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Key leadership skills for CEO to navigate through the VUCA plus world #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 27, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30384942?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Key leadership skills for CEO to navigate through the VUCA plus world

Mar 27. 2020
Subhasakdi Krishnamra

Subhasakdi Krishnamra
By Subhasakdi Krishnamra
Sakolsri Satityathiwat
Special to The Nation

Crises are on the rise. Are organisations prepared? With Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexities and Ambiguity Plus (VUCA+) worldwide , many leading companies are more than ever facing with fast changing environment. To help them navigate through such landscape, we need to address such challenges in smarter ways.

As we stand several years into cross-industry disruption, driven by technological, regulatory, and competitive forces, we see continuous change in the business landscape. Looking back from mid-year of 2019, there were signs of global economic recovery from the decrease in inventory numbers in many countries and industries, the bustling in industrial production, and trade war between the United States and China began to unwind. However, starting from the beginning of 2020, budget stumbled and the coronavirus outbreak throughout the world causing economic stagnation.

Inevitably, we also face a VUCA+ landscape in Thailand as well. Risks identified by the Bank of Thailand includes the recent coronavirus outbreak causing the decline in tourism revenue, political instability causing the delay in budgeting, drought, which has direct effect on agricultural business. We are facing challenges in all aspects. No one can tell to what extent, how long, and how bad the impact will be. Now more than ever, disruption has gone from episodic to continuous and relentless. We need to assess the situation from various perspectives and take immediate action. The longer we wait, the stronger damage these situations will bring.

These are turbulent times for CEOs. Social upheaval, technological advances, and new generations of workers, among other things, add to their already long list of challenges. To help CEOs navigate the beyond VUCA+ of such landscape, we need to address such challenges in smarter ways. One of which is through strong leadership. Deloitte research suggested that chief executives of large organisations have the opportunity to thrive, by arming themselves with the skills to be un-disruptable. Five characteristics viewed as essential aspiration for an un-disruptable CEO includes:

Embrace ambidexterity

One of the key elements for business to survive in a VUCA+ landscape is to pursue two different paths that are often seen as complete opposites – cultivating the tension between exploitation and exploration by enhancing current operations and exploring the continually emerging new frontier. This includes ability to excel at both reliable profitability and risky breakthroughs and to seek opportunities that spark radical innovation while simultaneously optimising existing capabilities. To balance these oppositional elements and embed them in all processes, structures, and cultures will be challenging for CEOs.

Cultivate emotional fortitude

Emotional fortitude refers to the ability to use fear of the rapidly changing landscape to fuel more productive outcomes, and understand that failure to some extent is inevitable. CEOs need to convey the need for risky – but well conceived – ideas that may or may not work, create the culture where the possibility of failure is embraced and cultivate this element within their companies.

Encourage a beginner’s mind-set

The concept of “beginner’s mind” where CEOs will need to ask more questions, listen more intently and considering what they hear with less judgement, might not come naturally to them as traditional CEOs normally have the “know it all” attitude as they are expected to know it all. They usually have the confidence that comes with experiences. As we cannot rely on the static pattern to predict the future in VUCA+ landscape, the success could indeed depends on knowing what they do not know. The un-disruptable CEO should then learn to be curious, to express curiosity, and having the “eyes” of someone who does not know everything in order to stay vital.

Master disruptive jujitsu

Practicing disruptive jujitsu means to learn from the competition, then deliberately disrupting one’s own business model in order to stay ahead of it. Mastering in disruptive jujitsu would be ideal for how CEOs should handle disruption. Recognising threatening disruptions, breaking them into their components, selecting those components that can strengthen their organisation, and then finding a way to “hijack” these disruptive elements for their own competitive advantage.

Become the ultimate end-user ethnographer

In the world of disruption, along came technology that changes consumer’s behaviour in entirely new ways. Consumers are now online, social, hyper-connected, and overflowed with product knowledge and description. It is now more important than ever for CEOs to gain insight into experience of the ultimate end-user, becoming their most trusted champions by discovering their most subtle habits, desires, and subconscious concerns – to go beyond the consumer’s consciousness. While machine learning and artificial intelligence hold distinct promise for a more granular view of the practices based on large populations of consumers, they are far from a complete solution to this challenge.

These five characteristics lay the groundwork for a new or more nuanced leadership model. To succeed in this VUCA+ world, these elements should be embedded within the newer, emerging role of the CEO. Rather than these five isolated factors, mixed use of these characteristics as a whole is recommended. Organisation will also need to adapt in order to facilitate this new leadership model.

Contributed by Subhasakdi Krishnamra, Managing Partner, Deloitte Thailand and Sakolsri Satityathiwat, Senior Consultant, Deloitte Thailand

 Sakolsri Satityathiwat

Sakolsri Satityathiwat

Social distancing makes sense only with extraordinary fiscal stimulus #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 24, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30384692?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Social distancing makes sense only with extraordinary fiscal stimulus

Mar 23. 2020
By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg Opinion · Peter R. Orszag · OPINION

Across the world, as governments take their first economic stimulus measures to address the covid-19 crisis, debate is intensifying over the right form and size of that assistance. But this discussion hasn’t yet come to grips with five fundamental realities:

–First, mandating social distancing in response to the covid-19 crisis requires socializing the economic costs of doing so. We as a society can’t reasonably require social distancing, with the massive economic consequences it entails, and believe that most of those costs should be privately borne. We therefore need to either abandon social distancing (thereby overwhelming health systems and sparking untold deaths) or enact much larger stimulus measures. And by much larger I mean far larger even than the eye-popping figures the Trump administration is now pursuing in the U.S.

