The Shot

Sounding off on all the dynamics of the finance biz.

Business Is An Art, Not A Science

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I am always enamored my whole life by the art that is business. It seems so interesting and exciting to me. It has always had its own lingo, decorum and code. I always have seen it as the ultimate skill because if one is able to master it, you become a master at life in a way.  It becomes so many things wrapped into one. I feel like in today’s bizarre out of touch world we live in certain events which are landmark moments that capture what I am saying here are looked over, ignored and forgotten.  I am a huge fan of these historic moments because there is so much to be learned. It is a sense of style and class. That is why I would really like to stress the idea that it is an art. More so, today it is a lost art. All these people prancing around today considering themselves men of business when they are the furthest thing from good business. They wouldn’t know good business if they saw it. People shurged and say “It business”. No.

Today in institutions of higher learning such as college and in books they treat business as if it is a science. It takes the soul and art out of it which strips the core completely out. Business is the complete opposite of a science it is an art. There are countless examples of this over the past 30 years with the bombardment of economics, finance and accounting MBAs/ PhD’s ravaging the business world. There is no soul or creativity in any of it. It is a soulless amount of formulas and methods applied with one outcome that is suppose to be the answer. This has frankly stagnated, wrecked and destroyed companies over time.  There is no room for ingenuity, the unknown, foresight or “if” in their formulas or management programs. No room for abstract thinking. It has resulted in a penny wise dollar foolish mentality in the business world which is a rock bottom place to be.

It restrains companies or puts them out of business. These style lead to Steve Jobs from being ousted at Apple, IBM poo-pooing any of the ideas their employee’s brought to them, firms on Wall St. selling their souls for today and reputation hell later.  This causes a massive dislocation which destroys any sense of community and collaboration needed to create more wealth.  Short run over long run mentality. If someones brain is infatuated with the short run eventually the music stops playing and there is no chair to sit down on and you are out. One of my favorite all time quotes “The art of good business is being a good middle man.” That is the essence of collaboration and opposite of dislocation.

 

The Caregines, Rockerfellers, Mellons and Morgans of the world would look at today’s businessmen with disgust. Today you have companies with balance sheets that are too good. They hoard cash and penny pinch. They only care about margins and the bottom line rather than taking capital and putting to work in order to grow the top line increase that revenue. You cannot cut your way to prosperity. People today call that capitalism, which is pathetic. The father of Capitalism Adam Smith would spit at them. He often said largest margins of profit result in poorer society’s and growing society have smaller margins.

And lastly, its going to be a new tradition here on this blog, which I consider my journal or diary that I want to share with the world, if they care to read it, a snippet of history in the art of business. It is going to be tidbits of moments I feel are great and grand that set everlasting precedents. This time it is the Buttonwood Agreement.

The event took place on May 17, 1792, started the New York Stock & Exchange Board now called the New York Stock Exchange. This agreement was signed by 24 stockbrokers outside of 68 Wall Street New York under a buttonwood tree. The organization drafted its constitution on March 8, 1817, and named itself the “New York Stock & Exchange Board.  The agreement read

“We the Subscribers, Brokers for the Purchase and Sale of the Public Stock, do hereby solemnly promise and pledge ourselves to each other, that we will not buy or sell from this day for any person whatsoever, any kind of Public Stock, at a less rate than one quarter percent Commission on the Specie value and that we will give preference to each other in our Negotiations. In Testimony whereof we have set our hands this 17th day of May at New York, 1792”

This set the stage for businesses to dream, spur competition and provide access to capital so those agendas could be nourished for success. A place where a middle man would find a buyer for a share of stock , sell it to another gentleman for sizable but small markup. A concept which is looked at today with such degradation because of some  bad seeds.

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The World Is Not Fair Get Over It

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I’m tired of hearing people point fingers.  The amount of folks walking around old and young, much worse with the latter, that feel they’re entitled to fair treatment is absurd. It is so crazy all these maniacs believe the world is suppose to be fair when nothing about nature is fair.  You can just look across nature and see that the world in which we live is the furthest thing from fair. It operates on being unfair. The world cannot just be sunshine and rainbows all day every day it doesn’t work like that. Everything is a about balance. Magnets have positive and negative sides. There cant  good be without evil because good would then just be nothing. People will get the short end of the stick that is just the way it is. Chance and probability determine that.

Some people are born with disabilities and some people develop disabilities they didn’t ask for. Its nature taking its course.  Some people are born into poverty or a terrible society of tyranny. People who complain if something isn’t fair just breeze right over these simple observations. Instead of embracing the value of not having these head winds thrown upon them from birth. The idea that something isn’t perfect is mind blowing to them. Its ridiculous because for majority of human existence people had zero chance of changing their fate. The two most important factors were where and when you were born, and you couldn’t change anything about. In today’s world people have the chance to alter the course.

Anyone who has something to complain about, the world has someone in it who is worse off than you. That person would die to be in the situation the complainer is angry about. The world also has a person who was in a worse off scenario, and over came it. There is no reason to complain. The idea to attempt a progressive change at creating a completely fair world is ignorant.  No matter what people will get screwed, some how some way. There will always be a company that does something wrong no matter the rules. There are always bad people. What we call the world was here first. Who are we to think we can change the dynamics? It will be here when we are gone and the wise decision would be to understand how the world works, and accept it for what it is. Act accordingly.

You take advantage of said setting.

Laying The Law Down: You Must Invest

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I’m all for purchasing nice things. I love quality items. I purchase items of high quality because I enjoy them passionately or its something I will need to last.  Some times spending a large sum of money is the proper decision, because that course of action in life, is worth the large sum.

