I come across at least as many warm-blooded capitalists like Penner as I do the cold-blooded kind, but it’s the latter who get most of the attention.
You can’t protect the assets without protecting the people
The business press for a long time was too quick to reduce a chief executive’s job to making money, worshiping those who do it the best from quarter to quarter at whatever cost to his or her company and society over the long term. Think-tanks that shared that worldview had little difficulty raising money from fellow travellers in the business world. The narrative that a CEO’s only job was to maximize returns for shareholders took hold, creating a caricature of how capitalism should work.
“Based on my personal experience, I think it’s fool’s gold,” Penner said of the notion that a corporate leader’s only concern should be maximizing profit. “It’s always easier to find an easy solution to a complex problem. ‘I answer only to the shareholder.’ We all know that doesn’t work. The best companies and people can walk and chew gum at the same time.”
For evidence it doesn’t work, look out the window.
Shareholder capitalism failed because too few of us are shareholders. Owners have an incentive to protect their wealth rather than share it, explaining why we’ve ended up with a generation of policies that put capital ahead of labour.
A lot of this is on us. Consider the grocery business. Canada’s biggest grocers ended their pandemic bonuses partly because of greed, and partly because so many of us insist on buying food at the lowest price possible, compressing the margins the grocers have available to satisfy that greed. Our obsession with price creates an incentive for retailers to exploit economies of scale, and for governments to stand aside as the market leaders buy up smaller competitors. Next thing you know, you have an immovable oligopoly.
Global automotive giant General Motors may have been formulating plans to axe the Holden brand in Australia well before a shock decision was announced in February, a Senate inquiry will be told.
The Australian Automotive Dealer Association says the way Holden’s demise played out raises serious questions of whether dealers were misled.
Other submissions to the Senate investigation, which will hold a public hearing on Monday, have indicated Holden was still taking on new workers on the very day the closure decision was revealed.
The AADA said for some time GM had been adamant, both privately with dealers, and publicly through the media, that it was in Australia for the long haul, despite the end to local car manufacturing.
On the basis of those assurances, and the fact that many agreements still had more than two years to run, Holden dealers had a clear expectation that the brand would remain in Australia with some investing millions of dollars to upgrade their operations.
“This inquiry needs to question whether General Motors Corporation, headquartered in Detroit, made the strategic decisions to exit the right-hand-drive car market globally some years in the past,” the association said.
“Operationally, the announcement of the sale of the plant in Thailand where Australia’s top-selling Holden vehicle, the Colorado ute, was manufactured was announced at the same time as the closure of Holden.
“Common sense dictates that the minute the decision was made to sell the GM Rayong plant in Thailand is the exact moment that serious questions would have emerged about Holden’s future in Australia.
“One would expect that the purchase of a vehicle assembly plant would facilitate a lengthy process of probity and due diligence by the purchaser.
“It is not unreasonable to suggest that the sale process was likely a year in the making, yet Holden dealers were left unaware.”
The demise of Holden brand, to be completed by the end of 2020, was announced on February 17, with company officials adamant all avenues were explored to keep the iconic name alive.
In its own submissions to the Senate inquiry, General Motors Holden said the decision to retire the brand was made only a few days before the public statement.
“Every realistic possibility was carefully examined but none could overcome the challenges of the investments needed for Australia’s highly fragmented and right-hand-drive market, the economics to support growing the brand, and the need for an appropriate return on investment,” the company said.
“Despite hopes of reaching a different outcome, the inescapable conclusion was that GM could not sustain further investment into Holden.
“GM reluctantly made its decision to wind down Holden a few days before the public announcement which was made with great sadness.”
In another submission to the inquiry, a former Holden engineer, who withheld their identity, said the closure came as a complete shock to the company’s remaining employees.
“No warning was given to Holden staff about the potential closure of the business and there was no request from Holden management for staff to make any contribution to avoid the closure,” the engineer said.
“On the day of the closure announcement, eight new engineers commenced employment at Holden.
“Perhaps nothing better illustrates how unprepared we were for this announcement.”
At the time of the closure announcement, Holden had about 185 dealers across the country and still employed about 800 staff.
