Monday, March 23, 2020

During the 1990 Persian Gulf War Kuwait Existed on the Web - We can Work at Home

This morning the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ opened electronically for the first time with a minimal complement of personnel on the floor. Traders are working remotely, and it appears that some of CNBC’s broadcast personalities are operating in isolation mode. I trade from home and am tracking market activity as I type this blog post. This is nothing new for me, I’ve worked remotely for many years. For many the concept requires some adjustment.

Also this morning the Federal Reserve announced it would purchase treasuries, and mortgage backed securities in the amount needed to sustain the economy. While this unprecedented injection of liquidity is welcome news, many business leaders remain tasked with ensuring efficient operations and logistics with a remote work force. While a remote work force can be effective acrossed many business platforms there is no substitute for brick and mortar infrastructure producing and delivering critical tangible product. The challenge is daunting but can be manageable. This morning on CNBC business news, Ken Langone [1], founder of Home Depot announced that competitor, Lowe’s had made its critical inventory available to Home Depot for distribution. It is this spirit of cooperation that must be replicated among our industrial base if we are to succeed in an unprecedented global crisis. Thank you Mr. Langone for your inspiring example and a rousing pep talk.

As my blog title suggests, we might look to Kuwait’s excellent example of how to manage an economy while providing for its citizens remotely. During the first Persian gulf conflict there was an exodus of Kuwait's displaced population to London, Europe and the United States. Perhaps historically, the Kuwaitis took their country with them. With electronic access to their country's wealth and the international banking system, Kuwait continued to function as a country and business entity in the cloud. For the first time in the world's history a nation existed and functioned electronically in hyperspace, untethered from its physical geography. Kuwait's political existence extended to its world wide connectivity with banking institutions, embassies and the United Nations. Similarly, Kuwait's finances and trading activities were all remotely accessible through the stock exchanges and SWIFT computers connecting the international banking system. Many of Kuwait's displaced citizens abroad established temporary residency in Europe and the U.S. aided by the continued financial support of their Kingdom which was fully functional on the web. This impressive logistical feat was managed remotely from London hotel suites and conference rooms with laptop computers and direct access to major financial institutions outside the middle east. See the link to an archived New York Times story [2]:

Given today’s environment, the Kuwaiti example also underscores the strategic
necessity of implementing a secure 5G network in the United States. Equally import are the trusted foundries (DOD certified computer chip manufacturers) required to produce secure, highly reliable and radiation hardened 5G components. The Covid-19 crisis illustrates the need for our maintenance of a US based infrastructure.

For additional background on our global connectivity you can link to my November 2013 article, The Cloud of Nations.[3]

Be safe everyone.

Regards to all,

Thomas D. Jay
Semiconductor Industry Consultant
Thomas D. Jay YouTube Channel

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References and acknowledgements:

[1] CNBC business news 3/23/2020, guest commentator Ken Langone, Founder/Cofounder Home Depot .

[2] New York Times Article, Kuwati Bank Serves an Economy in Exile, Stephen Prokesch 9/12/1990

[3] Thomas D. Jay, Blog Article, The Cloud of Nations, 11/28/2013

1 comment :

Your comments are welcome. I'd like to hear your thoughts and opinions. Many thanks for your readership. - Thomas D. Jay