Matthew Lynn who is a columnist for Bloomberg wrote a very interesting article on whether the seriousness of Steven Jobs health was of material consequence to release the information earlier than when Apple actually did. I. believe that this is a grey area. A line should be drawn. However the question is where the boundary between public and personal space should start for a prominent public figure. Humans are voyeuristic in nature. This is not about which celebrity is sleeping with whom. Yes there are people who feed on this but Katie Price breaking up with Peter Andre will not have as much of an effect on the world as the health of Steve Jobs or Warren Buffett. The value of companies and funds are associated with the people who lead it. Will the successor of Apple and Berkshire Hathaway be the same without Jobs or Buffett? The performance of Absolute Capital Management fell dramatically after Florian Homm who co-founded the company suddenly walked out of the company. The point of all of this is that there is a big possibility of people losing a lot of money if something had to happen to prominent people in industry. I am not insinuating that CEO’s twitter their life but if there is any issue that will potentially influence a company or a fund then full disclosure should be made as soon as possible. As usual I have to bring cricket into the picture. The very next day after the first test match was over a public declaration was made that Andrew Flintoff had to undergo a scan on his knee. The results were not published but immediately Steve Harmison was called up as a precaution. However there were also pictures published of Flintoff practicing in the nets and the announcement by Flintoff that he was going to step down from Test cricket after this series. Flintoff is the talisman of the English side and a very important part. His departure will have a more profound effect on this series than if Andrew Strauss who is the captain on the side got injured. I do not know if Flintoff will play today but the English Cricket Board handled his situation in a significantly better way than Apple did with Steve Jobs.
Category Archives: Leaders
(Originally posted on June 3rd 2009)
Last evening to this morning has been busy with meetings I have been in meetings, conferences and seminars before where it mostly was useless and a waste of time. To quote a song by Brad Paisley; it was “Like a long sermon on a pretty Sunday”. Starting the day with Janwillem Acket the Chief Economist at Julius Baer was nice. He always has interesting and solid comments. Attending a meeting where Marc Rowan from Apollo Management was the main speaker was insightful. This was later followed by another event where James Caan of Dragons Den fame. Both of them were at opposite ends of a scale. Marc Rowan is someone who keeps away from the limelight,down to earth,approachable and warm.James Caan on the other hand is in the spot light, distant and slightly pompous. What he had to say about the markets made a lot of sense and his approach to investing is sound. You can read his interviews on the Bloomberg website. The most charismatic person I have heard speak was Colin Powell. He has a powerful aura about him. The most chilled person was Sir Richard Branson. He spoke via a teleconference from Necker island in the Carribean which is part of the Virgin Group. How cool is that? The most passionate person I have heard is Sir Bob Geldof. In the finance world in addition to Janwillem Acket; David Darst, John Paulson and Ken Griffin are absolutely brilliant. Warren Buffett is another person whose interview I love to watch. However unlike James Caan I cannot make a claim of sitting next to and having a chat with him. The thing that impressed me about them is their humility. Everyone knows how good they are. They know how good they are. However they do not parade themselves and blow their own trumpets.