About 600 of those were expected to be made redundant including more than 200 engineers and more than 250 management and administrative staff.
There are currently about 1.6 million Holdens on the road in Australia.
For nearly 30 years since traditional ownership rights were recognised, Indigenous owners in WA’s iron ore-rich Pilbara have been entering into legally binding native title agreements with mining companies, under which miners provide valuable royalty streams in exchange for the impact to their land and cultural heritage. As far as the law is concerned, however, legislation affords traditional owners no right of review after a decision has been reached, and no state or Commonwealth acts offer traditional owners the ability to veto projects that would harm significant artefacts or sites.
Mr Jacques, who said he would disclose the details of Rio’s submission after it was lodged, reiterated on Wednesday the company’s regret over the site’s destruction and had launched a board-led internal review.
“We are really sorry for what happened, we are absolutely committed to learn from it, and to make sure this does not happen again,” he said.
The division at the centre of the Juukan Gorge disaster, its flagship Pilbara iron ore business, helped to propel Rio to a better-than-expected half-year profit driven by sky-high prices for the steelmaking raw material, according to accounts released on Wednesday.
Rio Tinto revealed underlying earnings of $US4.75 billion ($6.62 billion) for the six months to June 30, beating market expectations of $US4.36 billion. Shareholders would receive an interim dividend of $US1.55 ($2.16) a share, the company said.
Iron ore, Australia’s biggest export, accounted for more than 90 per cent of Rio’s half-year earnings.
However, Rio’s strong financial performance was dragged down by a $US1 billion impairment on its loss-making aluminium smelters, which have been struggling in the face of high energy costs, and one of its diamond mines.
Mr Jacques said the results showed a resilient performance despite the “challenging backdrop” of the coronavirus crisis.
“Our world-class portfolio of high-quality assets and our strong balance sheet consistently serve us well in all market conditions and particularly in turbulent times,” he said.
Iron ore is Australia’s most valuable export, this year becoming the first-ever to crack $100 billion in annual export value. The price of the commodity has defied repeated predictions it is overdue for a fall and has recently surged above $US100 a tonne driven by robust demand from China’s steel mills and weaker-than-expected output from other exporters such as Brazil’s Vale.
Elaine Roberts, a bagger at a supermarket, tried to be careful. She put on gloves and stopped riding the bus to work, instead relying on her father to drive her. She wore masks — in space-themed fabrics stitched by her sister — as she stacked products on shelves, helped people to their cars and retrieved carts from the parking lot.
But many customers at the Randalls store in a Houston suburb did not wear them, she noticed, even as coronavirus cases began rising in early June. Gov. Greg Abbott, who had pushed to reopen businesses in Texas, was refusing to make masks mandatory and blocked local officials from enforcing mask requirements.
Ms. Roberts, 35, who has autism and lives with her parents, got sick first. Then her father, Paul, and mother, Sheryl, were hospitalized. While no one can be certain how Elaine Roberts was infected, her older sister, Sidra Roman, blamed grocery customers who she felt had put her family in danger.
“Wearing a piece of cloth, it’s a little uncomfortable,” she said. “It’s a lot less uncomfortable than ventilators, dialysis lines, all of those things that have had to happen to my father. And it’s not necessarily you that’s going to get sick and get hurt.”
What happened to the Robertses is in many ways the story of Texas, one of the nation’s hot spots. For weeks, politicians were divided over keeping the economy open, citizens were polarized about wearing masks, and doctors were warning that careless behavior could imperil others.
In southeast Texas, communities already battered by the pandemic faced a new but no less frightening foe on Saturday, as Hurricane Hanna slammed the coast with heavy rains and winds.
Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold urged fans to keep the faith after the Broncos’ 46-8 loss to Melbourne last night but while he searched for positives after yet another defeat there was one topic he wasn’t willing to wade into.
The Broncos have lost eight of their past nine matches, conceding 94 points in their last two games against the Storm and Tigers while scoring only one try. They’ve got problems off the field too as they engage in a bidding war with Gold Coast for the services of gun back-rower David Fifita.
