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Northern Foods profits up

Northern Foods profits up

LONDON, May 27 (Reuters) – UK-based Northern Foods reported a 25.3 percent rise in full-year earnings on Tuesday, at the upper end of market expectations, as it cut costs and negotiated price increases with retailers.
Shares in the maker of Goodfella’s pizza and Fox’s biscuits rose 2.6 percent to 88.25 pence by 0840 GMT.
Northern Foods, which also supplies own-label prepared foods to supermarkets, said pretax profit from continuing operations was 50.1 million pounds ($99.09 million), compared with 40 million the year before.
Revenue rose to 931.9 million pounds from 888.5 million.
A Reuters poll of 10 analysts forecast average pretax profit of 48.7 million pounds, with a range of 46.9 million to 50.8 million pounds.
Northern Foods said it had passed on “significant” commodity cost increases, especially in cereals, dairy, cocoa, and fats.
Finance Director Jez Maiden told reporters that last year prices were raised by an average of 2.8 percent. This year, he anticipates prices will rise by between 2 to 2.5 percent.
Operating margin was up 10 basis points on the previous year at 5.2 percent despite the higher commodity costs, driven by a 130 basis point increase in the chilled division and 90 basis point improvement in bakery.
However, Northern Foods warned the current trading environment remained challenging.
“We don’t expect cost pressure to ease during the year. We’re keeping a very close eye on fuel costs and they are a concern to us,” Chief Executive Stefan Barden told reporters.
The group said despite “some caution” it expects its underlying business to continue to make good progress in 2008/9.
Following the sale of several unprofitable businesses a year ago, Northern Foods is now focusing on ready meals, sandwiches, salads, pizza, biscuits, and Christmas puddings.
Barden said the group intends to take advantage of current market conditions to pursue a bolt-on acquisition strategy in both existing and other growth markets.
“We believe that the weaker companies will go to the wall and stronger companies will be able to pick up companies for reasonable prices at some time over the next year or two,” he said.
Earlier this month, Northern Foods announced plans to mothball a factory that makes Italian ready meals for Marks & Spencer, saying it did not provide adequate returns for shareholders.
Barden said there are no current plans to close any other facilities.
Northern Foods has raised its full-year dividend 5.9 percent to 4.5 pence per share.
Goldman Sachs reiterated its ‘buy’ recommendation on the stock. It said the results “demonstrate the pass through of commodity cost inflation” and described Northern Foods’ outlook as “reasonably upbeat”.

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Euro zone inflation a concern

Euro zone inflation a concern

BRUSSELS, May 30 (Reuters) – Record high inflation this month in the euro zone is a matter of concern and will be discussed by euro zone finance ministers on Monday, Andrej Bajuk, finance minister of EU president Slovenia, said.
“We are definitely concerned about it,” Bajuk told Reuters in Luxembourg on Friday. “Food prices and oil prices are having their effect,” he said, adding: “This is a subject of permanent concern for all of us”.
“I hope we will further analyse and discuss this in the Eurogroup and the Ecofin,” he said.
Euro zone inflation surged back to a historic peak of 3.6 percent in May, data showed on Friday, dampening the case for any interest rate cuts by the European Central Bank this year.

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US dollar caught in cross-fire

