Tag Archives: Money

Michael Lewis : The Undoing Project —Interview with Kathryn Ryan #RNZ

Link received 27/12/2016 at 3:21 p.m.
Message: A lesson for some Dunedin ‘luminaries’ perchance?

michael-lewis-tabitha-soren-w-w-norton-company-bw-by-whatifdunedin

It’s amazing how resistant, particularly powerful men, are to people coming from outside and giving them advice on how to make decisions.
Michael Lewis

RNZ National
Trust your gut? Think again
From Nine To Noon with Kathryn Ryan, 10:09 am on 21 December 2016

[Abridged.] Michael Lewis is one of the most famous non-fiction writers in America. He has written 14 books, edited one and is a regular contributor to Vanity Fair. His books include the global best-selling Flash Boys – an expose of high speed scamming in the stock market; The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine – an account of shady financial transactions and accounting that led to the 2008 global financial meltdown and on which the film The Big Short was based and Moneyball, the story of a maverick outsider who beat the system.

Lewis’s new book is called The Undoing Project in which he profiles the professional and personal relationship between the behavioural psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. Kahneman and Tversky’s work shed new light on how humans make decisions when faced with risk and uncertainty. They established that we generally trust our gut instinct, over the evidence, to guide our decision-making.

michael-lewis-the-undoing-project-cover-image-simonandschuster-com[simonandschuster.com]

Lewis says he came across Kahneman and Tversky after writing Moneyball. He says the two were very different personalities and that made for the perfect team.

“They sensed in the other something they wished they had. Kahneman is an unbelievable creative mind he really has a mind more like a poet or a novelist filled with these flashing insights about human nature. Tversky wanted to be a poet but he has a scientific, logical mind. He’s a brilliant logician.”

The two decide to come together and study how the human mind works. That work became an examination of human fallibility – the weakness of the human mind. They designed experiments to show how our mind plays tricks on us.

One they stumbled on was a phenomenon they called anchoring that skews human decisions. They also established that we are terrible at assessing risk – we rate risk based on what’s most memorable which tends to be what happened most recently.

michael-lewis-advice-from-experts-marketwatch-com[marketwatch.com]

“People long for the world to be a far more certain place than it is, instead of dealing with uncertainties they tell stories that make it seem much more certain and respond to stories that make it seem much more certain than it is. A politician speaking in certain terms as if he’s infallible has weirdly an advantage – even though we shouldn’t believe him. We’re very vulnerable to people who simulate certainty.”

Lewis is unsure whether this inbuilt fallibility can be fixed.

“I hate to sound fatalistic but one of the big takeaways from [Kahneman and Tversky’s] work is just how hard it is to correct for human fallibility – they equate cognitive illusion with optical illusion.”
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Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (26′07″)

Michael Monroe Lewis (born Oct 15, 1960) was born in New Orleans to corporate lawyer J. Thomas Lewis and community activist Diana Monroe Lewis. He attended the college preparatory Isidore Newman School in New Orleans. He then attended Princeton University where he received a BA degree (cum laude) in Art History in 1982 and was a member of the Ivy Club. He went on to work with New York art dealer Daniel Wildenstein. He enrolled in the London School of Economics, and received his MA degree in Economics in 1985. Lewis was hired by Salomon Brothers and moved to New York for their training program. He worked at its London office as a bond salesman. He resigned to write Liar’s Poker and become a financial journalist. A contributing editor to Vanity Fair since 2009. More at Wikipedia.

