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Friday, 31 July 2015

How Greece's second bailout will affect the rest of the world

Greece will receive $171.9 billion from the European Union (EU), $17 billion from the International Monetary Fund and the rest from the European Central Bank.

In addition, Greece will exchange about $264 billion of its debt held by private creditors with new bonds with 53.5 percent less value.

After the penal interest Greece has paid on these bonds already, we still see an insolvent country paying bondholders 50pc of face value when they should be getting nothing.

So Greece gets €100bn written off, but borrows €130bn in order to achieve this, so it is still borrowing more making its overall debt not better but worse in absolute terms.

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Thursday, 30 July 2015

Creating Wealth In Times of Uncertainty

Worldwide wealth seems to be a bygone concept. But is it? Though the global marketplace is alive and vibrant, oppressive regulations, mismanagement, and outright corruption have damaged wealth creation. But it hasn't been eliminated. Today's global marketplace still provides opportunity for discerning investors and companies who are willing to look beyond obstacles of ideology and culture.

There is an old financial adage that says "Capital is coward." It is true. Capital does not like to be inconvenienced, restricted, or threatened. Those who control capital know there is a choice and can move it to more accommodating environments.

Making money is a sovereign human activity that is universally recognized as a natural right. History clearly shows that governments that have tried to contain, regulate, or otherwise usurp capital have failed. It is the same with brainpower; no one has a monopoly on brainpower. Brainpower creates capital, and capital fuels brainpower.

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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The Five Myths of Private Equity

As venture capital and private equity continue to make news headlines, some entrepreneurs may find it challenging to distinguish fact from fiction. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romneyfailed to clarify what he did at Bain Capital and further obscured the reputation of venture capitalists and private equity investors alike.

In meeting face to face with an average of 500 entrepreneurs each year I keep hearing the same question again and again: Why is every private equity fund with which we meet trying to take advantage of us?

There are indeed some real predators out there looking for an opportunity to take advantage of someone in need of financial backing; however, I don’t believe there are as many sharks as the financial press would have you believe.

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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Bailouts – Reality vs. Fiction - Ziad K Abdelnour

The wiser course would be to penalize the CEO or board of directors who drove the company to the brink of failure. The most obvious punishment would be the elimination of any “golden parachutes” or bonuses for the executive and seizure of all company-derived assets, including any attempts to hide company assets in the spouse’s name. When C-level executives come to the realization that managing a company is not a game and that there are serious consequences for their actions, we will see fewer instances of requests for bailouts.

The system can recover from bankruptcies, as it has done throughout history. Would the world really have come to an end had AIG gone into bankruptcy or Goldman Sachs been forced to liquidate and close its doors?

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Monday, 27 July 2015

Baasha of Wall Street - OpenBeast

Ziad K. Abdelnour, a Beirut-born Lebanese-American, is a well known investment banker and financier, and more prominently a merger-and-acquisition advisor, with over two decades of experience in merchant banking, private equity, alternative investments and physical commodities trading. Mr. Abdelnour is currently the President and CEO of Blackhawk Partners, a New York based private equity ”family office” that focuses on originating, structuring and acting as equity investor in management-led buyouts, strategic minority equity investments, equity private placements, consolidations, buildups, and growth capital financings with a particular focus on the energy,technology and health care sectors.

Mr. Abdelnour is also the author of “Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics” due for publication by December 2011 by John Wiley & Sons and a regular panelist and speaker on private equity and venture capital topics at industry conferences nationwide.

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Friday, 24 July 2015

The Middle East Is An Investment Opportunity

The most ironic part of it is the total ignorance of economic theory on the part of the journalists who propagate the stereotype of the Middle East at large as the hotbed of extremism, radicalism, Islamism and terrorism and nothing else.But they're missing a lot. It shouldn't just be about politics and ideology, but about business as well.

Most business leaders in the Arab world are Western-educated and understand that the only way to retain wealth is to put it to work to create more wealth.

They know that the oilfields are a finite resource that will someday be depleted, and they are eager to diversify their economies all over the world.

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Thursday, 23 July 2015

Ziad Abdelnour - Profile - Right Web - Institute for Policy Studies

Ziad Abdelnour is a Lebanese-American investment banker and hawkish political activist on Middle East affairs. CEO of a New York investment firm called Blackhawk Partners, Abdelnour's hardline views have drawn him into joint campaigns with neoconservatives and other Likud-aligned figures in the United States, including Daniel Pipes of the Middle East. Forum.

In 1997, Abdelnour founded the U.S. Committee for a Free Lebanon (USCFL), which had as one of its initial aims ending the Syrian occupation of Lebanon. As part of his work with USCFL, Abdelnour recruited a number of high profile neoconservatives figures, including Michael Ledeen, Elliott Abrams, Douglas Feith, and Frank Gaffney, all of whom were listed as supporters of USCFL. By 2006, Abdelnour had begun to describe himself as a neoconservative, according to the New York Times.

