Thursday, September 29, 2016

Protect Your Advantage (2)

The first and most important rule of gun-running is: Never get shot with your own merchandise.
- Yuri Orlov  (Movie-The Lord of War)

" ... Hedge funds closely guard their strategies. For instance, the world's biggest hedge fund, $150 billion Bridgewater Associates, is said to keep its strategy close to only a few people. Bridgewater's external PR firm didn't respond to a request for comment on its strategy.

There's a good reason for the opacity. The funds don't want to give up their secret sauce, which can then be replicated by competitors. Yet it underlies a frustration that some investors in the funds have, in that they don't really know how their money is being invested.

As for BlackBox, the performance is eye-catching, and it caught the people we asked about it by surprise. "Some of the best minds on Wall Street trade in these markets, and no one has figured out how to make 1,200 [basis points] over LIBOR and never lose money,” says Andrew Beer, managing partner at Beachhead Capital Management, an investment adviser.

Click here on more information on the Black Box Group, a hedge fund group who has been generating profits since 2009.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Influencing (Catching) the Mindless Masses in the Information Economy (2)

To influence the mindless masses who are participating in the consumer terrain, we highly recommend this  classic , written by Vance Packard.

The configuration of the lure is usually based on your assessment of the situation. 

The assessment should be based on one's perception of what triggers "the nameless and faceless object" to conclude a certain type of decision.

Identify the trigger. Determine the personalized reward. Develop the routine. 

It is that simple.  

Staying Focused on the Big Picture While Being Mindful of One's Objectives

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Dao of Strategc Implementation


It is rare to see someone who possesses a minimum of 50% of the necessary information at the initial starting point of a strategic project.  

The first step is assessing a strategic situation by asking the right questions  while identifying the specific sources.

We will elaborate on the approach of applying certain Chinese strategic principles to the "Cone of Uncertainty" model in a future post

More to come. ... 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Gone Fishing! (Another View From Chapter One of Six Secret Teachings)

Almost all asian and western strategists are familiarized with the Sunzi principles of strategy.  In China, the elite strategists frequently spent their time, utilizing the concepts and the principles from Jiang Tai Gong's Six Secret Teachings and Wuzi in their various endeavors.  

The Jiang Tai Gong's essay is focused on knowing the fundamentals of the Big Tangible Picture and viewing the grand events in terms of situations, events and objectives while the writing of Wuzi's emphasized on the operational means that connect the modes to one's grand tactical approach.

Some portions of the Jiang Tai Gong's material has been extended in the Li Quan's book.

We will discuss the implicit meaning behind both essays in a future post.  

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Protecting Your Advantage

The Jiang Tai Gong's View
Jiang Tai Gong book "Six Secret Teachings" emphasizes "the importance of protecting one's advantage" regardless of the situation.

King Wen asked Tai Gong:"How does one preserve the state's territory?"

Tai Gong said: "Do not estrange your relatives. Do not neglect the masses. Be concillatory and solicitous towards nearby states and control all that is under you. Do not loan the authority of state to other men. If you loan the authority of state to other men, then you will lose your authority. Do not hurt those of lower position to benefit those of higher position. Do not abandon the fundamental to save those that are inconsequential.

When the sun is at midday, you should dry things. If you grasp a knife, you must cut. If you hold an axe, you must attack."

"If at the height of the day, you do not dry things in the sun, this is termed losing the opportunity.

If you grasp a knife but do not cut anything, you will lose the moment for profits. If you hold an axe and do not attack, enemies will attack instead."

"If trickling streams are not blocked, they will become great rivers. If you do not extinguish the smallest flames, there is nothing much you can do when it turns into great flames.

If you do not eliminate the two-leaf sapling, you might have to use the axe to remove it in future." "For this reason, the ruler must focus on developing wealth within his state. Without material wealth, he has nothing with which to spread beneficence or to bring his relatives together.

If he estranges his relatives it will be harmful. If he loses the common people, he will be defeated. "

"Do not loan sharp weapons to other men. If you loan sharp weapons to other men, you will be hurt by them and will not live out your allotted span of years."
King Wen said:"What do you mean by benevolence and righteousness?"

Tai Gong replied: "Respect the common people, unite your relatives. If you respect the common people, they will be in harmony. And if you unite your relatives, they will be happy. This is the way to implement the essential cords of benevolence and righteousness."

"Do not allow other men to snatch away your awesomeness. Rely on your wisdom, follow the norm. Those that submit and accord with you, treat them generously and virtuously. Those that oppose you, break with force. If you respect the people and trust, the state will be peaceful and populace submissive." - T’ai Kung Liu-t’ao (Six Secret Teachings)

More on this topic can be found in the Seven Military Classics of Ancient China.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Another View on the Sunzi's Victory Temple Model vs. The Moscow Rules.

Source: Random

My associates and I are not in the intelligence business.  Nor do we play the role of intelligence gathering operators on a TV show. However, we just possess an "above average" comprehension of how to connect the exploitation of  strategic intelligence to the strategy game.

Review of the Moscow Rules
Moscow Rules are a set of guidelines used for chaotic situations.    ... Click here for more information

The Sunzi's Victory Temple Model

The Sunzi's Victory Temple model requires someone to be deliberately mindful of their terrain and beyond, the past events, the present moment and the projected future before concluding a decision.  This strategic intelligence-driven model/methodology operates on the premise of identifying the factors that leads to the development and the implementation of a strategic multiplier. 
  While Moscow rules are designed for those who cannot and/or would not spend some time, reading the circumstance while  enjoying the act of pulling a bunch of rules from their "deriair,"

Their frame of reference is quite finite and is usually based on incomplete information.

Certain surviving parties who have used it, succeeded  for various reasons. We assessed that their superior tactical acumen was not the main reason.  The incompetency and/or the un-mindfulness of their opposing counterparts are usually the primary origin of their success.

In the field game where a decision can mean life and death. It does not matter whether the below average decision maker got lucky with a bad decision or a good decision maker got screwed with a good decision and bad circumstances.  Completing the objective while surviving is the name of the game. 

Sooner or later, the decision maker will regress to their mean. 

The Two Questions of the Day
In a chaotic setting where you have the advantage of time, do you think with your basic instinct?  Or  do you strategize?

Monday, September 5, 2016

Happy Labor Day


Drink some beer.  ... How about a root beer float? 

Eat a burger or two.

In some instances, there will be people drinking some tea.

and other food of their choice.  

While consuming your meal, quietly reflect on the past and the present achievements of the laborers. 

Review on the tangibility of their achievements.  . . . Salute to them for their contributions with your positive thoughts and your favorite beverage.

Happy Labor Day!