Morgan Stanley’s chief U.S. equity strategist Adam Parker isn’t buying your excuse that you don’t have access to email.
In a new note to clients, Parker writes that he got an email from someone saying they had “limited access” to their email. He proceeds to explain how that’s a lame excuse in this day and age.
We just got an email from someone we were trying to reach that said they were out of the office with limited access to their email. Where on planet earth can you go and have limited access to your email? We travel a lot. Over 100 flights, to five continents, to more than 15 countries, and 30+ states in the last year. Email works on the way to the airport, on the plane, and when you land. It works in tunnels, over bridges, and on trains. It works in Key Biscayne, Boston, Palm Beach, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Baltimore, Washington DC, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Nassau, London, Charlotte, Winchester UK, Mexico City, Tokyo, rural Yunnan Province, China, Rio and Sao Paolo, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Truckee, CA, Lisbon, Madrid, Senegal (including 4 hours from the capital, Dakar), Montreal, Toronto, Chicago, Kansas City, Des Moines, Mumbai, Bangalore, and all over the Netherlands. We know because we have been to all these places and more in the last several months. Do people think that this excuse, “limited access to my email,” works anymore? It’s an anachronism. I guess magically all these people are vacationing in Easter Island, naming their own icebergs, or on safaris in Tanzania (we have heard it works in these places too).
The internet wasn’t readily available in 1994 around the globe — it is now. It’s like saying, “we can’t afford to call grandma because it is a long distance call and that’s expensive.” That was a valid reason in 1979. But now, what people really mean in the first place is, “I am tired or feeling lazy and feel I have earned the right to not check my email.” What they mean in the second place is, “I don’t feel like talking to my wife’s mother right now so I am not going to let my kids talk to her either.” Let’s be serious, access to email is ubiquitous, and the incremental margin of a long distance phone call is zero today. History can sometimes just be irrelevant or misleading. Part of the equity strategist’s job is to make a glossary for investors, to translate certain phrases into more understandable phrases to help investors make better investment decisions, to call “baloney” on management or investor phrases and expose why they might be anachronisms, or where, at least, history might be irrelevant or misleading. Times change.
The tone is a bit aggressive. Sounds like somebody didn’t unplug from their Blackberry this weekend.