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Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Ziad K. Abdelnour's Investment Criteria

I attended a networking meeting today and the guest speaker was a fascinating individual.  His name was Ziad K. Abdelnour, he is the president and CEO of Blackhawk Partners.  He presented valuable information about what he looks for when doing a venture deal.  His no bullshit, results oriented approach seemed refreshing in a world of unrealistic valuations and venture deals that don't seem to make any sense. I believe this information can be adapted to help decision making at any level.

His approach is a five step process.  The first requirement is that he only invests in companies with operators that perform.  They must have a proven track record and be able to execute.  He would prefer people that have built successful companies (or even unsuccessful companies) to people that have never been there and don't know what it is like at those levels.

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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

A Venture Capitalist Speaks

A friend of mine, Ziad K. Abdelnour, heads a family business, Blackhawk Partners, Inc.,albeit one that deals in millions of dollars in two areas, physical commodities such as oil, and in venture capital, funding entrepreneurial enterprises that show promise of growth. When not involved in his business, Ziad also chairs the United States Committee for a Free Lebanon.

He recently sent me a commentary, “No one asked the entrepreneurs”, concerning his thoughts on the so-called stimulus package. Here are some excerpts

Good questions, considering that the markets continue to tank as investors and other interested parties who must make critical money-related decisions “vote” against the Obama/Pelosi/Reid/Frank solution.

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Monday, 20 July 2015

Will President Obama's stimulus package work

The theory is that the stimulus will bring back everyone's confidence and those of us who are in the business of creating jobs and wealth will be inspired to hire and grow. But why not take a poll of entrepreneurs and folks who make it their business to create jobs and ask them what would spur their confidence? Or better still, why not study the turnaround economies of Ireland, Spain, India, Brazil, Germany and the US during previous recessions?

The study would clearly show that the only successful way to pull a country out of an economic recession is to put the money back into the hands of the people, not by the government taking $1 trillion out of the national economy and distributing it as it sees fit. It is contradictory to almost every historical precedence for economic growth.

For More: Economic growth

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Thursday, 16 July 2015

Standing with Donald Trump | Ziad Abdelnour

The false outrage over Donald Trump’s recent remarks about illegal immigrants were twisted to meet the desires of those crying wolf. Almost immediately three horrible crimes were laid at the feet of illegals sheltered in cities that refuse to cooperate with immigration laws or even court orders to deal with criminals as illegals.

There is a malignant will on the part of liberal politicians to keep our borders open to all comers be they murderers, rapists, or ISIS terrorists. Iran supports Mexican gangs along the border with the U.S. and has supplied gangs in the Southwest with weapons and training. Hizbollah and Hamas openly have a presence in Mexico within walking distance of the U.S. border. The outbreak of Enterovirus D-68 which cause deaths primarily of small children came with the influx of children illegally entering the U.S. and its spread was centered in the cities where the children were taken and housed. According the the Department of Justice over 40% of all federal prosecutions involve illegal immigrants – including most of the prosecutions for homeland security.

For More: Donald Trump

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Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Don't Demonize Arabs – Do Business With Them

These pro-American, pro-business Arabs want what we all want – the respect of the world. And what better way to confer respect than to do business with them, trade with them and give them a seat at the table of international economic power. That the G-8 has not a single Middle Eastern country included in its ranks, but has Russia as a member, can only be construed as an insult to the people of that region.

American businessmen should not hesitate to seek out business opportunities in the Middle East. My firm, Blackhawk Partners, was recently retained to act as financial adviser in a $300 million recapitalization of the biggest – and sole – water-bottling facility in Iraq. The company is run by Americans and has quickly become a dominant player in the market, well-positioned to become the largest producer of water in the Middle East.

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Tuesday, 14 July 2015

From Lebanese- American Financiers, Differing Views on the Strife

Mr. Abdelnour has made his views public. He is a board member and a financial contributor to the Middle East Forum, a conservative research center that says its goal is to promote American interests in the region.

“Let’s get rid of this cancer,” Mr. Ziad Abdelnour said one day last week, referring to Hezbollah’s entrenched position in southern Lebanon. Over coffee, he referred to the recent carnage as a sort of medical operation. “Let’s finish the job,’’ he said, using his hands to simulate the opening up of his chest.

Mr. Abdelnour, who now runs a series of funds that make private-equity investments in security and technology companies, calls himself a neoconservative. In 2000, he was an author of a policy paper advocating the removal of the Syrians from Lebanon that was endorsed by a number of people with close ties to Bush advisers, including Richard N. Perle, a Reagan administration assistant secretary of defense; Douglas J. Feith, one of the architects of the plan to invade Iraq; and David Wurmser, adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney on the Middle East.

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Monday, 13 July 2015

It's time for capitalism to grow up

The 1987 crash was thus not provoked by events in the real economy but by a supposedly smart risk-management strategy— and the current downturn also derives at least partly from a global craze for a seemingly foolproof financial innovation.

Investors in financial markets rationally pursuing individual profit, can produce outcomes that are globally negative. Doesn’t that contradict classical economic theory? “Both theory and empirical facts do tend to show that,” says Cont. “On the financial markets, the ‘Invisible Hand’ does not always lead to welfare-improving general outcomes.”

