Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The future of the WTO

Partager le reve du Nick.

US of Europe first, then enlargement.

US of the planet via the WTO.

Those countries that do not want it can stay out of it, no problem. Mutual respect. But no free trade outside the "US", cannot have the cake and eat it too. Not fair to the 7 billion.

I meant when I said, we need either more or less Europe ten years ago.
And either more or less globalization.

The 'current state' did not make sense for the average citizen.

How can you have a euro job market with 24+ languages? It's a real problem.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Star trek 2017+

1/2014 Brussels, Eurostar terminal (photo).
I am done travelling on my own expenses. But the investment has paid off. In global CRM since 12/2016.
When your wife is from Georgia, your next door neighbors in Patissia are from Africa, Russia and Pakistan, yeah man, then you are a true citizen of the world. Like Socrates, the Athenian.
Yesterday, Plato and I were brainstorming for 6 hrs at a coffee shop in Pangrati, part of the city of Athens too, on the past, present and future of the planet, Europe and Greece. Society, economy, jobs, politics. jobs, etc. I drank a whiskey (3.5E) and later a coffee (1.5E), Plato (22) just water!
We discussed about RFK, MLK, Alexander, the Byzantium, European colonialism, the dotcom bubble, the subprimes, derivatives, the Services economy, Greece 1974-present, the 60 yrs of the EEC/EU, China's entry in the WTO (2002), the EMU/Euro, NAFTA, UNASUR, Brexit, the Knights Templar and banking, freedom of movement, GATT/WTO, various forms of political systems, econ and social policy, jobs, HR, linear regression, Lagrangian Relaxation, multinationals and SMEs, and many more.
At some point waiting at the bus stop for my bus back to my hood, there was yet again another Sunday Athens run disrupting public transport as if marches were not enough, and buses were not running properly, two women came and asked us if the buses were running. We told them how to make it by foot to the closest Metro station (which was running) so that they would not have to take a cab.
"Where are you from" I asked them right afterwards.
"Does it matter" they said.
Then I paused and asked them: "Georgia?"
"Yes", they replied, surprised,
And I continued in basic Georgian.
Ja, that's global. I call it universal.
Lisez http://npthinking.blogspot.com and @ndpglobal because my Athens and my Greece are open to the world, not only for Business like Theresa May's Britain but for everything. Cos "it's everything or nothing baby" (JPB).
Mes voyages, so far:
1973, London
1974, Kent
1978, Paris
1979, SE France
1981-1986 USA
1990, Fontainebleau
1991-1994 Brussels (BusinessEurope permdel) and Lisboa, DenHaag, Copehangen, Ireland (EcoSoc), London.
1994 EP
1996-1997 Brussels and DenHaag (Ministry of Labor)
1998-1999 London and Amsterdam (Rothmans)
2001 Rotterdam
2012 Italy, France, Belgium, UK, NL
2013 Germany, Lux, Brussels
2014 London, Brussels, Sofia, Warsaw, Istanbul, Georgia.
8-10 hrs everyday I do global CRM.
MS Northwestern
Tot ziens.

PS. Non, Therese, you cannot have EU Single Market w/o Free Movement, nein/non pas possible. No deal.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Donald and Donald

In 2004 I said that Europe needs a US of Europe and someone with popular appeal as its first president. Not a bureaucrat. I put forward the name of one controversial European of world popular appeal though.

The governor of California not eligible to run for US president cos not US born:

Arnold Schwarzenegge

13 years later the EU is alas an organizational mess.

How can the world take seriously a "Europe" that is represented in eg G7 by leaders of member states as well as EU level leaders.

Obviously "Europe" needs a real president and a US or FD of Germany structure.
60 yrs and still the structure is incomplete.

Will it take 300 years for a real "EU"?

Saturday, May 27, 2017

What happened to all that money?

In the past few years, I have met many visitors to Greece.

2 summers ago, a South African man with his family asked me:

"What happened to all that money" (Greece borrowed or got from the EU (CSF etc))

I explained, in a few words. Pro bono.

