Monday, March 25, 2013

Why Do People Join a Trade Union?

If you've heard a lot about Trade Unions in the media, perhaps due to the threat of job losses, or unfair or inappropriate working conditions, then perhaps you might consider joining a Trade Union.

Here are 5 reasons why people join a trade union


1. Larger Voice

Why Do People Join a Trade Union?

If one employee person complains about an issue, such as working conditions, then management may not listen, but if several do, through a Trade Union, they are much more likely to be heard.

Employees working for similar companies or in similar sectors can make themselves heard using the power of a Trade Union too. In retail, or manufacturing where there are often threats of closures, or other changes, belonging to a Trade Union can prove to be effective.

2. Issues That Affect You

Trade Unions campaign on behalf of their members, on a range of issues, which can be local, sector wide, or nationwide. Perhaps you are affected by a factory closing, or a company you supply to is moving its operations abroad. Maybe your region depends on a specific sector, such as farming, or manufacturing, and these areas are affected by the current economic climate. You could be affected by new laws, or by companies that are changing their emphasis. There are a lot of issues that could affect you, and your family, and being a member of a Trade Union could help you.

3. Workers' Rights

Workers' Rights are important for each an every employee. People cannot be discriminated against for their race, age, religion, colour, nationality, sexuality, gender, or for any other reason. Ensuring that all employees are treated fairly and equally is essential.

4. Campaigns

Trade Unions campaign against injustices in the workplace, or to promote a specific issue, such as for workers in a particular sector, or for a particular sector as a whole. Local issues could be brought about by the closure or opening of a factory, meaning more or less unemployment. Sector wide issues affect all workers in the same sector, such as agricultural workers, those in the car industry, or retail. National campaigns affect all workers, in all industries, and include issues such as minimum pay, working hours and pensions.

5. Trade Unions can help to change government policy

Trade Unions are often consulted on matters that affect government policy, such as working hours, pay and conditions, as well as issues that affect all workers in a particular sector, or perhaps when a large company goes into administration. Research can be carried out on behalf of other countries too, to see how policies or changes would affect workers in different countries.

Now you know more about the work carried out by a Trade Union, and how it can help you, why not consider joining a Trade Union?

Why Do People Join a Trade Union?

Find out more about the work carried out by a Trade Union, and some of the benefits of being a Trade Union Member [].

Sunday, March 24, 2013

E Commerce Explained - A Research Paper




An e-commerce solution for a business is the incorporation of all aspects of the business operation into an electronic format. Many well-established businesses have been selling on-line for years. For example, Dell Computers Corp., has been selling computers directly to end-users for years. Currently, Dell is selling excessive of 1 million dollars worth of computers everyday on the World Wide Web (WWW).

E Commerce Explained - A Research Paper

When a business has incorporated an e-commerce solution, the business will experience a lower operation cost while at the same time increasing its profit. The e-commerce solution will allow businesses to eliminate unnecessary paperwork. All paperwork and data can be transformed into an electronic format. Thus, it will eliminate valuable shelf space and data can searched and accessed in matter of seconds. E-commerce will also automates the sales process. Customers can "point & click" on the products they wish to purchase, fill out the customer information, and the product will be shipped and received in a matter of few days. The administration department does not have to fill out any paperwork because the customer had done it already. Thus, the efficiency will be greatly improved. With an e-commerce solution, the business will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People from anywhere in the world with an Internet access will be able to visit the site at any time. They will not be restricted to the "normal" business operating hours. A "brick + mortar" business is normally limited to serving the customers in its local geographical location. With an e-commerce solution, that business will not be limited a geographical restriction, rather it opens itself to the global on-line market. Essentially, the business' market exposure will be greatly increased.

In conducting my study, I have researched extensively on the Internet for resources. I chose the Internet as my primary research medium because e-commerce is still a fairly new technology. Since it is technology related, the Internet will provide the most recent data available. Printed publications will not be able to adapt to changes as fast and efficient as electronic publications. I researched many e-commerce related web sites along with some companies that conduct statistical studies. Some of the e-commerce web sites that I looked into are E-Commerce Times, eRetail, and eMarketer. The statistical research firms that I researched are Forrester Research and Jupiter Communication. Both firms provided valuable statistical data that shows the rise of consumers shopping on-line and the predicted dollar amount that will be spent in the coming years.


In conducting my study, I completed the following tasks:

- I searched extensively on the Internet for sites that are e-commerce related. Upon visiting the sites, I evaluated each sites for the contents, thoroughness, and objectiveness. There are literally hundreds of sites that are devoted to e-commerce. However, after my careful examination of most of them, I narrowed down to four sites that I will research for this report.

- I have also researched many firms that conducts statistical researches. The two firms that I will be utilizing for this report are Forrester Research and Jupiter Communication. Both firms are known for their preciseness, non-objectiveness, and thoroughness. The statistical data I collected from these two firms will support my recommendation that every business should have an e-commerce solution implemented.


From my research, I have developed twenty reasons why every business should incorporate an e-commerce solution into the business operation. They are listed below.

1. To Establish A Presence

There are approximately 70 million people worldwide that have access to the World Wide Web (WWW). No matter what industry or business one is in, one can not ignore 70 million people. To be part of that on-line community, one would need to be on the WWW for them. Because if one doe not do it, one's competitor definitely will.

2. To Network

A lot of what passes for business is simply nothing more than making connections with other people. Every smart businessperson knows, it is not what one knows, it is whom one knows. Passing out one's business card is part of every good meeting and every businessperson can tell more than one story how a chance meeting turned into the big deal. Well, what if one could pass out the business card to thousands, maybe millions of potential clients and partners, saying this is what I do and if you are ever in need of my services, this is how you can reach me. One can, 24 hours a day, inexpensively and simply, on the WWW.

3. To Make Business Information Available

What is basic business information? Think of a Yellow Pages ad. What are one's business hours? What does one do? How can someone contact the business? What method of payment does one take? Where is the business located at? Now think of a Yellow Pages ad where one can have instant communication. What is today's special? Today's interest rate? Next week's parking lot sale information? If one could keep one's customer informed of every reason why they should do business with them, doesn't one think one could do more business? One can on the WWW.

4. To Serve The Customers

Making business information available is one of the most important ways to serve the customers. But if one looks at serving the customer, one will find even more ways to use WWW technology. How about making forms available to pre-qualify for loans, or have one's staff do a search for that classic jazz record one's customer is looking for, without tying up one's staff on the phone to take down the information? Allow the customer to punch in sizes and check it against a database that tells him what color of jacket is available in one's store? All this can be done, simply and quickly, on the WWW.

5. To Heighten Public Interest

One won't get Newsweek magazine to write up about one's local store opening, but one might get them to write up one's Web Page address if it is something new and interesting. Even if Newsweek would write about one's local store opening, one would not benefit from someone in a distant city reading about it, unless of course, they were coming to one's town sometime soon. With Web page information, anybody anywhere who can access the internet and hears about one's site is a potential visitor to one's Web site and a potential customer for one's information there.