“A million dollars for me for a back-rower is quite high,” Johns said. “I think the Broncos said they’d only go to seven or eight hundred (thousand), something like that.
“I think the Broncos are right, I think about $800,000. He’s an amazing prospect. He could be one of the best back-rowers in the game but he’s only 20 and I don’t think I’d be paying anywhere near that million dollars … for a back-rower.”
Fifita’s Broncos teammate Pat Carrigan said while he wants the young gun to stay, he can understand if the injured star heads to the glitter strip given the money being put in front of him.
“I will respect whatever Dave wants to do moving forward,” Carrigan said. “I would love to keep him at the Broncs but we have all got a family and our own aspirations and have to look at what is best for them.
“It is not a distraction at all. I can’t wait to get him back on the field and hopefully that is here for a couple more years.
“Tonight’s performances and other performances have nothing to do with what is going on with Dave and his contract situation.
“I am good mates with Dave and I know what he is about as a person. He is about getting his rehab done. He is hurting at the moment with the results we are dishing up but he is a part of our club.”
Many members of the mainstream media are remaining unquestioning in excess of Scott Morrison’s undemocratic Parliament closure, writes Dr Jennifer Wilson.
Prime MINISTER Scott Morrison has above the final months constantly argued for the re-opening of borders, universities and companies closed thanks to COVID-19 declaring that:
“…the finest protection versus the virus is to are living with the virus, to live alongside the virus and to open up up your overall economy.”
So it arrives as a surprise to study that on the assistance of healthcare specialists, the prime minister has made the decision to cancel the upcoming sitting down of Federal Parliament owing in the to start with two months of August, owing to the alleged well being risks involved.
Even though it would be cavalier to dismiss the challenges of physical engagement (however, there are strategies of controlling these), the Government’s singular deficiency of interest in setting up an on the web option for Federal Parliament is baffling. In the Uk, for illustration, the Parliament has been making use of a combination of virtual and physical attendance due to the fact April and this arrangement has been prolonged right up until September to make it possible for MPs who qualify to proceed to take part remotely.
Everybody else in actual physical attendance observes social distancing and hygiene needs. The European Parliament carries on to functionality as do the parliaments of all European nations, using the similar hybrid design as the British isles.
“Democracy should not be stopped by a virus. We need the democratic course of action to aid us triumph over this unexpected emergency.”
In fact, it appears that the only Western democracy to have deserted its parliamentary purpose is Australia, under the governance of Scott Morrison.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann dismissed all risk of a digital assembly, declaring that as “both the Speaker and the Senate President are from Victoria, they would not have been readily available in the Parliament to preside about proceedings”. Effectively, if we’re chatting about a digital assembly they would not have been envisioned to be physically out there, so Cormann’s dismissal of the notion is a tad obscure.
Every other workplace in Australia, without a doubt the earth, has experienced to adapt to the restrictions and problems posed by COVID-19. The Federal Authorities and, most vocally, the key minister have considering that day one particular urged “normality” on firms, educational institutions and notably the states in the issue of border closures, emphasising the need to have to hold the financial state performing inspite of the attainable results on the wellbeing and wellbeing of citizens, as expressed by those who disagree with Morrison’s technique.
However here we are, with Federal Parliament exempting itself from the “normality” prescribed by the Govt for everybody else.
It is simply just not believable that a hybrid parliament these kinds of as individuals at the moment performed in the British isles and Europe can’t be organised for Australia. So, what is going on?
In 2018, House Affairs Minister Peter Dutton declared that he has often found Parliament as a downside for the govt of the day. Without having Parliament, we have no signifies of holding governments to account and becoming held to account is what Dutton and Morrison regard as a disadvantage they favor to stay without having.
Parliament scrutinises govt things to do and supplies a discussion board for debate on national issues. An authoritarian populist authorities these as that overseen by Morrison does not welcome these democratic processes. A pandemic that delivers the option to use health and fitness fears as a justification for the cancellation of Parliament is a blessing for such a federal government.
As other governments discover approaches to keep on irrespective of the virus, Morrison’s has seized on it as an excuse to abandon an arm of our democracy and stay away from scrutiny and accountability.
