Time is running out as Dark forces gather to wrest control of Magic Mountain
Dec 12, 2017 - The Amazon – News Corporation acquisition of the television rights for the Tolkien fantasies threatens to submerge New Zealand’s role as their earthly home.
The problem is only now being perceived and is based on experience that the current version of a familiar theme overwhelms all previous versions.
An example is the way in which the Netflix rendering of the saga of Britain’s royal family The Crown has taken over as the accepted presentation.
This is far reaching in terms of the Tolkien tales because of the three dimensional value of tourist attractions in the form of story destinations and theme parks.
Forgotten now is how close a left-wing inspired labour bust-up threatened to eliminate New Zealand as the production site of the second and last film version of the Tolkien series..
Also forgotten now is the way in which AOL Time Warner which underwrote the Tolkien wide screen project appeared to have an alternate site in mind.
In the event New Zealand premier John Key saw the danger of what was going on and personally intervened until the disruption was settled.
The country mentioned at this time as an alternative was Estonia which under its president Kersti Kaljulaid (pictured) has accelerated its development as an international film production country.
It’s strongest attraction is a cost of doing business much less than anything New Zealand can offer.
This is especially applies to things like accommodation rent in which New Zealand’s costs are notably high.
Estonia has mirrored many of the ways in which New Zealand encourages cinematography, notably in its Film Commission approach.
Estonia also offers extensive tax incentives to film makers which is something that New Zealand is now politically in no position to offer.
Film, especially the fantasy variety, is by definition ephemeral and this is why economic planners continue to view the Tolkien film renditions as the basis for downstream developments in things like broader application special effects and computer games.
Time is running out however with the Amazon studios television version pending and in the television rights there is a huge cross-over marketing through the involvement of News Corporation which owns publisher Harper Collins.
Amazon itself owns the point of view newspaper the Washington Post.
Nothing lasts for ever.
But there are signs that New Zealand’s grip on the publicly-perceived Tolkien franchise now confronts on its mountain top ominous, and very dark and threatening clouds.
Restored Funds Seen as Catalyst of new Saudi Financial Services Economy
Dec 11, 2017 - The detention of Saudi princes along with a big slice of the rest of the tycoon class in a simultaneous round up has rather greater consequences for Australasia than was originally imagined.
This is because the tentacles of the detainees reach deeply into commercial life in Australasia.
Take for example Prince Al Waleed (pictured), the best known of them.
His Kingdom Holdings is an on-off shareholder in News Corporation and its related companies.
Similarly Kingdom Holdings holds decisive shares in Citigroup.
Goldman Sachs and Credit Agricole are two other banks closely associated at various times with Kingdom Holdings and which figure in the Australasian financial world.
Kingdom has been a keystone investor in two entertainment companies widely credited with putting the Australasian film industry on the global map, AOL Time Warner and Disney.
Kingdom Holdings devolved into hotels, notably Accor, Australasia’s predominant chain.
Extending beyond its value investing path, Kingdom Holdings branched into real estate and construction a sector especially prone in the Middle East to land grabs and undeclared commissions
The other most prominent detainee in Australasian terms just because there are so many third and fourth generation Lebanese living here was the prime minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri.
In an artful piece of dissimulation the accepted reason for Mr Hariri’s sequestration was his role in the balance of power within the sectarian coalition that is required to maintain the peace in the volatile nation.
It is Mr Hariri’s role with his family’s immense construction company that operates in Saudi Arabia that represents a much more proximate cause as to why he found himself caught up in the round-up.
The success of the dragnet was that all those enmeshed in it were unaware that it was being set in place, and that all were then enticed into it. .
The official reason for the round up remains the one centred around corruption practised by the ultra-privileged.
The nearest thing to an official piece of data emanating from Riyadh is that the state intends to recover $100 billion worth of reparations from the sequestered i.e.those who have been party to padded related party dealings.
Curiously this $100 billion in reparations from the individuals under what appears to be hotel-arrest corresponds to another widely accepted figure of $100 billion.
This is the value that the Saudis are said to be place on the outcome of the projected stage one IPO of Aramco.
The flotation said to be imminent envisages floating five percent of Aramco.
International financial markets share a unanimity in estimating the Saudi’s own estimate of Aramco in its totality as $2 trillion.
