March 31, 2012 § Leave a comment
Reuters have follow-through on the Frade Field(campos Basin) marine oil leak I mentioned earlier.
Names prosecutor, and fyi has info re fragile rock and drilling thereof along with stuff on bore leaks etc
March 26, 2012 § Leave a comment
I am reminded to looksee some excellent, and in/from actual business people commentary, in a blog of note
US-based of course, but in terms of they followed kiwis as kiwis later claimed fast-follower status etc.. instructive perhaps for what is, or is to come..
March 26, 2012 § Leave a comment
To hand Bill Black@ NC on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) which he describes thusly:
… the detailed finding of a huge investigative effort. The FCIC report explained repeatedly how the three “de’s” (deregulation, desupervision, and de facto decriminalization) had produced the criminogenic environment that drove the financial crisis. The FCIC report specifically condemned the “regulatory arbitrage” that the worst actors exploited by choosing to be (not very) regulated…
Hitting the counterfactual button he adds:— [ my highlighting ]
The unique aspect about this crisis is that it is the first one in modern U.S. history in which the CEOs directing the control frauds that caused the crisis have done so with complete impunity from the criminal laws and near impunity from civil suits and enforcement actions. The worst, most destructive fraudulent CEOs have been allowed to become and remain wealthy through their frauds even though several of them caused greater losses than the entire S&L debacle. The worst fraudulent CEOs who led the prior epidemics of accounting control fraud that drove the S&L debacle and the Enron-era crisis were prosecuted. Not a single elite CEO from Wall Street or the largest fraudulent lenders has even been charged with fraud arising from such loans even though they, collectively, made over two million fraudulent loans in 2006.
Insightfully he tells us:—
Even the Dallas Fed’s most senior economist and President – and the Dallas Fed has been the leading opponent of financial regulation – now agrees that effective regulation is essential to strong financial markets.
March 26, 2012 § Leave a comment
So this is the one, the seriously serious blog to account all things..
It deserves a question mark does that opener. ? Because events have so inserted themselves upon my mind as to suggest I not concentrate on the sole object of original intent. Which might have ranked a sole ugly with me in titling terms. Though something, and respectfully, different to my readers. Hence this qualifier. And challenge—you decide which briefer topic is what.
Serious indeed the demise of a champion colonic cancer battler. Put that way because that was how a younger Paul Callaghan would have met any personal obstacle—to be engaged, battled, overcome. Such was his enthusiasm and resolve(rather than belief I think) of mankind’s science in delivering one’s fate. Not for him any great consideration that fate was of itself resolution. Fatefull yes, though at the same time earning our abiding R.I.P. Of eulogy there shall be plenty in coming days. Kiwis do that so very well. Myself, a matter of memory now and what to do about this. Ongoing of course. To his family, friends, networkers and countrymen my condolences.
At mention of titling above I was reminded of one the C.I.A. had earned in story The Eleventh Commandment. One of Archer’s slacker efforts though here a usefully instructive corporate meaning: thou shalt not be caught. Former Minister-in-Parliament, Dr. Nick Smith was caught. And rings a bell out of qualified admiration for this fellow’s willingness to bite the bullet. Decisively and of his own accord. To wit: pushed and shoved by himself. Into resignation. I said qualified because therein the flaw of a National brand favoring individuals. In MP Nick’s case the manifest of expectations his Party ‘friend’ held of position and influence and powers that she sensed herself full access to. And doubtless influenced also by how other people conduct themselves. Unanswered, however, public questions on which bullet exactly he bit.
Leaving the transient toxic liability side of this balancing act I would characterise as bright the woman on last weekend talking about net energy resourcing from planet earth — if it costs more to dig or suck the stuff up and distribute around the place than its revenues less all-risk* costs realise then why bother? Unless, of course, deliberate exclusion of folks unable afford it becomes de rigeur.
* all-risks now incorporates ‘extreme’ extraction. BP’s huge payouts and ongoing legal and obligations arising out of their GoM misadventures springs to mind. But this week notice of the Brazilian government’s resolve to Court remedies in respect of Chevron/Transocean’ Frade drilling in the Campos Basin adds endorsement. Latest I have on that from Reuters is that the parties have filed for hearing in Rio de Janeiro, thus evading a local prosecutor. Know they (corporates) well the power of individuals!