US dollar caught in cross-fire

WASHINGTON, March 16 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve is poised to cut interest rates again this week while the European Central Bank remains on hold for a while, leaving the beleaguered U.S. dollar caught in the cross-fire.
The slumping U.S. currency has contributed to oil’s climb to $111 per barrel. It is part of the reason behind investors’ mad dash to buy other commodities, ranging from wheat to gold. The slide is also feeding malaise among European exporters struggling to compete with cheaper U.S. goods, and prompting some big oil exporters who pegged their own currency to the dollar to rethink that policy.
While calls have intensified for official government intervention to stem the dollar’s decline, Washington has shown no inclination to act. Finance leaders in Europe and Japan ratcheted up the rhetoric last week as the dollar hit an all-time low against the euro, and sank below 100 yen for the first time in more than a decade. So far, it remains all talk.
Only the Bank of Israel stepped in last week with official action, twice buying foreign currency to cool the shekel, which had hit an 11-year peak against the dollar.
Goldman Sachs strategists called the Bank of Israel’s moves “a sign that the pace of dollar decline is becoming more uncomfortable in places.”
That discomfort is apparent in recent comments from world leaders. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said volatility in currency rates “obviously worries people.” European Union leaders repeated their view that excessive currency moves are “undesirable,” although Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said on Friday they did not discuss any intervention.
In Japan, Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said the yen’s moves seemed to reflect dollar weakness rather than yen strength. “As for currency intervention, I will not comment,” he said at a news conference on Friday.
U.S. President George W. Bush acknowledged last week that the weakening dollar was contributing to oil’s steep upward march. But Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, the main spokesman for the U.S. currency, stuck to his well-worn script, saying a strong dollar was in the nation’s best interest, and healthy long-term U.S. fundamentals would be reflected in exchange rates.
EASY TARGET
Investors have plenty of reason to dislike the dollar. First and foremost, there is the matter of interest rates. Official U.S. rates are lower than those in the euro zone and are set to fall further this week. Then there is the widespread worry that the U.S. economy may have already tipped into a recession.
Ultimately, the weak greenback may force the U.S. central bank to truncate its rate-cutting campaign, should inflation spiral out of control.
However, for at least the foreseeable future, the Fed is full steam ahead. Another set of credit shocks and another round of gloomy economic pronouncements have left little doubt in investors’ minds that the U.S. central bank will shave three-quarters of a percentage point off its benchmark interest rate when its policy-setting committee meets on Tuesday.
An unexpected drop in February U.S. retail sales, hard on the heels of a report showing a sharp contraction in the job market, cemented Wall Street’s view that the world’s biggest economy was tipping into recession and could drag everyone else down with it.
A three-quarter-point cut would take the federal funds rate to 2.25 percent, the lowest since December 2004 and less than half of what it was before failing U.S. subprime mortgages froze credit markets last summer.
Across the Atlantic, the ECB and Swiss National Bank both cut their growth forecasts this month, but jacked up inflation expectations. That led investors to conclude that the ECB is unlikely to budge until inflation cools, even as European companies howl over faltering exports. Unlike the Fed, which is tasked with the often-contradictory missions of taming inflation and promoting full employment, the ECB has one main focus — price stability.
A report on Friday suggested euro zone exporters have good reason to be concerned. The ECB report showed euro zone exports were less competitive during the last 12 months, and the pace of erosion was faster than in the previous year.
The International Monetary Fund gave a grim assessment of the world economy on March 12, warning that the credit crisis that began with failing U.S. subprime mortgages was worsening and global growth was at risk. But the Fund also said both the Fed and ECB were acting appropriately.
“The signs of economic distress are much clearer in the U.S. than in the European economy,” John Lipsky, IMF first deputy managing director, told Reuters in a recent interview. “There’s no subprime mortgage (market) to be melting down.”
That also means no relief in sight for the dollar.

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Euro up against dollar

Euro up against dollar

LONDON, June 17 (Reuters) – The dollar slipped against the euro while sterling sold off widely on Tuesday as traders broadly scaled back expectations of how high U.S., euro zone and UK interest rates will be raised to tame inflation.
The dollar initially weakened broadly after the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal reported Fed officials suggesting market expectations of how high and quickly U.S. rates will be raised had gone too far.
There was also a scaling back of rate hike bets in the euro zone after European Central Bank Executive Board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi said that a quarter-point rate hike should be enough to bring inflation below the ECB’s 2 percent target.
Then Bank of England Governor Mervyn King, in a mandatory letter to the UK Treasury explaining why inflation surged more than a percentage point above the BoE’s 2 percent target, said the path for interest rates remained “uncertain”.
“From a macroeconomic persepctive there is still uncertainty about the outlook in the U.S. and there is some feeling that the market has got ahead of itself,” in expecting rate hikes, said Phyllis Papadavid, currency strategist at Societe Generale.
“And the BoE is in an uncomfortable situation. Growth isn’t looking particularly good … but they have to grapple with these higher inflation rates. It certainly isn’t a good time for sterling,” she said.
At 1115 GMT the dollar index was down 0.1 percent on the day at 73.63,.
The euro was up 0.2 percent against the dollar at $1.5500, a cent off its intraday peak.
Sterling was down 0.7 percent against the dollar at $1.9500 — almost 2 full cents down from its intraday high — and the euro was up 0.8 percent against sterling at 79.50 pence.

