Victoria University – Chicago Survey still remains the last word
We are told by former prime minister Jim Bolger among select others that what Winston Peters MP really wants is “respect.”
Yet what precisely is respect these days and who exactly has it?
One thing is obvious and it is that the Right Honourable Winston Peters MP PC does not believe that he has enough of it.
Otherwise he would not be so actively seeking more of this elusive commodity.
Our starting point to putting flesh on the bones of the elusive respect is what became known as the “Congalton” report on the status of occupations here.
This report named after its driving force A.A Conglaton of Victoria University was a joint venture with the University of Chicago.
It was one of the rare academic reports to have generated a strong response outside the university, as well as the usual fluttering of the dovecotes inside.
In the midfield of the occupations in terms of status that of politician appeared under that of journalist or “news reporter” as it was described in the survey.
Standing unrivalled in the top three positions of this survey were in order :-
Would Mr Peters have thus been accorded more respect had he remained just a solicitor instead of chancing his arm as a professional politician?
There have been numerous other such reports since the Congalton one.
These though have been adjusted around the funding available to complete them and therefore have been of a modish and thus tendentious nature woven around gender and ethnic pivots.
In the context of today’s debate the ascendancy of the occupation of news reporter over that of politician remains the outstanding condundrum.
This was prior to the university-isation of journalism. Before it became feminised. Before its pseudo -professional “investigative” era
In those days news reporters did just that. They reported the news.
It is hard to discern any other clues.
One might be in the old city & guilds type of grading qualifications such as in Pitmans.
Still, this must be set against the status from which National member of parliament were drawn in those days which then as now was from a farming-professional one.
Or the notably much stronger profile in those days of the Labour members, drawn from a union-academic background.
Mr Peters meanwhile is no politico-literary slouch and enjoys quoting from David Lloyd George among whose utterances are those to the effects of the “baubles” of office and “the glory of the unadorned name.”
In the event Lloyd George was hardly immune to such temptations having succumbed to the title of Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor, OM, PC.
Is there something familiar about this?
As a House of Lords Member a Lord Peters can serve in a New Zealand government cabinet
Knowingly or unknowingly New Zealand caretaker prime minister Bill English has it within his gift to put renegade electoral balance of power holder Winston Peters MP on the high road.
The one that leads to the House of Lords.
Former National Party prime minister Jim Bolger signalled that Mr Peters wanted “respect.”
This can now be interpreted beyond the abstract sense in which until now it has been taken.
Neither does it take the form of a knighthood.
Mr Bolger has deliberately stood aside from this diluted form of ennoblement.
Mr Peters will do so, if he has not already done so.
It is within a New Zealand prime minister’s patronage or gift to recommend to Buckingham Palace a candidate for the House of Lords.
The last such candidate was the late Lord Cooke of Thorndon, an eminent jurist.
Mr Peters displays many of the characteristics of this former Wellington law lord.
He is also a lawyer. He is at ease with formality, and protocol.
He is consistently pro monarchist.
He has long been an advocate of Commonwealth trade preference.
Early last year he addressed the House of Lords on this topic in the context of Brexit.
His speech widely publicised in Great Britain was ignored here.
Why then cannot Mr Peters be similarly dispatched to the House of Lords by a coalition friendly Labour government?
The reason is that as a Labour Party initiative such a bold move would be much, much, more difficult if it could be implemented at all.
The action by the last Labour government in eliminating the British honours here was one of string of slaps across the imperial face dating from the Norman Kirk era.
Such an elevation will require also the endorsement of the British prime minister.
Premier Theresa May is likely to have doubts about sponsoring into the House of Lords a new member who is part of a Labour Party. Mrs May would need to be assured that such a candidate was not going to add to the Brexit dissonance.
Neither is it widely understood that as a member of the House of Lords Mr Peters, now Lord Peters, could still serve as a member of a New Zealand government cabinet.
He could not of course continue to sit as a Member of Parliament.
No insoluble problem here to a delicately balanced National-led MMP coalition because the next one on his list would simply slide in at the bottom.
By House of Lords standards Mr Peters at 72 is not very old.