Now back to the bright one. Who would have been brilliant had she not made undue mention of “Antiquity”. And thereby laid bare her rather formal academic education. Clearly a case of knew she not Antiquity the insert word which among other things came into use to obscure time and events hitherto. Upon which much human motivation and mayhem has developed. Yes, including in the name of growth. To seekers after truth allow me add here lourd de sous-entendus which wotz what
exampled as AAFA with a recommendation that a permalink (= eye and mind ) be made thereto. Time permitting all shall be revealed unto kiwis.
Meantime, blessim, Tom Murphy popped up on oilprice. Here he is in some part supporting the RNZ guest whilst sticking with the knitting, as it were. [ my highlighting ]
… “resource depletion trumps climate change for me, because I think this has the potential to effect far more people on a far shorter timescale with far greater certainty. Our economic model is based on growth, setting us on a collision course with nature. When it becomes clear that growth cannot continue, the ramifications can be sudden and severe. So my focus is more on averting the chaos of economic/resource/agriculture/distribution collapse, which stands to wipe out much of what we have accomplished in the fossil fuel age. To the extent that climate change and resource limits are both served by a deliberate and aggressive transition away from fossil fuels, I see a natural alliance. Will it be enough to avert disaster (in climate or human welfare)? Who can know – but I vote that we try real hard.”
Over-stated else overlooked, I say that growth is not necessarily against nature. Elephant in the Recession room, Finance and Banking for instance, has only a derivative — capitalising resource extractions — role. Profits, profitability themselves derivative processes. Of business. Or as some Third Way authors would have it: the better way.
But wait! Is it better? Capable of bettering? How?
Three superb questions which, contrary to an earlier business cycling dictum of ‘questioners are out of the loop’, now require seriously serious answers. From governments and yes, you’ve gottit, corporations.
Don’t believe me.? Okay, let’s take a look at several illustrations:—
1. Is it better? Our context is the branded pharmaceutical industry whose embrace of globalization these past several decades had R&D Pharma sell high value low pack goods for consistently reported y-o-y profits whilst at the same time recording lower overall volume sales. Higher prices making the equation. Higher prices the ‘growth’. Bottom line: delusion.
2. Bettering? Our context is ‘We’re in business to make money’. Cause celebre over many years Goldman Sachs. Which still does a fine job of embracing everything in the main but IMHO because of this must suffer components who would damage its name, not to mention global financial markets.
One is aware of GS’s former Deputy Chief Exec, Greg Smith, bolting from the Board via the NYTimes Op-Ed page a week ago. Describing an attitude there of “toxic” and incapable of representing GS’s investors. As you see in some detail here GS traders set such folk up to fail and have friends, prime individual predators and countrymen, to coin a fitting phrase win-bet against them.
Despite this evidence and earlier successful prosecutions GS corporateness is such that its lawyers place it above not only their own investors but also competitors, peers, government, law and the judiciary in the U.S.A. How else do you read a call for the Judge to dismiss latest allegations on stated grounds that they(GS) and they alone are authoritative in the matters under examination.
I raise the illustration to suggest that should a corporate lead be taken in the matter of law change to a civil approach instead of existing criminal proceedings then all a government manipulator need do is appoint incompetant or readily influenced cronies. Who, experience relates, only too happily leave things to the “experts”.
That the Judge involved tossed this dismissal defence out adds weight to my number 3: How? Answer: Democratic authoritative independence. More particularly if industrial and/or commercial corporateness has come to negate governmental authority.
Added to which Lord Goldsmith(UK) has chipped in a view few legislators there would avoid – learn the lessons of history well before even contemplating the need to ‘move on’ . Then a most recent double majority decision of the US Supreme Court, ruling greater supervisory powers to the judiciary in criminal proceedings. Ensuring among other things the constitutional right to competant and effective defence before the courts. Plea bargains may more effective such proceedings make( caseload throughput for shorter sentences ) but such effectiveness also makes for all caught to pay the criminal liability of bad conduct. And not simply a few civil liability ie exampled cases.
In the local NZ context of the Financial Markets Conduct Bill this fellow relates an impending loss of stricture upon the guilty with intended change, adding:
That change from a criminal strict liability to a civil liability—unless you can show it is reckless or you can show that it was deliberate—we think is a very, very important change, and we are not convinced that it is the right change to make.
