An acceptable counterparty

Bloganuary Day 29: roll on next Tuesday…

How are you changing the world?

Well I’m not, am I? The thing is, I have no aspirations to change the world.

Heaven forbid that I should ever consider myself to be some kind of ‘influencer’. For a start, I don’t even have an Instagram account, TikTok is a closed book to me and you will never get me anywhere near Facebook. My ambitions, insofar as I have any, are far more modest.

Back when I was an investment analyst, the Finance Director of one of the (then) world’s few legitimately Triple-A rated banks, and one of its largest, told me that their ambitions extended no further than to be ‘an acceptable counterparty’. Of course, I didn’t actually believe him (and subsequent events bore me out), but the phrase has stayed with me for what is now well over thirty years.

To me, being ‘an acceptable counterparty’ means to be somebody who is reliable and good to their word. Certainly, that’s something I try to do in within my limited sphere of interaction with other people. Although it does sometimes occur to me that even that is just a sign of more fundamental self-interest: ‘do unto others’ and so on.

We’ve all heard the folk tales about the beat of a single butterfly’s wings ultimately generating the mother of all hurricanes, but I struggle to believe that me not writing a dud cheque, or not forgetting to say ‘Bonjour’ upon encountering a French person for the first time in the day, will ultimately usher the entire world into a new golden era of peace and prosperity.

And I’m quite okay with that.

Of course, all the above drivel is predicated on the assumption that, if I had any world-changing aspirations, it would to to make the world a better place. For the sake of editorial balance, though, I should also think about how I might be making it worse.

Again, I don’t think I am, in any material sense. I don’t exactly have a carbon footprint on anything like the scale of chartering a private jet to fly to the other side of the world and back. I don’t even light bonfires of garden waste. And I certainly wouldn’t have voted for Brexit even if I’d been able to.

I do eat meat, and while I realise that makes me, in the eyes of some, no better than a mass-murderer solely focused on destroying the entire global eco-system single-handed, I take the view that if I’d been meant to be a vegan I wouldn’t have been born as a member of homo sapiens.

So please, just leave me to it. I promise to remember my lines and not bump into the furniture. You’ll hardly know I’m here at all.

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