On Incentives

"Never penalize those who work for us for mistakes or reward them for being right about markets. It will go to their heads, is counterproductive and, in any event, material compensation will not correlate with their ability to predict the future next time."

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Writings & Speeches


Welcome: This is not a party or celebration. It is a gathering to celebrate the Women’s March on Washington. I have no words of wisdom or solace for you. I can only suggest three poems which may provide some degree of support for all of us.

The first, by Robert Herrick, written some 400 years ago, is about making a difference – no matter how small:

“She by the river sat, and
Sitting there she wept
And made it deeper by a tear.”

Robert Bridges wrote about commitment to what we love and to our values:

“I will not let thee go
I hold thee by too many bands
Thou sayest farewell and lo,
I have thee by the hands
And will not let thee go.”

And, of course, John Donne reminded us why we commit ourselves:

“No man is an island
Entire of itself;
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main;
If a cloud is washed away by the sea
Europe is the less
As well as if a promontory were,
As well as if a manor of thy friends
Or thine were;
Any man’s death diminishes me
Because I am involved in mankind
And therefore never send to know
For whom the bell tolls
It tolls for thee.”

Thank you for coming.