Monday, December 21, 2009

The Web - Making and Breaking Reputations

I have spent quite a bit of this year cheesed off with the financial industry and for good reason, the way it was run (and probably still will be) just sucks, big style. The regulators have been useless and it does not look like things will change in a hurry. I hope they do, but I doubt they will.

Still, it could be worse. I could be Bill O'Dowd, CEO of Dolphin Digital Media Inc. You see I did some work for Dolphin, basically whenever an investor called to ask questions, they were passed to me and I answered. Late this year O'Dowd decides to issue a statement sating that 'someone' was making unauthorised statements on behalf of the company. Some investors were told that this was myself. As you can imagine I was a little cheesed off.

I am sure we will sort it, but I wanted to make a point with this post, that point is for the benefit of Mr O'Dowd and anyone else who decides to make false statements about people... You see this post, containing the names of Bill O'Dowd and Michael Espensen (the directors of Dolphin Digital Media Inc) will sail to the top of Google for the search phrase "Bill O'Dowd", "O'Dowd Dolphin", "Michael Espensen" "Espensen Dolphin" "Dolphin Digital Media, Bill O'Dowd"... I think you get the picture.

The reason it will do this is because there is not much out there covering Bill O'Dowd and Michael Espensen, other than their TV work.

My point, which I am laboring to get to sorry, is that the false statements made about myself (or anyone else), repeated on the web will be there for all to see, for a long time. Even when O'Dowd and Espensen are required to withdraw these statements, which they no doubt will, the false statements will still be there. This is highly damaging to people's livelihoods, I don't know how much business I have missed because of negative statements, but one bit of business is too much.

So this post is a lesson for Mr O'Dowd and Mr Espensen, this post is now in Google, now comes up when Bill O'Dowd, Michael Espensen, or Dolphin Digital Media Inc is mentioned on the web. It is harmless, does not say much but is fully editable, so maybe I will be able to update you all on the continuing events of the saga or maybe I will delete the post... who knows?

What I do know is that if this year has taught us anything other than our regulators had dropped the ball, it is that we are truly living in the Internet age, an age where the most minute details of business can dissected, where reckless or careless statements can whip around the web in seconds with no way of taking them back.

I am hoping that things will change in the coming years, regulators will be more diligent, but not overbearing, investors will be aggressive but not mentally so and CEO's who run companies on behalf of their shareholders take their duties seriously and realise that they are the custodians of people's money and responsible for it, not just the bottom line or the shareprice Mostly I hope that people like Bill O'Dowd and Michael Espensen realise the power of the web to make or break reputations and that others think a little before unleashing web posts that point the finger.

I do.

Stop Press

As an experiment, I just wanted to see how quickly and where the post would end up for the search term 'Bill O'Dowd'. Within 3 minutes of this post being submitted it was on page three of Google second one down. That is the power of the web......

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Financial Industry Sucks (for now...)

So insanely bored am I of the world of finance that I have not been able to bring myself to write an article here in weeks. I don't know about you but I am so fed up of hearing the opinions of 'experts' on CNBC, in newspapers and on their personal blogs I just didn't want to add to the 'noise'.

The fact is that most of these people have been proved to know f*** all to a jam tart about what is going on in the markets or what is going to happen in the markets. Those who appear on CNBC from companies in London and the US should really think twice before coming on, or at least coming on twice. I have heard the most preposterous cobblers ever from those 'in the know' which has proved to be wrong days later... and then they merrily trot out the following week with no mention of the bile they spewed over viewers just seven days before.

Maybe it is because I have given up smoking that my famous sense of humour has lapsed or, more likely, I am experiencing my own personal 'point of capitulation' where I just cannot be bothered with the markets any longer, whatever it is it will take something monumental to peak my interest in the short term.

The fact is I should be excited; markets low, buying opportunities everywhere etc.. but I just have this impending doom feeling. The regulators are girding their loins to make our business more of a chore than it already is and the thought of dealing with the faceless (and ultimately, as we have seen, useless) bureaucrats more than ever, just makes my stomach churn.

For now I am concentrating on investing in small businesses, trying to create something that does not require me to pay thousands of pounds per annum to people who make your life more difficult in the name of regulation but ultimately, when they are called upon to protect your clients and your business from unscrupulous people, can't perform.

Maybe when I reach my one month of not smoking and the craving has died down I will re-evaluate my current negative view of the industry, but for now.... well.... I just can't be arsed.