Friday, 29 June 2012

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

very interesting indeed.. whats your conclusion? FT Alphaville » Breaching the AAA bubble, charts du jour

FT Alphaville » Breaching the AAA bubble, charts du jour:
very interesting diagrams..

suggest you click thru or even better, click through to the full report..


"Charts from the BIS 82nd Annual Report. “Sovereigns have been losing their risk-free status at an alarming rate,” the BIS says."

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Must read, & my short comments re Bank Investors Dismiss Moody’s Cuts as Years Too Late - Bloomberg

Bank Investors Dismiss Moody’s Cuts as Years Too Late - Bloomberg:

I would suggest you spend that 3 minutes to read through this piece of news...

does this spell end of influence/monopoly of all the rating agencies as an industry? answer is a simple no. there is sadly no alternative.. the comments from Bove below is straight to the point though, is that a common believe??

[‘Forget Moody’s’

“To downgrade a BofA or Citigroup or companies that are sitting on hundreds of billions of dollars of cash in government-backed securities makes no sense,” Richard Bove, an analyst at Rochdale Securities LLC, said in an interview on Bloomberg Radio and Television’s “Bloomberg Surveillance.”
“You can forget Moody’s,” Bove said. “You should have forgotten them a long time ago.”] 

"Downgrades of Morgan Stanley (MS), Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) and 13 other global banks, announced by Moody’s Investors Service after months of speculation about dire fallout, were met instead by rallies in stocks and bonds.
The cost to protect Morgan Stanley’s debt against losses dropped, and the shares rallied as much as 4.6 percent in extended trading yesterday after the ratings firm cut the bank by two levels rather than a threatened three grades. Credit- default swaps tied to Bank of America Corp., which was lowered to within two levels of junk along with Citigroup Inc. (C), also improved, along with those of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)"

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Brillaint Panel Discussion: Cyber Security Cooperation: Bringing Nations Together. Part 1 - YouTube

Panel Discussion: Cyber Security Cooperation: Bringing Nations Together. Part 1 - YouTube:

brilliant panel.. !

A discussion on cyber warfare and international cooperation as part of Kaspersky Lab's cyber conference "2012: IT Security in the Age of Cyber Warfare".
Senior figures from international government, non-government and law enforcement organizations and Kaspersky Lab discuss the new paradigm of evolving cyber threats and assess how best to control cyber weapons. 
Speakers from left to right:
- Alexander Seger, Secretary of the Cybercrime Convention Committee, Head of Data Protection and Cybercrime Division, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, France; 
- Alexander Ntoko, Head of Corporate Strategy Division, International Telecommunication Union (ITU); 
- Michael Moran, Assistant Director Cybersecurity and Crime, Interpol;
- Richard Stiennon, Chief Research Analyst, IT-Harvest and moderator of the panel discussion; 
- Eugene Kaspersky, Chief Executive Officer, Kaspersky Lab.The panelists address the following questions:
- How can cyber war be defined?
- What is the connection between cybercrime and state-backed cyber warfare?
- Which practices have proved to be effective when fighting cybercrime?
- What global strategies should be put in place by public and private organizations to accelerate collaboration and countermeasures against cyber warfare?

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Independent report by Gihan Thabrew, on Q2 E/MBA club on "PR & Comms in 21st century business", with Simon Burton, Acting Head of Corporate Affairs Camelot, 2012

Independent report by Gihan Thabrew, MEMBA09

The first part of the 2012 Q2 E/MBA Alumni Club social event was finding the fantastic location organised by the hard working Gareth Wong at the private members’ club “Eight Club Bank” (see Down the little alleys off Cornhill and knock on a black door to be let in….down three flights of stairs to the welcome drinks and a brief chance to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones. 

 Our host was Simon Burton, the Acting Head of Corporate Affairs, Camelot [EMBA97] who introduced himself as an East End boy with a comparison to Jonathan Ross and Jeremy Beadle.  Simon is an ex-journalist who joined Fishburn Hedges,  completed his MBA in 2000 and joined Camelot 18 months ago managing corporate press aspects.  