An operational problem is the financing of a member of the House of Lords from New Zealand.
Robin Cooke QC, Lord Cooke of Thorndon, was able to look after the costs of his own membership of the House of Lords.
In the instance of Mr Peters an obvious solution is for his deployment to be part of the operations of New Zealand House.
Mr Peters, now Lord Peters, as a New Zealand cabinet member with an international role would therefore become an official deftly positioned to push the national cause simply by being part of the establishment instead of a mere observer looking in.
Couched in bitter-sweet terms here is part of Mr Peters’ somewhat prescient pre-Brexit appraisal of the position that he delivered to the House of Lords last year……
………The Commonwealth the UK will find in 2016 is quite different to the one it turned its back on in 1973. Infrastructure has come on in leaps and bounds. The days of the Commonwealth having nothing but raw commodities are gone.
It is now a dynamic powerhouse, crossing every time zone and trading session in the world. It covers nearly 30 million square kilometres, almost a quarter of the World’s land area. It’s members can be found in every single inhabited continent. Together, we have a population of over 2.3 billion, nearly a third of the world’s population. In 2014 the Commonwealth produced GDP of $10.45 trillion, a massive 17% of gross world product. Seen that way the Commonwealth could be a colossus.
Australasia’s long-established Customised operator Out-Distances competition with long-range journeys onto the Roads less Travelled
Australasian tour operator Odyssey Traveller anticipated the narrow ultra-specialised consumer requirement so evident today.
Now of course the customised preference drift has become the dominant leisure industry direction echoed so distinctly in outward and inward packaged travel everywhere.
Tailored around the knowledge-seeking experience Odyssey’s expeditionary-style tours are sharply defined around just a few time-frame durations, notably of nine and 30 days.
Focussed on the 50 plus age sector Odyssey’s concentration on the exclusivity of small travelling groups means that the operator can mould its offerings to conform to traveller preference rather than the other way around.
The Sydney-based Odyssey is owned by the Australian and New Zealand universities.
In an academic-dimension lightbulb moment a generation ago these universities conjured forth Odyssey because saw the future in adding an adventure element to what had previously been academic field trips.
In recent years Odyssey CEO Mark-Banning Taylor (pictured) has tightened up still further on this sharp destination emphasis by sending tours into regions which people have long read about, but who have never encountered anyone who has actually ever been there.
These destinations include nations such as Togo and Benin, Madagascar, and Papua New Guinea.
He has similarly sharpened his profile on inward tours by emphasising subject areas over destinations, basing them for example on studies of Australasian ethnicity, arts, flora and fauna, photography, pioneering, and so on.
In fact he has let expire the organisation’s agency arrangements in order to concentrate on Odyssey’s own inward intellectual tours.
He has similarly enhanced the perspective on Odyssey’s outward tours.
For example, with the resurgent interest in battlefield travel, those of antiquity to those of modern times, Odyssey has expanded its range of tours encompassing the Pacific theatre, North Africa and Europe.Odyssey has also nudged still further to their geographic extremities its standard tours to the Russian/Asian landmass.
Iran is a particular thrust at the moment, with departures guaranteed years ahead for these small groups.
According to Mr Banning-Taylor the objective is to implant tour members directly into the environment and its culture with the minimum of distraction.
This applies across the swathe of the tours including such mainstays as the one that “Island Hops” through Scotland’s Western Isles.
Here members will find themselves lodged in remote crofts and listening to Gaelic as part of everyday life.
A particular strength of Odyssey is considered to be its carefully selected local guides who must be local residents and accredited to a tourism authority.
Similarly the company’s tour “leaders” as they are described are drawn from those who have had a vocational, often academic, association with the region being visited.
The tour planning starting point tends to be at the learning end rather than with the destination itself.
In other words, what are party members going to acquire in a knowledge sense from their experience that they did not know before?
Observes Mr Banning-Taylor: “We ask ourselves, ‘what do people of curiosity really want to discover, see for themselves?’ “
This is a particular characteristic of the Odyssey inward tours which deliberately cater for these special fine-focus interest groups.