6. To Release Time Sensitive Material

What if one's materials need to be released no earlier than midnight? The quarterly earnings statement, the grand prize winner, the press kit for the much anticipated film, the merger news? Well, one sent out the materials to the press with "The-do-not-release-before-such-and-such-time" statement and hope for the best. Now the information can be made available at midnight or any time one specifies, with all related materials such as photographs, bios, etc. released at exactly the same time. Imagine the anticipation of "All materials will be made available on our Web site at 12:01 AM". The scoop goes to those that wait for the information to be posted, not the one who releases one's information early.

7. To Sell Things

Many people think that this is the number one thing to do with the World Wide Web. However, I have made it number seven to make it clear that I think one should consider selling things on the Internet and the World Wide Web after one has done all the things above. Why? Well, the answer is complex but the best way to put it is, does one consider the telephone the best place to sell things? Probably not. One probably considers the telephone as a tool that allows one to communicate with one's customer, which in turn helps one sell things. Well, that's how I think one should consider the WWW. The technology is different, but before people decide to become customers, they want to know about one, what one does and what one can do for them. Which one can do easily and inexpensively on the WWW. Then one might be able to turn them into customers.

8. To make picture, sound and video available

What if one's widget is great, but people would really love it if they could see it in action? The album is great but with no airplay, nobody knows that it sounds great? A picture is worth a thousand words, but one does not have the space for a thousand words? The WWW allows one to add sound, pictures and short movie files to one's company's info if that will serve one's potential customers. No brochure will do that.

9. To Reach a Highly Desirable Demographic Market

The demographic of the WWW user is probably the highest mass-market demographic available. Usually they are college-educated or being college educated, making a high salary or soon to make a high salary. It is no wonder that Wired magazine, the magazine of choice to the Internet community, has no problem getting Lexus and other high-end marketer's advertising. Even with the addition of the commercial on-line community, the demographic will remain high for many years to come.

10. To Answer Frequently Asked Questions

Whoever answers the telephones in one's organization can tell one that their time is usually spent answering the same questions over and over again. These are the questions customers and potential customers want to know the answer to before they deal with one. Post them on a WWW page and one will have removed another barrier to doing business with one and freed up some time for that harried phone operator.

11. To Stay in Contact with Salespeople

One's employees on the road may need up-to-the-minute information that will help them make the sale or pull together the deal. If one knows what that information is, one can keep it posted in complete privacy on the WWW. A quick local phone call can keep one's staff supplied with the most detailed information, without long distance phone bills and tying up the staff at the home office.

12. To Open International Market

One may not be able to make sense of the mail, phone and regulation systems in

all the potential international markets, but with a e-commerce solution, one can open up a dialogue with international markets as easily as with the company across the street. As a matter-of-fact, before one goes onto the Web, one should decide how one wants to handle the international business that will come one's way, because one's postings are certain to bring international opportunities to one's way, whether it is part of one's plan or not. Another added benefit; if one's company has offices overseas, they can access the home offices information for the price of a local phone call.

13. To Create a 24 Hour Service

If one has ever remembered too late or too early to call the opposite coast, one knows the hassle. Not all businesses are on the same schedule. Business is worldwide but one's office hours aren't. Trying to reach Asia or Europe is even more frustrating. However, Web pages serve the client, customer and partner 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No overtime either. It can customize information to match needs and collect important information that will put one ahead of the competition, even before they get into the office.

14. To Make Changing Information Available Quickly

Sometimes, information changes before it gets off the press. Now one has a pile of expensive, worthless paper. Electronic publishing changes with one's needs. No paper, no ink, no printer's bill. One can even attach one's web page to a database which customizes the page's output to a database one can change as many times in a day as one needs. No printed piece can match that flexibility.

15. To Allow Feedback From Customers

One passes out the brochure, the catalog, the booklet. But it doesn't work. No sales, no calls, no leads. What went wrong? Wrong color, wrong price, wrong market? Keep testing, the marketing books say, and one will eventually find out what went wrong. That's great for the big boys with deep pockets, but who is paying the bills? One is and one doesn't have the time nor the money to wait for the answer. With a Web page, one can ask for feedback and get it instantaneously with no extra cost. An instant e-mail response can be built into Web pages and can get the answer while its fresh in one's customers mind, without the cost and lack of response of business reply mail.

16. To Test Market New Services and Products

Tied into the reason above, we all know the cost of rolling out a new product. Advertising, advertising, advertising, press release and advertising. Expensive, expensive, expensive. Once one has been on the Web and know what to expect from those who are seeing one's page, they are the least expensive market for one to reach. They will also let one knows what they think of one's product faster, easier and much less expensively than any other market one may reach. For the cost of a page or two of Web programming, one can have a crystal ball into where to position one's product or service in the marketplace.

17. To Reach The Media

Every kind of business needs the exposure that the media can bring, as I touched on in reason #5 "To Heighten Public Interest", but what if one's business is reaching the media, as a newswire, a publicist or a public policy group. The media is the most wired profession today, since their main product is information and they can get it more quickly, cheaply and easily on-line. On-line press kits are becoming more and more common, since they work with the digital environment of more and more pressrooms. Digital images can be put in place without the stripping and shooting of the old pressrooms and digital text can be edited and outputted on tight deadlines. All these can be made available on an e-commerce solution.

18. To Reach The Education and Youth Market

If one's market is education, consider that most universities already offer Internet accesses to their students and most K-12's will be on the Internet within the next few years. Books, athletic shoes, study courses, youth fashion and anything else that would want to reach these overlapping markets needs to be on the WWW. Even with the coming of the commercial on-line services and their somewhat older populations there will be nothing but growth in the percentage of the under 25 market that will be on-line.

19. To Reach The Specialized Market

Sell fish tanks, art reproductions, flying lessons? One may think that the Internet is not a good place to be. Well, think again. The Internet isn't just for computer science students anymore. With the 70 million and growing users of the WWW, even the most narrowly defined interest group will be represented in large numbers. Since the Web has several very good search programs, one's interest group will be able to find one's company, or one's competitors.

20. To Serve One's Local Market

I've talked about the power to serve the world with a e-commerce solution. How about one's neighborhood? If one is located in San Francisco Bay Area, the Raleigh NC area, Boston or New York, there is probably enough local customers with Internet access to make it worth one's while to consider Web marketing. A local Palo Alto, CA restaurant even takes lunch orders through the Internet! But no matter where one is, if the big client has Internet access, one should be there too.


After detailed analyzing and studying of the effects and benefits of incorporating an e-commerce solution to an existing business, it is clear that an e-commerce solution will benefit the business in every aspect.

The implementation of an e-commerce solution will generate a brand new revenue stream, expand the market exposure, and decrease the operation cost. Many Fortune 500 companies, such as Dell Computer Corp., have already adapted e-commerce into their business operation. As I have mentioned earlier, Dell Computer Corp. is currently generating over 1 million dollars in revenues from their web-site. Many well-known "brick & mortar" businesses are starting to establish their presence on the web. For example, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, the top book retailer in North America, has just launched their web-site earlier this year following the success of, the top book & music seller on the web, has been referred to have one of the most efficient business operation in the world today.


