Saturday, March 20

CFO or CEO: Who has most influence on earnings management?

Well, the previous idea was that earnings management was primarily driven by the CEO and therefore regulators around the world asked for the remuneration details of the CEO. But recently the SEC has started asking about the remuneration of the CFO as well, which in hindsight, makes perfect sense. After all, the CFO is the person who is actually managing the entire financial process which culminates in the production and propagation of the financial and earnings figures and announcement. A recent paper sheds some more light on this rather interesting and topical issue.

The authors cover the S&P 1500 firms for which CEO and CFO compensation data is available over the 1993 to 2006 period giving a total of 17542 firm years. They judge both cash pay and total pay, the latter including everything else such as option grants, incentive plans, etc. On an average, the CFO earns 1/3 of the CEO with an average equity incentive ratio of 11% for CFO’s compared to 24% for CEOs. Please bear in mind that 2002 saw the introduction of SOXA and the authors do include the impact of this on accounting treatments such as accruals management.

Prior to the introduction of SOXA, there is a positive association between the compensation of both CEO’s and CFO’s with accruals management. In other words, more the incentive, more are the accruals within the financial statements and the influence of the CFO is higher on the accruals management element compared to the CEO. The introduction of SOXA meant that active accruals management was dramatically reduced and there is no longer any relationship between the incentives to CFO and CEO and accrual management.

How about beating analyst forecasts? As you would know, analyst forecasts are extremely important in forming the market sentiments which drive how the market reacts post the earnings announcements. Similar to the above finding, the authors find that pre SOXA, CEO and CFO incentives are positively associated with the likelihood of reporting positive earnings surprises. They also find that greater the incentive, greater was the chance of an earnings surprise. In the post SOXA period, the equity incentives of the CEO is no longer positively associated with the likelihood of beating analyst forecasts. But surprisingly, the CFO is still highly influential in the likelihood of beating analyst forecasts.

The authors also carry out some additional tests and find:

We also find some weak evidence that earnings management incentives are strongest when the manager has compensation that is more sensitive to stock prices and the firm’s stock returns are more sensitive to accounting earnings.

In other words, the role played by the CFO is almost independent of the CEO at least in terms of accrual management, earnings management and general financial statements to the wider world. If I was a shareholder, I would peer at the CFO much more closely and if there is an element of equity incentive compensation to the CFO, then peer even more closely with a beady eye. I can see analyst models start to incorporate this as a factor. On the flip side, I am sure the CFO’s will be reading this and demanding more cash based compensation compared to stock based compensation. Not sure what the answer is, but it puts further pressure on the remuneration committee, the audit committee, the external auditors and regulators to make sure that the firms are presenting a true and fair picture of the accounts.

John(Xuefeng) Jiang,Kathy R.Petroni and Isabel Yanyan Wang, CFOs and CEOs:Who has the most influence on earnings management?, Journal of Financial Economics, doi:10.1016/j.jfineco.2010.02.007

Rise in first-cousin marriages 'is putting children's health at risk'

This is deeply worrisome. I have researched in Bradford and the levels of illiteracy in that place is diabolical. But the article is well argued and the lady’s arguments against banning are also very good. I quote:


Baroness Deech, a family law professor and crossbencher, will call next week for a “vigorous” public campaign to deter the practice, which is prevalent in Muslim and immigrant communities and on the rise. She will reignite a debate started five years ago when Ann Cryer, MP for Keighley, drew attention to the number of disabled babies being born in the town and called for cousin marriage to be stopped.

Fifty-five per cent of British Pakistanis are married to first cousins and in Bradford the figure is 75 per cent. British Pakistanis represent 3 per cent of all births in Britain but one third of children with recessive disorders.

Lady Deech will also warn that marriage between first cousins can be a barrier to the integration of minority communities. In a lecture she will call for testing for genetic defects where such marriages are arranged and the keeping of a register of people who carry genetic diseases, so that two carriers are not introduced. “Some variant of this could be possible in cities such as Bradford with a high density of immigrant population,” she will say.

“The local estimate was that 75 per cent of Bradford disabled children had cousin parents and the rate of cousin marriage in the UK Pakistani community is increasing,” Lady Deech will say.

In Birmingham, another city with a substantial immigrant community, Lady Deech notes that 10 per cent of the children of first cousins die in infancy or have a disability.

But how much do you want to bet that the BNP picks this up?

