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'england Today Looks Economically Absolutely Shambolic'

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/profiles/8469647/Glencores-Simon-Murray-England-today-looks-economically-absolutely-shambolic.html

Glencore’s new chairman, Simon Murray, hasn’t lived in Britain for more than 50 years. Back here this Easter for the first time since the somewhat bumpy announcement of his role, he admits he doesn’t much like what he sees of the UK from his base in Hong Kong.

“I am British and England is the place I love, so I do watch it,” says the former French Foreign Legionnaire.

“But sometimes I’m afraid I’m in despair with the generation of entitlement and all the things that emanate from Europe about what we’re supposed to do, what we can do and can’t do.

“England today looks economically absolutely shambolic. We’re just drifting; this society that’s spoon-fed from birth.”

Murray, 71, has a bird’s-eye view of how Britain is perceived in Asia and he does not beat about the bush.

“Oh, I think it’s absolutely irrelevant,” comes the answer when asked about Britain’s influence in the East. “It’s not even a topic, England. It’s a football story, it’s a nation of football hooligans and Dome-builders.

“Let’s face it, we used to work a little bit harder than we do today. We have abused the system. We’ve lived for a long time beyond our means and lost the advantage.”

Pretty damning stuff from this energetic expatriate, who has roamed far and wide in his career and is the oldest man to have walked unsupported to the South Pole – a 750-mile journey he completed in 58 days in 2004.

He climbs mountains such as Kilimanjaro and recently competed in the South China Sea Race, skippered by the yachtsman Robin Knox-Johnston.

“What is Britain doing about it?” he continues. “We’ve flogged half of our businesses, a lot of our manufacturing has gone and we have become a great financial centre. But when you think that a large portion of your economy and indeed your wealth is based on lending money it raises some issues about what we are about. Where’s this all going to end? I’m not sure. How does it look? Pretty grim.

“When I was a boy our heroes were Livingstone and Nelson. Today it is more about David Beckham and perhaps Michael Jackson.”

Murray will be in the news over the next few months as Glencore – the Switzerland-based commodities trader and miner – plans a $60bn (£37bn) float in London and Hong Kong. The biggest float in the UK will propel the company into the top tier of the FTSE 100. Questions about governance issues have already been raised.

Last week, a poll of a dozen prospective Glencore investors representing investment firms with more than $2 trillion in assets flagged up concerns about the handling of Murray’s appointment. An argument had developed over who the leading candidate was after the BBC reported that Lord Browne, the former chief executive of BP, had the job.

It was then reported that Lord Browne had turned it down citing an issue over governance arrangements.

Murray describes the reported opinions of Lord Browne as “snide” and without foundation.

Investors in the same Reuters survey also raised concerns about a lack of independence on the Glencore board, as well as worries about the rationale for the IPO and its timing as commodity prices hit record highs. More than half of those surveyed said they would cut as much as 20pc from what they might have paid for shares, with one demanding a 50pc discount.

Murray doesn’t want to add further fuel to that fire.

“I don’t want to get into the Glencore thing at the moment,” he says. “I’ll tell you why; because I haven’t even arrived at the board and just think it’s too early for me to be holding forth.

“I’ve my first board meeting coming up in Switzerland in a few days. I haven’t even met the rest of the board yet.”

He had met chief executive Ivan Glasenberg just twice before negotiations over the chairmanship began a month ago. “I bought some coal from Ivan in 1981 in South Africa,” Murray says. “That was the first time I met him and I didn’t see him again until a year ago I bumped into him in Davos at a dinner at the house of Peter Munk [chairman of Canadian miner, Barrick Gold].

“We were chatting in the kitchen and that was that. Nothing came out of it and then suddenly a month or so ago, Ivan made contact through Nat Rothschild, a mutual friend. I arranged to meet him and we got to where we are today, so the world does go around.”

Murray is on message generally about the importance of good corporate governance, however, saying shareholders require boards to be clear on “all aspects” of their businesses. “I have no problem with that at all,” he adds. “I think corporate governance is critical and I think there’s been a huge improvement in the way that the public markets function.”

Murray has robust views on broader business issues. Take the issue of gender quotas in British boardrooms, which are being threatened in an attempt to increase the number of women at the top.