Aside from the obvious ones of terrain, settlement and ethnicity, we also find, for example an emphasis devolving onto governance, national character, and how these came about.
One example is a tour for those curious about Australian literature.
Here, the tour takes in visits to the homes in which the authors once lived and takes party members through the institutions and landscapes that determined their output.
This fine-slicing embraces broader gauge interests such as the tours of Australasian distinctive cuisine and wine regions that are sectored into regional specialities, terroirs and marques.
Odyssey according to Mr Banning-Taylor, seeks always to put plenty of distance between what it offers its travellers and the general Australasian tourist concept of looking at the familiar sights.
In its central Europe offering for example is one on the Hapsburgs with reference to their pioneering role in the entertainment industry as we know it today.
It turns out that this is a variant on the usual Danube type of experience insofar as it takes into account the little-understood fact that it was the Hapsburgs who liberated live entertainment and thus gave the world Mozart and Beethoven among other luminaries.Similarly a tour of Provence features this connectivity between past and present with an emphasis on the walled cities of Avignon and Carcassonne which turns out to be where the global heritage and conservation movement as we know it had its beginnings.
Odyssey’s intellectual point of embarkation features a notable sociological emphasis that some may interpret as downright serious.
For example a South American tour is one into Peru centred on the influence of women in regard to the matrilineal nature of the Inca society which was pretty much wiped out by the patriarchal Spanish colonisers.
The tour includes contemporary manifestations of the subsequent resurgence in the status of women especially in textile design and development, thus blindingly indicating the linkage between perceived economic value and civil rights.
Symbolically the expedition is capped by two nights in the middle of Lake Titicaca on Suasi Island owned by a prominent Peruvian womens activist.
In operational terms an enduring shared worry of both providers and their clients is that offered tours will in fact not take place because they are under-subscribed.
It is no consolation to would-be travellers that their deposits will be recovered should there be insufficient bookings to launch it. Time has been allocated, arrangements made.
To this end Odyssey from its long experience categorises certain tours as guaranteed.
Other tours such as the pioneering ones into the paths less travelled are cited as being dependent on a minimum number of takers, usually as low as three people.
A recent tour to see the world’s largest ever dinosaurs in Argentina is just one example “You could say that we are in a joint venture,” noted Mr Banning-Taylor
“A client seeks from us a memorable experience—it is up to us to be candid about the need to find a few others who wish to share in it.”
He summarises the Odyssey endeavour as being quite literally one of an applied taste test.
“Would your Odyssey travellers’ tales stand up at a dinner party; command some attention?
“We like to think that if you have been on an Odyssey tour, then, yes, they would.
“Our objective is taking travel quite some distance beyond sightseeing.”
Similarly Odyssey itself travels just a little bit further also in a community sense
It is known that Odyssey via its board allocates surpluses to university types via a series of cash scholarships for students across New Zealand & Australia of AUD$10,000 who demonstrate financial need and academic performance.
| From the MSCNewsWire REporters desk - travel || Monday 27 September 2017 |||
United States Vice President Mike Pence’s tribute to the passengers who overpowered the crazed psychopaths who sought to commandeer on September 11 2001 United Airlines Flight 93 included reference to a New Zealander who is now all but forgotten in his native land.
Alan Anthony Beaven is increasingly being seen as one of the key passengers on the flight who physically suppressed the gang to the point at which the flight from Newark to San Francisco crashed into a field at Shanksville, Pennsylvania, instead of into its target which is now considered to have been the Capitol, Washington
Mr Beaven, 48, had been seated toward the back of the plane. His distinctive New Zealand accent is clearly audible on cockpit recordings.
Evidence of his remains and personal belongings were found in the cockpit.
A burly fellow, Mr Beaven, is even regarded as a symbol of the determination, especially in regions such as Pennsylvania, of the single-minded determination in the United States to rid itself of lethal fanaticism.
Paradoxically Mr Beaven’s own career as a crusading attorney had devolved into campaigning for exactly the same category of liberal causes that are often associated with apologists for the current Salafist kamikaze plague.
