NET WORTH November 18, 2008 (SCMP)
The trouble I've seen ...
Nov 18, 2008
In 1973 when the market was collapsing, two Chinese members burst into my office at the Hong Kong stock exchange shouting at each other. “I sold you 10,000,” yelled one. “No, it was 1,000,” cried the other.” Mr Witts, you have to sort this out.” Indeed, but how, since I had only been general manager of the exchange for about six months and was unsure of the regulations for settling this kind of dispute – particularly as there were no witnesses. But with prices collapsing these men needed a solution more or less immediately.
So I pulled a coin from my pocket and said: “I am going to toss this coin. Heads it was 10,000 and tails it was 1,000. Is that OK?” They agreed and it came up heads. They shook hands and to my relief off they went. Maybe there was something in this approach which appealed to them – to let chance decide.