Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Goodyear did not even last 1 year....

With Goodyear going, I wonder if we will be having more bad years. The problem wasn't just money lost in banks and this crisis. Long before this crisis, there was Shin Corp which I wrote about in Oct 2006 - [Posting on Shin Corp] - the purchase was made through a company fronted by a Malaysia based Thai national to get around the Thai laws:

I'm sure the people running Temasek felt strongly that this Mr. KK Lau and Thaksin can be trusted before they invested tax payers' money. When they invested in Merrill, they also had great confidence in John Thain who later became the posterboy of greed and incompetence on Wall Street. Going back even further Ho Ching wrote this piece in support of NKF & Durai when the NKF scandal broke - it says a lot about her judgement and values.

Earlier this year, we were told that Chip Goodyear was hired after a long search. Yet when he resigned, we are told that "the Board and Mr Goodyear concluded and accepted that there were differences regarding certain strategic issues that could not be resolved". Gee, nobody bothered to ask him about what his strategies were and his views on key issues when he was interviewed for the job? Is that how we hire people to manage billions of tax payers' money? ....After a long worldwide search to find someone suitable to run Temasek, they realise now that he is not suitable.

"The hiring of a foreign CEO is a notable change, and we hope it’s a signal that Temasek and Singapore’s leaders understand the need for more transparency in the company’s operations. The world is demanding more openness and accountability from sovereign-wealth funds, and the shareholder-voters of Singapore deserve nothing less.” (Source: WSJ)

Whatever the real story is behind the scenes, it is not meant for ordinary Singaporeans to know. We are only told what they want us to believe. We, the ordinary citizens, only get the facade from Temasek on everything it does and that is the real issue.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

A few scenarioes:

1. Ruse. Ho Ching was never to go. Chip was a soothing signal when things were getting too hot. Now things have cooled a little, and Chip's part is done.

2. Ho Ching cannot be housewife. Lee family could not get Ho Ching a bigger job than Temasek - nobody wants her - so some unacceptable terms put to Chip, who has no choice but to go.

And then there are the usual stuff, like really some incompatible values in the way Temasek is run, or that Lee senior and Chip couldnt see eye to eye on some previously unknown issue.

Unimpressed said...

Exactly my sentiment. When Temasek was losing money big time, Ho Ching was taking the heat for bad investment decisions. She decided this is no fun anymore and wants to quit. So they had to find someone to take the job. Well, no one expected the market to start picking up so soon. Now that stockmarkets around the world are on the rise again, she wants to get back into the game. She only needs to say she wants her old job back and the government will make it happen. She is the wife of the PM and d-i-l of the MM, who is to say no to her. Chip should be happy to take the early termination pay and have a long break because I believe it is very generous. We are good at doing that. After all, we've burned billions, what's a few tens of millions.

Anonymous said...

Well he is Goodyear not 'Goodyears'

Is it prove that she is irreplaceable?

sgcynic said...

"Free" investment ideas from Goodman. Now Ho Ching just have to continue with Goodman's initiatives and get all the credit?

Unimpressed said...

It is not that she is irreplaceable. It is that she can have any job she wants in Singapore except for elected positions. Actually if she really wants an elected position, she can get herself an uncontested seat in the next election. No PAP incumbent is going to stand in her way. My view is she thinks CEO of Temasek is an ideal position for her. It is not accountable to anyone, no even the President. Remember what happenned to Ong Teng Cheong? You can lose billions and it's still business as usual. For most GLC's, big losses would be a big embarassment and virtually career ending. Not this job. Must be the best job in the world. Oh yes, the other plus is she gets to be listed as one of the most powerful woman in the world in Time magazine.

Anonymous said...

This is a darn goodyear for goodyear. Just imagine the serverance pay and the compensation to keep quiet. He ain't "cheap", that for sure. Now we know how brilliant he is. Guess he took the advise from Takshin, Merrill and all the other banks and found a sucker.

Anonymous said...

Well, they did warn u that your CPF Life money is not guaranteed anymore. Now u know why :-p

Unimpressed said...

As the saying goes, a fool and his money will soon part. Guess who is the big fool here?

Anonymous said...

Hey Lucky

Now that Ho Ching is back .. does it mean that the stock rally is over?

Anonymous said...

How I wish I was related to the First Family of Singapore.

Virtually every close relative of the First Family holds a major position in government, or is a director of some sorts in a GLC.

And we are a meritocratic family...society, I mean.

Anonymous said...

hat is interesting is that it appears that HC is not just doing a locum but will remain permanently. This happens when there is no replacement possible either because the job is made for only one person, there is unfinished business, there are "things" which cannot be revealed...the list goes on

Anonymous said...