Exactly what considerations Mr Haariri gave his detainers in reaching the $100 billion funds restoration target will never be known. But his early release from the synchronised round up indicates that he was able to make an accommodation.
Prince Al Waleed is the most western friendly of all the detainees, and the one who probably least expected to be detained, and especially so in such a coordinated round up involving so much planning which under normal circumstances he would have received early warning of.
His biggest mistake was in his political forecasting which took the form of tweeting the world at large that US presidential candidate Donald Trump was a “disgrace” and should withdraw from the race.
At an earlier stage the two had had dealings when the Prince acquired the Trump yacht, and also New York hotel capacity.
Prince Al Waleed since he launched Kingdom Holdings has pretty much stuck to the Warren Buffet playbook of value investing which centres on investing in high brand recognition public companies likely to hold their value in market gyrations.
These include many United States multi-nationals.
Saudi sovereign funds at face value give the appearance of being on a par with those of Norway’s.
The sale of Aramco would change all this and put the Saudi fund into an unchallengeable supremacy.
The princely round-up, especially in terms of its simultaneous implementation on all the suspects, has the characteristics of an operation designed to stem the flow of capital and also to repatriate capital.
To the value of $100 billion.
This will give the Saudi monarchical inner circle a clean slate, a cash float for a much bigger float, on which to launch what amounts to a financial services economy.
Local Government Commission Instead Should be encouraging Collaboration
Dec 7, 2017 - The Lions service organisation called on management consultant Derek Williams, a specialist in mergers, to become a platform participant in its community forum programme designed to achieve a wider understanding among voters of the pending referendum on the amalgamation of local bodies in the Wairarapa.
Mr Williams drew upon his long experience in such public rationalisations, especially in IT blending, to warn the assembled on what he sees as the contemporary outcome of these mergers. He further refined his views in answering our Five Questions….
1. In your argument against local government amalgamation in the Wairarapa you were particularly cautious, downright sceptical in fact, of the stated costs in the IT component of the scheme?
From a review of the papers behind the IT numbers it appeared that:
First a top tier firm was asked to supply an estimate of the costs involved in bringing the IT systems of the three Councils together and the resulting estimate was between $20 and 30m.
Unnamed “experts” at the Local Government Commission then “adjusted” the number to around $10m and we know not the basis for this bold “decision”.
A further consultancy was then engaged to refine the costs further and according to their report after a few phone calls to vendors they were able to get the number down to $2.3m with some caveats including to perform a deeper dive on the requirements and numbers before proceeding.
That is why I don’t believe that the numbers for the amalgamation of the IT systems are within a bulls roar of reality. The facts are that the work hasn’t been done to a “rough order of cost” level that you’d see in an initial high level business case in the commercial sector. The initial $20-30m was probably in the right ball park when it was done and the real cost now, with the passage of time, is likely to be substantially higher.
2. You stressed that the benefits of the amalgamation could be achieved and at no additional cost if the territorial local authorities involved, the ones in Masterton, Carterton, and Martinborough, focussed more on collaboration with each other?
The local Councils have already proved that they are capable of having fits of cooperation with each other and so far as I can tell there is no legislative barrier to them having more. Specifically:
It appears that most back office services across the region could be run as shared services in support of local and mobile service delivery teams across planning, infrastructure and regulatory services. Gaining efficiencies from shared services typically involves standardisation, simplification, automation and a degree of centralisation under effective governance and project management which remains engaged with key stakeholders. In such a scenario we would end up with mobile and decentralised field forces that are equipped with modern technology supported by a set of back office processes that work and which are responsive and efficient.
There are policy and strategy matters that require the Councils to start acting as adults: * The determination of what region wide facilities and access to them will be governed and managed as portfolios including for example halls, community centres swimming pools, parks and reserves, museums and art galleries etc. * Creating a district voice to deal with central and regional government on local environmental and infrastructure issues transport, water etc and revenue sharing.
In parallel the business and productive sectors need to work together with limited Council and Government involvement to act on the opportunities for appropriate economic growth across the region.
