Oligopolies – Hardouin http://hardouin.info/ Sat, 24 Sep 2022 02:19:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 Here’s how ‘digital nations’ form and why they matter https://hardouin.info/heres-how-digital-nations-form-and-why-they-matter/ Fri, 23 Sep 2022 11:56:09 +0000 https://hardouin.info/heres-how-digital-nations-form-and-why-they-matter/

Many would agree that the concept of what defines a nation is changing. Traditionally, a nation was understood as a significant collection of individuals who share ancestral roots, background, heritage or dialect and live in the same physical space.

In addition to this, a nation is usually associated with a state that maintains a monopoly on the “legitimate use of violence” both externally and internally to ensure the survival of the nation-state. Therefore, the state plays a crucial role in traditional nations by directly or indirectly enforcing the rule of law and property rights of citizens.

However, thanks to the rise of new technologies such as the metaverse, NFTs, cryptocurrencies and blockchain, individuals around the world have realized that living in a purely digital environment may no longer be a concept that resides only in the realm of science fiction. .

How is the concept of nation evolving?

It is essential to remember that a nation, which depends on many social structures, including but not limited to currencies, religious beliefs and even large corporations, is all based on the idea of ​​a story. or a fictional story. Societies would therefore be formed on the basis of a shared set of ideas, norms, beliefs and perceptions of reality.

Nations, despite their lack of materiality, are therefore powerful coordination tools that allow collaboration between individuals on a large scale, even if these people do not necessarily know each other but nevertheless have an innate desire to work for the common good of all. the members of it. particular company. In fact, one could argue that it is this very concept that separates us from animals.

Also, since there are no tangible products in the metaverses, everything is virtual. However, this raises the question of how individuals can ensure that something digital has a perpetual presence when it only remains in a centralized database that can be erased with a single click. Moreover, how then can property rights be enforced over non-permanent objects without any of the safeguards provided by the nation-state?

The youse of the ‘NFT standard’

The NFT standard allows the existence of digital objects in the “Open Metaverses”. This also distinguishes these types of metaverses from “closed metaverses”, which are owned by a central society. That said, the NFT standard in Open Metaverses not only resolves the issue of object permanence, as provided by the fundamental blockchain infrastructure, but it also determines and grants property rights.

So whereas in physical nation-states property rights over assets are typically enforced through monopolies or through the use of “legitimate” violence, in an open metaverse they are enforced through smart contracts executed by a virtual machine. Finally, the NFT standard defines the domain of Open Metaverses. Similar to how web domains work, owning digital lands in the metaverse allows publishing rights to anchor content in those digital locations.

Can anyone really have a “digital identity”?

The digital identity in the metaverse is characterized by wallet addresses, so each natural person would be allowed to have many addresses according to their respective needs and desires. Accessing a metaverse would also typically require users to have a strong internet connection and compatible devices such as VR and AR gear.

In general, a citizen of an “Open Metaverse” digital nation is someone who holds a token stake in such a platform. Tokenized stakes can be fungible tokens that become the engine of a digital nation’s economy or non-fungible tokens that symbolize publishing rights to its virtual territory. This type of participation further grants governance rights in digital nations, where Decentralized Autonomous Bodies (DAOs), which are the coordination tools of the Open Metaverses, would also play an important role. These DAOs would therefore allow token stakeholders to have a say in how the digital nation evolves over time, as they are community driven.

Moreover, since they are decentralized, DAOs can also be formed in different ways, where they can be a direct democracy or an oligopoly. It would really depend on how they are structured and what kind of governance voting infrastructure is in place. In any case, the best platforms like the MORE Metaverse is actively working to drive widespread adoption of metaverses and dramatically improve user experience in these digital worlds. Whether it’s forming a digital nation or even doing something simple like attending a concert or having a virtual meeting, the metaverse is indeed here to stay.

What The Zuck – A Web3 Metaverse Roadmap https://hardouin.info/what-the-zuck-a-web3-metaverse-roadmap/ Wed, 21 Sep 2022 21:04:32 +0000 https://hardouin.info/what-the-zuck-a-web3-metaverse-roadmap/

I was fascinated by the concept of the metaverse when I first read Neal Stephenson Snowfall back in the 90s. At the time, I was the CEO of The Imagination Network, the first online social game company, with a remarkable team that, inspired by the book, built one of the first virtual worlds in 3D, a metaverse called CyberPark.

CyberPark had most of the components that are currently emerging on the market: fun environments with avatars, currencies and goods. In my last Web3/Meta keynote, I have a slide comparing what we built decades ago and what companies, like Facebook, Roblox and many others, are prototyping now. Whether it’s at a public lecture or a large internal corporate event, the audience looks at the slide from yesterday and today and says, “I don’t see much difference…visually.” Even industry leaders who can make a difference will admit that the march towards building consumer 3D virtual worlds has been long and slow, and still consists of lucrative niche markets.