Based on the conclusion of this study, I recommend the following:

- Every business should implement an e-commerce solution into the business operation.

Works Cited

"E-Commerce Times: Everything You Wanted to Know About Doing Business Online." E-Commerce Times. 1999. (9 August 1999).

"E-Marketer, Where Business Begins On-line." E-Marketer. 1999. (9 August 1999).

"E-Retail, News and Information for Internet Retailers." E-Retail. 1999. (9 August 1999).

"The Electronic Commerce Guide."'s Electronic Commerce Guide. 1999. . (9 August 1999).

"Forrester Research: Helping Businesses Thrive on Technology Change." Forrester Research. 1999. (9 August 1999).

"Jupiter Communication: Market Research on the Consumer Online Industry." Jupiter Communication. 1999. (9 August 1999).

E Commerce Explained - A Research Paper

Doctor Mike Cooper has been a college level instructor since 1986. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Information Systems and a Master's Degree in Data Communications. He is a retired Army Officer and a veteran of 33 months service in Vietnam. Dr. Cooper has lived in Thailand, Belgium, Germany and still travels extensively.

Doctor Mike Cooper writes research papers for and Many of his papers are ecommerce related.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Origin and History of Trade Unions

A trade union is exactly what its name suggests - it is a union of people for the sake of their trade. In other words, it is an organization of workers in order to achieve certain common goals like increment of wages, better working conditions, etc.

The history of labor union dates back to the guild system that started in Europe, this system aimed to protect selected professions by controlling of advancement and skill mastery. This is how unions came into existence, and is the first example of how numerous workers join together to create their own rules instead of following those set by their employers.


A great demand for new workers to join the job market was triggered by the eighteenth century's industrial revolution in Europe. In the US in earlier times the trade unions and workers played a very important part in striving for their independence. They introduced physical efforts as well as ideas and although the former were not useful or successful, the latter remained in the American Culture and are still followed to this day.

Origin and History of Trade Unions

It was only in the nineteenth century that the union became hugely popular after the founding of the National Labor Union, which is the very first national union. This union was formed in the year 1866 and it was open for all kinds of workers. Unfortunately, this union wasn't successful and was dissolved shortly and all that remains in the history is its foundation. Later on in the year 1869, the Knights of Labor was created and it was this union opposed child labor and promoted the idea of working for eight hours a day. It was so successful that the membership zoomed up to a staggering 700,000 members!

And that is how trade unions came into existence. It all started as a great idea and became what we see it today. Although the agendas of today's union might have changed, but the ideals and aims more or less remains the same.

Origin and History of Trade Unions

There is a lot of history behind the formation of a Trade Union. Click here to know more about Trade Union

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

CYPRUS - Victory for Cyprus? - Catastrophe for the Troika

CYPRUS - Victory for Cyprus? - Catastrophe for the Troika

However one looks at it, the recent events in Cyprus are an unmitigated catastrophe for the Troika, and potentially a resounding victory for Cyprus and Russia.

The fact that there was abstention from the ruling party, and a no vote to the rapacious, not to mention illegal proposals of the Troika, does actually show that there are limits to the exploitation both citizens and politicians will take at the hands of their abusers.

The Cyprus finance minister is now in Moscow discussing a solution with Putin and thanks to the behaviour of the Troika, the Moscow-Cyprus axis interests have been almost perfectly aligned. Putin wants a safe offshore financial haven and would be only too delighted to assist Cyprus in developing their very substantial offshore gas reserves, perhaps have a naval base in the Mediterranean, and last but by no means least he must be as mad as hell at the IMF; EU and ECB for threatening Russia and his cronies personal interests.

Imagine that huge amounts of Russian and ex CIS offshore money will have been blocked for almost a week where no-one can even use a credit card or withdraw cash. Vengeance is a dish best eaten cold and the KGB have long memories.

Russia, will certainly see strong attraction in assisting a quasi bankrupt  EU and US orphaned client state, which has been cast out in the cold, to serve  the Troika's ruthless self interest, and  Gazprom has already proposed  financial aid in exchange for security over future Gas production.

By doing so, they have leapfrogged the usual US Fortune 100 companies, which descend like vultures on the same private jets as the IMF, and US investment bankers, to asset strip distressed economies. The Washington business elite must be absolutely furious with Christine Lagarde, that their fiefdoms have been desecrated.

So alarmed are the Troika at developments that Merkel is attempting to tell a sovereign nation not to enter into a dialogue with Russia and only speak to the Troika. Is this imperial arrogance, or it it just someone running scared?

If an agreement is reached with Moscow,  Cyprus would be well advised to default on all or a large part of their their debt and simply say to the IMF, having just escaped, we have no desire to be caught in the Western powers spider's web ever again.

The other aspect, mentioned in earlier posts is that the Troika have taken their mask off to reveal their true character and the fact that they will stop at nothing to keep the Euro prison together, including stealing money directly from private accounts. What is more all the citizens have seen and understood this reality,and happily not only in Cyprus but throughout the Eurozone.

This has every chance of ensuring a massive flight of capital from PIIGS countries and bank runs not seen since Northern Rock in the UK.

The Troika has completely botched the situation, and with such a complete and utter breach of trust, it is extremely difficult to see how they can go back, unless they acquiesce in all the conditions of the Cyprus government. Cyprus  however may be so traumatised by the experience that they would prefer to do a deal with Russia, than to do a deal with the devil.

Time alone will tell how this will unfold, but it seems the Rubicon has been crossed in the War between the honest citizen, and the financial and political elites.

Unfortunately, if the social contract between the elites and the governed is broken, the citizens have only one choice and that is to revolt.

The Basics of Effective Salesmanship

They say that a salesperson is a very crafty and charismatic person. That is true in a sense that he/she can reap good benefits from a very challenging but rewarding career, if he or she is good enough and can establish a connection with a prospective client in a very short time. So if you want to be amongst those who have legendary salesmanship skills, then it's high time you knew about the basics. Every one starts with baby steps before they learn how to run, so with that in mind, here are the basic, yet important things you need to learn and understand before you start selling items.

· First of all, you must realize that everyone can be a good salesperson. You may not realize it, but in your conversations with others, you are selling to them your ideas or opinions. If you manage to get people to react to your opinions - for example, if you get them to laugh, cry or agree - then you are already showing good salesmanship.


· Common sense or not, some people still neglect or forget to remember the pull of an excellent looking exterior. If you are aspiring to sell many items to clients, then you must look the part. You must remember to always shave if you are a guy and wear proper makeup if you are a girl. If you appear sloppy or even disinterested in what you are doing, then you will surely have a negative impact and a bad first impression.

The Basics of Effective Salesmanship

· You must always be on the look out for prospective clients. But never commit the mistake of being too clingy. Some people overdo the friendliness or helpfulness part which will eventually drive a customer to irritation. Don't be too over the top with your showmanship skills either.

· Learn how to be a good listener. Sometimes, good salesmanship is not measured by how much you can convey to the customer in a short period of time. If you know how to be a good listener, then you will better understand what the customer wants and is looking for. But some people like it when a salesman/woman is doing a very good and energetic sales presentation as opposed to someone who just waits patiently at the sidelines and lets the customer ask questions.