–Second, the disruption is so vast – the economy in many sectors and areas has effectively come to a standstill – that government failure to act will result in an avalanche of bankruptcies and extended unemployment that will, in turn, inflict lasting damage on businesses and families, even after the health crisis passes. Economists call this phenomenon hysteresis; others call it not being able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. It is why government intervention cannot be limited to the sectors most directly affected (airlines and hotels, for example) and must take new forms beyond the conventional tools (such as rebates to individuals). While many existing stimulus measures are necessary and helpful – especially support for unemployed workers and state governments – they are terribly inadequate given the scale of the economic damage already occurring.

–Third, given governments’ adoption of social distancing, the dilemmas we face will continue until an effective anti-viral or therapeutic can be found that allows us to contract the disease without suffering significant harm. In the meantime, even if current efforts are successful at attenuating the spread of the disease over the next several weeks, social distancing will need to be re-imposed in cycles. Given the plausible timetable for developing a vaccine, and unless we get very lucky and the virus itself mutates in a less harmful direction, these cycles could continue for well more than a year.

–Fourth, a proper response to the covid-19 crisis will stress test the increasingly popular proposition that government deficits don’t matter. This is a fiscal risk worth taking. Indeed, those who argue that the cost is too high or that a stunning increase in the deficit is too risky need to return to the first point above, because the budget impact reflects the economic consequences of social distancing. If you don’t like the fiscal cost but you favor social distancing, what you’re really saying is that you are willing to accept millions of bankruptcies and the ripping apart of corporate and social fabrics across the world.

–Fifth, the economic harm comes mostly from the sudden stop in business activity due to social distancing, not the lost productivity of those suffering or dying from covid-19. The demographics of those suffering from coronavirus and those suffering from the economic virus are quite different.

Governments around the world are awakening to these truths, and beginning to debate how to assist businesses suffering from the downturn. The U.K. is considering making grants to companies for up to 80% percent of salary, capped at 2,500 pounds ($2,900) a month; offering loans to small and medium-sized businesses; and taking equity stakes in airlines and other companies. Denmark has put forward a program to subsidize 75% of payroll for companies facing a need to cut jobs by 30% or more. France is considering equity injections and loan guarantees.

The economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman have proposed that governments simply pay companies to cushion the shock: “In the context of this pandemic, we need a new form of social insurance, one that directly targets and works through businesses,” they wrote earlier this month. “The most direct way to provide this insurance is to have the government act as a buyer of last resort. If the government fully replaces the demand that evaporates, each business can keep paying its workers and maintain its capital stock, as if it was operating under business as usual.”

And Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times has suggested a universal loan program, with a zero interest rate and extended repayment terms.

One thing is clear about stimulus measures in this crisis: Bigger is better. To my mind, the least-worst option is a large and comprehensive program of loans to businesses, as Sorkin has proposed, which could be extended quarterly and limited in the first instance to a share of 2019 revenue. It should work according to these four principles:

–All companies and sole proprietors should be eligible, given how hard it is to quickly assess which industries are affected and the feedback loops across sectors and businesses. The only condition should be that the companies maintain payroll and payments at some threshold relative to 2019.

–The program can most effectively be administered through banks, with the government then buying the loans and borrowers repaying through the tax code. Repayment could take the form of allowing a company or individual to deduct only a certain share of non-labor expenses until the debt is repaid. This approach in effect provides an auto-stabilizer for the repayments: They will be accelerated if the economy starts booming and delayed if doesn’t. Repayments will also be faster for firms that get back on their feet faster and that spend a smaller share of their budgets on labor. By having the government take loans off banks’ balance sheets up-front, this strategy also avoids further capital stresses on banks.

–In the event an effective therapeutic against covid-19 is delayed, causing the economic shock to last longer, the loans could be transformed into grants (thus moving from Sorkin’s idea to Zucman and Saez’s). It is nonetheless better to start with loans, and then forgive those loans (thus shifting to grants) if necessary, because we don’t know how long or severe the downturn will be, and it may turn out that the loans are sufficient to attenuate the economic damage. Even broad-scale loans would be an unprecedented fiscal experiment – but pose much less long-term fiscal risk than grants.

–Any future debt forgiveness for companies should give the government equity in those companies, and impose stricter conditions than those attached to the loans.

The specific design features of this program are matters for debate (including whether the banks should bear some share of the risks), and the right approach undoubtedly will vary from country to country. But the basic realities are the same everywhere: It makes no sense to impose social distancing without socializing the costs. And if we want to avoid irreversible economic damage, we can’t afford to wait.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Where is the U.S. getting the trillion dollars it’ll take to fight the coronavirus? #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 21, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30384538?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Where is the U.S. getting the trillion dollars it’ll take to fight the coronavirus?

