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Quote of the Day

From Wretchard, founder of the Belmont Club:

All of us should know when we’re getting in over their heads. Really bright people know their limitations. Truly stupid people cannot imagine they have any because they surround themselves with courtiers, hangers-on, hacks, yes-men, PR consultants, clowns, carny barkers and jesters. Nothing is new in this. The Divine King was the “best and the brightest” concept of 250 years ago and was a crock even then. It’s so old it seems new.

I think this might touch on the root of a problem we’ve seen in Government, for sure, but that I’ve also seen much of in industry. I think it may be that these kinds of financial crisises create wonderful opportunity for titanic realignment. Last time, that didn’t work out too well for us. This time might very well be different. Maybe the new lesson is we don’t need a self-appointed elite quite so much as we thought.

2 Responses to “Quote of the Day”

  1. Bram says:

    Every good business leader – just like every good king, surrounds himself (or herself) with talented candid people. A good follower is honest. A good leader listens to those honest opinions. Only fools surround themselves with yes-men and sycophants and disaster often ensues.

    MacArthur believed his sycophants when they told him that the Chinese wouldn’t invade Korea. King George believed that the colonial rebellion was a riot to be put down easily. BP managers ignored all warnings about their drilling on the cheap – even the people screaming at them from the deck of the rig.

    I wonder how insulated the President and Congressional leaders really are. They are sure seem to be driving towards a cliff, completely oblivious to the danger.

  2. Ian Argent says:

    Evidence would tend to suggest that the messengers are afraid for their heads today. Every bit of bad news is trumpeted as “unexpected”. I suspect the messengers are getting the “standard” 3 scenarios and are presenting the “best case” instead of the “middle case”…

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