I was glancing at recent excerpts of Time magazines 100 most influential people in the world earlier today.
One of the people featured was the Canadian government’s lead banker (A Canadian version of Greenspan or Bernanke). He presided over an economy and banking system that has NOT required a single bailout.
He’s known as someone who focuses on the harsh realities while ignoring PR backlash for being honest.
According to him, the cause of the economic crisis was two fold:
1) Banks did not hold enough capital (or cash reserves) relative to the risks they were taking.
2) Western consumers spent too much money
I agree on both fronts and would add to the second point that Western consumers spent too much money that wasn’t actually their money (they borrowed it).
What’s his latest advice to the Canadian public?
Quit running up your credit cards and debts.
This is pretty brave stuff for someone who’s job is to boost the Canadian economy (which running up debts typically does… until you have to pay it back, but by then someone else is usually in office)
I found the idea of a government leader being willing to deal in the real world realities (not television sound bites) to be quite refreshing.
From a business stand point, those CEOs who thrive in this new economy are the ones that have brutally realistic understanding of their problems (and opportunities).
Here’s a link to the article if you’re interested in reading further: http://bit.ly/8Xr3Xh