Murray is not a supporter. “Women in the boardroom? Terrific,” he says. “Why not? Always welcome. But why make a special case out of it? Why tell everybody you’ve got to have X number of women in the boardroom? Women are quite as intelligent as men. They have a tendency not to be so involved quite often and they’re not so ambitious in business as men because they’ve better things to do. Quite often they like bringing up their children and all sorts of other things.

“All these things have unintended consequences. Pregnant ladies have nine months off. Do you think that means that when I rush out, what I’m absolutely desperate to have is young women who are about to get married in my company, and that I really need them on board because I know they’re going to get pregnant and they’re going to go off for nine months?”

His views on immigration are similarly to the point. “I read the stories like everyone else of people who claim to be running away from some place in Africa because they’re being beaten up or something,” he says.

“We give them asylum and then it turns out to be fraudulent, and then they go to jail and then if they have been here for more than eight years we can’t do anything about them so we keep them.”

Some of the banks set to profit from advising on the Glencore float might feel a little uncomfortable at Murray’s views on their trade.

“We’ve had a cartel of banks in this country for 60 to 70 years,” he says. “There have been one or two new entries but its all the same.

“They’ve had every single thing they could possibly have had and what have they done? Screwed up. I’m very, very unimpressed. You know the ones I’m talking about and it’s the big banks. Who caused it [the crash]? They did. Are they to blame? Yes.”

So is he going to give them a hard time now that they will be charging hundreds of millions of dollars from the Glencore IPO? “I can’t,” he jokes. “They’ll cut my overdraft off. They’ve got me by the balls. They’ve got everybody by the balls.”

Murray’s life story is part-businessman, part-adventurer. He says he effectively left England in 1951 when his mother married a Dutchman. He boarded at Bedford School until he was 18, going to

the Netherlands in the holidays.

Then he jumped on a ship in Rotterdam and worked his passage to Buenos Aires peeling potatoes. After eight months, he returned to an apprenticeship at Mather & Platt, the Manchester engineering firm founded by his great-great grandfather.

He says he was soon “close to death from boredom” and ran away to spend five years with the French Foreign Legion in Algeria.

After that, he set off for Asia in 1966, arriving with just £27 in his pocket and spending 14 years at Jardine Matheson in Hong Kong, where he climbed to the position of managing director of the group’s engineering business.

He later became group managing director of conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa and currently runs investment firms GEMS and SMA, keeping an office in Queen Anne’s Gate, in the same building as Lord Powell of Bayswater, the former private secretary to Baroness Thatcher and Sir John Major.

Says Murray: “Business has always been something I enjoyed and many people I have done business with have become great friends.”

Sums it up pretty well :D

Edited by ringledman

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Hmm, he reminds me of that history professor, Niall Ferguson. He is looking at the world from his own over-achieving workaholic viewpoint and doesn't see that just maybe all those 'hard-working' Asians might actually prefer to work less hard and have more time for their family if it was possible?

Not to mention the hypocrisy in him making a huge profit over the years on commodities that has indirectly undermined the economics of manufacturing in the west...

Oh, and not living in his home country for the best part of 50 years. I guess he was too busy chasing the money to stop and settle down in the country he 'loves'.

But apart from that he does make some points I agree with.

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But apparently not so shambolic as to deter Glencore executives from wanting to float their company on the FTSE 100 as well as the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

This lot have so many 'corporate governance issues' that even the Daily Mail's city commentators wonder whether they are really fit and proper members of the FTSE 100

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-1376993/COMMENT-ALEX-BRUMMER-The-food-bubble-profiteers.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-1376315/COMMENT-RUTH-SUNDERLAND-Footsie-flag-convenience.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-1376637/Commodities-giant-Glencore-poised-float-amid-tax-avoidance-row.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

BTW the reason why some of these enterprises are attracted to float on our shores is down to the fact that UK Pension funds are required to hold at least a portion of their portfolios in FTSE 100 shares even though the index is now over populated by dodgepot overseas commodity companies from Khazakstan and elsewhere. This means that the executives have a ready supply of suckers who are forced to buy their shares before the commodity market goes pop. When the bubble bursts, as it doubtless will in due course ,you can guess who will be holding the bag. This is the next financial scandal in the making.

Edited by stormymonday_2011

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hmm, entitlement to the life you would like to lead or entitlement to long hours, low wages and bad working conditions.

having said that the subsidy of the rental market via housing benefit is definitely unsustainable.

However he countered is own position about employing young women, he seems a bit of a miserable old fart who needs to get a life.

