Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Tokyo Stock Exchange NYSE TIE-Up - Interview with CEOs Thain & Nishimura

But a few days ago, TSE Chairman Taizo Nishimura & NYSE CEO John Thain granted an interview regarding their proposed capital tie-up and cooperation talks which had splashed the headlines of financial pages. Below are some highlights from that interview...

BOOMBERG: So what are some of the reasons for the tie-up?

JOHN THAIN (Rubbing hands together doing imitation of Simpson's Mr Burns): Well, at the NYSE, we like to keep our friends close, and our enemies closer...

BOOMBERG: Errr yes, I see. You mean like Dick Grasso, Goldman Sachs, and the Specialists?

JOHN THAIN: No, they were all just our friends. In fact we send runners with snacks and gifts to go visit Joey, Sal, and Louie in the clink just so they know we're thinking about them. Dick did a lot of good things for his friends and for himself, so no, I wouldn't include him in that. And as for Goldman Sachs, well you know an anagram for Goldman Sachs is "Land Scam Hogs", which I think speaks volumes. And anyway, everyone who settled neither admitted nor denied guilt. And even those who found guilty denied guilt, or pleaded "extenuating circumstances", like the cost of living in Oyster Cove.

BOOMBERG: Are there others?

NISHIMURA: Technor-o-gy. You know, in Tokyo, we' have had probrems with our technorogy. You know, "Fat Fingers"??!

BOOMBERG: But given the insanely absurd "specialist system", the scandals surrounding front-running by virtually all the specialists (including Goldman's SpearLeeds sub), the high fees, restricted access to data, and well to be honest the virtually-non-existent market-supervision, isn't the NYSE the LAST place one would look for world class market structure and trading technology in a potential partner?

JOHN THAIN: Hey, that's not fair! We've made a lot of money for our members, and allowed them to make a lot of money! (errr should I be saying that??!?)

NISHIMURA: Understand, that at moment, we have agreed to agree to study ways in which we can agree to together study the different ways that might lead to joint ventures and new products. Nothing is concrete. We have, in stylized Japanese fashion, only agreed, (if you forgive my bluntness for the sake of the American audience), to agree on nothing, to evaluate ways that might lead to something in the future, to take some photos, and have lunch. Thank you very much....

BOOMBERG: Are you guys going to merge ?

JOHN THAIN(reverting to diplomatic tone): Nothing has been agreed and we are pleased with our little joint Indian pecadillo.

NISHIMURA: Perhaps we can discuss at a time that Japanese sovereignty is returned to the Kuriles....(translation note for American readers: "Perhaps when hell freezes over!!)

BOOMBERG: Thank you very much....


MTC said...

Very good up until the pidgin section.

I cannot comment upon Nishimura Taizo's tenure at the TSE. Back when he the head of Toshiba, however, he understood technology very well--and he seemed to have no problems pronouncing the word in English.

Unlike the alarmingly stout and vulgar knuckleheads who sit behind the big desk at many corporations, Nishimura is a soft-spoken, erudite, affable individual with a certain sad nobility (he walks slowly with the aid of a cane). He is also incredibly tall for a Japanese of his generation.

Being as that may, the post is a good takedown. I look forward to many more satirical interviews in the future.

Cassandra said...

I dare to imagine the fun Japanese would have if Thain attempted Nativespeak on your side of the Paicific. Nishinura deserves maximum respect for his efforts and apparent mastery. But no matter how hard he tries he cannnot but reflect that of Japan that I - on once - love and find maddening...