EU asks who will pay for high-speed Internet

I quote:

In the consultation, the Commission will be asking whether Internet access should be a public right and how the EU's current rules, dating from 2002, can be tweaked to include the bloc's goal of providing 'broadband for all'.

This ties in with the Spanish EU Presidency's goal of making high-speed Internet compulsory across the bloc, aimed at improving Web access in rural areas (EurActiv 18/12/09).

Who will foot the bill?

The EU plans to revise rules governing access to the Internet and telephones throughout the bloc. Yesterday (2 March) the European Commission launched a consultation asking whether money for wider broadband coverage should come from the public purse or from industry coffers.

these guys talk as if there is no cost to the public purse, leeches and parasites, these govt agencies. So they turn around and portray this as if the public purse is an in-exhaustible bottom less pit of funds which are free. Well, its not free, somebody has to pay for this. If somebody wants broadband, let them pay for it. Sheesh. But I am fine with their behaviour, the bond markets will kick away their govt debt crutches all. robbers, all of them.

Remember this, you faceless thieving robbing bureaucrats, the more you load on the public sector, the more you draw away from productive investments. By forcing this kind of behaviour, you make situations like Greece and Ireland more possible. We in the private sector then end up paying for it twice, first by paying for this kind of investment in the first place and then second to get rid of you guys. But remember, who would hire people who can only spend and not add value?

Friday, March 19

What does the BNP think of non white membership?

Fascinating history of emails.

>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: <>
>> To: <>
>> Cc: <>; <>;
>> <>; <>; <>;
>> <>; <>;
>> <>;
>> <>
>> Sent: Thursday, July 08, 2004 5:38 PM
>> Subject: RE: non white membership
>> > Dear All,
>> >
>> > I have now had a chance to catch up on this debate and would like to
>> > suggest the following:
>> >
>> > 1. We make (in selected cases) an added requirement for membership.
>> > That
>> > being the form of an exam or test based upon British History/Culture
>> > for
>> > example. We could even go to an intrinsic level and set a test on the
>> > history of British Nationalism.
>> > A pain in the backside, but probably only necessary in a dozen or so
> cases
>> > a year.
>> > We would be thoroughly justified in checking that people were joining
> for
>> > the right reasons. It would be our equivalent of "stop and search".
>> > 2. The idea that Lee Robinson came up with concerning the limited
> company
>> > is very interesting. Of course nobody, even if they are black, has the
>> > right to join the board of a company, that has to be earned.
>> > We could create an inner tier of membership that could perhaps use a
>> > recommendation system of current members with regards potential new
>> > members in the same way that golf clubs do to keep out the riff-raff.
>> > 3. I agree that signing a statement of our aims should be added as a
>> > membership requirement. This could be as "strong" as we like and as
>> > well
>> > as putting off undesirables would help prevent against another "Maureen
>> > Stowe".
>> > 4. Is there not a legal entitlement to freedom of association?
>> > 5. The CRE letter should go online ASAP as others have suggested or
>> > else
>> > people might think we are pulling a fast one to let them in.
>> > 6. I am sure the papers would be very interested in this story, "The
> Asian
>> > who demands to join the BNP". Would he be so keen to press his case if
> his
>> > face and address were all over the newspapers?
>> > 7. If the CRE really do go for this we ought to use this to do as much
>> > damage to them ASAP. We can highlight the disproportionately ethnic
> staff
>> > and the fact that they leave ethnic only groups alone.As such could we
> not
>> > look at the concept of malicious prosecution?
>> > We can portray this as an attempt by foreigners to basically deny white
>> > Europeans the right to their own identity. They should be left in no
> doubt
>> > that we will milk the publicity mercilessly and that in itself might
> make
>> > them get cold feet.
>> > 8. Can we not glean anything from the way the trade unions appear to
> have
>> > successfully kept/kicked us out?
>> >
>> > Still thinking about some other stuff, but we must not allow ourselves
> to
>> > be panicked into making what could be a catastrophic decision.
>> >
>> > Simon
>> >

