I have a confession to make. The family were away for the weekend so I got to do whatever I want around the house for a change. This involved lying around naked and half drunk on Viognier and spooning a selection of expensive cheeses into my belly. But my real sin was succumbing to the desire to watch 80s porn in the form of Oliver Stone’s Wall Street. The message sat well with my lone disposition: Greed is Good. More cheese, yes please.
I cringed at those 80s hair styles, over quoted clichés, massive mobile phones that only make calls and an ethos that inspired an entire generation of salespeople to be ruthless to the point of illegality. “If you’re not on the inside. You’re on the outside.” And my favourite quote from Darrel Hannah’s character, Darien Taylor (the mercenary interior decorator with ambitions much higher than mere love), as she gives instructions to the guy applying gold leaf to fake Scotia around the top of their new uptown apartment, “That’s enough gold over there,” I nearly spat out some aged cheddar. What a hoot! I missed it the first time around but as I watched the movie once more, I realised how subtly brilliant that line was especially as it came from the most callous money-grabbing, social climber of the players.
The entire point of the movie is of course lost in time. We all remember it as inspiring an entire generation of cut-throat business people to the point of no return until the world nose dived into the recession of the late 80s. Director Stone never meant the film to be a flag bearer for the grabbers, he meant it to be a cautionary tale to place creative value over destructive greed.
While discussing the vagaries of the finance game Bud Fox’s boss tells him, “That's the problem with money - it makes you do things you don't want to do.” I can agree with that, work usually, but what he meant was the illegality of his actions in gaining inside information about the company stock he was trading.
So where is the line drawn between research and insider dealing? During the course of thorough research many facts emerge that were never really sought. Facts that can change a perception and outlook on an entire situation.
Currently the Canterbury Regional Council is looking for an Infrastructure as a Service solution. This is probably one the biggest contracts of the year. Everybody is very excited. The council is using two consultant companies to set up and run the entire tender process; The Resolve Group Limited and Effectus. Neither of which is allowed to bid for the business.
I can understand why Effectus isn’t allowed to bid because it does this of thing for a living and should therefore know a thing or two about preparing the Statement of Interest document that the CRC put out. But I can’t see why The Resolve Group got involved and also why it’s not allowed to bid because if it did bid it wouldn’t have a hope of winning anyway because a quick glance at the Resolve Groups web site tells us that it has only really dealt with major roading projects. And to top that, the man responsible for part of the tender process, Rob Lorden is really good at water works which was his previous job before he joined the Resolve Group. I wonder how much he knows about VMware licensing, or Windows 2008 upgrades, or even the good ol Proliant servers, which the current system sits on. Maybe he studies all about that when he’s sailing on his yacht, and no that’s not insider knowledge, it’s on his profile. Oh well, wind, water, motorways, internet wires, I guess it’s all about flow in the end.
So to keep yourself sane in this crazy business where people go from roads to supplying our government with the most complicated computer systems ever made, just remember a quote from a madman, the psychopathic Gordon Gekko. “Money itself isn't lost or made, it's simply transferred – from one perception to another. Like magic.”
And one more for fun, “Now, you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you, buddy?”