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How Much Do You Need?

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hard at work student by quinn.anyaI read this in the book "The No Asshole Rule" by Robert Sutton about Joseph Heller author of Catch-22:
Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer
now dead
and I were at a party given by a billionaire
on Shelter Island.
I said, 'Joe, how does it make you feel
to know that our host only yesterday
may have made more money
than your novel Catch-22
has earned in its entire history?'
And Joe said, 'I've got something he can never have'
And I said, 'What on earth could that be, Joe?'
And Joe replied, 'The knowledge that I've enough'
Kurt Vonnegut- The New Yorker, May 16 2005

The knowledge that I've enough. Something we all need to grasp quickly.

But it seems that the fat cats in Wall Street don't know, don't care and feel instead that they need all the money in the world.

Citibank wanted to use $50 million taxpayers' money to buy private jets. Then AIG wanted to give $165 million bonuses to retain those smart people who caused them to lose billions and set the record for the worst quarterly performance of any company ever.

Now the latest news is that the fat cats at Citibank are trying to do a John Thain by spending $10 million to renovate their executive offices. Why do they need such posh offices? To impress visitors that despite the huge losses booked, they can still spend money like there is no tomorrow?

Motley Fool has a great article, 'Fess Up or Die!', that tells about the complete lack of honesty from those running the failed firms in facing up to the reality- that they are bankrupt technically, financially, morally in every sense of the word. The sooner they face up the situation, the earlier they can think about solutions to solve their companies' myriad problems.

In a sense, all of us need a quick check with reality once a while through observations of people and things around us or through reading.

I read this bouquet from the mypaper written by a reader Lionnel Lim which sums this up well:

".... I noticed a sanitation worker emptying the dustbin at a bus stop. The drainage hole at the side of the road was clogged, and the rain water was flooding onto the pavement where a few others and I were standing.

Despite the heavy rain and lack of shelter, this worker used his broomstick to try to unclog the hole.

After that, he continued picking up litter from the road.

I was touched by the dedication he showed for his job and would like to convey my thanks and appreciation.

I wish that I were half as hardworking as this man. I was humbled by his attitude. "
AIG and Citibank, how about some dedication in unclogging the financial mess and humble attitude?

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