All of that is about to change, as we experience a perfect storm of enabling technologies and platforms being embraced and fueled by the next generation of Web3 people and organizations. It will take longer than expected, will not look like the promo-reels, and will go through several phases of development over the next 10 years. As organizations large and small begin to place their bets, knowing when to invest is as important as where. What I’m most often asked is: what should my business do now. Let’s call it the NOWverse to-do list.

What the Zuck is the Metaverse

People get excited about new technologies that are often hyped up in advance, but not ready for mass consumption. Meta + Verse (of the Universe) = Metaverse, is just next.

If you google it, hundreds of definitions come up, most of which find confusing or dictate an unachievable perfect world. There are a lot of misconceptions about what you need to experience it properly, like VR/AR headsets, or massive screens, etc. You don’t, it should be device independent.

As an insider, I like Matthew Ball’s definition, as he digs into the critical components required for Web3 + Metaverse: “A massively scaled, interoperable network of real-time rendered 3D virtual worlds that can be experienced synchronously and persistently by an effectively unlimited number of users with an individual sense of presence and with continuity of data, such as identity, history, rights, objects, communications and payments.”

Too long? Try this: It’s the next evolution of the Internet to immersion.

Who is Web3?

You are. To understand the enabling fundamentals of the metaverse, let’s look at how the internet can evolve.

Internet 1.0, the first iteration of the Internet that continues to be the foundation of what we use today. It was mostly read-only static content and with old media business models. At launch, it was coined as The information highway. What I said back then about the first iteration of the Internet can also be used to describe Web3 – Metaverse:

“The future vision of what technology could feasible provide, which will continue to change in size, scope and promise, as more and more viable emerging capabilities based on human demand and desire.’

Web 2.0 consolidated power with centralized owners and business models that monetize the masses with more platforms for social sharing, creation and activation.

Internet 3.0 promises to bring us to a democratized phase of Internet creator/ownership, where power shifts from large technological oligopolies to individuals. Rather than using platforms in exchange for data, users should have full power, governance and control over assets, where they can be participants, owners and shareholders, with peer-to-peer transactions.

The capabilities and timing of a Web3 world are as uncertain as the scramble for the original lands of the Wild West, with thousands of companies developing enablers of a multi-layered ecosystem. From big Web2 tech players, like Google and Apple, who don’t want to lose control in a Web3 transition, to innovators like coto by Eve and dentity, the market for enabling platforms is changing rapidly.


When leaders ask me if we should hire a Chief Metaverse Officer, I usually say no. But, depending on the industry and company, most will be best served by building it into the core capabilities of the CMO or CDO, then hiring and investing accordingly.

Before jumping on the Metaverse wagon, organizations from McDonald’s and Starbucks to CVS and Unilever are stepping back and planning what’s best to do now, while brands like Nike – which will soon have generated more than 200 million dollars of revenue in the category – claim it as a more important part of optimizing their future business model.

To help organizations prepare, let’s look at the NOWverse 6P this can help plan and invest in a more robust Web3 digital strategy and Metaverse evolution.

First, To prepare and develop long-term location plans for next-generation platforms and partnerships, and understand the range of different business models. You should also consider Protect your assets, data and information. The metaverse creates new scenarios to anticipate and mitigate the risks around; and not only secure, but proactively expand your patents, brands, IP, services, products and businesses.

Organizations can Produce IDTswhat I call (Iconic Digital Twins) or NTF for existing and future products and services, while working to improve your brand Positioning, by providing OBEs – (brand experiences) for in-person, online and virtual environments. Don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach; align with your brand promise and maintain a relevant, realistic and trustworthy experience. When considering marketing, you need to Promote and sync targeted brand experiences with meta-phases, get Characterl, and take advantage of technologies.


With all the Web2 solutions available, it’s the challenge to offer customers personalization Whether it’s online or IRL, consider the 5E to start. Businesses have deployed some of these in old and new media, but they must now be at the heart of any digital transformation strategy.

Traditional and new media advertising (and e-commerce) business models need a reboot. Besides selling something, there are smarter opportunities to connect with Web2 and Web3 consumers. You can To entertain and Educate, providing them with simple and fun gamification to watch, play and experience, while providing useful and relevant content. Helps build credibility and brand loyalty when supplying Engaging brand experiences and conversions that engage customers and Excite their by providing useful and actionable assets unique to your brand. Lately, e-comm. To entice consumers to buy, it helps to personalize and provide meaningful experiences at every stage of their journey, which often facilitates the transaction and subsequent loyalty.

Make Web3-3D movements in a Web2-2D world

Smart organizations separate the hype from the roadmap and plan around the fact that the mass market will live in a Web2-2D world for some time to come. As a user and teacher of technology transformation and trends at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, I like how Gartner details evolution with a ten-year roadmap, but there will be other predictions. Additionally, Revieve has published a Metaverse Playbook, with details on what companies can consider doing now and next – you can get it here.

As organizations navigate to Web3 – while operating in a Web2 world – and test platforms and technologies that are part of consumer journeys in the metaverse, they will learn to meet the mass audience, and more often niche, where they are along the way.

