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‘Who you know’ rules

Does the media create this gloom and doom?  It seems most of the real world thinks they play a strong role in making it worse, but then is any of this real? 

The whole of the last year aseems like a bad nightmare and, just as you think it's getting better, along comes another wave of bad news. 

Take yesterday.

Sitting quietly zoning in on positive thoughts of Kate Winslett's Golden Globe acceptance speech ("oh god, who's the other one? … Angelina!"), and I get a ping from the Guardian that tells me loads of people are being laid off in the City. 



Cheered me up, no end.

So I go and have a cup of tea, as all of us good English folks do, and then brace myself for the bad news report.

This one states that the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Price WaterhouseCoopers (PwC) did this survey that shows the finance sector laid off 10,000 people in Q4 2008 in Britain, and have plans to layoff a  whole load more.



I go and have another cup of tea and watch Kate Winslett's Golden Globe acceptance speech again, just to make me'self feel better.

Then I find a little nook in the BBC's website that lays bare the true City stories taking place every day:

"People are
generally exhausted and accept whatever might be coming in the new
year. Traders who were famous for their tempers now look like they have
been sedated – nothing really matters, nothing gets them fired up like
it once did."

Tom, Investment Manager, London, UK

"Until a few weeks ago the credit crunch seemed to happen to other
people, but had little effect on me. Then, almost at a stroke, our
company told us we had to reduce costs because of lost orders and if
this cost cutting exercise was not successful we were in danger of

Mike, Newport, UK

"The people who do know what they are really doing are often too busy
doing it to keep an eye on those who are playing politics. It is the
politicians who climb the greasy poll and make the decisions."

Rob, London, UK

"The City at the higher levels still operates more on
perception than substance. How else could Madoff have duped so many so
called investment experts. Due diligence is thrown out of the window if
someone creates the right image."

Amanda, London, UK

and many more.

This, on the same day that Bernie Madoff is released on $10 million bail.

$10 million bail!

His crime? 

Swindling $50 billion in a Ponzi scheme.

Seems weird to me, but Judge knows best.

Or maybe, going back to Tom's comments on the BBC website, some might conjecture that the Judge had a few dollars invested in the Madoff funds:

"The Madoff scandal is the last thing that anyone involved in
the financial sector needed … rich parents send
their kids to exclusive schools and universities. They end up working
for banks and hedge funds because of who they are, and often rise to
the top of their firms with levels of knowledge inferior to that of
many people below them, who did not have the same privileged

Yep, it's the old thing we all believe but dare not say these days due to all of that political correctness constraint … the real world is that it's not what you know, but who you know that counts.

School, accent, tie, diploma, colour, religion, sex … forget all that PC-stuff about everyone's equal.  It's all just corporate claptrap.

Madoff and the decimation of 2008 can be put down to the soft shoe licking, Stepford husbands and wives who walked the corridors of power based upon who they knew and the right connections.

A bit like the emperor's new clothes, Madoff would have been called if there had not been so much of the good old network at work.

That's why I headlined this whether it's good times or bad, who you know rules. 

After all, you're not going to be ruled by who you don't know are you?

p.s. note, no mention of Prince Harry!

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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