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Confessions Of The Number Crunchers


From Rediff: (The confession of a finance professional)

Every morning across the country, we the finance professionals begin our work as meticulously as the parrot-astrologers mentioned above, but with a crucial difference. Instead of the parrots we use laptops, and instead of the unsophisticated printed booklets, we rely on Microsoft office.

Without Excel spreadsheets and Power Point we will instantly be rendered hors de combat. Ask us any question about anything we will answer you only through these tools – even if it means introducing ourselves, our company or our services. We will use jargons or acronyms even for silly things. We have our own grammar for our operations.

The idea is to bamboozle our clients and give them an impression of being in a hurry. If a client is a multi-product company we would advice them on de-merging and concentrate on core competencies. If it is a single product company we would ask them to diversify to de-risk themselves. Never mind, in both cases we are actually experimenting with our clients at their cost.

And should a client have a rupee term loan we would advice them on a foreign currency loan and exactly the reverse should they have a forex loan. For the former we would predict the depreciation of the dollar, for the latter, the appreciation of the dollar. Who said cheese for the goose is cheese for the gander?

If we find a non-finance professional on the other side of the table we reckon that they are lambs to the slaughter. When we encounter fellow finance professionals on the other side, things are no different. After all, he would be compassionate to our cause, understand our jargons and empathise with our constraints.

Excellent article.

I can imagine the scene. There is nothing more motivated to sell than a finance professional who’s not yet met his numbers. Hell hath no fury as a finance professional scorned.

And if you’re a finance professional, read Michael Lewis’ Recession 101. (Hat tip: Mohit) Which ends with:

The goal isn’t to get people to like you. That would be too much to ask. The position to which you aspire, recession champion, is inherently unsympathetic. You are the man on the lifeboat with his own private stash of food and water.
The goal is merely to get people to tolerate you, and dissuade them from organizing themselves against you.
Do this well enough and by the time they realize what you’ve done, the next boom will have begun, and they’ll treat you as their hero.


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