Quote of the Day: Paul Krugman

Stroking your chin and saying, well, I don’t believe in [fiscal stimulus] because experience shows that raising growth is hard sounds serious, but it’s actually silly. It’s like saying that it’s really hard to extend the human lifespan, so it’s foolish to believe that an infection can be quickly cured with a dose of antibiotics.

— Paul Krugman (Princeton University)

Get Me to the Budget Meeting on Time

by Norman Horowitz

To clarify and elaborate on my slightly controversial previous post: In my own experience, I have wondered why organizations have confused an angry executive with an effective one.

Reflecting on my own career, the least effective executives were those who found it necessary to exhibit anger and rage to their subordinates and claim that it’s an effective management style. I experienced several of these people and concluded that they had not a clue as to how to manage anything, so they hid it under the facade of “Boy, am I tough!”

Here’s what I’ve tried to do in my life and am on the lookout for managements who subscribe to the following:   Continue reading “Get Me to the Budget Meeting on Time”

After All, Someone Needs to Get the Job Done

by Norman Horowitz

I am the product of the industry in which I have worked for 50+ years. In fact, the only insight I can bring to anything is not based on my intellect, but rather on my experiences in life in general, as well as the Air Force and the business of television.

I grew up watching my father run his small dress manufacturing business at 1385 Broadway in New York. To me, he was to me the ultimate operating executive in that he knew everything he needed to know to run his business. Everyone who worked for him had a job to do (including my Dad). He had no “formal” business training, yet he ran a profitable business for many years.

My career in the entertainment industry started as a part-time, minimum-wage shipping clerk and messenger for the editorial department of Screen Gems Television in New York. In the intervening years, I became a functioning operating and sales executive. Although I’ve had many staff positions in the intervening years, I’m still an operating guy.   Continue reading “After All, Someone Needs to Get the Job Done”

Economists Come Around to What I’ve Said All Along

Me, May 2010:

If you’re going to have one central bank, you need a vehicle other than monetary policy to relieve regional disparities.

Paul Krugman, January 2011:

[Making] the euro work is more feasible than I used to think. True American-style labor market integration isn’t…going to happen. But more fiscal integration could.

Now let’s see how long it takes them to admit my other conclusion:

You need to design the system so it has time to adapt to isolated changes without a negative ripple effect.

Economists Oliver Hart and Luigi Zingales have proposed a regulatory system that anticipates banks’ distress based on their credit default swap prices and restructures their debt before bondholders are in panic mode. In 2001, U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill proposed an international bankruptcy court that could serve the same purpose for sovereign debt.

The global economy is wound pretty tightly these days. Maybe it’s time to make it a little safer for the occasional error.