Mar 21. 2020
Photo by: The Washington Post — The Washington Post

Photo by: The Washington Post — The Washington Post
By The Washington Post · Christopher Ingraham · BUSINESS, US-GLOBAL-MARKETS

$8.3 billion. No wait, $750 billion. Scratch that: how about $1 trillion?

The price tags for coronavirus relief packages in the United States keep getting bigger as the scope of the epidemic, and of the damage it will wreak on the economy, grows larger and more alarming with each day. Democrats and Republicans, some of whom have long preached fiscal restraint, are suddenly interested in throwing as much money at the epidemic as possible.

After a decade – and in the midst of a presidential campaign – when there were repeated arguments about what America can afford, policymakers appear to be ignoring issues of cost and deciding to spend, spend, spend.

So how can the nation suddenly afford to spend a trillion or more on the coronavirus?

The answer, in one word: debt.

As long as Congress authorizes it, the Treasury Department can issue as much debt as it needs to pay the nation’s bills. It does this by selling Treasury bonds to investors – foreign governments, banks, mutual funds, and many others who want to keep their money in a safe place. As long as investors keep buying American debt, the U.S. can keep selling it.

As of right now, the U.S. federal debt (not including government securities held by Social Security) stands at about 79% of annual gross domestic product. That’s high, historically speaking, but not a record – in the immediate aftermath of World War II, for instance, federal debt briefly spiked above 100% of gross domestic product.

As the coronavirus pandemic has send stock markets plunging in recent weeks, investors have signaled a rapacious demand for U.S. government debt.

At one point earlier this month, the 10-year Treasury bond traded as low as .54% during this crisis. When you account for inflation, that means that investors were effectively willing to lend money to the U.S. government for an entire decade at a loss.

Investors have been willing to do this because they’re looking for a safe place to park their cash at a time of massive uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Amid intense volatility in the bond market and panicked selling in recent days, the 10-year Treasury bond has moved up to .99%, as of Friday morning. That’s still extremely low by historic standards, so low that the Treasury Department is considering issue a 50 year bond for new spending.

The question is: How long will investors continue to lend money in this way?

Some countries, such as Japan, have lived with high debt levels for years, while others, such as Greece and Ireland, have seen financial crises as a result of their heavy burdens.

Few think that the U.S. debt burden right now is something that should preclude big spending to fight coronavirus. In time, when the economy recovers, the debt burden come could down thanks to a combination of economic growth, tax increases and spending reductions.

But before the coronavirus hits, the government was to set spend about $1 trillion more in 2020 than it collected. The coronavirus-induced recession and the new spending could double that this year.

A lot is riding on the continued confidence of global investors.

Saudi Aramco will find it increasingly hard to serve two masters #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 20, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30384501?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Saudi Aramco will find it increasingly hard to serve two masters

Mar 20. 2020
By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg Opinion · Ellen R. Wald · OPINION 

Saudi Aramco released its first earnings report as a public company this week, and the oil giant’s management discussed the results with analysts on a call Monday. By itself, Aramco’s 2019 financial performance wasn’t as strong as 2018, but not overly disappointing. However, these numbers show that Aramco – or more accurately the Saudi monarchy, which controls it – may have some hard choices ahead in 2020.

Falling demand for oil from the coronavirus outbreak – combined with the significant drop in prices sparked by Saudi Arabia’s actions to boost output and offer discounts following the breakdown of OPEC+ talks – means that Aramco will make even less money in 2020. Despite Saudi Arabia’s recent announcement that it intends to sell more oil, its profit is likely to fall substantially in 2020, which will force the monarchy to choose whether Aramco will honor its responsibilities to all shareholders as a publicly traded company or whether it will focus on funding the Saudi government.

This is an inflection point for Aramco and Saudi Arabia. The kingdom receives more than 60% of its revenue from the oil industry, and while it has options to help meet its budget – debt, austerity, or new taxes – it is truly reliant on Aramco payments. The government receives funds from Aramco mostly in three ways: a 50% income tax, a royalty on barrels of oil produced and a dividend. With low profit expected in 2020, the cash transferred to the government for the income tax will be limited. With low oil prices, the royalty payments, which are 15% of the price of Brent, will be exceedingly low. And if the company upholds its commitment to public shareholders, there would be less profit left to pay a dividend to the government.

In 2019, net income for Aramco was $88.2 billion, down $22.9 billion from the year before. With Brent now trading significantly below its price at the start of this year, Aramco is looking at lower profits just like every other oil producer. Aramco is taking steps to increase its sales of oil, but it is also offering discounts to do that. In all, revenue will be down significantly, and everyone at the company and in the government must know that. The company plans to drop its capital expenditures to between $25 billion and $30 billion, down from $32.8 billion in 2019, but this won’t be enough to counteract the lower revenue.

Lower profit isn’t the only bad news for the Saudi government. If Brent averages $35 per barrel, the government only receives $5.25 in royalties for each new barrel produced. Even if Aramco averages production of 12 million barrels per day – a major increase from earlier this year – the government would only earn $23 billion in royalties from crude oil. Comparatively, in 2018, Aramco paid the kingdom almost $55.6 billion in royalties and excise taxes. Unless prices rise, the royalty shortfall will be significant.