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I've read Murray's diaries from his time in the Foreign Legion, Legionnaire.

While on patrol he and a fellow Legionnaire once ambushed a couple of Arabs who were trying to sneak up on their base, killing them both. They returned to report to their CO, who told them he needed to identify the two attackers. So they returned, cut off their heads, and took them back for identification. Murray's main complaint at the time was that the heads were heavy and he had to carry them back.

Class. That is how you deal with terrorism. I'd rather hear his opinions on our situation than a politicians.

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I've read Murray's diaries from his time in the Foreign Legion, Legionnaire.

While on patrol he and a fellow Legionnaire once ambushed a couple of Arabs who were trying to sneak up on their base, killing them both. They returned to report to their CO, who told them he needed to identify the two attackers. So they returned, cut off their heads, and took them back for identification. Murray's main complaint at the time was that the heads were heavy and he had to carry them back.

Class. That is how you deal with terrorism. I'd rather hear his opinions on our situation than a politicians.

So a thief and murderer.

I can see why we'd be taking advice on how to live from such.

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He sounds like he's stuck in the 1950s. Which is a good thing.

“Women in the boardroom? Terrific,” he says. “Why not? Always welcome. But why make a special case out of it? Why tell everybody you’ve got to have X number of women in the boardroom? Women are quite as intelligent as men. They have a tendency not to be so involved quite often and they’re not so ambitious in business as men because they’ve better things to do. Quite often they like bringing up their children and all sorts of other things.

Obvious, but stating it is a heinous crime in UK 2011.

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A bit more about Glencore from Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glencore

The key point is

As of 2006, it was Europe's sixth-largest company in terms of turnover.[4] According to The Sunday Times,[5] the company had USD 10.9 billion in shareholders' equity at the end of 2006 and is completely owned by its management.

Got to ask yourself why the management want to cash in their chips now when the commodity market seems unstoppable.

It can not be because the company needs the cash.

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I've read Murray's diaries from his time in the Foreign Legion, Legionnaire.

Class. That is how you deal with terrorism. I'd rather hear his opinions on our situation than a politicians.

French ideas of how to deal with preventing the collapse of their empire were not successful. I dont see the Algerian and Vietnamese people of that era as terrorists either personally.

" we used to work a bit harder "........ think thats open to debate.

Edited by bricor mortis

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I've read Murray's diaries from his time in the Foreign Legion, Legionnaire.

While on patrol he and a fellow Legionnaire once ambushed a couple of Arabs who were trying to sneak up on their base, killing them both. They returned to report to their CO, who told them he needed to identify the two attackers. So they returned, cut off their heads, and took them back for identification. Murray's main complaint at the time was that the heads were heavy and he had to carry them back.

Class. That is how you deal with terrorism. I'd rather hear his opinions on our situation than a politicians.

You may ask your self why France has foreign legionnaires and are killing arabs before classifying them as Terrorists. I presume this didn't happen in the French countryside did it?

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I've read Murray's diaries from his time in the Foreign Legion, Legionnaire.

While on patrol he and a fellow Legionnaire once ambushed a couple of Arabs who were trying to sneak up on their base, killing them both. They returned to report to their CO, who told them he needed to identify the two attackers. So they returned, cut off their heads, and took them back for identification. Murray's main complaint at the time was that the heads were heavy and he had to carry them back.

Class. That is how you deal with terrorism. I'd rather hear his opinions on our situation than a politicians.

SCREW YOU. I think you should read up a bit more about the 130 years of French occupation before you start labelling the Algerian resistance "terrorists". The Algerians had every right to oust them. Would you accept to be a second class citizen in your own country?

I'm sure if Hitler had occupied Britain you would say something completely different if a couple of soldiers from Churchill's auxiliary units were killed sneaking up on a Nazi Bunker. You'd call them heroes NOT terrorists.

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Fascinating - combination of Ranulph Fiennes and old fart Daily Mail reader.

Glencore sounds like a good buy once prices come off their peaks.

Note how the first blame is on UK Proles "not working hard enough" (we do about the longest hours in Europe)

No mention of Management going for short term outsourcing (bonus) greed

City providing cash to a few 'gekkos' types for viable companies to be bought out - then broken up for the buyers profit/bonuses with thousands thrown out of work.