Vanity Fair – Hive: Politics
Donald Trump and the Rules of the New American Board Game
By Michael Lewis Dec 18, 2016 7:00 pm
While volunteering at his daughter’s new high school, Michael Lewis watched kids of all races and backgrounds react to Trump’s election with a peaceful demonstration of their grief and fear. It inspired a game he’s devised for thinking about the future. Link

Vanity Fair – Hive: Politics
Obama’s Way
By Michael Lewis Sep 11, 2012 6:12 pm
To understand how air-force navigator Tyler Stark ended up in a thornbush in the Libyan desert in March 2011, one must understand what it’s like to be president of the United States—and this president in particular. Hanging around Barack Obama for six months, in the White House, aboard Air Force One, and on the basketball court, Michael Lewis learns the reality of the Nobel Peace Prize winner who sent Stark into combat. Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: Michael Lewis by Tabitha Soren / W.W. Norton Company
blackwhite by whatifdunedin

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Gold not at the end of an EFTPOS rainbow, either

Stadium talk had at #DUD

rainbow scares [ebizdocs.com]

This afternoon at ODT Online, Diane Yeldon wrote in asking about ‘Flatter rainbows in the deep south’.

Query attracted the perfect reply:

Explanation for flatter rainbows
Submitted by russandbev on Wed, 18/02/2015 – 3:31pm.

Caused by the weight of the City debt.

rainbow_with_a_pot_of_gold_cartoon_shopping_bag [zcache.com]

And another thing….

Try as I might to be organised and glued to my EFTPOS card at all times, it just doesn’t work, not when I’m thinking ahead.
I forget to take the damn thing out of the machines, why would I wait round for the “Remove Card” prompt in anticipation of a fresh coffee. Huh? The barista, bless him, never sees a problem, he’s busy making the coffee. I get that, I do. It’s a blame-me situation. I drink the coffee, then dash. Going for that last minute shop at New World before they shut, ah-ha, grab the Weekly Groceries. [here enters Chaos…] No Rainbow Help, No CARD. Most of the items in my trolley have a fast date with my freezer. But crap! They’ve been stood up. So am I. No card, no cash for taxi home from supermarket. The evening’s a total mess. Ring coffee place, they have card (phew), run to coffee place (goes against sports podiatrist instruction for short steps only), collect card, retrace to supermarket with two minutes to use cash machine before they shut. Call taxi, lengthy wait for pick-up, get home. Moral of evening panics?
>>> I bloody well prefer swiping my card (it stays in my hand~!!) to these infernal chip cards that I’m predestined to leave lying about. Dammit to hell. Incensed and doubly STARVING.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: (top) ebizdocs.com – rainbow scares; zcache.com – rainbow with a pot of gold cartoon shopping bag

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DCC Citifleet, more revelations….

Dunedin City councillor Lee Vandervis said he alerted council chief executive of the time Paul Orders that the Dunedin branch of Turners was consistently shut out of contracts it sought, mainly for the disposal of used cars in 2011.

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 09:57 24/10/2014
Citifleet ‘stonewalled’ auctioneer firm
By Wilma McKay
A Dunedin city councillor says the council should have investigated its fraught Citifleet unit three years ago, when he expressed concerns that it shut out firms like car auctioneer Turners. Lee Vandervis said that in 2011 he alerted council chief executive of the time Paul Orders that the Dunedin branch of Turners was consistently shut out of contracts it sought, mainly for the disposal of used cars. The city council said in June this year it was investigating practices within its vehicle fleet unit Citifleet.
Unit team leader Brent Bachop had died suddenly in late May. His death has been referred to the coroner.
A subsequent Deloitte investigation, commissioned by the council, unravelled a vast network of alleged fraudulent activity, some with selected car dealers and other individuals, over 11 years, equating to more than a million dollars in lost council revenue. Some of the activity involved profits from the disposal of second hand Citifleet vehicles allegedly being pocketed instead of being paid into council coffers.
Vandervis said he was concerned about Bachop’s business dealings when he was told by Turners and other Dunedin businesses they were having difficulty even engaging with Citifleet. He began pressing Orders on the issue and made a raft of requests for information around Citifleet. Vandervis suggested Orders meet the manager “to attempt to normalise a Turners/DCC business relationship”. Vandervis said Turners’ staff had expressed “long and on-going frustration at trying to deal with Citifleet vehicle disposals”.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DCC Citifleet, undetectable….

Received from Lee Vandervis
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 at 7:36 p.m.

