To stay ahead of the regulator, be prepared to offer some TEA …

In my years serving on regulatory staffs, I always appreciated the industry liaison that presented a new product or explained their company’s position on public policy or a consumer complaint in the clearest and most cogent manner. These professionals were selling me TEA: Thought, Education, Advocacy.

The best advocates for any position are aware that they must paint a picture for the regulator that depicts how the position or product best serves the public, the regulator, and the company. In the public utility space, for example, an advocate has to make the argument that the regulator’s need to maintain balance between the company’s goal of a reasonable return and the consumer’s interest in reasonable prices and clear terms and conditions. When an advocate engages regulatory staff, the first words out of the advocate’s mouth, post the usual pleasantries, should reflect acknowledgment of this balance of stakeholder interests.

Keep in mind that while regulatory staff has a heavy docket, it doesn’t mean that staff wants to be led with fast talk. No staffer wants to feel like they are being sold on an idea or proposal even though the reality is the advocate is doing that. Remember, the staffer has to present your company’s position to other decision makers in the agency before your position gets approved. The TEA has to be served just right. Clarity has to be a priority.

Keep in mind that the staffer looks forward to being educated on what’s happening in the markets. The staffer’s ability to comprehend the information you present, combine the information with what he or she has learned on their own, and present information and insights to policymakers serves the staffer’s interest in growing their own expert power. This expert power can be leveraged by them when pursuing future opportunities within or outside their agency.

Presenting the best TEA also facilitates the advocates access to staff. Again, staff looks forward to the opportunity for further education and expert growth and is more than willing to listen to an advocate that is clear, concise, cogent. This is an exchange of ideas and insights; an opportunity to garner trust through transparency and clarity.

So, brew the TEA with the best ingredients of knowledge and serve it with clarity.

Alton Drew

14 April 2022

Commentary: Lawyers should advise traders to be politically “cold-blooded.”

States compete with each other for capital inflows. The State that can manage its country for optimum return on invested capital wins. In this environment, lawyers should advise traders to pay attention to and favor political strategies that expand the number of nations that can generate growth opportunities for themselves.

The lawyer should advise the trader to be agnostic to a State’s management philosophy and style where focus should be on ease in flow of capital and maximum return to capital subject to a State’s capital inflow/outflow requirements.

The lawyer should help the trader focus on the State’s environment for easy capital entry, securitization of capital, growth in national income, and ease of capital extraction. The trader has to be politically cold-blooded with the paramount political question being, “Which country is managing resources for the most gain today?”

Lawyers should facilitate trader awareness of the impact of political action on markets and yes, remind the trader of any ethical implications spawned by investing in foreign markets.

While traders in foreign exchange markets should consider applying the mindset of a trading desk in a central bank, lawyers should take every opportunity to understand the mindset of a trader and accumulate as much information and knowledge on markets and monetary policy as she can.

Alton Drew


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Disclaimer: The above is provided for informational purposes and should not be construed as financial or legal advice or as creating an agreement to provide financial or legal advice.

Conflict resolution in a flatter world …

Attorneys should prepare for a flatter world, where instead of appearing in a hierarchical forum, the attorney shuffles between capital exchanging parties negotiating, mediating or arbitrating disputes. Capital exchangers may prefer this model because it is efficient, gives participants more control over the outcome, and lessens the erosion of capital invested in conflict resolution. #lawyers

Alton Drew