Friday, January 31, 2020
The Gothic Mode as Subversive Essay Why is Gothic literature considered subversive? First we consider the definition of subversive. Anything that works against the dominant culture is called subversive. Gothic literature focuses on death and decay, which is a negative attitude. The majority of Gothic writers are not motivated by any high ideals. Instead they are intent on making money, and so aim for cheap thrills. A good example is the Ã¢â¬Å"penny-dreadfulsÃ¢â¬ of the Victorian era, which were cheap serializations of bloodthirsty tales carrying titles like Ã¢â¬ËVarney the VampireÃ¢â¬â¢. The Gothic mode is not necessarily subversive. If it can be shown that the Gothic mode is expressive of culture, and therefore does not work against it, we may conclude that it is not necessarily subversive. It may be argued that Gothic is a subgenre of Romanticism, which is acknowledged to be a cultural phenomenon. There are possible exceptions, and authors may always take advantage of a popular medium, and will strive to pander to basic instincts. But the strategy is to show that there is an underlying social need that Gothic literature addresses to, and therefore it cannot be called antisocial. What it Romantic literature, and how do the Romanticists evaluate Gothic? Romantic literature is professed to be that which emphasizes imagination over reason. William Wordsworth is a leading light of Romanticism, and the Preface which he wrote for the second edition of his Lyrical Ballads is seen by many to be the manifesto of the movement. In the same Preface Wordsworth reacted violently against the Gothic genre, averring that Ã¢â¬Å"the human mind is capable of excitement without the application of gross and violent stimulants; and he must have a very faint perception of its beauty and dignity who does not further know that one being is elevated above another in proportion as he possesses this capabilityÃ¢â¬ (2004, p. 6). Wordsworth conceives Romanticism as an philosophical ideal. According to this ideal Romantic literature is meant to ennoble human passion and feeling. Gothic literature does not seem to measure up to this ideal, and so it is rejected by the Romanticists. Why the Romanticists are wrong in their assessment of Gothic literature, in the context of Horace WalpoleÃ¢â¬â¢s The Castle of Otranto? The Romanticists fail to acknowledge that their philosophy is rational, and therefore they are advocating a merger of reason and imagination, and they are not merely surrendering themselves to imagination alone. Analysing the substance of Horace WalpoleÃ¢â¬â¢s The Castle of Otranto, we also find a marriage between the imaginary and the factual. The novel is of imaginative content, and yet it is eager to establish itself as factual. To this end Walpole interposes himself as mere translator of an ancient manuscript that has newly been discovered. The long title and the extended Preface go to great lengths to establish this pretence. The substantive part of the novel is also engaged merely in keeping up this pretence, and therefore to keep the original mood intact. There is a succession of mysterious occurrences, laced with energizing diction, which creates an aura of continuous suspense and action, without any effort towards a coherent and unified story. The setting of the story is all important, and it is meant to be evocative of a mysterious past. The pretence towards factuality is merely meant to be a trigger to the imagination. Thus, the factual leads to the imaginative, and the imaginative to the factual. In this way the two aspects are merged. This is why WalpoleÃ¢â¬â¢s novel should be classed as Romantic. Gothic literature as protest. Romanticism was a protest against the ethos of the Enlightenment. The latter was a 18th century phenomenon that emphasized reason above all else, and looked back to ancient Greece and Rome for inspiration. The Romanticists felt that too much stress on reason suppresses the imagination. If Gothic be classed as Romanticism we should be able to identify in it the same protest. Indeed, the earlier manifestation of Gothic in the context of architecture was indeed a protest of the same sort. The Ã¢â¬Å"Gothic revivalÃ¢â¬ was a phenomenon that originating in Germany, and was a protest against the humanist tendencies of the Italian renaissance. It meant to re-establish the medieval values of religion and community against the atheist and cosmopolitan tendencies of Italy. It was mainly expressed through the architecture of churches, abbeys and