Are You Thinking What I Was Thinking VII

  • We have a media that lionises CEO’s such as Michael Eisner at Disney and Ivan Glasenberg at Glencore when they are the benefactors of good fortune (largely from events out of their control) and canes them when the opposite occurs
  • Reading a news publication today you wouldn’t expect to know that a bet on the Shenzen or Shanghai stock market in 2012 would have you still sitting on a very impressive profit.
  • We have oil trading at $44 per barrel and experts predicting perhaps $30 by year-end. Airlines are sitting on record profits and their CEO’s about to collect huge cheques out of all proportion to the organic growth of those businesses.
  • We read headlines about probable interest rate rises in the US, UK and other developed nations and would be forgiven for thinking everyone will feel the impact akin to an “ice bucket challenge” on their finances.
  • We have way too many so called “role models”, Kelly Clarkson being the latest, who cannot construct a proper sentence. I am sorry being “totally pregnant” is nonsense!
  • The Crowdfunding ecosystem is finding it very hard to make money long-term with so many businesses living on the breadline and entrepreneurs unwilling to pay for proper advice.
  • We put undue “trust” in politicians whose track record is highly dubious to do the right thing (Iran, Russia, Greece), yet all too often we have insufficient “trust” in our own abilities to invest properly in developing our own skills
  • We are “surprised”in Europe by the lengths to which migrants from unstable political regimes will go to find work and security. Yet as far back as 2008 any holidaymaker in Greece could weekly see rows of migrants lined up on the harbourside of Greek islands awaiting on board travel to Athens to collect their papers.
  • When AirB&B is worth more than Marriott, we are living (a) in an era of unwarranted valuations, (b) technology has finally trumped bricks and mortar real estate assets, and (c) slick sales and marketing tools are more important than service in hospitality today.
  • When General Partners in Private Equity bemoan the shortage of reasonably priced deals in Europe, and the aggressiveness of corporate buyers, it says more about the fears that underlie the European investment managers (value-add vs. fees).
  • When everyone is led to believe the future is all about mobile, they forget that the “dull” desktop has benefits that no laptop, tablet or mobile can come close to for the desk bound worker, who is increasingly being asked to work longer hours.
  •  A New York law firm is described as “daring” for suggesting quoted companies forego quarterly earnings reports in favour of more long-term management metrics and reporting. Am I remiss in thinking these suggestions were bouncing around in the mid 1970s? Perhaps it shows that it is never too late to dust off that Donna Summer disco number and proclaim it as “cool” again.

© James Berkeley 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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