This is a problem designed all the additional alarming by the unwillingness of some of Australia’s mainstream media to problem this abandonment of democratic approach. For instance, on ABC TV’s Insiders on Sunday early morning, journalists David Crowe, David Speers and Annika Smethurst appeared to unquestioningly settle for the Government’s cancellation of Parliament.
They claimed variously that the international need for the technologies essential to established up virtual sittings is excellent, so ramping it up is challenging for the Morrison Federal government. They also explained that MPs are “super spreaders” of the virus and need to stay at house, dismissing the alternative for hybrid sittings without the need of once explaining why they are a practical solution for other democracies, but not, apparently, this a person.
There will have been nearly no parliamentary scrutiny of the Federal Government for five months and possibly for a longer period. No journalist, whose activity it is to discuss real truth to electrical power, really should justification, minimise and normalise this dysfunctional and undemocratic circumstance.
It is crystal clear that Morrison can and will stay away from Parliament anytime he can. Does he intend to terminate Parliament every time there is a fresh new outbreak of the virus somewhere in the nation? The key minister does not believe that shutting down the nation is an satisfactory response to the virus and however he believes that shutting down the Parliament is.
We urgently need to have the journalist who will confront the key minister with these ambiguities. The virus has offered Morrison the circumstances dreamt of by a probable tyrant masquerading as a democratic chief.
We have fast progressed outside of the stage in our fading democracy in which institutions continue being notionally in spot, while stripped of their electric power and meaning. We now obtain ourselves transferring speedily into a very dark spot in which there is not even the pretence of upholding a single of the main establishments of a liberal democracy: its Parliament and that body’s critical part in keeping governing administration accountable.
People from Victoria found to be in NSW without a permit face six months in prison, South Australia banned Victorian arrivals and considered militarising its borders, the ACT has banned access to Victorian travellers and, from tomorrow in Queensland, all visitors from Victoria will be turned around.
But in the Northern Territory, Victorian arrivals can, for the next eight days, arrive under the softer condition of self-isolation — a condition which has seen routine non-compliance with the Territory’s law enforcement.
Now, there are a growing number of dissenting voices crying out for the Government to toughen its restrictions to Australia’s current epicentre of coronavirus by bringing forward the July 17 date when Victorian arrivals will face mandatory supervised quarantine.
And as Chief Minister Michael Gunner insists his July 17 plan will “keep Territorians safe”, these voices say the current policy leaves the Territory vulnerable to disaster.
From ‘safest place’ to on high alert
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic the Northern Territory Government has boasted that the NT is the “safest place in Australia”.
Along with praising the behaviour of Territorians, the Chief Minister has shared the credit, on behalf of his Government, in helping the Territory dodge the virus’s spread.
And close observers say his political fortunes and hopes for re-election next month have soared since he started regularly fronting coronavirus press briefings and giving Territorians the good news: that the Territory was, in Mr Gunner’s words, “crushing corona”.
Throughout the first six months of the pandemic, the Chief Minister has, in these press conference appearances and Facebook posts, been at pains to highlight the dangers of not taking coronavirus seriously.
In May Mr Gunner said “we are walking on a tightrope here. We cannot put a foot wrong”, before declaring that the Northern Territory could not afford to fail in its effort to contain and keep out coronavirus.
Mr Gunner’s Government went early in imposing border restrictions on interstate arrivals, and has promoted the idea that the NT’s conservative border protocols have been the cornerstone of its success in supressing the virus.
“I think closing the borders is one of the best things I’ve done to keep the Territory the safest place in the country,” Mr Gunner said in May.
When Mr Gunner announced the lifting of restrictions on access to NT biosecurity zones — designed to ringfence vulnerable Indigenous populations who suffer high rates of chronic disease and comorbidities — he said he could do so safely because of the NT’s strict border controls.
But now, for the next eight days, Mr Gunner’s border controls on Victoria are the least strict in the country.