Whether the proposal to amalgamate goes ahead or not local leaders in all sectors will have not have have the excuse of possible amalgamations or restructurings to sit on their hands waiting for new “wisdom from Wellington”. There will be no longer any legislative or potential structural barriers to further fits of cooperation between the Councils play their part in getting to the Wairarapa moving forward
3. The amalgamation of the Hawkes Bay territorial local authorities was rejected. Do you see any pointers here to the pending Wairarapa referendum result?
I hope that the Hawkes Bay rejection and the publicity surrounding the Auckland super city implementation will be encouraging voters in the Wairarapa to understand the risks and costs of the Council amalgamation proposal and to reject it by voting no.
4. You are cautious about the underpinning argument in favour of these amalgamations in regard to their leading to economies of scale?
I remain cautious. There are many efficiencies and improvements that can be made through shared services from capturing the benefits of scale. However, these to not require the restructuring and amalgamation of Councils.
The threats to local representation and the effective operation of democracy from amalgamation and restructuring are high as are the threats to the character and identity of towns. I read an account recently of the amalgamation and subsequent de-amalgamation of councils in Queensland, where it was reported that the people of Noosa, one of the Councils in question woke up to find that their “identity had been stolen” through the amalgamation.
I don’t think it matters where Council services come from so long as they work and are delivered at the lowest sustainable cost. What is far more important is that the identity of towns be protected and enhanced by local people. The governance and management arrangements for local government should be dominated by local people who are engaged with local communities and make decisions on local matters locally.
The Go Swiss study by the New Zealand initiative strongly suggests that local control over local matters is a significant factor in creating a sustainably strong economy. As a backdrop to our arrangements for government it highlights the lack of any meaningful local control and sharing of tax revenue.
This leads me to think that forcing more amalgamations of local Councils is stepping in the wrong direction and we need to look more broadly for solutions to the problems facing local government and its relationship to central government.
Our long run economic, social and environmental performance compared to the rest of the world suggests that continuing to rely on big central government and the wisdom of Wellington may not provide the best future for us all.
5. As a management consultant you have had hands-on involvement with public projects at many levels. In your experience what are the real causes of the cost overruns that increasingly characterise them? In engineering construction works the most common problems I see are:
Lack of validated design assumptions and requirements leading to deliverables that don’t work as promised and/or expensive remedial actions.
Absence of or the failure of basic project controls to detect and remedy variations from plan promptly. These are generally exacerbated by poor governance – lack of subject matter expertise and role confusion – many of the people I see in project governance have role confusion in which they act as a stakeholder for the project outcomes rather than as a member of the group that need to hold management accountable for the application of resources and capability to deliver a planned result in full on time and within budget.
Many supply side problems are exacerbated by contracts that have been formed by lawyers dealing with lawyers that are not understood or practical to apply by either the project manager or the supplier.
In the world of IT projects I see the same issues as I see in the engineering space and observe that:
The realisation of benefits from IT projects generally requires that the new system can talk with existing systems and share data. People and existing systems also need to be able to access the new system in a controlled way. These points of integration and user management often become stumbling blocks to the implementation of new systems because they were overlooked in the planning and estimating stages of the project.
All too often I’ve found that the path to production for new systems has both technical and people obstacles that were underestimated in the initial planning. With hindsight, most projects that have run into difficulty would have benefited from significantly better due diligence and planning up front. The cost of better due diligence and planning would have been much less than the costs of subsequent remediation.
United States new diafiltration ingredient ignited Canada’s secessionist milk powder keg
Canada’s determination to protect its French-speaking dairy industry is emerging as the reason for its last minute defection from the Trans Pacific Partnership trade treaty. The cause of this pre-signing ceremony pull-out is increasingly being seen as the other North American defector.
This is Canada’s NAFTA partner the United States which is determined to push a new-technology milk derivative across the border into Canada.
It compelled Canada’s government and embarrassingly so at the APEC meet to pull out of any additional treaty involving dairy surplus exporters.
In doing so it pulled the rug out from under the entire TPP scheme which its Asian components saw as opening up the North American market in the form of Canada and the United States.
Foreign service officials involved in counselling their governments on adjusting to the modified Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement are finding it difficult to transmit the unadorned message that the entire scheme is finished and so are its variants.
They are finding it hard to transmit the unwanted news that the project has now devolved into a forum along the lines of the Pacific Basin Economic Council and one that experience to date indicates will have a strong socio-political and ethical basis.