----- Original Message -----
> From: Steve in Stirling <>
> To: <>; <>
> Cc: <>; <>;
> <>; <>; <>;
> <>; <>; <>
> Sent: Thursday, July 08, 2004 6:43 PM
> Subject: Re: non white membership
>> Dear All
>> Simon puts some interesting points forward which are broader than the
> single
>> issue of how we deal with ethnics who want to join/work with us.
>> The many questions being forwarded are readily summarised into the single
>> sentence "what kind of BNP do we want to build?" The ethnic issue alone
>> is
>> now giving us an opportunity to think in broader terms of the movement's
>> development.
>> The idea of an higher (sounds better than "inner") grade of membership
>> should be further explored which is only achievable by long-term
> membership
>> plus action or highly sought after skills, it must be clear that some
>> newcomer simply can buy his way in through a hefty donation.
>> I think freedom of association has gone by the wayside these days.
> Men-only
>> golf clubs have been forced to admit women and as we know even trade
> unions
>> cannot exclude BNP members. They might have prevented BNP members from
>> getting elected office but membership is open to all employees who pay
> their
>> subs and presumably agree to the constitution of that particular union.
>> However the situation re: golf clubs is a valid one, not just anyone can
>> join a golf club, even the very wealthy have to find someone to sponsor
> them
>> and usually have to have a face to face interview and thereafter the
>> decision lies with the membership committee. In practice would this work
> for
>> us? If we refused black membership we are back to the current situation
> but
>> would have adopted a new layer of administration and bureaucracy. Do we
> want
>> to start or have the resources to vet everyone who applies? Again we have
> to
>> make a decision about vetting all or none. Hundreds of folk are joining
>> online every month. We could pull the plug on this very anonymous way of
>> joining immediately and instead of paying online they indicate a
> willingness
>> to "apply for membership" which is very different. They at least receive
>> a
>> visit from a local contact/organiser who can then "approve" their
>> membership. They can be directed to a suitable hidden online page and
>> complete the payment process, perhaps with a "unique subscription key"
> given
>> to them by their unit contact/organiser?
>> Surely we want to build a larger membership base with measured speed,
>> steering a middle way between going for quantity as fast as possible and
>> going for quality which may take considerable time. Both have their
> faults,
>> quantity quickly means while we benefit financially we have an
> overstretched
>> infrastructure unable to cope with flood of new applicants. Building
> quality
>> slowly delays what we know to be a time limited operation. Can the white
>> nationalist movements throughout Europe afford to be too choosy when we
> are
>> all likely to be voiceless minorities in less than 50 years?
>> I understand where Simon is coming from with his suggestion of a test but
> we
>> have to decide if the BNP of tomorrow is to be a broad based political
> party
>> which welcomes protest voters and political virgins as well as those
>> committed to the longer term cause or a smaller but more professional,
>> politically aware and dedicated elite?
>> I have to question where the politically aware elite are to be found, as
>> surely one of the many pressing and fundamental tasks of the BNP is to
> take
>> disaffected knee-jerk protesters whether they are farmers, hauliers,
> single
>> mums and the voiceless young males on the estates and turn them into
>> political soldiers. I know from personal experience that at least two of
> our
>> relatively new Scottish unit organisers had no political background and
> very
>> little political awareness before joining us, but 12 months later have
>> proven to be highly effective and very productive individuals.
>> I am not so sure a test would work in practice. Again if we made
> non-whites
>> and only non-whites sit this test, that would be seen as discrimination
>> in
>> itself. We would probably find many white applicants, particularly
>> younger
>> folk sadly know sod all about British history and culture, many more less
> so
>> about British nationalism and why deny them the opportunity to join our
>> party/movement where they will at least be offered the opportunity (or
>> forced) to learn about their culture and heritage. One has to suggest
>> that
>> it sadly is the case that some professional asians and blacks have more
>> knowledge of the achivements of Empire and British society than some
>> teenagers in white council estates from Devon to Doncaster.
>> I think a test at the outset is rather too exclusive. There may be a case
> or
>> having some kind of assessment 12 months after application but how many
>> pensioners who are content with paying their subs and taking the
> literature
>> are going to be happy with an assessment of what they have achieved in
>> the
>> past 12 months.
>> Here we go back to the earlier suggestion about a two tier membership.
>> The
>> dedicated ones would willingly submit to regular assessments as they seek
> to
>> move toward the higher level and achieve their ambition of "Officer"
> level.
>> In practice the statement of principle however we decide to word it must
>> therefore be sent out with every membership application, the application
>> form needs to be redrafted to include a box which must be ticked and
> online
>> the signing up process can only be completed if someone ticks the box
> saying
>> they have read the t&cs and agree to those t&cs, even if they have read
> them
>> or not.
>> Would the CRE under any set of circumstances get "cold feet"? I doubt it.
>> This is a mission for the hostile Blacks in the CRE and the white
>> liberals
>> in Government. It is a mission to "smash whitey" and as the BNP is the
> most
>> obvious "white party" they will go for us in a big way. I have no doubt
> they
>> would go for any other party which was proving to be a thorn in its side.
> As
>> Nick as already indicated in one reply which is now online, the CRE have
>> virtually unlimited access to funds That money can be used to great
>> effect
>> by them in adverts in the press and while we might find some tabloids
> ready
>> to have a dig at the CRE and its lavish spending on ethnics they are
>> unlikely to express any sympathy for the cause of white patriots. I hope
> the
>> CRE lay it on thick with the media using "no hiding place for racists"
> "type
>> headlines, even if the court action proves to be unnecessary because of
> our
>> anticipation and clever out-manoeuvering. In fact the thicker and more
>> blatantly anti-white the headlines and the CRE's press statements, the
>> better because that will help polarise more white Britons against the
>> multi-culti regime. We must of course use our publicity machinery to
>> heighten awareness that the "tiny BNP is truly the latest and sorest
> victim
>> of this anti-British frenzy" etc etc.
>> I know a lot of folk via email are pressing the issue to see the CRE
> letter
>> of threat. Tyndall has already suggested it doesnt exist. Do we have to
> wait
>> for the publication of July's "Spearhead" when he has already fired his
>> shot online? The publication of the letter will reinforce the degree of
>> urgency and the seriousness of the issue. Some folk are writing in saying
>> "wait and see". Perhaps Nick/Lee can confirm what our expected timetable
> is?
>> Do we have months or weeks to "wait and see" if the court action will
>> materialise?
>> We are in the excellent position of using this anticipated legal action
>> to
>> help us focus on the wider development and future of the racial
> nationalist
>> movement in Britain and the BNP as a vehicle to be both political and
>> non-political as we build cultural and business "fronts" and rather than
>> a
>> bloody nuisance is actually a good opportunity to get our plans right for
>> the decade ahead.
>> Steve

