Swan diving version two: We need a plan

Version two of the Skilling/Weldon document Swan Dive or Belly Flop is now released. The document reflects a more considered response, based on more research and analysis, along with reader and blogger comments and, it seems, just more effort. Good job. I read through the rest of document, and made notes about what I liked, …

Invest now – but only in quality businesses

Linked in just raised US$76m from some strategic investors, while over in Western Australia Tanami Gold grabbed AU$12m from almost all exisiting shareholders. In Canada vBrick systems got $11.9m – they make enterprise video systems, and managed to get Menlo Ventures and Morgan Stanley on board, amongst others. China is also showing life, with Intel …

Three Rules of Life – and why not to break them

I have a few rules of life that have generally served me well: 1: Never drink anything that is on fire 2: Never annoy people that cook or serve you food and never send food back Coogee Bay Hotel ‘served human faecal matter in ice cream 3: Tailor your message to the audience The man …

Mia Farrow sleeps with only a rope. In Darfur.

Who knew? Turns out Mia Farrow has been travelling to Darfur, Chad and CAR for a while now. Here’s NYTimes columnist Nicholas Krstof, who has been there a few times himself, and been one of the main people that has bought the plight to the attention of the US people and Government, on Mia: Several …

Digicell – getting bigger and bigger by helping people

Digicell is cleaning up – earning dollars by targeting poor countries with their mobile phone services, and earning kudos for liberating their populations from inefficient and often corrupt Governments and incumbents. Owner Denis O’Brien’s motto (via Forbes): Give phones to the masses and they’ll fight your enemies for you. I wish they’d invade Australia and …

Internet still reigns as the cheapest ad dollar spend

It’s the big one – the one that moves industries, creates new ones and destroys old ones. Just how much time are people spending on the internet versus other forms of media? You see when the news finally hits that people are switching off TV, newspapers and magazines and switching on to the internet full …

Four more factoids from the NZ Internet Report

At the bottom of the Wolrd Internet Project – NZ Report are some nice cross tab charts. I find these interesting not just for the internet data, but also for some of the other insights. 1: Wealthier people spend more time with their family, Pakeha spend the least time with family, Males (self reported remember!) …

Top ten findings from the Internet In New Zealand 2007 report

The World Internet Project New Zealand report came out. Worth a look as it is part of a great world-wide project, and will hopefully provide great trends going forward.. Sadly the data is old. Really old in internet time. The WIPNZ survey was conducted in September-October 2007. Why does it take 8 months to analyse …

Banks? Real estate? the worst is yet to come

a Little bank story for kids, courtesy of the WSJ, and as told to writer Brian M Carney by billionaire and Private Equity pioneer Ted Forstmann. Once upon a time, when credit conditions and the costs of borrowing money were normal, the bank opened at 9:00 a.m. and closed at 5:00 p.m. For eight hours …

Yale’s expansion is great for foreign students

Each year 5300 or so people attend Yale College – the 4 year undergraduate part of Yale University. For the 2007-8 undergraduate class, there were 19,323 applicants – and a huge porportion of them deserve to go to Yale, or a similar institution. However only 10% got offers and 7.1% make it to the first …

Making (more) money from the falling housing market

US housing prices fell 14% March 2008 on March 2007. 14% is larger than the downpayment component of many US mortgages. Would your mortgage be greater than your house value if the house fell by 14%? How about in your first year of ownership? Mortgages like this are in negative equity, and owners should, ceteris …

Global official aid falls – NZ languishes at the back

Pathetic. Official development aid worldwide actually fell by 8.4%, in real terms, last year. This meant a drop from 0.31% to 0.28% of OECD member’s GNI, rather than rising up towards the 0.7% of GNI agreed to at the Gleneagles G8 and UN Millennium + 5 summits in 2005. Much of the change was because …

China: all but wheat, sugar and rice

Wheat, sugar and rice, along with “certain paper products” those are the items that will remain subject to tarrifs when we export them to China. They represent about 4% of our exports to China, so not a bad outcome. All three grains are subject to some pretty serious subsidization and quota-driven distortions in the world …