Message: In discussions with Sir Julian [Smith], apparently the ODT Editor has said, since Mr Cannan’s comment, that the actual reason for non-publication of my ‘Citifleet Years of Inaction’ letter was that I already had a letter printed on a similar topic recently.
My previous letter was not however on a similar topic or recent. My first letter which was printed, was sent on 24 August on the topic of Coroner and Police inaction.
My second ‘Citifleet Years of Inaction’ letter that the ODT have chosen not to print was on the topic of CEO Paul Orders’ inaction in 2011, and Mayoral misrepresentation.
It is a shame that most people will not now get the true story.
Feel free to publish so that at least some people get to know some of what has been misrepresented.

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Sun, 07 Sep 2014 21:20:41 +1300
To: Cushla Turner [ODT], Nicholas GS Smith [ODT]
Cc: Murray Kirkness [ODT]
Conversation: Citifleet chain dragged – Letter to the Editor
Subject: Re: Citifleet chain dragged – Letter to the Editor

Resent – ODT chain dragged?

___________________________

On 4/09/14 8:02 AM, “Lee Vandervis” wrote:

Hi Cushla,
Monday has been and gone, and the mysteries of Coroner and Police inaction linger.
Is there any new reason for delay?

Kind regards,
Cr. Lee Vandervis

___________________________

On 29/08/14 10:44 AM, “Cushla Turner” wrote:

Dear Cr. Vandervis,

Thank you for your letter to the editor, which was received on Monday, August 25. Given the content of your letter, it has been referred to the Dunedin City Council, the police and the coroner’s office for comment, with the deadline for responses being Monday, September 1. Our intention is to publish the letter once we have responses (or confirmations of no comment) from these sources.

Kind regards,
Cushla Turner
Editor’s secretary
Otago Daily Times

___________________________

On 29/08/2014 7:31 AM, Lee Vandervis wrote:
FW: Citifleet chain dragged – Letter to the Editor
Hi Murray,

I am interested to know whether or not the letter below is soon to appear in your paper.
There is a great deal following these questions that needs to be made public, and I am concerned at the spin so far, and that further delays will hinder urgently needed changes at the DCC.

Kind regards,
Cr. Vandervis

___________________________

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Sun, 24 Aug 2014 09:57:37 +1200
To: EditorODT
Cc: Nicholas GS Smith [ODT]
Conversation: Citifleet chain dragged – Letter to the Editor
Subject: Citifleet chain dragged – Letter to the Editor

Citifleet chain dragged – Letter to the Editor

Dear Murray,

Why is the coroner taking more than 3 months to deliver a verdict on the DCC Citifleet manager’s sudden death?
Why have the Police only just begun an investigation when so much evidence has been floating around for years and was so tragically highlighted over 3 months ago?
I have been asking for Citifleet manager and other tender process investigations recorded back at least as far as 2011.
Justice delayed is justice denied. Or with so much public money gone is that perhaps the reason?

Cr. Lee Vandervis

—— End of Forwarded Message

___________________________

—— Forwarded Message
From: Dave Cannan [ODT]
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 10:57:03 +1300
To: Lee Vandervis
Cc: EditorODT
Subject: citifleet

Hi Lee — in response, we regarded your email of 13.9.14 as more of a helpful backgrounder to assist us with our ongoing inquiries into the Citifleet scandal – which, as you will have no doubt observed, we are continuing to do regularly — but not as a letter for publication..

regards,\Dave Cannan [Day Editor, ODT]

___________________________

On 29/09/2014 10:59 PM, Lee Vandervis wrote:

Re: Citifleet years of inaction. – Letter to the Editor
Resent – hoping for some response.
Cheers,
Lee

___________________________

On 13/09/14 11:08 AM, “Lee Vandervis” wrote:

Citifleet years of inaction. – Letter to the Editor [ODT]

Dear Editor,

It has been reported (26.8.14) that “Cull said the recent alleged fraud within Citifleet was detected during a comprehensive internal review of the department, one of a series initiated by former council chief executive Paul Orders and continued by his successor, Bidrose.”, who said (3.9.14) “Bachop had told her all car sales went through Turners Car Auctions.”
In fact DCC vehicle disposal and other Bachop issues had been flagged in verbal questions and emails from me to CEO Orders and other senior DCC staff in 2011 following many complaints from Turner’s Auctions and other motor industry businesses. I also set up a meeting to resolve DCC/Turners issues between CEO Orders and Turner’s Auckland based national accounts manager Asgar Kachwalla in November 2011. It seems that little was done until CEO Bidrose began an investigation almost three years later. Perhaps the ODT should be doing some more investigating of its own. [confirming email example below].