When it comes to dividends, the monarchy will have to make some critical decisions. In 2019, the company paid $73.2 billion in dividends, of which $3.9 billion were paid to public shareholders as a prorated portion since the December IPO. But Aramco committed to provide public shareholders with their share of a minimum of $75 billion in dividends, starting in 2020. The government, the largest shareholder, isn’t supposed to receive any ordinary dividends until after non-government shareholders are awarded their portion, based on a $75 billion total payout. However, with a lower profit expected in 2020, there may not be enough profit to cover the entire public shareholder dividend. On top of that, the Saudi government may need some sort of special dividend to fund itself.

Free cash flow fell to $78.3 billion in 2019 from $85.8 billion the year before. If Aramco’s board, at the direction of the monarchy, provides a special dividend to the government, it could be pulling money from Aramco’s cash reserves. This would decrease the value of the company’s shares and hurt the Saudi population, 20% of whom bought into the IPO, often on leverage. It would also hamper any plans for another offering of company shares to raise further capital for the government.

The Saudi monarchy, with the assistance of a board that isn’t independent, could revisit its commitment to provide the $75 billion dividend to public shareholders. The company also could decide to give the government leeway on the reimbursements owed to Aramco for the energy and petrochemicals it supplies to Saudi Arabia. In 2019 this equaled $35 billion. But these would betray non-government shareholders and hurt the stock price. If Aramco’s board of directors fails to provide the $75 billion dividend to all public shareholders, and, worse yet, if it funds the government at the expense of the company, it will mean that the monarchy has proclaimed Aramco to be a tool for its power and not public firm at all. And, because it is listed solely on the Saudi exchange, there will be no recourse for any shareholders, except for the loss of faith in the company and a stigma on its shares.

 

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Trump took credit during Wall Street’s highs, but what about its lows? #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 20, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30384390?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Trump took credit during Wall Street’s highs, but what about its lows?

Mar 19. 2020
Stock under Trump
Photo by: The Washington Post — The Washington Post

Stock under Trump Photo by: The Washington Post — The Washington Post
By The Washington Post · Christopher Ingraham · BUSINESS, PERSONAL-FINANCE, US-GLOBAL-MARKETS

MARKETS-ANALYSIS: Financial experts warned President Donald Trump against taking credit for Wall Street’s extraordinary bull run since the beginning of his administration. The foremost reason is that commanders in chief have little actual control over what happens in the markets.

From a purely political standpoint, presidents have tended to avoid claiming too much credit for the markets because stocks that go up inevitably come down. That’s a lesson Trump may be learning this week: On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average came within 75 points of his Inauguration Day close.

Stocks Photo by: The Washington Post — The Washington Post

Stocks Photo by: The Washington Post — The Washington Post

Nearly all of the Trump-era gains, in other words, have been erased.

On Jan. 20, 2017, the Dow closed at 19,827. It soared over the next three years, peaking at 29,551 on Feb. 12 of this year. Within a span of weeks, the Dow plummeted roughly 10,000 points – nearly one-third of its value – as the coronavirus crisis has played out. On Wednesday, it shed another 1,334 points to settle at 19,899.

By comparison, according to investment research platform Macrotrends, the Dow was up 65% at the same point in President Barack Obama’s first term. Under President Bill Clinton, it had climbed 69 percent. The only president since Ronald Reagan to see worse market performance at a comparable point was George W. Bush, who was leading the nation through the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Nearly all of these shifts are due to factors outside a president’s control. There are well-documented cases in which a market move can be unequivocally tied to the commander in chief’s actions. One of the most recent happened March 11, when Trump’s address to the nation caused Dow futures to drop “in real time with virtually each word Trump uttered,” as Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey recently put it in The Washington Post.

Stepping away from politics, it is also worth noting that the stock market is a highly imperfect metric for the economy overall. Fully half of Americans own no stocks whatsoever, not even through such retirement accounts as a 401(k). Recent research has shown the media’s market obsession creates a portrait of the economy skewed toward the interests of the rich, leaving us with a poor understanding of how middle-class Americans actually are doing.

The reality is the rich are running much of the show. The median U.S. senator is a multimillionaire. Billionaires and the firms they own have an outsize influence on the economy, and market troubles like the ones we’re experiencing now have ripple effects that trickle down to decisions about who gets hired and who gets laid off.

Wall Street pros panic over coronavirus while mom and pop buy #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 18, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30384288?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Wall Street pros panic over coronavirus while mom and pop buy

Mar 18. 2020
By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg Opinion · Barry Ritholtz · OPINION, BUSINESS, US-GLOBAL-MARKETS

If you’re one of those people – a pundit, investor or active manager – who’s been bracing for passive investing and exchange-traded funds to blow up the stock market, well, there’s some bad news for you.

