I was watching a viral video of a 45th President trying to persuade journalist Jonathan Swan of an anti-virus response that was ‘better than the world’. That’s when one-time boss of Salomon Brothers came to mind. He was a securities trader who traded on your mortgage without security.
Michael Lewis wrote of John Gutfreund that it ‘was easy for Gutfreund to say money didn’t matter. He paid himself more than any chief executive on Wall Street … His attitude … towards the firm changed once he had cashed in his chips. He and others ceased to view Salomon Brothers as an instrument of wealth creation and began to treat it as an instrument of power and glory, a vast playground in which they could be the bullies.’ Liar’s Poker (1989) is still worth a read (or re-read) if you want to learn more about leaders who don’t let morals get in the way of anything.[Read more…] about Fifth Sunflower Poker