Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Zero leadership

Business Mirror

THESE words are hitting the page about 18 hours before you will see them, which means they are already obsolete in this age of instant information. Fortunately time slows down to a reasonable speed with a glass of wine sitting next to the keyboard.

The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) just had a wonderful trading, regardless of what you might be hearing and reading. The PHISIX blue-chip index closed above the important 4,375 area. The All-Share broad-market index was actually higher. Total volume was down to only P3.5 billion, which is actually good. We want down days to have less volume and up days to have more. The volume of the rising issues was about seven times higher than the volume of losing stocks and that’s good, too.

However, Asian stock markets took a formidable hit yesterday, down 2 percent to 3 percent and the opening in Europe looks to be the same. It is likely that the US stock markets will carry through with more equity destruction.

The US dollar is very strong right now, having broken back above 75 on the dollar index of a basket of weighted currencies. And while we heard the “experts” say that the gold-price bubble had burst a couple of weeks ago when the price hit $1,900 and fell, gold is trading at $1,890, up from the recent $1,750 low.

In my PSE Strategy Guide, released every Sunday, I wrote, “We are looking at the potential of a very strong and very broad market advance. Or we are looking at a failure of prices that is going to be revolting and very damaging.

In my humble opinion, the Philippine Stock Exchange is about to enter the final game of the championship to determine if the next few months are going be a period of winning or losing.”

I believe that before the end of this year, we are going to see changes on a global scale that no one expected.

Germany will decide this week whether to spend more German taxpayer money to bail out debt-dead Greece. The US will hear from its President Zero on how to create employment. The latest US numbers show that in August, no net jobs were created in both the public and private sectors, the first time since February 1945.

Australian Prime Minister Gillard is pushing Australia to adopt a system of carbon trading that has proven to be not only useless but also fraudulent. British Prime Minster Cameron was absolutely helpless when thieves and hooligans took to the streets a few weeks ago across the country in riots and property destruction. And Britain will host the 2012 Olympics. Good luck with that venture.

Japan has a new prime minister, the sixth in the last five years, as they continue to stumble to find a way out of a decades-long economic darkness.

The US elected a man proclaimed to be a bringer of hope and change who has delivered nothing but helplessness and damage. The US recession that ended in 2009 is back, if not officially yet, and will bring even more pain to the people.

The old wisdom is that adversity creates men and women of substance and character. We find our national heroes as the ones who rose out of the fires of turmoil, bringing something better with their actions.

But may it not be true also that weak leaders, or leaders without leadership qualities, are the cause of the adversity?

It has been such a long time since the world stage was populated with people like Winston Churchill, Golda Meir, Dwight Eisenhower, Japan’s Yoshida Shigeru, Ramon Magsaysay, Margaret Thatcher, China’s Deng Xiaoping, and Konrad Adenauer of Germany.

Each of these leaders had a profound and positive lasting effect on their respective countries. They were strong leaders and strong people. Perhaps the only true “big dog” in the world today is Vladimir Putin of Russia, an ex-KGB officer who ended his career keeping watch on the politics of Soviet university students.

American President John Quincy Adams wrote, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” And management theory guru Peter Drucker said, “Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.”

Where are the national and international leaders that are inspiring? Where are the national and international leaders whose actions speak louder than their words?

The next 12 to 18 months are going to shape the Philippines and the world in a way that has not been seen since World War II. And as the decisions at the time reached for generations, so, too, will the decisions made now reach to the future.

E-mail comments to mangun@gmail.com. PSE stock-market information and technical analysis tools provided by CitisecOnline.com Inc.

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