UK INFLATION
U.S. interest rate futures markets are currently pricing in around 75 basis points of policy tightening from the Fed this year, effectively three hikes of 25 basis points each. Late last week, these markets had priced in almost 100 basis points of hikes. For more on the WSJ and FT stories, see.
The dollar resumed its broad move lower on Monday after a weekend Group of Eight meeting yielded no joint statement about the weakness of the U.S. currency and data showed manufacturing in New York state contracting in June for the fourth time in five months.
“We certainly don’t see the Fed putting on 50-75 basis points this year so our view is that markets were getting ahead of themselves,” said Martin McMahon, FX strategist at Credit Suisse in Zurich.
U.S. producer prices and housing starts data for May and first quarter current account figures could offer more clues to the Fed’s rates path at 1230 GMT.
Quarterly earnings results from Goldman Sachs are also due later on Tuesday, potentially a reminder to investors that the credit crisis isn’t over.
In Europe, meanwhile, the main mover for FX markets on Tuesday was the UK consumer price index for May. The annual rate jumped to 3.3 percent from 3 percent, the highest since the BoE was granted independence in 1997 and more than enough to prompt a letter to the Treasury from King explaining the rise.
But King struck a rather more ‘dovish’ tone than many had expected, arguing that aggressive action to cool price pressures over a 12-month horizon would spur market volatility and that inflation could even undershoot its target over two years.
“For the time being we expect the Bank of England to sit on its hands. We still see the next interest rate move being downwards, albeit likely delayed relative to our previous view,” said George Buckley, UK economist at Deutsche Bank.
In the euro zone, Germany’s ZEW index of economic sentiment for June came in sharply below forecasts (See), pushing down euro zone yields and implied rates.
The euro was little changed on the day against the yen at 167.42 yen, slipping off an earlier 11-month peak of 167.82 yen.
The dollar was steady against the yen at 108.10 yen, still off the four-month highs set on Monday.

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Dexia to provide $5 bln credit

Dexia to provide $5 bln credit

BRUSSELS, June 23 (Reuters) – Belgian-French financial services group Dexia said on Monday it would provide a $5 billion credit line to its U.S. bond insurance subsidiary FSA.
Dexia, one of the world’s largest municipal lenders, said it was committed to taking all necessary measures to guarantee FSA’s AAA ratings and its position in public finance.
“(Dexia) will take the necessary steps… to confirm to clients and investors that we are in for the long haul, even if such steps are not necessary from a strict liquidity point of view,” Dexia said in a statement.
The line will have an initial term of five years and will be renewed as needed thereafter.
Dexia said it and FSA had demonstrated over the last quarters that they were able to provide credit and financing to the U.S. and international public sector at attractive returns.
“In a ravaged industry, this does not come by accident,” Dexia said.
Dexia has repeatedly stressed FSA was the only U.S. bond insurer that avoided risky asset-backed security collateralised debt obligations (ABS CDOs), in contrast with rivals.
Competitors MBIA Inc and Ambac Financial Group have had their triple-A ratings cut by S&P this month, while Moody’s has said it is likely to cut their ratings.
FSA still reported a net loss of $421.6 million in the first quarter after taking after-tax charges on credit default swaps and loss expenses on mortgage exposure. Dexia itself made a 5 billion euro ($7.77 billion) write-down in the first three months.
Dexia shares have dropped 36.5 percent since the start of April and plunged 14.6 percent last week alone, hitting its lowest level in five years. The DJ Stoxx European banking index is off 18.3 percent since the beginning of April and fell 5.4 percent last week.
Broker Dresdner Kleinwort wrote in a report on Friday it was concerned about the risk of losses at FSA and the possibility it might lose its AAA credit rating status. Dresdner cut its advice to “reduce” from “hold”.