However, today day in and day out, you see people dropping large sums of money on ridiculous unnecessary items. Of course they like them, but that’s such a fake answer.  They do it for one reason and one reason only, to impress other people.  Over the past 30 years America’s economy has morphed into this massive consumption based economy. You hear politicians and economists on the television set talk of this all the time. They say things such as “we need to put more money in people’s pockets so they can go out and spend.” Economists even created a chart that the consumption stage is the most advanced part of the economic growth cycle past manufacturing.  That is kind of ridiculous because the idea of capitalism, in a historic sense, is relativly an infant still.  The jury is still out yet on what this period is for us. People who speak with such certainty on this topic need to be slapped more than once.

Now people might say whats wrong with people consuming. Purchasing stuff at the mall people make money that’s got to be good, no? Well what happens is consumption is what becomes the growth engine, so the economy, becomes extremely dependent on consumption increasing.  That is completely unsustainable or unreasonable to keep up consistently. This is so obvious in policies implemented such as extremely low interest rates enticing people to borrow so they can purchases homes, cars, and tons of clothes for which they have not earned the money to purchase.

People are competitive ion nature. One must  out do the other. In this case its disastrous. It creates a culture focused on material goods.  Now the amount of money in your bank account doesn’t matter because the world cant see that. They see whats on your body, wrist, where you live and what you drive. Weather is a cash transaction or borrowing people squander their money. Consumerism ,taken a stranglehold over Investment and Savings.

People need to leave the insecurity at the door. The best medicine is knowing you can look at everyone and know you have more power than them and they have no idea. Your wallet, your bank account, your portfolio makes them insignificant. Sooner or later these flash folks you know will have shot their load. Their worshiping of material goods is the equivalent of the young college girl blowing her load the first night she goes out drinking, getting carried out by 11:30 because shes dumb. You are sophisticated person sipping the cocktail of your choice working on that nice buzz plotting where the parties going to next.

When you buy things don’t get caught up in fads. When you drop a ton of cash on some items you like, picture how they work into the person you are going to be when your enjoying all the money you saved and invested.  Purchase things that are you, not things that make you blend in.

The winning scenario is to be liquid. The value of items is fleeting and evaporates at staggering rates. Pure junk. Everyone will find themselves waking up one day with the weight of the world on their shoulders. Wishing for that chance to do things different but it is too late.

Its absolutely necessary that you set up trust accounts, IRA’s, invest, buy property before you buy that new Range Rover, the Jordans, the Breitling and all that bottle service.  Be smart and try not to live your whole life now, for it’s going to last a long time. It is smart to live in the moment but you need to do it wisely. Life is short and could end in the quickest of fashions. That is why its important to cherish the time you have. The great paradox is, as precious and vulnerable that time may seem, we human beings have a distinct way of surviving the most traumatic and intense experience. We overcome bizarre odds and the moments thereafter, are when you need that money.

Let Me Point Something Out

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Everyday these days you turn on the teevee, radio, podcast, the twitter or whatever outlet you go to for news and there is constant talk about wealth disparity. The conversation goes on incessantly about free markets and capitalism is failing the world. Look at the wage gap and look at the crises and the minimum wage workers.  These conversations make my blood boil and blood pressure rise. One could spend all day going into detail about each facet of this conversation but that is not what the world needs. The root problem here is people are “donning” the economy and world we live in today as capitalism. This is the biggest lie and con artist job being told to everyone.  It’s like a package of crap wrapped with a Capitalism label and I am sitting here saying “What the fuck?”

This is the common denominator in every discussion we have today about why there are no jobs or why aren’t wages growing. It’s the exact reason why health care reform is an issue. The crime here is they, these freaks and liars have labeled anything that has to do with business as “free markets” or “capitalism.” The truth is that business or corporations aren’t interchangeable with free markets. The corporations are merely just a part of what one would call the market.  For markets or capitalism to function properly competition needs to be healthy and strong. Freedom of choice needs to be strong.

Competition is beaten down and faded. There really is actually no freedom of choice when making purchases anymore. Prices are challenged by just a few or couple corporations. Consolidation has limited competition and freedom of choice.  Look at cell phone providers it’s an oligopoly. Same goes for the supermarket. Majority of all of the products being sold in a given supermarket trail back to just roughly 4 corporations which own all these brands.  The illusion of choice, look at healthcare as an example.

The reason healthcare costs are out of control is because of a lack of competition and barriers to entry.  Yet over the past 5 years you have heard people in this Obamacare/Affordable Healthcare Act debate that our “free-market” model has failed us. I would just like to ask those people “what the fuck are you looking at?!” There is no competition in the cost of actual care given and no competition with policies on a national level. It doesn’t matter if everyone has insurance or not because the price of serving a sick person is out of control. All it does is create a risk pool (insurance term) of people who can now get care. Healthy people paying for sick people while nothing has been done to address why healthcare cost are expensive. Maybe it would have been a smart question as to why healthcare costs are expensive.  Maybe health insurance wouldn’t be as expensive or unattainable if that idea got addressed. It’s not rocket science.

Now if it isn’t rocket science how come it just didn’t go down that way? Well if it was a free-market it would have happened that way because it’s the best course to take. The powers that be, corporations look at all this money they can make and government programs look at all the funding coming their way. So they obstruct it. Obamacare is just a simple skim tactic to suck money out of people.

That isn’t capitalism or free markets. Its cronyism or what some people would call corporate communism.