Nick Griffins response. More to come later
Griffin" <>
To: "Steve in Stirling" <>
Cc: <>; <>;
<>; <>; <>;
<>; <>
Sent: Thursday, July 08, 2004 6:54 PM
Subject: Re: non white membership
> Very well put. I agree with the whole thing.
> I sent a suggested timescale yesterday. Check you got it. As I said in it,
> we should pblish the CRE letter on about the 20th if possible, though can
> do
> so earlier if people feel we really need to. Comments on that point
> please.
> I don't see, by the way, why Simon's and Steve's points here shouldn't go
> online as well (with the Tyndall reference removed).
> N

Sweden stops affirmative action

Excellent News. This entire idea of affirmative action gets my goat anyway. There should be equality of opportunity, not of the role itself. This screws up all kinds of social conditions and gives rise to others. If there are less than ideal number of females, cockroaches, males, Hindu's, wiccans applying, first find out if this matters. Really really matters. If it does, then help them in improving their chances of application, dont put aside seats and stuff like that. I quote:

The Swedish government has announced that from August 1st it will no longer be permitted to favour prospective university students by virtue of their gender.

In a communication to parliament, the government stated that university admissions regulations will be changed to reflect only academic merits.
The Minister for Higher Education and Research, Tobias Krantz, underlined the importance of the principle that all individuals be treated equally regardless of their gender.
To exclude motivated and higher qualified women in the university admissions process is naive, Krantz said.
The background to the decision lies in cases such as one involving a group of students at Lund University who were awarded compensation in February for having been denied places to study psychology due to their gender.
The university settled out of court with the 24 women, who were each awarded 35,000 kronor ($5,000) in damages.
In a similar case, the Svea Court of Appeal ruled in December that it was illegal for the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala to prioritize men for its veterinary education programme.

And in India, they reserved 33% of the seats for women. And yes, I do not agree that that should have happened. A principle is a principle. The way to fix this is to get women to have their rights, make the family laws more gender friendly, make sexual discrimination more difficult, etc. etc. etc.

Thursday, March 18

Competitive conditions in Islamic and conventional banking: A global perspective

Very interesting paper. Here’s the abstract:

I analyze the competitive conditions prevailing in Islamic and conventional global banking markets, and investigate the possible differences in profitability between these markets, using a sample of banks across 13 countries during 2000–2006. The results suggest that Islamic banks allocate a greater share of their assets to financing activities compared to conventional banks, and they are also better capitalized. Different computed measures of competition indicate that Islamic banking is less competitive compared to conventional banking. A second-stage analysis shows that profitability significantly increases with market power, but this does not warrant higher profitability levels for Islamic banks.