" ... she can have any job she wants in Singapore except for elected positions."

Oh maybe she's been lined up for an "elected" job, but also maybe they took some surreptitious survey on the street, and realised it is not a good idea, and so Temasek she stays.

Anonymous said...

Bottomline: why is the board (including our pm's wife) still not fired for loosing billions of tax payer's money?

after loosing billions of dollar, what makes them think their strategic direction is better?

absurd!! they have no credibility at all.

Anonymous said...

let's get real!

did anybody seriously think that ho ching would quit temasek??? she is the designated lee to manage the purse strings of our "one nation under lee".

i agree that they couldn't find a more suitable position after the annoucement to quit, then heng heng came the market turnaround (bernanke said today that the economy is getting decidedly better), so no need to quit lor.

Anonymous said...

IMHO, this is not a good sign...

Could be he doesn't want to be a muppet...

Or no fund available to invest now and potientially lost a good opportunity window...

So if he stays on...would be a bigger shxxhxxx...

Anonymous said...

What does it mean by "differences in strategic decisions"?

Could it be the process of making such decisions? In a private company, the Board of Directors approves. In TH, besides the Board, Chip may need to seek approvals of others above the Board. Red tapes! No autonomy! So the Angmoh cannot tahan!

Anonymous said...

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/BREAKFAST-DEALS-MA-brewing-pd20090722-U6TR5?opendocument&src=rss

"Apparently Goodyear made waves when he started implementing rules like turning off BlackBerry handsets at meetings and small fines when employees arrived late for work."

Looks like we are paying peanuts to the monkeys in Temasek?

Unimpressed said...

Anonymous 10:29, "differences in strategic decisions" means Ho Ching saying, "Oh well, I changed my mind. I want my old job back. Thanks for your help. We've paid you. Now get lost. And sign the non-disclosure agreement on the way out."

Anonymous said...

I disagree with your title (hic). He was officially taking over 1 Oct and leavig 15 Aug...
So means he Signed but didn't get ON.
Now what happens to his Sign-On bonus? hahahahahah..
Hey Jude... the joke is on US.
Thanks 66.6% you've done it again !

Anonymous said...

The arrogance of how this was announced, not caring of how and what citizens and the international investment community think - just tells us how they view and treat the world around them.

Oh, and Lucky, they never see it as "taxpayers money". they've always seen it as their money. Trade surplus, budget surplus - its all business what. they made the money. its not public money.

yes - what i dont understand at all is that the hiring process took a long time, and 3 months its over?

Hmm- maybe he took too many MC during his probation period lah.

Anonymous said...

So long as the situation inside is still boleh tahan, the Cabinet particularly Tharman will pretend all is well. President Nathan paid to look after the reserves will also continue to act blur.

But once the situation becomes too risky such as Temasek or GIC losing far more than what they reported, I doubt the Cabinet will want to go down in history with bad names for doing Singapore in.

Then a split of the power centre might the occur. Think this will never happen?

On the contrary, it had already occurred once in 1988/89 when Tony Tan, Dhanabalan and a few other ministers openly supported GCT to be PM - instead of LHL as intended by LKY and GCT was just meant to be temporary seat warmer - only to suffer defeat through the wiles of LKY. The leak was in all probability deliberated by a Cabinet minister, perhaps Tony Tan.

I am sure you have heard of the story of LHL slapping Dhanabalan; it was connected to that failed "coup" so to speak. The general public came to hear a small part of that story quite belatedly through GCT's national rally speech only some 10 years after it happened.

I don't suppose the internal disaffection have disappeared. Everybody in the Cabinet and lower are just playing along for now lah so long as LKY is strong and in control.

Anonymous said...

Off topic but Tony Tan did a lot of good for the Sinkees (even if u do not believe it). He is rich. He does not need LKY's $$$. He does not even want the job. LKY has to drag him out each time things turn sour.

Having said that, Mr Tan is a experienced politician\survivor and knows the meaning of big tree attracts wind. He would never leak anything.

Oh man ... my portfolio has not fully recovered yet .. looks like I will have to become a longer term investor :-S

Anonymous said...

Is it unusual for employees to leave a company during the probationary period? This is a case of short term suffering vs long term gains. At the end of the day, temasek must be run by the rite person.

Anonymous said...

When the news was first announced last year that Chip Goodyear joining Temasek, many conspiracy theories surfaced on the internet claiming that he is actually an imposter.