· Now that you've learned how to make a good impression and attract a potential buyer, then you should also learn how to make a good sales presentation.

· Next, you must do your research. If you know more about what you are selling, you become more believable. And if you become more believable, then there is a higher chance that you sell more items in the long run.

· Last but not the least; you must be truly interested in what you are selling.

All in all, sales would be a very rewarding career choice and if you put your heart into it, you will definitely harvest the fruits of your labor.

The Basics of Effective Salesmanship

Rl Johnson has many years in the trucking industry as a driver, recruiter and freight agent. You can preview his work at and

Tuesday, March 19, 2013



Cyprus has long been known as the Russian equivalent of the Cayman Islands, for major corporations such as Gazprom etc. to park their excess funds offshore. The rich of Russia, and ex CIS countries, whose vast  fortunes come from political patronage, frequently from ex KGB connections,  not only spend their summers there, flying in on private jets to enjoy their luxury yachts, but also have offshore companies making investments globally.

How then can it be that the total recorded Russian ex CIS  funds, in Cyprus banks are a paltry EUR 30 Billion, when a provincial bank in Switzerland has a similar amount on deposit. Equally when we compare with the US Fortune 500 companies, they have USD 2-3 Trillion offshore, poor Russia can only manage 1% of this amount. 

There has to be a strong presumption that the amount of cash parked in Cyprus is vastly greater than reported. How could this happen, well just look at J P Morgan misreporting the London Whale losses, to the regulator, and poor poor Mario Draghi who "knew nothing " about the Monte Paschi unrecorded losses?  It is also in the Russian interest that the real amount in Cyprus remain a tightly held secret and no-one in Cyprus would have found objection with that.

Te other fascinating thing is that if we take the Cyprus reported bank deposits   EU deposits peaked in 2010 at EUR 60 Billion and then fell into sharp decline to around EUR 18 Billion today.while the Russian amounts continued a steady rise from EUR 20 Billion to EUR 30 Billion today. What did the Europeans know that the Russians did not?

While Geopolitics is certainly not my speciality, it is nonetheless worth noting, that Cyprus has recently discovered offshore Gas, where Gazprom is ideally positioned to provide finance and technical assistance, and Russia is once again trying to expand its influence in the Mediterranean by having a Mediterranean fleet.  

Russia to preserve its interests, has also provided several Billion EUR of financing to Cyprus, and as the biggest client of Cyprus banks certainly wants an important seat at the table. This Russian omni-presence in an EuroZone country is undoubtedly little appreciated by the Brussels-Berlin axis, not to mention the USA.

The fact that the Cyprus banks are insolvent is a very convenient Sword of Damocles, because a bail out is needed and the latest EU inspired attempted theft from depositors, almost certainly threatens much greater Russian interests than the reported USD 30 Billion.

What is amazing however is that any Cyprus politician would take his life in his hands and vote for expropriation of Russian KGB money in order to please the Brussels paper tigers.



Please find below an article written by  Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog. It summarises exactly my views on the subject and as a result I have reproduced it in full for readers:
"The deposit-confiscation "bailout" of Cyprus reveals much about the Eurozone's fundamental neocolonial, neofeudal structure.
At long last, Europe's flimsy facades of State sovereignty, democracy and free-market capitalism have collapsed, and we see the real machinery laid bare: the Eurozone's political-financial Aristocracy will stripmine every nation's citizenry to preserve their power and protect the banks and bondholders from absorbing losses.
The deposit-confiscation "bailout" of Cyprus confirms the Eurozone's fundamental neocolonial, neofeudal structure and the region's political surrender to financialization.
Let's list what Cyprus reveals about the true state of financial-political power in Europe:
1. The Core-Periphery terminology masks the real structure: the E.U. operates on a neocolonial model. In the old Colonialism 1.0 model, the colonizing power conquered or co-opted the Power Elites of the periphery regions, and proceeded to exploit the new colonies' resources and labor to enrich the Imperial core.
In Neocolonialism, the forces of financialization (debt and leverage controlled by State-enforced banking cartels) are used to indenture the local Elites and populace to the financial core: the peripheral "colonials" borrow money to buy the finished goods manufactured in the core economies, enriching the Imperial Elites with A) the profits made selling goods to the debtors B) interest on credit extended to the peripheral colonies to buy the core economies' goods and "live large", and C) the transactional skim of financializing peripheral assets such as real estate and State debt.
In essence, the core banks of the E.U. colonized the peripheral nations via the financializing euro, which enabled a massive expansion of debt and consumption in the periphery. The banks and exporters of the core exacted enormous profits from this expansion of debt and consumption.
Now that the financialization scheme of the euro has run its course, the periphery's neocolonial standing is starkly revealed: the assets and income of the periphery are flowing to the core as interest on the private and sovereign debts that are owed to the core's central bank and its crony money-center private banks.
This is not just the perfection of neocolonialism but of neofeudalism as well. The peripheral nations of the E.U. are effectively neocolonial debtors of the core (quasi-Imperial) banks, and the taxpayers of the core nations (now reduced to Germany and The Netherlands) are now feudal serfs whose labor is devoted to making good on any bank loans to the periphery that go bad.
Though we can term the E.U. a plutocracy or oligarchy, the neofeudal structure compels us to distinguish a class of those holding wealth and political power that is not limited to national border: this is an Aristocracy.
Serving the Aristocracy is a well-paid technocrat class of factotums, lackeys, toadies and enforcers. Below this well-compensated caste of technocrats is the larger class of debt-serfs, enslaved to interest payments on either their own debts or the debts of others, and bound by their class powerlessness, to protecting banks and bondholders from losses.
Cyprus merely adds an expropriation twist to this well-oiled plunder: deposits will be expropriated directly to insure no Imperial (core) banks or bond holders lose money on their absurdly risky loans to periphery nations and serfs.
2. This is a supranational plunder. While commentators can wile away years debating how much Germany benefited from the euro, the real core is not national, it is supranational banks and the political machinery of the E.U. the banks have effectively captured.
The citizenry of Germany may approve or disapprove of the Cyprus expropriation, but it doesn't matter either way: their own serfdom to banks and bondholders is simply being masked: the bailouts of periphery nations are transparently bailouts of core banks and bondholders.
The nation-states of the neocolonial periphery are simply convenient propaganda placeholders, useful misdirections aimed at the naive and sentimental, hollowed-out national structures propped up to mask the ugly neocolonial reality of servitude and plunder.
3. Democracy is a fiction when no matter who you vote for, the banks and bondholders win control of the national income stream and private wealth. Democracy in Europe is a travesty of a mockery of a sham, an absurd play which is acted out as a form of blood-sport circus to distract the masses from their powerlessness and debt-serfdom.
Democracy is a fiction, when the policies protecting banks and bondholders from losses remain in place, regardless of which political party, coalition or politico is nominally in power.
The German taxpayers' private wealth is being expropriated via taxes to bail out core banks and bondholders; how is this any different from the blatant expropriation of private assets in Cyprus?
It is only a difference in technique; the result is the same: the forced transfer of wealth from those who earned it from their labor to banks and bondholders which in a truly capitalist economy would be immediately forced to absorb the losses of their leveraged, highly risky bets.
4. The ideological fiction of capitalism is dead in Europe. Capitalism is a fiction if capital that is placed at risk for a return cannot be lost.
5. Cyprus is a test to see how blatant the expropriation of private assets can become without triggering overthrow and revolution. If the furor dies down soon enough, then the same technique of expropriation will be imposed elsewhere. If the reaction is sustained and threatening to the Aristocracy, other less blatant expropriations will be tested in other neocolonies.
6. Divide and conquer is the propaganda order of the day. The Power Elites are attempting to set the serfs of the periphery against the serfs of the core, the goal being to keep both sets of serfs from realizing they are equally indentured to the core's pathological political-financial Aristocracy."