But first, let’s recall some warnings about passive investing:

– Index funds are Marxist or communist

– Or socialist

– Passive investing is “devouring capitalism”

– It has reached a “mania”

– The passive boom is creating “frightening” risk for markets

– Passive investing is “lobotomized investing”

– Indexing represents a danger to the economy

– Your love of index funds is terrible for our economy

– They are a bubble waiting to burst

– Passive investing poses a systemic risk

But a funny thing happened on the way to this dangerous, systemic, Marxist bubble:

Nothing.

If ever there was a situation where the critics have told us passive was destined to fail, this should be it: the fastest bear market on record. A market externality caused by the coronavirus pandemic has sent volatility to swing wildly as markets have fallen the most since the financial crisis of 2008-’09. For investors younger than 40, this month probably saw the worst day of their investing lives. The Dow Jones Industrial Average now is about 30% lower than its record high set a little more than four weeks ago.

If ever there was an opportunity for active investing to shine, this is it.

But that’s not what we have seen. The panic is emanating from the great minds on Wall Street, not the plodders on Main Street. Perhaps the most intriguing indicator of this is found in the vehicles that professionals use versus those preferred by individual investors.

Consider the three largest S&P 500 Index funds in the world: State Street’s SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust or Spyder (SPY), Blackrock’s iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV) and Vanguard’s S&P 500 ETF (VOO). State Street’s Spyder is arguably the choice of professionals; it was the first major index ETF and the most liquid. BlackRock and Vanguard’s offerings are preferred by registered investment advisers and individual investors. Note these all hold the exact same thing; they are simply in different ETF wrappers.

As of last week, when the sell-off began to accelerate, BlackRock and Vanguard customers were net buyers every single day. By the end of the week, State Street’s customers turned into sellers. (We should get updated data on last week from all three fund managers later this week.)

In other words, as the sell-off progressed, Wall Street pros panicked and sold while moms and pops stayed calm and bought. Some of this is attributable to different timelines between investors and traders, or between short-term and long-term. But one can’t help but think that some of this is explained by psychology: The professionals are the ones whose bonuses and perhaps even their jobs are on the line. Retail investors looked to take advantage of a price drop.

But we can guess how this will develop, based on the latest data from Vanguard Group. According to the firm’s most recent measures of money flows, every single day of February and the first week of March all saw a net gain for equities. (Data for the week of March 9 was not available when I wrote this.)

This is very similar to what former Vanguard chairman and chief executive officer William McNabb observed during the financial crisis in 2008-’09: The pros sold and the amateurs bought.

Retail investors are the dumb money? I don’t think so.

Most investment assets today are still managed actively. However, as we noted in 2017, the active part of the money-management industry is still being downsized – or more correctly, right-sized. The active management world still has not yet come to grips with the sea change that followed the financial crisis.

Passive indexing and ETFs have provided a counterweight to the active traders who seem to be panic selling. Remember that the next time someone warns you of the dangers of passive investing.

– – –

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is chairman and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, and was previously chief market strategist at Maxim Group. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”

Prioritising PDPA compliance activities as May approaches #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 18, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30384276?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Prioritising PDPA compliance activities as May approaches

Mar 17. 2020
Alexander Cespedes

Alexander Cespedes
By Alexander Cespedes
Special to The Nation

Organisations need to comply by 27 May 2020 with the Personal Data Protection Act B.E. 2562 (PDPA). Non-compliance may result in administrative fines, criminal penalties and punitive damages. However, the PDPA should be seen as a business enabler. The objective is to mitigate risks and increase trust while we transition into a data driven society.

The question is: can we still make it in time to comply by May? First of all, compliance is not a one-off exercise, it is about building a capability and achieving continuous improvement. The PDPA wants you to be in control of your personal data and increase your level of assurance. Therefore, if by May you have at least identified the main risks, introduced a couple of measures and come up with a proper implementation plan, you have a road to follow.

In the following sections we focus on two main actions to take towards May: “Prioritize your risks” and “achieve quick wins”.

Prioritise based on risks

The very first step is to understand what personal data you process, why, how and where. Towards this end, work closely with your client facing teams and internal functions. Be sure to distinguish between structured and unstructured data. Often unstructured data is harder to manage and control.

The cornerstone of any PDPA compliance project is the records of processing activities in support of Section 39. Make sure the records represent the combined understanding of your business, IT and legal people. It is important to identify for which processing activities you process (sensitive) personal data, for which purpose and the lawful basis.

Next step is to visualise the records into high level data flows which should be used to support any discussions with management or the regulator. In parallel, you should make a list of systems and applications supporting processing activities and identify transfers to third countries. By the way, understanding the data collection points will enable you to know where a privacy notices should be added.

Then, identify for each processing activity the risks for non-compliance to your organisation and the risks to rights and freedoms of data subjects. Perform a threshold assessment based on well accepted criteria used in the EU such as whether the activity may result in profiling or monitoring, whether it is easy to merge data sets, whether you are processing on a large scale, etc. This will allow you to distinguish between high, medium or low risk processing activities.

For the high risk activities, perform a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA). When doing so, analyze which data protection principles maybe be impacted. We recommend to also take into consideration the rights of the data subject. The key questions are “how bad would it be if something happens?” and “how likely is this to happen?”

