to pay $18.9 million in claims.
     That’s a bit worse than forgetting to be transparent.
     But I quibble.
     Surely all this can be put right now that this voluminous study is in our hands.
     Right?
     I couldn’t wait to see how all the Bar’s problems would be solved, so I skipped ahead to page 50 — the “Recommendations” section.
     The Auditor says that the Bar “should continue to explore fund transfer, member fee increases, and operating efficiencies that would increase resources available for payouts.”
     Continued exploration is the answer?
     It took years of auditing to recommend thinking about the problem?
     All right, I didn’t do the recommendation section justice. We’re also told that the Bar should “adopt a policy” to get money judgments.
     What is this policy? I don’t know. Maybe any policy will do.
     The Bar should also “update its procedures to provide guidance,” “develop a reasonable method for allocating information technology project costs,” and “establish a process” for preparing budget documents.
     And the Bar should “establish a policy” for supervision of financial affairs.
     All of this problem-solving, of course, must be done by the institution that messed things up in the first place rather than the agency that studied the problems.
     Because studying apparently has no practical value.
     We need ignorant dictators to get anything done.
     Hmm, maybe after this election season, we’ll get one …
     
     Sentence of the week: This is from a Los Angeles Superior Court complaint filed last week against a big-time hedge fund manager:
     “In one illustrative example of what Mr. Strome appears to think about the judicial process, he pulled his pants down in broad daylight on a public street in Santa Monica and ‘mooned’ the process server who attempted to serve him in the family law proceedings.”
     Thereby offering a convenient spot for placing the document?
     There’s a movie in this down the road.
     
     Old age: Another fascinating phenomenon that I’ve seen over and over through the years are tales of really rich old guys hooking up with younger women who, in turn, get into huge spats with the old guy’s relatives.
     Sumner Redstone, the founder of Viacom, is the latest and perhaps best example and we got a soap-opera-worthy lawsuit over his money filed last week in Los Angeles.
     There’s not much I can say about it without being politically incorrect and/or giving away the plot of what has to be a future miniseries.
     But my favorite part of the suit is the description of “a devious ringleader” nurse who (allegedly) controlled the old guy’s access to Terry, “his favorite paid ‘escort,'” who got paid $7 million plus a house.
     The lawsuit claims the nurse got Redstone to believe his relationship with the escort was true love.
     And this is in the lawsuit filed in behalf of a previous girlfriend, not the family.
     If you’re rich enough and can last a while, you can have generations of women fighting over you.
     It’s something to aspire to.

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