Monday, March 18, 2013



This weekend's events have a significance far beyond the utterly immaterial problems of Cyprus.

Economically it is tiny and the entire funding required is equivalent of one weeks deficit in the US, so why is it so  important?

For many months the EU elites aided and abetted by the ECB have practiced financial repression against savers, the backbone of the economy, by imposing zero interest rates, depriving savers of income on their cash; supporting corrupt and bankrupt banks, who are given virtually a licence to steal  to reconstitute their capital, lost on speculative ventures and massive unjustified bonuses. In addition, QE or money printing, destroys the value of existing cash by driving inflation. Add to this rising taxes and we have the proven Marxist model for destruction of the middle classes.

As if this were not enough, if the proposals are approved, we are witnessing straight forward theft, from existing private bank accounts, by way of a "tax" in direct violation of EU laws and treaties.

One of the most chilling documents I read in my lifetime, was a letter sent to the parents of a Jewish friend, who owned an apartment in Paris during the last War. It simply said as of next week you will move out and a certain German army officer will take over the apartment. Their wealth expropriated by the Nazi regime they were left destitute in the street and with a tragic future.

This Cyprus expropriation is potentially the thin end of a very large wedge, and who is to say where it stops, a 10% wealth tax, and next time 20%. Will the PIIGS Government desperate to save themselves try the same thing; will there be a property tax next; or a wealth tax; or will they simply rob your pension plan; and when some person cannot or refuses to pay, will their fate be like that of my friend's parents.

Make no mistake, this is a test case masked in a veil of breathtaking  incompetence, but the intentions have never been clearer, and anyone who does not see this for what it is, will live to regret it.

We must all confront and strongly oppose this tyrannical oppression now before it is too late. I know many will say this is gross exaggeration how could this possibly happen. My answer would be, don't you mean ...AGAIN?
While I do not give investment advice, if I personally were  either a citizen of, or resident in, a PIIGS country I would be moving all surplus liquid assets out of the EU entirely. If enough people do so, it could trigger a bank run and an economic collapse. Is it not better that this happens before all your assets have been stripped from you?
 I quote the famous words of a Holocaust survivor:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--

Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.



Following the recent US Senate hearings on the circumstances surrounding the USD 2 Billion, subsequently revised to USD 6.2 Billon, losses caused by J P Morgan's proprietary trading activities, by the so called "London Whale" an exasperated Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the inquiry commented: 

"the trading culture at J P Morgan ... piled on risk, hid losses, disregarded risk limits, manipulated risk models, dodged oversight and misinformed the public."

What more devastating indictment can there be, and one has to wonder why the executives involved and their masters behind the scenes were not immediately arrested after giving evidence?

The initially reported losses prompted Jamie Dimon the CEO of the "Fortress Bank" to comment that it was a storm in a tea cup, and just to ensure that it remained so, he apparently ordered his subordinates NOT to report the true financial situation to regulators. It would appear that London also was not reporting the true situation to New York, just to add another ripple to the storm in a teacup.

When many months after external analysts had estimated far more accurately than J P Morgan the extent of the losses, management finally admitted the truth, they obviously stated there had been no wrongdoing and that they were working hard on amending internal controls and procedures.

The rogue trader and some other staff members were retired/fired and as an illustration of how seriously the CEO Jamie Dimon took the whole affair, he did not even turn up to this Senate hearing. Perhaps it was a good thing as last time he appeared in committee he was wearing prominently a set of White House gift cuff links.

So now this incident caused by the proverbial "Rogue Trader" acting as always completely alone, within the framework of America's biggest bank, has been swept under the table, we can rest assured that J P Morgan will go back to business as usual. 

There are of course just a few niggling little facts that have not been mentioned, which makes the London Whale story look exactly like business as usual, inside a vast constellation of similar activities, some alleged, some proven and many settled out of court. 

The list is so extensive as to turn my Blog into a full length novel so I provide a link below for your perusal:

Malpractice includes money laundering for drug cartels, sanction violations, violation of commodities and exchange acts, failure to segregate customer funds, executing fictitious trades, misrepresentations of CDO and MBS, foreclosure fraud, fraudulent sale of unregistered securities, energy market manipulation, shifting trading losses to client accounts, municipal bond market manipulation, obstruction of justice and the list goes on........and on !!!

This list does not include ongoing investigations such as LIBOR rigging etc

So how is it possible for such an institution to survive and thrive? The answer as always is its not what you know its who you know.

J P Morgan has the biggest financial lobbying machine in Washington, and a vast part of its income comes from State patronage either directly or indirectly. Examples include distribution of food stamps, probably America's biggest growth industry, dealing in Government securities, manipulating markets for the account of the treasury, plus  direct bail outs and subsidies like the attempt at the moment to get the state to bail them out of losses arising from its acquisition of Washington Mutual.

Without the state help J P Morgan would struggle to break even, while at the same times flaunting laws, regulators, violating client and the general public interests, and taking colossal risks. This serves solely to pay the massive outrageous salaries of mediocre people whose only real talent is knowing how to hijack the system and make it work in their favour, and traffic influence with greedy and corrupt politicians to maintain the status quo.

When will the next whale surface?



There is currently in Switzerland an initiative to change Swiss Law regarding the state's Gold reserves.

However this requires a minimum of 100,000 people entitled to vote in Switzerland signing the initiative.

The main changes proposed to the current law include:

  • Full physical verification of the Swiss Gold reserves
  • Ensuring that all Swiss Gold is actually held in vaults in Switzerland
  • Ensuring that no currency can be issued if it is not backed by Gold

This is of particular importance in view of the difficulties experienced by Germany in getting their Gold reserves back from the USA, and the massive money printing backed by nothing, going on worldwide.

If you support this initiative please find below the necessary signature forms:


For more information, please refer to 

Thank you in advance for your support of this extremely important initiative



The events surrounding the Cyprus "bail out",  or perhaps more appropriately for the Russian Oligarchs and the poor Cyprus citizens, a "bail in" are of enormous importance.

Firstly, it displays that German politics and upcoming elections justify throwing the widows, orphans, pensioners and a plethora of lower income Cypriot residents,  such as serving and ex British servicemen  and citizens under a bus.

Secondly, it shows that EU Law protecting deposits under EUR 100K can be abrogated at will by  Group of EU finance ministers, desperately trying to save their own skins. This means there is no rule of law, and certainly no equality before the law.