Gunner’s insistence self-isolation is sufficient has its doubters
While Mr Gunner has kept his response to Victoria’s outbreak flexible by regularly updating his advice on Victoria’s hotspots, his self-isolation orders have remained the same.
From July 17, Victorian arrivals to the Northern Territory will face tough mandatory supervised quarantine restrictions at secure facilities like the tried-and-tested Howard Springs quarantine centre.
That leaves over a week for the Northern Territory to hope it can escape any imported cases from Victoria through trusting arrivals to self-isolate.
Mr Gunner insists the current self-isolation arrangements are sufficient, citing a 99.6 per cent compliance rate, but the Australian Medical Association, the Northern Land Council and NT’s peak body for Aboriginal-controlled health organisations warn the policy poses an intolerablerisk to vulnerable communities.
The ACT, which instituted a hard closure to Victoria on Tuesday when it began denying Victorian arrivals entry, could not escape the flaring spread of Victoria’s hotspots.
The ACT recorded three new coronavirus cases on Wednesday — the territory’s first new cases in over a month — all linked to the outbreak of the virus in Victoria.
Eight days could seem like an eternity for the NT Government
Over the past week Mr Gunner has written repeatedly that the Northern Territory currently has hard border controls on Victorian arrivals, despite those conditions being weaker than any other Australian jurisdiction.
“Thank God for our hard borders,” Mr Gunner wrote on Tuesday.
Rejecting the hard closures of other jurisdictions, Mr Gunner says his Government’s current strategy provides a “long-term” template for responding to new outbreaks across Australia.
Mr Gunner has claimed his plan is “the best plan in Australia … a plan that will keep us the safest place in Australia”.
But Mr Gunner has not directly answered questions about why his Government will not begin tougher restrictions on Victorian arrivals sooner than July 17, saying only that he’s open to the idea of introducing the measure earlier.
It’s also a stance that appears more liberal compared with his previous actions in response to coronavirus outbreaks.
When coronavirus cases were climbing in southern states at the beginning of the pandemic, Mr Gunner’s main suppression strategy was to place all travellers in mandatory hotel quarantine.
Now the virus is flaring again, with triple digit cases daily in Victoria that are spreading to other states, and Mr Gunner is continuing to face the same question.
Why is he waiting to reapply the same added protective layer of mandatory quarantine?
If Mr Gunner decides Victoria does indeed pose too great a risk to the Territory during the next eight days, he has proven his Government is flexible enough to apply tough new rules with urgency — just remember when Territorians were given only a few days to get home before mandatory hotel quarantine kicked in back in April.
But if he stays the course with his July 17 plan, and coronavirus does leak into the Territory community, the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory president is warning that not only will any goodwill built by Mr Gunner potentially dissolve, but far more importantly, Territory lives could be at stake, too.
There are all sorts of frustrations that are expected to come with the NBA’s “bubble” plan for the season restart in Orlando, Florida at the end of this month.
The league shut down in early March after Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 but the competition will resume with 22 teams playing games without spectators in a quarantine bubble located at Walt Disney World.
American sportscaster Stephen A. Smith argued on ESPN’s First Take Tuesday that NBA players might not be able to last three weeks — let alone three months — without being able to have sex.
“Do we really think the ‘recreational activities’ that these guys are accustomed to are going to be compromised for three months?” Smith asked. “I mean, somebody’s gotta say it.
“You really, really think somebody’s gonna be without their wives or their woman? The guys that are married without their wives, the guys that ain’t married without their woman.
“You really, really think they’re honouring a bubble for three months?”
Under the NBA’s safety protocol, players aren’t allowed to bring a plus-one until after the first round of games in order to keep risks of a coronavirus outbreak to a minimum.
Family members who are permitted after the first round will have to quarantine for three days in another part of Orlando before they can enter the NBA’s Walt Disney World bubble, per the New York Times.
Players are not prevented from leaving the campus, but they would have to quarantine upon returning, so it is not expected that they will do so.
The NBA’s 113-page health and safety protocol guidelines say families can do the three-day quarantine in their home state, but it must be overseen by the team and all immediate family members must be tested for COVID-19.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said plentiful testing and contact tracing within the bubble should help the NBA contain positive tests within an isolated campus even as COVID-19 cases spike in Florida.
