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By Peter Neville Lewis, Nov 23 2018 03:19PM

“Corporate affairs, Financial affairs, Office affairs, Personal affairs – they are very different OR are they?

A 2017 study of whether personal ethics influence business ethics has concluded that there is a clear link between sexual misconduct and corporate malfeasance or failures in corporate behaviour.

A trawl through users of a well known US dating site for married persons found that a Regulator’s list of over 1000 financial advisers with records of serious misconduct were twice as likely to have indulged in marital infidelity. Hmmm....

Personal Data collected from the SEC between 2010 -2015 with regard to those involved in Ponzi schemes and boiler rooms found the sample to have twice to three times the propensity for misconduct as other execs with a financial background.

And, surprise surprise, when the researchers ran the stats on CEOs and CFOs the same bias appeared – sexual misconduct leads to financial and corporate infractions.

These findings are further confirmed by a 2018 study – Predators in the Boardroom: sexually predatory behaviour has a strong negative correlation with investment outcomes.

Are YOU being Screwed?

All the above stats are male dominated.

So where may you ask, do women feature in all this? Obviously nowhere near enough – in the right way - since any number of research pieces have shown that female judgement is more balanced, more risk averse and more prudent.

Their investment decisions often outperform their male counterparts.

Surely HR departments and Nomination Committees should be having a stronger say and be on the look out for these worrying male traits.

Do they in fact do enough background checking on personal behaviours?

Or is it just about performance?

Hiding behind a “boys will be boys” mantra is not only out of date it demonstrates weak moral standards which can potentially damage the interests of every stakeholder.

Don’t let personal affairs or office affairs screw (pun intended) your corporate affairs!”


Pedro the Jester


By Peter Neville Lewis, Aug 13 2018 01:59PM

NB Spoiler Warning!


This Blog may upset sensitive Remainers as the conclusions may not be as hoped for


The dark art of state sponsored propaganda is alive and well ! (Remember Joseph Goebbels and George Osborne – who?). Project Fear V2 is being promoted with all the integrity of the late lamented PR spinners, Bell Pottinger!

Shades of Tony Blair sending in the Household Cavalry and tanks to guard Heathrow against an “imminent” Al Qaeda attack ??


Sterling collapse, food shortages, restricted flights, passport controls, City deserted etc etc

And of course THAT word – Crash! (out of the EU). As if we are all going to have the mother and father of a M-way pile up or stumble drunkenly into a lamppost.


Suppose we just talked sensibly about renegotiating our trading terms with the EU and like the US, China, Brazil, India etc do our global trade under WTO auspices - eh?

But the spectre of a fallen economy , whipped up by august bodies like the BBC and FT now stalks our streets. And let’s not forget The Guv’nor, Mad Mark and his bunch of heavies who has done his level best to talk down the real strengths of our country.

Luckily it hasn’t prevented the FTSE 100 breaking new records.


Or perhaps it is the final desperate ploy by Mrs Maybe /Maybenot and her faithful apparatchik, Ollie-I’m-in-charge-Robbins (spawned from the same dirigiste/centralising clone as Nick Timothy - he who wanted to take a charge on our homes to pay for old age care- remember)??


We also have a smart arse elite who believe that Brexit must be overturned as the proles who voted for it were too stupid to understand the finer points. They got Nigel though didn’t they!

We are told daily that Bankers will be relocating from London in droves but the latest figures from the City estimate the number to be around 5000 net. Hmmmm.....


Meanwhile ....

Apple has taken 500, 000 sq ft in Battersea Power Station

• Google is building a new Babylon at Kings X

• Facebook is creating its biggest engineering facility (270,00sq ft) outside the US – also in KX

• Amazon tops the lot with a 600,00 sq ft development.

• And the much maligned “yellow peril” are also joining the party with Alibaba and Tencent planning major expansion in London.

• These are some of the largest most successful and fastest growing companies on the planet and they all want to be UK centric!