cathedrals. Its ornateness was deliberately pitched against the homogenizing tendency in classical art. Its elongated spires and arches were deliberately pointed towards heaven, emphasizing the otherworldly, which was a protest against the humanist ethos which wants to flatten all things to the earth. Gothic architecture is indeed a precursor to the Romanticism of the 18th century, which was also a reaction against neoclassicism and the humanist ethos. Margaret Drabble suggests that the Ã¢â¬ËGothicÃ¢â¬â¢ in the title merely means medieval, so that Ã¢â¬Å"Gothic taleÃ¢â¬ merely means Ã¢â¬Å"medieval taleÃ¢â¬ (1995, p. 412). This may be true, but the term carries far more significance. It originally referred to the architectural style, which originates from Germany, the land of the Goths. The eponymous Castle of Otranto is a Gothic building. Following WalpoleÃ¢â¬â¢s cue the genre itself came to be heavily dependent on such Ã¢â¬ËGothicÃ¢â¬â¢ settings. It may be argued that Gothic literature is not only characterized by setting. Indeed, we may detect in it the same philosophy which has animated the Gothic revivalism of Germany. In this way Gothic literature is a protest, and coincides with the protest of Romanticism. This will establish the Gothic mode of literature to be a subgenre of Romanticism, and therefore no longer subversive. Why the fascination with death? The Marquis de Sade offers a contemporary explanation of the Gothic fascination with death. In his Ideas on the Novel suggests that it was the shock of the French Revolution that caused literature to react in such an unusual way. He continues, Ã¢â¬Å"For one who knew all the miseries with which the wicked can afflict humanity the novel became as difficult to create as it was monotonous to readÃ¢â¬ (qtd. in Bruhm 1994, p. 161). In short, a new form of literature was required to take the place of the defunct optimistic strain of the Enlightenment. The chaos and terror unleashed by the Revolution represents a terrible shock to the general ethos of the age, and something that defied comprehension. The reflection of this in literature was the advent of the Gothic mode. The unsettled imagination refocused on death, instead of on light and life, as was characteristic of the Enlightenment. But against this it may be argued that in previous ages people has turned to the supernatural for comfort in periods of discontent. The supernatural is not a part of the the Gothic, which is more inclined towards the natural and the factual. It may also be argued against Sade that Gothic literature begins well before the storming of the Bastille. In this light, it is more reasonable to see the genre as an extension of Romanticism, and as constituting part of the same Romantic protest. From this point of view the French Revolution itself is a confirmation of the fears inherent in the Romantic protest. Gothic as a corrective to the ethos of the Enlightenment. Gothic should be properly seen as a protest against the cold calculation of extreme rationalism. The Enlightenment focused on light and life, and therefore tended to overlook death. It believed that with the light of reason all obstacles could be overcome. But the French Revolution functioned as a staggering reminder of death. Even before the revolution the subconscious sought to explain death, which clarifies the Gothic fascination. Karl Marx warns us that Ã¢â¬Å"the tradition of all the generations of the dead weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the livingÃ¢â¬ (1963, p. 1). To ignore death is a form of suppression. Therefore, Gothic taste for death is best explained as a corrective to the ethos of the Enlightenment. In the age of reason men were reluctant to turn to the supernatural. Instead the focus was on death in outlandish and displaced circumstances. Analysing the issue David Punter comes to the conclusion that Ã¢â¬Å"[w]ithin the Gothic we can find a very intense, if displaced, engagement with political and social problemsÃ¢â¬ (1994, p. 56). The engagement, as we have seen, is through a focus of death, and the displacement takes place through setting the narrative in the medieval period, or in Ã¢â¬ËGothicÃ¢â¬â¢ setting which is evocative of a bygone age. How Gothic relates to Romanticism proper, and the question of being subversive revisited. The proper strain of Romanticism claims to work against the rationalist ethos. But it too fails to consider death, and prefers to dwell on the Ã¢â¬ËhigherÃ¢â¬â¢ ideals of feeling and imagination. The Gothic mode makes up for this lack