“If cases are isolated, that’s one thing,” Silver said. “But if we had a lot of cases, we’re going to stop.
“We are left with no choice but to learn to live with this virus. No options are risk-free right now.
“We’re looking to find the right balance between health and safety on one hand and economic necessity on the other.
“And what we think is we’ve found what makes sense for the NBA and that is a safe and responsible way to play.
“Our best understanding of this virus is that it’s not going away anytime soon so we feel we have to find a way to move forward and this is our way.”
The 2019-20 season is slated to resume on July 30, with the finals going no later than October 13.
This article first appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission
Flags on the Civic Offices in Reading will also be flown at half-mast from today and for the rest of the week out of respect to those injured or killed in the “senseless attack”.
“Following the shocking and horrific attack that took place in the Forbury Gardens yesterday evening, my thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the victims and their families,” said Councillor Stevens.
“I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to those affected and we at Reading Council offer our continued support to our heroic emergency services. I hope you will join me and the leader of the Council, Cllr Brock in paying our respects to the victims and their families in a minutes silence tomorrow morning at 10am.”
Among the victims is James Furlong, a 36-year-old “inspirational” schoolteacher at The Holt School in Wokingham.
“James was a wonderful man. He was beautiful, intelligent, honest and fun”, said the grieving parents.
“He was the best son, brother, uncle and partner you could wish for. We are thankful for the memories he gave us all.
“We will never forget him and he will live in our hearts forever.”
On Monday, tributes were also paid to a second victim Joe Ritchie-Bennett, who his father described as “brilliant”.
Mr Ritchie-Bennett had reportedly lived in the UK for 15 years while his family still live in Philadelphia, US.
His father Robert Ritchie told Eyewitness News: “The family is heartbroken they have lost their brilliant and loving son. This was senseless.”
As part of the tribute, students at the Holt School are planning to light candles and lay flowers in memory of Mr Furlong, described as a “passionate and enthusiastic” teacher.
Former pupil Molly Collins, who left the school in 2017, told the Radio 4 Today programme: “He was such a loved teacher. I can’t find anyone that ever had a bad word to say about him, and to hear that it was him is just so, so sad.
“He was so passionate and enthusiastic about history and about learning, and anything that was boring, anything you didn’t find interesting, he would make it interesting.
“He would spend time with you, he got to know people individually, and he just always went the extra mile for everyone.”
Ms Collins said the school’s local church will be open to light candles and put down flowers, while she and other former students would be putting together a memorial book for Mr Furlong’s family.
When asked what she would write, Ms Collins said: “I think just thank you for everything he did when I was at school, for helping me with history, helping me with A-levels, and he was my tutor throughout most of it so I wouldn’t have gone to university, I don’t think, had I not spoken about it with him.
“He just really, really took the time to support me and make me more confident.”
Witnesses said a man went running into Forbury Gardens in the town centre at about 7pm on Saturday and began stabbing people before trying to flee The attack also left three people were seriously injured.
A 25-year-old man from Reading was arrested at the scene. The man, understood to be named Mr Saadallah, was detained a short distance from the scene at Forbury Gardens and arrested on suspicion of murder.
He was later re-arrested under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act, which gives police the power to detain him without charge for up to 14 days.
Security sources say that M15 had received intelligence he planned to travel abroad, possibly for terrorism purposes, but the threat was found to be insubstantial.
Police have said they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the attack.
Boris Johnson has said he is “appalled and sickened” by the attack. The Prime Minister vowed on Sunday that officials will not “will not hesitate to take action” in amending Britain’s legal system if there are “lessons to be learned” over Saturday’s incident.
Thames Valley Police have pleaded with the public not to share any pictures or images of the killings on social media, and instead contact them on 101, or upload the footage to UKPoliceImageAppeal.co.uk.
Despite treating the incident as a terror attack, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said on Sunday the motive is still “far from certain”.
Mr Basu said there was no evidence to suggest anyone attending crowded places is at risk, but asked people to “be alert, not alarmed, when you are in public”.