I wish there were more to say


Some News about No News

Bad news isn't wine.  It doesn't improve with age.

- Colin Powell

I wish there were more to say, but we've been delayed in having an Inspector appointed because the Manager is of the opinion that it is a burden (he?) (it?) (they?) would prefer not to shoulder.  An appointed Inspector will undoubtedly require that a sizeable chunk of the Manager's (and perhaps Trustee's) time be spent providing answers to (possibly) difficult questions.  The Manager (and perhaps Trustee) would prefer to spend that time on other pursuits.

Fair enough.

However, I think a certain amount of the Manager's (and perhaps even the Trustee's) time has already been paid for by the generous fees previously collected from unitholders.  How much time have we paid for?  Do we still have a credit balance?  Those may be two of those "difficult" questions that need to be answered.

As we were never told what we paid in total to either the Manager or Trustee, our balance (if any) in Administrative time is difficult to determine.  What was the Manager and/or the Trustee paid from funds the Receiver took in?  More importantly, what was the money in payment of?  Did the Manager and Trustee really fulfill those duties for which he/it/they were so (generously?) compensated?

What has concerned me most in regard to the Flat Rock Forests Trust has been the dearth of information.

I feel justified in seeking to require both Manager and Trustee to schedule time to explain how the situation in which we find ourselves (holding totally worthless units) came about.

In everyday life, rational men regularly ask themselves: "Am I doing the 'right' thing?"

What is considered to be "right" varies most significantly as the future date used for a cutoff varies.  The horizon date determines the "true" cost.  The shorter the horizon, the more the individual tends to value what benefits himself, personally.  The further away the valuation date, the more the individual tends to value what benefits his family, tribe, the Earth, or [his interpretation of] Eternity.

Religion exists in part to extend the utilised valuation date past an individual's particular lifetime (through his family and into his tribe) - to allow for the development of ethics and culture.  The system of laws (and their enforcement - ie government bodies at various levels and also accumulated judicial tradition) extends family and/or tribal rights outward - to the nation or further (through Customs, International Marine Law, treaties, the World Court, the Red Cross, et cetera), to humankind.

Organisations (both capitalistic conglomerates and ecological coalitions) have now spread to encompass the Earth, with horizons that (occasionally) extend scores, even centuries into the future (say, when international laws regarding fishing limits or those surrounding the disposal of radioactive wastes are passed).

Investors tend to have longer investment horizons in mind than do investment advisers - especially when the advisers have a financial stake in the investment infrastructure rather than in the investment itself.  (Interest horizons are more easily analysed from dispassionate vantage points.  Sometimes a horizon seems long term merely because the measurer lacks patience.)

Actions that look reasonable if a valuation horizon is near term (say, the desirability of eradicating beetles or opossums with pesticides to protect a neighbourhood grove of trees) may look imprudent if the horizon used as a marker is longer-term (say, if saving honeybees, frogs, or kiwis from extinction through overuse of pesticides is considered more important than protecting pockets of native trees).

We invested in a Trust with a clearly-stated horizon.  That horizon was modified without notice to investors.  Someone needs to come forward and accept responsibility for this and to offer a bit more justification than has been offered yet, then open the floor to a frank discussion of what, if any, compensation might be due as a result.

That's what I'd like to have happen.

It's my understanding that the appointment of an Inspector is unlikely to be considered by the High Court until sometime in May.  Perhaps by then we'll learn if the Serious Fraud Office plans to undertake any action in regard to the Trust.  (I understand that that's still a very real possibility.)

Until that time, or else mid-May (whichever comes first) there's unlikely to be much current news for me to report on.  I'll be sending out a brief newsletter before the end of the month, so that unitholders not on the web can be informed of the limbo status of our request for appointment of Inspector.

Meanwhile, I've continued to update the Resources page.  If you've never checked it out, you might start with What's Here.  (Or maybe you'd like to visit the Newcomer Page.  Or the Contact Page.)

Thanks for checking in on us.  I'm sorry I can't provide much new input at this point.  Check back again after you get the next newsletter (in other words, probably in the next couple of weeks).

One other thing - we've sold our boat, the Lady Fair.  We're living in temporary quarters for now (that's part of what's distracted me from working on this website).  We should be moved to a new location shortly and back to a more normal operation.

Any unitholders who would like their pictures and/or business cards to accompany their individual unitholder record(s) in the database, please forward a copy to me within the next couple of weeks.

Happy Easter!


For news articles on the Flat Rock Forests Trust, forestry, the Serious Fraud Office, one immigrant family's experiences, immigration specialists, fraud, juries, logging, and more, check out the News Table of Contents.  Or you may wish to visit the Forestry Trust Table of Contents to read how a unit trust went bust.  Or the Topics Table of Contents which offers a different approach to lots of topics - among them poisonous insects, eating dogs, what's addictive, training vs teaching, tornados, unusual flying machines, humour, wearable computers, IQ tests, health, Y chromosomes, share options, New Jersey's positive side, oddities, ageing, burial alternatives, capital punishment, affairs, poverty, McCarthyism, the most beautiful city in the world, neverending work and more...

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