Kind regards,

Cr. Lee Vandervis

___________________________

From: Lee Vandervis
Sent: Thursday, 10 November 2011 11:40 a.m.
To: Paul Orders [DCC]
Cc: Shane Gall [Turner’s Auctions]
Subject: Turners Auctions problems encountered trying to deal with DCC and Brent Bachop

Dear Paul,

Further to my more general email this morning about building partnerships, Dunedin’s largest car auction business has contacted me regarding on-gong (sic) problems trying to do business with the DCC.
Turner’s Auctions big cheese Mr Kachwalla from Auckland will be in Dunedin on the 30th of this month, and was hoping to organise a brief meeting with you and local Turners management on the afternoon of the 30th to attempt to normalise a Turners/DCC business relationship.
I was hoping to bundle similar issues with other Dunedin business issues with Mr Bachop, but am still awaiting information ex DCC after over a month in order to do this.

Hopefully you will have time on the next Wednesday the 30th to accommodate Turners Management hopes for a meeting.

Kind regards,
Cr. Lee Vandervis

—— End of Forwarded Message

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DCC: Deloitte report referred to the police #Citifleet

DCC logo (fraud) 2

Updated post 3.9.14

“We have committed to keeping ratepayers and residents informed, but my first priority has to be that the appropriate authorities hold people accountable and we try to recover some ratepayers’ money.” –Sue Bidrose, chief executive

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Deloitte Report Referred to the Police

This item was published on 22 Aug 2014

An independent investigation into an alleged fraud at the Dunedin City Council has been completed and the matter has now been passed to the Police.

DCC Chief Executive Officer Dr Sue Bidrose says the alleged fraud totals more than $1.5 million and centres on the DCC receiving no proceeds from the sale of 152 vehicles from the DCC’s vehicle fleet. A formal complaint was laid with the Police last week following an independent investigation by Deloitte which began in late May. Citifleet Team Leader Brent Bachop died suddenly on 21 May. His death has been referred to the Coroner.

Deloitte was engaged by the DCC on 23 May to launch an investigation after staff identified what appeared to be a discrepancy in the number of Citifleet vehicles when implementing new financial procedures related to DCC assets.

Dr Bidrose says, “The matter is now with the Police and on their advice, and the advice of the Crown Solicitor, we are not releasing the Deloitte report at this stage, to ensure we do not prejudice any Police investigation.

It appears the alleged fraud was possible because of inadequate internal checks and balances within the DCC. Dr Bidrose says, “We are changing things here at the DCC and it is these changes that uncovered this alleged fraud, which occurred over at least a decade. This reinforces the need for these changes which, frankly, are long overdue.” Measures have been, and continue to be, taken to make sure the appropriate level of accountability and oversight is in place in the future across the organisation. However, this will be an ongoing process that will take time.

“I want to emphasise that this is an organisation in which people can have confidence. The people who work here are overwhelmingly decent, hard-working public servants committed to the best interests of the city. We are committed to getting to the bottom of any issues and ensuring we have best practice across the board. The changes are well underway – in fact it was in making these changes that we uncovered the alleged fraud.”

Dr Bidrose says the DCC has employment processes underway relating to a small number of staff, primarily around the lack of checks and balances which should have been in place. Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull says the fact these issues have been found now after more than a decade shows the Council has been right to push for more transparency and tighter processes. “We tasked Sue, and the previous Chief Executive Paul Orders, with reviewing DCC practices so any problems or issues could be fixed as part of our accountability to ratepayers. Paul started with our companies and made a huge improvement in their governance and oversight. Now Sue and her staff are having the same impact inside the DCC.”

