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Washington Business Report – Nov. 23, 2014

Patrick Byrne. (WJLA photo)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) – On this week’s edition of “Washington Business Report” with ABC 7 News National Correspondent Rebecca Cooper:

One-on-one with Overstock.com Founder and CEO Patrick Byrne

He’s been described as many things, but most people most know Patrick Byrne as the founder and CEO of Overstock.com. While he was in town to deliver the keynote address on central banking at D.C.’s Cato Institute, we caught up with him. In this week’s portion, the man who attended Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda spoke with Rebecca about:

Wall Street:

• Byrne is vocal about the criminality that he says exists on Wall Street

• He believes Washington is not doing an adequate job of protecting us from this activity, and he works to raise exposure
Management philosophies:

• Byrne affirms that decisions in a company should be made by those who have the proper knowledge to be making them, whether it be a senior executive, customer service employee, or anyone in between

• His role as CEO, in his eyes, is to create an institution that allows decisions to be made in this vein

• He advocates for employee promotion and has faith that allowing workers to be involved in decision making enables such advancement
Warren Buffet:

• Byrne was taken under the wing of Warren Buffet from the time he was in middle school

• From Buffet, Byrne learned first class information about stocks and business decision making

Small business spotlight: Virtual workers

Businesses are always looking for new ways to use from-home workers, or virtual workers. The use of these virtual workers poses questions for both workers and those managing them. For our Spotlight on Small Business this week, Mary Abbajay discusses why virtual workers or tele-workers should be embraced, the most effective ways in managing them, and how they can put themselves in the best position to be productive.

Why does the workplace of the future include virtual workers?

• Virtual workers save money and office space

• Employees working from home often see increased productivity, especially in tasks requiring creativity

What should managers do to get the most from virtual workers?

• Be clear on both policies and expectations

• Really know your people

What should virtual workers do to be the most effective?

• Find an appropriate workspace which is free of distraction and spacious enough for all necessary work materials

• Keep a routine—working from home is not an excuse to sleep in or pick up bad habits

• Know your personality—if you are an extrovert, too much work away from the office may be disadvantageous

Round table: Immigration, Obamacare

Jonathan Aberman and Peter Morici discussed innovation at the Pentagon, President Obama’s immigration announcement, and the Republicans’ Obamacare lawsuit:

About the Pentagon:

• The Pentagon’s new technology initiative will create much opportunity and shed light on the innovation present in the Washington region and not just Silicon Valley

Immigration:

• Obama’s announcement to relieve more than 4 million undocumented immigrants drew harsh opposition from the Republican Party, who have threatened to sue

• The likelihood of a successful lawsuit is slim as no one has been harmed

• While immigration can be beneficial towards business, Morici considers Obama’s move one of political motivation rather than economical

The pending Republican lawsuit:

• The House of Republicans filed on Friday a lawsuit against the Obama administration on health care related matters

• Under our Constitution, it would seem as if no legal outcome can be achieved, the panelists say

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