Monday, January 26, 2009

Will The Year Of The Ox Pull Us Through?

Today marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year. According to the 12 year cycle in Chinese tradition, this year is known as The Year of the Ox. As noted today in Tim Johnson’s China Rising blog (part of the McClatchy newspaper blogs): “The coming year is the year of the ‘niu,’ or ox. Since ‘niu’ is pronounced almost like new, it has become de rigeur in China to wish everyone a Happy Niu Year.”

Given the acceleration of the global economic downturn in 2008, some may say the Year of the Ox (2009) – replacing the Year of the Rat (2008) – comes none too soon.

According to the attributes ascribed to the Ox and the Rat in Chinese astrology (courtesy of wikipedia, excerpted below), some may say the Ox’s attributes will come in particularly handy this year. Some may even say they can associate some of 2008’s (or 2009’s upcoming) most memorable newsmakers – famous or infamous – with one of the animals below; I leave it to your imagination. According to wikipedia's descriptions of the Chinese astrological signs:

  • Rats are leaders, pioneers and conquerors. They are charming, passionate, determined, tenacious, intelligent, attractive, seductive, charismatic, practical and hardworking. Rat people are endowed with great leadership skills and are the most highly organized, meticulous, militaristic, and systematic of the twelve signs…The Rat will treat its most loyal friends with an extra measure of protection and generosity. However, they also have long memories and will rarely forgive or forget an enemy. Behind the smiles and charm… rats can be arrogant and extremely deceptive and selfish. Rats at their worst are terribly Machiavellian, vindictive and power-hungry… There is literally nothing a Rat will not do, say, think or feel to achieve their goals and ambitions. In addition, these people tend to have immense control of their emotions, which they may use as a tool to manipulate and exploit others, both emotionally and mentally. Although they appear cool and reserved on the surface, they have a volcanic temper, which can be quite disturbing to those few who may witness a Rat native's rage. They are masters of mind games and can be very dangerous, calculative and downright cruel if the need arises. Quick-tempered and aggressive, they will not think twice about exacting revenge on those that hurt or impede them in any way and would gladly see them suffer…
  • The Ox is the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. This powerful sign is a born leader, being quite dependable and possessing an innate ability to achieve great things. As one might guess, such people are dependable, calm, and modest. Like their animal namesake, the Ox is unswervingly patient, tireless in their work, and capable of enduring any amount of hardship without complaint. …Security is their main preoccupation in life, and they are prepared to toil long and hard in order to provide a warm, comfortable and stable nest for themselves and their families. …The Ox is not extravagant, and the thought of living off credit cards or being in debt makes them nervous. The possibility of taking a serious risk could cause the Ox sleepless nights. Ox people are truthful and sincere, and the idea of wheeling and dealing in a competitive world is distasteful to them. They are rarely driven by the prospect of financial gain. …Ox people are sociable and relaxed when they feel secure, but occasionally a dark cloud looms over such people and they engage all the trials of the whole world and seek solutions for them…

FEI Meets With Delegation of Auditors From China
Separately, I’d like to note an organization called Triway Enterprise Inc, founded in 1992, with offices in the U.S. and China, which coordinates visits of Chinese business groups in the U.S. and arranges other training, teaching and cross-cultural programs.

Triway recently invited representatives from FEI and other organizations to meet with a delegation of auditors visiting from Yunnan Province who were interested in learning more about U.S. perspectives and practices in corporate governance and internal control.

FEI Past President and Senior Advisor Michael P. Cangemi met with the group on January 9. Read more in this FEI Summary.

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