Ramu Iyer - 3 years 9 weeks ago
FRAME OF REFERENCE
Searching for a hint of optimism, I re-read an interview of the former bailout czar, N. Kashkari, in the Washington Post, dated Dec 6, 2009:
"In Washington, he [Kashkari] used his BlackBerry to determine the bailout sum presented to Congress. His arithmetic: "We have $11 trillion residential mortgages, $3 trillion commercial mortgages. Total $14 trillion. Five percent of that is $700 billion. A nice, round number."
I wondered if is this back of the envelope calculation a recognized best practice for cash management during a financial crisis?
I was also reflecting on the credit crisis in Greece.
In a walled garden, atop a flawed financial infrastructure, where synthetic action preserves the status quo, typically all that glitters is Goldman ($ach$) (or name your favorite investment banker), both pre- and post credit-crisis (as we're witnessing in Greece).
Referring to http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124458675
"In a speech Monday at the Brookings Institution in Washington, Papandreou spoke of "malicious rumors, endlessly repeated and tactically amplified" that have driven up Greece's cost of borrowing money."
TOWARDS CHANGING MINDS
The framework for credit default swaps is apparently legal in our flawed financial infrastructure.
Quite honestly I am tuning out the rhetoric where words speak louder than action AND the pace of book publishing or media coverage to describe "what happened, what could have happened" speculation outpaces even the "koombiah session to discuss and debating without any consensus on the change agenda." Thereafter an article might appear in Foreign Affairs that "recommends" that a stakeholder favor "audacity" rather than "hope." At the end of the day, little or no problem-solving has occurred except for dancing around the prevailing rhetoric.
Perhaps someone in the AoH community is influencing the activism and dialogue using Art of Hosting methods so that we can incrementally change minds and begin to work earnestly towards "actions that speak louder than words." Significant changes in the financial system might happen slower than a snail's pace because of the entrenched vested interests -- perhaps a hundred years. Even though hope is not a method, I don't want to give up hope because of the collective will of the folks who would like to see some change at least in my lifetime. Otherwise, we continue to be "ungenerous to the next generation" by postponing the envisioned turnaround.
This note is not a rant but rather an attempt to describe a siginificant human life problem (let alone a business problem) since it affects the livelihood of the common man across nations, including a basic intent such as putting food on the table. The current incentives that are in place to maintain the status quo is an intangible toxic asset.
Net net, we cannot change the game without changing minds and moving towards activism. Apologies if I am preaching to the choir. But I had to journal this and get it off my chest.
If you're looking for feet on the street to join the band of "Activist Turnaround Managers" (ATM, pun intended), count me in.
Looking forward to receiving feedback.
Submitted by Ramu Iyer on March 19, 2010 - 03:50.