Friday, March 24, 2017

Safari life of corporate finance and M&A!

Having just got back from a safari and seen these animals up close in their own environment, this artical made a good read especially as it features Paul Polman and true 21st century leader:

https://www.ft.com/content/ff99754a-fa91-11e6-9516-2d969e0d3b65

And as cute and cuddly as it is the true picture is that if you are living on investors money you have to be very careful with it, which makes change tricky but in the long term if you under promise and over deliver and not the other way round you might just lead real change.

The other side of this is that those not dependent on others money, is the small business and community business owner and worker, then being able to survive the nonsense of the big boys is even more of a challenge. A bit like observing the impala's and especially the dung beetles on safari, they deliver so much into the every recycling economy.

These animal in the game reserves live and act with such dignity, the ecosystem works because of them and inspite of us!

Countries telling the EU: Central command and control truth flowing out at last.

https://www.ft.com/content/b7018d6c-0fc8-11e7-b030-768954394623


Any decent business mind and people who care about community know that if only they had been smart enough to say what everyone knew 5 years ago, It should have read:

  "The longstanding ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an interview that the EU needed flexibility ..... to avoid the transfer of more powers from national capitals to Brussels. In an interview ..... Mr Schäuble denied that he was disappointed with the fading of European federalist ideas, which the 74-year-old has espoused for decades and are enshrined in the EU’s commitment to “ever closer union” adopted in 1983." instead of adding the padding above as per the "....." deletions!

 Then they would have been able to avoid the further padding (see article for the padding instead) of "....." today:

 " In all or in most European states there are no broad majorities to give additional shares of national sovereignty to Brussels. “So we have to improve . . . our intergovernmental methods......." 

Small is beautiful, heavy weights at the centre of anything is a disaster for all, good business people and communities knows that too well!

Gibralter and Scotland

Another angle to watch:

https://www.ft.com/content/46f93a3e-0eeb-11e7-b030-768954394623

Both in terms of original voter intentions as well as longer term outcomes and alignments.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Italy and the EU!

Nothing new here!

https://www.ft.com/content/91443ffe-028d-11e7-ace0-1ce02ef0def9

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

revisit in 2027

I will put a note in the diary to re read this and take a careful look at London, Paris and Frankfurt and the rest.

https://www.ft.com/content/fc39820c-05a2-11e7-ace0-1ce02ef0def9


" The big players
Frankfurt
Pro: Could benefit from banks choosing to be close to the ECB
Con: Lacks the flair of Paris

Paris
Pro: Much the most aggressive campaign, offers cultural attractions
Con: May struggle with France’s reputation for hostility towards finance

Dublin
Pro: Similar legal system to UK, also shares language and timezone
Con: Lack of infrastructure and regulatory capacity     "

UK productivity - margin or jobs!!??

Interesting take on the on going confusion of UK productivity!

https://www.ft.com/content/7bbc54f0-0d96-11e7-a88c-50ba212dce4d

By this measure any business having to tighten its belt due to austerity, cuts and consumers holding back ie price pressures from supply:demand, means that without cutting headcount then productivity falls, to me thats a good thing, we need our staff and are prepared to pay the price to keep jobs!!


Monday, March 20, 2017

EU and the Euro - plenty of idea's very little action!


https://www.ft.com/content/d536a26c-0a3d-11e7-97d1-5e720a26771b


“Full-blown monetary union demands full-blown political union — I’m not sure that’s realistic,” Mr Van Overtveldt says. “But we can make a valuable positive contribution by developing a second-best solution, and we can do that better than we have done so far.”



Steam rolling and or sweeping things under the carpet looked like the tactics of the past, allowing everyone to be lured in and implicated in a process they thought would never need a reverse gear.
Tragic and dangerous if not resolved soon!

It was often said that the Euro would be a political trap that could even lead to war if it wrecks one or two of the key economies in the EU without the people being able to control it!

Brexit deal not an issue


A sensible Brexit deal is more probable than you think

The EU should not seek to earn a quick buck, nor the UK to dodge direct costs

https://www.ft.com/content/5b7690ce-0b08-11e7-ac5a-903b21361b43

"Every political process is prone to accidents. But I am really struggling to identify a single insurmountable obstacle to a deal. My advice, especially for angry Remain supporters, is to take a deep breath, accept that Brexit will happen and focus on how to reconnect with the EU after Brexit. There is much to play for."

