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Pushkar Sane Sunday, 21st September, 2008 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Marketing, Observations No comments

These days I rarely read paper magazines (thanx to the Web & RSS Feeds) and as a result hardly get a chance to see advertising in it. On Thursday I was returning from Beijing, my notebook battery was dead, my iPhone battery was low and I had left my iPod at home. To add to all this it was a Dragon Air flight with no in-seat entertainment. So after a bit of dozing off & light meal I decided to flip through some magazines. As I was going through the September 29th issue of the Fortune magazine I came across an AIG Ad released in support of Students in Free Enterprise. I decided to tear off the Ad as it irritated the hell out of me. Here is what it said:



Bodycopy: AIG is proud to support Students In Free Enterprise. These next-generation business leaders go out and make a difference in their community while developing the skills to become socially responsible. As we help people achieve their financial goals, we are honoured to be associated with an organization that helps young people realize their dreams.


I was shocked to see this ad as many things didn’t make any sense in light of what was happening at AIG over last 10 days. It really irritated me as the tall claims (Good Foundation, Difference in their Community, Socially Responsible, Achieve their Financial Goals, Realize their dreams, Strength to be there) looked like a joke on ordinary investors who put their faith in AIG.


All the financial institutes should get real otherwise one day we’ll say Lies, Damn Lies & Financial Advertising.

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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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