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jerryking : short-term_thinking   6

Why boring government matters
November 1, 2018 | | Financial Times | Brooke Masters.

The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy, by Michael Lewis, Allen Lane, RRP£20, 219 pages.

John MacWilliams is a former Goldman Sachs investment banker who becomes the risk manager for the department of energy. He regales Lewis with a horrific catalogue of all the things that can go wrong if a government takes its eye off the ball, and provides the book with its title. Asked to name the five things that worry him the most, he lists the usual risks that one would expect — accidents, the North Koreans, Iran — but adds that the “fifth risk” is “project management”.

Lewis explains that “this is the risk society runs when it falls into the habit of responding to long-term risks with short-term solutions.” In other words, America will suffer if it stops caring about the unsung but vital programmes that decontaminate billions of tonnes of nuclear waste, fund basic scientific research and gather weather data.

That trap, he makes clear with instance after instance of the Trump administration failing to heed or even meet with his heroic bureaucrats, is what America is falling into now.

We should all be frightened.
books  book_reviews  boring  bureaucracy  bureaucrats  cynicism  Department_of_Energy  government  Michael_Lewis  public_servants  risks  technocrats  unglamorous  writers  short-term_thinking  competence  sovereign-risk  civics  risk-management 
november 2018 by jerryking
Why It’s So Hard to Put ‘Future You’ Ahead of ‘Present You’ - The New York Times
Sept. 10, 2018 | NYT | By Tim Herrera.

Are there instances when Past You has, quite inconsiderably, set up Future You for failure.

Why do we do this to ourselves? What makes us act against our own self-interest, even when we are acutely aware we’re doing so?....At work is present bias, our natural tendency to place our short-term needs and desires ahead of our long-term needs and desires. A lot of the time this comes in the form of procrastination.....we perceive our future selves the same way we perceive total strangers. In other words: When I’m brushing off responsibilities, part of my brain unconsciously believes that they’re now the problem of an actual stranger. ....starts with thinking of your future self as … you......Let’s say you habitually neglect your retirement savings. Instead of looking at future saving as making “financial decisions,” put yourself in the mind-set of thinking about the lifestyle you want when you’re retired. Picture yourself however many years hence, now retired, living the life you set up. Experts say this simple paradigm shift can change your entire approach to those decisions — even though they’re exactly the same.

Yes, this idea of future projection — “What will my life be like after I make this decision?” — is difficult to wrap your head around, especially when Future You is getting a better deal than Present You.
biases  present_bias  procrastination  retirement  self-interest  self-sabotage  short-term_thinking  visioning 
september 2018 by jerryking
Capital Markets 'Impediment' to Innovation - The CFO Report - WSJ
June 20, 2011, 10:05 PM ET

By MICHAEL HICKINS

Glenn Hutchins, the co-founder and co-CEO of private equity firm Silver Lake, believes the expectations of shareholders and analysts often prevent companies from investing in new businesses or technologies. “One of the largest impediments to getting all of this done is in fact the capital markets,” he said during the opening panel discussion of The Wall Street Journal’s CFO Network Conference.
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CFOs often find it tough to make aggressive, long-term investments because explaining the reason for “making a short-term diminution for the purpose of a long-term gain [to the equity markets] is very difficult to do.”

Still, companies need to be willing to overhaul their entire businesses, if necessary, to avoid being overtaken by aggressive innovators...He lauded Apple for being willing to promote something like the iPad despite the fact that the tablet may in fact destroy the computer maker’s iMac franchise. “Business model innovation is underrated,”.....Also speaking on the panel, HBS professor Clayton Christensen blamed a corporate culture born, ironically, of business school formulas that separate strategy and finance. “The business schools decided to teach strategy and finance [separately] and this got carried over into companies. [But] a lot of things that make sense financially make no sense strategically.”
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With the finance function certainly in mind, Christensen wrote that, “Managing innovation is the complexity of managing the resource allocation process.”
Silver_Lake  Clayton_Christensen  innovation  strategy  finance  CFOs  long-term  impediments  capital_markets  business_models  Glenn_Hutchins  resource_allocation  expectations  new_businesses  new_products  investors'_expectations  short-sightedness  short-term_thinking 
february 2015 by jerryking
World’s largest asset manager rails against companies’ short-term thinking - The Globe and Mail
BOYD ERMAN
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 23 2014,

...Mr. Fink is worried that the great tide of economic growth is not rising as quickly as it could be because of persistent and pernicious short-term thinking. Everyone from Main Street to Wall Street to Pennsylvania Avenue is too focused on near-term waves to pay attention to what the overall water level is doing.