Mr Beaven appears to have hailed from Devonport, Auckland. Along the way he acquired a law degree. It is now that his career becomes uncertain. He left New Zealand at any early stage and found a berth at one of the more venerable English universities. Here he seems to have pursued graduate studies and also to have served in a tutorial capacity.
From there he seems to have shifted to private practice and in this capacity appears to have served as a public prosecutor notably on behalf of Scotland Yard.
He contracted his first marriage, one enriched by his sons.
His move to California now provided this “citizen soldier” as Vice President Mike Pence described him with what gives all the signs of being his true vocation, that of a skilled and audacious public interest environmental protection lawyer.
Much has been made in the United States of the placard in his California legal office
It was of the homily variety so familiar to anyone who does business in the United States.
But in the instance of Mr Beaven it proclaimed, Fear? Who Cares?
The mystery, and thus the curiosity surrounding Mr Beaven has only intensified with the New Zealander becoming the focus of one of the conspiracy plots clinging to 9/11 and those associated with it in any practical way, as Mr Beaven fatefully was.
The theory floats around the notion that Mr Beaven was deliberately programmed to have been on the flight.
This notion hinges on a seemingly last minute decision to take the flight to sort out a client tactical legal problem, prior to taking an extended tour of Asia with his second wife and their daughter (pictured with Mr Beaven.)
And so it goes on.
Meanwhile, Vice President Pence who spoke of his boss, President Donald Trump’s insistence on the enduring recognition of the valour of the passengers on the flight, spoke of the Tower of Voices memorial planned for the Flight 93 crash site.
The memorial is scheduled to include 40 chimes that each sound its own note, intended to symbolize the memories of the “bravehearts” as those who fought the thugs to a standstill were described.
The acclaim and regard and from so many quarters in the United States gathering around the memory of Mr Beaven indicates an opportunity for a response in the land of his birth.
Indeed Mr Beaven can be viewed in New Zealand as a symbol of how contrived mediatique “heroes” such as those in sports or the finance sector or simply self-proclaimed ones, have utterly overwhelmed the much rarer spontaneous variety who instinctively and without thought of reward put their own neck on the line.
Tattoos and piercings are emblems of tribal allegiances
The re-emergence of the North-South divide in the United States supplies further evidence of the way in which the English-speaking zone is being overtaken by tribalism.
This fresh evidence of tribal divergence follows on the heels of the determination of the previous United States presidential dynasties to fight their supplanter, President Donald Trump.
The continuing politicking of the Clinton, Bush and Obama families campaigning seamlessly against the victorious candidate is classic tribal activity in that it cuts across constitutional political transitional processes, writes our roving reporter National Press Club president Peter Isaac.
The advent too of the presidency as a presidential family collective is still further evidence of this tribal drift.
The magnetic pull of tribal resurgence though is most evident now in the United Kingdom..
There the continuing Scottish secession agitation seeking to break away from England remains the most obvious example in the English-speaking zone.
The UK tribal factor became more evident now that any remaining economic underpinning of this breakaway movement has evaporated with Scotland’s bankrupt banks now being controlled from London.
The retribalizing of the English-speaking zone is taking place through stealth, and very largely because the institutions that exist to monitor such a development remaining mute about it.
University socio-political faculties deliberately choose to ignore this increasingly manifest development for fear of upsetting politicians and thus their own funding..
Universities refuse to see such every day and human evidence of tribalisation as the tattooing and other examples of self-adornment and self-mutilation of the entire socio-economic spectrum from show-biz types (pictured) to the industrial and administrative middle class.
This practice once confined to practitioners of virile callings, notably sailors, is now exploding into the elites, notably females whose tattoos are now so much bolder than those once displayed by sea farers, and those in other such danger-prone occupations..
Only Australia according to a covert European evaluation of tribally-inspired fractionalisaton possesses the equivalent of the United States 19th century melting pot, and was thus free of the threat of this resurgence.
New Zealand in contrast has deliberately nurtured tribalism through its parliamentary electoral system, a state of affairs now being actively challenged by the New Zealand First Party and also by Dr Don Brash’s Hobson’s Pledge movement
Official action within New Zealand to curb its tribally-based gangs is deliberately muted in order to appease an elitist political class.