The false hopes for the TPP remain in the face of the abdication of first the United States, and then of Canada.
MSC Newswire has already revealed how remaining candidate country diplomats could not bring themselves to indicate that Canada had defected, and instead pointed the finger at an unnamed “Asian” nation.
Diplomats have consistently been reluctant to concede that even President Obama, the pre-eminent sponsor of the original project, had become dismayed over the obdurate attitude of Canada in relation to making concessions over foodstuffs.
This was disguised at the time by the rapturous coverage whenever the two superstar celebrity heads , President Obama and Canada’s premier Justin Trudeau, conferred.
In the event the two found it hard to reconcile the demands of United States diary exporters in states such as New York State and Wisconsin with Canada’s determined protection of its dairy industry which is obscured to foreigners under the deceptively bland title of supply management.
United States producer determination to disrupt the ironclad supply management regime now signalled the end of the new customs union.
The tipping point was the US dairy industry shipping across the border by products from an ultra filtration membrane technique known as diafiltration.
Diafiltration is applied in butter manufacture and its by products have increased with the unexpected popularity of butter since it has been cleared of its negative health effects which have now been revealed to have been unfounded.
The reason all this is so sensitive and ultimately played out in Canada’s 11th hour quitting of the TPP is that dairy farming in Canada is centred on Quebec, the French-speaking region which periodically becomes prone to secessionism.
Hoping against hope that the original TPP would somehow scrape through with Canada as a signatory, and thus maintaining the appeal to the Asian nations, the other countries notably the Australasian dairy surplus ones were lulled into a false sense of security.
To be fair, this mood of hope had been generated by Canada’s recent signing on as a member of CETA, the EU trade agreement.
The EU emblematic dairy over-producer is France.
The volatile French-speaking dairy producing regions of Canada believe France to be “home” in the same way that New Zealanders, for example, once considered Britain “home.”
Diplomats by definition are public servants and ones that hold coveted jobs, so they tend to be retired at an early age to make way for new blood.
Blotted out from the institutional memory therefore will be the "Vive le Québec libre" call to arms (see illustration) uttered by President Charles de Gaulle, during an official visit to Canada under the guise of attending the Montreal Expo 67.
At the very, very, last moment the Canadians visualised the incendiary value of the milk powder keg and so they literally faded out of the TPP.
Dec 1, 2017 - The failure of the ANZ to consummate its sale of UDC Finance to China’s HNA Group is further evidence to the effect that it is one thing to sell an asset into this region. It is another thing to actually get paid for it. There are now strong indications that the UDC sale is now back at the point of its departure, the signing ceremony.
All the evidence is that no money has changed hands in the year since the transaction was agreed upon.
The obstruction is being signalled as being within New Zealand in the form of the country’s Overseas Investment Office.
However, UDC has long been owned by an Australian bank and therefore any opposition to the transaction might reasonably have come from Australia’s own regulatory authorities.
UDC was once one of the world’s leading finance companies and along with South British Insurance, New Zealand Insurance, and the old BNZ bank, was the fourth international pillar of the nation’s once strong presence in Pacific financial services.
As a subsidiary of ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited a curious proviso in the sale was that UDC's investments were not necessarily guaranteed by its parent, the ANZ.
HNA is a Fortune 500 company ranked at 170.
It was identified as a likely buyer in a search that included among the searchers Deutsche Bank.
This made sense as United Dominions Corporation was started in Wellington by former high ranking German bankers who had fled their own country prior to the outbreak of World War 2.
The signals emerging from the ANZ is that HNA must now complete the purchase, or the offer will be withdrawn.
At this point it will reasonably be revealed where the stumbling block actually lay.
Was it put in place by a regulatory authority either in Australia or New Zealand?
Did the Chinese acquirer having signed up for the deal start haggling for improved terms?
Did the Chinese acquirer simply sour on the deal altogether and let it wither on the vine simply by not paying for it?
Nov 24, 2017 - The politicisation of the reopening of the Pike River Coal Mine, which materialised as the dominant moral cause of the recent New Zealand general election continues in spite of the understanding that the mine is more dangerous now than it was when 29 miners were killed there in rapid-sequence explosions in 2010.
The entire site remains permeated in methane gas which according to Japanese prospectors in 1993 was “bubbling” out of the ground – an element disclosed in official proceedings following the disaster.
