Hybrids, Microfinance and Rain Main – Oh My

Beginning of Hanukah?  Check.  
Global awareness for one of the world’s deadliest diseases (#worldaidsday)?  Check.
Our government’s national secrets on worldwide display, ensuing embarrassment and scandal? Check, check and check.  

In other news:

“Limited service campaign” for Prius models: As my father enjoys saying when we need to clean up, “hands and knees!”  In other words, work some elbow grease into the problem.  Toyota Motor Co.’s decision to fix the cooling systems in almost 380,000 Toyota hybrids (2004 to 2007 models) gives the brand a bit of much-needed grease.  A smart – and necessary – move for a company planning to offer 10% of its cars as hybrids in 2015.  

Yunus in the field

Peace under fire: 2006 Nobel Peace laureate Muhammad Yunus, “world banker to the poor,” is under fire.  The Norwegian government is investigating Yunus for having redirected funds from international donors to his own companies.  Whatever the ultimate excuse, I agree with International Development Minister Erik Solheim, that it was: “totally unacceptable that aid is used for other purposes than intended.”  It’s not just Yunus’ reputation at stake, or the Nobel Prize Organization – it’s micro finance’s name that could be sullied, and the models Yunus’ foundation offers.

Learning the hard way:  In 1988, Dustin Hoffman’s Rain Man character states that Qantas was the only airline that hadn’t crashed.  Ouch.  When the untouchable does become, well, touchable, it’s important for the former air industry golden child to admit that damage has been done.  If not, no one can blame the backlash from social media: a simple tweet or Facebook blast could turn off up to 30 customers, according a recent Convergys Corp study. 

Welcome back

To end the week’s reputation wrap-up, we can’t ignore the warm welcome Cleveland fans gave LeBron James.  Yikes – President Obama knew what he was talking about.

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