Now you can determine whether the level of risk is acceptable for your organization. However, consider that some risks to the rights and freedoms of data subjects should not be accepted. In this context, determine which controls could mitigate which risk. Controls may modify the likelihood, the impact, or both. There are four typical types of controls to be considered: preventive, detective, repressive and corrective.

Achieve quick wins

There may not be enough time to mitigate all risks by May. Nevertheless, you should initiate some quick wins and focus on short term pragmatic actions: Remove unused data, determine lawful basis of your processing activities, update your contract templates and draft key policies and notices.

Removing personal data you don’t need equals to removing the risk that something may happen to it. Just imagine how many years of activities have accumulated personal data across your systems. However, remember that the PDPA is not absolute and data retention requirements from other legal obligations may apply.

Managing consent is resource intensive and relying on legitimate basis in some cases is a black box. Try to rely as much as possible on legal obligation and performance of a contract to have a clear-cut answer to “can we process this personal data?”

Sooner or later you will need to review all your contracts with third parties. But this is a project on its own and may take months. At the very least you should identify all types of contracts you have and update the templates so that it includes the necessary legal language. When doing so be sure to have a placeholder to cover the instruction given from controller to processor and consider having a clause allowing you to audit the processor when relying on its services as a controller.

Lastly, draft your privacy policy in a way that is easy to digest, create the supporting procedures for example to handle data subject requests or report personal data breaches. Also make sure clear notices are created and available at the relevant personal data collection points. Data subjects have the right to know what personal data you collect, what it will be used for, etc.

Conclusion

Don’t try to do everything by May. Be smart, and focus on the real risks while creating some success stories to gain credibility from your teams. After May you can continue your efforts to increase your level of assurance, operationalize your practices and monitor compliance.

Alexander Cespedes is Director, Risk Advisory, Deloitte Thailand

Pandemic, panic and toilet paper mathematics #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 16, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30384134?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Pandemic, panic and toilet paper mathematics

Mar 15. 2020
Monica Hesse is a columnist for The Washington Post's Style section

Monica Hesse is a columnist for The Washington Post’s Style section
By The Washington Post · Monica Hesse · NATIONAL, OPINION, FEATURES, HEALTH, OP-ED

By now the pandemic has touched your own little cubby of the universe: your own Costco, bereft of hand sanitizer; your own gym, where spin classes have been canceled until further notice. It’s infiltrated your to-do list. I stood near a tired-looking mother Thursday at the supermarket while her small daughter asked whyyyy they had to be there, and the mother said, “I told you, to get ready for the emergency,” and the daughter said, “Is it tonight?” and the mother said, “that’s a good question,”

Is the emergency happening tonight? Is it happening now? Your answers to those questions will depend on how many pallets of toilet paper you currently have in your pantry. When apocalypses seem imminent, rolls of toilet paper unspool into the yardage by which Americans measure panic. We can imagine no scenario worse than the world ending while our pants are around our ankles.

On Thursday, Walmart, Target and Amazon’s online marketplaces were all out of stock, or close to it, and brick-and-mortar stores set limits of packs per customer until they ran out, too. An Australian newspaper printed eight extra blank pages, advertised as “emergency toilet roll.”

So, when you went to the store, did you buy all the toilet paper? Did you shove 36 megarolls into your cart, and then smush in 36 more, because your primary concern, in all of this mess, was saving your own butt?

Or, did you stand in the aisle and do the math: How much toilet tissue is already in your linen closet, times the number of butts living in your house, divided by how long you think this apocalypse will last.

Did you also factor in the number of butts (and hands, and hearts, and lungs) in your town, your state, your time zone? Was your math simple, or was it made complex by a sincere belief that, just as public health depends on herd immunity, public sanity depends on herd empathy – meaning, you acknowledge everyone else’s rear end is also on the line?

My job is to write about gender, and I’ve spent days trying to think of what that might mean in a pandemic. Men, dying at higher rates than women, at least in early reports from China? Women, bearing the brunt of extra child care and housework caused by closings, not to mention being the front lines of nursing and home health care? Men, who, at a rate of 69 percent, apparently do not regularly wash their hands in public bathrooms? The long social history that apparently led to this hand-washing gap, with century-old ad campaigns imploring women to be “modern health crusaders”?

If you want to get really deep into the most woo-woo of gender stereotypes: on Wednesday you could have watched President Donald Trump talk about using “tough measures,” “vigilance” and “authority” to “defeat” the virus. And then you could watch former Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson talk about the “infinite love” necessary for “healing” the world of the virus. She ended her guided meditation by staring into the camera and whispering, “Go wash your hands.” Maybe there’s something to be said about the language of combat versus the language of cooperation – how they reflect masculine and feminine tropes and whether one is better suited than the other to the kind of war we’re now in.

In truth, though, there is only one division that matters in a pandemic, and it is not gender.

It is whether you believe you deserve to hoard all the toilet paper.

Hoarding all the toilet paper means one of two things: One, you think you are genuinely more worthy of comfort, and if other people wanted to be comfortable then they should have bought all the toilet paper first. Two, it never even occurred to you that, if you buy everything, someone else is going to come in – someone who had a different work schedule, or was waiting to get paid – and they will not be able to buy anything.

