Reputation Matters: Halliburton and the Ghost of Dick Cheney

Ghost of Dick Cheney

By Dean Rotbart

A former hedge fund manager and acquaintance of mine tells me that public opinion holds no sway over the Justice Department officials who will decide the anti-trust permissibility of the $34.6 billion Halliburton-Baker Hughes merger. Not on this deal. Not on any deal.

Clipboard and toolbox with toolsAll that matters, he argues, is whether the HAL-BHI merger complies or fails to comply with very clear anti-trust regulations.

My reporting experience tells me otherwise. Whether Supreme Court justices, federal and state judges, regulators or the President himself, I believe pubic arbiters interpret the laws and regulations through a prism of public opinion. If I’m right, reputation matters. And while Halliburton may have the nation’s highest-powered legal eagles on its team, it would be folly to dismiss the public relations swamp this deal could become mired in.

Ready my complete analysis on LinkedIn, here.

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