in Romanticism, and therefore must be considered more Romantic, than a typical work of Blake or Wordsworth, for it is spontaneous in its composition, and is not burdened by a conscious philosophy. Gothic literature can be said to have sprung from the context of its age. It professes all the Romanticism does, but in an entirely natural way. If Romanticism is a protest against the strictures of rationalism and neoclassicism, then Gothic literature is too. In this context it is significant to note that the Gothic mode is still vigorously active to this day, while Romanticism is now studied as a historical phenomenon. This is testimony of the authenticity of the Gothic, as against the measured cadences penned by Wordsworth. The essential value of Gothic literature is attested to from many respectable quarters. Commenting on the genre, Edgar Allan Poe says that Ã¢â¬Å"terror is not of Germany, but of the soulÃ¢â¬ (qtd. in Asselineau 1970, p. 17). Assessing the works of Ann Radcliffe, arguably the greatest of the early Gothic writers, Donald Spector says that Ã¢â¬Å"she united terror and beautyÃ¢â¬ (1963, p. 6). These comments are indicative of the profundity and beauty contained in works that are otherwise merely sensationalist and lightweight on the surface. In Northanger Abbey Jane Austen provides a spoof of the genre which is at the same time an affirmation. The naive heroine, Catherine, who is addicted to Gothic fiction, and lives in her imagination, in thrown headlong into the world to learn the ropes. Henry Tilney is attracted to her because of her naivete, and enthuses about her literary taste: Ã¢â¬Å"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupidÃ¢â¬ (Austen 2003, p. 77). Austen portrays Henry as a paragon of common sense, and so it is not unlikely that his opinion is that of the author. Catherine has an irresistible urge to believe in Gothic literature, so when she comes upon a real Gothic abbey she begins to imagine dark designs in every unusual detail. Austen demonstrates that even in parody the gothic mode is intrinsically exciting, and to deny such pleasure is a mark of literary snobbishness. She intends to explain rather than condemn. The continuing relevance of the Gothic mode. The inference is that the Gothic genre tries to make sense of death when the rational core of society is in denial. Rationalism is by nature retrospective, and Emerson explains, Ã¢â¬Å"Our age is retrospective. It builds the sepulchres of the fathers. It writes biographies, histories, and criticism. The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face; we, through their eyesÃ¢â¬ (2003, p. 181). Out failure to apprehend nature directly leads to alienation, which Gothic literature means to address. In its original context the Gothic was a protest against the cold calculation of extreme rationalism, and the same argument may be provided to explain its continuing appeal in modern mechanized society. Rationalism argues selectively from the past, but carefully ignores death. This is a form of suppression. Gothic literature is deemed to be subversive because of a seemingly unhealthy appetite for death. But when seen in the context of overcoming suppression and alienation, we must conclude that it is a mistake to classify Gothic literature as necessarily subversive. References ASSELINEAU, R. , 1970. Edgar Allan Poe. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. AUSTEN, J. , 2003. Northanger Abbey, Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sandition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. BRUHM, S. , 1994. Gothic Bodies: The Politics of Pain in Romantic Fiction. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. DRABBLE, M. , 1995. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press. EMERSON, R. W. , 2003. Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Eds. W. H. Gilman, C. Johnson. New York: Signet Classic. MARX, K. , 1963. The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, With Explanatory Notes. New York: International Publishers. PUNTER, D. , 1996. The Literature of Terror: A History of Gothic Fictions. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Longman. SPECTOR, D. , (Ed. ) 1963. Seven Masterpieces of Gothic Horror. New York: Bantam. WALPOLE, H. ; BECKFORD, W. ; SHELLEY, M. W. , 1968. Three Gothic Novels: The Castle of Otranto; Vathek; Frankenstein. Eds. P. Fairclough, Mario Praz. New York: Penguin Classics. WORDSWORTH, W. , 2004. Lyrical Ballads with Other Poems 1800. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing.
