In early December I decided to take my career into my own hands. I wrote John Thain an email that I hoped would make any curious executive who takes an interest in junior people (a trait surprisingly rare) at least want to investigate further–I never heard back. I am biding my time and will most likely send a follow up when things die down a bit.

I work in a securitized product.  I have a quantitative background and I have a strong set of hard, monetizable skills. I would classify my ability to understand and delve deep into the human issues and understand decisions from an inter-personal angle as very above average (trying to let modesty reign).

Ideally one should learn from this blog interesting little facts and get my insight. I love to debate things. As I write this text, early one morning, no entries written as of yet, I will set my expectations rather low–I doubt anyone will read this. But, if you’re seeing this, and you’re not me, then I was wrong in a very pleasant way.

I like to take simple things and extract insight from them. I also like to start with a premise and a very simple framework and see what falls out. If you have anything you would like to bring to my attention, ask me about, or otherwise discuss then please email me!

5 Comments on “About”

  1. Ed Geraghty Says:

    An interesting premise for a blog.I don’t know John Thain, but many CEO’s consider themselves “Masters of the Universe” and won’t make time for underlings a few rows down. Citi has been a mess going back 30 years and always had turf wars. Without a visionary with a large hammer, they will crawl along for years. Your recommendations have merit. Hang in there!

  2. JL Says:

    Can you publish the contents of what you wrote to him?

  3. Rob Says:

    Actually, just occurred to me on re-reading that you’re not talking about the citibank brokers in the bank branches competing with the new MSSB JV- you’re talking about the private bank right? That’s true… and a good point. But that’s still not the sweet spot of the bat. The High Net Worth space is notoriously competitive and very thin margined. There is plenty of room for MSSB and Citi to both have private banks, the real advantage of which may become painfully obvious soon (still praying it doesn’t).

    But you’re dead on right about Thane and the “masters of the universe” mentality of these CEOs. The WORST thing Citi ever did was giving up Jamie Diamond over some stupid (and I mean stupid) spoiled little girl who got her feelings hurt. If you have feelings, you don’t belong at the top of a major corporation. And that goes for Thane too… he “feels” really smart… or at least used to.

    Diamond on the other hand actually IS really smart. Diamond realized a long time ago that you can’t predict the future… so you have to prepare for it. “Fortress Like” balance sheet. Executive compensation package that actually ties the execs to their ACTUAL performance. Diamond will be the survivor, the last man standing because he was the only real man in the first place. The rest were just empty shirts put in place more by politics than merit.

    What do you think of the deregulation question? Is it now definitively proven that Republican “Hands Off” economics of deregulation doesn’t really work? Do you think it’s just coincidental that every major financial collapse in our countries history was preceded by multiple term republican dominance of the executive branch? I’m still amazed that people don’t see that. It’s like thinking that if there were no traffic cops we would all drive 65 anyway because, of course we all know that at 90 MPH our lives are at risk. What risk is bigger than that? But we all drive over 65 even WITH the cops… so how do they believe that if you deregulate and remove the “safety net” of implied government backing that these CEOs will just allow their instincts for self preservation to keep them in check automatically. What sense does that make when clearly the opposite is actually happening all around us?

    Hypothesis: Henry Paulson caused a cascade effect that has crippled our economy for years to come through his own very short sighted self interest (LEH) and his ideological blindness (FNM, FRE), as he clearly believes that all poor people should live in cardboard boxes… (and his definition of poor includes 85% of us). How long do you think it would take to prove that out?

  4. Hi.

    John Thain needs a blog. I’m tired of reading what others are saying about him. I want to read his writing. I want to read the writing of Ken Lewis too. I think that maybe we all need blogs now.

    So, little ole me has one as of today. It may be that we just read our own writing and learn along the way. That’s fine. But, sometimes I do read around and that’s how I found you. My first blog post is “I love John Thain and Ken Lewis”.

    I need to study your writing more. I can see that you are in the numbers. Good for you. Thanks for writing.

    SWAK !


    P.S. I write at Tricycle too.

  5. stat arb Says:

    What exactly do you mean

    “understand and delve deep into the human issues and understand decisions from an inter-personal angle”

    ? I feel like I am missing out on a hidden code here.

    Regarding Bibliowicz and Dimon — how much can you really judge based on newspaper articles and such? Were you personally close to either?

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