2012 in Review - Gangnam Style by PhilmanVanuatu


									                                            2012 in Review – “Gangnam Style”
By Phil Manhire
                                                           What a great year for them....and for Vanuatu tourism        APRIL – GAME OF THRONES SERIES 2 LAUNCH
                                                           – No.1 in the Pacific, No.1 in Oceania and No.2 Asia,
                                                                                                                                                             If you know this face,
                                                           9th FIVB World Tour Thailand, awarded Pacific Team of
                                                                                                                                                             (actor Peter Dinklage)
                                                           the Year. To top off their awesome success, their movie
                                                                                                                                                             then you are quite likely
                                                           was selected from tens of thousands of others to be
                                                                                                                                                             to be one of the millions
                                                           shown to Her Majesty the Queen. They, their coaches
                                                                                                                                                             of fans of the highly-
                                                           and support team have all been wonderful
                                                                                                                                                             acclaimed and totally
                                                           ambassadors for their sport and country! Thank you.
                                                                                                                                                             addictive HBO series –
                                                           Money. Word in Vanuatu financial circles is that a                                                “GAME OF THRONES”.
                                                           large number of businesses either have or are on the
                                                                                                                                                           The series is a fantasy,
                                                           verge of “going to the wall”. 2012 hasn’t been kind to
                                                                                                                        therefore indescribable which means that you’ll need
                                                           the business community here or in the developed

A YEAR IN REVIEW                                           world, for that matter.
                                                           More on that in future discussions but for now -
                                                                                                                        to watch it yourself to what all the fuss is about. As
                                                                                                                        Wikipedia so nicely puts it – “Through its morally
                                                                                                                        ambiguous characters, the series explores issues of
If you are reading this, it means that the world                                                                        social hierarchy, religion, civil war, sexuality, crime and
didn’t end yesterday – a great start to the                WORLD EVENTS
                                                                                                                        punishment”. I’ll vouch for that much, however.............
weekend! Of course it also means that I shall              OCTOBER – HURRICANE SANDY
                                                                                                                        What makes it an event of financial note is not
now have to do some Christmas shopping. C’est              A total of at least 253 people, in seven different
                                                                                                                        restricted to its financial success but also to the fact
la vie!                                                    countries, were killed along the path of Hurricane
                                                                                                                        that, effectively, it was a partnership of success
                                                           Sandy – In the US, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic,
Anyway, with 2013 just around the corner, this is a                                                                     between government and private enterprise. A pretty
                                                           the Bahamas and Canada. The estimated financial cost
good time to look back at the events of note in 2012                                                                    rare beast from personal observation.
                                                           of the resulting damage is around USD65Bn.
and to ponder a little on what may lay in store for us                                                                  Again to Wikipedia – “The series receives funding from
over the next twelve months.                               JULY/AUGUST - SUMMER OLYMPICS LONDON 2012
                                                                                                                        Northern Ireland Screen, a government agency
Wherever you live, be it here in VANUATU or elsewhere                                    Five athletes, three men       financed by Invest NI and the European Regional
in the Pacific or in Europe, the Americas, Africa or the                                 and two women, were            Development Fund. The first two seasons received
Asian continent, global events have affected you,                                        selected to join the           UK£6.5 million from Invest NI and, according to
openly or covertly. No fear - 2012 has been a year of                                    Vanuatu Olympics team to       government estimates, caused £43 million to be spent
events, achievements and disappointments, both                                           compete in three different     in the regional economy.
internationally and locally, that have affected YOUR       sports – athletics, judo and table tennis. No medals yet
                                                                                                                        Invest NI also expects the series to generate tourism
pocket, one way or the other!                              but that time is coming (2016, hopefully). My home
                                                                                                                        revenue. According to a government minister, the
                                                           country, OZ, won a total of 35 medals, including 7 Gold.
LOCALLY                                                                                                                 series has given Northern Ireland the most worldwide
                                                           Oi! Oi! Oi!
Politically, we have seen continued breaches of the law                                                                 publicity in its history outside politics and “the
and the Leadership Code by some who have deemed            BUT........Look out for the Vanuatu colours in 2016.         Troubles” Northern Ireland Screen is preparing a bus
that they are above the law because of their elected                                                                    tour of the series' filming locations for 2013”.
                                th                         It is rare that a city/country doesn’t benefit financially
positions. The results of the 30 October elections were    from hosting the Olympics though it has happened in          An example of financially-constructive use of taxpayer
a profound disappointment to many, particularly as         the past. My research indicates that the UK economy          funds which means it gets a big “Like” from yours truly.
they were preceded by a raft of questionable practices     has benefited handsomely, particularly in the tourism
within the Ministry and Department of Lands as well as                                                                  JUNE (I love this one) – A guy in Miami, Florida, Puerto
                                                           sector.                                                      Rica-born, José Luis de Jesús, predicted that the world's
within the Electoral Office to note just a couple. Other                                                                                                                 th
rorts, incidents of nepotism and politically-motivated     ALSO IN JULY – THE LAUNCH OF “GANGNAM STYLE”                 governments and economies would fail on 30 June,
appointments have also been rife this year again. It                                                                    2012 and that he and his followers would undergo a
doesn’t help either when your PM defines “corruption”                                                                   transformation that would allow them to fly and walk
as “public servants forgetting to turn off the lights”.                                                                 through walls. Don’t know what he was on but what a
The consequence of all this is that the country’s
finances have been affected adversely and significantly.                                                                I guess we should look at how 2012 to date has treated
Even the AID Agencies appear to be reaching the point                                                                   the price of GOLD. I did predict that its price at year’s
of “ENOUGH”. More on that another time.                                                                                 end would show a return of 15% plus for the year. As
                                                                                                                        I write this, its price is USD1,666/oz compared to the
Amongst the more significant post-election “achieve-
                                                                                                                        2012 opening value of USD1,566/oz – an increase of
ments” of the ‘new’ government was to abolish the
                                                                                                                        6.36% - the WORST performer of the compared indices
Ministry of Youth and Sports - total lunacy given that                                                                  .......on PAPER, that is! My prediction looks like “falling
this was done at a time when the largest demographic                                                                    short” but I am still “hooked on gold” for 2012/13.
in the nation consists of youth, under-30-years-of-age
citizens.                                                                                                                                           15.76%
                                                                                                                                    14.17% 14.57%            13.84%
The reality is that we need to have visionary leaders
who can recognize, amongst other key issues of             Without a doubt, this was THE hit for 2012. As you read                                                            11.27%
priority, the importance of implementing youth-focused     this, it is rapidly approaching one billion hits on
policies that will foster positive economic and social     YouTube. It has received accolades from notable
development to help ensure the maintenance and             dignitaries such as British Prime Minister, David                                                          6.36%