Thirdly, it shows a staggering arrogance and naivety that the EU/IMF/ECB can simply arbitrarily appropriate the wealth of some of the most powerful oligarchs in Continental Europe, who directly have control over the flow of Oil and Gas from East to West.

Fourthly, it shows the shape of things to come for all the PIIGS countries, where even the uninformed citizen cannot be blind to the fact that if he leaves his money in a bank account, it can be stolen by Government at will. Alternatively,  if it is kept under the mattress it is "safe" from the most professional of robbers, the state!

The direct and indirect consequences of this monumental strategic error will be with us for a long time.

The Russians will certainly not take this lying down, and their methods are ruthless in the extreme, as can be demonstrated by a number of corpses found in Moscow and London, and their treatment of powerful investment groups such as Hermitage. Additionally, the Russians, who have been accumulating Gold at a significant rate may accelerate their buying program to get away from toxic paper held in EU bank traps. Following the Bank Holiday, there will be massive capital flight which will bring the banks again to their knees.

The average PIIGS citizen, should no longer be completely blind to the reality, and by moving his money out to safe havens, this will stretch the resources of the ECB even further. This may well trigger imposition of capital controls, supposedly illegal in the EU, but who cares about the law these days?

There is little doubt that the Cyprus Government will sell their people down the river in response to external pressures, but my hope is that  history will remember this act of economic rape, as a turning point for Oligarchs and ordinary citizens alike.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Dealing With Crack Cocaine Withdrawal

Before we directly proceed on how to deal with crack cocaine withdrawal, let us first get ourselves fully acquainted with what crack cocaine is. If you are thinking that this drug is the ordinary cocaine, you are wrong. Although very similar to cocaine, this drug is processed as it is mixed with baking soda or ammonia and water which then form into rocks. This substance is usually cheaper to buy. It is often smoked in pipes by crack addicts.

But what makes this substance so addictive? A user feels a certain type of high whenever this substance is smoked. This certain high is like euphoria to the user. But because this high doesn't last long, it makes the user crave for more to feel it again. This drives the users to chase over this drug, wasting their money and their lives as well. This also leads drug users to commit crimes such as robbery in pursuit of this particular high.


If you are a crack cocaine addict yourself, then you must be feeling its consequences right now. Like any other forbidden drugs, using this drug has certain negative effects to its users' health. Abbusers of this drug often experience paranoia, depression, anxiety, and mood swings. Being a regular user of this drug makes you adaptive to a paranoid way of life. In worst cases, users experience intense cravings for the drug without being satisfied. Once a person used the drug, he becomes drug dependent and is unable to function well without it.

Dealing With Crack Cocaine Withdrawal

Aside from its initial negative side effects, crack cocaine addicts are also vulnerable to its long term effects. Such effects include having problems with bodily functions, hallucinations, depressions, and delirium. The worst effects of being addicted to crack cocaine are heart attacks and fatal respiratory problems that may eventually lead to death.

Now that you know fully well the consequences in using crack cocaine, maybe you are planning to get out of the addictive habit yourself. But getting out of it is not that easy. Cocaine crack dependents often find it very hard and agonizing to stop their addictive habits. Studies reveal that those who tried to stop from crack cocaine addiction experience withdrawals with painful symptoms such as intense cravings, anxiety, hunger, irritability, and paranoia. These mentioned symptoms are often too hard for the drug user to endure which only makes him go back to his addictive cycle. Bottom line, crack addicts are not capable of stopping their drug addiction all by themselves.

The most effective way to deal with crack cocaine withdrawal is through the aid of addiction specialists. Crack addicts are subject to undergo treatments for them to fully recover and start a drug free life. Medical detox is used for crack addicts, helping them to stay clean and recover for longer periods of time.

Dealing With Crack Cocaine Withdrawal

For those who would like to learn more about meth addiction: meth addiction

When you need more information on cocaine rehabilitation, try searching for it here: cocaine addiction rehab

Friday, March 15, 2013

Top 10 Information Systems Security Controls in the Enterprise


Top 10 Information Systems Security Controls in the Enterprise

Top 10 Information Systems Security Controls in the Enterprise

About the Author

Mr. Thomas Bbosa - CISSP, is an Information Systems security Consultant and Managing Partner with BitWork Technologies Ltd -, an IT firm based in Kampala, Uganda. He is a certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), with over 10 years Experience in the IT industry. He has been involved in various roles of IT infrastructure management and support, Information systems Security management & solutions deployment.

The Psychological Power of Words

Do you know that the words you use everyday have a great impact on your mood and behavior?

An experiment was conducted to find out whether words have a psychological effect on people's mood or not by bringing three groups and giving each of them a word puzzle to solve. The first group was given a puzzle that contained words like "calm" and "polite", the second group was given a puzzle that had words like "anger" and "rude" while the third group was given a puzzle that contained neutral words.


Right after solving the puzzle they were all asked to leave to another room and on their way they found someone who kept interrupting them and forcing them to wait for a long time. The first group which was exposed to the rude words was found to respond more aggressively to the person who wasted their time!!

The Psychological Power of Words

The second group which was exposed to the polite words was more polite to the person who wasted their time while the third group had a neutral response!!!

How the words you use affect your mood and behavior

Its clear from the previous experiment that the words you use get printed in your mind and then affect your way of thinking and performance. Now after knowing about the psychology of words have you asked yourself:

* What would be the outcome of complaining about things all the time?

* How your mood would be affected if you kept putting yourself down?

* How would you feel like if you talked to pessimists or even worse became a pessimistic person

The experiment proved that words have a temporary effect that lasts for sometime right after we get exposed to them but what if you are constantly repeating the same words to yourself over and over?

What if you are always thinking negatively of yourself and your abilities? Won't that get reflected in your mood and performance?

Another experiment was done by a scientist to find whether words affect the structure of water or not. After shouting at water and playing loud noise the water formed inhomogeneous crystals but when good words were said above the water the crystals formed were highly clear and having a good structure. So what does this has to do with humans? most of our bodies are formed of water!

The psychology of images

Just as words have a psychological effect on our moods images do have a powerful effect too. Staring at an image for a certain period of time can result in changing the way you think for few minutes right after you stop looking at the image.

Now what about the effect of combining images and words together and even adding effects to them? Yes I am talking about movies!!

The movies you watch don't just change your mood temporarily but they program your mind, alter your beliefs and can have a life lasting effect on you!

Beware of the words you say and the words you listen to because they can both affect your mood and behavior. Avoid looking at violent images or disgusting ones and never think about watching a movie such as SAW because it might turn you into a sadistic person over time.

The Psychological Power of Words, The ultimate source for self understanding.

9,000,000 Million visits and counting.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) - Its Components and Advantages

Enterprise Resource Planning is software used by many organizations for integrating its data and processes into one system. A unified database for the purpose of storing data is utilized by several systems of an organization. Several departments of an organization make use of integrated database depending upon their authorizations and permissions to access. The essential purpose of Enterprise Resource Planning software is to ensure smooth flow of information throughout an organization and it is also helpful to manage connection with exterior stakeholders. Different hardware and network configurations are supported by ERP software.

