Friday, July 18, 2008

T Boone Pickens

Below is a great video by T Boone Pickens on our transportation and electricity energy issues. He plainly walks through some very important stats. I found it particularly compelling (0 mins and 53 seconds) when he called out the $10 trillion of wealth that will flow out of this country over the next 10 years if we continue to purchase foreign oil. We need to find ways to invest those dollars domestically if we want to get our trade deficit under control and keep jobs from moving overseas.

The only "Boone" I have to pick with his presentation is the point he makes at the end about wind replacing natural gas in our electrcity infrastrucutre. Wind cannot be used to replace natural gas turbines. Natural gas generators are so called "peaker plants" meaning the are high cost relative to coal/hydro/nuclear and are only used during periods of peak demand. Wind electricity is similar to natural gas electricity in cost, but it CANNOT be spun up during periods of peak demand. Wind blows when it wants to blow. We cannot ask the wind to start blowing on a summer afternoon when the temperature peaks or when a power line goes out and the grid needs to be balanced.

Yes, more wind. Yes, more natural gas for transportation. And thanks to T Boone Pickens for making this a compelling marketing message, but these are complex problems and we will all have to work together and strike compromises to make it happen. I hope we can do it!

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Jamie Dimon

A fascinating interview with Jamie Dimon, CEO of Bear Stearns. There is some seemingly candid commentary on the acquisition of Bear Stearns that others have written about, BUT what really stands out to me is how Jamie is able to sit on and own the "high ground" across almost all topics from trade relations with China to the fire sale of Bear Stearns. If you watch the video at the 41 minutes and 38 second mark Charlie Rose asks Jamie what his responsibility is to his employees. Jamie says his responsibility it to (1) tell them the truth and to (2) provide opportunities by building a healthy company. Hard to argue with truth and opportunity, even when the truth means firing someone. Taking the high ground is such a powerful leadership technique. I don't mean to sound cynical here at all. I believe people will sniff you out immediately if you're not genuine about it. Sphere: Related Content