Ray McDaniel came to a CEO Boot Camp on his fifth day as CEO in 2005. He came back to a dinner before another Boot Camp six years later to answer the question “What do you wish you’d known then that you know now?” He said three things:

  1. “I wish I had known the world was about to blow up.” Moody’s had systemically rated companies credit way too high going into the 2008-2009 downturn.
  2. “I wish I’d known that companies get mad when you downgrade their credit ratings, but when you downgrade countries’ credit ratings, they raid your offices and put your people in jail.”
  3. “I wish I’d known how much fun it was to testify in front of Congress. I would have called in sick.” Congress people don’t so much ask you questions as use you as an excuse to make whatever points they need to make to their constituents.

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