VISTAGE Works! Take a look: https://youtu.be/XV1aIquHSpM (Orange County, CA version) WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950 THIS WEEK’S STUFF • Women on Wall Street, Now and Then • Seven Deadly Sins • Pandemic Perks • Black Swans and Black Elephants • Econ Recon: The Kitchen Sink • Covid Tracker WOMEN ON WALL STREET, THEN AND NOW You would think that a woman being named head of one of the world’s largest banks would have happened by now. after other women in industrial and retail arenas have long ago attainted the corner office (though by no means yet proportionate to their share of the populace). This past week Jane Fraser was named CEO of Citibank, the first woman to lead a major Wall Street Firm. While she may be the first female CEO of a major Wall Street firm, another woman once reigned as one of Wall Street’s most powerful players, even though she was not a CEO. Hetty Green was born into a wealthy family in 1834, and learned the art of investing from her successful father so well that she multiplied her inheritance of $6 million to over $2-billion (both figures in today’s dollars) by her death in 1916. Like many successful business people (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Carly Fiorina, Jeff Bezos), Hetty had some sharp edges to her personality and many felt that her unfortunate sobriquet, the “Witch of Wall Street,” was to some degree deserved, though male contemporaries in similar pursuits rarely suffered similar nicknames. Regardless of any personal shortcomings, it is clear she achieved astounding investment results decades before she was even been eligible to vote. Spend a few minutes on this short bio of Mrs. Green: “The Peculiar Story of the Witch of Wall Street.” SEVEN DEADLY SINS We’re all living on Zoom and our viewers see two things: us, and whatever is behind us. Most of try to look our best for the camera, but are you mindful of what your viewers can see that you do not? This short Forbes article from a branding expert looks at how we manage our Zoom backgrounds, and has identified common, major background mistakes (virtual or real) that are easily rectified. Check out The 7 Worst Backgrounds For Your Zoom meetings. PANDEMIC PERKS One of the key responsibilities of leadership is managing employee morale, and it has never been more important to do so than now. Many C-Level executives have created new perks and benefits that are meaningful to employees while being cost effective. How about Pet Paternity leave? This short article from Inc Magazine summarizes these Pandemic Perks. Another concern about employee morale is what to offer your team as we near the holidays. If another surge precludes the usual holiday gatherings, what will take their place? With Thanksgiving just two months away and Christmas soon after, it is not too soon to be thinking about creative alternatives. BLACK SWANS AND BLACK ELEPHANTS A few years ago, the concept of Black Swans was introduced to the general public by author Nassim Taleb through a book by the same name. He defined a Black Swan as an event that could not have been forecast and so planning for it is almost impossible, aside from assuring that your organization has the resiliency and wherewithal to respond when the unpredictable happens. Many have called the Covid pandemic a Black Swan event. but the fact is we’ve seen pandemics in history and while unexpected it may be a stretch to call it unpredictable (Bill Gates warned of just such a pandemic over five years ago.) Covid is perhaps better labelled a “Black Elephant” event, “A looming disaster that’s clearly visible, yet no one wants to address it.” As many companies approach year-end, planning for 2021 and beyond begins in earnest. Incorporating the Black Elephant concept into your planning process may prove a useful tool. This short HBR blog post will show you how to plan for the disasters that no one wants to think about. ECON RECON The Kitchen Sink: The US government has thrown everything but the kitchen sink at the economy to forestall the damage of shutting it down. Many people would say that so far, these efforts have been successful at avoiding another great depression. The question is whether the debt incurred will become the greater problem down the line. The following from the economists I usually follow in this space may allay some of your fears, at least in the short term, and put the matter into a more clear perspective. ITR Economics’ Alex Chausovsky offers a graphic look at not only the amount of government debt, but its cost. Check his one page blog post, Government Stimulus and Deficit Spending in Three Charts Dr. Brian Wesbury explores some possible responses to the additional debt burden and suggests Positive Policies to Cut the Debt Burden. If you want to keep track of the dynamics of government debt and spending, check out the US Debt Clock . COVID TRACKER Check out Dr. Brian Wesbury’s updated weekly Covid-19 Tracker for the week just ended. Another good source is https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ and the oft cited IHME (Institute for Health Metrics) Projections. Both offer data and projections by country and state. Have a good week.

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