Will the next pandemic start with chickens? https://hardouin.info/will-the-next-pandemic-start-with-chickens/ Tue, 20 Sep 2022 01:49:09 +0000 https://hardouin.info/will-the-next-pandemic-start-with-chickens/

However, no one I asked—not Murphey, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, or Lincoln Premium Poultry—said they were aware of a second problem Lanc had observed: manure being loaded onto trucks in one of the barns owned by Gallus near his home. house, in the control area, another act that should have required permits. (Lanc had informed the county, while Barlean had contacted state and federal authorities.) This caused Lanc to wonder how much might be going on at these farms beyond the notice of the people supposedly in charge. The whole quarantine seemed so sloppy, really: Both Lanc and Barlean told me that no agency ever reached out to report that their homes were near an outbreak of this flu. They saw ducks and geese swimming in puddles of rainwater beside heaps of rendered chicken carcasses; workers threw two hazmat suits into the roadside ditch near Lanc’s house. Lanc said he asked the county sheriff to remove them, but when I visited four months after the outbreak, the suits were still there, dusty and sun-dried.

By the end of April, as the epidemic reached its peak, more than 37 million birds had been culled across the country. In the United States, at least, the death toll was lower than in 2015, perhaps suggesting that, despite the laxity observed by Lanc, farmers have tightened their biosecurity. On the other hand, this year’s virus has found new categories of victims. The 2015 outbreak primarily affected turkey and egg farms, where birds live relatively long and therefore have more time to contract a virus. This year, broilers have also suffered, as have a wide range of species. More than 50 wild bird species have tested positive in North America, twice as many as in 2015. Several mammals too: foxes and seals, as well as bobcats and a baby coyote, among others. For the first time in the United States, we can add humans to the list. A Colorado prisoner, who was euthanizing infected birds as part of a work release program, tested positive in late April. The UK also suffered its first human infection, a 79-year-old man who owned 125 ducks. Fortunately, both patients recovered.

How worried should we be? While the ability of this virus to infect mammals is alarming, you, the reader, are still unlikely to fall for it unless you make some foolish decisions: wading recklessly through piles of goose shit, for example, or eat raw birds. But you can think of the Bible stories that have emerged this year as a reminder that your concern is overdue. Avian influenza does not need to be highly pathogenic to trigger a human pandemic; recent studies suggest that the 1957 and 1968 epidemics appear to have involved mild strains of avian influenza which reassorted with human viruses. Even when the birds are not are dying in large numbers, we have to worry about the flu.

This Week in Techdirt History: September 11-17 https://hardouin.info/this-week-in-techdirt-history-september-11-17/ Sat, 17 Sep 2022 19:00:00 +0000 https://hardouin.info/this-week-in-techdirt-history-september-11-17/

from as it was department

Five years ago

This week in 2017, Comcast sued Vermont in an attempt to avoid having to expand its broadband network, as it also continued to insist that its sneaky and deceptive charges were a form of transparency. Charles Harder lost a libel suit against The Deal, while the infamous Monkey Selfie case reached a settlement yet was not quite over. Several groups were fighting against the terrible ideas of the European copyright directive, while the music industry intensified its attacks on YouTube extraction sites. And in a moment of utter moral cowardice, Harvard gave in to the CIA and canceled Chelsea Manning’s scholarship.

Ten years ago

This week in 2012, the Vice President of the European Commission did a good job of explaining why copyright law is broken in the digital age. We looked at how major labels use jurisdiction and location to screw up artists, while the MPAA sends propaganda points to politicians, and an unsurprising but unfortunate court ruling found the insane fines against Jammie Thomas-Rasset were reasonable. The house went ahead with voting on the FISA Amendment Act when they didn’t even know how it was being interpreted, and the bill was approved by a large majority. And then the week ended with a leak of the proposed White House executive order on cybersecurity.

Fifteen years ago

This week in 2007, a judge dismissed an RIAA lawsuit for being based only on speculation, the Copyright Alliance displayed twisted logic in its claims for strong copyright and weak fair use, and Prince was suing YouTube, eBay and the Pirate Bay. While some blamed MP3s and iPods for ruining music, the recording industry was showing its ability to innovate with… poorly designed and highly restrictive subscription services, and the “ringle” (a musical single sold as a ringtone) .

At first

Another edition of the Up To Date newsletter that would become Techdirt was published 25 years ago this week on September 13, 1997, covering a wide variety of events including the sale of CompuServe, the world’s first major commercial ISP .

Filed Under: History, Looking Back

Supersize Bunnings sells for $100 million https://hardouin.info/supersize-bunnings-sells-for-100-million/ Fri, 16 Sep 2022 04:18:58 +0000 https://hardouin.info/supersize-bunnings-sells-for-100-million/

A little-known investor has invested around $100 million in an oversized Bunnings hardware store, touted as one of the largest in the Wesfarmers-owned network.

The green and red branded shed was sold along with an Amart furniture store to a company called ESCB Holdings, owned by Guirong Zhang, a caveat attached to the ownership shows.

The Bunnings at 221-239 Old Geelong Road at Hoppers Crossing.Credit:

The Burgess Rawson-brokered deal is expected to close next week.

