Do consultations improve the knowledge of Government

Posted on July 26, 2018 by Jeremy Frost

I must admit that my experience in dealing with Government inspired tenders and consultation documents is not positive and like many a film I try to establish the underlying story.

The latest consultation on Strengthening Corporate Governance in Pre-Insolvency Situations is a very dry document; yes, I have read it all and would suggest it to be mistitled. What it should be is “How do we Reduce the Government Contributions to Pension Deficits without Investing any more in Enforcement and Investigation?”

Many of the questions are very difficult to answer constructively and, I would suggest show a rather misguided, if not ignorant view of the world. Even in the light of the recent Carillion case it ignores the fundamentals. Businesses in financial difficulties have few transferable assets and the risk associated with becoming involved leads to high costs, a position deemed reasonable by the courts.

Rant over. There are some parts of the consultation which, if worked on might provide some value. Investigation into Directors of dissolved companies is a great idea. HMRC already have access to the information necessary to allow the miscreants to be brought to account.

But what about employees who have no entitlements to the redundancy funds in these situations? I can’t see why that should not be addressed.

The concept that we must encourage our pension fund managers to look at long term investments seems quite bizarre. Shouldn’t they be doing this already? Would it not be better to encourage some form of Professional Qualification that dealt with all elements of best practice, not just those that benefitted the Government coffers?

I have one final point, only really acknowledged in passing; that being the balance between Entrepreneurship, conflicts of interest and the value placed on capital.

Every time you add layers of regulation the costs of compliance increase, stifle Entrepreneurship and make conflicts of interest more difficult to manage. The value placed on capital also diminishes. Perhaps because those drafting the consultation have so little knowledge of the three key areas, they don’t value Entrepreneurship and capital and spend their whole time trying to find conflicts of interest.

Whilst we continue to underplay the value of third party capital and overplay the value of Government we are damaging the role of business and its ability to generate the value we need and pay the taxes we all rely on.

Beware Eurocrats bearing false gifts

Posted on July 26, 2018 by Patrick Wadsted

I return to one of my favourite subjects, the probably most insolvent member of the European Union, Greece.

Apparently the EU has determined that Greece is over the worst and is ready to leave the European financial support programme.

The country is doing so well that Greece is to receive an extension of time to repay £85 billion of loans and will also have an extended period where no or little interest is paid on outstanding loans.

They also got another £15bn of new loans to help them on their way.

The economy is allegedly stabilised.

  • a)The national debt is estimated to be 180% of GDP, being £261bn
  • b)The IMF did not participate in this latest financing, surprise.
  • c)Tax evasion is estimated at between 6% and 9% of GDP, between £9bn and £13bn

Having reached this point Greece it has now been determined that it is ready to access international money markets.

Are they now going to borrow from someone else to pay back the EU?

You couldn’t make it up!

Building rapport within mediation

Posted on March 22, 2018 by Jeremy Frost

Mediation is a powerful tool for resolving disputes and one of the key pillars of mediation is the trust that the mediator is able to build with and between the parties, often in a short space of time.

The art of listening when mediating

Posted on January 16, 2018 by Jeremy Frost

Whilst disputes may be grounded in factual matters – an invoice not paid, goods not supplied or of poor quality, differing shareholder strategic directions – the emotion of the parties involved is often the largest obstacle to be overcome before settlement can be reached.

Mediation for world leaders

Posted on November 20, 2017 by Jeremy Frost

There are several flash points around the world right now, especially North Korea and the US (inter alia), Spain and Catalonia and now the military coup in Zimbabwe.