Ask me. But no free lunches, unless you are homeless or jobless. The system is called capitalism.

I have a job now, but if you want credible analysis you pay for the lunch. Because intellectual labor is labor too.

My parents did not sacrifice luxuries to pay dearly for MIT and INSEAD for their son's gray matter to be treated like a CCC- bond.

Last time I gave comments to non Greek TV was BBC World (2005).
A Polish crew also asked in the streets of Warsaw in 2014 (PolSat).
Last time on Greek TV: 2002.

I produced and presented the only program on the EU ever in private Greek TV (1998-1999), pro bono.

Forget pro bono. Greeks were asking you to work pro bono, for commission only or for peanuts way before 2009 and way before you decided to start it too.

Das Experiment continues, 8th year

Das Greek Experiment series continues. 
Comparable to the Walking Dead series. Daily. 24/7/365.
In a country that did not have a welfare state to begin with.

Jobless bens are 360E for all (0 for former independents) and up to 12 months, shameful for an EU country.

Shame on everyone involved.

Pray for the 11 million souls in Greece, no matter your religion. 
Greeks and others alike. 11 million. A drop in the ocean of 7.000 million. 

I am one of them. I have survived, for now, a former independent got a salaried job. Global operations.

Keep reading my blog. On Europe and the planet.

This is npthinking (2003-2012). Now @ndpglobal. Live from central Athens. 
Come visit Greece.

Look me up if you want, for a tour of Athens (Sundays only) and analysis of the issue in this blog. The world, Europe and Greece.

Under a tree, for shade, near the Acropolis.

Brain Drain

They drain your brain, your body, your soul.
They know how to do it so well.
They are masters in exploitation.
And they make you slaves of consumerism as well.

I stand for the Europe that stands for competitiveness, growth and employment not Casino capitalism or austerity BS.
Cos I got my BS at MIT and my MBA at INSEAD.
"Je suis Jacques Delors".
USA of Europe (or bust).

We need a real EU. A single taxation system, a single welfare state, a single market for everything and above all, a single market for jobs in Europe.

Watch the films:
- Le diner des cons
- 15 aout
- Les visiteurs

En francais, biensur
"Douce France ......"

Friday, May 26, 2017

Alexander or Diogenes? CEO or a homeless man?

It is said that when Alexander (the then Great) visited Athens and its Acropolis and had the encounter with Diogenes (who lived in a barrel), he exclaimed:

"If I was not Alexander I would like to be Diogenes".

In recent years, I have asked many people, mostly Greeks, why he said that. As a test. No one has provided a reply.

It is even more surprising because I have asked it in the epoch of crisis Greece.

It is so simple. A real leader admired and somewhat envied a homeless man who needed nothing.

I became almost homeless after 2012 in crisis Greece. I knew the reply before that. But now I know it even better.

"Freedom is just another word for nothing else to lose"
Kris Kristofferson

When you can live/survive with almost nothing then you can claim (compete for) everything, I say.
When you can be Diogenes then you can become Alexander too. And vice-versa. Some do not get it and maybe they never will.

Why? Keep reading npthinking.