The 21,670 square meter shed and 4,809 square meter furniture store are on a large 55,000 square meter site at 221-239 Old Geelong Road in Hoppers Crossing, Melbourne’s west.

The properties bring in a combined annual income of $4,284,186, suggesting a high return of less than 5% for the transaction.

Zhang is little known in real estate circles, but it was reported that he bought a Castle Cove home for $15million in November last year and had a business association with the trader real estate Jacky Cheung.

Beau Coulter, who negotiated the sale with colleagues Billy Holderhead, Yosh Mendis and Zomart He, would not comment or disclose the final sale price. It was listed with expectations of around $100 million.

He said recent interest rate hikes were not dampening investor interest in large-format assets.

“People are looking for properties with a long weighted average lease expiration (WALE). Money is leaving the stock market and residential real estate, which has led to changes in rental laws,” Coulter said.

Why Telstra’s share price could actually be a growth opportunity: fundie https://hardouin.info/why-telstras-share-price-could-actually-be-a-growth-opportunity-fundie/ Wed, 14 Sep 2022 00:08:40 +0000 https://hardouin.info/why-telstras-share-price-could-actually-be-a-growth-opportunity-fundie/

Image source: Getty Images

The Telstra Corporation Ltd. (ASX:TLS) The stock price has had a journey over the past few years. However, with the worst of NBN’s earnings behind it, will the telecommunications giant now start generating growth?

Telstra is one of the biggest blue chips on the ASX with a market capitalization of $46 billion according to the ASX.

Fund manager Perennial believes Telstra exhibits characteristics that “bode well for earnings and returns”.

Perennial took this view after reviewing the telecom operator’s FY22 result. Let’s take a quick look at this report.

Summary of results for fiscal year 22

Telstra said its total revenue fell 4.7% to $22 billion. Underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 8.4% to $7.3 billion, while underlying earnings per share (EPS) jumped 48.5% to 14 .4 cents. As an indication, free cash flow increased by 5.9% to $4 billion.

The board also decided to increase the dividend from 8 cents per share to 8.5 cents per share. An annualized dividend per share of 17 cents would be 6.1% at the current Telstra share price.

Outgoing Telstra boss Andy Penn described the mobile result as “outstanding”. Mobile EBITDA increased by 21.2%, with mobile postpaid average revenue per user (ARPU) growth of 2.9% and mobile services revenue growth of 6.4%. The phone company said it added 155,000 net retail postpaid portable services. One million Internet of Things (IoT) services were also added, along with 218,000 wholesale services.

Telstra Health saw revenue rise 51% to $243 million after including acquisitions. Management said it was on track to become a $500 million revenue company by FY25.

Management said that for FY23, total revenue is expected to be between $23 billion and $25 billion. Underlying EBITDA is expected to be between $7.8 billion and $8 billion.

Why is Perennial positive on Telstra share price?

Perennial said the mobile business showed “good growth”. He went on to describe his optimistic view of the business:

With the rollout of NBN now complete, the company will no longer face earnings headwinds as broadband subscribers switch from its network to NBN at much lower margins. This should mark an inflection point in earnings, with the mobile division driving positive earnings growth for the group. The recent merger of TPG with Vodafone blocked an oligopolistic structure in the mobile market. As a result, we are now seeing more rational pricing, as well as other forms of cooperation such as network sharing agreements – which bode well for profits and returns.

Telstra recently announced that it would raise mobile prices for many customers in line with CPI inflation.

Telstra Share Price Overview

As of this writing, Telstra shares have fallen 1% in the past month.

PEB Singapore, PPP Center, transport liberalization and IPRI 2022 https://hardouin.info/peb-singapore-ppp-center-transport-liberalization-and-ipri-2022/ Mon, 12 Sep 2022 09:55:19 +0000 https://hardouin.info/peb-singapore-ppp-center-transport-liberalization-and-ipri-2022/

Four important economic and trade developments happened last week and I want to comment on them.

1. Philippines Economic Briefing, Singapore

On Wednesday, September 7, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and his economic and infrastructure teams held the Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) in Singapore, which was attended by many investors.

In Panel 1, the speakers were Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Socio-Economic Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, Central Bank Governor Felipe Medalla and Vice President of SM Investment Corp. (SMIC), Teresita Sy-Coson. The four officials spoke clearly about the country’s macroeconomic and fiscal stability. And it was a great idea to have another speaker from the Filipino business world. Singapore businessmen are familiar with the Sy and SM conglomerate, and Ms. Coson spoke positively about the economic team and the economic outlook for the Philippines. At the end of the panel, there was loud applause in the conference room.

Group 2 included Commerce Secretary Alfredo Pascual, Public Works Secretary Manuel Bonoan, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, Tourism Secretary Maria Esperanza Christina Garcia Frasco and Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John Uy . I would say it was another slam dunk – with a “come and invest in the Philippines” message that was delivered in a clear and compelling way. And since Singapore is the regional headquarters of many Western multinationals, the message must have been well heard.

A report in Business world about the Singapore event noted that “electric tricycle, floating solar projects are leading investment deals in Singapore from Marcos’s visit” (September 8).