This views and even encourages these anti-social collectives replete with their tribal markings and paraphernalia as evidence of repression inflicted on adherents during and after the imperial era, and thus living emblems of a collective guilt.
Canada is another example.
The largest English-speaking nation geographically must appease its French-speaking minority regions, and must do so with increasing emphasis and intensity.
Tribalisation in this English-speaking zone is now taking the form of a pulling away from a concerted national collective direction and instead reverting to an atavistic romantic blend centred on a notion of an oppression-stoked grandeur of times past.
Another element pointing to the institutionalised pandering to tribalism in the English –speaking zone remains the Westminster Green Paper on broadcasting and its stated need for mass access i.e. customisation to cater to these sectorised and evolving tribal patterns.
In other words Whitehall is accommodating and acknowledging this accelerating tribalisation drift and is accordingly setting about installing the policies needed to appease it.
Universities and other publicly-funded institutions indicate a deliberate and harmonised complicity in ignoring in spite of the evidence this gathering tribal momentum
Indeed, academic institutions supposed to measure the growth of the practical expression of the tribal instinct are often filled with individuals themselves emblematically part of it.
These are their operatives consciously or unconsciously succumbing to the resurgent tribal pull in the form of neck and sleeve arm tattoos and expandable ear lobe insertion devices among the other physical adornments associated with traditional tribal allegiances.
| From the MSCNewsWire reporters' desk || Wednesday 13 September 2017 |||
From MSCNewsWire's European Correspondent |Wednesday 6 September 2017 | Beirut-based Meguerditch Bouldoukian is an emeritus figure in banking in the Middle East and the EU. Mr Bouldoukian (pictured with Paul Volcker) now answers our five questions on New Zealand’s Middle East positioning …..
There is evidence of a belief here in a short Middle East memory. We have the defaulting on the old Development Finance obligations. Then we have the U-turn on the undertaking on live sheep exports to Saudi Arabia. Followed by compensation in the form of a covert stock-handling depot there. Then the matter of the New Zealand delegation to the UN Security Council as a further entreaty backing the anti Israel censure?
There will always be mistakes and false starts. Especially with evolving markets. You can take comfort in your wider picture. According to recent OECD reports New Zealand’s one of the robust economies on the globe since 2012 due to tourism, inward migration, construction. It has a sound fiscal position and low public debt and balanced budget. GDP $185 billion, growth rate of 3.9 %, per capita income $39,400 and internet usage 86 %. I am though rather worried by the Development Finance Corporation experience which you cite and which once again demonstrates the danger of a longer term operational involvement by a government in commercial banking. If this intervention is a sustained one, and not just implemented to cope with an emergency then a Pandora’s Box is put in place and which is bound to be opened at some stage down the line.
There is a belief that only very large scale organisations, ideally with government involvement, are the only ones that can trade with the Middle East ---and then get paid...
My advice here is for commercial interests in your country to steer very clear of Middle East states ruled by sultans, emirs, kings, and other despots of that ilk. Elsewhere you will find strong legal statutes to ensure against the kind of default you seem to be describing
All the NZ trading banks are owned in Australia. Do you see this as an advantage/disadvantage?
The major banks must encourage the outside world in coordination with the government to pump in Foreign Direct Investments. Local banks ultimately can only finance SMEs or SMIs. I am pleased that you asked this question because it has given me an opportunity to clear up a misconception, rather touching in its way, to the effect that the Australian trading banks are owned in Australia. They are in fact and to a substantial extent owned by UK and US banks, notably HSBC, J.P Morgan, and Citigroup among others. Is this an advantage? Probably. The reason is that the smaller the bank, the greater will be its reluctance to take on risk.
It is said that the Australian banks along with the Canadian banks are the world's best regulated?
Industry figures tell us that world’s best regulated banks are domiciled in order in:
The significance of this is that you do not have to worry about banks operating in New Zealand soundly regulated as they are by the Reserve Bank.
