Global Alliances Accelerates into 2018 and Beyond

first_img2017 was a legendary year for us in Global Alliances. We achieved 28 percent growth year-over-year. More business is flowing through Global Alliances than ever before. And the results are not a fluke. We’re aligned to customer demands including Digital, IT, Workforce and Security Transformation. On behalf of the entire Global Alliances team, I say a huge THANK YOU to all of you!But we cannot rest, as the pace of change is relentless. We must accelerate our success. This week at Global Partner Summit I articulated our Global Alliances Acceleration Strategy. This four point strategy is what I often refer to as our incremental agenda. If we commit together, we can truly accelerate success.Global Alliances Acceleration StrategyStandardize – You have to make a bet on partners to standardize on, and we want you to bet on us. We know we need to earn that right to eliminate the white space, and we are up for the challenge. With Dell Technologies, our partners have access to incredible technologies and a sales organization with multiple specialties. We want to underpin your GTM and as-a-service offerings by taking advantage of these technologies. When you have an end-to-end Dell Technologies stack we can go to battle with you and win the war. You’ve heard a number of tremendous announcements this week around our portfolio. Learn everything you can about these products and services. This is our opportunity.Expand – We must capture new and incremental business, from new logos, expanding in underpenetrated accounts, breaking into new verticals and driving a transformation motion within our current customers. Know our ASD organization, and leverage them to drive the sales to sales “at the street” relationships we need to win new business.Scale – Speaking of the Dell Technologies portfolio, we must continue to scale across our Strategically Aligned Businesses, and create dedicated practices – harnessing your great people and our enabling technologies. The powerful combination is how we will help customers address Digital, IT, Workforce and Security Transformation.Leverage – We know that the IT industry is a complicated web, with fierce competition and cooperating at the same time. Nobody can deliver everything, but no one also has the portfolio like Dell Technologies. But our partners can also benefit from each other through Cloud Partner Connect, connecting Service Providers and Solution Providers to deliver as-a-service offerings to customers.With this acceleration strategy in place, we have the beginnings of a recipe for success. But we need to fuel the growth engine, and it all starts with a mutual plan. I might sound like a broken record by now, but I’ve said time and time again that we don’t prioritize partners, we prioritize plans. As you review your Partner Growth Plans, I encourage all of our partners to consider the following:Understand the acceleration strategy and align your plan accordinglyEnsure you understand our entire Dell Technologies portfolio and are leveraging our Strategically Aligned Businesses, both our portfolio and sellersWe have invested significant resources into creating training to help you. Take these trainings, and if you feel like you’re missing something, scream loud and earlyStay aligned to our Global Alliances sales teams, whose sole responsibility is to engage with our core sellers.We have the technology, the people and the plan in place to accelerate success together. Let’s make 2018 even more legendary than last year. This is our time for the taking, and it’s going to be incredible. And remember, the big won’t eat the small, but the fast WILL eat the slow. Let’s accelerate!last_img read more

People moves: New leadership for €406bn asset manager

first_imgMichael ReinhardReinhard said the company aimed to reach €500bn in assets under management and administration by 2023 and become “the largest fund service platform for all asset classes in Europe”. It is hiring 150 support staff in Poland and investing in technology and automation.He became COO last year after joining from AXA Group where he spent 15 years, latterly as global head of operations for AXA Investment Managers.In addition, Katja Müller, currently head of sales and relationship management at Universal, is to become chief customer officer, a newly created position. She joined in 2014 after 12 years at Deutsche Bank, and also worked at DWS for 10 years.Daniel Fischer, director at Montagu Private Equity, which owns Universal, said the asset manager was “an unparalleled success story – with Bernd Vorbeck having played a decisive role here”.DNB – Kommer van Trigt is to start as chief investment officer at De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), the Dutch financial services regulator, from 1 March. He will be tasked with the management of DNB’s investments as well as the financial reserves of the Dutch state, totalling approximately €23bn.He succeeds Edith Siermann, who moved to NN Investment Partners earlier this year after less than 18 months in the job. Van Trigt joins from the €171bn Dutch asset manager Robeco, where he has worked since 1997. He left as head of its fixed income team. Prior to his role at Robeco, he worked at DNB as an economist for two years.Neuberger Berman – The $304bn (€268.4bn) asset manager has hired multi-asset specialist Joe McDonnell from Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM). He joins as head of portfolio solutions for the EMEA region.McDonnell spent 10 years at MSIM, also as head of portfolio solutions, and has also held senior roles at corporate pension funds, including head of investments at Shell and head of fixed income at IBM.In his new role, he will be responsible for designing and overseeing multi-asset mandates, and implementing “customised quantitative solutions” for Neuberger’s institutional clients.Syntrus Achmea Real Estate & Finance – SAREF has named Mascha Hendrickx as chief financial officer, effective from 1 July. She is to succeed Cindy Rombouts, who left on 1 January. Hendrickx joins from KMPG, where she has been an audit partner since 2012.In addition, George Dröge, director of mortgages, intends to step down from the executive board on 1 September. He will stay on at SAREF for an additional couple of months to aid a smooth handover of responsibilities, the company said. Swiss Life Asset Managers – Michael Hennig has been appointed as head of securities for Swiss Life Asset Managers’ operations in Germany. He joins on 1 March and will be responsible for distribution, as well as expanding the company’s services to occupational pension funds.Hennig was previously at Fidelity International where he spent more than 11 years, latterly as head of workplace investing in Germany. He has also worked at Nordwest Finanz Vermögensberatung and several Sparkassen institutes in Germany, mostly in the areas of pension solutions and real estate.Natixis Investment Managers – France’s second-biggest asset manager has hired Harald Walkate as its first head of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ESG. He will have oversight of how CSR and ESG is implemented across Natixis and its affiliate managers.Walkate joins from Aegon Asset Management in the Netherlands, where he was global head of responsible investment. He is also an adviser to the Impact Management Project, which aims to set standards for measuring the impact of investments. He will continue this advisory role following his move, Natixis said.Detailhandel – Lieske van den Bosch has been appointed to the board of the €21bn Dutch industry-wide pension fund for the retail sector, Detailhandel. Van den Bosch, a former HR manager at retailer Leen Bakker, currently runs an HR consultancy. She is also a trustee at Wonen, the €3.5bn closed pension fund for the furnishing industry and a potential merger partner for Detailhandel.AZL – Pensions provider AZL has added Rob Dingemans to its executive board as director for business development. He has previously worked at insurer Interpolis and pensions provider Achmea. Intermediate Capital Group – The €35.2bn private assets specialist has appointed Jamie Rivers as a managing director for its UK equity and mezzanine debt team. He will specialise in sourcing UK investments for ICG’s European strategy. Rivers joins from BC Partners where he worked for 15 years, originating and executing private equity investments.Cambridge Associates – The consultancy group has hired Chris Powell as an investment director in its pensions practice. He joined last month from EY where he spent more than six years on its pensions advisory team. A qualified actuary, Powell will feed into Cambridge Associates’ work providing fiduciary management and investment advisory services to UK pension schemes. Vorbeck (pictured) is to move to Universal’s supervisory board, after spending 30 years in a variety of roles at the €406bn group. He joined in 1989 and was made a member of the management board 10 years later. He has been CEO since 2007, and also sits on the management board of BVI, the German asset management industry association. “I am proud that I was able to accompany Universal-Investment and the dedicated people who contributed to this success, and to have played an active role in shaping the company’s transformation into the top infrastructure platform for the fund industry,” Vorbeck said.“In the last two years, we have successfully laid the foundations for Universal-Investment’s future development, and this is now an opportune time to usher in a new generation in management.”center_img Universal-Investment, DNB, Neuberger Berman, SAREF, Natixis, Detailhandel, AZL, ICG, Cambridge AssociatesUniversal-Investment – CEO Bernd Vorbeck is to hand over leadership of the Frankfurt-based asset manager and master-KVG provider to Michael Reinhard, currently chief operating officer, with effect from 1 May, as part of a leadership restructure.last_img read more

Floyd Little thrives in all-encompassing role for Syracuse administration

