Thursday, August 27, 2009

Quotes of the day

The financial services industry is particularly vulnerable to hubris because sections of it are not very competitive, and randomness plays a large role in the outcome of speculative transactions. It is therefore particularly easy for those who work in financial institutions to make the mistake of believing that their success is the result of exceptional skill rather than good fortune. What more natural to believe than that extraordinary talent will find pots of gold under other rainbows? Until vanity is vanquished, I anticipate that diversification to the level of incompetence will continue to be a powerful element in business behaviour.--John Kay

[Joseph] Gregory was forced to resign in June of last year. But it was already too late. He had earlier played a key role in pushing out Mike Gelband—the head of fixed income at Lehman. Gelband had been urging the firm to take precautions, reduce its leverage and dependence on the asset backed commercial paper market. Gregory and [Dick] Fuld decided to ignore their in-house debt expert. After a lunch with Gregory where he once again failed to make a dent in the determination to keep taking on more risk and bigger risks, Gelband quit. And now Gregory wants Lehman to make him whole for money he "earned" while destroying Lehman Brothers.--John Carney

It was an ambush. They chopped his head off while he was still carrying their water.--former Merrill Lynch employee on the treatment of brokerage head Dan Sontag

I have always known that it is useless in this day and age for a man to be a kung fu fighter. So what? He can easily be killed with one bullet from a gun. Bang. That’s it. I would be dead. If one of them had made a move to pull out a gun I would have attacked him immediately. Now, actually, I myself owned two guns. ... But I never carried them. My reasoning was this: if people came to hear that I carried a gun then they would try to shoot first. But if they knew I never carried a gun they would know they didn’t need to use a gun. If I relied on my hands alone I knew I had a ninety per cent chance of winning but if I carried a gun I had a ninety per cent chance of being killed. So I always left my guns at home.--King Hui, as told to Jonathan Chamberlain

No comments:

Post a Comment