Thursday, January 23, 2020
The Prime Minister of Great Britain There are a lot of political issues in Great Britain today. United Kingdom is a large, industrialized democratic society and as such it has to have politics and therefore political issues. One of those issues how should executive branch work and whether the Prime Minister has too much power. Right now in Great Britain there is a great debate on this issue and I am going to examine it in detail. The facts I have used here are from different writings on British politics which are all listed in my bibliography, but the opinions are my own and so are the arguments that I used to support my views. First let me explain the process through which a person becomes a Prime Minister. The PM is selected by the sovereign. He (or she) chooses a man who can command the support of majority of the members of the House of Commons. Such a man is normally the leader of the largest party in the House. Where two are rivals in a three party contest such as those which occurred in the 1920s he is usually selected from the party which wins the greatest number of seats. The Prime Minister is assumed to be the choice of his party and nowadays, so far as he can be ascertained, participation of a monarch is a pure formality. Anyone suggested for this highest political office obviously has to be a very smart and willing individual, in fact it has been suggested that he be an "uncommon man of common opinions"(Douglas V. Verney). Not all Prime Ministers fitted this bill exactly, but every on of them had to pass one important test: day-to-day scrutiny of their motives and behavior by fellow members of Parliament before they were ultimately elected to the leadership of their party. Unlike Presidents of the United States all Prime Ministers have served a long apprenticeship in the legislature and have been ministers in previous Cabinets. Many Presidents of our country have been elected and on many occasions they have never even met some of their future co-workers, such as case of Kissinger and Nixon who have never even met prior to Nixon's appointment. Let's now examine the statutory duties and responsibilities of the Prime Minister. Unlike the United States where the President's duties are specifically written out in the Constitution, the powers of the Prime Minister are almost nowhere spelled out in a statute. Unlike his fellow ministers he does not receive the seals of office: he merely kisses the hands of the monarch like an ambassador.
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
BUSINESS ANALYSIS AND VALUATION REPORT Scheduled Class: Monday 2:00pm to 5:00pm 1. Introduction Harvey Norman is now a public company that is listed on the stock exchange, whose principal activities primarily consist of an integrated franchising, retail and property entity. It is one of AustraliaÃ¢â¬â¢s most successful retail groups, operating more than 150 franchised department stores, which focus on selling computers, home entertainment equipment and home appliances. It offers Australian consumers an extensive product range, cutting edge technology and market leadership in most product categories. In this report, an in depth industry and company analysis will be provided in order to gain an understanding of the qualitative aspects of Harvey NormanÃ¢â¬â¢s operation. 2. Industry Analysis 2. 1 Main Products Harvey Norman belongs to the retailing industry. The main products offered by Harvey Norman consist of: electrical, computer, furniture, entertainment and bedding goods. However, being distinctive from its competitors, Harvey Norman is a franchise and the main brand owned by Harvey Norman Holdings Limited. 2. 2 Future Prospects In the next year, the competition in Australian retailing industry is likely to remain strong. Benefited from the GovernmentÃ¢â¬â¢s stimulus package during the GFC, AustraliansÃ¢â¬â¢ ability to consume has recovered. Therefore, this boost in consumption has caused a pressure of inflation. In order to mitigate the negative effect of inflation, there has been frequent increase of interest rate by the Reserve Bank. Therefore, with interest rate rising, consumption in retailing goods is likely to reduce in the short term. In the next five years, the Australian Dollar is going to remain strong. As a result, imported retailing goods are likely to be cheaper for Australian consumers. Retailers in Australia are likely to continue their expansion to the overseas market. It is because retailers demand further improvements to the operational performance. In the long run, retailers are likely to increase their share in key growth markets combined with the brand strength of their own company, in order to ensure future growth. These speculations are based on principles of economics, as well as assessments of the changes in AustralianÃ¢â¬â¢s consumption ability. 2. 