Lionel Barber (ed.). (2013). Lunch with the FT: 52 Classic Interviews.

[The volume was published by Portfolio Penguin.]

I came to this book seeking George Soros, but I found another interesting personality – Michael O’Leary. The interview took place on 18 Dec 2009. He was listed as CEO of Ryanair. Here are a few interesting things I found:

  • He said: “Email is rubbish.” He would only fax or call/talk to someone. He had no computer or Blackberry.
  • His daily reports consisted those of sales and (plane) punctuality. (? In 2009, the airline’s global market value was only second to Singapore Airlines) He stated: “Business should be simple.”
  • In spite of his ‘colourful language’ he apparently was named by Barron’s as one of the world’s most respected CEOs.

Well to Soros (interview – 4 Aug 2006). He of infamy, played on the value of the British pound in 1992 (Black Wednesday); was then named by Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamed as a major speculator on the Malaysian Ringgit in the same decade.

  • Well, he had bet $10 billion to gain $1 billion from Black Wednesday.
  • Investing so much has not made him immune to the fear of losses, which generates pain for him.
  • He initiated the Open Society Foundations. (See video Staff – George Soros)
  • He is honest, in some respects at least. He admits that in the end he writes books for himself; to “clarify” his ideas (I found one of his books very interesting – a very short one – but very thought provoking). He had, to my understanding of one Chinese language comic biography, wanted to become an academic like his mentor Karl Popper.
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