Dr Bidrose says a wide range of work has been completed to tighten up DCC processes, including:
● The introduction of a new Audit and Risk Subcommittee, with an independent Chair.
● All tenders that are awarded through the DCC Tenders Board are published on the DCC website for greater transparency.
● A central contracts register has been put in place.
● The ‘whistleblower’ policy has been updated.
● A first review of internal audit work across the DCC has been completed.
● The risk management framework has been reviewed.

Further work in progress includes:
● The appointment of a dedicated Risk and Internal Audit Manager. This position has been advertised.
● A fraud awareness campaign and training for all staff so they know what may be signs of fraud.
● Increasing further the transparency of purchase card use.
● A review of key DCC policies, such as those relating to fraud and cash handling.
● Review the procurement/tendering processes across the DCC.
● A review of internal processes around issues such as the staff receiving gifts, tickets or hospitality.

The Deloitte report has been sent to both the Serious Fraud Office and DCC insurers QBE. To date, the investigation has cost about $200,000.

Background: Citifleet is responsible for the management of all DCC vehicles, the operation of an internal courier service and an internal chauffeuring service. The fleet includes cars, trucks, motorcycles, vans and various trailers, plant and machinery. There are currently 122 vehicles, but the DCC is in the process of reviewing whether all those vehicles are needed.

DCC Link

█ What ex DCC chief executive Jim Harland thinks at ODT Online (3.9.14)

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 15:45 22/08/2014
Police probe into missing council cars
By Wilma McCorkindale – via The Press & Southland Times
Police will investigate a suspected fraud involving dozens of Dunedin City Council cars allegedly sold and the proceeds pocketed. Sources say ratepayers may have lost as much as $1 million as a result of the alleged activity. Dunedin Inspector Jason Guthrie confirmed police had received a complaint from the council “in relation to a significant historical fraud matter involving the council’s vehicle fleet”. “The complaint is being assessed and will be investigated further,” Guthrie said. This investigation was likely to take months. Stuff understands the council’s Citifleet/Citipark manager Brent Bachop, who died on May 21 in a suspected suicide, was among an alleged network of buyers. It is understood Bachop had been told that discrepancies had been found in vehicle numbers within his unit.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Real reason behind Invermay slaughter/restructure?

Supplied. ODT 6.8.14 (page 25)

ODT 6.8.14 Letters to the editor Simmers p25

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Stuff: Alleged vehicle fraud at DCC

Stuff has been told the council’s former chief executive, Paul Orders, investigated concerns about possible fraud within Citifleet/Citipark raised by Dunedin City councillor Lee Vandervis and found nothing untoward.

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 21:27 02/07/2014
Dunedin council’s vehicle network revealed
By Wilma McCorkindale – Fairfax News
Investigations into alleged vehicle fraud at the Dunedin City Council Citifleet/Citipark unit have unravelled a vast network of vehicle transactions over the past 11 years, an informed source has told Stuff. The probe has been under way for more than a month. Accountancy firm Deloitte was commissioned to investigate whether dozens of Dunedin City Council fleet vehicles had been sold and the proceeds pocketed. The investigation was sparked when discrepancies appeared in the number of fleet vehicles recorded by the council’s fleet unit Citifleet/Citipark.

The investigation has shocked those in the Dunedin car retail, automotive, and enthusiast community.

Stuff has been told this week the council gave Deloitte investigators a list of council vehicle movements through a network of buyers and subsequent owners over the 11 years. It included buyers of the vehicles, who now owned the vehicles, and how long they had owned them. At least three people, who took ownership of many vehicles, are among those in a network under suspicion of being involved in the fraudulent activity.
Stuff understands Citifleet/Citipark manager Brent Bachop, who died on May 21 in a suspected suicide, was allegedly among the network of buyers. It is understood Bachop had been told that discrepancies had been found in vehicle numbers within his unit. Bachop had worked in the unit for more than 20 years, the past 10 or so as manager.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
1.7.14 DCC: Far-reaching fraud investigation Citifleet
3.6.14 DCC unit under investigation

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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