protection of our own national sovereignty and             Cameron and Ban Ki-Moon, the UN General Secretary
prosperity.                                                and has won a bucket-load of awards and honours.
                                                           PSY, the musician who recorded it has, I imagine made
Notwithstanding the lack of government support and         a monza out of it as well as adding to South Korea’s
its apparent disinterest in helping the youth of Vanuatu   already formidable export revenue.
face the challenges ahead for them, Vanuatu has been
VERY successful on the world sporting stage.               If you would like to have the lyrics for this MONSTER,
                                                           go to www.themoneyconnection.vu and click on the
                                                           icon at the top of the page...and dance your heart out!
                                                           MAY - VOTED THE BEST SMART-PHONE FOR 2012.....               I hope 2012 has been kind to you so far. My sincerest
                                                                          The Samsung Galaxy S III and its close        best wishes to one and all for the festive season. May
                                                                          compatriot, the Galaxy Note II.               you and your family stay happy, safe and well
                                                                                                                        throughout the festivities. Meantime, 2013 is coming
                                                                          Samsung came up with a real winner in         up fast and I’ll be looking at the year ahead...on a
                                                                          this phone, so much so that they blitzed      number of fronts – financial, political, social and maybe
                                                                          their key opposition, Apple’s iPhone 4S.      an off-the-wall thought or two.
                                                                          For awhile, Samsung struggled mightily
                                                                          to produce a quality product equal to or
                                                           better than its rivals. This epic battle included fighting
                                                                                                                        MERRY CHRISTMAS!
                                                           an Apple lawsuit that is still ongoing. As a result of       Until next week.......
                                                           Samsung’s launch of this award-winner, the company           “HAPPY INVESTING!”
What those legends of the beach volleyball courts – the
                                                           made a record operating profit in the second quarter of
Vanuatu Beach Volleyball girls, eh?                        2012.                                                        phil@themoneyconnection.vu

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