Investment pledges after Singapore PEB amounted to $6.5 billion. Of this amount, $5 billion would be for the manufacture of electric tricycles and $1.2 billion for floating solar. That doesn’t seem right. More electric tricycles mean more electricity demand and our electricity production is low – only 108 terawatt hours (TWH) in 2021, less than half of Vietnam’s 245 TWH. Solar or wind are not basic energy sources, their production and storage are intermittent and very unstable.

The Philippines should aim for an increase of at least 7 TWH/year in electricity production from 2023-2025 compared to an increase of only 3.5 TWH/year in 2016-2021, then at least 10 TWH/year more from 2026- 2028, to avoid the frequent yellow-red alerts that we have experienced until this year. Vietnam has increased its electricity production over the past 10 years from 14 to 15 TWH/year. Large commercial and industrial projects won’t get in if they see they will face occasional outages and have to buy and run huge, expensive generator sets on a regular basis.

Major industrial countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Japan have entered a phase of deindustrialization and low growth by closing many of their fossil fuel and nuclear power plants and relying more on electricity. intermittent wind-solar power. In contrast, Southeast Asian countries continue to buzz with their conventional energy sources and are experiencing rapid growth (see table 1).

2. The BOT law and the new head of the PPP Center

Last week, the Center for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) announced a “Public Consultation on Amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Act 2022 Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) (RA 7718) “. People can submit their comments in writing or they can also attend the consultation in person tomorrow, September 13.

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. has named a new PPP Center Executive Director, Cynthia Hernandez. The lady is very cerebral: she graduated from Philippine Science High School, passed the UP College Admissions Test (UPCAT) and landed in the top 50 out of approximately 80,000+ applicants nationwide, earned her BS Metallurgical Engineering degree from UP as an Oblation Scholar, completed a Masters in Development Economics (MDE) from UP School of Economics (UPSE), currently pursuing a Masters in Business Administration at the Berlin Professional School. She has worked in some of the major energy, infrastructure and consulting companies in the country: Meralco, Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM), AES, Aboitiz Power, SGV/EY, and KPMG.

Meanwhile, Marilou “Louie” Mendoza has been reappointed as Chair of the Tariff Commission (TC). Louie is another cerebral civil servant: she graduated with an AB Economics (cum laude) then an MDE (university scholarship) from UPSE, and with a master’s degree in development management (with honors), and the National Government Career Executive Service Development Program.

Cynthia, Louie, Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Pangandaman, and Under Secretary of State for Budget Policy and Strategy, Joselito Basilio, were classmates at MDE in Lot 33 of the UPSE’s Development Economics Program (PDE). Mr. Basilio has another Masters in Applied Economics from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and then a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.

The director of the PDE program at the time and teacher for two semesters was Professor Ruperto “Ruping” Alonzo. Professor Ruping (RIP) shaped these four brilliant minds along with their other batch mates.

3. Transport inflation and Grab-MOVE IT partnership

Last week, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said August inflation was 6.3%, stable from July’s inflation rate of 6.4%. Among commodity groups, transport inflation was 14.6% in August, including “Operating personal transport equipment” at 34.7%. Inflation in the first eight months of 2022 is now 4.9% and transport inflation is 12.9% (see table 2).

With gasoline and diesel prices still high, driving a personal car remains expensive and people would like to find cheaper but safe alternative means of transportation. Motorcycle taxis (MCTs) should belong in this category – fast, cheap, no need for parking. But MCT remains a virtual duopoly by Angkas and Joyride. So when Grab teamed up with the third smallest and weakest player, MOVE IT, the duopoly was thrown off balance. See this report in Business world: “The acquisition of MOVE IT by Grab Philippines contested by 4 groups” (Sept. 9).

Commuters and the public have a “learned” interest: more choices, more options. Transport companies, especially if they are a duopoly or an oligopoly, have the opposite interest: reducing options for commuters, getting more money and power for themselves. This is exactly what the four transport groups and the duopoly demand.

Real commuter and consumer groups are asking for more options and competition. Fake commuter groups call for more bureaucratization and less competition. Last month, this column’s article, “Motorcycle Taxis, Illicit Tobacco and Electric Co-ops” (August 8), stated that “Secretary of Transportation Jaime J. Bautista and Chairman of the LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil should consider removing two caps – remove the maximum number of MCT players to just three and remove the maximum of 15,000 drivers per player At a maximum of 45,000 legal drivers, it is very likely that the number of “unregistered”habal habal“drivers may be twice or more than that number nationwide. Since they already exist, they should be integrated via legal MCT companies, for better regulatory transparency and better passenger safety.

At PEB Singapore, Secretary Bautista discussed major planned rail projects that will move people and goods much faster. These should continue. But many people don’t live near train stations, they live several kilometers away. More MCTs will transport people from their homes to stations, then to their destinations, and back.

Grab-MOVE IT as the third player is a good move. A better move is to have four, five or more players. And no maximum number of runners per player. More competition, more options and more protection for the cycling public. The LTFRB should throw out the lobby of the four groups and think about the needs of the constituency public.