Friday, March 17, 2017

To GDP or not to GDP, that is the question.

Interesting piece related to a new book of course, well why not, world always needs another book to two!

https://www.ft.com/content/a9c7b6d8-08cc-11e7-ac5a-903b21361b43

"For Greenspan, the point was that one must not confuse GDP with welfare, something that has increasingly occurred. But for sceptics such as Lorenzo Fioramonti, a professor of political economy at the University of Pretoria, this kind of mild criticism only scratches the surface. In The World After GDP, he argues that the measure is not only a distorted mirror in which to view our increasingly complex economies, but also an impediment to building better societies."

Not forgetting the famous Robert Kennedy speech which you can search for on my blog from a previous post!

It is said that Einstein kept a sign in his office that read, "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."

Anywhere and Somewhere world views!

I come at this from a different angle but I understand the points he makes.

https://www.ft.com/content/39a0867a-0974-11e7-ac5a-903b21361b43

I like the idea about how many octaves up and down does your politics allow you to hear!

Thursday, March 02, 2017

EU waking up to common sense


Too late for Junker, too late for ordinary people, but better late than never!

https://www.ft.com/content/630c5b6c-fe87-11e6-96f8-3700c5664d30

You just wonder at how these echo chambers work, how they design their narrative to fit their world view:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NU9qlW2ZZ_Y Hardtalk!

FUD!!

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Women and girls in science, for the developed and developing world

Some useful resources on gender equality and gender opportunity as well as the importance of women and girls in STEM - science, tech, eng and math.

https://news.microsoft.com/europe/features/dont-european-girls-like-science-technology/#sm.0001z0r0meu2je7pyrv1th5zzegqz#Re0DH4akXdPBjxWI.97

http://stemettes.org/

http://www.un.org/en/events/women-and-girls-in-science-day/index.shtml

#MDG3 #SDG5

Paul Polman - sustainability is everything

He does a good job leading the pack, wonder if the pack are after him, as Ive blogged before he's the one to watch IMHO

https://www.ft.com/content/e7293e0e-fddf-11e6-8d8e-a5e3738f9ae4


Nothings new under the sun!

Times now, times past!

Can you put a date and a name to this quote: 

"........... "We can succeed only by concert. It is not 'can any of us imagine better?' but, 'can we all do better?' The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, act anew."........... "

https://www.facebook.com/notes/mark-zuckerberg/building-global-community/10154544292806634

The nepotism and narcissism is what makes us and breaks us yet again:

https://www.ft.com/content/234ebf52-e351-11e6-8405-9e5580d6e5fb

https://www.ft.com/content/3316daa2-fd44-11e6-96f8-3700c5664d30

#Truth #FakeNews #SocialMedia #2017

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Fly me to the moon and soon! SpaceX Feb2017

Elon Musk and SpaceX just pushing the bar all the time and at surprising speed!

http://www.spacex.com/news/2017/02/27/spacex-send-privately-crewed-dragon-spacecraft-beyond-moon-next-year

Tesla and his solar business not to mention hyperloop just keeps me wondering how far he can go and how he didges any of the obvious bullets that futurologist and ultrpreneurs face!

Marks in the sand of time. 2016, 2017 Europe, the UK and EU

This is a good reference point to revisit every decade on the road to 2050:

Speech:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU0NfH1B-sk

and white paper:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-governments-negotiating-objectives-for-exiting-the-eu-pm-speech

#brexit

Monday, February 27, 2017

Tides turn - Futures beyond Brexit

The IOD tried to position themselves as neutral remianers but along with the CBI and FSB the tide of pragmatically minded business people is moving

https://www.ft.com/content/c5c22110-fab3-11e6-bd4e-68d53499ed71

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Obama fuels Trump as Zizek is now saying

Lessons for all:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8TwRmX6zs4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ9vf9mRyq8

I remember at the time finding it funny but thinking it would get under the skin of Trump and any future fans. In hind sight this can be seen as an inflection point and call to action with all the audience and the president enjoying themselves.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Nasa new exoplanets and new solar system - TRAPPIST-1

Awesome news today! #TRAPPIST-1

"A 2nd earth not an IF but a WHEN!"!! The Spitzer was worth every penny https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spitzer_Space_Telescope My first 11 years of career was with Perkin Elmer who built the lens/refractor/mirror for the Hubble sapce telescope https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubble_Space_Telescope Spitzers predecessor. In spit of its early hiccups it too proved to be worth every penny or cent!

