The Daily Paradox

The Emperor’s New Clothes

Thought-provoking fun doesn’t get any better than Wild Rice’s production of The Emperor’s New Clothes. As Impresario Ivan Heng said ‘it makes you just a little uncomfortable, doesn’t it?’ Yes, but it also made us laugh till the tears ran down our cheeks and gasp with admiration for the incredible amount of work, skill and…
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Terrorism and War

Nobody likes to hear the words ‘declared war’ however provocative the cause. The escalation of rows, especially those involving violence, leads inexorably to greater violence and a deteriorating chance of improving the situation. Punches and guns are sometimes needed but they resolve little more than who has the bigger bulk or the greater cash. So…
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Looking over your shoulder

“I sense a lot of nervousness, even from those who have secure jobs that pay well.” So said John Mauldin in his Thoughts from the Frontline on 14th November. “You can say that again,” we echoed. This uncertainty extends beyond the normal fear of bullying bosses. It embraces worries about companies’ performances (Volkswagen, Tesco, Rolls…
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Paths To A Better Climate

The following piece was written before the horrific attacks on Paris on 13th November. We offer our deepest sympathy to those whose lives have been disrupted by these senseless and cruel actions. We offer our support and thoughts to the French people at this sad time. I assume the December Climate Meeting in Paris will…
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The Regulators’ Aspirations and Aggravations

‘Regulate’ is the cry of the day, especially by those who know little of the practicalities of business. When the 2007/8 crisis erupted and brought us close to some kind of financial Armageddon everyone turned to the Regulators – first to blame and then to put it right. The Regulators got busy with pen and…
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Drilling down

The popular saying ‘to drill down’ expresses a need we all feel from time to time. Whether problem or opportunity we want to know what is the real issue. For most of us our thought processes were developed to seek only answers, the faster the better. Questions – we were brought up to believe –…
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What privacy do we deserve?

Now that many companies and the social media know practically all there is to know about us we need to think about what – if any – privacy we want to retain. In the past our most intimate details were known mainly to our parents, spouses, professional advisers (lawyers, doctors, bankers) and our clergy. Today…
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The Tesco Syndrome

Tesco, the tiger of the UK retailing world for the last half of the 20th century, is in trouble. From leader of the wolf pack it has fallen to follower, possibly terminally sick follower, lagging behind new developments. But I remember Jack Cohen saying ‘Pile it high and sell it cheap’. Odd that Tesco is…
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Surviving transition

At one point in my career I was put into a job I couldn’t do. It was ambitious of my employer to promote me, a great opportunity for me to take a real step up and something I wanted to do. My acceptance of the job should have been conditional upon my receiving the necessary…
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“Scrap Cash” says BoE Chief Economist

At first I thought Mr Haldane was a man after my own heart. For some time now I have been saying that money / cash as we know it will disappear as a means of transaction fairly soon. But Mr Haldane is a bit more radical than that. He wants to punish savers good and proper. Holding cash – then you pay for doing so. Haldane’s really devoted to negative interest. ‘Make ‘em put their money where the cash till is.’ That’s how he sees the future world.