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Catastrophe bond markets surviving

Catastrophe bond markets surviving

LONDON, June 24 (Reuters) – Forced asset sales that have frozen major markets in the credit crisis have caused barely a ripple in the $22 billion catastrophe bond market this year and instead only enhanced its liquidity.
Goldman Sachs estimates secondary trading volumes are up 35 percent over a year ago. Dealer Swiss Re’s volumes amounted to about $1 billion to March versus $2 billion in all of 2007, said Managing Director Albert O. Selius.
“I have been trading for more than seven years, and I have never had a problem selling a bond,” Selius said.
While the credit crisis led to waves of asset sales and created price distortions in major triple-A markets such as U.S. government agency debt, yields for catastrophe bonds, most of them junk-rated, stayed on a three-year tightening trend.
Trading has increased as some investors shifted allocations to take advantage of opportunities in other distressed areas and as some hedge fund groups such as Peloton Partners and D. B. Zwirn & Co. had to liquidate assets.
U.S. money manager Pioneer Investments was disappointed that the Peloton sell-off in March did not enable it to add much cheap catastrophe risk to its $181 million Diversified High Income Trust, said Michael Temple, head of U.S. fixed income research.
“We were hoping it would affect the market more. Within a month (spreads) had settled back to tighter than we would like.”
Jerry Ouderkirk, Goldman Sachs’ head of catastrophe bond trading, said: “In none of the cases where we have received multiple-line entries on bid lists thus far this year can I say that any of those sales processes materially moved the market.”
LEVERAGE NOT A PROBLEM
While the crisis has improved liquidity, another aspect of the catastrophe bond or cat market has helped insulate it from financial turmoil: Dealers had provided little or no leverage.
At most, a large investor might be able to lever a diversified portfolio of, say, 10 different perils by as much as three times, versus 30 to one in other markets, Selius said.
“That’s what saved the market, and I don’t see it changing in the future,” he added.
Said Pioneer’s Temple: “With a high-yield bond or loan, there is some recovery … With cat bonds, it’s usually all or nothing. It’s a low-probability event, but when it does happen, you can get wiped out.”
Cat prices are also relatively immune to general market sentiment and to short-selling strategies dependent on market technicals.
“Sentiment is not a primary driver in the cat marketplace but a secondary driver,” said Barney Schauble, a partner at Nephila Capital, a Bermuda-based hedge fund specialising in insurance risk with about $2.4 billion under management.
“Either you are going to have a hurricane or not. No one can make those things move against you,” he added.
Liquidity provides reassurance to investors, who look to cat risk mainly for diversification. “One of the prerequisites of getting into this market was determining that there was enough liquidity,” Temple said.
Bid/offer spreads range from 10 to 35 basis points, according to Selius. That’s in a market where most bonds are issued in amounts of $50 million to $250 million.
Ouderkirk put the typical range at 20 to 40 basis points. “I also run the CLO (collateralised loan obligation) trading desk, which is a much larger secondary market by market volume, and thus far this year the bid/offers in cats have been tighter.”
SUPPLY UNAFFFECTED
Strong demand has done little, however, to boost supply. Issuance is down this year to about $2 billion as of mid-June.
“Growth has flattened out going into 2008”, after ending 2007 at $23 billion, said Mike Millette, Goldman’s head of structured finance. “We expect issuance to exceed maturities and the market to be larger than $23 billion at year-end.”
Insurers are transferring all the risk they need to transfer.
“The amount of risk transfer is huge”, because the riskiest pieces at junk and low investment-grade levels go into the market, while insurers keep AA and AAA exposure, Selius said.
“On a risk-transfer basis, this market is as large as some other markets”, which sell the entire capital structure such as asset-backed securities, he said.
A jump in supply could occur depending on two factors, Millette said. One would be a costly disaster, which would refocus insurers’ attention on potential losses and increase demand for protection. The other is the supply of protection available through the traditional reinsurance market. In the year following the three large storms of 2005, which included Katrina, prices for U.S. wind risk doubled or tripled. Since that time, they have fallen roughly 10 percent each renewal, Schauble said.
“Spreads are still high relative to the 2002 to 2004 period and the asset class is still extremely attractive,” he added.
Insurer USAA in May sold $125 million of BB-rated three-year U.S. hurricane and earthquake risk at 675 basis points over Libor and $125 million of B-rated at 1,150 over.
By comparison, the Merrill Lynch BB corporate bond index yields 345 basis points over mid-swaps and the B-rated 578 over, both with weighted average life of more than five years.
Even so, at Pioneer “we’re being cautious right now about increasing exposure,” Temple said. “Two to three years ago, spreads were extraordinarily wide and attractive, but there has been no major event since, and everybody is looking to buy in.”
 