Perhaps he truly is a fraud and Temasek was too embarrased to admit this fiasco earlier.

Ghost said...

Actually the title of the post is wrong. Technically speaking, he didn't last 1 day.

Anonymous said...

Goodyear is a nice sounding name but like the opening sentence, with Goodyear going, I wonder if we will be having more bad years.

Anonymous said...

Actually I notice a problem with PAP.

They trust or like to do business with people who have achievements at the point of time. Thaksin was very popular and powerful in Thailand when Temasek bought Shin Corp from him.

Goodyear was also doing very well as CEO of a big player in the mining and resource sector when he was hired.

Durai was also very successful in fund raising when Ho Ching praised him in an article.

On hindsight, you realised the PAP
problem as also pointed out by Lucky.

PAP thought that once a success, always a success. Maybe because PAP is like that in Singapore elections so other things or people also like that.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

guess it is good bye good years for singapore :)

Anonymous said...

I heard Goodyear's parting words were

"Something's rotten in the heart of Temasek.."

Kaffein said...

From ministers' salary increase at the start of crisis, loss of paper dollar billions, to unaccountable words of "10, 20, 30 years investment roadmaps", to 'searching for the best man for the job', to re-instating Ho Ching, to paying millions to Goodyear to leave...

I wonder how much Singaporeans can take before the pressure cooker lid blows off.

How come Singaporeans like to keep getting slapped around like rag-dolls? This is truly amazing.

In the corporate world, Ho Ching wouldn't have stood a chance. She would have been fired long ago. Really soap opera. The most apt move/TV series made in Singapore is titled "How to lose billions in 6 months"!

Gee, and they the government wouldn't even lift a finger to truly help the down, retrenched, and outcasts. But rather send them for re-training! Hahaha.... should send some of the ministers for retraining.

What a joke!

Kaffein

Anonymous said...

Come on, don't try to fool us.

What kind of 'strategic differences' is it that cannot be resolved ?

What we do know is that Ho Jinx is not leaving her job now even though so many billions of dollars has been lost during last year ?

How can the Board still tolerate to have her as CEO despite such massive losses ? Which private or public company will not hesitate to give such a hopeless CEO the sack ?

So it was a smokescreen afterall to employ Goodyear ?

Anonymous said...

Suggest to set up "CEO Mentor" and "Minister Mentor's Mentor" so that there are always space for the best man/woman to stay around.

Anonymous said...

I would like to use stock market as a tool to analyse, since sometimes it could tell the underlying picture.

I think when TH bought into the ML and Citi, they were lulled into thinking that they got a bargain since given the bourgeoning financial markets then and their long investment time horizon, it was a deal made in heaven (and they did it so fast without due diligence), and they could trumpet their investment gains and put Shin Corp episode behind.

Little did they realise that it was a start of the brutal bear market with the onslaught of the Financial Crisis, they panicked and sold off. not wanting to be labeled as a loser after Shin Corp debacle. Chip was brought in as a "seat warmer" as nobody knew how long this crisis could last, so if it further deteriorates, the Ang Moh could take the rap for not showing impressive gains.

But with the current strong recovery of stock market, it dawns on them that they could project as a winner again with those TH companies, esp the Singapore blue chips such as Capland, Keppel Corp etc(sales of SPC recently to PetroChina sure improved profits leh), so it is possible to report impressive gains and put all these Citi and ML episodes behind. Thus Chip is not required anymore as putting him on charge carries the risk of opening up skeletons in the closet.

If my analysis is correct, then I am worried about our national reserves as they are managed like hedge funds that seek maximum returns, I would prefer them to grow slowly and steady to minimise the risk.

I think we have the problem of Singapore Inc as a successful image, and I would rather we accept that we are fallible and not pretend to be always a winner with all those spinning and risky decisions, lest we carry on the lies too far and become another Enron.

Anonymous said...

Thai Airasia - Business as usual
AIS (SinCorp) - "12call" ringing..
Thailand - 60m population are still buying. Polity is wayang !

Anonymous said...

What is the difference between Ms Ho Chings belief and Mr Goodyear?

Anonymous said...

I feel incredibly sorry for ho ching, here a woman who is obvious suffering from illusion of graduer, who would like to be at top while have absolutely no talent herself what soever to make it on her own, hence she has to keep strangle hold (through handout) on the company to make herself feel good, so she could go around introducing herself as ceo,
at expense of Singaporean people. PLEASE HO CHING, have a good look at yourself in the mirror, and realise how pathetic this whole thing is , and understand nobody will ever respect somebody who got something other than from their own hard work and talent.

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