3 Market Competition Review Harvey Norman competes in the five main retailing industries including: electrical, computer, furniture, entertainment and bedding goods. Each industry has its own main player. The main players in the electrical and computer goods industry include: Clive Peeters, Dick Smiths and Bing Lee. 1) Clive PeetersÃ¢â¬â¢s retail coverage is the most similar to Harvey Norman in Australia. Their main products include: Audio Visual, Kitchen appliances and white goods. Clive PeetersÃ¢â¬â¢ stores carry more than 140 brands and over 20,000 individual models. This company can be seen as a major competitor to Harvey Norman because of their similarity in size. 2) Bing Lee specializes in consumer electronics, computer and telecommunication goods. Unlike Harvey Norman, Bing Lee is a privately-held electrical retail business in New South Wales with 41 stores and a turnover of about $490 million. Although it is the largest privately-held business in this industry, Bing Lee remains as a relatively small size retailer comparing to Harvey Norman. 3) Dick Smith (formerly Dick Smith Electronics) is an international electronics retailer. It is a major competitor to Harvey Norman. Among all retailing industries where Harvey Norman competes in, the company remains dominant in the key product areas of audio, computers and visual products such as notebooks and flat panel televisions. The company holds the number one position in the markets of white goods and technology products. 3Company Analysis 3. 1 Company Choice As one of AustraliaÃ¢â¬â¢s largest and most successful retailers, Harvey Norman has business interests in various areas including electrical, computer, furniture, entertainment and bedding goods. With more than 160 stores located in Australia, New Zealand, Slovenia, Ireland, Malaysia and Singapore, Harvey Norman is a conglomerate/franchise, which provides millions of consumers with products ranging from notebook computers to sofas to beddings. To run a successful business operation of Harvey NormanÃ¢â¬â¢s magnitude requires not only operational excellence, but also strategic insight and vision on macro economic conditions, market trends forecasts and also a distinctive understanding and implementation of the companyÃ¢â¬â¢s business strength. The companyÃ¢â¬â¢s strong business operations across multiple product areas/industries make Harvey Norman an interest case study to analyze Ã¢â¬â both from an operations point of view as well as strategic. Furthermore, given the challenging market conditions in 2008 and 2009, it would be interesting to analyze how Harvey Norman responded to the economic downturn. The company observed Ã¢â¬Å"a significant improvement in net profit from underlying business operations during the last 6 months of FY2009Ã¢â¬ , according to Harvey NormanÃ¢â¬â¢s 2009 Annual Report. It would be insightful to see what strategies and tactics were used by Harvey Norman to achieve this result, especially in the integrated, franchise and property system sectors since these were reported by the company to be Ã¢â¬Å"resilient in achieving strong results and growing market share in all key product categories. Ã¢â¬ 3. 2 Company History DateSignificant Event(s) 961Gerry Harvey & Ian Norman established the Norman Ross chain of stores 1979Norman Ross became one of the largest appliance retail chains; controlled 42 stores with sales exceeding AUD240 million 1982Norman Ross was sold and a single Harvey Norman store was started in Auburn, Sydney. 1987Harvey Norman Holdings Limited was listed on the Australian stock market Early 1990sHarvey Norman adopted the superstore forma t and entered the computer and furniture markets 1998Joyce Mayne acquisition 2000The chain grew to 100 stores 3. 3 Competitive Advantage Harvey NormanÃ¢â¬â¢s competitive advantage can be classified into Ã¢â¬Å"hardwareÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"softwareÃ¢â¬ perspectives with the Ã¢â¬Å"hardwareÃ¢â¬ component incorporating corporate strategy and business structure while the Ã¢â¬Å"softwareÃ¢â¬ component incorporating leadership skills and management style: Ã¢â¬ ¢Corporate Strategy: Harvey Norman embraces and successfully maximizes benefits bought forth by the economies of scale (both on the purchasing as well as market side); achieves seamless integration of its retail, franchise and property systems; has excellent brand awareness, which translates into brand loyalty from customers. Business structure: Harvey Norman has successfully setup, adopted and utilized the franchising operation which enables it to generate revenue from multiple sources; it has a diversified product base which can help mitigate risks and capture a wider customer base. Ã¢â¬ ¢Leadership skills: Harvey Norman has the ability to identify and ac quire property associated with HNÃ¢â¬â¢s development of retail stores in growth areas, which is a crucial element of the integrated retail and property strategy. Management style: Leadership is able to respond to market change and demand effectively Ã¢â¬â both in terms of products and operations. For example, Harvey Norman has expanded its product offerings and operations into various countries in response to increased demand (from both local and foreign markets). 3. 