Do you see any benefit in New Zealand seeking to re-establish its own joint stock/ trading bank?
You have had the problem in your recent and longer term history of your own bank in this category getting into trouble and having to be rescued by the taxpayer, the government in other words. This in turn opens our Pandora’s Box which takes the form of the state, and for a number of reasons, being viewed as being responsible for the bank and even long after the emergency that caused it to be involved in the first place.
Eminem’s copyright legal proceedings centred on the rapper’s lawyers claiming that the National Party had heisted riffs of the warbler’s Lose Yourself album for its 2014 general election jingle.
The unlikely proceedings conducted in a Wellington courtroom are remembered for sweetening global network talk shows.
Presenters in the United States especially discovered humour in the rendering of the word Eminem due to the squished vowel sounds of their New Zealand counterparts.
The chuckling involved in the parodies attendant on the New Zealand broadcasting patois along with the bizarre courtroom episode we can see now obscured a much more serious intention and in the view of many, a much more dangerous one.
The National Party was determined, even if rather belatedly, as per the disputed song, to lose its old self, slough off its wrinkled skin, and hop disco-style into the age of hip.
This Eminem-style background “music” to the campaign was the pointer to a much deeper strategy designed to attract the very large slice of the electorate both young and old who identify themselves with the contemporary culture represented by rap.
Former premier John Key’s campaign to change the New Zealand flag can now be seen as part of this trendy re-imaging campaign.
The flag replacement scheme was remarkable in that it failed to obtain any traction at all in the media, usually always on for a dig at the established order, and then it collapsed through the absence of any popular momentum at all.
The appeasing of the fashionable Greens by the U-turn on live sheep shipments has left the government with an obviously festering sore as it seeks to compensate double-crossed Middle East interests by building there for free a processing depot for which there is no budget, simply because the construction was and is unofficial.
External affairs allocations are still being combed to pay for it.
A weight of evidence points to the involvement behind this of foreign image consultants.
This explains why the change-the-flag scheme ran alongside the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings and thus of Anzac.
Foreign consultants would not have been aware of the significance of this milestone in the short history of the nation, and especially of the way in which it transcends ideological boundaries.
Similarly with the anti-Israel complicit vote in the dying days of New Zealand’s last tour of duty as a temporary member of the United Nations Security Council.
Foreign advisers would not have been aware of the size of the evangelist-fundamentalist following in New Zealand, traditionally National Party adherents, and the bloc’s sensitivity about anything to do with the holy land.
A further clue to external progressivist influence is the money that the National Government, note government and not the Party, started doling out to the Clinton Foundation at a time when the Clintons were doggedly campaigning in Hillary’s bid for the presidency.
As was seen subsequently the involvement by foreign governments in United States federal and even state elections is prohibited by law. This applies specifically to the financing of individual candidates.
Again a suspicion remains of an external influence, a re-imaging one, behind these donations to the Clinton Foundation, estimated by the Taxpayers Union, to amount to between nine and 10 million dollars, or the equivalent of the annual income tax paid by 899 workers on the average wage.
The unseen advisors had no doubt whatsoever that the Clinton dynasty would resume, and that the hand-outs would be regarded ecstatically here by the very progressives that the National Party now strives so ardently, and so awkwardly, to draw to its side.
This new customised scam gives the old fashioned con artist the full leverage of the electronic funds transfer era.
A new wave of money transfer fraud techniques is on its way to New Zealand. It is the President scam, so called because it is centred on the departure from secure procedures triggered by a very senior official in the targeted organisation intervening and giving the appearance of wanting the fraudulent transfer to take place.
Under the President modus operandi someone poses as the boss of an organisation. They then conjure up an exception of some kind and which requires an instant transfer of money. The controlling officer, the one at the receiving end of the email or telephone call, then instructs the operations person concerned to implement the transfer. Or transfers it personally.
Inherent in this confidence trick is the artificial flap and the urgency it generates, an urgency designed to wash away any remaining security steps, especially any suspicion about the entity on the other end of the money transfer.
The theme of the President scam is that it differs from other transfer frauds in that it is designed to be implemented and completed in minutes rather than hours.