4. IPRI 2022

Finally, the International Property Rights Index (IPRI) 2022 was launched on September 7 by the Property Rights Alliance (PRA, Washington DC).

The IPRI index is a composite of three sub-indices: legal and political environment, physical property and protection of intellectual property. The Philippines posted a deterioration in the world ranking, falling from 70e in 2018 at 83rd in 2022, penalized by low scores in the legal and policy sections due to poor performance in rule of law and anti-corruption (see table 3).

The Marcos Jr. administration must do more to strengthen the rule of law and control corruption in the country.

Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr. is the president of Minimal Government Thinkers.

minimal government@gmail.com

Cardinal Health board shuffle could pave way for activist fund Elliott to create value https://hardouin.info/cardinal-health-board-shuffle-could-pave-way-for-activist-fund-elliott-to-create-value/ Sat, 10 Sep 2022 13:15:13 +0000 https://hardouin.info/cardinal-health-board-shuffle-could-pave-way-for-activist-fund-elliott-to-create-value/

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc | Digital Vision | Getty Images

Company: Cardinal Health (CAH)

Company: Cardinal Health is a pharmaceutical distributor, a global manufacturer and distributor of medical and laboratory products, and a provider of performance and data solutions for healthcare facilities. The Company operates through two segments: (i) pharmaceutical and (ii) medical supply and distribution. The pharmaceutical segment has approximately $165 billion in revenue (91%) and the medical segment has approximately $16 billion (9%) in revenue. The company is the smallest of the three largest drug distributors (which together account for 90% of the market), behind AmerisourceBergen and McKesson.

Market value: ~$19 billion ($69.89 per share)

investment related news

CNBC Investment Club
We add to a chipmaker shot ahead of a key event in its growing auto business

Activist: Elliott Management

Percentage of ownership: n / A

Average cost: n / A

Activist Comment: Elliott is a very successful and shrewd activist investor, especially in the technology sector. Their team includes analysts from leading technology private equity firms, engineers and operational partners. When evaluating an investment, they also hire specialist and general management consultants, expert cost analysts and industry specialists. They often watch companies for many years before investing and have a large stable of impressive board candidates.

What is happening?

On September 6, Elliott and the company entered into a cooperation agreement, pursuant to which Cardinal agreed to appoint the following four directors to the board of directors and propose them for election at the 2022 annual meeting: (i) Steven K. Barg, global head of engagement at Elliott Management; (ii) Michelle M. Brennan, President of the Connect Healthcare Council for Pioneering Collective and member of the Coupa Software Board of Directors; (iii) Sujatha Chandrasekaran, independent advisor and consultant in the research and technology sectors; and (iv) Christine A. Mundkur, former CEO and non-voting chair of the board of Impopharma, a developer of complex formulations focused on inhalant pharmaceuticals. The company has expanded the size of the board of directors from 11 to 15. After the 2022 annual meeting, outgoing directors Dean Scarborough and John Weiland will step down and the board will consist of 13 members. Additionally, Cardinal has agreed to form a new Business Review Committee to support a comprehensive review of its strategy, portfolio, capital allocation framework and operations. The committee will be chaired by CEO Jason Hollar, and Barg and Akhil Johri will also serve on it. Elliott has agreed to abide by certain customary voting and standstill provisions.

In the wings

Cardinal is a company made up of two businesses with no real synergies. The pharmaceuticals business is one of three businesses in an oligopoly and is growing faster than its peers, increasing revenue by 14% last year. Pharmaceutical peers are trading at 10-11x EBITDA while Cardinal is trading at just 8x EBITDA. This is due to operational issues and missteps, mostly in the medical segment. They made the mistake of investing money in this segment through acquisitions, but were never able to leverage these assets. Today, this segment generates approximately $16 billion in revenue, but was not profitable in the last quarter after historically recording up to $800 million in EBITDA.

There are several value creation opportunities here. This should start with the sale of some non-essential assets. In the pharmaceutical sector, Nuclear and Precision Health Solutions is a leading independent asset in the market that could be spun off. In the medical sector, Cardinal Health at-Home Solutions, which the company bought a decade ago, has grown well and is in a market ripe for acquisition. That could give Cardinal some cash to fix both businesses after the company missed EPS guidance six quarters in a row.

However, all of these initiatives should be done with a reconstituted council. This was made clear in August when Cardinal announced that Mike Kaufmann (who had a 30-year tenure with the company) was stepping down as CEO and would be replaced by CFO Jason Hollar. The move came without warning or communication, and the board promoted the CFO to CEO. Meanwhile, Hollar never worked in health care before Cardinal, where he has only been for 2.5 years. He was most recently chief financial officer at Tenneco, an auto parts company, and at Sears Holdings before that. One of the main functions of a board of directors is to analyze and effect the succession of the CEO. Looks like Cardinal’s board just called this one. Hollar may be the right CEO for the company, but this transition should only happen after a thorough research process. Moreover, internal CEO succession generally makes more sense for a company that is doing well and whose leader is ready to retire, and not for an underperforming company that is abruptly parting ways with its leader.

