Sunday, March 28, 2010

Being the Man

By all accounts the quintessential individual in the present time are people like Jaime Dimon and Barack Obama. They are the symbols of rationality amidst the turmoil of current events. There were false models that seemed to epitomize the age such as Sandy Weill or George W Bush. But their leadership tended to go straight to a dead end. It is the ‘second stringers’ who have emerged out the shadows to succeed and offer a voice of maturity. This theory holds true for software as well. For instance has Tumblr become the new mature tool after learning from the lessons of Twitter and Blogspot?

One notices that decision making is well thought out if it is to be done well. Notice how John McCain seem to short circuit his hopes of winning the election by making fast decisions that now seemed erratic in the circumstances. I think it’s rarely that a decision is right if made in a fast manner intuitively. I may have made the same mistake for example by rushing to buy real estate and settling for a small townhouse when one could easily afford something larger with just a little more expense. It was the rush to decision that led to a possibly poor choice. But then again I think that it was a good investment considering the continuing fall of property prices.

It’s the price that counts. As Dimon says, the price should be at such a (low) level that it would mitigate any unforeseen risk. J.P. Morgan Chase has applied the same principle in their purchase of Washington Mutual and Bear Sterns at a low premium when compared to Bank of America’s purchase of Merill Lynch or Wells Fargo’s purchase of Wachovia. Now that property prices seem to have decreased by about 2% in this area so this allows one to absorb a much lower loss by coming into the market at a low price. Its how one can absorb the risk without losing one’s shirt. Hence, it’s a relation between having a strategy that would accommodate the worst case scenario and one that does not consider risk.

The recent passage of the health care bill and arms control agreement with Russia seem to indicate that Obama has now moved into the arena of great presidents. His legacy is no longer in question. Recently his efforts seemed to be considered a fluke after his election victory and health care reform controversy. Now the passage of the bill has removed all doubts. Consequently, Nancy Pelosi is the pre-eminent woman politician and not Hilary Clinton as assumed in the last election. Pelosi will probably go down as one of the most effective house leaders ever. It took awhile before the bill was passed to allow every one to vent their opinion but also to deliberate all the issues. It’s perhaps the classic example on how to pass a controversial bill.

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