4 SWOT Analysis Strengths Ã¢â¬ ¢Franchising Operation Ã¢â¬ ¢Improved technology and supply chain management systems. (Global Merchandise Management System) Ã¢â¬ ¢Economies of scale both in purchasing and marketing. Effective integrated retail, franchise and property system and low gearing supports to capitalize competitorsÃ¢â¬â¢ failure. Weaknesses Ã¢â¬ ¢Issue of low profit margin putting continuous pressure Ã¢â¬ ¢Closure of its export and distribution businesses in Singapore and Malaysia has negatively impa cted on the profitability in Asia market. Ã¢â¬ ¢Own only little market shares in the gaming industry. Opportunities Ã¢â¬ ¢The strong performance of the franchising operating segment Ã¢â¬ ¢Expand franchising operations in potential geographical areas and extending product offerings using stable financial capability. Growing market shares in many overseas market such as Malaysia, New Zealand, Slovenia and Ireland Ã¢â¬ ¢OFIS brand is expanding in Australian market as a discount retailer of stationery Threats Ã¢â¬ ¢High inflation, capital market liquidity crisis and decreased demand because of Global financial crisis are affecting the business both locally and internationally. Ã¢â¬ ¢Fall in price on electrical items due to rise of Australian dollar are directly lowering profit margin and increasing expenses. 3. 5 Future Prospects for Harvey Norman Next Year There has been 10 new franchised complexes opened in Australia and a total of 8 leased stores were closed in 2009. A number of stores were also opened in offshore markets including the new OFIS brand, which implies that Harvey Norman is continuously growing its operations and expanding geographically. Net profit from underlying business operations was down by 15. 2% as a result of many write down of assets, revaluation of assets and expenses taken place in the first half year of 2009. However, franchise sales revenue increased by 4%. With the continuous expansion and write down done in the financial year ended in June 20009, it is obvious that sales revenue and net profit will improve in the next year. Next Five Years The companyÃ¢â¬â¢s strong financial position and low gearing allow it to invest to expand its operations and adds value to its brands and businesses across its value chain in the next five years. As shown in the financial highlight 2009, the net profit after tax had declined from 358. 45 million to 214. 35 million as a result of the increased amount of expenses and trading loss of some segments. However, the gross profit has increased, concluding that business is improving and growing. Moreover, the consolidated equity has increased by $1. 12 billion, which dropped the debt/equity from 26. 61% to 26. 56%. It means the company is trying to strengthen their equity position for the next five years as well as the long run. In the Long Run In the long run, Harvey Norman has many opportunities to continuously grow in the future. It has an effective integrated retail, franchise and property system that allows the company to make substantial profit from its owned operations, franchised operations and leased property. Harvey Norman and many of its brands have become the market leaders in its industry and it will continuously extend its product offering across all the brands to maintain its market position. It is confident that Harvey Norman will continuously perform well in the long run. 3. 6 Recent performance Table 1-3 represents the recent 3 yearsÃ¢â¬â¢ performance of HVN: During last three years, there is a slightly incensement in its revenues, the revenue (exclude interest) raised from 2008 to 2009 by 2. 4% as well as from 2007 to 2008 grew by 6. 6%. Table1 HVN Revenues, Expenses and Cash Flows FY2009 ($m) Revenues (Exclude Int) Expenses (Exclude D&A)EBITDAExpenses (D&A)EBITNet Cash Flows $2436. 0$1963. 28$472. 7$91. 04$381. 7$82. 71 Table1 HVN Revenues, Expenses and Cash Flows FY2008 ($m) Revenues (Exclude Int)Expenses (Exclude D&A)EBITDAExpenses (D&A)EBITNet Cash Flows $2378. 4$1873. 24$505. 2$84. 39$420. 8$-127. 18 Table1 HVN Revenues, Expenses and Cash Flows FY2007 ($m) Revenues (Exclude Int)Expenses (Exclude D&A)EBITDAExpenses (D&A)EBITNet Cash Flows $2229. 8$1819. 82$410. 0$74. 88$335. 1$50. 58 Sales revenue for the Harvey Norman consolidated group consists of sales made by New Zealand, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Slovenia and the controlling interest held in Pertama Holdings Limited in Singapore. Consolidated sales revenue also includes Harvey NormanÃ¢â¬â¢s controlling interest in several retail partnerships and the company-run OFIS stores in Australia Consolidated sales revenue for the year ended 30 June 2009 was $1. 44billion compared to $1. 43billion for the year ended 30 June 2008, an increase of 0. 83%, despite the sales revenue decreased in some regions like public of Ireland and New Zealand. The reduction in sales in these regions was due to extremely challenging retailÃ¢â¬â¢s trading conditions and lack of consumer confidence. However, for the purpose of financial report, all the foreign currency is translated in to Australia dollar. Since the depreciation in Australia dollar in the last year, sales revenue decreased in some local markets might show an increase in the financial report in Australia dollar. EBIT reported a loss of $39. 