All Talk and No Action Friday, September 19, 2008



Ok, before people start boycotting my blog or coming up with obituaries - let me try and get back to some serious blogging !

Actually, I wanted to refrain from commenting on the "Fall of the Giants".

Lots has been written, a LOT more is to follow - confessions, accusations, gloomy forecasts and the impending global Financial Market bust…

What made me change my mind though are the following lines in an NY Times write up -

"What have you heard?" was a common question, mostly met with shrugs and silence. No one seemed to know their specific fate. No staff meetings had been announced, and cries went up whenever media outlets posted a new tidbit about the firm's liquidation.

The article went on to share glimpses at Lehman's trading desk at its NY Headquarters.

The lines stated above help us differentiate a great company form a mediocre one.

It's surprising that Lehman has NOT held any meetings/conferences with its employees.

No email from the CEO, no discussion about the further plan, no word on how grateful the company felt to it's long standing soldiers !

Being fed by the media on internal happenings and the impending bust would have been the most distressing and insulting for the employees !

Yes, it would have been equally stressful for Richard Fuld to see his dream, his sweat and blood fall like a pack of cards.

Yet, the least he could have done was give a farewell to his team, appreciate the legacy and wish them best. But nope, he took the easy way out…

I guess it's easier to face tough questions by the Congress than face the disappointement of loyal and long standing partners?!

I am not saddened by the fate met by Lehman, Bear Sterns, Merill and the likes at all !

Neither do I worry about Morgan's impending merger.

Such high profile busts do NOT affect the Board or the Chiefs. These people get handsome severance packages which would last them for God knows how many lifetimes !

Everyone form the lower rung analysts to VPs must have taken home millions of $s in bonuses last year. Most will join other IBs at equally attractive compensations.

But yes, I am definitely saddened for Industry Veterans who would have served Lehman for years, sacrificed their family lives, laboured for long hours and helped build a Venerable Institution, A legacy that people looked upto, an Institution Graduates died to join !

I am sorry for all lower rung admin staff, technical support, the back office staff and the innumerable "faceless" people who work day in and day out to keep organisations like Lehman, Merrill and Morgan high in the League Table Rankings !

Yet, it is not such people who influence the "Powers To Be" ! Most of them must have had no say in the unbelievably stupid corporate strategies and obnoxious decisions taken by their Heads.

If these once revered companies failed to see "Common Sense" and Ivy League bosses and employees alike fell for centuries old sin called "Greed" - they should face the consequences.

As the old saying goes - What you sow, so shall you reap.

Now, before I lose my mind and start lambasting all I-Banks and the US in general, I shall shut up and get back to work !

5 comments:

Ye manzilen !! said...

Glad u went back to work! They are the founders of "irrational excubernce doctrine"....its was about time...

All Talk and No Action said...

@ ye manzilen -
Yup...No point crying hoarse now...its too late anyway to undo whatever has been done...

Hope you haven't been adversely affected?!

Ye manzilen !! said...

Nuksaan to kar ke baithe haun hum bhi bhai...kiya karen...

Now when I want to short financials to make some money, they wouldnt let me.....

PsW said...

What do you have to say about the handling of employees by one of the Indian co named Jet Airways ?? :)

Dont blame IB and US for everything..It happens in India too..

All Talk and No Action said...

@psw -
The whole incident was straight out of a B grade masala movie.

Also, am not blaming anybody. Facts are here to prove who and what has led to the current financial crisis.

To tell you more about how intricately things are linked in this global village, please read the below -

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/19/opinion/19friedman.html?em