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 4, 2015 at 8:44 pm Contact Brett: [email protected] | @Brett_Samuels27 A Syracuse recruit sits in a chair in a Manley Field House office. On the walls around him, he sees a framed No. 44 jersey, a painting of three Syracuse football legends and a movie poster for “The Express.”Sitting across a desk from him, five feet away, is Floyd Little.“Sit back for a minute,” Little tells him, his voice soft and gravelly, a nearly hypnotic whisper. “Just close your eyes…just close your eyes.”“Where do you want to be in five years?” he asks.He’s giving them permission to daydream, something they don’t get a chance to do in class. He starts to notice the student-athlete drift away in thought.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“OK, open your eyes,” Little says. “I’m going to tell you how to get there.”Little leans over and lets the kid know he’s just like him. He’s just people. Nothing special.But that isn’t exactly true. Little is in seven halls of fame, was selected to five Pro Bowls, retired from the NFL as the sixth-leading rusher of all-time and is the only Syracuse football player to be named an All-American three times.“I can’t motivate you,” Little said. “I can only inspire you to motivate yourself.”As the special assistant to the athletic director, some days it’s Little’s job to inspire commits. Others, he might attend a women’s basketball game — a team whose games he refuses to miss.In 2009, after spending about 30 years as a Ford dealer, Little spoke with then-athletic director Daryl Gross about returning to Syracuse, where he became a household name as a player from 1964-1966. Little had been back every once in awhile, but now his role at SU is full-time.His job requires him to do “a little bit of everything.” He mentors student-athletes. He meets with recruits. He mediates and acts as a soundboard for frustrated employees who need to vent. And he recently served as a “mentor” to the transitioning athletic directors in April and May.“There’s an instant respect you get with Floyd,” former interim AD Pete Sala said. “He’s the real deal, that’s all I can say. He did it the right way.”In public, Little is an ambassador for the athletics program. He’s shown on the big screen shaking hands with the “Hero of the Game” and other special guests during home games at the Carrier Dome. He watches games from the sidelines, giving feedback to players with a thumb’s up, down or sideways.He’s taken student-athletes from different sports under his wing. He’s worked with Durell Eskridge, Cam Lynch and Terrel Hunt of the football team.After Syracuse lost 34-24 to then-No. 8 LSU, Little spoke to a locker room of players who didn’t want to say anything positive. Linebacker Zaire Franklin reflected on the few plays that could have turned the game. Scott Shafer said he wanted to “win the damn game for this town.”“You won,” Little told the team after the game. “The score didn’t determine who won this game, you won this game.”Interacting with student-athletes is a large part of Little’s job. But he also serves as a face of the athletic department, and his legend never escapes him. Sitting at his desk, he pulls out a stack of cards and letters, tucked behind a “swear jar,” from families, players and fans he’s influenced.Little recalls an experience where a man wrote to him, hoping that his 90-year-old father could meet Little, his hero.When Little obliged, the old man was so emotional he couldn’t speak when Little went to hug him and take a picture together. The man’s son told Little his father was in tears on the ride home.Little said he’s seen athletes like Reggie Jackson or Bill Russell tell fans to “get the hell out of my way.” He’s seen the pain on the faces of fans who are ignored by their favorite players. It’s his role to make up for them, he says, and be the guy anyone can approach.“It helps me know I’m making a difference,” Little said. “Changing lives, for me, is what makes a difference.”His ability to connect with people is what made Little the choice for Chancellor Kent Syverud to help guide current vice president and chief facilities officer Pete Sala when he was named interim athletic director in March.Sala said he’d often ask Little to speak to a student-athlete before bringing them to him for a difficult conversation.Little offers the perspective few others can — he’s been in an SU student-athlete’s shoes, and he’s achieved at the highest level. It gives him instant credibility, Sala said.When Mark Coyle took over as athletic director in July, one of the first people he met with was Little. The two grabbed a slice of pizza at Varsity and chatted in a booth, sitting a few inches from a portrait of Little that hangs on the wall.When Coyle first started, people both inside and outside the school were coming at him with requests and ideas.“What I’ve found to be a great help to me is that (Floyd) has this ability to slow everything down and make it manageable,” Coyle said, “and then he’s on to the next thing.”Little has had three jobs in his lifetime: a professional football player, a car dealer and a special assistant to the athletic director at Syracuse University. The last one, his current job, is his favorite, he said.On Nov. 14, Little will be honored for what led to his first job when his statue is unveiled at Plaza 44 outside the Ensley Athletic Center. Little’s statue will stand next to monuments for Ernie Davis and Jim Brown.Not only has Little been an athlete, he’s recognized as one of the best.“No one to learn from better than a Hall of Famer,” said SU commit Moe Neal, who met with Little in September.And when one recruit after another comes to sit opposite him in his office, Little’s voice, as low and raspy as it is, always commands respect.When those recruits and their parents listen to Little’s pitch, they stand up and walk out the door. Little hears a conversation as they make their way down the hallway.“You know where you’re going, don’t you?” he hears the parent tell the kid.“These are some of the best times of my life,” Little said. “I think I’m using the kids to keep me young.” Commentslast_img read more

Does ISIS Evolve?

