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Tag Global

Finance Cowboys

Pushkar Sane Friday, 19th September, 2008 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Life, Observations No comments

I have been following the global financial crisis & watching the global economy collapsing. Billions of dollars are already written off and I’m not sure the worst is over. Investment Banks like Lehman Brothers are falling, Leading Insurers like AIG are struggling to stay in business and government officials are trying to bail out the ‘Street’. It is like a suspense movie… new twists keep coming up every now & then. Initially it looked like a genuine mistake of few traders (or firms) but I’ve changed my views – now it looks like an Organized Financial Crime – executed with finesse. Billions of dollars don’t just disappear – they go in some pockets somewhere – and some people do benefit when others lose.

Investment Bankers have been acting like cowboys over last several years. Markets were doing well – things were bullish – so I guess it led to loads of arrogance. Nothing was impossible. New products were created on whims and were approved & sold without the due diligence. They seem to have treated risk assessment & management like a JOKE. And now that the bubble has burst… they’re out with all their bonuses leaving the world in turmoil. Disciplined investors are losing money – several retired people are going to find it very difficult to survive – several families might not afford education for their children – and several might not afford medical care. And all this because of a reckless game played by the Investment Banking community. Frustrating part is that all these reckless criminals are getting away just because they wear Branded Suits and don’t look like ordinary criminals. But in my opinion they’re as dangerous (if not more) as people who kill. Some may argue that all Investment Bankers are not responsible – I agree but often wonder what were they doing when some of their colleagues were robbing & killing the world – watching the fun from sidelines – huh?

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Rent Increase & End of Two Relationships

Pushkar Sane Friday, 12th September, 2008 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , Life, Marketing, Observations No comments

Global Economic Outlook might be bleak but Hong Kong landlords are really bullish about the Rents that they can get. Specifically commercial rents have gone up dramatically and it is becoming impossible for some of the small & medium businesses to survive or even bigger businesses to reconsider their locations.

Two of my best relationships ended this month.

The neighbourhood Starbucks in my office building closed down to be replaced with a Pacific Coffee. So we’ll get our coffee but not the relationships that the ever enthusiastic Starbucks staff had with all of us. I have been in this office for over three years – so the Starbucks staff had come to know me & my preferences. They knew exactly what I drink in the morning, post lunch and sometimes in the evenings. They were the silent observers to my highs & lows over last 3 years. It felt weird when I saw them close for the final time.

Another relationship that ended this month was my Barber shop. It was a shop owned & managed by young people who were fun to talk with. I have known them for over 6 years and as a result I never had to explain anything to them. They exactly understood what I wanted & never failed to deliver it. But unfortunately all of them went out of business. They said they would reopen some place cheaper but don’t know when. I promised them that whenever they open – they can count on me to come by.

I think as trivial as it sounds… these were deep brand relationships as they provided me with great value and understood me as a human being – made small conversations – made me feel special.

Made me wonder – how many times brands really make an effort to build genuine relationships & nurture them over a period of time?

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