Andra mi enepe, mousa, polytropon

Life is a road trip My CV I survived boring Greece 1962-1981. 1974 Kent 1979 Southern France Lafayette Colllege, PA, 1981-1982. Freshman rep and Zeta Psi. I survived MIT 1982-1985. NU with a fellowship. 1986-1987. i survived the military service. Freelance 1988-1989, dove into the economy, when others were joining corporate frigates.
1990 INSEAD, Fontainebleau, when Q8 was invaded. The MBA job market took a dive. Recruited by a Caltech man (RIP). Wound up in the EU's DC, Brussels 10 months later, as his eyes, ears and voice.
1991-1994 European Social Dialogue etc Econ and social policy savvy now. Euro blah, blah, blah, the Quartier got boring after 3+ years. 1996 Economic and Social Committee of Greece 1996-1997 Ministry of Labor and National Social Dialogue. I survived it. Dove back into the ocean of the private sector. Radio, TV, Euroelections in 5 Greek regions (10% of GR).
In 1999 I made management-culture.com aided by a Dutch guy from Rotterdam.
2005. 43. was leaving for London to seek a job on location. Fate strikes: My widow since 1982 mother was diagnosed with Alz. Became her personal carer instead.
2003-2012 npthinking. Analysis of world dynamics, blogging, vlogging, social media.
By 2012 I was free from all property and obligations in Greece. Kept only a suitcase. Toured 7 euro countries by boat, train and rented cars. No one gave me a job. What corporate have you done in the last 3+ yrs was the Catch22 in 2012 London. When you are under 30 they think you are too young. When 40+ too old, in Brussels, a 55+ Brit told when he came to meet me in central Brussels.
"Go back to Greece, get a salaried job and then we talk again" an old friend said in London. In 27% jobless -25% GDP crisis Greece! Kind of a MI! Well, I did. Had no option. 50, running out of money, no home, no family, friends minding their own problems, alone on this planet in 2012. With a weird CV, 20 yrs in Greece and the label of a lazy, tax evading, crook Greeks had thrown at them after 2009!!! Odd jobs and more travel, former Comecon. Jobseeking and fact finding. Running our of "fuel" (savings). Got married to a fine woman of Georgia. Finally, last December, after hundreds of CVs sent all over Europe, a corporation finally gave me an interview, the chance. The result: Got the job. Back in the corporate game. As a "soldier". Don't mind it. I work my behind off, as I have always done. But now it's documented. And I am of course more corporate than most corporates. Because I studied it. Plus I've seen the world. Skills count, not CVs. Skills and cover letters. Forever young, forever learning, forever seeking. Til the last breath. Life is a journey. "All aboard Amtrak" Code: Ulysses. In absence of a muse (aka headhunter) I am telling my own story. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Yeap. I am a geek, with an MBA, not a jarhead. But I do not mind being one. Life is not a road trip, it is multimodal transport(ation). Studied it at MIT and Northwestern. Operations Research - Decision Science. Takes wise HR to build you a truly competitive company. You read CVs thinking out of the box not like a bureaucrat. If you can't employ Nick, keep reading npthinking. It's not behind pay walls. Not yet anyway. I was reading the FT back in 1988. Now I am the "FT". To my father, I owe my birth. And my ethos. To my Athens College teachers 1972-1981, my culture. Thanks Michael, Art, Judy, Warren, Cliff, et al. I remember a Greek teacher as well. He taught us Geography, in English. Blimey, he had been everywhere. What a guy! Old Canadian AF pilot. Where is my Ithaca? Everywhere on this planet. As long as you get me a proper visa to work there! The whole planet is my home. And its people my brothers and sisters.

The quest continues.
Keep reading npthinking. Thank you, my readers. Merci. Danke, Kiitos, Grazie, Gracias, Obrigado. Takk, Dank u. благодаря (1)
PS. Ran into Richard Quest in Athens, in 2015. But did not try to talk to him. Ask me why if we ever meet. I Like the new economy but the old one had pros as well. Life is never simple. PS2. Don't judge a man by his age and nationality. Or "gender". PS3. I love Africa and Asia. Never been there, yet. No money for it. But I live in Patissia International. The new Bronx or Harlem. And I love it. PS4. A young colleague, 20, no college education, said to me the other "man, you're crazy, I love you". Well, that's better than thinking I am boring or over the hill. Jarhead and geek. At 54. "Andra mi enepe, mousa, polytropon" is Homer, in the beginning of Odyssey.


(1) I am so tired but happy since December 2016. I live in an international neighborhood in Athens. I work with people from around the world dealing with clients' issues from around the world. And YOU have honored me with your presence in my blog in the last 30 days. Thanks. Efkaristo.
United States



United Kingdom







Thursday, May 25, 2017

From Babel to the Parthenon

"I am an Athenian and a citizen of the world"
Socrates, 400 years before Christ.

"According to the story(in Genesis), a united humanity in the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating eastward, comes to the land of Shinar (Hebrewשנער‎‎). There they agree to build a city and a tower tall enough to reach heaven. God, observing their city and tower, confounds their speech so that they can no longer understand each other, and scatters them around the world."

