Conversations with people I have never met: Kevin O’Leary

At first, your ‘I am the great master of money’ schtick, was kind of cute: you were somewhat reminiscent of a talking billiard ball, zipping around spouting opinions. I became something of a fan, defending you as someone who was simply branding himself and in the process, going a mite overboard at times. Kind of like a loveable, slightly crazy uncle. I imagined meeting you and having a good old fashioned fight.

But then something happened. As I watched you bellow at fellow Dragons, berate your co host, Ms. Lang,and belittle guests, it became obvious that you had either ignored or not gotten the memo. That’s the one about Greenspan, the former head of the Federal Reserve, admitting that sadly, the models re the behaviour of money and humans that he had downloaded from Milton Friedman, were alas, deeply flawed.

Neither had you heard that the Nobel Prize in Economics had gone to two  Psychologists for simply proving that humans are irrational, do not listen to reason and ignore new facts when they don’t fit their worldview, as financial analysts at Lehmann Brothers ignored their findings that they were not more accurate in predicting market trends than monkeys throwing darts at a board. That relying on mathematical models of homo economicus simply doesn’t work. Since then, a host of books have suddenly sprouted, all pretty much agreeing that yes indeed, money is not the whole or even part of what drives people to do what they do. There are such things as ethics, morals and OMG, empathy.

For an intelligent guy, you were clearly not keeping up, and your schtick became increasingly out of date and annoying. You kept on insisting that the only thing that matters is money, there is nothing else anyone could possibly care about. 

Not only is this untrue; it shows that all along your schtick wasn’t even well researched; you just accepted the prevailing wisdom and ran with it. Until the prevailing wisdom changed and you ran out of steam.

And now you are nearly done; Kevin. Your brand is over-leveraged, your opinions are utterly predictable and wrong and well, who cares anyway?

You have simply become one of those people who prefer to be a zombie, and that’s too bad. I thought there was a real person under that shiny pate, but I was wrong.  Too bad for a guy who actually plays guitar. 

What I want to know is, what happened? You could have been a contender; you could have been cool. And now I don’t even want to meet you anymore. I need a new financial guru; one who actually makes sense. So goodbye Kevin, I won’t be watching your shows any more. I hate to say it, but I’ll miss all that bullheadedness. If nothing else, you were one of a kind.


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