The other, and perhaps best, option for this business is a strategic review. Last year, a group of private equity firms teamed up to buy Medline Industries, a direct competitor to Cardinal’s medical business, for $34 billion. With $20 billion in revenue, Medline is a little bigger than Cardinal’s business. We’re not implying that Cardinal’s medical division is worth anything but Cardinal’s total enterprise value is only $20 billion and Medical is the much smaller division. Additionally, at the 10-11 times EBITDA multiple achieved by Cardinal’s pharmaceutical peers, its pharmaceuticals division’s $2 billion EBITDA could be worth around $20-22 billion, putting a negative value on the division. medical.

Ken Squire is the founder and president of 13D Monitor, an institutional research service on shareholder activism, and he is the founder and portfolio manager of the 13D Activist Fund, a mutual fund that invests in a portfolio of activist investments 13D. Squire is also the creator of the AESG™ investment category, an activist style of investing focused on improving the ESG practices of portfolio companies.

Stories by Kevin Lin at Techdirt. https://hardouin.info/stories-by-kevin-lin-at-techdirt/ Thu, 08 Sep 2022 22:32:00 +0000 https://hardouin.info/stories-by-kevin-lin-at-techdirt/

from go fishing department

It’s no secret that copyright trolls have plagued many countries for some time now. The typical copyright troll method is quite simple. You buy or acquire the rights to certain media, you monitor the illicit appearance of any of these media on the Internet, then you attempt to legalize the IP addresses of ISPs or web hosts, then threaten those who use these IP addresses with a trial if they do not pay a “settlement fee”. This system is problematic for a number of reasons: it’s not how copyright laws were supposed to work, IP addresses aren’t people representing culprits, there’s been a ton of fakes positive, etc. etc etc

But one of the theories or questions that sometimes comes up is: how do we know that the rightsholders themselves aren’t uploading the content themselves on a fishing expedition at settlement expense? Well, a lawyer in Taiwan is accused by authorities of doing just that.

Taiwan prosecutors have indicted five men for running an operation to download movies from the Internet and then extort cash settlements from BitTorrent users who downloaded them. One of the men is former ultramarathon runner Kevin Lin, who founded a copyright consultancy after graduating from law school in 2020.

According to reports, Lin’s company tricked users into downloading the torrents, tracked their IP addresses, and then sued for copyright infringement in a bid to profit from cash settlements. Lin said that because of his support for the opposition government and his criticism of its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the investigation against him is politically motivated.

If true, the scheme covered 18 movie titles. Not content to wait for the movies Actually being hacked, Lin is accused of uploading the films. If so, of course it is not piracy. The rights holder appears to have released these films on torrent sites. Anyone downloading them would simply be taking what the rights holder has freely given away, and therefore licensed.

As with many of these criminal schemes, it appears that Lin and his company were discovered because they were simply too greedy and the scheme worked too big.

Prosecutors are demanding heavy sentences for Lin and a lawyer identified by the surname Cheng, who played a key role in shaping the litigation strategy. The company’s lawsuits have overwhelmed the intellectual property police force, other police departments and prosecutors’ offices, authorities said.

Is this the first time in the world that this has happened? Obviously not. Nor does it excuse copyright infringement in general.

But what it certainly does is demonstrate how current copyright enforcement mechanisms around the world are open to abuse.

Filed Under: copyright, trolling copyright, honeypots, kevin lin, taiwan

Revisiting SA’s “Staggered” Performance Fees with OMBA’s Mark Perchtold https://hardouin.info/revisiting-sas-staggered-performance-fees-with-ombas-mark-perchtold/ Tue, 06 Sep 2022 14:54:02 +0000 https://hardouin.info/revisiting-sas-staggered-performance-fees-with-ombas-mark-perchtold/

In this podcast, we revisit the SA performance fee scandal revealed a fortnight ago by Sean Peche, whose investigation showed big money managers rake in billions from savers despite mediocre returns. OMBA co-founder Mark Perchtold, who like Peche is a London-based South African, sheds light on a topic that has generated considerable debate – opening a new avenue of inquiry around access to investment platforms, which in South Africa belong to the oligopoly.

Perchtold on whether keeping costs as low as possible is becoming more important these days and SPIVA reports

Absolutely. I mean, I’ve been following some of the recent news you mentioned in South Africa. And that goes back many years in terms of my personal journey. But the use of ETFs in the construction of portfolios, as we have already discussed, and we actively use these ETFs. The reason we use these ETFs is because they are lower cost building blocks of, you know, a lot of multi-asset portfolios that historically have been built using actively managed funds or structured products or other solutions, which were often much more expensive. And there are various studies of active managers outperforming various benchmarks, but one very good one. I encourage your audience to research and Google these are the SPIVA reports that discuss the percentage of active managers that beat the benchmark net of fees over varying time periods. One-year, three-year, five-year Spiva report.

