The Honest Broker and the Yellow Pages
The Pielke fan club is meeting over at Tobis' Salon, with some characters making out in the backseat. It is not Eli's nature to pass the average pinata by without taking a free whack, but, since this is Rabett Run, and since Ethon is always on the lookout for a good feed, perhaps a more filling meal can be placed on the table. Something that engages.
Ms Rabett, among her other sterling qualities is a broker, actually she is someone who makes sure that the brokers follow the rules, a principal. Over the years Eli has learned a bit about what brokers do for good and ill. What Roger thinks they do
. .an honest broker works to expand (or at least clarify) the scope of choice available to decision makers. I have contrasted this with the issue advocate who works to reduce the scope of choice available to decision makers.and what brokers actually do are diametrically opposed. His naive injection (let's be nice) of the "honest broker" into climate science policy has pushed discussion into a fruitless direction. As with many such things, reality shows how hollow this is. IEHO looking at what brokers do in the real world better illuminates the issue.
Brokers do not expand the scope of choices available to clients, they narrow them. Brokers make markets. Brokers make a living by matching buyers to sellers and taking a commission (You thought they do it for free? What carrot wagon you fall off of bunny?). Ethical brokers will go out on the market seeking product suited to clients and will seek clients suited to products available to them. Ethical brokers have mutual obligations to sellers and buyers, to qualify the buyers and vet the sellers, not to sell every piece of nuclear waste to every rube with a cell phone.
Good brokers know what is available for purchase and what their buyer's needs are. They select the best matches (with allowance for the front and back end fees they are going to collect). The broker you want often tells the client NO, don't do that. Where the client insists on comitting financial suicide the ethical broker is obligated to tell the buyer to take the business elsewhere. Contrast this with Roger's model of how the "honest broker" gives advice on how to find food
. . you might instead provide your visitor with information on all restaurants in the city, basic information on each (cost, menu, etc.) and let the visitor face the challenge of reducing the scope of choice (i.e., making a decision). Such "honest brokering" could also be strong (e.g., a comprehensive guide to all restaurants in the city) or weak (e.g., a guide to all those within a 5 minutes walk). The defining characteristic of the honest broker is an effort to expand (or at least clarify) the scope of choice for decision making.Pielke's "honest broker" is a Yellow Pages salesman. His argument is that all choices are political/personal by nature and the proper broker's role is to show all products and not advise the client based on technical knowledge and experience.
Boiler room marketing (Heartland) is not brokerage. Used climate salesguys are of two types. They don't care about the clientel because there is always another sucker. They sell to the buyer's expectations. Anyone say Marc Morano?
Which brings us to Roger, the issue advocate. Stay tuned to the Bunny Channel