1m in 2009 compared with 2008 due to an increase in depreciation and amortization and operating expenses, comparing with 2007, there is an increase of $95. m in 2008. 3. 7 Accounting Analysis ManagerÃ¢â¬â¢s Incentive of Earning Manipulation There are empirical evidence linking the character of executive compensation with earnings manipulation and fraud. With regard to earnings manipulation, Keith J. (2006) finds that firms with relatively high amount of equity incentives to CEOs, in the forms of unrestricted stock and immediately exerci sable options, are more likely to engage in earnings management by reporting small earnings increase, and also by reporting long strings of increasing earnings. In this case, Harvey NormanÃ¢â¬â¢s executive remuneration packages involve a balance between fixed and performance cash incentives (PCI) which includes short term such as base salary and long-term payments such as superannuation. Equity based remuneration can also potentially induce manages to manage earnings, by understating earnings prior to option grants to lower the firmÃ¢â¬â¢s current share price and exercising option later on. Evidence of Earning Manipulation When managers have accounting flexibility, they can use it either to communicate their firmÃ¢â¬â¢s economic situation or to hide true performance. Possible distortion Detail & Explanation Accelerated recognition of revenuesManagers typically have best information on the revenue recognition to decide whether or when the cash collection is reasonably likely. And they may have incentives to accelerate the recognition of revenues. They can adopt new accounting or use managersÃ¢â¬â¢ discretion to alter revenue recognition of, for instance, franchise fees or rent. Underestimated reservesFrom Note 5, provision for doubtful debt has decreased from 4. 7 m to 4. 3 m; from Note 5(a) the aging analysis of trade debtors, number has increased from 952 k to 1,038 k. Due to the global financial global crisis and its influence to the debtors and consumers, it is not convincingly reasonable to reduce provision for doubtful debt, which intends to overstate receivables. Understated depreciation on long-term assetFirms are required to recognize impairment in values of the long assets when they arise. However, estimates of asset valuation and impairment are highly subjective. As a result, managers intend to delay or reduce write-down, or even not show impairments. This issue is especially crucial or asset-intensive firms in volatile markets. A review of Note 12, the economic situation in Ireland has continued to deteriorate and severe recession has impacted all Irish retailers resulting in large trading losses in Ireland during the year, while an impairment loss in plant and equipment assets is slightly lower than expected. Capitalized R&D outlays The economic benefits from research and development are highly uncertain. In this case, the company capita lize IT projects, which cannot clearly show us a certain future benefits. Adjustment Recommendation Although there are reasonably large chances for the managers to manage and manipulate earnings, these managements are not materially enough to make adjustment. PCI may become incentives for managers to manipulate earnings but also can be seen as incentives for managers to work on their best for the company as the higher earning achieved the higher incentives they can be awarded. Therefore, no adjustments have been made on all the accounting numbers, which will be used for analysis afterwards. References Harvey Norman (2010), Ã¢â¬ËAbout UsÃ¢â¬â¢, Website, http://www. arveynorman. com. au/page/1255509869113/about-us Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd (2010), Ã¢â¬ËCompany ProfileÃ¢â¬â¢, Website, http://www. harveynormanholdings. com. au/companyprofile. htm Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd (2010), Ã¢â¬ËHarvey Norman Holdings Limited Annual Report 2009Ã¢â¬ , Website, http://www. harveynormanholdings. com. au/pdf_files/2009_annual_report_final_for_release_141009. pdf Harvey Norman Holdings L td (2010), Ã¢â¬ËHarvey Norman Holdings Limited Annual Report 2008Ã¢â¬ , Website, http://www. harveynormanholdings. com. au/pdf_files/2008_Annual_Report_FINAL_30Sept. df Keith J. Crocker, Joel Slemrod, Ã¢â¬Ëthe economics of earnings manipulation and managerial compensationÃ¢â¬â¢, October 2006, NBER Working Paper No. 12645, JEL No. A12 Richard, D. 2009, Ã¢â¬ËHarvey Norman Conducts Major CE Review Up to 10 Stores to GoÃ¢â¬â¢, viewed 10 April 2010,http://www. smartoffice. com. au/Business/Retail/N9C6R5F6 Palepu, K. G. and P. M. Healy, Business Analysis and Valuation Using Financial Statements: Text and Cases, 4th ed. , South-Western College Publishing, 2007. Appendix Appendix A Standardized Financial Statement Appendix B SWOT Analysis Strengths: As mentioned above, its franchising operation is one of the company critical success factors and as well is their strength. In addition, Harvey Norman has a commitment to improve technology and supply chain management systems in response to the market growth, which becomes its business strength. In Australia the