Hence, free-market capitalism is not dead, but it is unclear whether there is any better alternative. In fact, I strongly believe that capitalism has to grow up and become less naïve, relying less on a blind faith in the invisible hand and more on an understanding of human nature, including insights from the field of behavioral economics.

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Friday, 10 July 2015

OPINION: Toward an Equitable Tax System - Fox News

The time has come to replace this punitive tax system, which seeks to appropriate a portion of our income with a tax system that collects revenue on positive economic activity only. In that way, legislators would be less inclined to pass laws that inhibit economic growth or penalize success. Their actions would have a direct impact on the amount of revenues generated.

In July 1999, a conservative congressman from Georgia named John Linder introduced the FairTax proposal (HR 25).

In 2005, Linder joined with syndicated talk show host Neal Boortz to write "The FairTax Book: Saying Goodbye to the Income Tax and the IRS," which proposes that the current system be replaced by a single-rate personal consumption tax that would be collected only on purchases of new goods or services

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Thursday, 9 July 2015

Entrepreneur Or just self-employed

I thoroughly enjoy being a coach and consultant to aggressive, forward-thinking, action-taking entrepreneurs. They are motivating, exciting people to be around. That's why although I accept the fact that most typical Americans choose to settle for a life of conformity, mediocrity and general dissatisfaction by adopting a “job mentality,” it makes me sad to see the majority of small-business owners choosing the same limiting lifestyle by settling for being merely “self-employed” instead of striving to become wealthy.

I had the pleasure of attending an intimate gathering of some of Chicago's top thought leaders Tuesday, featuring a talk and Q&A session by Ziad Abdelnour, author of “Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics.” As Mr. Abdelnour writes: “America was created to be a land of opportunity, where the individual could take an idea, develop it, and create wealth in the process. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with this notion.” Somewhere along the line, we've become a society where the vast majority of people have no real desire to become wealthy – or to help others do the same. Our teachers, politicians and even parents focus on teaching us to conform and strive for nothing more than a comfortable, upper-middle-class-at-best existence. Creating wealth requires work.

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Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Customer Wallets Are Tight: So Is Empathy the Best Strategy

Consumers (and indeed, other types of customers) are therefore being more discerning about how they spend their money - which has led stores and supermarkets to offer significant discounts. Yet, a price war isn’t always the answer for companies that wish to encourage their customers to loosen their wallets and to begin spending again. The problem is that this strategy can lead to diminishing returns and it can be a very risky one for the small retailers in particular. The larger retailers have greater economic power, so they are more likely to win. Furthermore, some customers may actually be prepared to spend more if a company either adds value to a product or service offering; or if that firm manages to do its utmost to solve a problem that a customer is faced with. This issue therefore raises the question about whether adding empathy to customer service is the answer.

Customer Service Differentiation

Customer service, whether it is delivered in-store or through a contact center, is one way that a company can add value and differentiate themselves from their competition. However, Jamie Lywood, managing director of the U.K.-based Compathy, believes that the way customer service staff has been trained in the past represents a problem. 

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Tuesday, 7 July 2015

How to make money in the Obama age

These sections of “Economic Warfare” I found riveting – and motivation to implement Abdelnour’s suggestions. If we know the enemy, he can be defeated.

In Chapter 6 (“Battle Plans”), Ziad Abdelnour calls our world “increasingly dangerous, regulated and volatile” and then spells out his basic philosophy for wealth creation. It is a highly instructive section of the book.

You’ll find the detail actually enjoyable, I think, but here it is, boiled down: “I believe that the best way to make money this decade will be in commodities.”

I thoroughly believe that almost anyone can implement Abdelnour’s strategies. For example, if you think only the wealthy now can benefit from it, think again.

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Thursday, 2 July 2015

How to Succeed in Challenging Environments

Investment CEO Ziad Abdelnour and recruiting company founder Dan Mori talk personal tips to making money

“A lot of people get very close to success and then they give up,” Abdelnour said. “It can take sometimes weeks, months, years, decades. An overnight success is really 15 years. It takes time, it takes perseverance, never ever giving up and passion to be successful.”

Mori said that his professional success came from his drive to help people and ability to handle daily issues. He said students could boost their careers by also looking to improve the lives of the people around them.
“The most important info that [students] can take away is students have the ability to change,”

Mori said. “There are directly things that they can do to make a difference, be a leader and generate wealth for [their] community.”

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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

"Economic Warfare" - The Atlas Society Releases Video Presentation by Ziad Abdelnour

In this video, Ziad Abdelnour, CEO and President of Blackhawk Partners, Inc., explains the nature of economic warfare and the values and practices individuals must cultivate in order to become wealthy and productive and in order to escape financial repression and the limits that it puts on individual freedom. Mr. Abdelnour is the author of the book, "Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics."


The Atlas Society promotes open Objectivism: the philosophy of reason, achievement, individualism, and freedom. Our scholars work to further develop this philosophy born in the mid-twentieth century. We present the empowering principles of Objectivism to a global audience, and offer those principles as a rational and moral alternative in the marketplace of philosophical ideas.

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