Around the same time leading Parliamentary language was expressing concerns re “silo” thinking. Bureaucrat attack that this it – so Cheney at the Pentagon back in his day – that some awareness of from whence the change call emanated is possible. We should hope that a parallel change regarding financial conduct does not have the same source. Its past ‘legitimacy’ having been utterly discredited elsewhere.
As to the better, or business way, and aside its narrower than democratic government requires flaw, the predetermined economic infestation of Douglas is also pre-existing proof of “deliberate” and “reckless”. Lessons of the past relating well with the Goldsmith view.
I must go now. Save to add how supplyside economics was always coded. So far as I am aware in enzed, unmentioned were the concomitant terms sell-side (sider) and buy-side(sider) terms too lourd for inclusion even Douglas’s pamphleteering. (aka sous-entendus lest a chance reader later uncover more than is good, bad or ugly of the author)
Po$itively – Go the Black Caps — two bats = one draw 😉
March 15, 2012 § Leave a comment
But first, and with apologies for not having commented to the sad news of Jock Hobbs’s loss this week, I’d want pay respects and offer condolences to all truly affected by this loss. I did not make his acquaintance; though I did have a fair sense of both his commitment to Rugby and the 2011 World Cup, and. somewhat personally from what one heard of him on RNZ, a strong sensible safe pair of hands. Lost to us all such admirable attributes are the more deeply felt. Which explains my understanding of the many and multi-feelings expressed this week. Professionals and public alike. Hence my own belated addition.
Yes, this blog’s title is a ‘play’ on on the oft-touted phrase level playing field. It is that, a play, for several simple reasons; one being the good lady this morning who lifted her specs from her face to take a good look at a guy for his mention of a word she had not come across in many a year. Saith she: “What’s CONVERGENCE then?”
Imagine if you will please a filter funnel. Preferably glass so you can see what is passing through it, tho plastic a la mode will suffice if you must remain plasticated in the mass, cheap trap by which fooling oneself is someone else’s means to an end.
The shape for starters, wide flared circular top descending into a narrow neck and tube. Use in the kitchen – domestic labor–et–tory that it can be – might have it deployed above a milk bottle or a jar. Yes, very good for avoiding spillage, ie assuming pours into wide-necked whatsits are not challenging. And most importantly excellent for flowing crowd particulates intent on rubbing shoulders with their neighbors.
Now add a little stretch of that imagination. Being poured into the top is not a saucer of milk, or hot panned jam, or some wickedly hotshot green tomato relish. Being poured into this filter funnel with its essential function of CONVERGENCE in mind is a whole market economy. Wow! Whole market econ-oh-my? Imposs—ibull!!!
Re-ally ( spelled with a crooked ‘e’ ).
Okay, explain yerself, said she. To he.
I will, said he. Lemme ask this. No, tell you what, spare yourself a few minutes so we can both go ask folks around this place. Okay with you? She fell into step as I approached a large blue-rinse lady whose aging mom steered the shopping trolley as slowly as possible to enable her daughter take in the labels on every purchase. “Excuse me Ladies,” says he, “whaddya think of only one petrol/gas station for this town?”
“Awright,” proclaimed bluebird. “Whaddzee say?” her Mom. “Sommink about just one gas station. Idz awright mum innit?”
“Bloody not all right,” says Specs at my side. I swung round to clear ‘I got you babe’ tone. “Prices.. gone up again.. this morning I think.. cudda swore it was 3 or 4 cents a liter less the other day.. and that was an increase on last week as well.”
The next guy was ripping cardboard off cool cookies with gusto when I leaned over. “Yeah,” said he, “Bloody awful! That’s what I say. One gas station. Gotta point there, mate. Bin down the bottleneck last night. Spewed a whole bloody liter I bet just waiting in a the queue ta get some! Same fer all the others. Then that caravan some idiot tapped me tail-lights with. Talk about no room to moove..”
“He’s right,” says Specs, “it is like that down the bowser. Never, never ever, used to be. Hey, hang on, there’s someone wants to tell you something.”
“Oi you, you with the nose onyer face. Yeah you, arsking aroun-nd eh. I wanna arsk you this: You an albatross frum auck.? Affcose..? Lyttelton? Like.. stirring everyone up!”
