By Catherine Austin Fitts
“Let me tell you what’s going to happen this year….” was the way the chairman of the firm opened the partners January strategic planning meeting at the Wall Street firm where I served as an investment banker and member of the board in the 1980’s. The chairman would add, “I can tell you what’s going to happen, I just can’t tell you when.”
A decision had been made as to how thing were going to go. And so, things shifted in that way. Government implemented, the banks implemented, the Fed implemented, big corporations implemented. Financial incentives were engineered. Tax benefits appeared. Regulations were altered. Media promoted, made it fashionable. Everyone went in the direction decided, because, “that was how things were going to go.”
The process was organic, messy. So the timing was not specific. This was not a process you could trade unless you were investing for the long term. There was trial and error in the process. Some people balked, tried to fight city hall. But in most instances, the policy prevailed. If not, no one wanted to offend the powerful decision makers by championing it being canceled, so it failed for a long time before dying quietly on the vine.
I am no longer privy to those little talks and tips. However, I can watch the roll out of those decisions. The pattern is unmistakable. A decision has been made at the highest level and it is being rolled out in lots of different sectors. Something has suddenly become fashionable.
There is a new pattern rolling out these days – promoting women as leaders.
Clearly a decision has been made at the highest level is to promote women in the post financial coup d’etat world. The new Fed chairman is a woman. The head of the IMF is a woman. The heads of General Motors and IBM are women. For heaven’s sake, the new mayor of Paris is a woman. The air waves are full of the lessons learned of a high ranking female Facebook executive, who until Edward Snowden came along, may not have understood the business she was in. The latest Vanity Fair magazine has a photo shoot of women leaders – one of hundreds of puff pieces in major media over the last few months.
What is this about? That is a topic I would like to explore this week.