Need Before Greed

Need Before Greed

7:20pm

[“Vata (feat. Shweta Shetty)” by Jam & Spoon]

A few months ago, Albert gave me a copy of Enron, The Smartest Guys In The Room, and I finally watched it this morning. It took me this long to watch it because I wasn’t initially interested, though there was always a lingering feeling that I DID want to watch it. Something held me back, and a part of it probably had to do with laziness, but the fact that I was aware that I was both uninterested AND interested at the same time, made me wonder what those true reasons were for NOT watching it.

So I finally did this morning and by the time 2001 rolled around in the film, several subtle shivers had gone up and down my neck. There aren’t many films out there, including horror films that disturbs me this way. For horror films, the visuals and the creativity gone into them disturb me for a night and then it goes away and I give it a hoorah that it scared the wits out of me temporarily. For the Enron film, it didn’t scare me bluntly, but let’s put it this way…

Let’s say you’re a world reknown professional swimmer, and you’re floating out at sea, thinking you’ll be ready for even a hurricane – thinking that all you have to do with your massive lungs and strong body, is to swim downwards into ‘safety’. Then the massive hurricane hits, and at first, it’s exciting but as the seconds come and go, you find yourself being overwhelmed every way possible – mentally, emotionally, physically, and maybe even spiritually and religiously. Now you’re out at sea, being thrown about, not prepared to die – too scared to die, too scared to think what might happen to you and your future.

That is probably as close as describing how I felt by emotional concept, when I watched that film, and uncanny enough, I bet that’s how some of those Enron executives felt when they knew shit was crashing down all over the place for them. Not only did the fact that such a massive company went up to about $90 per share in 2000 and then dropped all the way down to 40 cents per share by the time they filed bankruptcy in 2001, but major corporations such as Citibank, Merrill Lynch & Co, Arthur Andersen (one of the biggest accountant firms worldwide), J.P. Morgan Chase, and a few other big names committed themselves into the multi-billion dollar scandal either directly or through their employees.

People often say that it’s difficult to put trust into smaller firms, especially when they are new and fresh on the market, but these massive multi-billion dollar firms caused such a huge rift in business practice that it is still affecting the businesses around the world today, especially in the financial world. Albert’s constant venting of how CASB and how their firm’s practices are like this and that is one example of how Arthur Anderson’s downfall effected the world of finance and beyond. It’s just crazy and nearly unfathomable that something like that can happen in this modern age, that something like that was willingly allowed to happen when massive financial organizations such as Citibank and Canadian Imperial could have stopped them. At the very least – AT THE VERY LEAST, someone from up there could have warn the tens of thousands of employees of Enron to stop buying stocks.

Seriously, do you REALLY need that extra $55 million? Hell, ever since my own small design studio fell in 2000 (2001 respectively), I’ve constantly thought about what I can do with $1 million, if I were to save it in ING, it could earn me $35k per year gross from interest. Let’s say I want to get greedier, I’ll shove $10 million into GIC’s if I can and that can probably earn me a good $400k every 4 to 5 years or so. DO I REALLY NEED $55 million? DO I REALLY NEED $350 million?

Even as a once-pronounced businessman, though undeserved and premature, I couldn’t imagine cheating my employees out of their pensions and kid’s college funds. I just can’t and will NEVER – please note that last word – NEVER do that. It’s just as bad as stealing from my parents, and I will confess here in public, I HAVE stolen from my parents when I was about 8 years old. I took $20 from the cashier machine in the shop to buy my friend and I a couple of He-Man toys. I felt like shit when my parents found out, but what actually happened was that I felt even worst 15 years later, when I was much older, and I found the appreciation of hard work and going from zero to whatever was a measurement that can only be measured through understanding, recognition, and consideration.

Anyway, that’s all. I think if we wipe ourselves down to the core of humanity’s desire for conquest either that be for superficial physical assets or superficially intellectual pursuits, we can choose to do them, but for those with the slightest amount of decency, even if their personal lives are a tad questionable, the least someone with a filtered principle and unbringing could do, is NOT screw around with those who have worked harder as a combined unit.

In short, and something I have furthered recognized from playing World of Warcraft when it came to looting Blue and Purple items from dead monsters – simple motto: NEED BEFORE GREED.

8:39pm

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