Do Turkeys Vote for Xmas?

Do Turkeys Vote for Xmas? /2017-12-31/Nick Sallnow-Smith I thought that over the holiday season I would write on a topical subject. Of course the classic phrasing of my title would be “turkeys don’t vote for Xmas”. The implication is that even as stupid a bird as a turkey (I don’tContinue reading>


Please sir, I want some more

Please sir, I want some more /2017-11-31/Nick Sallnow-Smith My title this month, probably the best known piece of dialogue in all of Charles Dickens’ novels, is the brave question from orphan Oliver Twist to the tyrannical master of the poorhouse. I was reminded of it this month at a presentationContinue reading>


Nudge, Nudge

Nudge, Nudge /2017-10-31/Nick Sallnow-Smith I am not a fan of “awards”, where a committee selects what they think is the best movie, novel, song etc. Typically, the choice tells me more about the prejudices and tastes of the members of the awarding committee than it does about the award winner’sContinue reading>


Best Practice is Worst Practice

Best Practice is Worst Practice  /2017-09-27/Nick Sallnow-Smith One common addition to business jargon over recent decades has been the term ‘best practice’. It has also become one of those ‘apple pie’ nostrums to which only the insane would object. Well, let me have a go at some insane objections to it.Continue reading>


Our Liberties are under threat

Next Magazine/Second Opinion/2017-09-07/Bill Stacey Our Liberties are under threat Sixteen young people are behind bars, a price they willingly pay for their love of Hong Kong. While it is debatable if the price is too high,  many of us who have made this city our home by choice can neverthelessContinue reading>


A giant bureaucracy in the making?

The Greater Bay Area mustn’t become a giant bureaucracy (Next Magazine, 2017/8/10, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) Integrating the Pearl River Delta to form a Greater Bay Area conurbation is founded on the compelling logic that the largest urban area in the world, with high incomes, leading manufacturing and education facilities,Continue reading>


Basic Instincts

Basic Instincts (or – The Wisdom of Crowds, Part 2)   No, my title is not taken from the Michael Douglas/Sharon Stone movie of 1992. (That was singular, “Instinct”!) I’m interested, rather, in a range of instincts that citizens of many societies seem to have, that are increasingly overridden byContinue reading>


The Wisdom of Crowds

(As appeared on our July 2017 Newsletter) I take my title from a 2004 book by James Surowiecki. Its subtitle was “Why the Many are Smarter than the Few”. It is an interesting book focusing on examples where the average result of many relatively untutored opinions can lead to quiteContinue reading>


One policy error away from fiscal disaster

(Next Magazine, 2017/7/13, A002, Second Opinion, Bill Stacey) One policy error away from fiscal disaster In the west, country after country, government budgets have spiraled out of control, creating persistent deficits and leading to rapidly rising debt. The United States is not known internationally for its extensive welfare state, although thatContinue reading>