“Gawdsake gerl, beltup!” laughs unpacker man. “Here, luv, get yer hatton right, I can see yer hairpin hanging loose frum here. Don’t let the boss see that.. or itz—” Gestures at the neck.
“Whatzit yer wanna know?” says Fringe down at the cash-out. “Ridiculous! One gas station. Bad enough when we had two. One’s murder. Yeah, well, gottabe hassent it—for the other one! Dunnit stand to reason?”
“Know what you mean,” says Specs now completely taken with her role of writing to the Party about the real live experience she has undergone this morning. People are not happy at the top of the filter funnel. Doesn’t matter how many billionaires are at the bottom waiting for their mash to come out. Not fair. Not right. Not ON.
My-my does she have questions. Like with more water vapor in the air (from climate change ) what is the Government doing about more fungal spores on the ground? [ good question, in part explaining the virus’ attacking my hydrangeas and tomatoes this season—yep likely borne by fungals and meaning growers gotta rip them out and remove. Reverse growth is not. what. enzed. is. about. Hey!].
And like who is the fast-talker in enzed with the big I-am-business success reputation here? Stress fast-talker, likely modelled on what the banker bloke in his Gang of One book admitted ( March 10, 2012 ) he fell for after meeting up with Enron’s Fastow. How many others have fallen for fast talk?
She is steaming away in the carpark when a car pulls alongside and coldstore Clarey sez: “Wrong question. That question youse twos askin’. Know why? Tellyer. Cos there’s two gas stations. See.”
“No, you’re quite wrong there. The next nearest one is 8 or 10 Kms away.”
“Then Oxford with a fraction of the population and five times the brains—”
“Ere watchett you, this is where all the shops is—the shops is not open—how many they got then?”
Specs grinned before replying, the earthquake consequences having at last dawned mis-sentence in the other’s mind and making the anthropogenic convergence all the worse to bear. For its foreplanning, present planning and clear exploitation regardless of peoples’s plight. Then said: “Three.”
“Blimey! So.. what can we do about it! I mean—”
“What indeed. Worda mouth. Spread it will you. First meet’s at the level ploughing field. Okay? See you there!”
Po$itively — This Indian government decision requires Bayer to license the cancer drug Nexavar to Natco Pharma, which must pay Bayer a royalty on its sales but will sell the drug for about 3 percent of Bayer’s price.
If the above is about private and corporate convergence then true democratic government public convergence would appear to be a useful and practical counter to it.
Next time the seriously serious aspect to the Financial Markets Conduct Bill before Parliament in need of attention before legislators IMHO display no learning whatsoever from past mistakes.. and plot yet another misguided failure..
March 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
Reader responds to say Tata(India’s Energy Corporate) have bitten the bullet.. confirming my earlier point on fossil-fuel-based energy futures..
To hand also the following – hattip Yale360 – which puts names to the play etc..
The power unit of the India-based Tata Group conglomerate has said it will favor solar and wind projects over coal-fired plants in future global energy investments, citing the increasing difficulty of developing coal projects. In an interview with Bloomberg News, Tata Power Executive Director S. Padmanabhan said coal shortages in India have limited production at coal-fired plants and environmental hurdles have made it “impossible” to pursue coal plants in the U.S. and Europe with any long-term certainty. “Why would anyone want to invest at this stage in a coal project?” he said. “Investment has stopped.” Investment in renewable plants, he said, make more sense because the investment is smaller, plants are built faster, and costs are more uniform. The Tata Group, which accounts for nearly 5 percent of India’s gross domestic product, this week made its first bid for overseas wind and solar farms in South Africa.
March 7, 2012 § Leave a comment
Recap @:— On field I’d gone down to tick off Bradlow’s ess em orf. Losing my cool in the process. There were two reasons in my mind for that— Front Foot I’d noted was decidedly weak on the on-side lacking any real show of a glance stroke to score simple boundaries, and then that change of stance yielded a hint of real awkwardness for him if I could but bowl to the right spot…
Yet here and now let me stress how to the other I was somewhat headstrong. For the lined weather-beaten fielder confronting me stated a strong body language called Ignore. Of course I did not know why; then I wasn’t supposed to. So occasioning more heat than light which really did fire up those in our vicinity. Front Foot for one, and to my utter surprise — nay shock! — the umpire, Mr. Upright, halfway down the wicket behind me, who had gotten into a downright temper at the cuss.