The medical historian Frank Snowden gave an interview to the New Yorker recently about pandemics and epidemics and what they all mean for societies. “Epidemics are a category of disease that seem to hold up the mirror to human beings as to who we really are,” he told the magazine. “They show the moral relationships that we have toward each other as people.”

We are in the very early stages of learning how those moral relationships will be revealed in the age of coronavirus. We’re still in the double-take period, the that’s-a-good-question period. Disneyland only just closed. The Kennedy Center only just closed. The NBA only just suspended its season. Things could get so much weirder and more surreal, as we fight to put aside our own comfort and think of the older, the sicker, the weaker among us. The time of making calculations are just beginning. Will your math be simple, or complex?

We are not in a state of emergency if you are down to your last three rolls of toilet paper. We are in a state of emergency if you have 96 rolls, and some people have no rolls, and you don’t care.

Monica Hesse is a columnist for The Washington Post’s Style section and author of “American Fire.”

The U.S. may already be in a recession, and it could linger even after the covid-19 crisis is over #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 14, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30384051?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

The U.S. may already be in a recession, and it could linger even after the covid-19 crisis is over

Mar 14. 2020
Heather Long is an economics correspondent. Before joining The Washington Post, she was a senior economics reporter at CNN and a columnist and deputy editor at the Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. She also worked at an investment firm in London.

Heather Long is an economics correspondent. Before joining The Washington Post, she was a senior economics reporter at CNN and a columnist and deputy editor at the Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. She also worked at an investment firm in London.
By The Washington Post · Heather Long · BUSINESS, US-GLOBAL-MARKETS

ECON-ANALYSIS: WASHINGTON – There is a high and growing likelihood that the United States enters a recession in 2020. In fact, it may have already started.

America is shutting down at lightning speed as schools and businesses instruct people to go home and wait the coronavirus out. That is having a massive ripple effect on the economy as people curtail spending on about everything but toilet paper, pasta and hand sanitizer.

The pace at which all of this is happening is unprecedented. In 2008, it took 274 days for the stock market to enter the dreaded “bear market” territory. It took just 24 days to enter a bear market now. JPMorgan just changed its forecast to predict a recession in the first half of the year (a recession is two quarters of negative growth).

Economists and big Wall Street investors nearly all agree the nation has to do whatever it takes to get the health crisis under control, even if that means putting the economy into a recession. The hope was that a downturn would be short-lived. Until only a few days ago, most economists were talking about a “V” or “U” shaped situation with a quick drop this spring that would be followed by a massive rebound this summer as Americans cooped up at home do a mass rush back into “normal” life.

But now there is real concern this will look more like a “L” where stocks tank, the economy tanks and it is a slow and painful recovery. In other words, even if the health crisis is tamed, the economic crisis could last longer.

Much of this hinges on how long the economy has to be in timeout mode – a few weeks or a few months. As a small-business owner in Michigan, who did not want to be named for fear of worrying his customers, said by text: “My sales are down by half. I won’t survive three months like this.”

The same is true for workers. Layoffs have already started across the country in businesses as diverse as ports, hotels and bakeries. Many people can eek by for a few weeks, especially with some government and nonprofit aid to expand unemployment benefits, sick pay and food stamps, but it is a different story if the situation lasts for months. People start missing credit card, car and home payments because the government aid typically is not as much as they were making before. Then they start losing their car or home.

“The U.S. economy is in a tailspin,” writes economist Claudia Sahm on her blog. “This month and in the months to come, the incomes of families across the country will fall, making it impossible for some to make ends meet. As a result, spending will fall, hitting the bottom line hard at restaurants, car dealerships, construction companies, and many more.”

Fears about the economic impact heightened Friday after Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that it could take “eight weeks or more” of shutdowns and working from home to get covid-19 controlled.

What makes the economic situation so complicated is that uncertainty will remain high until the health situation is under control. So the usual playbook of sending Americans money or cutting their taxes or lowering their borrowing costs does not help if they literally cannot – or do not want – to leave their homes.

On top of that, the list of industries that need help is growing rapidly, an eerily reminiscent situation of 2008. Initially the coronavirus was mainly hurting the travel sector – airlines, hotels and cruise lines – and West Coast shipping and ports that are tied heavily to China. But now the pain is being felt across most of the service sector, which accounts for over 110 million jobs, excluding health care.

“Consumption is going to fall like a stone in March. You aren’t going to get that back,” said Constance Hunter, chief economist at KPMG. She is now predicting a 30 percent drop in consumption this month alone, a devastating blow for restaurants, event venues and more.

“You need to help the individuals and businesses most severely impacted. Otherwise it won’t be a V-shaped impact with a bounce back,” Hunter said.

A third blow is the oil price war Saudi Arabia and Russia launched over the weekend. Oil is now trading at barely above $30 a barrel, a level most U.S. firms cannot survive on for long. Massive layoffs are likely in energy in the coming weeks, another blow that might not bounce back, even if coronavirus ultimately goes away.

Policymakers are facing an almost whack-a-mole situation as they try to figure out which businesses and Americans are in the most need of support. So much of the economy is interconnected. If energy flounders, manufacturing and business investment are almost certain to sink with it, akin to what happened in 2015 and early 2016. Small business owners and gig workers are likely to be slow to go out to eat again or do expensive travel as they struggle to rebuild their bank accounts after coronavirus.