The National government allowed the moral nature of the re-entry to the now abandoned mine which remains tomb to the 29 brave miners to overwhelm it, prevaricating over the degree to which the mine had been sealed by its post-disaster operator Solid Energy, a state coal undertaking.
Supporters of the re-entry to the mine say that the re-entry was and is feasible “technically.”
Which it is.
Obscured in this wildly populist debate at one and the same time macabre and moral, was and is the presence of the methane gas which caused the fatal detonations.
The methane gas is a product of decaying vegetation which is what coal is.
Just because the mine has been sealed off, even if partially so, there will be more methane gas inside it than when it was working.
This is because there has been no ventilation to shift the methane gas.
Humans cannot detect it.
Which is why canaries, which can, were once required in mines.
Methane is much more buoyant than air.
This is a constantly neglected piece of information in regard to the Pike River Mine which is above sea level and features horizontal workings which are more likely to trap the lighter-than-air gas than vertical shafts.
There is also the effect of the earthquakes that have shaken the region since the mine was abandoned.
There is now the extent to which the earthquakes will have ruptured the workings from a cave-in point of view.
There is the extent to which such disruptions will have exposed fresh pockets of methane gas.
The volatility of methane occurs when it comes into contact with air, the air we breathe.
Methane gas is also self-combustible which means that like automotive fuel it detonates under pressure.
In spite of this the Pike River re-entry issue in the last election took on the aspect of a moral crusade centred on ethical interpretations.
At least one now ruling coalition leader portrayed themselves in an heroic light as standing by to lead personally and from the front the re-entry into the highly volatile mine workings .
The former National Government and notably its leader Bill English found itself utterly tongue tied over the issue and progressively caught up in the emotional tsunami of the tragedy instead of the now greatly-enhanced dangers of the re-entry.
Governments have scientific advisers and cohorts of technical-specialist spokespeople who exist to deal with this kind of situation, and doing so by laying out coherently the technical and scientific reasons behind exactly such issues as the Pike River Mine re-entry one.
| From the MSCNewsWire reporters' desk || Friday 24 November 2017 |||
Counter-intuitive labels date to Irish Famine & Repeal of Corn Laws
Nov 23, 2017 - New Zealand commentators remain confused by the terms neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism which they often confuse in relation to free trade and customs unions such as the Trans Pacific scheme.
It was the conservatives, in this case the New Zealand National Government, which pushed for the original TPP scheme.
It was the liberals, in this case the Labour Party plus the Greens who were against the scheme and remain substantially so now.
The correct appropriation of these terms is curiously, and confusingly counter-intuitive.
The term neo-Liberal in fact refers to those who seek to promote free trade and in doing so abolish what they view as protectionism.
Economic liberalisation can be sheeted back to the repeal in 1846, and after the outbreak of the Irish Great Famine, of Britain’s Corn Laws. These were designed to favour British farmers at the expense of everyone else.
Neo-Liberals or “new” liberals hark back to this Repeal in their calls for fresh dismantling of protectionism in the form of customs barriers.
Neo-Conservatives, in contrast, are said to hark back to the heyday of the protectionist era in order to support home producers.
This definition is further confused however by some commentators confusing trade neo Conservatives with the national security version often abbreviated to Neo-cons.
These are the onetime time defence “doves” who have become “hawks” or in US parlance have been “mugged by reality” and thus demonstrate the fervour of those who have only recently been converted to a cause.
This confusion has allowed the New Zealand Labour-led coalition to drive down the middle of the TPP customs union issue thus preserving the loyalty of its two wings – the Liberal one and the less Liberal one--- the conservatives in their own coalition ranks..
So happily cemented in on what promised to be a deeply divisive issue are its Green faction members (liberals), and also the New Zealand First contingent.(conservatives.)
Evidence of this confusion centred on the language of free trade was obvious in first reports that the original TPP scheme had been vetoed by one of the signatory nations.
It was reported that this must be an Asian nation.
This was most unlikely because it is the Asian nations, the manufacturing nations, which have most to gain from such a customs union.
In the event it was Canada which had stalled the original scheme, and to all intents and purposes bailed out of it.
Canada has a Liberal government and an ultra liberal (small l) premier in the form of Justin Trudeau to add further to this labeling confusion.