first_img(Visited 38 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 This may be the winning candidate for worst Darwinian just-so story of the decade.You have to hand it to evolutionists; at least they are consistent. If everything evolves, then everything evolves. Makes perfect sense. But a corollary is that there is no such thing as an ideology. Human beings are mere pawns of evolutionary forces that use them to play “games” (according to the game-theoretic version of Darwinian evolution).One of the most extreme examples of applying Darwinian theory to everything can be seen in a new paper by 10 academics from the University of Florida and Harvard University about “online ecology” including “ISIS and beyond”. To them, the Islamic State evolves like any other biological ecosystem. Published in Science, this paper utilizes the terminology one would expect in a paper about the Darwinian evolution of a forest community or a population of predators and prey in the soil.Support for an extremist entity such as Islamic State (ISIS) somehow manages to survive globally online despite considerable external pressure and may ultimately inspire acts by individuals having no history of extremism, membership in a terrorist faction, or direct links to leadership. Examining longitudinal records of online activity, we uncovered an ecology evolving on a daily time scale that drives online support, and we provide a mathematical theory that describes it. The ecology features self-organized aggregates (ad hoc groups formed via linkage to a Facebook page or analog) that proliferate preceding the onset of recent real-world campaigns and adopt novel adaptive mechanisms to enhance their survival. One of the predictions is that development of large, potentially potent pro-ISIS aggregates can be thwarted by targeting smaller ones.As justification for this Darwinian view of a radical religious movement, the authors believe they can identify ways to thwart its spread. But their analysis completely depersonalizes the movement, ridding it of any ideological, theological, or moral underpinnings. The terrorists become nothing but pawns of impersonal forces adapting to the environment.The authors do not use “natural selection” or “phylogeny” language, but do rely heavily on “evolutionary adaptations” and “survival” concepts, e.g.:These observations open up the possibility to add evolutionary game theoretic features into our systems-level theory to explain the multiple use of particular adaptations by particular aggregates and their decision of when to adapt. A future generalized theory could prove possible, employing game theoretic ideas from (26), for example.Ref. 26 is to Martin Nowak’s 2006 book, Evolutionary Dynamics: Exploring the Equations of Life. The description on Amazon.com does refer to natural selection:At a time of unprecedented expansion in the life sciences, evolution is the one theory that transcends all of biology. Any observation of a living system must ultimately be interpreted in the context of its evolution. Evolutionary change is the consequence of mutation and natural selection, which are two concepts that can be described by mathematical equations. Evolutionary Dynamics is concerned with these equations of life.Clearly, these scientists treat ISIS as a mere “aggregate” that “adapts” by variation and selection according to a model. Is that the best way to understand a terror movement? The editors of Science give it their blessing, not only by publishing it, but by adopting their terminology about the “evolution of such aggregates“. What none of the scientists or editors seem to realize is that the same thinking could be applied to scientists themselves. What happens if scientific research is viewed in Darwinian terms? Are members of the scientific community in an aggregate that adapts to the environment by impersonal processes describable by equations? If so, then the “scientific aggregate” has no claims to truth—including this paper and the journal that published it.Media Buy-InAt Live Science, Kacey Deamer bought into this notion in her article, “ISIS Plays ‘Evolutionary Game’ to Avoid Online Shutdown.” Is that it? Is it just a game? Deamer goes one step further in self-refuting nonsense, when she lets lead author Neil Johnson turn the Americans into the predators:“It’s a little bit like fish when they form shoals and the shoals merge and break up, and when a predator comes in they scatter and then they reform,” Johnson said. “But they tend not to reform around where the predator was. They’ll go off into different corners and gradually build up again.“It’s not too dissimilar,” he added, “But, of course, now it’s on the internet.”Are readers supposed to view ISIS terrorists who chop off heads and drop their enemies into vats of acid as nothing more than little fish who scatter when a predator approaches? Who are the good guys here? This portrayal almost makes one sympathetic to the terrorists, as if everything was peaceful and pastoral till the American drones appeared overhead.Return to Reason?John Bohannon usually has a wiser outlook among Science commentators, so let’s see what he says about this in his piece, “How to attack the Islamic State online.” He begins by sharing the data-gathering work by Yulia Vorobyeva (University of Florida), a co-author of the paper. She spent a lot of time combing through the chilling, bloody messages from ISIS on social media, where many of the victims are children. She found, to her surprise, that nearly 40% of pro-IS participants were women. “Given the often harsh treatment of women endorsed by the terrorist organization,” that was startling, he says. “Vorobyeva’s harrowing exercise in data-gathering has helped her understand how IS wages an online war of propaganda.” So far so good: it’s about ideology; it’s about propaganda; it’s about intentional action. No evolution here. Ideas matter. Bohannon proceeds to investigate how the data she gathered in her “gruesome” task might help allies stop the spread of ISIS terror through their “ideas and information” shared online.Unlike the evolutionists, Bohannon writes like a reporter watching an intelligence agency evaluate a threat based on real-time data and intelligence gathering, using analytical