company benefits from enormous economies of scale in both purchasing and marketing. Also, the company is one of the biggest media spenders in the country, contributing to a high level of brand recongition throughout Australia. Another strength is their strong financial position, which is indicated in the financial highlight in the annual report 2008, as a result of their effective integrated retail, franchise and property system, it has built a strong financial position and low gearing that has placed Harvey Norman in an excellent position to capitalise on any competitor failure in the market place and to take advantage of emerging opportunities. Weakness: According to a review by David Richards (2009), David Ackery, the general manager of Electrical at Harvey Norman comments that they are facing the issue of its margin with its vendors and retailers. Although the gross profit margin in 2008 is stable and slightly increased in comparison to 2007 from 25. 9% up to 26. 7% (calculated from the income statement 2008), the vendors and retailers are continuously placing pressures on its margin. Furthermore, the closure of its export and distribution businesses in Singapore and Malaysia has negatively impacted on the profitability in Asia market. Another weakness is the gaming market that had not performed as well as JB Hi Fi with Ackery (2009) admitting that it was a booming area of the market, where Harvey Norman had not taken much market shares in this area. Opportunities: Harvey Norman is being the market leader in the industry and has improved and maintained its market share position in Australia, which makes it difficult for new entrants to enter into the market. Harvey Norman has the opportunities to continuously expand its operations into international markets as it has been proven in its successful operations in overseas such as New Zealand. As a result of its strong financial position, Harvey Norman has the capability and ability to invest in expanding its operations in other geographical areas that are potentially profitable as well as extending its product offerings. Threats: Global economic recession is a major threat to any industries and companies including Harvey Norman. Also, capital market liquidity crisis, contracting monetary policy, high inflation and petrol prices are negatively impacting on consumer sentiment, which decrease the demand and thus, profitability. Prices on electrical items had been falling due to a rising Australian dollar and the rapid obsolescence of many technology products, which lower its profit margin and increases expenses. Appendix C Project and Team Work Source/Information Origin and Significance Source and information used for this project would come from Harvey NormanÃ¢â¬â¢s corporate website (which includes corporate profile, investor relations sections, past annual reports). Also media coverage of the company, its competitors, and market landscape/environment will also be used as reference to allow for ample understanding and analysis of Harvey Norman and its business operations. The Difficulties of Analysis on the Industry and Company Harvey Norman has business operations in multiple segments including electrical, computer, furniture, entertainment and bedding goods, with more than 160 stores located in Australia and abroad. Because Harvey Norman is a conglomerate/franchise, which provides products ranging from notebook computers to sofas to beddings, so it is slightly hard to label its business, which consequently leads difficulty finding fair industry benchmark. It is hard but interesting to analyse this case. Some other problem may be that the major information are from internal statement, and external source are either somewhat trivial or lack of detail. The Contribution of Each Group Member The work of this group project is equally allocated to each group member based on his or her strength and weakness and each group member contributes a hundred percent to their work. They are able to meet the deadline even though; everyone has their own personal commitment. Issues with Team Work and Solution
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
Tina Tran (Nghi) FOUN101 Spring BFA Filmmaking 1A Merrilyn Crouch Personal Narrative: Final Draft 25 MAR 2015 Ã¢â¬Å"Practise Makes PerfectÃ¢â¬ How would you feel when you receive a big fat Ã¢â¬Å"FÃ¢â¬ for your exam? The answers are variable; embarrassment, disappointments or even anger. Different people will observe the situation with many different perspectives; in general, they are usually pessimistic. We feel this way most of the time because we were taught that success belongs to the winner, which explains why it sucks so badly to fail at something. But in the end, failures are not as bad as they seem. I remember the time I learned to bike. Failing was acceptable; indeed, it makes me a better biker. Therefore, failures are good indicators, as each and every mistake mould the best of who I am yet. When I was a junior in high school, I transferred from a bilingual school to an international school of Ho Chi Minh City. 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