Truth – The Dragon Flies

Truth 1b

“Clarity appears in the swirling mist….” Swirling mist, El Capitan Meadow, Yosemite NP, CA, USA

During times of affluence there can be a certain smugness which falls upon the land, a1a certain “aren’t we doing well and bugger the rest” can descend, and as time passes people start to believe it will never end. There befalls the unwary an attitude of wonderful flaming sunset’s radiating colour and a glass of Pimms on the decking every evening. I describe it as times when even sewage would be thought to smell of rose water. Such times lull people into a false sense of security and even those of us that have seen recessions before lower our barriers and become caught up in the positive glow of a period of relative affluence. After living through the 1970’s one should have known better but yet we did not see the destructive, demonic dragon with burning breath looming towards us all from the distance, the mere sway of its wings causing destruction to our banking & financial systems to start with and bringing bloody slaughter of the naive across the world.


As the dragon’s mouth still dripped with the life blood of the financial sector, it gorged on and ravished our commercial lands, consuming businesses by the bushel and expelling the unemployed by the 1000’s. We were all helpless as we looked on as the Politician’s squabbled, blaming each other, failing everyone; the dragon fed itself endlessly and drove prices and the cost of living higher. Its claws and teeth of 1frecession cut deep as they gnashed at our disposable income and confidence to invest, ability to save evaporated. Even the most uneducated and the growing number of the poorest in our land understood the stench of debt and lending recklessly had brought the dragon and its recession to our land, the swag of the bankers had cost us far more than anyone could have predicted. Year after year the dragon stalked our lands for the weak and the struggling business, consuming all it found that were unable to defend against the lash of its tail that brought its victim to their knees before being devoured alive in the agony of mass redundancies. But there as a truth in all this devastation of financial fire and brimstone spewed by the dragon, there is a positive that we can allow ourselves to see if we just concentrate clearly on all the smoke from businesses imploding and burning. Those commercial prey that become more focussed, more adaptable, more resilient and diverse became too quick for the dragon, too able to hide or manoeuvre left as the dragon swung right. During affluent times of the pre 2008 was it too easy to make money, did we become blasé and comfortable, both of which means businesses will eventually go to the wall as the dragon traps them easily. The dragon can so easily pick off such businesses, too fat to run, too bulky with overheads to hide, too arrogant to change, yes the dragon fed well in Britain, and only enterprises that were fast to change and adapt, to outpace the hunting dragon survived. 1g

So as the smoke, the gloom of the recession dragon’s breath settles all around us, what will come into focus, what commercial landscape will be left alive and strong amongst the carrion, the dead and dying businesses? What will be le1fft when we reach the final dip and start to come up for air finally, as once again the dragon goes back to rest? I think we will be left with businesses and companies, organisations and enterprises with similar characteristics, all of which:

  • Are highly adaptable;
  • Embrace change and manage change effectively;
  • Innovate and continue to follow changing trends;
  • Are lean and fit for purpose;
  • Do not take for granted their customers and consumers;
  • Save funds in case the dragon ever returns

Once we reach the end of this worldwide ever hungry ever merciless recession, I think 20111022_LDP002_0businesses will be far tougher than before and also we will see the rise of a few new superpowers that rule the world as the dragon rests. These will not be controlled by Politicians we vote for, nor will they be controlled by dictatorships, they will be accountable to no human at all. These new superpowers can bring down a Government if they wish or destroy a country’s wellbeing as they wish, without a single missile or bullet being launched. These superpowers will not face off East against West, and they will transcend the normal meaning of violence and aggression, yet they will be able to unleash hell and the dogs of war against anyone standing in their way. We are living in a time that is giving birth to and the rise of a new type of ruthless superpower, the multinational Corporation, and no Government will ever be able to stand up to them.

The time of Harry Enfield’s “Loads of money!” is well and truly dead but instead the giants of the commercial world are these new superpowers, G4S for example, who employ 660,000 people worldwide and it is said that out of every £5 in your pocket, G4S handled £4 of it. You see the recession allowed medium size corporations to buy up or snuff out ailing competition, absorbing the revenue that they left. The size of these mega corporations are truly mind blowing, Wal-Mart employs 2.2 million people, and here are the top 50 mega-employers:


Wal-Mart Stores = 2,200,000

China National Petroleum = 1,668,072

State Grid = 1,583,000

Sinopec Group = 1,021,979

Hon Hai Precision Industry  =961,000

China Post Group = 889,307

U.S. Postal Service = 601,601

Volkswagen = 501,956

China Telecommunications = 491,447

Aviation Industry Corp. of China = 480,147

Compass Group = 471,108

Agricultural Bank of China = 447,401

International Business Machines = 433,362

Deutsche Post = 423,502

McDonald’s = 420,000

Carrefour = 412,443

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China = 408,859

Tesco = 406,088

Gazprom = 401,000

Sodexo = 391,148

Target = 365,000

Siemens = 360,000

China Resources National = 350,524

Hewlett-Packard = 349,600

Panasonic = 330,767

Jardine Matheson = 330,000

China Construction Bank = 329,438

Nestlé = 328,000

Toyota Motor = 325,905

Hitachi = 323,540

United Parcel Service = 310,010

Edeka Zentrale = 306,000

HSBC Holdings = 305,984

Robert Bosch = 302,519

China Southern Power Grid = 301,539

General Electric = 301,000

PepsiCo = 297,000

China Railway Group = 294,761

Sears Holdings = 293,000

State Bank of India = 292,215

China Railway Construction = 291,598

Telefónica = 291,027

Bank of China = 289,951

Deutsche Bahn = 284,319

Bank of America Corp. = 281,791

China North Industries Group = 279,563

EXOR Group = 273,460

Daimler = 271,370

Berkshire Hathaway = 270,858  london1

The above 50 corporations, including G4S, employs over 25 million people and owns nearlymore_infoe2759d2e52bed4acf4e1 20% of the wealth in the world, measured in trillions. No regulation will tame these colossi of commerce; they move profit from country to country escaping taxation, escaping responsible governance, having a singular allegiance to maximising the profit. These are true giants, true superpowers of the new post dragon era, the new landscape where boardrooms choose who has their political campaigns funded and by so doing who is in power. We can see these mega-corporations already in action as Chinese corporations carve up the mineral resources of Africa. The irony of the world’s biggest corporations and richest businesspeople stemming from the largest communist country that ever existed does not escape me; Chairman Mao would be turning in his monolith.

So this is the future we can predict, a world ruled by corporations like we have never seen before as the scar of recession fades. But in this lies the caution to us all, remember how this all started, unregulated banks and financial institutions becoming so large that they felt they were indestructible, that was until the financial world imploded and the dragon flew into our lands once more. 1d


Jonathan Wade

Smiling Cat Ventures and Innovations Group



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