How to make America grow again: Lure European corporate HQs here

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From today’s Volkskrant (translation mine):

AMSTERDAM – Top executives of Dutch multinationals are threatening to move their headquarters abroad if they keep getting criticized over their salaries. They feel insulted and want more appreciation for their work….

The former chairman of insurer Aegon, Kees Storm … is very outspoken about the departure of headquarters. ‘If Aegon moves its headquarters with a hundred people to Baltimore, you’ll see how quickly Dutch journalists will forget about the company. Sure, they’ll look at the annual report for a couple years, but after that there’ll be no more complaining about salaries. … Headquarters, love them or lose them. They say it won’t happen: I predict that it will happen.”

So there you have it: The perfect economic development strategy for 21st century America. Bring your HQ to Baltimore (or Chicago, or Seattle, or New York), and we won’t complain (at least not much) about how much money your CEO makes.

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