• And despite the moanings of unenlightened City types Michael Bloomberg, who could probably buy up half of them and have change to spare, has just built a super Euro HQ (1M sq ft) between St Pauls and the Bof E. Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Dublin eat your hearts out!


Who do YOU believe – Mega Mike or Mad Mark?


Our main problem is wishy washy politicians deluding themselves that Europe will cut a deal – more chance of persuading the Ayatollah to shake hands with the Pope.

On March 29, 2019 Mr J-C Druncker and Mr M Barnstormier are going to realise that they have led the other 27 down a twisting road which may have some nasty hidden potholes.

Welcome to Junckerland!


By the way Jersey and the Isle of Man enjoy special status with their unique relationship with the EU in terms of free trade. How come you ask? (Read Protocol 3 of the 1972 Accession Treaty). So...why not a similar deal for the UK?


Parce que les Francais have bitter memories going back nearly deux centuries and the Bosch would really be in the scheiss if they had to trade on proper currency terms.

Vive le status quo! Brussels uber alles!


Fact is we dominate Europe in most brain intensive organisations including academia. They can’t touch Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial , LSE etc

The Jester says bugger Barnier and his sycophantic eurocrats! Let’s just get on with what we do better than that lot and prosper from being the information, banking, education, legal , consulting medical and arts leaders in Europe.

English is also the lingua franca (work that one out?) of world commerce

And if the EU doesn’t want to go along with us then that’s more for us longer term. Yeh!


Dur fromage, harte kase, duro formaggio – aka HARD CHEESE (preferably Cheddar!)

Oh - and no more turd polishing please by the appeasers in number 10.


Pedro the Jester


NB the above was inspired by a similar Blog by Michael Morland - thanks!




By Peter Neville Lewis, Jun 19 2018 08:54AM

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.....it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.


Charles Dickens’ opening lines from A Tale of Two Cities (1859) have a familiar (and ominous?) ring about them today. The Age of Enlightenment had triggered the French and American Revolutions and in England the Great Reform Bill of 1832. 1848 saw further upheavals across Europe as individual states sought national identities. The Industrial Revolution and scientific advances were changing the nature of economies away from a land based agrarian model. But the dark side of all this was Blake’s ”satanic mills”, appalling conditions for the poor in the new fast growing cities, child labour exploitation and the excesses of imperial expansion. And yet we still applaud the Victorians for their boldness, imagination and discipline as they re-invented the post 18th century model.


Today we have similar trends as the internet, social media, e-commerce, AI and global travel etc dis-intermediate the status quo – the best of times (for the winners) and the worst of times (for the losers). Wealth has been created on an unimaginable scale. The “haves”, the elite, the winners prosper but look around and the seeds of social disintegration are sprouting. Cyber attacks, abuse of private data, fundamentalism (to the right as well as the left), human trafficking, the refugee crisis, falling levels of trust etc etc.


Despite our technical advances, the best of times are being slowly swamped by what could turn out to be the very worst of times.The signs are there for all to see that the fabric of society has started to fray and in some places rot. Humankind cannot bear too much reality wrote another literary great, T S Eliot. Perhaps that is why we are getting so much fake news?


What has happened to moral progress though? Or religious and family values? How can humans regain their humanity, decency and respect? We desperately need some world leaders who can lead us to a better place – but do we have them?


Let us all hope that some great men and women (perhaps the key lies here?) emerge soon or Dickens’ winter of despair may start to take its toll.


Pedro the Jester




By Peter Neville Lewis, Apr 10 2018 08:17AM

Q: When is a PC not PC?


A: When he is a member of a male voice choir apparently!


The Derbyshire Constabulary Male Voice Choir has been told by the area Chief Constable that it must now accept WOMEN members or be disowned!!


YES – do read this again in case you didn’t get it first time round. Confused?


Hang on – there is a difference between the male and female voice or have I misunderstood all the operas I have attended over the years?


Maybe a good old fashioned bass singing Madame Butterfly is what I have been missing. And I never saw Maria Callas as Boris Godunov, intriguing as it might have been!


