Cowboy’s Contract

Like I said in the previous post, cowboys (and girls) tend to “tell it like it is.”

It used to be, and probably still is in some places, that a handshake was enough to seal a deal among cowboys. Not much need for written contracts, high-prices attorneys, and civil suits. A man’s word was his bond. He was known by his reputation–honest or not.

Handshakes have been around since the birth of civilization. In fact, they were originally a way to prove you had no weapons in your hand when meeting someone new.

I wonder what would happen if Wall Street firms looked back to a simpler time when a handshake was enough to seal a deal, and right and wrong were as clear as black and white. What if executives, portfolio managers, analysts, and traders decided that some things aren’t for sale? What if every major investment firm agreed to live by the principle that the client always comes first?

Do we still have enough “cowboy” in us to do that?

Published in: on January 22, 2009 at 1:01 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Well, I suspect many investment firms do put their clients first. Trouble is, their clients’ interest may not be the public’s interest.

  2. I second Bob’s opinion!

    I wish it were like that. Things would be so much simpler. Though as an attorney I wouldn’t want the work to dry up!

  3. That wouldn’t work now. Even if there were witnesses, they could be liars.

    Morgan Mandel

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