However the preparatory spade-work by the perpetrator will take much longer and involves a close study of the voice and verbal pattern of the senior official, the President, who is being mimicked. It will also require an evaluation of the vulnerability of the authorisation chain and especially of the individual who will press the button on the transfer.
These weak links may include for example a command chain noted for an informal i.e careless approach to established procedures.
Also an organisation in which the boss, the President, is known for making procedural short cuts. A boss who is feared in this context represents a weak link because line staff will want to avoid incurring their ire and so be more willing to take the procedural short cut.
There are of course a number of variants on the President scam.
These include the scam artists impersonating suppliers who claim that if a certain payment is not immediately made, that they will cause, for example, a production line to close down.
A particularly nasty twist is when a known adviser, perhaps the head of an organisation’s firm of accountants appears to be ringing in, urgently advocating the settlement of this or that account before the sky falls in.
In Europe where the President scam was developed and refined there can often be a conspiratorial aspect to the impersonation in which the scam artist seeks to impersonate elements of the forces of law enforcement, and seeks the covert assistance of someone connected with money transfers on the grounds of patriotism.
The money transferred under the President scam moves quickly through the hot money arteries, bouncing around countries with low banking surveillance, before being laundered, and often factored through commodities and other merchandise.
The history of the preceding waves of electronic scamming indicates that the International fraud artists turn their attention to New Zealand when they have picked the eyes out of the low hanging fruit in the northern hemisphere.
This time, as we shall see, is about now. Neither can we claim that the President technique has not already been applied to New Zealand. It may have been intercepted. Or the victim organisation has shut up about it.
Anyone involved in money transfer knows that by its very existence any chain of authorisation is vulnerable just because humans are involved.
So we have to hold onto something solid. In this case documentary credit instruments represent the best banking landmark. This means, in this context, sight documents.
Why? Because seeing is believing. Any departure, any exception, from authorised procedure must be verified by “sighting” the individual, the President, the CEO, or the CFO who is demanding the implementation of the exception to standard practice i.e. the money transfer.
The reason that sight procedures (never in this connection ever to be confused with citing or even “site” procedures)apply now is just because unlike previous waves of point to multi point stacked scams, the President formula relies on a high degree of customisation.
This means for example that an email used in the scam will be customised around the known habits of the President and also around the known personality of the target, the officer of the organisation authorised to make the transfer.
This email may, for example, have a holiday home telephone number. “Ring me for verification.” The person at the other end of the line will be the impersonator, perhaps with a nasty cold in order to cover up any discrepancy in tonality.
It is this customisation that makes the President scam so dangerous to New Zealand organisations.
Organisations should now evaluate the wisdom of displaying and generally publicising the names of their treasury people, especially on their web sites. They are the point of departure for practitioners of the President scam.
As practitioners turn their attention to southern latitudes we find that only in the simplicity of direct sight, the face-to-face encounter, is there an antidote to this curious yet so far extremely successful blend of the old fashioned confidence trickster merged now with the speed of light of a numerical transfer.
How vulnerable are New Zealand medium to large organisations to this new threat?
Until now the publicised victims of electronic scams of all stripes have been individuals, householders.
The first wave was the Nigerian one in the fax era. Then followed a medley centred on phishing or bank impersonation. Dismayingly the banks insist on using emails to send out their promotional material which means that they cannot collectively state that any email from a trading bank is by definition a false one.
It is in this year’s wave, the telephone calls from Microsoft accredited agent impersonators that we find the direction of this new scam.
As this particular Microsoft scam developed it was observed that recipient caller display bars began to show New Zealand telephone numbers.
Though replies indicated that the caller display numbers elicited no response.
Another pointer is the arrival in the Auckland area especially of criminal gangs working over ATMs.
We are entering the era in which organisations will have to start becoming reticent about their financial authorisation chains in terms of who staffs them.
Similarly with IT structures in which any unanticipated request for tests should be flatly ignored.
At least, until the sight verification.
| From the MSCNewsWire reporters' desk - European Correspondent || Tuesday 22 August 2017 |||