What makes a good deal maker?

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Steve3007
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What makes a good deal maker?

Post by Steve3007 » July 28th, 2017, 5:34 am

I think it's interesting to consider what constitutes a good deal maker, in the context of what might happen now that the attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare seems to have died.

Trump's main selling point as a candidate was his deal-making abilities. You may not like him personally; you may disapprove of various aspects of his behaviour, but as a successful businessman he'll make great deals on your behalf. Or so the line goes.

So far at least, this doesn't seem to have worked in one of its first big tests - the Affordable Care Act, A.K.A. Obamacare. The lack of any willingness to compromise and the insistence on portraying everything as black-and-white, horrible-or-beautiful, with nothing in between, means that he has to portray Obamacare as absolutely 100% horrible, to be absolutely 100% repealed. Obviously this means no support from Democrats. He characterises this lack of support as "obstructionism". But why on Earth would they do anything other than obstruct the complete destruction of their own former president's signature policy?

Nevertheless, most Democrats accept that Obamacare is far from perfect. So, now that it's clear Trump needs their support, perhaps he should experiment with a move away from the "everything is either horrible or beautiful" attitude and say something like: "there are some good things about Obamacare and some things that need improvement. Let's work together to make it better." Perhaps a better deal maker would have realised that this approach would have been better, and garnered more bipartisan support, from the start?

Are we now seeing the first evidence showing that Trump is actually a spectacularly unsuccessful deal-maker? Or will he be able to recognise that he needs to change his methods to fit the circumstances? Or does he not need to change his methods?

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Re: What makes a good deal maker?

Post by Burning ghost » July 28th, 2017, 10:22 am

I don't buy it. Business is business and politics is politics. They are different beasts. I'm sure there is some cross over though.

My view of the US has been one that had prepared me for a businessman coming into power. It seemed inevitable to me given the general structure of US society (meaning its obsession with commercialism and consumerism, its indulgence in everything economic and peoductive rather than ethical and progressive. I think all these things do give the US creativity, only I feel some potentials are subdued in society for greater wealth and profit.) This is bit purely a US thing, but they seem to lead the way.
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Steve3007
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Re: What makes a good deal maker?

Post by Steve3007 » July 28th, 2017, 10:35 am

Ghost:

It's not clear to me what it is that you don't buy. What don't you buy? The idea that skills in business transfer successfully to politics?

-- Updated Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:22 pm to add the following --

Burning Ghost:
I don't buy it.
What don't you buy? To what does the "it" refer in the above sentence?

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Re: What makes a good deal maker?

Post by LuckyR » July 30th, 2017, 12:12 am

A couple of observations make the analysis of the questions simpler. First, Trump makes good deals... for Donald Trump. He has no interest or motivation to improve the lot of anyone else, unless he profits from it in some way (not necessarily monetarily). While some may point to various policies that Trump supports that help the wealthy and powerful as a class but perhaps not to him personally because his personal businesses don't involve a particular sector, that would be an example of a non-monetary benefit to him since those wealthy and powerful individuals will respect and owe him, you can be sure he will extract that at a later time.

As to Obamacare, if he was convinced that working with Democrats would increase his chances for reelection, he would do it in a flat second. Clearly he does not currently believe that calculation.
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Re: What makes a good deal maker?

Post by Eduk » July 30th, 2017, 5:00 am

I would apply the anthropic principle to your average business leader. They are not so much good deal makers in the abstract as much as they are people who have made good deals. Or who's relatives have of course.
I think the key skills needed to be a business leader are trying to be a business leader. You can't score if you don't shoot.
If I am being uncharitable I would add negative character traits seem to be quite helpful too. But not necessary.

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Re: What makes a good deal maker?

Post by Steve3007 » July 30th, 2017, 5:49 am

Eduk:
I would apply the anthropic principle to your average business leader.
Do you mean that any theory about the universe is constrained by the fact that our universe contains business leaders?
They are not so much good deal makers in the abstract as much as they are people who have made good deals.
A good deal maker is defined as somebody who makes good deals. Yes. I can't argue with that.
I think the key skills needed to be a business leader are trying to be a business leader.
Yes, I agree that probably the most important characteristic required in order to be successful in any given field is desire/hunger. You have to want it.

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Re: What makes a good deal maker?

Post by Eduk » July 30th, 2017, 6:17 am

A thousand bad deals and one good deal is a good deal.