Canada is entirely self-sufficient.
It has the least to gain from a customs union. Of all the assembled nations it has the least to gain from another free trade scheme.
It has its immense resources sector and highly protected agribusiness all balanced by an engine block manufacturing sector..
The Canada misapprehension illustrates the general confusion over the TPP customs union.scheme
The Canada incident underlines the linguistic confusion over the TPP scheme that exists in the minds of both participants and commentators.
Luck is the raw material of politics and all these barely comprehended but high-minded cross purposes have allowed New Zealand’s new Labour-led coalition to successfully weave its way through the prickly TPP issue and satisfy all its wings that it is doing the right thing.
Many traders believe that it is.
They know that the real problem is not contained in formal tariff listings or their absence.
But it is in things like sudden non-official protectionism in the form of localised regulations, often to protect specific local producers.
Such as barriers attributed to health and safety precautions, for example
A still greater problem they know is in getting paid.
The matter of so-called emerging nations paying remains THE taboo topic at any government or quasi government level
Being copied and tender submission costs are additional problems beyond the general tariff book.
|From the MSCNewsWire writers' desk || Thursday 23 November 2017 |||
Nov 21, 2017 - In the years since Britain and France teamed up together in the Common Market both these unlikely partners appear to have undergone a national character transfer switch, a transposition, writes our travel editor Peter Isaac.
The British have become pushy, brittle and quick tempered while the French have absorbed those once British values of tolerance, stoicism, and good humour.
Somehow the French in the free market hands-across-the-channel swirl have absorbed the British passion for two other elements in which they had failed to cultivate any fervour prior to Britain joining the Common Market, as it was then known then.
This is their now so evident twin passions for dogs and holidays.
Their inland towns teem with dogs brandished with the same pride with which the British once paraded their best friends.
Then there are the holidays.
This once British obsession quickly crossed the channel and now remains the pivot of France’s extremely generous labour market regime. The Germans, of course, are not so generous, and describe it as unworkable.
Their holiday fixation extends to their daily papers which identify the holiday destination of each cabinet member and go into un-English personal data about what the governmental vacationer does, and in what company.
Then there is the matter of friendliness.
Prior to Britain’s entry into the EU/Common Market one needed to be cautious about France in that the locals were not necessarily on your side.
With the exception of the somewhat threatening milieu in places like the Gare du Nord, France has dispensed with the stand-over types that remain such a thuggish and disquieting presence in the English-speaking realm.
It is now the French who radiate, well, bonhomie
Then there is the pageantry which in the last century was such a British monopoly
France with a singular passion has clutched to its republican breast the British monarchy.
It is much easier to keep up with the comings and goings of the Royal Family in the admiring French media, than in the British version which still finds it necessary to exhibit resentment over its gilded constitutional dynasty.
The pomp and circumstance attendant upon the Presidency of France quite overwhelms any pageantry surrounding now the British monarchy.
In the 1970s just before Britain joined France and the Common Market, Versailles for example had a derelict feel about it. You could walk through the Hall of Mirrors without fully comprehending that you were walking through the Hall of Mirrors.
No longer, since the era of President Francois Mitterrand , only half- jokingly referred to as France’s last king and certainly more kingly than any British king in living memory, Versailles and its Hall of Mirrors (pictured) has undergone a right royal makeover worthy of the Sun King.
Then there is freedom of expression once considered a monopoly of Britain’s but demonstrably overtaken now by France’s extreme latitude liberalism which is zealously policed under its Droits de L’Homme, Rights of Man, code.
If you are of a mind to upset any apple carts you can savour the proximity in the ambient French Establishment political life of the Robespierre of the 1968 student riots Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a long time Euro Member of Parliament.
Or if he is not heady brew enough, there is Che Guevara sidekick Regis Debray an enduring and incisive touchstone at any debate on anything at all.
France during the Common Market / EU merger absorbed too the once cherished Britain sense of Empire.
In the run up to Britain’s EU entry France vied with Britain in trying to unload its old colonies.
Since then France has clung to what remains of its old Second Empire, notably in equatorial Africa.
While Britain during these same years enthusiastically cast off its colonial heritage viewing the old colonies as troublesome, costly and thus unnecessary burdens.
