Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A minor point but one confirmed by other sources

When assessing validity of Basi's memos, a person should test the small details. I barely started reading and one confirmation was clear.

Dave Basi wrote in an October 6, 2003 file memo (the CN deal was announced Nov 25 2003):
"CN is telling the shippers the deal is done and they should either get on board and support them or prepare for the consequences."
This was reported to me some time ago by two people who worked in the lumber business, one in sales, the other in transportation. The man who arranged transportation for a major interior lumber producer told me that CN's acquisition of BCR was commonly known among shippers long before the public announcement.
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  1. We all remember the service that Charles River Associates performed for the BC Liberal government with their Fairness report, but here's a bio that would appear to indicate that Charles River was more into "restructuring and privatization of BC Rail".

    "Larry Shughart, principal at Charles River Associates, specializes in performance management, financial management, and network operations engineering, and consults mainly to the railroad and trucking industries. During his tenure at CRA, Shughart has coauthored expert testimony in support of a national railroad labor arbitration hearing, managed a litigation project involving a leading rail car
    manufacturer and a Class I railroad, and served as the lead advisor to the Province of British Columbia
    on matters relating to the restructuring and privatization of BC Rail."

    Source: http://journals.oregondigital.org/trforum/article/viewFile/476/386

  2. People in business know there are different types of consultants.

    One applies expert knowledge to examine a situation in detail and then recommend courses of action. Used when the client is uncertain and seeking direction or confirmation.

    Another is hired to confirm a client's intentions but have responsibility fall somewhere else. Perhaps the client wants to chop staff but wants someone else to look like the bad guy. Bring on the consultants. Or, perhaps the CEO wants a big raise. He hires an expert who will confirm that he deserves one.

    Of course, consultants are the life blood of government. Every municipality employs expert staff but also contract outside consultants to point the directions for decisions. Sometimes the outsiders do all the work and the insiders just approve invoices.

    Of course, in the BCR case, allegations have been raised that the "Fairness Advisor" was hired knowing that the job was to approve sale of BCR.



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