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Kenya to invest in infrastructure

Kenya to invest in infrastructure

NAIROBI, June 23 (Reuters) – A World Bank economist urged the Kenyan government on Monday to develop the country’s poor infrastructure, particularly power generating capacity, to attract more investment.
Giuseppe Iarossi said a competitiveness assessment carried out last year by the bank showed the biggest indirect cost to firms operating in Kenya was from disruptions to power supply.
“Electricity remains the main challenge … the losses associated with power interruptions in Kenya is relatively high at around 8 percent,” Iarossi told reporters in Nairobi.
Transport was the other main infrastructure issue hurting businesses in east Africa’s biggest economy, he said.
Like other African countries, Kenya is facing rapidly growing demand for power as economic activity increases.
Kenya’s economy grew 7 percent last year, compared to 6.4 percent in 2006. But it is expected to nearly halve to about 4 percent this year due to the aftermath of January’s post-election crisis and high inflation.
Iarossi said that additional investment — and the participation of the private sector — in the generation and transmission of electricity would minimise disruptions.
“This has been done in a number of countries and it can be done in Kenya as well. It will boost the level and quality of the infrastructure in the country,” he said.
The Kenya Electricity Generating Company, which produces about 80 percent of Kenya’s electricity, plans to develop geothermal capacity to meet the growing demand.
The World Bank report found the country had improved its competitiveness by doubling overall productivity. But firms surveyed complained of high taxes, corruption and inadequate security, among other challenges.
Finance Minister Amos Kimunya agreed with the findings: “We are keenly aware that much more remains to be done to deepen reforms if we are to become globally competitive,” he said.
Kenya emerged among the top 10 reformers in a separate World Bankreport, which ranks countries by ease of doing business, due to an ambitious licensing reform programme.
Some 315 business licences have been eliminated and another 379 made simpler to acquire, the minister said.
 

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Oil eases from record high, dollar rallies

Oil eases from record high, dollar rallies

LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) – Oil fell from record highs near $110 a barrel on Tuesday as the U.S. dollar rallied after the Federal Reserve and other central banks injected liquidity into strained financial1 markets.
U.S. light crude for April delivery was down 75 cents at $107.15 a barrel by 1400 GMT, after it touched a record $109.72 a barrel — the fifth straight day of new records.
London Brent crude was down 32 cents at $103.84, off its record high of $105.82.
“Oil is definitely reacting to the reversal of the dollar,” said Tom Bentz, analyst at BNP Paribas Commodity Futures Inc. “On coordinated central bank liquidity action.”
The U.S. Federal Reserve announced a new effort with other central banks to add up to $200 billion to strained credit markets, boosting stocks and helping the dollar rally.
The Fed said it was expanding a securities lending programme and will accept a broader base of securities as collateral, including many mortgage bonds whose value has declined as the housing bubble burst.
The dollar rose nearly a full yen, and trimmed its losses against the euro.
The euro rallied to an all-time high against the struggling U.S. dollar earlier on Tuesday, anticipating more interest cuts by the Federal Reserve to boost the flagging economy in the United States, the world’s top energy consumer.

AN ERA OF HIGHER PRICES
Oil prices had dipped slightly after the International Energy Agency said world oil demand would be less than expected this year because of slower economic growth in industrialised countries and record prices.
But the agency also said only a severe recession would push oil back below $60 a barrel.
“We are in an era of higher oil prices and so if we look at $100 oil we have to do so with an understanding that prices are unlikely to return to levels seen in the early part of the decade,” said the IEA, which advises 27 industrialised countries..
Oil has set a string of record highs as a bullish long-term supply outlook for oil and other commodities has continued to suck in investment flows looking for alternatives to equities and bonds that are overshadowed by the credit market crises and fears of a U.S. slowdown.
“Looking at the big picture, we believe that the recent price surges in the commodity sector have been for the most part triggered by large capital inflows from institutional investors, hedge funds above all,” said fund manager Tiberius Asset Management in a research note.
Goldman Sachs warned oil was at risk from substantial fund liquidation due to cyclical fundamental weaknesses in the next few months, but the investment bank remains constructive on energy for the long-term.
“We believe that the combination of low economic growth in the United States and high oil price inflation will have its strongest impact on demand in the first half of the year,” the investment bank said in a research note.
The latest update on fuel supplies in the United States, due on Wednesday, is forecast to show a 1.9 million barrel rise in crude oil inventories last week, according to a preliminary Reuters poll.