tools. He only uses the e-word evolution once in passing—”the growth and evolution of the online networks that supply the terrorist group with converts and support”—a reference that might be forgiven if he defines evolution here as mere “unfolding change over time” presumably by freely-acting individuals. So yes, in a sense, warfare is a game, and enemies’ strategies evolve. That’s why countries practice war games. But if “Evolution” is the gamer, and human beings are mere pawns in a mindless game, then the bottom drops out of all efforts at explaining an evil like ISIS.None of the three articles mentioned evil, morality, or design. The Science articles only mentioned Islam within the phrase “Islamic State”; Live Science didn’t mention Islam at all.Free Your WillIf humans are pawns of evolutionary games, they have no free will. The late Cornell evolutionist Dr. William Provine used to emphasize that. Whatever the “Association for Psychological Science” thinks about the question, they have the sense to realize that things go better with free will. Science Daily writes, “When it comes to knowing your true self, believe in free will.” The irony of that headline appears lost on its author.“Whether you agree that we have free will or that we are overpowered by social influence or other forms of determinism, the belief in free will has truly important consequences,” says lead author Elizabeth Seto, a Graduate Student at the Department of Psychology at Texas A&M University.Previous studies have shown that minimizing belief in free will can increase cheating, aggression, and conformity and decrease feelings of gratitude.Other research indicates that feeling alienated from one’s true self is associated with increased anxiety, depression and decision dissatisfaction. On the other hand, knowing one’s true self positively influences self-esteem and one’s sense of meaning in life.Another psychological survey was done (you know, the kind that is usually hard to replicate). Dr. Elizabeth Seto (Texas A&M) could only offer pragmatic reasons for choosing to believe in free will (if you can pardon the irony again):“When we experience or have low belief in free will and feel ‘out of touch’ with who we are, we may behave without a sense of morality,” says Seto. “This is particularly important if we have a goal to improve the quality of life for individuals and the society at large.”So is this a call to faith? It seems intuitive that one cannot have a goal to improve without presupposing the belief in free will. Else, how can an individual do otherwise, and why would Seto encourage people to believe in free will?Update 6/21/16: Sheryl Prentice (U of Lancaster) on The Conversation offers a design-based approach for using technology to predict terrorist attacks. There is no mention of evolution in her article, which relies on finding patterns and using human “experience, values and judgement” to predict which individuals are “intending to carry out an attack.” Her approach stands in stark contrast to the evolutionary model.The absurd lengths to which secular evolutionists apply their theory make us wag our heads in disbelief. This takes the cake: ISIS evolves by mutation and natural selection! Well, then, we might as well throw down our arms and watch in helpless horror as this cancer spreads. If they win, they prove themselves the fittest. Their first act as the fittest in the evolutionary game is to declare Darwinism illegal and punishable by death. Short circuit!Is there nobody in secular media and Big Science who sees the inherent contradictions? This is so easy; we do it all the time. Just apply their assumptions back on themselves, and watch their ideas implode. It’s a law of nature that no idea that implodes is sustainable. Simple logic. Why is this so hard?We have no quarrel with intelligence gathering on network activity that helps morally righteous people fight ISIS with wisdom and strategy. ISIS is committing genocide. They crucify Christians, a horror unheard of since the Roman Empire. They drop other Muslims into vats of acid. They take little girls as sex slaves. They bomb marathons. They shoot up nightclubs. They use chemical weapons. If ever there was a righteous cause for just war, this is it! Those who care about righteousness must use intelligent design to stop a great evil. Intelligent design can (and should) include sophisticated technology and mathematical models.What we don’t need is evolutionary theory! ISIS has nothing to do with mutation, selection, or game-theoretic ecology. For love of God and country, get the Darwiniacs out of the State Department before we all die.last_img read more

A nonfiction guide to South Africa’s 20 years

first_imgThe books team at the Sunday Times has put together a list of the top South African books that they believe give readers insight into the country’s transition into a free and democratic nation.Here we highlight the past 20 years of winners of the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award, South Africa’s premier literary award. Named for Alan Paton, author of Cry, The Beloved Country, the prize is given to books deemed to be outstanding works of non-fiction.Interested in South African novels? See Read your way through 20 years of democracy, which highlights 20 years of the best fiction writing.Highlights from 20 years of nonfiction1994Return to Paradise by Breyten Breytenbach (Human & Rousseau)South Africa heads toward majority rule, yet Breytenbach is far from optimistic about its future. He sees a civil war raging and the land awash in blood. A New York Times notable book of the year. Awarded the SundayTimes/Alan Paton Prize.1995Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela (Little, Brown)The riveting memoirs of South Africa’s first democratically elected president, Long Walk to Freedom recreates the drama of the experiences that helped shape Nelson Mandela’s destiny.1996The Calling of Katie Makanya by Margaret McCord (New Africa Books)A moving, illuminating memoir that chronicles the life of an extraordinary woman who was born in 1873 in colonial South Africa and lived through the early years of apartheid to her death in 1955.1997The Seed is Mine by Charles van Onselen (Jonathan Ball)After years of interviews