Now the higher capitalisation might well be due to the fact that regulators usually ask for a higher degree of capital from Islamic banks. But when you compare this result with this paper which i reviewed before, then one wonders if there is really that much of a difference?

Secondly, the author finds that the Islamic Banks are not really having higher returns for devoting their attention to the Islamic customer base. The author suggests that this is more due to future revenue expectations and the western banks are getting into this market because of the rise of religiosity and customer demand.

I am not getting a clear picture of the differences then, the products are in effect the same, the same institutions are in both areas, the pricing is basically the same, risks are different but that’s mainly because of higher capital regulatory requirements. Hmmm, a rose by any other name if a bit more expensive?

Tuesday, March 16

Accounting Standards are driven by the Governments and their own accounts are not signed off

Accounting Standards are being driven by the governments across the world for corporates. If Governments had to follow corporate accounting standards, then people would have been in jail. So how many people have you heard who have been fired for bad accounting for years and decades? Think EU and other govts. And these people are responsible for setting standards for corporates. And they spend more than corporates. Good Heavens. Some examples:

1. Defense Ministry’s Accounting ‘Unacceptable,’ U.K. Panel Says

The U.K. Defense Ministry is guilty of administrative failures that have led to officials losing track of sensitive equipment and wasting hundreds of millions of pounds, a panel of lawmakers said.

The cross-party Defense Committee criticized the failure of the ministry to gain full approval for its accounts from the National Audit Office for the third successive year.


2. The Department for Work and Pensions’ numbers have been qualified for 17 years in a row.

And its not just that, here’s some more detail.

Accounts from the department of work and pensions, defence and the Equalities Commission were also qualified in reports slipped out amid a deluge of paperwork from Whitehall.

Morse said he declined to sign off the Treasury's resource accounts for 2008/09 because the department incurred £24bn more expenditure than Parliament authorised, arising from losses from the operation of the Asset Protection Scheme.

Morse also reported the Treasury's balance sheet showed the net of total assets, less liabilities, now stand at £44bn – up £2bn on 2007/08.

The NAO qualified the accounts of the DWP for the 20th consecutive year because they showed a net £2.7bn loss in fraud and error across all benefits except the state pension.

And Revenue and Customs' were subject to error and fraud in the tax credit system

totaling between £1.58bn and £1.84bn (up on the £1.31bn to £1.54bn in 2006/07).

Morse said he qualified the MoD's accounts because of a ‘net error’ of £140m in the amount a new computer system that allows servicemen and women to enter expense claims without further checks. There was missing radio and computer equipment worth £155m and a ‘significant risk of error’ over £14.1bn in raw materials and spares.

The Equality Commission’s accounts were qualified because £629,000 was spent paying consultancy fees to former staff whose departure terms excluded being rehired.

But the EU goes one better

3. EU’s spending of agricultural money and the structural fund, have been beset with so many difficulties that the court of auditors has not signed off the numbers for 12 years in a row. 

That was 3 years back. In 2009, they were still not signed off making it a grand total of 15 years.

Sunday, March 14

Death’s Demise

This is an essay written by the eldest Cost Centre. I am quite impressed, very nice.

Death’s Demise

The jungle seemed tranquil, lush and full of life. The sparkling blue depths of the river, the emerald green of the regal trees whistling and whispering in harmony to the forest, were basking in the gleaming sun. The cool shaded grass, the fresh air, the enticing aroma and the birds above of bright crimson and aqua flying above made the place seem so peaceful. Untouched by the destruction of humans, this place was in harmony with nature; one of natures remaining sanctuaries. But all was not as it seemed. Though the sounds of life were abundant, no signs of life were present on the ground. In the deepest shadows they lay. Hiding.

Legend has it, that when the catastrophe that decimated the dinosaurs and the majority of life, struck, these very lands salvaged some of it’s habitants from the cataclysm. Though the dinosaurs were wiped out, ancient rumours state great creatures survived. Ancestors – lost in time, of today’s animals, may still survive in these untouched lands.