France in contrast, the Hexagon, as it affectionately refers to itself, has re-invigorated its colonial patrimony viewing these old possessions as manifest evidence of its status as a contemporary world power.
As if drawing into itself the most poisonous sting out of its new partner, France took over Britain’s strike-prone role too.
You cannot by-pass a sense that the French love their strikes and their attendant drama
In the 1970s when Britain signed on with the EU, it was because Britain was beset by economy-crippling strikes while France was still under the full cohesive power of focused national purpose during what it now nostalgically referred to as the 30 glorious years, the immediate post war ones.
Now it is France that is subject to engrained and systemic industrial action all the way from farmers bringing their herds into supermarkets to the routine and holiday-wrecking transport seizure strikes.
As the Brexit pull out begins and the once London-based EU agencies relocate to the continent, there hovers in the air the notion of a re-balancing, a French film noir occurrence in which we are transported back to those days in the 1970s and the exchange of national characteristics clicks back to its default position.
20 Nov 2017 | MSCNewsWire | Truth never changes and neither does effective benefit selling. Only the techniques of transferring this information from the seller to the buyer change.
Drayton Bird (pictured) regarded as the Westminster sphere’s greatest and most seasoned expert on direct selling is to tour New Zealand with this message.
Specifically he will tour the regions because he believes that the social media era gives regionally-based manufacturers and marketeers the same advantage that is enjoyed by their metropolitan counterparts.
Technology has caused distance to evaporate and while this is routinely cited in terms of globalisation it applies with still greater advantage within countries.
Mr Bird is being brought to New Zealand by Henry Newrick the founder of the National Business Review and who went on to establish marketing organisations in Hong Kong, Central Europe and the United Kingdom.
Mr Newrick believes that the technological dazzle attendant upon electronic marketing techniques has blinded businesses to the enduring significance of the message that they need to put across to their markets.
He notes that Drayton Bird’s experience has encompassed the introduction of every single electronic marketing technique applied today, starting with commercial television.
Drayton Bird, comments Mr Newrick, is a practitioner who has worked with all the current techniques from the moment of their inception and thus understands exactly what they deliver and how they can be mastered in order to deliver it.
According to Mr Newrick, New Zealand audiences will benefit from Mr Bird because he is an international practitioner with first hand applied knowledge instead of one who has gained their knowledge second-hand from the experience of others.
| From the MSCNewsWire reporters' desk || Monday 20 November 2017 |||
Arabian oil reserves originally identified by New Zealander Major Frank Holmes
17 Nov 2017 - Canada’s indifference to a new Pacific rim customs union scheme can be ascribed in part to more tempting opportunities in the Middle East such as the possibility of the Toronto Stock Exchange becoming the keystone secondary exchange for the flotation of Aramco. The Toronto exchange is viewed as being the halfway house between the London Stock Exchange and the New York exchange.
The New York Stock Exchange presents an immediate vulnerability in terms of the offering becoming entangled in litigation based on the rights of individuals who believe themselves to have been harmed as a result of terrorism.
The London Stock Exchange invokes the problem of the proportion of the total IPO that it is willing to handle.
In the event the Desert Kingdom intends to float on a secondary exchange five percent of the value of Aramco.
The total offering value for Aramco is being touted as US$ 2 trillion.
This puts the value of the five percent secondary exchange offering as US$100 billion.
Another factor in favour of the Toronto exchange is its familiarity with commodities.
The imminence of the flotation has been signalled by the Saudis sprucing up Aramco in terms of its tax appeal.
Another signal has been the Saudi determination to preserve its foreign currency and this has been evident for example in the kingdom cutting off its money transfer pipeline to Lebanon.
The chain of events began when Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman grounded an entire echelon of Saudi officials including Prince Alawaleed bin Talal, who is usually considered the keystone outside investor in the Murdoch media interests.
The intensity of the measures instituted by the Crown Prince indicates a determination to keep a firm and unchallenged grip on Saudi Arabia up to and during the Aramco flotation which is scheduled for 2018.
Aramco dates from before the Second World War and was originally a joint venture with the United States..
It was taken over entirely by the Desert Kingdom after the Yom Kippur war.
A curious footnote to Aramco is that oil in the Arabian peninsula was originally identified by a New Zealand mining engineer, Major Frank Holmes.