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Wishful thinking

Wishful thinking

NEW YORK, July 3 (Reuters) – The dollar may build on its gains next week now that the latest U.S. jobs data has failed to confirm the market’s worst fears, keeping alive the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates before the year is out.
While the U.S. economy remains weak, things could be worse for the dollar, which dodged two bullets this week and headed into a three-day weekend up sharply against major currencies.
U.S. data on Thursday showed the economy shed jobs in June for a sixth straight month, but the decline was not as severe as financial markets had feared.
Dollar buying accelerated after European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said the bank’s move to hike interest rates to 4.25 percent would help achieve price stability, dousing market expectations of more hikes ahead.
Investors had feared that hefty U.S. job losses and a hawkish ECB intent on fighting inflation with multiple rate hikes — while the Federal Reserve stays on the sidelines — would send the euro soaring to a new record above $1.60 .
Instead, the payrolls data and cautious ECB “is moderately good news” for the dollar because “it does not prevent the Fed from possibly raising rates in September,” said Boris Schlossberg, currency strategist at DailyFX.com in New York.
Markets are pricing in a half point of Fed rate hikes by year end.
The euro fell more than two cents against the dollar on Thursday and was on track for its worst week in the last three.
The U.S. and euro zone economic calendars are thin next week, but analysts say a quiet week may be just what the embattled dollar needs.
“The risk until now had been that the euro would break above $1.60 and keep moving higher, but that risk has dissipated somewhat,” said Nick Bennenbroek, head of FX strategy at Wells Fargo in New York.
“My sense is there’s a reasonable chance that the dollar could build on its gains next week,” he added, “primarily because there is not going to be much new on tap.”
Meg Browne, currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York, said the euro could slip to $1.56 next week.
Markets will get two chances to hear Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speak, with Thursday’s testimony before Congress about financial market regulation likely to get the most attention.
A Group of Eight meeting in Japan will also be watched for any comments about currencies or the high price of oil.
In the long run, it still looks like an uphill climb for the dollar, analysts say, as continued economic weakness will complicate the Fed’s future interest rate decisions even as the price of oil hits record highs near $150 and inflation mounts.
Meanwhile, consumer confidence continues to weaken, making Friday’s preliminary Reuters/University of Michigan survey of consumer sentiment of particular interest.
Analysts say the yen’s fortunes are likely to wax and wane with equity prices and investor risk appetite, though Bennenbroek said investors should be on guard for weakness in emerging Asian currencies, such as the Korean won , which continue to struggle with the impact of high oil prices.

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How to be successful

How to be successful

Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect, but It Comes Fairly Close
We are not all blessed with the brains, beauty, luck, and capital that we associate with highly successful business people or entrepreneurs. Although most new business ventures fail, a few prosper and grow rapidly. A new article from the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal demystifies this game of success, and shows that exceptional performance is not necessarily the direct result of special talent, experience, or sheer luck.
Instead, it derives from engaging in sustained, intense, and deliberate practice in a particular area of expertise, in order to improve performance and cognitive thinking levels. Lead author Dr. Robert A. Baron says, “The same principles that apply to starting a new venture, such as self-regulatory mechanisms, and delaying gratification for a more long-term goal, apply to the process of getting in shape athletically. Through a sustained, intense effort someone can build the strength of their body or their business.”
The authors show that across many fields of expertise most people work only “hard enough” to achieve a level of performance that is deemed “acceptable” by themselves and others, with no further gains. Through the principle of deliberate practice most anyone, the authors claim, can rise above this plateau to true excellence.
Entrepreneurs can acquire new capacities that can assist them in starting or running a new venture, or allow them to adapt to unforeseen circumstances, such as a drop in the economy, or PR crisis. These capacities include an ability to zero in on the most important information in a given situation, and more easily access valuable information stored in the long-term memory, or by increasing the capacity of short-term working memory. These factors also help secure a positive outcome: preparation, repetition, self-observation, self-reflection, and continuous feedback on results. These efforts lead to a healthy self-efficacy, or an individual’s confidence in their ability and what is known as mature intuition.