Now back to the action..
“Who said that!” goes the umpire with the ‘ump, “come on, which one of you was it. Aint starting agin till I know—”
Well, I’d thought it was Orf, but he was grinning, shaking his head in answer without even looking further round. To him I hissed, “Wasn’t me.. and if it wasn’t me.. and it wasn’t you.. ?”
He tilted his head up and my gaze followed his.. to the wicket-keeper. Keep wasn’t saying anything either. But he sure was prime with a clown Caroli mime. High on his toes, lips pouted to an Oooo!, eyes round and wide, sleeved arms thrust forward and gloved hands parallel in the ultimate gesture offering the culprit’s head directly in front of him as on a platter..
“You!” Upright spat at Front Foot. “You, you of all people! Well, I’ll tell you this, NOT ON MY WATCH! So foul, I don’t care who you are, what you’ve done, there will be no foul language when I am at the crease. No, I know I’m not at the crease right now—don’t you dare answer me back.. You hear!”
As he went on to demand an apology, Front Foot spinning away on the balls of his feet, flailing his bat in the air rather than face up to the shame his longheld loathing of close-in fielder set ups had wrought, the fielder explained grimly: “Plan B, John. Kinda like what you tole Brad, FF focussed. Keep’s right, too, batsmen don’t break golden rules like don’t upset umpires, not when that means he’s next for the finger he could do without. So, okay, I’m ON and you cover off.”
Joking o’ course, I told myself, and turned to walk on back past Mr. Upright and commence play.
I bowled my very first ball in my very first game for the Sox. Ess em ON was in place, a little too close(silly) for my liking though mustard keen for plan B to pay out. Keep, too, was stealthily up to the wicket figuring a slower ball to trap FF into a patsy the product of which was only down to me—the one that could see. Deliver.
The ball flew in line and length for the very spot mine eye had affixed its trajectory to pitch. Just a little short of FF’s ankle and exactly where I knew his leg action would prevent his seeing it. Contact being more luck than judgement. And, hopefully for us, no luck and bad judgement mustering at the end of a high and seemingly fiercesome batswing.
A good glancer would have had no problem, giving himself room with deft footwork to make the stroke. Suffice to say FF made a shot all right, though nought to be proud of. Utterly mistiming his point of intended despatch and, panic-striken I daresay at finding the ball rising as he pushed his bat out further than was riskfree [ IMHO lifting or removing it from a strike would have been the way to go even though that could have been tough on his groin 😉 ] gave a handle thwack to the leather.
The ball moved too quickly for a dolly catch, but it was in the air and rising as ess em ON literally sprang into all’s fair in loathing vs flair. Whose arms shot up and both feet leapt from the ground in a block or cover at all costs movement. The ball disappeared for a moment, I and other fielders catching our breath at the spectacle.
And then, just as suddenly, popped out headed for the off-side.
Well did I pump thigh to get down the pitch for a rebound catch! Whether at the sight of me or not Front Foot had had presence of mind to set off on a run. Oblivious to this distraction, however, I locked my eyes on the ball’s progress. Metres short at its zenith there was just no time to wonder how it had elevated so much. Falling fast all options closed out and I made one almighty dive forward. Eyes locked on, an arm out full stretch and I’m flying for an instant of open-handedness. Then plumbb! I see it, feel it, wrap my fingers to hold it just off the ground. Decidedly. Mind telling of catch to claim. As one does with a roll and adrenaline-pumped jump upwards to find the umpire’s finger and fling the ball aloft in triumph.
Though not I. And not then. For landing at the end of my dive knocked the breath right out of my chest and I passed to black for an instant. Next I knew rough hands grabbed my shoulders, propped me up, Keep calling first to me then others. “You okay. Ya gottim, boy, ya gottim. Hey guys, this one’s back from the angels. An’ guess what, he’s still gotta the ball..!”
