Monday, January 19, 2009

Quotes That Tell the Story of Our Times

Jarvis Cromwell

Here entirely in quotes is the story of the lowest trust age in a century.  (I've paraphrased in a couple of minor instances, but you get the idea.)

Trust is like the air we breathe. When it’s present, nobody really notices. But when it’s absent, everybody notices.”      -Warren Buffett

"Not so long ago companies assumed the purpose of a business is to make money.  But that has proved as vacuous as saying the purpose of life is to eat…

  1. The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer
  2. To do that you have to produce and deliver goods and services that people want and value
  3. To continue to do that a company must produce revenues in excess of costs in quantities and with enough regularity to attract and hold investors
  4. No enterprise can do this by accident or instinct, it must clarify its purposes, strategies and plans
  5. There must be a system of rewards, audits and controls to make sure what’s intended gets properly done, and when not, quickly rectified." -Theodore Levitt

“ABN AMRO has set itself one governing objective — maximizing value for shareholders. Setting one objective allows an organization to develop a common language and standards for decision-making and ensures that all energies are focused on reaching the objective."  
-ABN AMRO, 2003

"Royal Bank of Scotland on Monday announced it expects to suffer a loss of up to £28bn last year. The RBS loss will be the biggest in British corporate history...Almost all their losses are in subprime mortgages in America and related to the acquisition of ABN Amro... "These are irresponsible risks taken by the bank with people’s money in the UK,” Mr. Brown said, adding that the decision to buy ABN ”was wrong”.         -
Excerpted from Two Reports in the Financial Times, Jan 19, 2009

“The roots of mistrust in organizations are 1) the misalignment of measurements and rewards, 2) incompetence, 3) lack of appreciation for a system, 4) untrustworthy information and 5) integrity failure." 
-John O. Whitney

“The theory of capitalism, going back to Adam Smith over 200 years ago, sees an alignment of interest between consumers and businesses… This theory assumes that consumers are rational in their choices, and to a large extent they are. 
 -Robert Shiller

“This is the worst showing for Corporate America in 30 years...
  It is unprecedented, in fact, to see this many people with an unfavorable opinion of big business.” -Roper ASW, July 23 2002

No comments:

Post a Comment