Consistent bad UK management and non-reinvestment which has fecked up the UK long term (mirrored in Govt circles)

Looting by the unrestricted City of UK peoples Pensions, (one way fiddled Casino if you are a small investor) and usury practices by the big banks

Out of control evil TV/Press moguls forming mass-population behaviour and brainwashing

Out of control Govt Politicians currying short-term favour/admiration and desperately seeking re-election by providing people with new hospitals/schools/roads etc on PFI debt which everyone has to pay XXtimes more for over future years (when the bastards are relaxing in Barbados on their index linked pensions blowing their £70,000 "adjustment" payment from Westminster

Super rich, four times wealthier than a decade ago - less wealth distribution around UK population

It goes on and on and is not down to UK ordinary proles "not working hard enough"!

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So a thief and murderer.

I can see why we'd be taking advice on how to live from such.

True.

And this says it all really:

Ivan made contact through Nat Rothschild, a mutual friend.

Elitarian Banksters, who are much worse than even the lowest benefit fraudster.

Types like him defraud the whole world for trillions rather than just the state for a few thousands.

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I've read Murray's diaries from his time in the Foreign Legion, Legionnaire.

While on patrol he and a fellow Legionnaire once ambushed a couple of Arabs who were trying to sneak up on their base, killing them both. They returned to report to their CO, who told them he needed to identify the two attackers. So they returned, cut off their heads, and took them back for identification. Murray's main complaint at the time was that the heads were heavy and he had to carry them back.

Class. That is how you deal with terrorism. I'd rather hear his opinions on our situation than a politicians.

Class??!! He is true vermin, the worst kind (which is obviously also why he was so welcome amonge the Bankster elite).

People like him don't even have a soul anymore...

---

Edited by wise_eagle

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Class??!! He is true vermin, the worst kind (which is obviously also why he was so welcome amonge the Bankster elite).

People like him don't even have a soul anymore...

---

The cannibalistic Bankers employ "Head-Hunters" in the City (the witty fokkers!)

The City also route Trillions of Pounds (over one third of World daily turnover) through their Caribbean off-shore 'hideaways'

The Carib Indians were warlike, and gained the name "Carib" from the Spanish word for cannibal.

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EDIT: I see Glencore listing as a top of the market moment. They won't leave it to the very last possible moment, but it can't be too far away.

May be like Blackstone flotation in mid 2007.

I guess there will be a blowout, but Glencore looks interesting after that.

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+2

EDIT: I see Glencore listing as a top of the market moment. They won't leave it to the very last possible moment, but it can't be too far away.

Put it this way .......... a market dominating private company decides it's time to offload some of the stock held by its 500 private shareholders.

The Squid has called it top of the commodities market.

The Squid has been cut out of the flotation and may have an axe to grind.

I'm chewing my popcorn and watching this with great interest completely from the sidelines. None of my hard earned will be going near this...................... Watch. Wait.

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A bit more about Glencore from Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glencore

The key point is

Got to ask yourself why the management want to cash in their chips now when the commodity market seems unstoppable.

It can not be because the company needs the cash.

Megacorp founded on commodity trading. Low public profile.

Reminds one of .... wotsitsface ... 'merkin megacorp founded on energy trading ... :ph34r:

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EDIT: I see Glencore listing as a top of the market moment. They won't leave it to the very last possible moment, but it can't be too far away.

In 2007 many companies were throwing excess cash into buying back their own stock at eye watering valuations so it can work both ways.

Personally I'd like to see people waiting in line to buy into an IPO of some company with dubious claims to some land in the Andes or New Guinea. Maybe with a name like Lastminute Mining or something. Then I'll be sure its a top.

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So a thief and murderer.

I can see why we'd be taking advice on how to live from such.

Typical Bedford School.

The bright kids always went to Bedford Modern. ;)

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SCREW YOU. I think you should read up a bit more about the 130 years of French occupation before you start labelling the Algerian resistance "terrorists". The Algerians had every right to oust them. Would you accept to be a second class citizen in your own country?

I'm sure if Hitler had occupied Britain you would say something completely different if a couple of soldiers from Churchill's auxiliary units were killed sneaking up on a Nazi Bunker. You'd call them heroes NOT terrorists.

Of course they were Terrists.

Like anyone who opposes elected governments around the world....Of course, the inconvenient fact is they were elected in another Country...but...VIVE LA Gouvenment, and they are only foreigners anyway shouting ALLAH ACKBAR, whatever the frack that means....death is too good for them.

Next you'll be saying Chinese human beings are as good at making things as real Human beings from England.

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