I truly enjoy writing this blog: it has afforded me an outlet for my thoughts and ideas and provided the basis for a smart, sharp and engaged community. That said, I am increasingly frustrated that in this time of crisis, my views appear to be nothing more than a voice in the wind. Times are too difficult and the threats to our society too great to be content with the current state of affairs. To that end, I am working to crystallize my many ideas on the financial crisis into a cogent set of recommendations that I will share with offline media, online media and policy-makers in Washington. I’ve been concerned from the outset that people in positions of power are either deeply conflicted or lacking knowledge of the complexities of the issues. This is not a set-up for effecting tough but necessary changes with the good the US taxpayer and society as Job #1. My aim is to confront this issue head-on.
One of the cornerstones of my strategy involves the creation of an independent entity called the Stabilization Oversight Council [SOC]. The SOC will be accountable to Congress and the US taxpayer, and will be staffed by market practitioners, economists and policy-makers. It will be responsible for developing policy and implementing decisions to address the crisis and stabilize the economy, and will incorporate input from the Treasury, the Federal Reserve, the FDIC and the White House. However, it will neither seek nor require consensus. Mindful of the weight bureaucracy placed on the Reconstruction Finance Corporation in the 1930s, the SOC will be designed to incorporate the best ideas from the brightest thinkers without suffering from decision paralysis. Stronger than the General Accounting Office, more powerful than the Inspector General, but with clear oversight to ensure it remains true to its mission. The is but one of many ideas I have of how to fix our seemingly intractable problems.
My 18 years on Wall Street and 4 years as an entrepreneur and private investor have taught me a lot. I know quite a bit about the technical underpinnings of Wall Street and the products they sell. I understand its culture, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of its business models. I have also experienced a markedly different culture in the start-up/venture capital world, one that is far more disclosing and collaborative yet still hyper-competitive. And through my writing, I’ve seen the power of building communities and the speed with which they can be created. Finally, it has given voice to my more than two decades of on-the-job education in the realms of M&A, derivatives, trading and entrepreneurship. It is with my Wall Street knowledge and start-up collaboration and problem-solving experience that I undertake this mission to have my voice heard, and to hopefully become part of the solution.