Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Importance of Marc Rich

We have done plenty of reviews and mentions of the Marc Rich biography The Secret Lives of Marc Rich, here and here, but I'm linking here to the John Hempton review of the book because I think it is very  important to understand how savvy businessmen operate in a world of heavy regulation.

As I have mentioned, before Rich hightailed it to Switzerland, I knew some of his traders here in the U.S. To a man they told me that  Rich has one of the most creative, aggressive and shrewd minds in finance, with a governments be damned attitude. He's one of a kind. People tell me that he kept Henry Kissinger on his payroll, even while he was living in Switzerland as a fugitive.

The one thing you here from all traders that worked with him was that he would consider every angle possible to get a deal done. Big and small, he thought of everything. When he secretly owned 50% of the motion production company, FOX, he let all his traders know that if they needed an early tape of a movie before it was released to the general public, to possibly get a trade over the hump,they could have it.

In a conference room, they said, he was just amazing to watch. No angle to get a trade done was left unconsidered.

As regulations get more complex and more suffocating here in the U.S., it is going to make life much more difficult for most businesses. But for the few that understand how to operate in such an environment, like Rich, they will have the ability to make huge money. Breaking down bureaucratic barriers pays very big.

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