-- Updated July 30th, 2017, 6:42 am to add the following --

I can only talk of my personal experience really.
You can't animate well without being good at animation. You can't design good games without being good at designing games. But you can own a very successful games company without being able to design good games and without being able to judge that fact and hire appropriately. I have worked for some large companies and without fail the leadership can't make games. This goes to the very top of the largest companies in the world. Now maybe this is unique of games companies. But I doubt it.
But they are at the top of very large games companies. So how did they get there?
Now you could argue ok maybe they don't need to know how to make games. They need to know about markets. How to sell games. The basics of running a company etc. But I have two arguments to that. Firstly I don't see how good games aren't better than bad games all being equal. So surely there should be some worth to making good games. Secondly I have witnessed no precognition on market trends. They are as clueless as everyone else, but worse because they can't distinguish between good and bad in the first place.
My theory is that simple have the hubris or lack of morals required to want to boss a huge organisation they don't understand. A reasonable person would believe they didn't have the skill set. So this only leaves unreasonable people.
Of course there are exceptions.

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Re: What makes a good deal maker?

Post by Steve3007 » August 4th, 2017, 5:15 am

Interesting analysis of Trump's trademark deal-making skills, in the context of his conversation with the Australian Prime Minister:

vanityfair.com/news/2017/08/the-trumpia ... truly-dead

It does seem overwhelmingly obvious that he is incapable of following even the most basic argument and is almost completely ignorant of any of the facts about the issues that he must make decisions about, from healthcare to refugees. For those of us who live outside the US this is mostly just more of the entertaining "Trump Show". For US citizens I would think it's probably a bit of a worry. Or are you happy that the details of the legislation are taken care of by others and he is just a figure head? Like a sort of national logo?

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Re: What makes a good deal maker?

Post by Eduk » August 4th, 2017, 7:06 am

I guess you could make an argument that Trump is great publicity for America? And all publicity is good publicity.
In the same way I think the royal family does a great job advertising the UK.

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Re: What makes a good deal maker?

Post by Steve3007 » August 4th, 2017, 7:12 am

Yes, one probably could make that argument.

You could say that he doesn't need to know what's in legislation that he says he wants to repeal, or what's in the legislation that he says he wants to replace it with, or how to follow an argument based on a combination of empirical evidence and reason (as the Australian Prime Minister tried to get him to do in their conversation.)

He just needs to be able to appoint people who can do those things. He can then (for example) ask those people if they like Obamacare. They can then point out the pros and cons of that legislation. He can then ask "do the cons outweigh the pros?" and if they say "yes, Mr President" his message to the public can be "Obamacare is horrible, horrible, horrible and I'm going to replace it with something that is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful." i.e. simplified.

Maybe that can work.

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Re: What makes a good deal maker?

Post by -1- » August 4th, 2017, 8:34 am

Steve3007 wrote:
Eduk wrote:They are not so much good deal makers in the abstract as much as they are people who have made good deals.
A good deal maker is defined as somebody who makes good deals. Yes. I can't argue with that.
I see a slight bit of difference between the proposition and the attempt at the paraphrasing of it.

A business/wo/man has a known track record of having made some (but not necessarily consistently) good deals. And his or her past history does not indicate success of future performance of making good deals.

The paraphrasing generalizes from here (in my view changing the meaning of the original claim in a way that renders the two claims unequal) to say that generally, businesspeople (deal makers) make good deals by definition. That impoverishes the original message.

The original claim is restrictive and surgically precise: at least one good deal has been made, and maybe only one good deal has been made, among a few and/or among a sea of bad deals.

The paraphrasing washes out the fact that it is allowed to have made bad deals; it reduces the statement by taking elements away from it to a truism with no practical or theoretical value.

(Sorry, Steve, nothing personal, just being philosophical.)

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eduk wrote:My theory is that simple have the hubris or lack of morals required to want to boss a huge organisation they don't understand. A reasonable person would believe they didn't have the skill set. So this only leaves unreasonable people.
Rather Adam Scottesque (Adam Scott - the creator of "Dilbert" cartoon strip). Likely independently arrived at, which shows the intuitive strength of the truth of the theory.

I would combine it with the Peter Principle, which says, that everyone tends to rise in a corporation to the level of their incompetence. PP states this because the best workers get promoted to leadership positions, and from the first level of leadership, the best leaders get promoted to the next, etc. This means that those who don't perform well, don't get promoted, that is, they stay at the level of job or leadership at which they are not the best (and accordign to Peter, incompetent).