This is a mind expanding moment in history for sure, shame its a little further away than we humans could reach with current technology but the with the von neuman machine and solar wind satellites we can get teh kit there and start instructing the 3d printing technology there to build the colony for when we arrive.

Its why we need to understand the AI singularity as human populations on earth will reach a steady state by 2050 and manage the carrying capacity of earth but the number of humans over hundreds of generation witll probably reach 100's of billions across the universe, say by 3030. So anything we can do today to help 100's of millions here today ie eradicate polio with small pox, understand aging and all human health conditions will actually help hundreds of billions of people in future. Like edward jenner today, they will be thanking us for thinking of others and planning for their improved lives!

Each step is already out there> https://vimeo.com/185336500 then https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/apr/12/stephen-hawking-and-yuri-milner-launch-100m-star-voyage then https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/centennial_challenges/3DPHab/2015winners.html book me a ticket ;-) PS Then you get to the Repugnant conclusion. Sadly Derek Parfit died last month but I saw him at oxford uni in november and his presentations on youtube are truely memorable as is Nick Bostrums current work in this whole area of the future or humanity. Everyone get thinking, get acting, dont believe, help discover! #excited

Hydrogen power

Japan and Shell giving this a push again, good for them!

https://www.ft.com/content/74970ba2-f7f7-11e6-bd4e-68d53499ed71

https://www.bloombergquint.com/markets/2017/02/20/shell-takes-one-small-step-to-fuel-toyota-s-giant-hydrogen-leap

Japan on hydrogen in general http://undiscovered-japan.ft.com/articles/driving-a-revolution/

and more from before:
http://nickhorslen.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=hydrogen

Along with Lithium and other scarce resources on earth that impact on the environment and ecology ie fossil fuel, we need the competition to continue!!

PS. Elon Musk first position SpaceX to mine helium from the moon to assist with nuclear fusion and hydrogen powered futures!

Pocket sized pattern recognition

This www.xrapid.com with this https://www.koleid.com/products/ppm

We will see this stuff advance each year for sure!

Polman and the Kraft Unilever futures

PAul Polman is doing an admirable job through his sustainable business leadership approach but in doing so could be viewd as being vulnerable to the asset strippers of the legacy leadership. This is a good read as to why he run Unilever and why he can go and tell the old boys to take a run. Mind you he needs to keep ahead of the pack for sure:

https://www.ft.com/content/d846766e-f81b-11e6-bd4e-68d53499ed71

Reference my earlier posts on Polman and his work and announcements through McKinsey, BTeam and Davos WEForum (2015, 16 and 17!). http://nickhorslen.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=polman


Monday, February 20, 2017

Blockchain the other crucial piece

This is a good simplified view on blockchain https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-everyone-should-know-blockchain-bernard-marr

Saturday, February 18, 2017

AI, CrispR and Nano

Even heard today how an AI listening to OAP homes walls can predict in advance when a fall is likely!!

https://www.ft.com/content/1bf4cdc8-f251-11e6-95ee-f14e55513608

People have only just started to imagine where AI can be most useful for people, planet and prosperity #triplebottomline

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Minimum wage in the 90's, Living wages in the 00's and a universal basic income by AI2030!

3 spins of the same coins:

https://www.cgdev.org/blog/universal-basic-income-what-would-mahatma-gandhi-do

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/musk-backs-basic-income-in-robot-future-v5mrldgxc?shareToken=7c150f68888844651762302de11849c8 Elon Musk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7O0OJ_VZJok Yanis V

Could happen, should happen!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Gates Annual letter 2017 - out today!