Several levels of organizations make use of ERP system for managing payroll and accounting. Functions like supply chain management, Human Resource management, warehouse management and many more can be incorporated by any organization using Enterprise Resource Planning software.


Evolution of ERP:

Inventory Control - > Material Requirements Planning (MRP) - > Manufacturing resource planning II (MRP II) - > Enterprise resource planning

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) - Its Components and Advantages

Components of ERP:

HR- Human Resources:

- HR management

- Payroll

- Planning (Workforce & shift)


- General Ledger

- Asset & Treasury Management

- Accounts (Receivable & Payable)

- Controlling

Sales and Distribution

- Customer Management

- Sales order mgmt

- Billing, invoice & dispatch

- Sales history

Materials Management

- Procurement

- Inventory Management


- Warehouse management

- Transport Management

Advantages of EPR Software:

- ERP integrates all business processes and reduces paper work.

- Order tracking helps in improving Customer relationship management.

- Helpful in eliminating data duplication and is useful in faster information processing.

- Decision making becomes easy for management and is useful in generating quick reports.

- Efficiently manages financial information.

- ERP software guarantees security is helpful in preventing industrial espionage.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) - Its Components and Advantages

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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Enterprise Risk Management and the PMBOK

Enterprise Risk Management is a term used to describe a holistic approach to managing the risks and opportunities that the organization must manage intelligently in order to create maximum value for their shareholders. The foundation for the approach is the alignment of the organization's management of risks and opportunities to their goals and objectives. One of the keys to this alignment is the "Risk Appetite" statement which is a statement encapsulating the direction the Board gives management to guide their risk management methods. The statement should describe in general terms what kinds of risk the organization can tolerate and which it can't. This statement plus the organization's goals and objectives guides management in the selection of projects the organization undertakes. The statement also guides management in setting risk tolerance levels and determining which risks are acceptable and which must be mitigated.

This article will attempt to review Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and relate it to the best project management practices found in the PMBOK® (4th Edition). The source for most of my information about ERM comes from a study published by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) of the Treadway commission published in 2004. The Treadway commission was sponsored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the COSO consisted of representatives from 5 different accounting oversight groups as well as North Carolina State University, E.I. Dupont, Motorola, American Express, Protective Life Corporation, Community Trust Bancorp, and Brigham Young University. The study was authored by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The reason for listing the oversight committee and authors is to demonstrate the influence the insurance and financial industries had over the study.


The approach suggested by the study, which is probably the most authoritative source of ERM information, is very similar to approaches taken to managing quality in the organization in that it places emphasis on the responsibility of senior management to support ERM efforts and provide guidance. The difference here is that, while Quality methodologies such as CMM or CMMI place the responsibility on management to formulate and implement quality policies, ERM takes responsibility right to the top: the Board of Directors.

Enterprise Risk Management and the PMBOK

Let's go through the study recommendations and relate them to the processes recommended in the PMBOK. To refresh your memories, those processes are:

  • Plan Risk Management

  • Identify Risks

  • Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis

  • Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis

  • Plan Risk Response

  • Monitor and Control Risks

ERM begins by segregating goals and objectives into 4 groups: strategic, operations, reporting, and compliance. For the purposes of managing projects, we need not concern ourselves with operational risks. Our projects might support implementation of reports and our projects may be constrained by the need to comply with organizational or governmental guidelines, standards, or policies. Projects in the construction industry will be constrained by the need to comply with the relevant safety laws enforced in their location. Projects in the financial, oil & gas, defense, and pharmaceutical industries will also be required to comply with government laws and standards. Even software development projects may be required to comply with standards adopted by the organization, for example quality standards. Projects are a key means of implementing strategic goals so goals in this group are usually applicable to our projects.

The study recommends 7 components:

  • Internal environment The key component of the internal environment is the "Risk Appetite" statement from the Board. The environment also encompasses the attitudes of the organization, its ethical values, and the environment in which they operate.

    PMBOK® Alignment The description in the study is actually very close to the description of Enterprise Environmental Factors. Enterprise Environmental Factors are an input to the Plan Risk Management process. The PMBOK also refers to the organization's risk appetite in their description of Enterprise Environmental Factors, as well as attitudes towards risk.

  • Objective Setting Management is responsible for setting objectives that support the organization's mission, goals, and objectives. Objective setting at this level must also be consistent with the organization's risk appetite. The objective setting here may refer to objective setting for the project, as well as any of the other 4 groups.

    PMBOK® Alignment Goals and objectives should include those that pertain to risk management. The project's Cost and Schedule Management plans are input to the Plan Risk Management process. These documents should contain descriptions of the goals and objectives in these individual areas. These goals and objectives may determine how risks are categorized (Identify Risks), prioritized (Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis), and responded to (Plan Risk Response).

  • Event Identification Events that pose a threat to the organization's goals and objectives are identified, as well as events that present the organization with an opportunity of achieving its goals and activities (or unidentified goals and objectives). Opportunities are channeled back to the organization's strategy or objective setting processes.

    PMBOK® Alignment This component aligns exactly with the Identify Risks process from the PMBOK. The only significant difference here is the recommendation that opportunities be channeled back to the organization's strategy of objective setting processes. The PMBOK offers no guidance here but this component can be supported by simply referring any opportunity not identified with an existing project goal or objective back, to the project sponsor.

  • Risk Assessment Risks are scored using a probability and impact scoring system. Risks are assessed on an "inherent and residual" basis. This simply means that once a risk mitigation strategy has been defined, its effectiveness is measured by determining a probability impact score with the risk mitigation strategy in place. This score is referred to as residual risk.

    PMBOK® Alignment This component aligns closely with the Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis process. This process provides for the probability and impact scoring for the identified risks. The Monitor and Control Risks process also supports this component. This is the process that measures the effectiveness of the mitigation strategies. This is the process that will determine the residual risks.

  • Control Activities Policies and Procedures are established to ensure that risk responses are effectively carried out.

    PMBOK® Alignment This component is supported by the Plan Risk Management process. The output of this process is the Risk Management Plan which describes the risk management procedures the project will follow. Keep in mind that Control Activities is wider in scope than Plan Risk Management, the Plan will only cover those procedures that pertain to the project. The Monitor and Control Risks process also supports this component. This process ensures that the procedures defined in the plan are carried out and are effective.

  • Information and Communication This component describes how information pertaining to risks and risk management is identified, captured, and communicated throughout the organization.

    PMBOK® Alignment This component is actually supported by the processes in the Communications Management knowledge area. The processes in this area manage all project communications. The Risk Management Plan will identify the information, how it is captured, and how it is maintained. The Communications Plan will describe to whom, when, and how the information is to be communicated.

  • Monitoring Specifies that ERM is monitored and changed when necessary. Monitoring and change are performed in 2 ways: ongoing management activities and audits.