Oh dear...the world is tipping on its head and the history of creation and humanity is now being subsumed by gender neutrality.


So I suppose that’s the end for Gareth Malone’s Military Wives. Unless under our new legislation (same sex marriage constituting a new form of husband and wife) you could sneak in a male wife or two? Now, there’s a thought....


Crikey, how silly can you get?


On a more serious note look at what is happening in Norway, generally seen as the most gender equal nation in the world. Yet despite female quotas in business Norway does not rank high in the global league table.

Top is Latvia with 46% women managers and second is the US (you read this right!) with 43%.

Norway? Only 32%. Mmmm....

Denmark (with one of the largest welfare states in the world) comes in on 28%.


So forcing or legislating the PC model (in whatever form it may take) doesn’t seem to work quite as hoped for or intended.


Be careful what you wish for! Or we may have to ask Verdi to rewrite some of his most famous choruses.


Plod on!


Pedro the Jester


By Peter Neville Lewis, Mar 12 2018 02:34PM

“Disgraceful” is how Nicky Morgan describes the behaviour of RBS’s Global Restructuring Group which has bought shame to its perpetrators.

The Jester would go further! – helping yourself unethically to client assets is reprehensible and those responsible should pay the full penalty. Hopefully those responsible at RBS at the highest level will cop it!


Where though are (Sir - no more) Fred Goodwin, arch villain and cultural architect of the piece in his dash for growth and profit at all costs OR the weak Stephen Hester who never got to grips with RBS’s fundamental cultural issues before being moved on?

Are either of these two banking robber barons likely to carry the can?

No way!


Stuart Gulliver also moves on soon, leaving HSBC to cough up another $1.5 billion for misdemeanours around money laundering about which senior management claimed to know nothing.

Lloyds is still funding the PPI gravy train and Barclays is threatened with losing its licence over the Qatari loans (in both directions), apart from issues with their CEO over his own behaviour in seeking to “out” a whistleblower against the accepted code of conduct.


Sadly it’s all part of a never ending circular saga - big bank screws over its clients, breaks the rules, gets dinged by the regulators and crime agencies, admits failings, fires insignificant middle managers, accepts large fine and then continues its devious way to commit the next client frauds.


If the Jester had his way these dodgy dealers would be put in the stocks, to be pelted with rotten fruit outside the Bank of England, before locking up some of these reckless miscreants and banning the others from doing business in the City for a lengthy period. The ancient Greeks had a word (and a penalty) for those convicted of corrupt practices – Ostracisation. We should re-introduce this practice!


The financial and economic damage done by the big UK banks is colossal but so far nobody has been called to account.

Why are the Regulators and the SFO so pusillanimous? Who is protecting who?


Stop Press: A former Deutsche Bank trader named as a conspirator during the LIBOR rigging trial has reached a settlement with the City watchdog to close its investigation into him!

RBS Boss McEwan blames Goodwin culture for continuing fines - another $500M last week (see Evening Standard) Hmmm!



Disgraceful Nicky? That’s too kind - more like disgusting and it’s an outrage on civil society that has gone on too long.

Capitalism deserves better!

Banking provides the economic fuel for growth but if the bankers don’t clean up their act Corbyn’s cry that they are “suffocating the real economy” will only reach more receptive and already prejudiced ears.


Time is running out....the country cannot afford another banking catastrophe!


Pedro the Jester

Corporate-jester-1

Why The Corporate Jester?

 

Because there is always a need to “call it out”, point out the emperor’s clothes may not be quite so fancy as he thinks (or others are telling him) and boldly say what others dare not!

 

The role of court jester was well known centuries ago and they had the licence to attack pomposity or stupidity in their betters without fear of retribution. (Well nearly!) Many of Shakespeare’s plays have a fool who is the commentator on human foibles – the most famous probably being in King Lear, the architect of his own downfall through his wilfulness.  Familiar?

 

May not an ass know when the cart draws the horse?  (Fool – King Lear, Act 1 scene 4)