So much great stuff in this letter this year, especially on nutrition and women. Love this quote:

"Warren, you’ve compared your philosophy of investing to Ted Williams’s science of hitting. Williams waits for the right pitch, and you wait for the right deal. This is the right deal, Warren. Like vaccines, contraceptives are one of the greatest lifesaving innovations in history."

https://www.gatesnotes.com/2017-Annual-Letter

Artificial intelligence and machine learning; The compliment to "humans that work", their jobs, their creativity!

The doom and gloom merchants worrying about AI because of the future jobs in certain trades and profession choose not to see the massive efficiency gains and therefore huge GDP growth which with good governance will lead to more human capability.

Even human creativity short term can expand thanks to AI so as well as the saving of lives, improving the life chances and life spans and with education help reduce family size it helps get the earth's human population to a steady state, say 12 Billion around 205.

Once achieved the long term future of humans across the universe might grow exponentially as Prof Nick Bostrum says in his book "Superintelligence" but thats looking beyond a few generations and pout thousands if not millions of years.

In the short term, AI has huge potential for human creativity and Stephen who I know and Blaise who I have followed for some time say it so well here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgEzAcRrK5A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSUOdu_5MPc

https://innerventur.es/2017/02/12/the-post-robotic-ai-age-and-the-role-of-creativity-and-innovation/

AI, Nano and CrispR all bring the thinking towards a singularity

The last year has seen so much more on all these fronts each and every day beyond my past posts on AI and related topics:
http://nickhorslen.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=AI+

Demis Hassibas is still the best place to start for those exploring this anew IMHO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbsqaJwpu6A&t=27s

With the FT and Accenture putting their spin on things https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GLqwzR3bnQ

Monday, February 13, 2017

Greece and the fear of the IMF and EU standoff!

The journalist focuses on europeans but really its about the EU not the europeans!

Interesting that the FT had to close the comment thread within a few hours!

https://www.ft.com/content/87501830-ef85-11e6-930f-061b01e23655

France and Germany, the hope for the EU and Euro!

President Le Pen – small risk, big shock


https://www.ft.com/content/62233ec0-b130-3536-b84b-ffafd7960106

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Brexit sunshine

We will (wait and) see:

https://www.ft.com/content/20f287b2-eee5-11e6-ba01-119a44939bb6

Friday, February 10, 2017

Credit to Germany

Its to the great credit of Germany that so few people think about the unification of Germany in the context of many of todays challenges. For Germany to emerge from that in surplus is exemplar IMHO.

Contrast that with France and the rest of Europe and what it expects of them and the next generational shift has to be considered carefully.

I do think if Merkel wins she will hold all the cards and play them wisely for Germany, Europe and the EU. I also think she will be a key moderator in the Brexit negotiation, she knows Britain, she knows France, she knows Germany!

http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21716641-not-reasons-donald-trump-thinks-it-germanys-current-account-surplus-problem

Why the narrative has to build with the US spin wrapping, well thats journalism!

The French people will decide, probably the french way!

The EU, franco-german alliance is so important that the EU is going to have to prevent or solve the issue they have created, pop-up right wing leaders https://www.ft.com/content/06deaa20-eed8-11e6-930f-061b01e23655 The future of the EU just like pre WW1 and WW2 was always about extreme leaders in that camp. Lets see how much they care about Europe and Europeans.

GuyV on the EU history of problems and what?

40 minutes in the EU negotiator agrees Brexit is a wake up call for the EU:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvBu9BWYnqc

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Absolute and relative poverty - the debate continues!

Jason Hickel. LSE. long time challenger of the MDG, SDG, UN and World Bank progress!

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/293191457_The_true_extent_of_global_poverty_and_hunger_Questioning_the_good_news_narrative_of_the_Millennium_Development_Goals

Aubrey de Grey - living to 100 years old is more common, getting to 1000, who and when?

This would definately challenge the current sustainability models for human progress!

https://www.ft.com/content/238cc916-e935-11e6-967b-c88452263daf

Aubrey de Grey: scientist who says humans can live for 1,000 years

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Cognitive services and AI

Early days but the world is watching, literally!

Cognitive Services


Bonds new CEO Tamsyn Barton!

