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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lessons From the Macropocalypse

I have been wracking my head trying to write a post for my HBS blog about the macropocalypse.

There's so much to say.

For now, I will say this: the Fed bailing out AIG is kind of jaw-dropping as a total evisceration of the bedrock of the financial system - and orthodox finance and economics.

The real point is this. The time is now.

Now is the time for revolutionaries to step up and build something better, something more real, and something greater.

There will probably never - at least in our lifetimes - be an opportunity for total economic reinvention this tremendous.

Or this meaningful. Because that's what it's really about - not shareholder value, money, or "competitive advantage".

But doing something that means something.

-- umair // 1:59 AM //



Working on a marketplace for teacherpreneurs and have 1,200 amazing teachers fired up to revolutionize the education system.

Would love what others are doing!
// Blogger Jon // 3:19 AM

almost no one has figured out how to get greed out of human dna, let alone organizational dna ...

we need much, much more chaos for things to truly transform ...

smart evolved people are already doing useful things ... business people sneer at them as new-agers or worse, but they don't care, they are already living in the new paradigm ...

the old HAS to die off, it will not change, and we should be celebrating the collapse with big smiles and sighs of "thank god"

this is NOT a bad thing, and NOT a macroclypse .. it is a lovely revaluation of what it means to be a human being and is to be encouraged, not fixed or avoided.

we don't actually have to do anything, failure of the old is guaranteed by its very structure. simply do what you want to do and relax. all is unfolding as it should.

enjoy, gregory lent
// Blogger gregory // 4:36 AM

There is clearly a tremendous need for a revolution in finance--a retooling of the system in terms of the regulations, the regulators, and the incentives among the players to restore our faith. As one of the first to observe how truly broken our current system is, any specific guidance you can develop on what should be done would be well received and probably very influential right now.

I'm an entrepreneur. For the last several months I've been mainly focused on researching and reflecting to try to decide where I should direct my energy next and make a difference. I feel I have a decent grasp of things like harnessing the internet, building and leading a team, developing software, and other general aspects of starting and growing a technology company.

What I feel I lack most is domain expertise in the areas that I think are most in need of innovation, and I believe this is a widespread problem: the disconnect between people who have a deep understanding of the problems and needs of certain domains (in this case, finance), and people who are looking to create value directly by trying to solve problems, in my case hopefully by starting an innovative business tackling the biggest problem that I uniquely can contribute to solving. I think there are a lot of talented young people out there who end up creating a modified twitter clone when they could probably be solving a much more valuable problem if they had some idea of where to start looking.

Right now these are just thoughts, but I'm trying to develop them into ideas for how this disconnect could be improved. Especially given the urgency of the need for innovation in finance right now, I'd be up for any sort of brainstorming sessions for starters, either in person or online somewhere. I put up a discussion site at ideaify.com, not because it's a perfect solution, but more to show I'm serious. Open to suggestions...
// Anonymous blake borgeosn // 8:01 AM

How about something along the lines that the financial wizardry wall street has been so lauded for was nothing more than a confidence trick. A scam.

Packaging and distributing risk never really happened. Buyers sold risk to seller who in turn sold it back to buyers.

It would be nice for all the people who have been involved have their assets repossessed even if they have left the companies in the last 5 years.
// Blogger Simon Cast // 8:49 AM

Unfortunately, I don't see this happening until a truly frightening event occurs: the US cannot make its interest payments and is forced to default on its debt.

What happened at the personal level over the past decade is now happening at the national level. When the US goes BK, something will HAVE to be done. Until that time, people care more about American Idol and the NFL.
// Anonymous Jason Kolb // 11:29 AM

reform begins with understanding this is largely a *political* problem, as the US, as well as pretty much every other country in the world, uses a fiat currency that is issued by a central bank. true reform begins with an understanding of monetary policy, and a willingness to reform it.

there is a solution, and as you note umair, the opportunity is f'ing outrageous, once in a lifetime -- no, actually, once in a millennium.

but a willingness to understand real history and attack the root of the problem (central banking + fiat currency) is essential. most people are afraid of talking about real politics, as evidenced by the fear of talking about 9/11 being an inside job. the unfortunate thing is that we all have more to fear by NOT talking about it than we do by talking about it.

americans, ron paul was the solution. vote third party, mcbama does nothing to help the economy, in fact their policies will only ruin it more. ending the fraudulent wars, abolishing the federal reserve system, and reducing the size of government are essential to creating real solutions. either that, or its secession time, and the internet enables secession through the creation of virtual currencies, which can enable monetary policy reform. my money is actually on that route, as the political system is beyond hope in my opinion, as the american people are still too willing to play along with the two party system, which will never bring about true reform.
// Anonymous kid mercury // 12:58 PM

We are witnessing the greatest redistribution of wealth ever seen in the developed world. When the smoke clears, what I hope to see is a greater sense of responsibility, not just fiscally, but socially, from those that survive. I hope it illustrates that the way things have been run in the past is unsustainable.

You are right, it is time for a lasting revolution, and a new future.
// Anonymous Brett // 2:54 PM
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