Given the evening’s subject of “Reputation Management (RM): whose business is it?” there may have been some expectation on something relating to the dangers or risks of gambling.  Quoting the lines from Othello “Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial”, Simon explained how RM is more professional now and is about making sure there is no gap between what you say and do.  There is a need to be stronger with executive leadership with RM currently focused on defence rather than an attack minded tool to convey positive messages and create value.

Social media has been helping to change the value of RM.  Sainsbury’s are a company who do RM really well, for example with selling curved cucumbers, to drive value in the organisation.  Utilities and Pharmaceuticals organisations use RM to free some of their regulatory shackles and generate growth.  Contrary to these industries, Financial Services still have a long way to go in using RM well.

Finally, Simon noted that many CEOs spend a lot of time these days on R&R – Revenue and Reputation.  The question was then posed on how many business schools teach reputation…..a scandalous zero!!  Time for a new module at Cass we think…
An interesting Q&A session followed with a variety of questions asked.  For example, how you measure reputation impact depends on who you are targeting and how you measure against your competitors.  It’s the outcomes of what the target audience does as a result of your actions. A current day poser of what JP Morgan could have done would be to pre-empt the situation through honesty – go ugly go early!  Be bold, really thorough, get a clean slate and show control as soon as possible.  Simon highlighted how corporate news is now front page news, not just on the business pages hence the importance to manage reputational situations that will allow investor confidence to follow.  The Barclays Bob Diamond affair compared deserved reward with fair rewards with the 21st century a different era now about moral dimensions and what is fair. Customers who get fairness will help organisations to prosper.


To close, Simon stated that organisations will need to be on the front foot and assertive, to show rewards are deserved… Zeitgeist wins the day!!

A big part of these quarterly events is the networking opportunity offered and many stayed on to mingle, chat and learn more about what the Cass alumni network can offer.  I’m looking forward to the Q3 event already.  Hope to see a lot more new faces there!


@GarethWong: many thanks for Simon and everyone that supports us, including Gihan & previous independent reporter.. and of course Cass' Krista & team in helping out our badges and website signup logistics and Erica for helping us to reach new graduates. ;)

+++ Mark your diary now, Q3 E/MBA club is 16th Oct (topic below, location & signup will only be revealed to qualifying fellow City/Cass MBAs, please ask Cass Alum office or contact us via )

From bad loans to good business
Restructuring solutions for banks with Non Performing Assets

Asset Quality continues to be a drag on bank’s performance. Balance Sheet deleveraging is priority for most financial institutions in Europe. Join us for an interview with Caio Gilberti and John Maloney of AlixPartners, who will discuss how banks manage non-core assets, and their practical experiences of deleveraging banks’ loan portfolios and businesses across Europe.  John and Caio will also share the findings of their recent survey on ‘Credit, real estate and non performing loans’ . 

About the speakers:
Caio Gilberti is a Managing Director with AlixPartners. He brings more than 20 years of banking and consulting experience. Caio specialises in developing and executing strategies, business turnarounds, divestitures, acquisitions  and balance sheet restructuring for financial institutions. He managed the teams for Lehman Brothers Holding International responsible for disposing the bank equity investments and trading assets across the region. He has worked with leading global financial services institutions throughout the US and Europe.

Caio earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering and economics, and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University. He has specialisation in Consumer Finance and Real Estate from Harvard Business School.

John Maloney is a Director with AlixPartners.  He has over 20 years experience of line management and strategic consulting spanning sectors including  consumer electronics, chemicals, government, financial institutions, construction and aerospace. Before joining AlixPartners, John spent over 10 years in strategic, IT and operations consulting at A.T. Kearney, KPMG and Unisys. John heads up AlixPartners Overhead Optimisation practice and has led Operational Cost Reduction, Strategy and Organisation Design engagements with companies such as BP, SAB Miller, Euroclear, and DWP.

