March 18, 2002
To: Barbara Baker, Vice President Investor Relations, The Taubman Company
Subject: Public Opinion & Taubman
Dear Ms. Baker:
I just concluded a 3-hour perusal of the
An intriguing story. I learned of it via a newsletter which goes out
to 3 or 4 hundred thousand subscribers on the internet. Ah, the power
of web-based publishing!
We all know, though we may not admit it, that one tends to root for
the underdog. Therefore, I read carefully and took the time to relate
the issues documented by Mr. Mishkoff to what I know about websites,
the internet, and networks in general. (Networks and the internet is
my second career, so I feel this a wise investment of time. I can
only hope that Mr. Mishkoff makes his site available as a downloadable
PDF file. It's both a great story and a good teaching tool.)
I will not say that I'm disappointed in how your legal staff operates,
because their attitude towards and disregard of the intent and spirit
of the law is what most of us have come to expect from the legal
You know by now, I hope, that no matter what you or the legal system
does, there is no way to completely erase a website from the internet.
Further, the originator of any website could not be held liable for
actions taken by others, and any attempt to do so would cause a
backlash in public opinion.
I took the liberty of visiting your corporate website
to investigate corporate goals and strategy,
and downloaded the map showing where your shopping centers are
located. As I hope you understand by now, you have placed those maps
into general use by putting them onto your website for use by
customers and investors. I intend to use them, by locating your sites
and ensuring that I do not shop at any.
It is my hope that your website successfully incurs an enormous
increase in 'hits' as people visit - for the same reason I did.
Taubman should not expect to profit from errors of judgement. Not
from me, at any rate. Nor from those I come into contact with.
Taubman portfolios appears to be a poor investment. I will offer my
personal opinions and the reasons thereof to my extended family
members and acquaintances world-wide. The investment decisions, and
locations where they shop, will, of course, be their choice.
Interestingly enough, the phrase 'Taubman' has become, in my mind at
least, synonymous with 'overbearing,' 'high-handed,' 'arrogant,' and so
on. Your retained legal advisors responsible for this travesty, on
the other hand, bring to mind 'willfully ignorant,' 'shady,'
'counter-productive,' and other pejorative phrases.
Where I invest my capital and where I spend my money is a decision I
make. Those decisions are ultimately based on trust, and customer
service. Your actions in the Mishkoff matter reflect a general
disdain for your customers, in that you restricted the flow of
information to them by attempting to shut down a community-service
website. Your lawyers' misapplication of law and the dishonesty
implied by their actions demonstrate that your firm is not to be
Just my opinion.