We don’t invest in financial literacy in a meaningful way. We should be teaching elementary school children how to balance a checkbook, how to do basic accounting, why it’s important to pay your bills on time. First, education. Begin the learning process as early as possible, in elementary school. Second, encourage and support entrepreneurism. Third, policy. I know it’s a priority of the US Treasury to augment financial inclusion and increase financial literacy.
The challenge of our generation, whether it’s young lawyers, young investment bankers, is to make capitalism work for people not just around the corner, but for people all around the world.
When you go to a Japense wedding, make sure that you tie the ribbon on the present tightly because if you don’t, you may imply that you don’t think the marriage will last.
All organisms rely on exchange. They form symbiotic partnerships in order to obtain the energy that they need to survive. Energy is the currency of nature.
We need to have financial literacy in America, not just complaining about obstructionism. We need solutions. And I think the solutions are using high finance to make capitalism work for people around the world.
I think the money for the solutions for global poverty is on Wall Street. Wall Street allocates capital. And we need to get capital to the ideas that are successful, whether it’s microfinance, whether it’s through financial literacy programs, Wall Street can be the engine that makes capital get to the people who need it.
“Begin with where you are.” Everyone is looking to get ahead, but you get ahead by doing well at the things that are immediately in front of you.Start with the people around you, learn from them, and invest in them.
Money numbs your senses. People who touched paper money and then placed their hands in hot burning water didn’t feel as much pain as those who hadn’t touched money.
I don’t think money can be understood through a lens limited to economics. And most books about money tell you the history of money, the instrument. But money is also an idea, one that we exchange to survive.
On a biological level, the brain registers money as something valuable – even a dollar bill which has no intrinsic value, it’s just paper.
In essence, money gives us the calories we need to survive. Over time, we became aware that exchange and cooperation increase our chances for survival. Eventually we create tools to facilitate trade. One of these tools is called money.
All decisions originate in the brain. So if we can better understand what’s happening in the brain when we make investment decisions, maybe one day we’ll be able to make more accurate financial forecasts – for a stock or even the entire market.
Money is really like blood. You need it to live but it isn’t the point of life.
Just the idea of making money can increase your skin conductancy, meaning there’s a current of excitement.
After Hurricane Katrina, I wanted to go back to New Orleans to help musicians return to the city. But Andrew Young advised me, “If you want to help people, go work at an investment bank.” His contrarian advice opened my eyes to the importance of capital. “Learn how to make some money before you give it away.” I learned that you can bring about good in the world especially if you have a paycheck.
Researchers have compared brain scans of those people who are making money to those high on cocaine and found that them to be almost identical. Money has a biological and psychological effect on us.
The oldest and most important currency is debt.
Albert Murray’s The Omni-Americans is the most valuable non-business book because it discusses how you have to draw upon everyone’s creativity. America is a mash-up of cultures and traditions, and great businesses know how to tap the strengths of all their employees, whatever their background may be.
Look at Google. They are re-organizing their businesses ,even renaming it with Alphabet, so they can be bolder and make strategic mistakes and then learn from them. But most companies aren’t Google in that they make incremental changes and don’t go for the moon shot.
The New Testament states that man cannot serve two masters. He must choose one -God, and not the other – money. For what man chooses will reveal his heart.
For the last several decades, there was a prevailing belief among traditional economists that the markets were rational and self-correcting. Alan Greenspan advocated this view. But the 2008 financial crisis showed that this view is incorrect, and Greenspan eventually admitted as much.
Money is becoming increasingly plastic and digital. If there is a major disaster, let’s say an asteroid strike, we’ll go back to trading meats and furs. We won’t need an abstraction, a dollar bill, but real tangible goods to survive.
People have tried to control other people by trapping them with debt. A loan can become a harmful and dangerous weapon.
In some cultures, when you give someone a gift, it’s expected that they will pass it on. This seems like a peculiar practice in the West, but in many other societies, a gift has a spirit. If you try to possess the gift, you remove its spirit as a gift.
We are privileged that the dollar is the “currency of last resort” and the most important currency in the world. Global commodities are priced in dollars. Central banks in other countries hold great quantities of dollars. The dollar was the safe harbor, the port in the storm during the credit crisis.