The words in the title came to us as following a lecture from senior American Derivatives Regulator Timothy Massad. I wouldn’t have gone had Chris Radford not asked me. Chris isn’t in financial service but has a keen and enquiring mind. He will be a student all his life, we share a love of learning. It was good to be together in the main lecture hall of the LSE’s new building and you can read Chris’s account of the evening here http://www.chrisradford.net/disrupt-produce-fulfil-boosting-productivity/
Chris Radford is becoming a good friend, Chris is someone who helps businesses to get their act together, to find gaps in the market, produce products that meet those gaps and fulfil on promises to customers with excellent service.
As was the Q&A with Massad, our conversation was plain and the words active. The abstact nouns “disruption, production and fulfilment”, didn’t seem right for what we were discussing. I wanted to talk about us using financing our country to meet the challenges of Brexit through pensions, Chris wanted to talk about making pensions a motivator for people to produce more and deliver on promises.
Massad too had talked about what he had done as a Regulator and what the futures market did to help in the production and fulfilment of American commerce.
It was strange to be in a lecture hall at the London School of Economics which was filled not just with students but by traders, lawyers and a consultants like Chris and me. We were there not to discuss abstract notions but to get a clearer understanding about how regulation has fought back from the nadir of the financial crisis and imposed order and confidence in a broken market.
Massad, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Massad) is retiring from his post as Chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Association with the arrival of a new president. He talked of the parallels between Brexit and the new presidency. Clearly he was concerned that much of Dodd Frank could be swept away. Almost as he spoke to us , his president was delivering a graceful farewell to his presidency in Chicago, coincidentally the home of American commodity trading. Change seemed very real.
Harnessing the disruptive power of change could make Brexit work for us. It could also help make “America great again”, though the latest revelations of #watersportgate suggest that the latter may be the greater challenge!
Chris and I talked of how we could use change to produce more and fulfil on promises. As I write, we have just seen the 9th successive day of stockmarket highs, the American Stockmarket has recovered from its January 2009 low of under 9000 to be touching 20,000. As the football chant goes “6-0 and you still don’t sing”!
When you think about what you can do, it is pretty amazing! Unleashing our productive side and focussing on delivery (as Massad clearly has for the past four years). Using verbs not nouns, construction not abstraction
“Here error is all in the not done, all in the diffidence that faltered” (Ezra Pound)
The video below is a minute long and features the voice of Pound reciting a section of Canto LXXXI. He asserts the primacy of doing things, not criticising nor hating.
Being with Chris opened my eyes again to this brilliant work and the dignity of an old man who has at last found the words to make sense of his endeavours.