with Kas Maine and his neighbors, employers, friends, and family – a triumph of collaborative courage and dedication – Charles van Onselen has re-created the life of a man who struggled to maintain his family in a world dedicated to enriching whites and impoverishing blacks.1998Africa: A Biography of Continent by John Reader (Penguin)A one-volume history of Africa that starts in geological pre-history and the formation of the continent, spanning centuries, and ending with decolonisation and African nationalism. This massive book is the result of four years research, most of it in Africa.1999Bram Fischer: Afrikaner Revolutionary by Stephen Clingman (Jacana)In 1964 Bram Fischer led the defence of Nelson Mandela in the Rivonia Trial. Two years later, Fischer was himself sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa for his political activities against the policies of apartheid. This meticulous and finely crafted biography follows a fascinating journey of conscience and personal transformation.2000Mandela: the Authorised Biography by Anthony Sampson (HarperCollins)Anthony Sampson first met Nelson Mandela in the 1950s – and was given complete access to all his personal papers, to the man himself, as well as to his friends and political associates, to write the full story of one of the world’s greatest leaders.2001A Mouthful of Glass by Henk van Woerden (Jonathan Ball)A short, tough story of the man who killed Hendrick Verwoed, the racist prime minister of South Africa, in 1966. Born in Mozambique of a Greek father and African mother, Demitrios Tsafendas was a man lost between the races, maddened by not knowing who or what he was.2002The Dressing Station by Jonathan Kaplan (Pan Macmillan)Surgeon Jonathan Kaplan has flown around the world on medical assignments, but as this debut book suggests, he never feels more engaged with life than when among the dying.2003Midlands by Johnny Steinberg (Jonathan Ball)In the spring of 1999, in the beautiful hills of the Kwa-Zulu-Natal midlands, a young white farmer is shot dead on the dirt road running from his father’s farmhouse to his irrigation fields. The murder is the work of assassins rather than robbers; a single shot behind the ear, nothing but his gun stolen, no forensic evidence like spent cartridges or fingerprints left at the scene. Journalist Jonny Steinberg travels to the midlands to investigate.2004A Human Being Died that Night by Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela (New Africa Books)Eugene de Kock, commanding officer of apartheid death squads, is currently serving 212 years in prison for crimes against humanity. He was denied amnesty, while many of his former comrades walk free. Gobodo-Madikizela visited Pretoria’s maximum security prison to meet the man many know as Prime Evil. What followed was a journey into what it means to be human.2005The Number by Johnny Steinberg (Jonathan Ball)On 9 June 2003, a 43-year-old coloured man named Magadien Wentzel walked out of Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town. Behind him lay a lifelong career in the 28s, South Africa’s oldest and most reviled prison gang. In front of him lay the prospect of a law- abiding future – and life in a household of eight adults and six children, none of whom had a job. Jonny Steinberg met Wentzel in prison at the end of 2002. By the time Wentzel was released, he and Steinberg had spent more than 50 hours talking. The Number is an account of their conversations and of Steinberg’s journeys to the places and people of Wentzel’s past.2006Aids Safari by Adam Levin (Jonathan Ball)With searing honesty, tender prose and outrageous humour, Adam Levin takes us through the daily trials of living with AIDS, travelling from promiscuity and denial, through the terrors of imminent mortality to face the realities of his disease. Joint winner in 2006 of the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award with Witness to Aids by Edwin Cameron (Tafelberg).2007Portrait with Keys by Ivan Vladislavic (Umuzi)Through precisely crafted snapshots, Ivan Vladislavic observes the unpredictable, day- to-day transformation of his embattled city, Johannesburg. A dazzling portrait of a city – and an utterly true picture of the new South Africa.2008Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred by Mark Gevisser (HarperCollins)Mark Gevisser’s profound psycho-political examination of Thabo Mbeki, South Africa’s second president. A brilliant but deeply flawed leader, Mbeki attempted to forge an identity for himself as the symbol of modern Africa in the long shadow of Nelson Mandela.2009In A Different Time by Peter Harris (Umuzi)Set in a South Africa gripped by unrest and political tension, when the ANC was in exile and repression at its height. It tells the story of four young South Africans – assassins who reported directly to Chris Hani – who embark on a mission that lands them on Death Row. This true account reveals the lengths people are prepared to go to to fight for what they believe, and the acts people will commit to preserve the status quo.2010The Strange Alchemy of Life and Law by Albie Sachs (Oxford University Press) From a young age, Albie Sachs played a prominent part in the struggle for justice in South Africa. As a result, he was detained in solitary confinement, tortured by sleep deprivation, and eventually blown up by a car bomb that cost him his right arm and the sight of an eye. His experiences provoked an outpouring of creative thought on the role of law as a protector of human dignity in the modern world, and a lifelong commitment to seeing a new era of justice established in South Africa.2011The Unlikely Secret Agent by Ronnie Kasrils (Jacana)This remarkable story of a young woman’s courage and daring at a time of increasing repression in apartheid South Africa is told here for the first time with great verve and elan by Eleanor Kasrils’s husband, “Red” Ronnie, who eventually became South Africa’s Minister of Intelligence Services in 2004.2012Stones Against the Mirror by Hugh Lewin (Umuzi)A brave and moving memoir which is both a family history and a story of friendship and betrayal between people caught up in the wrenching forces of South Africa’s struggle for freedom.2013Endings and Beginnings by Redi Tlhabi (Jacana)Redi Tlhabi makes the painful journey back to her death-marred childhood in Orlando, Soweto in the 1980s. A township under siege, Redi’s father is murdered – and the perpetrators never found. And then Redi meets Mabegzo: handsome, charming and smooth – and a rumoured gangster, murderer and rapist.Originally published by BooksLive. A selection republished here with kind permission.For the full list of both fiction and non-fiction titles – with short descriptions – visit the BooksLive blog at bookslive.co.za/blogTo download BooksLive‘s colourful infographic made up of the covers of the selected “notable reads” and prize winners as a high-res PDF, click here. To download a high-res image in jpg format, click here.last_img read more

