CEO employment prospects for middle aged white straight men are on the up

I’m in a sunny mood today as I have become convinced that my employment prospects as a business CEO are on the rise. In the event that I should need to come out of retirement and get back in the workforce, perhaps because the expense of keeping a wooden ocean going yacht has gone beyond eye watering levels, then I can see opportunities opening up aplenty. The reason is simple. Boards of directors appoint CEOs. Boards also sack CEOs. Boards are increasingly fearful of sacking a CEO who happens to belong to a protected species. Middle aged, white straight men are not a protected species. Everyone else is. So, the obvious conclusion is: appoint someone who, if they turn out to be hopeless, we can sack! Times are good, even for hopeless middle aged white straight men!

Mr Market is never wrong

I am one of the strongest advocates of free markets among people that I know. When I hear of the left, the cronies, the globalists and the common or garden rent seeker claiming the need for state coercive intervention owing to ‘market failure’, my response is invariably “there is no such thing as market failure, but there are outcomes that you don’t like: don’t get those two confused.”

Really?

In this case, without proclaiming the market is wrong, I can’t see how it can be right. Ordinarily, higher interest rates will not curb inflation until the real interest rate is positive. So, we’ll see if Mr Market is merely sorting cards on the table and still making up his mind.

In the business pages

It’s sometimes refreshing to get a laugh out of the business press, especially when much news is rather gloomy. 

First up today is James Glynn (writing in the Australian) who attempts to defend the Reserve Bank of Australia. His headline says it is unfair to rage against the RBA. Long time readers of this blog will know that I have been a harsh critic of the RBA for many years, so I naturally expected this piece to start my day on a humorous note. James did not disappoint. 

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Corporate wokeism

Many people working in large corporations feel the same frustration as does Dr Jordan Peterson, well expressed in this monologue “Message to CEOs”. Corporate wokeism has been getting worse for a number of years and business leaders have been broadly weak and fearful in its face. Instead of pushing out the nonsense because it is damaging to customers and staff and therefore shareholders, they have en masse waved it through.

I am perhaps a little more optimistic than Dr Peterson is. I suspect that with hard economic times unfolding, corporate wokeism will become subserviant to corporate survival. The big business bottom line has been relatively easy to keep black for the last 10 years. But from here, red ink may be needed with increasing frequency. CEOs faced with the choice of being turfed out of their contract for missing financial targets vs giving more succour to diversity, equity and inclusion maniacs will see things more clearly. Ask yourself why wokeism has not infected small business. It’s because small business must focus on survival at all times.

Aren’t these guys meant to know better?

Way back in June 2020 when Guy Debelle was still employed by Australia’s Reserve Bank (RBA), he made a speech in response to market jitters over the unprecedented expansion of bank credit. He said it would not lead to inflation.

In November 2021, the RBA Governor Lowe said he wasn’t expecting inflation to hit the 2% to 3% pa target range until late 2023 and so there would be no interest rate increases in 2022 but maybe there would be in 2023.

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