This one? I thought, blinking around. On the other side of the track I could see umpire white coats around our late great player, laid out cold on the grass. I got up and stumbled over, pushing to the front of a ring of players, uniformed ambulance people on their knees busy with sponges and salts. When he came to, mumbling, grumbling, a collective sigh went up from all of us. Then I got word from them what had happened…
“Took it full on.. the face.. not the face, the er, the head, the temple. Got a hand to it I’m sure he did. Bruises ull tellus won’t they. Gee, his last game—what a way to.. to bow out. Bloody knockout! Fool.. if ever there was a K.O. position.. yeah, the silly in silly mid-on..”
Strangely, there was no humor among them, not even for relief when he was conscious, standing and able to walk off the field. Retired hurt, as they said. Bradlow asserting himself to them: “C’mon guys, let’s finish this. Howse about a six wicket win. Hah, you up for that.”
They were up for exactly that. Visiting their colleague admitted to hospital for overnight observation – by afternoon tea. By the time I-the-rookie nonetheless had gotten to his bedside he was looking tired, the bump on his head freshly cold-compressed by a nurse just about keeping him awake. “Hi,” I said, ” how’s my hero?”
He mustered strength at my question to open one eye large and, in the manner of classic Clint Eastwood – Mr Cool – to Richard Burton in their co-starring Eagles movie challenged, “Fart, huh?”
“I’m sorry about that,” I started at which he cut me off.
“I’m not. I’m okay.. I’ll get over it. Nobody tells Sox to pith off. Nobody. By the way, I’m sorry no one mentioned plan B to you.”
“Wouldn’t have worked if you did,” I replied matter-of-factly, refraining from comment of how they had used me (played me) in making the fuss. And, having heard a decided lisp, choosing not to ask about it.
“Making it work, that’s what it’s all about isn’t it. Thanks for that. John. Yep, when I get outta here that’s exactly what I’ll be doing.. if they’ll have me.”
The Georges Board would have him. As you all know. Strangely, I was to think for some time, though he never once mentioned the play described above to anyone. Why being the lisp legacy and how he could not utter the cuss like others. And because he did not, I did not.
In all the years since I rate his loyalty to you, members everywhere, and the Club, alongside mine to him and now his memory as Pith a triumph.
At this point I was about to wrap and stepped back a pace from the lectern. A call from the floor rang out: “Monsieur, le coup, Coup de Crux?”
“Oh yes, of course, I almost forgot. Thank you for reminding me. Let me see, in the short time remaining.. paraphrasing Maupassant: What Value Triumph Unshared?
Among the more glorious curious remarks I would say. In my own case mind-turning. Pith, to me, was gone: the price he paid ought not linger. On. Alone.
Whence applause began .. compliments.. they — blessed to say .. getting it straightaway. And coming in behind.
Sunday’s or Monday’s Worldwatch had John (Greer?) present a remarkably good take on counterfeit drugs. In particular, the value of pointing out how suppliers of anti-malarials to clinical patients were adding minute amounts of active substances in order to get around sound regulatory controls. Such small amounts make for bug resistance rather than effective dosages. Excellent illustration of why counterfeiting is an issue in let’s say large asian markets. That said, I sense that such an example serves those markets well in respect of curtailing the practices. And not as a leverage to global (viz all countries) solutions.
Speaking for NZOG(Oil & Gas) a Mr. Roberts addressed listeners to Jim Mora’s Panel the other day. Wondrously about “petroleum” a singular source to so much economic and wealth-making activity throughout the world. One accepts his need to promote kiwi-centered exploration. He would after all self-rate himself a performance executive. But language like “gasoline” is the future of emerging economies – (India, China mentioned) and for pharmaceuticals, plastics etc – is more a disservice to reality curves and future yields than any enthusiasm for markets would warrant. Thus, and without wishing to be unduly critical of the fellow, I’d contribute to the “NZ Conversation” the latest BP Report per year 2030 – [ not so very far off!! ] which tells of gasoline-powered vehicles passé at and from thereafter. Biopharmaceutical will also have supplanted patent medicines in the supplyside markets that Big Pharma hath engineered for themselves. Bio (degradeable Plastics likewise.
Speaking to Minister Bill-the-English I would ask in light of incomes and financial projections whether PROPITIOUS or PROPITIATE constitute a sensible balance he and his government ought now strike in the manifest interest of the nation in its global context. Is all or nothing the struck deal? How about one – the looksee leader – and/or several such..?
InfoPo$ — For good folks to be aware of and check out …