With a background in the field with development and also DFID and academia at Cambridge and trustee at SOAS it will be interesting to see how things proceed,

https://www.bond.org.uk/news/2017/02/tamsyn-barton-is-new-bond-chief-executive

Pretend and extend, Greece and Italy et al

The cliff that everyone talks about for the UK Brexit seems like little more than a curb when both sides of the long running EU IMF debacle continues.

It will be interesting to see if this gets resolved pre or post Brexit or if it is allowed to explode at a timely point in relation to Brexit.

I hope for the Greeks but also EU and UK that it all gets sorted ok after years of posts way back!

https://www.ft.com/content/6a05f1ee-ed52-11e6-930f-061b01e23655

with the EU and IMF difference shown here:

https://www.ft.com/content/63d8b354-ed5e-11e6-930f-061b01e23655

With the side note from Draghi and Carney:

https://www.ft.com/content/e04582b0-ed67-11e6-ba01-119a44939bb6

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Debt, deficit and GDP

Would like to have captured this in 2000 and 2010 must do it in 2020

http://www.debtclocks.eu/public-debt-and-budget-deficit-of-the-united-kingdom.html

Its intertesting to see France and Belgium but also Greece against places like Romania:

http://www.debtclocks.eu/public-debt-and-budget-deficits-comparison-of-the-eu-member-states.html

Monday, February 06, 2017

AI GDP growth

More analysis from Accenture this time on how GDP and human performance and social progress can continue:

http://paidpost.ft.com/accenture/

video worth a watch, with sound off!

Correlation or causation in post brexit referendum data and analysis

More data and analysis of remain and leave by different criteria, useful reading!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38762034

From Scott Adams to Steve Jobs and Kierkegaard: the Trump-eting continues!

Interesting:

"Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, the cartoon office drone, endorsed Mr Trump for president. He thinks he is authentic — “He is always full-Trump and never anything else”, he wrote in 2015. But he sees him more as a great persuader. Similarly, Charles Spinosa, a philosopher-turned-consultant who once taught Kierkegaard and Heidegger’s ideas on authenticity, believes President Trump is an authentic leader who, as Steve Jobs did at Apple, can reinvigorate the organisation he commands. Such people “see something others do not see”, he says."

https://www.ft.com/content/f168807e-e8a8-11e6-893c-082c54a7f539

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Evan Spiegel and Snap IPO


https://www.ft.com/content/b962b972-ea30-11e6-893c-082c54a7f539

Snapchat, strucurally sounds very interesting or challenging, meteoric  rise but risky bet! lets see!

Friday, February 03, 2017

The Atlantic bridge, divide or conquer

An interesting piece by Monbiot, it will be interesting to see how this unfolds by 2020 and 2025

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/02/corporate-dark-money-power-atlantic-lobbyists-brexit

2017 time for some leadership with the new normal!


https://www.ft.com/content/4d0ff3d8-e928-11e6-893c-082c54a7f539

Ms Merkel herself insists it is “grotesque and absurd” to suggest she should assume the mantle of leader of the free world after Mr Trump’s shock victory. But her dominance has been underscored by turmoil within Europe itself.  "

Arbitrage of data and opinions, like the weather highs and low create wind between them some for sailing!

https://www.ft.com/content/a570cbf8-e962-11e6-893c-082c54a7f539

With their rivals distracted by the drama of US politics a small but growing number of hedge funds are increasing their exposure to one of the least fashionable markets in the world — continental Europe.

In my humble opinion everyone in business, govt, politics and change needs to experience sailing and learn some of the basics, the vectors of life and how working with and against them helps with course, direction and speed, safety and excitement!

https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-1.25,50.78,574/loc=-3.036,53.153


Thursday, February 02, 2017

Populism or bigoted - be honest you what mean!

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/13/lionel-shrivers-full-speech-i-hope-the-concept-of-cultural-appropriation-is-a-passing-fad

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWEfFSjjAhc


Tarrifs on Africa in the EU, UK and all the rest!

This is a document worth a read!

http://www.ahdb.org.uk/documents/Horizon_Brexit_Analysis_Report-Oct2016.pdf