Jan. 20, 2021
All of it. Politicians, corporates, marketers. The whole lot. So we need to be extra cautious whenever we hear anything an ask the questions. Ask why they say that? Ask the likelihood of it being provable and how the lie benefits them? Ask what's missing, and why is it missing?
Let's be clear, Trump has emboldened liars like nobody before him. But this is not new. Politicians lie all the time, most promising things that they're unable or worse, unwilling, to actually deliver on. But we've entered a new level whereby when lies are challenged they are deflected not with truth but more lies or the truth is called 'fake news'.
For investors, we also have a bunch of lying happening.
My favourite trick is that before I read a set of results I head to the previous one or two sets and maybe even an annual report and read their forward-looking statement and review of the period. This quickly gives you a sense of which CEOs are honest and which are just fluffing it until their next bonus.
Accounts are themselves not directly lies, but they're also not 100% truth. There are assumptions made at many turns in a set of results.
Common amongst all three? Very strong CEO who ruled with an iron fist.
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