John is an alumni of CASS Business School (EMBA 1987) as well as having a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Edinburgh University.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Must read, I totally agree! The 5 traits of radically successful people | VentureBeat

The 5 traits of radically successful people | VentureBeat:

whats more disturbing? these 5 key points or the fact that the guy wrote it is only 19years old!
suggest you click through, so glad I am doing all these!

does not mean I "made it" yet.. but hope to get there sometime soon! ;-)

1. The Audacity to Break the Rules

2. An Irrational Level of Commitment

3. A Hunger to Solve Problems

4. A Ferocious Drive to Do More

5. A Sharp Focus on Playing the People Game

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Brilliant crowfunding success story and Fantastic & original idea! MaKey MaKey: An Invention Kit for Everyone by Jay Silver — Kickstarter

MaKey MaKey: An Invention Kit for Everyone by Jay Silver — Kickstarter:

Click through and you will get more details or just watch the video..

Could the future not be programming with likes of RasberryPi but 'simplified' ways of 'programming' and offline interaction like Makey MaKey??

or is it just pure fun and that's IT!? or I am just thinking too much about it! ;-)

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

short comments & question to author re 'like for like' comparison.. David Cameron left daughter, 8, behind at a pub | The Times

David Cameron left daughter, 8, behind at a pub | The Times:

This is definitely a major story.., totally agree with Philip Webster & John Simpson..

however to be fair, we cannot use our normal people's value/logistical arrangement to 'judge' the family Cameron.. after all, no doubt he would have 10+ entourage and secret service tagging along/checking before hand/afterward..

Acid test is and hope that John & Philip's team can investigate AND ideally report back to us supportive readers:

like for likes comparison... how does the Cameron PM family fared compared to other prime ministers/presidents family across the world!?? have they lost children at one time or another?? or indeed maybe they do not travel with their families at all!??

It would be great to find out for sure..

I certainly do NOT envy their lives.. one will have to promise the world to the everyone and do the reverse once in power and have to live with it for the rest of their lives.. and now will forever be remembered for incidents like these...

my short comments re KPIs .. rather than only on users growth.. Facebook's Sharp User Growth Appears Over -

Facebook's Sharp User Growth Appears Over -

very interesting article.. but it has not touch on fact that it might need a new ways of 'measuring' success rather than users .. if it becomes a way of 'connecting' via 'facebook connect'.. and if it can find a way of 'monetising' that.. !?

Just like the mobile telecoms sector where it has been hung upon the ARPU, but maybe it should move to AMPU or average profit per users..!?


Saturday, 9 June 2012

Great to see the River Pageant is privately funded! Would you ask the Queen to wear a life jacket? Lord Salisbury, the man behind the river pageant, reveals his biggest dilemma... | Mail Online

Would you ask the Queen to wear a life jacket? Lord Salisbury, the man behind the river pageant, reveals his biggest dilemma... | Mail Online:

this is great to see.. ;-)
privately financed and not only UK public saw & get benefit of the pretty much once in a lifetime view of such spectacular!

 "The flotilla will be divided into ten sections, each headed by its own barge carrying choirs and military bands. There will be a boat carrying all the Commonwealth flags, and a vessel for every British county. While the Government was prepared to pay over £11 billion for the Olympics, Salisbury has not had a penny from the public purse, ‘which has been quite tough’. His comparatively small  £10.5 million budget has been raised from private contributions."

Sunday, 3 June 2012

my short blog: Must listen, particular interesting insights from John Griffith-Jones Chair of KPMG, &+ my comments, re BBC - Global Business, Called To Account

BBC - BBC World Service Programmes - Global Business, Called To Account:

IMHO, best straight to the points comments were from John Griffith-Jones, Chairman of KPMG.. namely: "Auditors' job is to report on historical numbers", problems was what happened next.. mistakes were on the business models & attitude to risk on macro & micro level.. he supports auditors should work on 'forward looking elements'.. to the controls & prevent future disasters..

go to 15min of the program..

I totally agree with John but sadly most of the regulators, government/select committee & press etc. are not asking the right question.. and asking for what is done regarding the controls & steps done to prevent disasters from happening..