“It is worth remembering that in the early days of the housing market downturn, many of us thought that the problems would be limited to the subprime mortgage market,” said Louise Sheiner, policy director for the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, in a blog post. “We were very wrong.”

Among economists and Wall Street, the consensus is that U.S. leaders were too slow to respond in 2008 and too stingy with their initial aid. There was too much focus on one part of the market instead of realizing how rapid the spillover would be to the wider economy. No one wants a repeat of 2008.

OPEC’s epic fail will hurt all oil producers, even Russia #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 9, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30383667?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

OPEC’s epic fail will hurt all oil producers, even Russia

Mar 09. 2020
By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg Opinion · Julian Lee · OPINION, BUSINESS, US-GLOBAL-MARKETS 

OIL-COMMENT: Friday’s gathering of oil ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their international allies broke up in disarray. The collapse of talks reveals deep divisions over how to deal with the slump in oil demand triggered by the spread of the covid-19 virus.

Saudi Arabia demanded that Russia share in a proposed reduction of a further 1.5 million barrels a day, insisting that OPEC wouldn’t reduce supply without the support of non-members. Russia demurred. Maybe Vladimir Putin just didn’t like being told what to do by a 34-year-old prince who’s run his country for about as many months and his older brother who’s been energy minister for just half a year.

What’s become clear is that by making any OPEC output cut dependent on the participation of non-OPEC allies, the group effectively cemented Russia’s full control over the whole process of supply management, as I warned more than a year ago. This isn’t the first time OPEC+, which controls almost half of the world’s oil production, has been an uneasy partnership, but it is by far the most damaging. The partnership remains on life-support.

But this meeting was not just about making a further output cut. It was also meant to ratify an extension of the current agreement between the 20 nations to remove as much as 2.1 million barrels a day of oil from the market. That deal, reached in December, expires at the end of this month, leaving members free to pump as much as they wish from April 1.

And that’s just what Saudi Arabia is gearing up to do. State-owned oil monopoly Saudi Aramco, delayed setting official selling prices for April after the meeting collapsed. When it published them on Saturday, it slashed its flagship Arab Light crude by the most in 20 years, signaling that it may try to push as many barrels into the market as possible.

Bad as they are, things may not be quite as bad as some fear. Don’t expect the full volume of OPEC+ cuts to return immediately and swamp the market. Most members are already pumping at, or close to, capacity. Aside from Saudi Arabia, which could add more than 1 million barrels very quickly, the only other countries with the ability to boost output by more than 100,000 barrels a day are the United Arab Emirates and Russia.

Russia didn’t reject further output cuts just because its oil companies are reluctant to pump a bit less out of the ground. After all, they haven’t exactly stuck to their commitments so far, and at the last meeting they even secured an exemption for condensates – volumes of light oil extracted from gas fields – which is one of the areas of growth in Russian output. Had they wanted to do so, there was plenty of room for Russia to accept an output cut and implement it only in part, if at all.

One reason for refusing to play ball may be disagreement over how best to deal with a sudden sharp, but temporary, drop in oil demand. By allowing oil prices to fall, the Russians may be hoping to spur demand. It’s difficult to see that having much impact on consumption, though, when factories are closed, airlines are slashing flights and roads are emptying. Cheap oil won’t ease fears of the covid-19 virus.

But it may encourage countries like China and India to build up their strategic stockpiles. Both are creating buffers along similar lines to the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to protect themselves from any future supply disruptions. China already seems to be pouring vast amounts of crude into storage tanks and underground caverns.

Flows of crude from the Persian Gulf nations are down from their record October level, but they’re still pretty much on trend with shipments since the start of 2017. Volumes from West Africa are holding up, too. And amid the collapse in its oil consumption, China has emerged as the biggest buyer of crude from the Kurdish region of Iraq. It took four out of every 10 barrels shipped last month after buying nothing from the region as recently as October.

But there is also a bigger geopolitical dimension to Russia’s withdrawal from the output-cutting pact, just as there was to its joining. Participation served Putin’s ambitions to rebuild Russia’s influence in the Middle East. Withdrawal is aimed at punishing the U.S. for its repeated attacks on Russia’s energy interests through sanctions, which have stifled Arctic offshore exploration and shale development, prevented the completion a gas pipeline to Europe under the Baltic Sea, and targeted the Venezuelan business of Russia’s state-oil producer Rosneft.

Saudi Arabia led OPEC in a war on shale in 2014, when it introduced the pump-at-will policy. It failed then, capitulating as oil prices collapsed a year later. But U.S. producers from Exxon Mobil Corp. to Continental Resources Inc. are already being hammered and now may be a more auspicious time to launch an attack.

Even if it fails again, Russia intends to make sure that U.S. oil companies share the pain of the collapse in oil demand. Saudi Arabia appears wiling to help it. The next few months will be ugly.

– – –

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Lee is an oil strategist for Bloomberg. Previously he worked as a senior analyst at the Centre for Global Energy Studies.

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