Thursday, July 9, 2009


I played golf yesterday out on Long Island with one of the Alvarez & Marsal guys. A&M is one of the two leading international crisis management firms which has now expanded into other areas. My guest asked if I had seen Bryan Marsal's spot on CNBC's Squawk Box on Monday. I told him I had not seen it and he said that I should.

So, when I returned home, I immediately went online to retrieve the video clip. (OK, I didn't exactly drop everything to run to the computer.) But when I finally got to view the clip, I found that Bryan did an excellent job explaining the status of the Lehman situation and answering questions some of which addressed much broader issues.

He was asked if Lehman was the most complicated assignment he has ever worked. He immediately answered, "No, Lehman is a complex liquidation. But bringing a failing company back to life is much more difficult and complicated."

He was asked about the various government entities that he has to deal with on a frequent basis. Here he used the "leadership" word. He strongly commented that the various government agencies lack leadership. He said the various entities, the SEC, the Federal Reserve, FDIC, et al are poorly coordinated, have different rules, have different agendas, have turf issues and communicate unclearly.

He went on to say that if the government agencies were run as a business, there would be one person, a leader that would sit on top of all the agencies like the CEO of a business. We can all imagine that the lack of a leader of these agencies is like the lack of a CEO. Different parts of the business doing whatever they want to do. So imagine each agency doing what it wants to do without regard to what the other agencies are doing. Just lovely.

Listen the video, it is worth the time.

Cheers, Mike

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