Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Removing the Mystique of Money Management

Removing the Mystique of Money Management

Yesterday, Michael Corkery, the Wall Street Journal’s reporter on matters of public finance and pensions, was kind enough to be an art critic yesterday (One Man's Oodles of Doodles Draw a Picture of Life in Finance”[1]).   He described my efforts to fill business notebooks with images while sitting through hour after hour of meetings.   I very much appreciate Mr. Corkery’s article and the kind comments from my former bosses.  I’ll leave it to you decide the quality and meaning of my doodles, which are scattered across this blog and appear on the Journal’s website.

Misc. Meeting (1997)

What strikes me, once again, is the fascination with money management.  If my pictures had been drawn while conducting meetings in any other industry I’m not sure they’d have received such prominent display.   However, there’s something of a mystery about what happens when money managers, investment bankers, or financiers get together to strategize or plot.  In all honesty, it is absolutely essential to the industry’s continued profitability that you continue to be baffled by the inner workings of the finance industry.  If it ever becomes evident that money managers and financiers are mere mortals making slightly educated guesses about the future, the economics of our business would collapse.  We’d just be an ordinary industry making normal profits.

While many of the meetings depicted in my drawings seemed to be of great consequence when they originally occurred, I’ve learned through the passage of time that most of them covered rather mundane matters.  All too often the meetings resulted in decisions that were good for my employer and me personally and not so good for the average employee or our clients.  This is the reality of the industry and the aim of my blog.

Perhaps, the mystique of money management is the reason my story appeared in the Journal.  However, it’s my hope that my drawings, particularly the pictures from my notebooks, will help remove that aura and enable investors and the public to see out industry for what it really is. 



  1. Hi Andy,

    Am wondering what pens did you use back then, taking notes and doodling?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. The drawings started with plain old BIC pens, but really became more extensive once I got my hands on felt tipped pens, especially as the tips became smaller. Most of my drawings up through the 1990s were with a felt tip. In the 2000s I switched to roller ball. I never specifically bought a certain type or brand, I just grabbed what ever was available and walked into the meeting.