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Babel

Years ago I wrote (in this blog) that we need either more or less "Europe" and either more or less globalization.

Brexit and Trump have kind of proved me right (2016).
So have the Dutch and the French (in 2017). Opposite forces.
(the French and the Dutch refs killed the EU treaty in 2005 too)

Complicated world. Complicated Europe.

I propose we need a real linga franca (as well as more humility) in Europe and on this planet.

Languages are quaint. But they:

a) Segregate humans

b) Red tape costs (translation etc) thus higher costs therefore a push to higher prices.

Europe for example needs a single job market. Impossible with 23+ languages.
English is of course the lingua. Of Europe and the world.

Not Esperanto, Cobol or money. 

God punished us in Babel. 
Let's reverse. Humble and with a lingua franca.
GlobalEnglish, neither UK or US. 

It's open source, not property of the English.
I happen to speak three English languages, UK, US and Global. The third is my favorite.
Some people at work think I am Mr. Spock!

I use Lisboa not Lisbon, I use obrigado, grazie,  takk, kiitos, blitzkrieg, hasta luego, spater, etc.
In spoken it is easier, but worth it in writing too.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Just another day at the crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa.

09:55 on a train going to work (11:00-19:00 shift). She steps into the wagon. Tall, thin, around 25 with a backpack. North European or American, vagabonding. 

I was thinking about work and did not chat. Just admired. She sat across from me. Opened her pack and took out a sandwich, 1.70E. 

Took off her sweater, she had hair in her armpits.
Amazon, Zina,

After work, 8+1 hrs later, around 20:45, I arrive at a downtown supermarket. I buy some goods. 

I chit-chat with the cashier guy. I offer to buy a cig from him cos I'am out. He gives me one for free.

I walk over to the bus stop. Open the Vanilla Cola (0.30E) and smoke the cig (Marlboro). People watching. I hop on the bus 30' later and get off near my house, I run into bros from Africa.

I am home. Bronx of Athens and Europe and proud of it. We spend 190E on rent, 3 people, all together not each! 

Ran into an NU alum yesterday. High fived when we realized we were both wildcats. She is '08.

I love this city more than ever before.
Has become almost as cosmopolitan as London and way cheaper to live.

That is why my employer, a US multinational, chose to run its global operations from here. Great human resources at a bargain price tag.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Like Linux

Learn English, It's the language of the planet. La lingua franca.

But develop your own English, no need to speak UK or US English. 

It's like Linux.

How do you expect to find a job in the UK with a name like ...

"How do you expect to find a job in the UK with a name like Panayotopoulos" a British journo told me last year.

It hurt, a lot. If the UK wants the EU Single Market it must give freedom of movement, or no deal. Spent a month in Deal, Kent, in 1974. Bought my Spurs shirt at Lillywhites in 1973. My Subbuteo at Hamleys.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A letter to Donald cc to some of his mates around the world (Farage, Le Pen etc)

Hi dude,

U. Penn man, right?

I am not Greek, I was born there. 

Just because you were born in America that does not make you American either. 

Or British. Or German. Or French. Or European.

Some Africans and Asians I know for example are much more European than others.

So spare me the "made in" or "born in" racisms.
Yeap, that's what it is.
MIT Speech & Debate Society President, 1984-1985.

Of course I am Greek, not by birth but by training.
Be Greek too. Come to my Greece, in the EU at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe, to invest and produce, I can show you the way.

Building a new and better America, in Greece. Everyone welcome. Cos we are open to the world, unlike Theresa May or Donald.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Letter from Athens to my English friends.

Dear England,

I know you since 1973 and still love you.
But my price tag has gone up since Brexit and especially since May and team took over. Plus now you have to get me a visa, I insist. And a 3 year contract, guaranteed.
It's the cost of bad decision making. Sorry, but that's capitalism. 
They are supposed to teach it at Cambridge, Oxford and the LSE.
I am an MIT and INSEAD man.

Come to Athens and we can talk about your strategy and implementation from now on.


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