Grand slams vs. strike outs in marketing

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest There is no doubt it will be hot for the next few weeks, it’s mid-July after all. However, it’s the extent of dryness that is uncertain. Every day weather models show varying possibilities, which causes market fluctuations. Iowa, for example, is living on subsoil moisture reserves for now. This may be depleted if it doesn’t rain in a week.The recent USDA report did not show yield adjustments, only increased acres and feed usage reductions. So, the market will be able to handle some yield reduction. The recent rally after the report may have been overdone as prices seemed to settle back down to levels from two weeks ago before the USDA acres and stocks report on June 30.Right now the market is estimating a national yield of 167. Some are arguing it should be 165, and a few bulls are calling for 160. When you consider the extra acres the USDA reported and plug in a 164 national yield, the carryout would still be over 1.7 billion bushels. This would make the stocks to use ratio similar to 2014 and 2015 levels. There is a strong possibility that corn will trade sideways long-term. Grand slams vs. strike outsSocial media has been flooded with images and data suggesting the corn crop is all but lost. There is picture after picture of dead fields and mutilated corn ears that are really frightening. These images then fuel “coffee shop” talk with tales of friends of friends in neighboring states who have lost their crop. With so many negative pictures posted and negative farmer talk, it’s easy to lose perspective and assume dry conditions are more widespread than they really are.I suggest that farmers be critical of the pictures, talk and news coverage. In my experience, if someone is negative about crop conditions there is either clouded judgement or a hidden agenda. Most likely that farmer has a lot of old crop left to sell and they are really HOPING for higher prices. And they are trying to sell other people on their hope to affect prices.At a recent convention of grain merchandisers I informally polled many in the room with the question, “where do you expect the market to go?” Every answer was, “I don’t know. Depends on the weather.”This shouldn’t surprise anyone that no one knows what’s going to happen, but that doesn’t stop us from hoping that someone has the answers. In reality, no one has the answers (despite so many who act like they do). The market is based upon weather and Mother Nature for the next month. If a farmer holds, and there is a drought creating a market rally to $4.50-$5, they look really smart, basically they hit a grand slam. If a farmer holds, and it rains pushing prices to $3.50, then they look less smart and have struck out. But, in reality neither of these examples/decisions were based upon intelligence, they were based upon luck (even though it may not feel that way).While there will always be a certain level of luck within grain marketing, it’s important to recognize it and try to base your plans more on realistic expectations, understanding breakeven points, historical trends and risk assessments. Luck should have as little influence as possible in a sound marketing strategy.Following provides the results and rationale for several trades against my ’16, ’17, and ’18 production that I’ve made in the last two weeks as the market went up. Trade #1After analyzing our farm operation breakeven points, necessary profit levels, etc., I set a price goal of $4.20 for my ’16, ’17 and ‘18 crop. When 2018 traded above $4.20 last week, I took advantage and sold 20% of my anticipated production at an average price of $4.23 against Dec ’18. With this I have a solid base at profitable levels for next year. Trade #2Typically corn trends lower into Dec from June; therefore, I made a trade to try and capture that potential. On 6/29, one day before the June 30 USDA report, when Dec futures were around $3.80 I sold a $3.80 Dec call for 20 cents on 5% of my ’17 corn production.What does this mean?If Dec corn is above $3.80 on 11/24 I have to sell corn for $3.80 and keep 20 cents (giving me $4 total).If Dec corn is below $3.80 on 11/24 I keep the 20 cents to use on another trade in the future.I’ll be fine or happy with either scenario of this trade. I hope futures rally, but maintaining $4+ could be difficult. Trade #3Again, since corn prices tend to decrease from late June through Harvest, I made another trade to try and capture that potential. On 6/30 after the USDA report was released, when Dec futures were up around $3.85, I sold a $3.80 Oct call for 19.5 cents on 5% of my ’17 corn production.What does this mean?If Dec corn is above $3.80 on 9/22, I have to sell corn for $3.80 and keep 19.5 cents ($3.995 total).If Dec corn is below $3.80 on 9/22, I keep the 19.5 cents to use on another trade in the future.Since futures tend to be lowest at the start of harvest, I think the 2nd scenario is more likely but again I’m ok with the first scenario too. Trade #4Typically prices decrease from late July through Aug. On 7/6 when Sep futures were around $3.90, I sold a $3.90 Sep call for 15 cents on 10% of my ’17 production.What does this mean?If Sep corn is above $3.90 on 8/25 I have to sell corn for $3.90 and keep 15 cents ($4.05 total). But then, I would “roll” this sale from Sep futures to Dec futures to capture another 12 cents giving me a sale at $4.17 on Dec futures.If Sep corn is below $3.90 on 8/25 I keep the 15 cents to use on another trade in the future.Unless hot and dry weather is reasonably widespread in the next month, I think futures above $4 is unlikely considering the trend of lower prices in Aug compared to July. Trade #5On 7/6 when corn rallied above $3.90 on Sep futures I sold 5% of old crop. This takes my ’16 sales position to 92% complete. Interestingly, while reviewing my trades in the last year, I noticed that I had not made a straight futures sale on any of my 2016 crop since 7/13/16, nearly a year ago.While most of these trades do not get me to my $4.20+ futures goal, there is some upside potential and some limited downside risk protection. All of the trades take into consideration if there IS significant dry weather and if there IS NOT dry weather. If it rains in Iowa next week, these trades will be like bunt hits to advance runners. If it doesn’t rain, they will be hits. I may not have a chance at a grand slam, but I won’t be striking out either.Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at [email protected]last_img read more

Chaos reigns but Kalmadi upbeat

first_imgCGF chief Michael Fennel with OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi at the Delhi airport on Thursday afternoon.On yet another embarrassing day marked by player pullouts and severe criticism, the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CWG OC) was making a last minute dash to complete preparations for the controversy-ridden event. Work progressed on a war footing on Thursday to get the Games Village – dubbed filthy and uninhabitable by international delegates – ready, even as the first batch of Indian athletes moved in.The worldwide outrage over the last couple of days prompted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take stock of the situation in a meeting with sports minister M. S. Gill and urban development minister Jaipal Reddy, who also heads the group of ministers overseeing the CWG work.Home minister P. Chidambaram cracked the whip, issuing a 24- hour ultimatum to the OC to wind up work at all the stadiums for the security lockdown.While the minister set a one-day deadline for the stadiums, he asked for the CWG Village to be handed over by Friday mid-night.Sources revealed that the Village’s security lock-down was done on September 20. But with a fresh batch of 420 workers being sent into the premises for a clean- up job on Thursday, the security sanitisation process would have to be carried out again. It is also believed that if certain training venues are not handed over to the security agencies by Friday, they may not be used at all.In other important developments, New Zealand joined the growing list of countries delaying their arrival and two Canadian archers became the latest to opt out.advertisementThis despite the fact that the Union government reportedly rang up the sports ministers of Australia and New Zealand, reassuring them that New Delhi was doing everything possible to ensure the smooth conduct of the Games. A senior official said the two countries as well as Scotland had been specifically assured that ” sanitation will be fully taken care of and security will be watertight”. OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi surfaced after lying low for two days and painted a rosy picture. He claimed that the chefs de mission of all the participating nations were a happier lot now. He said the conditions at the Village had improved over the past couple of days and gave an assurance that none of the teams would pull out.”I spent time at the Village this morning and am satisfied with the progress in raising the standards of all the 32 towers in the residential zone to the level expected by our honoured visitors,” Kalmadi said at the airport, where he had gone to receive Commonwealth Games Federation ( CGF) president Mike Fennell.The CGF chief assessed the preparations and even sought a meeting with the Prime Minister, which has not yet been granted.New Zealand joined Canada, Scotland and Wales to put off their travel plans to India. The Canadian archers who pulled out, citing health and safety concerns are Kevin Tataryn and Dietmar Trillus. It was also understood that the Kiwis’ contingent might base itself in Singapore till the Village was fully ready for the teams to shift in.The New Zealand Olympic Committee said the travel plans of the team had been altered because there was a long list of outstanding issues. ” The Village will now not be ready for the New Zealand athletes to move in as planned. It is tremendously disappointing. We know how hard this must be for the athletes and we’re continuing to push… for an urgent resolution,” NZOC president Mike Stanley said.For all the claims made by Kalmadi, New Zealand’s chef de mission Dave Currie said a lot of work still needed to be completed at the Village. His comments came even as the BBC released pictures which showed filthy toilets, stained staircases and dirty beds in the athletes’ rooms.Despite being committed to participation in Delhi, Australia issued a fresh travel advisory for its athletes and Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced extra officials to accompany the contingent.With mounting fears of safety, Australia will also send a team of top police officers to New Delhi to provide high- level security for its athletes.Amid the gloom, there was some good news as well with South Africa remaining committed to participating in the Games. ” We are satisfied that all the areas of concern have been addressed as for now,” Tubby Reddy, the head of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, said.He, howeverR, said that if the health or safety of the athletes was compromised at any point of time, the team will immediately pull out of the Games.advertisementAustralian CWG Association chief Perry Crosswhite, too, said the condition of the Village was acceptable as of now and also confirmed the arrival of their contingent for the Games. ” The conditions at the CWG Village are acceptable.Things are getting better all the time. The residential towers are improving. However, water at the basement is a bit of a concern for us,” Crosswhite said at a media conference.He added that the Australian contingent would reach the Capital on September 27.(With inputs from PTI)last_img read more