Businessweek Archives

Divorce, American Style (Int'l Edition)


International -- Readers Report

DIVORCE, AMERICAN STYLE (int'l edition)

Do you marry in order to get a divorce? Do you prepare for your divorce while you're exchanging marriage vows? No--at least, most people don't. You marry to be bound to each other, as ghastly as that may sound to some. But the prenuptial agreements and other tactics mentioned in "Executive divorce" (Social Issues, Aug. 3) seem to make a mockery of the institution of marriage.

The solution for CEOs or anyone else with similar marital woes is not stashing away cash and assets on faraway islands or that "most effective weapon," the prenuptial agreement. They should take their marriage vows seriously and work to keep their marriages together and lasting.

Gyung Ju Jun

Seoul

I appreciated the article on executive divorce, but it failed to capture the magnitude of the problem. In my case, it took three and a half years, six trial postponements, and more than $500,000 in legal fees to get to trial, far more than the assets I had at the time of separation. No wonder men are often pushed to settle at exorbitant levels. To date, family law has provided "fairness" by allowing some men to pursue the same tactic, forcing their successful wives to support them after divorce, as noted in the article. Perhaps when both sexes are thoroughly disgusted by this behavior, the laws may change.

David Cheriton

Palo Alto, Calif.Return to top

TARGETING THE CHINESE: BAD BUSINESS IN INDONESIA (int'l edition)

In "The plight of the ethnic Chinese" (Asian Business, Aug. 3), it appears that some people within the new government of Indonesia are pursuing "economic nationalism" after more than 30 years of political nationalism and military nationalism by the previous government.

In Indonesia, "nationalism" means preference for native Indonesians over ethnic Chinese, many of whom have lived in Indonesia for generations (sometimes hundreds of years), who hold Indonesian passports, and who pay Indonesian taxes--but are not allowed to learn Chinese in school or read Chinese books and newspapers. Many were forced to change their family names to Indonesian names a long time ago.

Indonesians should realize that while nationalism may fit some politicians' short-term purposes, it is hardly good for the long-term growth of the economy. Ethnic Chinese are not to blame for the economic hardships Indonesians are suffering; they are as much the victims. I deeply sympathize with the pain and suffering the ethnic Chinese in Indonesia are enduring.

David Yuan

Hsin-Chu, TaiwanReturn to top

GENZYME: ITS CARTILAGE-REPAIR PRODUCT IS IN USE (int'l edition)

A table accompanying the article "Biotech Bodies" (Cover Story, July 27) reports incorrectly that we are "developing bio-engineered cartilage." In fact, our cartilage repair product, Carticel, is approved by the Food & Drug Administration and has been on the market since 1995. During the past three years, it has been used to treat over 1,500 patients in the U.S. and Europe, generating over $15 million in revenues.

The story incorrectly states that Carticel can be used to repair only "small rents" in a patient's knee cartilage. In fact, the average size of the cartilage defects in patients treated with Carticel two years ago was 4.4 square cm--about the size of a quarter. A defect of this size would equal 20% to 30% of the affected joint surface. This product has been used routinely to treat defects twice as large.

Timothy R. Surgenor, President

Genzyme Corp.

Cambridge, Mass.Return to top


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