Monday, May 16, 2011

Markets Suffer as IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn Arrested

“IMF will remain fully functional and operational” – Caroline Atkinson, IMF Spokesperson.

This weekend’s biggest news hit the media that reported the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Head of International Monetary Fund.

He is expected to plead not guilty at his arraignment Monday, following allegations that the Frenchman sexually assaulted a maid in a swank New York City hotel. According to an account the woman provided to police, Kahn emerged from the bathroom naked, chased her down a hallway and pulled her into a bedroom, where he began to sexually assault her. She said she fought him off, then he dragged her into the bathroom, where he forced her to perform oral sex on him and tried to remove her underwear. The woman was able to break free again and escaped the room and told hotel staff what had happened and police was called.

Anne Sinclair, who is a TV journalist and wife of Kahn said "I do not believe for one second the accusations brought against my husband. I have no doubt his innocence will be established,"

In 2008, Dominique was investigated over whether he had an improper relationship with a subordinate female employee. The IMF board found that the relationship was consensual, but called his actions "regrettable" and said they "reflected a serious error of judgment."

BUT markets have felt the jolts!

Gold prices kicked off the week on a softer note Monday, as the dollar gained following the news of Dominique’s arrest. Gold for June dropped $3.20 to $1,490.30 an ounce in electronic trading on Monday. Silver prices also weakened, with silver for July delivery dropping 36 cents to $34.65 an ounce!
Europe is also worried, Kahn had been one of the key players working to address Europe’s debt crisis. The euro has suffered, falling 7 weeks low. Asian shares took a dip over concerns about European sovereign debt woes.
Watch for developing news on media.

Are there Investment Opportunities during Economic Downturn?

A public opinion poll is no substitute for thought. Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars. Warren Buffett

The world economy is in recession! For a long time, we have been hearing this statement from friends, governments, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Central Banks etc. Real Estate Market is down; stocks are in shamble, mutual funds made huge losses, be careful hold on to your liquidity, do not make foolish investment decisions – have been the grapevine around coffee tables, pubs and golf courses.

Having said above, there are many financially literate opportunists that were able to crack business deals worth billions of Dollars. One recent example is $ 8.5 billion Skype buyout deal by Microsoft Corporation. If the times are challenging, I wonder why aggressive corporate entrepreneurs are making new investments, from where are they making money and parking it in money making opportunities?

Perhaps they are the intelligent once and are able to interpret the insights of businesses with open minds and turn these challenges into opportunities. They are able to tap into hidden opportunities, no matter how bad the economic indicators are. Or they are planting seeds today in the hope or sweet fruit in the times to come?

I was training a group of senior businessmen, and ethos of my session was “Investment Opportunities”. Although, belonging from wealthy business families, it was a depressed bunch of people. At least for the first hour of my session, I kept challenging their ability to improve upon their superficial way to looking at opportunities, and some of them started reacting! Off course I was expecting that.

After coffee break, said, if the business climate around you is so sickly, why are you in still in business? The fact is that your respective businesses are sustaining economic pressures; you are employing staff, producing goods, competing with other market players, paying for your luxuries. I went on and said:

“You are managing your business well. The only thing that is missing in the equation is your boldness to start investing in opportunities”.

They were astonished and started realizing the fact! Let’s discuss how you define opportunities, I said. They were thrilled, and over the next five hours the group came-up with a number of potential investment opportunities.

In my view, the general notion of being careful turns in to being lethargic during the time when economies are slow. But those with ability to understand that challenge are always willing to take calculated risks and are often successful!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Anthony Robbins’ Elements of Leadership and Peak Performance

I was touched by Anthony Robbins’ following quote:

“I was 11 years old when a man I'd never seen gifted my family with a huge basket of Thanksgiving goodies we couldn't afford ourselves. In that moment I came upon a new meaning—strangers care. Soon after, I created the Basket Brigade to bring hope and food to those who need it most.”

Anthony Robbins, a great speaker, author and specialist in peak performance has been actively assisting leaders for over 30 years in sharpening their leadership skills. He has spoken in front of more than 3 million people around the world and sold around 35 million books and audio coaching products.

He is also a strong believer in giving back to the society. Anthony Robbins’ Foundation, a non-profit initiative feeds about three million people in 56 countries every year through its international holiday “Basket Brigade”.

Established in 1991, The Foundation programs have impacted more than 2,000 schools, 700 prisons, and 100,000 health and human service organizations. Foundation’s main focus is improving quality of life for children, the homeless, the prison population, and the elderly. Anthony uses funds raised by his book sale, public speaking engagements and live events to support his initiatives.

To me Anthony’s personality impresses people around him with his positivity. This positivity brings about the power to excel and power to succeed, two elements that create leadership and ensure peak performance.

Anthony, keep inspiriting the world!

Watch an Anthony Robbins’ excellent video I found for you: