Common Sense Planning For Booms and Busts

Matthias Chang

This article is an edited and summarized version of my seminar paper, Common Sense Planning For Booms And Busts© which I first presented soon after the 1997 financial crisis and which I has since developed further.

The target audience for this article is the hands-on managers and policy makers who are presently confronted with the challenges of overcoming the present painful global financial tsunami.

I have deliberately omitted voluminous data and complex graphs so as to enable my readers to grasp the essence of my analysis.

You will not find this approach in leading international business schools and or management seminars / forums by leading management gurus. We say this because we have brainstormed with executives and consultants from impeccable academic and business backgrounds over the last twenty-five years, and what we found most often missing in our discussions is the application of the tool of common sense in addressing and resolving complex issues.

We have heard often enough the refrain, Come on, it cannot be that simple, there must be a catch. Another common frustration is, we have spent hundreds of man hours on this and we have covered all the angles, and we can’t see how you can get us out of this mess.

We offer no magic bullets and or have we asserted that we have all the answers. But what we do assert is that a proper mindset, one based on common sense is often more effective than complicated theories and equations. I believe that the present crisis has taught us that rocket scientists and Nobel Laureates are not infallible. In fact by ignoring common sense, they have contributed substantially to the present financial debacle!