Wednesday, 8 April 2009


We are pretty sure that as a baby, the cradle of Stephen Jennings. was rocked by Roger Douglas. Last night as part of the Business Round Table Ron Trotter Lecture series, the former treasury analyst, merchant banker and now Russian Oligarch, gave his views on the global economy and the the risks and opportunities. He referred constantly to emerging economic convergence

Essential conditions for convergence are a difference in the level of productivity, a difference in the annual growth rate of productivity favouring the catching up less developed countries (LDCs), and a relatively long-run time horizon.

As Jennings puts it - the further a country is behind the greater the rate of growth and the bigger the opportunities. It happens because those less developed countries now have a window to the rest of the world and look to replicate it in their own backyard. Essentially when LDC climb on the ladder of economic growth a spectacular rate of change occurs.

It happens fast and is often very untidy- witness the growing pains of Russia.
Companies who operate successfully in such environments are those who are nimble on the ground - not big multinationals who suffer from their own internal bureaucracies.

Jennings was both an architect and a beneficiary of just that phenomena in Russia.

We have been working with a company who understands the opportunities well and with cutting edge technology are transforming the way business in being done in the Pacific in a similar fashion.

Jennings has the ice eyes of a true pragmatist and despite the fact Europe is his home he has a deep and abiding passion for his homeland NZ.

The boy from the "Naki" has concerns for New Zealand. Our primary industry will serve us well, our lack of understanding of the sanctity of property rights is a barrier and that we need more of the unbundling of the Roger Douglas years if we are to hold onto the tail of the global tiger, he says.

Douglas Myers echoed Jennings thoughts. Interesting that the economic pragmatists have ice eyes.

As for the function, it was superbly done. As a late ring in, I ended up as the only adult on the table of the leaders of tomorrow , final year High School students from around the region. They were inspiring and animated and it was a sad thing that all I could give them was a blurry understanding of economics from my final school year plucked from the dusty recesses of my memory banks.

To the organisers - it was fantastic event but the leaders of tomorrow should have been spread around the tables of the leaders of yesterday and today. That interaction would have inspired them. Sadly I am not sure I was up to that task.

However, there was one young man at the table who will go far. Nick Cross. He has an enormous brain and a keen understanding of politics and is good looking. I first met him as a volunteer for Stephen Frank's campaign. He will be in the beehive one day or a captain of industry - of that I am sure.


alex Masterley said...

Sounds like a great evening. Can you post a summary of what SJ said? The Dom Post published an over view but we, as in your loyal readers would like some more detail.
Not a mention in the herald of any sort.

Nick C said...

:D Thanks very much bustedblonde! Twas a great night and I certainly hope the current leaders of the country were listening to what Jennings had to say, as he I found that he showed unique incite in the areas he talked about.

As for us being spread amongst the leaders of today; we may have learned a thing or two but I doubt the evening would have been half as much fun.

Nick C

Anonymous said...

Ah so there was plenty of high quality plonk then? Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

Nick: do you mean insight?