Memos from the Chairman


Now and again I’ll mention I book I have recently read, this is one of those blog posts.  However, this is a MUST HAVE from anyone interested in running a business.  I am ashamed it’s taken me so long to discover.  Another failing!

Alan (Ace) C. Greenberg’s  ‘Memos from the Chairman‘.  I urge purchase.

This is a collection of memos from Greenberg to his management team, partners and shareholders whilst he sat at the helm of Bear Sterns.

Now, I know if you’re reading this you might be thinking Bear Sterns is not a great business example.  However, I beg to differ! Indeed, it’s final years were not good, in 2008 it could not be saved whilst in the midst of the banking crisis and ended up under JP Morgans ownership.  However, it’s worth looking at the early years, from 1923 onwards.  The 1980’s proved a huge success for the business (they IPO’d and the value soared), when Greenberg was in charge.  This was a great period of growth.  The book follows 1978 to 1988 (it was published in 1996).

After Greenberg left the business things seemed to go wrong.  Maybe some of those running the business lost the principals on which the business had been built.  A shame.  A reflection of the times.

Haimchinkel Malintz Anaynikal (HAM) features throughout with words of wisdom and business philosophy.  He is fictional:) and the memo’s are full of humour.   This book shall be one I dip into all the time.  “Watch thy expenses like a hawk!”


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