Now taking Eduk's Lemma, we can say that self-promoted people have a knack of NOT staying at their level of incometence, but they can advance their careers in levels above which and below which they are also incompetent.
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Re: What makes a good deal maker?

Post by Eduk » August 4th, 2017, 9:05 am

Thank you -1- for fully understanding my meaning in my likely not all that well phrased post. Exactly the point about only one good idea is necessary regardless of the number of bad ideas.
I think Steve probably did get the point though and was making a joke. He seems a sharp fellow to me.
The Peter principle is I think simplified. It missed I think two keys points.
One. Can the competency be judged? Are the judgers of the competency competent to judge?
Two. It ignores corruption. Ranging from criminal behaviour to liking of golf.

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Re: What makes a good deal maker?

Post by Steve3007 » August 4th, 2017, 10:50 am

-1-:
I see a slight bit of difference between the proposition and the attempt at the paraphrasing of it.

A business/wo/man has a known track record of having made some (but not necessarily consistently) good deals. And his or her past history does not indicate success of future performance of making good deals.

The paraphrasing generalizes from here (in my view changing the meaning of the original claim in a way that renders the two claims unequal) to say that generally, businesspeople (deal makers) make good deals by definition. That impoverishes the original message.

The original claim is restrictive and surgically precise: at least one good deal has been made, and maybe only one good deal has been made, among a few and/or among a sea of bad deals.

The paraphrasing washes out the fact that it is allowed to have made bad deals; it reduces the statement by taking elements away from it to a truism with no practical or theoretical value.

(Sorry, Steve, nothing personal, just being philosophical.)

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Eduk:
Thank you -1- for fully understanding my meaning in my likely not all that well phrased post. Exactly the point about only one good idea is necessary regardless of the number of bad ideas.
I think Steve probably did get the point though and was making a joke.

Yes, -1-, you're right to point out that my paraphrasing loses the precision of the original post. I can't remember if I got that at the time (I think I did, but I'm not sure) but, as Eduk suggests, I was just making a flippant remark; a throw-away comment.

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Re: What makes a good deal maker?

Post by Scribbler60 » September 15th, 2017, 9:20 am

There's a world of difference between making a business deal and making a political deal, simply because business and government operate under different rules and have different desired outcomes. (Burning Ghost also made this same point.)

It's something that supporters of the trump just don't seem to get, either through ignorance or wilful blindness.

What you see on the floor of the US Congress or the Canadian House of Commons (where I live) when decisions are made is just a very, very small part of the process. Much of the deal-making happens over lunches and dinners, in coffee shops, at barbecues, etc. The horse-trading that goes on in unofficial circles drives the process.

Otto von Bismarck was purported to have said, “If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made.” (Note: there's some discrepancy in the veracity of the quote; perhaps he didn't say it after all, but that's beside the point here.) The point is that watching the process of making both can make one squeamish, but the end result is worth it.

The trump's deals are often made using intimidation (his rai·son dê·tre) and manipulation. Any look at how he has conducted his business shows this clearly. In fact, he was way ahead of the curve on what's now called "the new negotiation" which is basically a take-it-or-leave-it strategy. (This is very common in hot real estate markets now, where bully offers are the norm, not the exception.) You get one chance, here's the price, no negotiation, under a strict timeline (usually less than 24 hours) after which the offer is automatically rescinded.

This may work in real estate (or even buying cars or other big-ticket items) but it just doesn't fly in the political arena.

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Re: What makes a good deal maker?

Post by Steve3007 » September 15th, 2017, 10:42 am

Also, it must be very worrying to the security services that president Trump just does not know when to stop wildly speculating and making stuff up on the spot.

Almost as soon as the terrorist attack happened in the tube station in London this morning, Trump was tweeting his speculations that the perpetrator was already known to the UK police as if they were facts. Nobody even knows who the perpetrator was yet.

He's already jeopardised security cooperation between the UK and US in the past. And now he's doing it again. If the UK security services have to worry that whenever they share some sensitive intelligence with their US counterparts it's going to appear on Twitter the next morning, they're going to be extremely apprehensive about doing so. And the same will go for the security services of other US allies.

dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4887636/Do ... omber.html

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