By John Richardson
VERY occasionally the blog deviates from its close coverage of petrochemical markets to focus on broader business issues. Today is one such occasion after a discussion with a manager of a major Asian chemicals trading operation.
The manager is convinced that the good times are behind us, to refer back to the petrochemical markets environment very briefly, as a result of weaker Chinese demand growth, the substantial threat that rising energy costs pose to the global economy. He also warned of seemingly positive US macroeconomic indicators that he said had created a "false dawn".
Maybe on all the above he is just trying to present a bearish picture as he has gone short, not just in chemicals trade but also in his myriad other investments which the blog freely admit that it does not understand.
But what is admirable about this manager are the occasional pep talks he gives to his team.
In his latest pep talk said: "These will be difficult times after an excellent 2010.
"You have my promise that I will give you all the support you need on the detail and delivery of your work in what's going to be a challenging 2011. If things go wrong I will take the blame and if things go well I will not take all the credit with our directors.
"If you feel at any time that I am not communicating clearly and effectively let me know. My door is always open.
"You will not be blamed for not taking big risks this year. Let's play it cautious. We are in this together."
What a boss, eh? Anybody else like that out there? Please let the blog know.