It’s a fantastic report that comes out every year. I think around the middle of the year and what it showed when I first saw it and it was about seven or eight years ago is that most of the industry doesn’t exceed not the net fee reference. So it’s better to just try to own the reference. So if your benchmark is the Footsie 100 or the S&P 500 or the Nikkei 2 to 5, why not just buy a budget tracker and you own the whole benchmark? If the odds are against you, in very many markets, 80% of managers were not beating the benchmark net of fees over longer periods, three, five and ten years. If that’s really the case, they just own the reference. So this allowed us to use ETFs as a tool to build our multi-asset portfolios.

On the invoicing of performance fees

Well, we don’t charge performance fees. Absolutely not. But performance fees have their place. You don’t have to cut them down completely. I think in many long and early strategies it is not necessarily fair to charge performance fees if they are charged. The investor really needs to understand the benchmark: what minimum rate is charged to him, these performance fees. But, in the world of hedge funds and private equity, for example, which I’m somewhat familiar with, there’s this old model of charging fees of two and 20, for example, one and ten and two is the annual fee permanent assets. And then the 20 is the performance fee, which is deducted additionally. And you know, those are pretty high fees when you think about returns that survey net of fees. if you generate a 100% return on top of your 100 invested, 20% off the top is a big number, that’s why we’re moving into the alternate space. you really have to think about passing it to the top quartile managers, because if you’re not in the top quartile, you’re better off. I’ve been at it for a long time – only for example when you compare it to private equity, but performance fees have their place. I wouldn’t knock them down completely, but in long strategies only, you know, if you’re long in fixed income or equities and there’s no complex underlying. The necessary instruments, let’s call them more qualified investment managers to understand and take advantage of the opportunities present in the market. And I don’t think performance fees should be charged. So having an inflation benchmark and charging a performance fee on top of that seems a bit unfair.

If he had a chance to read Sean Peche’s report and his thoughts on the points he raised

I think he makes great points. I think one of the challenges we’ve had is that it’s often quite difficult to get the data as an investor. So the different factsheets he would have used to perform the analysis, you would never know what class of stock you are looking at or you would know from the factsheet. But as an investor, you may not fall into this share class, especially if you use a platform or another channel. And often these big asset management companies have so many different classes of shares, there are institutional classes, performance fee classes, fixed fee classes and this class. And so it’s actually quite difficult to do the analysis. So I think Sean has given himself a very difficult task in trying to do that. But given the information he had, I think he showed some interesting points. And it’s crazy. the fact that performance fees have been charged in certain ways at least indicates that this is the case. And I’ll be interested to see how big companies will react if they do.

On performance fees in the retail sector not being charged in the UK and why SA has been so far behind the curve in this regard

Let’s be honest. Look, I think the industry will get away with it as best they can in any market. If you can charge it, you will. And I think that’s what the mentality of a lot of these companies has had is that if we can, if we can get away with charging more, we will. And so I think they’re finally catching up – well, now hopefully they’ll catch up in terms of moving the world. I mean, there was a lot of bad practice in the UK market and internationally before the RDR world in the UK for over 15 years now. But you know, industry practices have always come under scrutiny – possibly by someone in a market like South Africa, where you feel like there’s a bit more oligopoly . Maybe there’s a level of understanding between companies to say, well, that’s it, and if we’re all doing similar things, then at least we’re consistent in how we charge fees. But people don’t really have, because of exchange controls and everything else, a lot of experience in international and offshore investing, especially South African retail investors. And as a result, they are often unaware. What should I pay when they ask their local friend who’s with Allan Gray? One is with Coronation. One with Ninety One, one with Sanlam, one with Old Mutual. Choose your company and they all pay similar fees for their advice and for their products. Then I guess if your friends pay that fee and you pay the same, you say, well, that’s gotta be fine. Very few would have made the comparison to look off.

On the difficulty for small businesses to access platforms due to the fact that large companies own them

It’s so hard to get to platforms, you know, and Sean spoke about that when he talked about small shop managers. I mean, we felt the same in the UK market and in South Africa. The only way we can access a platform is by placing a large order from an investor using a platform. So it’s an IFA practice that uses the Allan Gray platform or the 91 platform or the platform, whatever it is. In South Africa someone has to place an order for your fund and it has to be size before the edge. So the smaller funds that, you know, are going to market what they do and don’t yet have thousands or hundreds of users or investors of those funds are struggling to access the platforms.

Now you can imagine the challenge one faces. Do you spend money on marketing, getting exposure on, say, the 1-2 of a big campaign and spreading his brand across South Africa to rival the strengths of brands like 91, Coronation, you know, Allan Gray. It would cost us a fortune. And now suppose we have investors who want to buy or invest in our fund through their financial advisor. The challenge. They couldn’t do it because they’re not on the platforms. So you spend the money first. Do you advertise or get on the platforms first and then spend the money so that someone can at least access you? And so it’s a bit of a chicken and an egg and that makes it very difficult for start-ups and smaller asset managers, where I actually think a lot of the skills have to be found because a lot of these deep seas move like slow ships. And so I think that’s a challenge that small craft businesses will face. And I don’t think it’s about to stop anytime soon.

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