Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Show some decency

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  • Hebe, in reply to tussock,

    “When dissonance is present, in addition to trying to reduce it, the person will actively avoid situations and information which would likely increase the dissonance”

    Yep that. And the stress face. I was going to peg it as cognitive dissonance but have not got any more than a sketchy understanding of the term so thought I could be wrong.

    Your explanation chimes exactly with what I see: a good person I love dearly but who cannot process such a challenge to her beliefs. And she is having so many of her assumptions and certainties challenged by the health system, insurers, family, that I can completely understand the shutdown.

    I am seeing that snap! closing of the face elsewhere.

    Whereas I'm interested in the daily unfolding, and I admit the events are reinforcing my cynicism about old spin-and-grin, so it is easier to process. (The first read of the book was hard: depressing and upsetting.)

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to BenWilson,

    Well Russia would certainly be improved if Kasparov were elected, instead of being (quite rightly) too scared to return.

    Trouble for him is Putin is no slouch at the long-term game, either.

    Back in NZ, I think Key's lack of strategic smarts is starting to show, and that gives me hope he'll be out of the picture soon-ish. The big question is who comes next.

    As for chess, when it first entered the thread I took it purely as metaphor, but I think it's a valuable one. I suspect chess and similar games were invented precisely to teach kids the kind of strategic thinking they'd need for careers in government and/or the military. It does worry me that I look at the likes of Putin and Xi Jinping and think these guys would be pretty handy on a chessboard, then look at what passes for leadership in the "West" and wonder where the strategists are.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    As for chess, when it first entered the thread I took it purely as metaphor, but I think it's a valuable one

    I may have taken an earlier remark of yours the wrong way. Sorry if that was the case.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I suspect chess and similar games were invented precisely to teach kids the kind of strategic thinking they’d need for careers in government and/or the military.

    My chess game has improved quite a bit since I started attempting to apply military tactical thinking to it, for what that's worth (I'm still rubbish, however).

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    No worries. I could've been clearer about what I meant.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Back in NZ, I think Key's lack of strategic smarts is starting to show, and that gives me hope he'll be out of the picture soon-ish. The big question is who comes next.

    I'm hoping at least one bloody journalist will push Key on whether he intends to see out the entire term if re-elected. I highly doubt it and it is only fair* for him to let us know who he sees as replacing him.

    *this part could be difficult for the slimy prick to achieve.

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    I'm hoping at least one bloody journalist will push Key on whether he intends to see out the entire term if re-elected.

    Yet another example of the "same-same" line being arrant nonsense. When Clark was PM she was asked this question by media constantly. One David Farrar blogged about it ("people have right to know" etc), and the blogging and the asking were not coincidental.

    And it's a perfectly fair question, of any long-serving Prime Minister. Especially when we're being asked to vote TeamKey, who aren't even on the ballot paper.

    But asking the question now - and wanting an answer - would be an act of lese-majeste, or a smear campaign, or something.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1324 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Heckling and some torrid questioning from opponents led National’s Wairarapa candidate to question whether his audience had any sense during an often-stormy election debate in Masterton.

    Interesting to note that National's Alastair Scott has a similar background to Key:
    "In 1994 I transferred to Tokyo and joined the global executive committee of Credit Suisse Financial Products, where I was responsible for the risk management of all derivative products in the Asian time zone."
    he was there until 1997
    see:
    http://www.alastairscott.co.nz/

    and also interesting to note that:
    "In 1999 Japan's Financial Supervisory Agency temporarily suspended the (Credit Suisse) financial-products division's license to operate in Japan for "window dressing," the practice of selling derivatives that are often used by bank clients to hide losses."

    see:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credit_Suisse
    and
    http://www.nytimes.com/1999/07/30/business/international-business-japan-revokes-credit-suisse-unit-s-banking-license.html?pagewanted=all

    Sounds like the seeds he plants grow bitter fruit....

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    where I was responsible for the risk management of all derivative products in the Asian time zone.”

    But that just doesn't make any sense! At all! Or do these banker types live in an entirely different world with all its geography creatively rearranged?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison,

    National have always paraded themselves as the party of decency, in a sense because conservative N.Z wants decency.

    Yet if anything the hacks are a painful document of what many political observers knew to be true. This is still a small country. People talk. The National Party are hated by folk who are purposely excluded by its agenda. The hacks highlight the strategy. It's more about the Left now, its about getting the political arena right , and let's be honest political journalism in this country has been tainted by this, that's a whole other issue.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Not sure whether you are being facetious – it’s hard to read expression through font.

    Most likely he’s talking about being the head of a desk that had responsibility for executing those types of trades through the times that the Asian markets were open before passing it off to the European traders.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Dismal Soyanz,

    Not sure whether you are being facetious

    Not at all. You may well be right about what the job involved, but even if it was limited to the major markets of East and Southeast Asia, that's still more than one time zone, and the markets of the Middle East and Persian Gulf, presumably important for their oil, are definitely in Asia but much closer to Europe in time zone. Hence my reaction: It doesn't make any sense.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Hence my reaction: It doesn’t make any sense.

    Or more precisely, it employs the sort of clumsy, generalist, quasi-offensive colonial Euro-centric perspective of an "Asian" "other" which you may well be conditioned to come to expect from a young, globe-trotting banker.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    For financial institutions, typically there will be an “Asian” centre (usually one of HK, Tokyo or Singapore) which will be responsible for book trading from the close of NY to the opening of London – which I assume is what he means by Asian time zone.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Dismal Soyanz,

    Thank you, that does make more sense.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Doyle, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I suspect that we're driven by economists and accountants who work in 3 month cycles, totally focused on the short term, bottom right hand corner.

    Stillwater • Since Nov 2011 • 28 posts Report Reply

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