If you want somewhere safe, secure and transparent in which to invest, the answer soon becomes clear….it has to be remarkable Indonesia. Or at least, that’s what the crypto-corporate ad promoting the country says. It tries to make the claim stick by telling us that Indonesia “has a focus on footwear, shipyards, textiles, fishing and electronics”. That certainly is a remarkably eclectic focus: it promises all kinds of unique export concepts, for example the sweater that pulls over your head electronically, or perhaps an exciting range of casual diving flippers for the angler who has everything.
Even in my day, corporate advertising was usually utter tosh and, in my experience, a complete waste of money. Corporate Sovereign campaigns, however, are even worse in that they throw in that especially dysfunctional element of incredibility.Sadly, somewhere there’s always an agency that will write ads for Tamil Tiger futures, the attractions of Greece as a low-tax property haven, or the thrill of providing seed capital for the rapidly expanding winter coat sector in Libya.
But on Bloomberg TV, they don’t need an advertising standards authority: rather, what the station needs is an editorial bollocks regulator. Today on Boombust, they interviewed a glittering array of senior financial luminaries, pretty well all of whom should be in jail, and absolutely all of whom said how great things were and It Was Just a Matter of Time.
Just a matter of time before what, exactly? Well, the one voice at variance with everyone else was a very smart bloke called Stephen Isaacs, an Oxbridge-educated commonsense Brit (rare combination) who said he was profoundly concerned about the over-valuation of stocks around the world, and it was bleeding obvious that the Bull market is drawing to a close and that the only thing keeping economic consumption markets going is seemingly unending credit.
Except of course that credit is not infinite, never has been – and with rates now starting to rise, will soon be abruptly finite.
Bloomberg then went on to interview my former employer Maurice Levy, the CEO of Publicis (not a crook by the way, but as deluded as many others in his position) who said a few problems in the EU “are still not feexed”. He then defined ‘a few’ as Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and his own France. But when pushed on France, Levy told Iceberg viewers that when it came to exports, “fundamentally, the one thing the French lack is confidence”. He omitted to mention other factors such as reliable delivery, product quality and price reality; but then, he remains an adman from head to foot.
There is a tragic flaw in human wiring that first, builds things up to be greater than they are; second, bigs things up to be better than they are; and third, denies all the scientific evidence available to suggest that they may well be irrelevant and bad for us.
I find it tragic that Leftlibs call the builders and biggers experts, but hysterically funny that they reject the evidence calling out those experts as data perverts.