Blogs, polls, the story of the moment – that is what drives peoples’ thinking, he says. That means investment decisions and political moves are based on what’s happening now, and not long-term goals. The economy will bear the cost of this short-term obsession, and so will investors, Mr. Fink warns. He would like to see big changes in everything from accounting to corporate governance to government spending priorities, to reset the focus on more distant horizons....“We need executives in business to start focusing on what is right in the long run,” ...“Societies are having a hard time, politically and economically, adjusting to the immediacy of information: The 24/7 news cycle, blogs, the instantaneous information. It’s very hard. This is one of the things where we are developing a crisis.”...Mr. Fink is particularly frustrated with the lionization of activist investors in the media. Think Bill Ackman, Carl Icahn and others who push for changes that will lead to an immediate runup in the stock price,....Similarly, he is critical of accounting rules that push insurance companies to invest in shorter-term assets, rather than long-term projects such as infrastructure. “Everything is leading toward an underinvestment in infrastructure and an underinvestment in capital expenditures.”...In 1999, the company went public. It has grown incredibly fast ever since. It manages money for everyone from retail investors to pension plans. During the financial crisis, the U.S. Treasury hired BlackRock to run assets in the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and the Bank of Greece hired the company to help fix the country’s banking system. (Model for WaudWare?)
BlackRock  Laurence_Fink  asset_management  long-term  Boyd_Erman  Wall_Street  delayed_gratification  thinking  strategic_thinking  Communicating_&_Connecting  CEOs  money_management  shareholder_activism  immediacy  insurance  infrastructure  CAPEX  short-term  short-term_thinking  financial_pornography  pension_funds  underinvestments  noise  pay_attention 
may 2014 by jerryking
Corporate leaders suffer under the capitalist gun
Jun. 12 2012| The Globe and Mail |HARVEY SCHACHTER.

In A Capitalism of Owners, Yvan Allaire, (a former senior executive at Bombardier Inc. and now chair of the Institute for Governance of Private and Public Organizations), and Mihaela Firsirotu,) a professor of strategy at the University of Quebec,) say the judgment against Ms. Nooyi, by the analysts and stock market, was that she “has too much of a social conscience. That may be good for the company in the long run but not for today’s and tomorrow’s stock price. If she persists, she should be replaced by someone who does not have these qualms.”

In an era where companies must be flexible and strive for change, the authors say corporate leaders face a stressful paradox. The more competitive the markets for goods and services, the more businesses need time to adapt, innovating and putting in place new strategies (as Ms. Nooyi was attempting) without speculators breathing down their necks

Also...High-tech entrepreneur Michael Saylor believes mobile technology is the tipping point for a new industrial revolution and prepares you for that future in The Mobile Wave. (Vanguard Press, 281 pages, $29).
Harvey_Schachter  Indra_Nooyi  Pepsi  books  book_reviews  capitalism  short-term_thinking 
june 2012 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - In Athens, a Question From Lydia - NYTimes.com
May 14, 2010 | New York Times | By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN.
Friedman argues that there's a tension between “situational values”
--doing whatever the situation allows--and "sustainable values”, values
that inspire in us behaviors that literally sustain our relationships
with one another, with our communities, with our institutions, and with
our forests, oceans and climate. Regulations, while important and
necessary, are insufficient in an increasingly connected world (i.e.
environment, markets, and societies). Trust and values come to the fore and the fear
is that our value system is being harmonized to the short-term thinking
associated with our markets.
values  value_systems  Tom_Friedman  social_fabric  social_trust  covenants  trustworthiness  regulation  Communicating_&_Connecting  interconnections  community  short-term_thinking 
may 2010 by jerryking

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