    PMBOK® Alignment Monitor and Control Risks supports this component. This process uses Risk Reassessment, Variance and Trend Analysis, Reserve Analysis, and Status Meetings to monitor risk management activities and ensure that the activities are meeting the project's goals and objectives. This process also describes audits as a technique for determining whether planned activities are being carried out and are effective. One of the outputs of this process is updates to the Risk Management Plan in the case where activities are not effective in controlling risks. Preventive and Corrective actions are also recommended to address cases where activities are not being carried out, or are incorrectly performed.

ERM provides for assurance that it is effective by determining if all 7 components of ERM have been provided for, across all 4 categories of organizational goals and objectives. Project management will not cover off all areas of each component in each category, but will cover those organizational goals and objectives supported by the project and all the reporting and compliance goals and objectives that apply to the project.

Internal Control for ERM is provided for by the guidelines described in the Internal Controls - Integrated Framework document authored by COSO. We won't go into detail describing these guidelines but treat them at a summary level. The ERM study aligns with the guidelines and refers the reader to that document for compliance details. The details of compliance would concern an organization implementing ERM but that must be instigated by the Board and would only concern a project manager if they were to be responsible for a project which implemented ERM. The guidelines place risk controls with other internal controls of the organization (keep in mind these guidelines are insurance and finance-centric). The guidelines provide for the assignment of responsibilities to 3 organizational roles: the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Information Officer, and the Chief Risk Officer. The Chief Legal Officer is identified in lieu of a Chief Risk officer. The CFO is responsible for monitoring internal control of financial reporting, the CIO is responsible for monitoring internal control over information systems, and the CRO is responsible for monitoring internal control over compliance with laws, standards, and regulations. The guidelines re-iterate that risk management tone is set from the top of the organization as evidenced by the company officers responsible for monitoring.

The Internal Control - Integrated Framework guidelines also acknowledge that monitoring and control are prone to human error and that not all procedures have equal importance. They address this by the identification of the most critical procedures using "key-control analysis". Key-control analysis is used to determine whether control procedures and processes are effective. The guidelines also attempt to provide direction in the identification of preventive or corrective actions to improve internal controls. They do this by evaluation of the information measuring the effectiveness. Only if the information is "persuasive" should corrections be made. The guidelines provide for internal audits of internal control procedures but acknowledge that every organization may not be large enough to warrant that role and that there is a place for external audits in internal controls.

Most of the reporting the project manager will be responsible for will be what the guidelines term as "internal", that is the reports will only be read by management. In some cases reports may be read by 3rd party external organizations. The project manager's reportage on risk management on their project may form a part of the information reported externally, but the project manager should not be made responsible for reporting externally.

The guidelines require that implementation of a framework be scaled to suit the size and complexity of the organization it serves. Scalability will require the organization to identify who will be responsible for a given activity. For example, the organization may not have a Chief Risk Officer in which case some other role must be identified for compliance responsibility. This responsibility will be delegated to the project manager when any compliance objectives form part of the project's objectives.

ERM was designed to serve the Financial and Insurance industries and some aspects are specific to those industries. Some, indeed most, of the components will serve any industry very well. Remember that there were contributors to the study from Universities, electronics (Motorola), and chemicals (E.I. Dupont). The best project management practices described in the PMBOK® will support ERM very well with little alteration. The trick is to identify the project risk management activities which align with and support ERM. Once you do this, implementing ERM with your project becomes easy.

Enterprise Risk Management and the PMBOK

Thursday, March 7, 2013


This interview discusses, the recent Italian elections and the resurgence of democracy as a protest against austerity imposed by the technocratic government; the ultimate futility of QE by Mr Abe in Japan following the nomination of a new BOJ governor; the illusory US real estate market recovery as portrayed by Bernanke and the National Association of Realtors; the scandal that JPM actions may have been the final straw that led to the bankruptcy of Lehman and triggered the financial crisis; the movement in Switzerland to organise a referendum on having Gold to back the currency; Rand Paul's filibuster and opposition to unconstitutional powers, allowing the President to kill Americans in the US without trial by executive fiat.

The Corbett Report provides a weekly podcast as well as interviews, articles and videos about current events and suppressed history from an independent perspective.

I am very pleased that my message is reaching an ever wider audience.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013



This month the National Association of Realtors (“NAR”) announced soaring median house prices USD 174K up from USD 155K the previous year and a mere 1.75 million homes, 4 months supply remaining in inventory. The message is clear buy now before it is too late. The NAR is one of the main sources of “irrational exuberance” for the US property market.

Believing this assumes one has a very short memory of previous forward looking statements by the NAR such as those in 2005-7 that the housing market could never collapse. Indeed David Lereah the NAR spokesman making them at the time was fired, and when interviewed by the media admitted he was pressured into making optimistic forecasts, and left to be the fall guy when the market collapsed.

Could history be repeating itself for Lawrence Yun, Lereah’s successor?

US Residential Real Estate Market Overview

Based on the National census the market consists of 133 Million homes. The average price, not the median price, based on Zillow statistics, is currently USD 152K. This means that the total value of all US residential real estate is approximately USD 20 TRILLION

Of the 133 million homes, 75 million are owner occupied, 40 million are rented, 4 million available for rent and 5 million are secondary residences. This leaves 9 million homes totally vacant.

From the above, there are estimated to be 14 million residential mortgages nationwide currently underwater. Some 5.5 million homes are already either delinquent or in foreclosureand this trend is accelerating.

Imagine the impact on prices of all the excess inventory above, some USD 2-3 Trillion in value hitting the market. One can see why Bernanke has tried desperately to re-inflate the bubble and save his banking buddies from the massive loan losses they would inevitably have incurred, by passing the burden to the taxpayer.

This is why Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage lender GSE’s were effectively nationalized and now issue virtually all new mortgages in the US. It is also why the FED is buying up to USD 45 Billion in mortgage backed securities monthly from the banks and other lenders.

This shadow housing inventory has a major impact on new construction where volumes are now 400,000 per month up from 300,000 over the last 3 years. This represents a 70% drop from the peak of 1,400,000 per month in 2006 and is back at levels last seen in 1982.

The product mix has also changed, where instead of building Mac mansions, current new construction is concentrated on low cost student apartments or lower middle class housing units frequently government financed.

The only bright light in selected areas, South California, New York, Boston, Nevada, Arizona etc. is that private equity/hedge funds and high net worth individuals have also been investing in high end properties. These are mainly buy, to let at good yields, when the investor's sources of finance are either cash down, or close to 0% interest loans. This is a game for the rich and the well connected, and normal buyers are excluded. This increase in supply will also push rentals down in prime areas, driving the lower quality property prices down even further.

The NAR members, are specifically exempted by Congress, from Money laundering regulations. Thus real estate purchases are frequently little more than a vehicle to recycle drug money.

In conclusion, it is mathematically impossible for many reasons for the market to enjoy a broad based recovery. There is a massive shadow inventory of properties. Too many owners who would move up the ladder are currently underwater on their loans. The first time buyer is saddled with massive student loans and no cash and probably no job. More children are moving back with their parents. Baby boomers faced with sharply declining retirement prospects are offloading large and secondary residences. 

This is why the NAR and the FED whose interests are directly aligned are working hard to entwine the trusting investor in their spider’s web of deception.

As always “Caveat Emptor” buyer beware.