Woodrow Wilson: Former US President [Quote from 1913]

“Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the US, in the field of commerce and manufacturing, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.”

President Wilson was referring to the world’s banking barons! In 1913 the US Federal Reserve was born at a meeting of these banking barons on Jekyll Island in Georgia.

Thank goodness things have moved on since then!!!

I couldn’t resist blogging about this because, even as we speak, the bankers are STILL not doing what they were, allegedly, instructed to do with the public money (so generously given to them by our political representatives) to [1] save the global banking system from collapse [2] minimise the possibility of recession &/or [3] impact of recession upon the populous.

Just to add insult to injury we also have politicians moaning about having to repay the money that they….STOLE from the public purse!!!

Now I know I run the risk of outing myself (again) as a conspiracy theorist but when will our politicians realise that WE KNOW that they and our most senior bankers are two sides of the same coin? No wonder FSA are only effective at the levels at which they can actually regulate.

The only victims of wrong-doing on such a scale are those, considered by “the powers that be” to be expendable, have outlived their usefulness or that run the risk of causing further embarrassment. Apparently this is presenting a problem because there just aren’t enough ministerial, civil service or banking jobs to go around so WE all need to get on and make the best of it.

But before you do why not have some fun with the following table and please feel free to send me any additions or comments. I would like to know into which column each of our “villains” should go and if you felt the action taken was appropriate:

Attorney General      
Speaker of the House of Commons      
Construction companies      
Flavio Briatore/Renault      
BAE Systems

Please feel free to amuse yourself by printing off this piece and cutting out the following cash prize. I wish it could be more BUT there’s a recession on at the minute

No amount of faux honesty at Party conference’s or a succession of policies or manifestos, that amount to little more than “patches”, are really going to fool anyone who knows how the financial world works.

Party political change is not what is required! The sad truth is that we trusted our political and financial leaders to do their jobs. They abused that trust. Disgraced the offices the still hold. Have failed to show any real signs of remorse. Admitted nothing and are, patently, intent on keeping their heads as low for as long as is required before they take up, in a slightly altered landscape (still essentially of their own design) to carry on where they left off.

The only way that CHANGE will take place is if people that care keep on looking for ways to work together to bring it about. There is certainly sufficient will and from the conversations that it spawns can come the means.

I would love to hear some ideas on the subject.

How relevant is price if you don’t get value?

The following question was raised by Gordon Mowat BA CA, Managing Director at Aspire Management Services Ltd, in a LinkedIn discussion forum:

"Are we recognising the need for change?"

Gordon drew it to my attention as he knows that the need for and nature of business change is a subject dear to my heart.

One of the usual obstacles to meaningful discussion on the subject is the belief that price is still king even though there is mounting evidence that, AT LAST, the difference between price and value is being recognised.

It sounds to me like every discussion along these lines comes back to the threat of losing out to competitors on price. In which case the "answer" is not so much about "sharpening the axe" and more about reinventing the wheel.

No-one can deny that price will always figure, prominently, in the decision-making process but the argument can’t stop there. If it did some of the best known global brands (Rolex) would not exist.

Rampant consumerism + credit = growth (unsustainable growth)
Ever more sophisticated marketing fuelled our demand for goods and services that was funded by increased wealth &/or freely available credit. As a result we became a greedy, wasteful, "disposable" society.

The values and wisdom that was passed to "Baby Boomers" by their parents was corrupted.

Replacements or alternatives were keenly priced and freely available.

Television and advertising gave us new "values" e.g. "greed is good" (more than just a line from a movie)

But technology has advanced apace, the cost of manufacturing has fallen and customer appetite insatiable so why has reliability not improved?

Much has happened in recent times to illustrate the folly of this course.

Customers could/should have obtained value but highly geared models (financiers & shareholders) were more demanding than customers.

The business models of the last 20 years required quantity. Quality became an unnecessary expense. Supply chain, product and service integrity were compromised to satisfy individual and corporate greed. Profit, return and bonus came first…well ahead of customer needs. Advertising myths have been exposed.

Customers need to be more discerning because of the economy. We all need to ensure we obtain value. We can no longer be so wasteful because of the economic, environmental, social & cultural impact.

Here’s the anomaly: Apparently customers can’t afford and don’t want to pay more. In truth many need to pay less but if businesses can’t afford to charge less how do we secure the new income we need and retain existing customers!? By ensuring that businesses, whose first responsibility is and always has been to their customers, demonstrate that to their customers by increasing the value that they receive.

Competitors who continue with the old model will resist the changes that are required to restore customer trust. They need to continue as they have. Their reliance upon excessive and unsustainable earning levels, that have enabled them to grow, consolidate, dominate and have been their great "strength" is now their biggest weakness.

They are exposed and cannot afford to embrace the transparency that their customers require of them. This presents an insurmountable problem for those involved, in particular, in regulated industries.

Sent from my HTC

Psst…wanna buy a watch!?

Firstly, let’s play “spot the difference”

Rolex GMT Master II             Rolex GMT Master II

What…you didn’t spot it!?

So you aren’t an expert but, maybe, you would know if you could hold them or conduct a more detailed examination. Read more of this post