We have missed John Mack.
The former Morgan Stanley CEO has been reasonably quiet since his retirement in 2010 but he always manages to charm when he pops up every now and then, draping his battle-scarred no bullshit thought process inside his folksy Carolina accent. Who else, after all, can be fondly remembered for saying "Tell Tim Geithner to get fucked!" in 2008?
Well, Mack made one of his post-retirement appearances at a Yahoo Finance even last Friday and shared some thoughts he's been thinkin.' According to reports from his hosts, Mack seemed very concerned about the effect of automation on the workforce but praised online lending (he's on the board of Lending Club) and told a very Mackian story about once discipling a trader for disrespecting a food delivery guy.
But the most fun that ol' Johnny Mack seemed to have last week was sharing his thoughts on every old person's bête noire; Millennials.
Here's what Mack had to say:
“To have the iPad or the iPhone and to be able to communicate the way they can and get the data and information they have — they’re much more aware,” Mack said. “They’re much more plugged in with each other. There’s just no doubt about that. So from that — that aspect, they’re different.”
But for Mack, access to technology isn’t the only difference.
“By and large, they’re not as driven as my generation,” he continued. “When I was born, it was World War II. And you came into a world that was rebuilding. It was very different. Thank God, we’ve basically had peace for a number of years, and people can grow and expand what they want to do and go to different places with a sense of safety.”
With the reality of all-out global war being replaced by tablets, these whippersnappers have turned soft...and like chubby. This was vintage Mack, he even said "kids today."
“I grew up in a business that you cross every T and you dot every I,” Mack said. “Kids today don’t cross Ts and dot Is. They’re so fast like this. They want to get the product or the idea out there. They don’t go back and check, ‘Did I make a mistake or does this open us up to some issue that could hurt them personally or hurt their company?’”
And if you were looking for an example of just how goofy and unprepared Millennials are to inherit the Earth, Johnny Mack has got you covered:
“They built a company in the real estate business. And in their company, they take credit card numbers that people can pay some of the real estate calls through credit cards. So I’m talking to them, and I find out they do not have PCI insurance. So PCI insurance basically protects you if someone breaks into your database and takes all this credit card data and accounts. You’re gonna be held liable for it unless you have insurance. So I asked, ‘Why don’t you have PCI insurance?’ ‘It’s too expensive,’ [they said]. I said, ‘Well, do you understand if someone hacks into your system, you’ll be outta business, and you’ll be sued, and you’re gonna be in, you know, tremendous water. You’ve gotta pay for that now.”
Now we can't wait until he's allowed to talk about all the shit that Lending Club forgot to do.