A cranky opinion for
CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY
The following is the opinion of a cranky old man with little knowledge on the subject opined. Opposing opinions are welcome, but will be ignored. As always, please, no name calling and that means you, you big stupid-head!
What is the best way to get things done?
Back in the day when I worked in Wall Street Operations, various Wall Street Institutions such as the National Securities Clearing Corporation, and the New York Stock Exchange often looked to bring change to securities processing.
They would offer suggestions such as trading in decimals instead of fractions, and then wait for any objections the member firms may have to these changes. Invariably most firms would carefully explain why a particular change was impossible.
“It will tie up too many resources.”
“Our system will not allow for that, it will take years and terrific expense to make the required changes.”
“Our customers will not accept those changes.”
“There is no way that can be coordinated between all the firms.”
“This would be catastrophic.”
“You people just don’t understand!”
Firm after firm would throw what my dad used to refer to as a “Wet Blanket” on suggested system improvements.
Ultimately the street organizations in their desire to modernize Wall Street operations would simply “Mandate” the change. They would say in effect,
“The new system will go into effect xx months from now. You need to be on board or you will be out of business.”
It was amazing how every single firm with their multitude of objections would always meet the deadline and be ready for the changes. (Once in a while there would be extensions.)
While I was employed in Wall Street Operations, trading hours were extended, days to settle a trade were shortened, trades were executed in decimals instead of fractions, trades were matched electronically, securities were transferred electronically instead of physical certificates transported from firm to firm by eighty year old men who walked like their shoelaces were tied together, and ...well let’s just say lots of impossible improvements were implemented by the concept of “Mandating it.”
When the economy was poor, my firm’s chief executives would ask all the department managers if they could cut expenses. Without fail, every department needed absolutely all of their current resources and could not possibly function with any reductions.
The executives would listen carefully to all the reasons that expenses could not be reduced, and then faced with the realization that the firm might go out of business if they did not save money, they simply mandated a ten percent expense reduction across all departments.
Somehow expenses were reduced and operations continued without any loss of service. This happened every two or three years.
I used to joke,
“How do you do the impossible?”
“You Mandate It.”
Perhaps we could use this axiom in government.
Wouldn’t it be nice if our economy ran at full employment? Could we eliminate prejudice? Let’s get rid of poverty. Healthcare should be free and easily available. There are so many problems in the country that are simply impossible to resolve for so many reasons. What to do, what to do?
As voters we should just mandate solutions. What are the solutions? I don’t know, but you have four years to fix this stuff or you will be voted out of business.
Just get it done.
We Mandate it!
The preceding opinion was that of a cranky old man and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.