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ChiefOfficers.Net

Yesterday, Australian wordsmiths Macquarie Dictionary announced that "Milkshake Duck" was its word of the year. Immediately, out of Canada, a story appeared that demonstrates exactly what it means.

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The following is taken from Carillion's website. We acknowledge their rights but notwithstanding that, we reproduce it here in the expectation that the website will be shortly taken down as the liquidation proceeds.

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Carillion is one of the UK's largest companies. But at 7 am, UK time, this morning, the company's board issued a statement that took no one by surprise. We've been here before - frantic over-weekend meetings, men in dark suits (these days there are women, too) strutting in with their brief-cases, the expectation of an enormous payday always puts a spring in the step of insolvency practitioners. Men in pin-striped suits leaving meetings stony faced: they are the bankers who decided that their duty to their shareholders exceeded their desire to prevent collapse. The shell-shocked directors who, as soon as they sign-off on the appointment of liquidators lose all authority, now only facing only a series of interviews with insolvency practitioners, possibly prosecutors, certainly Parliamentary Select Committees. And that's before the political fall-out starts in earnest.

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The creation of the new, PoTUS Trump-driven tax regime with effect from 1 January, only a week after the law was passed and that being a week everyone was off partying, is leading to a flurry of activity in government offices. The first important documents to come out of the Inland Revenue Service are "withholding tables" that relate to deduction of income tax at source.

"Updated 2018 Withholding Tables Now Available; Taxpayers Could See Pay cheque Changes by February," says the IRS in a statement.

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Customer Response Centres (CRCs) are the point of contact for every disgruntled customer. They are the public face of the enterprise. They are also often far (in both management and geography) removed from the company that the customer thinks he is dealing with. Performance is measured and the amount paid to the CRC operator depends on achieving defined Key Performance Indicators, or KPI. However, some CRCs are producing false KPIs which, because they are what payment depends upon, are in fact false accounting and fraud. Here's how it's happening.

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Far from providing leadership, the USA is increasingly creating friction with allies and alienating itself from countries that don't agree that ratcheting up sanctions against other countries is the best way to go. Add in the decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (and only Israel) and there is an increasing risk that the tables might turn and countries begin to apply sanctions against the USA. If that was to happen, what form could they take and which countries could be caught in the cross-fire?

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The email is doomed to be subject to review because the idiot sender has spoofed the recipient's address and used it as the sender's address. But, otherwise, for the unwary, in the period leading up to critical gift delivery period, the scam has a high chance of success.

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Incredibly, when you look up "The Anti Money Laundering Network," on LinkedIn, there is a list of employees - which is odd, because of those listed, only one, our Group Head, has ever worked for any of the companies in the Group. We are pretty sure that the individuals concerned have not claimed to have done so which leaves only one culprit.... LinkedIn itself.

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The advent of services such as Airbnb has , in some parts of the world, created an interesting effect: hotels are seeing that groups would often prefer to rent serviced apartments via websites than use several hotel rooms. This has had a cooling effect on rates at the same time as making hotels improve their service levels or it has started a race to the bottom where room-only rates are coupled with reducing quality of service. That's competition but, just as Uber has been lambasted for encouraging unregulated drivers to compete with highly regulated drivers, so Airbnb, etc., are facilitating unregulated accommodation whereas hotels are subject to increasing levels of regulation.

When we found this address was the source for a brute-force attack by hackers on our own administration system, we checked and found that it's being used to mount attacks on Drupal CMS systems around the world.

RECOMMENDATION: BLOCK IT AND PREVENT IT REACHING YOUR CMS.

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When was the last time you logged onto Google +? With even Google's own search engine prioritising members' pages on Facebook, and G+ pages listed far, far away, if at all, one has to wonder if it's still there at all. But, apparently, it's not dead and it's not dying. It's just hovering in that netherland where MySpace, AoL and a handful of others still function at a viable level but will never (again) be stars. But it raises the question - why not run a niche service? And if you do, can you make it relevant to users instead of becoming a totalitarian environment?

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While Clyde and Co's accounts were being examined in relation to allegations of failings under the money laundering regulations (see here), it was found a significant number of accounts where balances were held on the client's account but no action had taken place for a long time. The firm set out to remedy it. The partner responsible did it improperly.

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I've been embroiled in a bit of a dust-up with a couple of people over a reply I made to a comment on a post on LinkedIn. The original question was actually interesting and I looked forward to a fascinating discussion around it. But what it proved to me was that we have a major problem with language where technical terms are used in a non-technical manner and those using them are not aware of the risks that using the terms can bring. One, which has long been a bug-bear of mine, is "partner." Let's be very clear about this: in business terms, a partnership is not something to be entered into lightly or wantonly. Get it wrong, and the consequences can be horrible.

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Here we are at the last part of this five part series on reform of Formula One from 2020 to improve the spectacle, decrease the cost (and so allow more entrants) and to keep the competitive spirit alive for both the manufacturers' and drivers' championship, while not touching on the commercial aspects of the sport.

To read the previous four parts, click on 2020 Vision in the tags list.

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We ended last week noting the problem of "marbles," those small bits of rubber that fly off racing tyres and line the track. There is nothing good about marbles, although there is an argument that the cause of marbles is potentially a good thing.

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