The beast eyed maliciously its prey from the high banks of the river. It had been stalking his target for a while now, the stench of foreign, meaty life, tangibly distinguishable in the air. The boat slowly ventured down the river, surrounded by a small gorge like barriers. The boat barely surpassed his gargantuan length of almost 3 meters, far larger than any lion; he seemed like something that would have rivalled the dinosaurs. His fangs were enormous, at up to half a foot, his sharp claws, his deep dark blue-black skin and fierce yellow-green eyes. He strongly resembled the predator cats of today, such as lions and panthers in shape, but immensely larger; however his abilities, were unlike anything on the face of the planet. He was one of the last of his kind. His race almost extinct by starvation, he was desperate. He was a good 10 feet above his target. Ready for the killing.

Suddenly the predator pounced on the unsuspecting open deck boat, its four occupants terrified. The beast lashed out his front paw, swiping the driver, blood streaming down his neck and torso. This was no contest for the vile beast, but he direly needed to devour these mere morsels of food. The hunter whipped his tail around savagely knocking two people into the river. Standing on his back legs, the leviathan towered over the feeble women, ravaging mercilessly her with his large, sharp, claws; relentlessly ripping the flesh out of his target. The boat was out of control, the only ones left on the boat were dead. The beast seized his opportunity, leaping through a fault in the steep high banks, landing on the rubble with an unfortunate victim, a meal, clenched in his jaws. In the distance through the trees he saw a dark shadow. Someone stagger away.

Explorer Darion Drake was here in these never before ventured jungles of South America, on an expedition to find a rare creature, the legendary ancestor of all predator cats on the face of the earth. It is believed this creature has many amazing abilities, including its truly unique hunting style; once targeting its prey, the beast would be positioned up to huge distances above the target, the charge down in an enormous leap, crushing the life out of the prey, and seizing it with its claws. But he never anticipated the death, destruction and danger awaiting him. Now his wife of one month lay dead, his expedition crew gone. All he had left was the clothes on his back, filled with a sorrow and mourning, evolving into enragement and infuriation. He reluctantly crawled through forest floor to a nearby stream, fighting the searing pain coursing through his wound-covered body. He grimly looked into the clear reflection, seeing his lost, disillusioned dark brown eyes, his ravaged black hair, his blood covered cheeks, his left one having to two, long parallel cuts, caused by menacing, sharp claws.

Suddenly in the distance the tired, sundered explorer spotted something lurking through the shadows, on the other side of the river. Drake took no chances, he started making his way to higher land, stumbling over logs, twigs and passing through the expansive network of trees, to reach the rocky, mountainous terrain, stretching out for miles, overlooking and bordering the forest. He turned around for a moment, to witness something horrifying, a chill ran down his spine, and the reality of what he was up against started to sink in. The hunt was on.

Darion had never been so terrified in his life; in the distance, the beast charged, leaping heroically over the river like it was a pebble, swiping a log out of the way as if it was a tennis ball. The explorer dashed through the rocks, higher into the region, as his pursuer rampaged through the forests darting through the trees. He saw some nearby boulders under a tiny ledge, just big enough for him to squeeze under, sit and hide. He held his breath, praying and hoping that he would not be found, but his efforts were becoming futile. He could hear movement around him, stones falling down, displaced by hungry driven, bloodthirsty paws. Then he saw the huge shadow, fall in front of him. The beast was standing over him, separated by a few inches thick of rock. The terror, pressure and fear amongst him was immense, every second was pure agony and torture. He waited, the beast circling the area, pinpointing his exact location, until they were in line of sight of each other.

The beast growled aggressively and Darion fled down the rocky plains but the beast was hot on his chase. He narrowly missed a deathly strike from the beast’s front paw, however not so lucky with the second. The furious swing, make two claws strike his back, blood gorging out. Recovering from the blow he trips and falls down, savagely tumbling down a few meters of the rough mountainside. He body aching all over he reluctantly turns around, to see the predator way above him and leap down charging at him through the air like a bullet. Panicking he picks up a little 3inch knife from his pocket, more of an eating utensil than a weapon but it was all he had. Just as the beast descended down upon him from above, he struck his arm with all the strength he could muster at the merciless brute, the beast’s front arm striking Darion hard knocking him back.

Blood rushed down the beasts neck, the pain was excruciating. He tried to stand but the pain just wouldn’t let him and he collapsed. The blood was pale but the great creature recognized this. He had seen many of his kind die like this, blood was only this pale when on the brink of starvation, not eaten a real meal in weeks he was weakened, desperate. No prey for him was left, all extinct, long gone from this world. The true king of the animal kingdom had met its demise; it was the end of an era. The great, but dying beast’s last roar of defeat and demoralization resonated through the forest with a heartrending effect. The death of the jungle was gone.

Darion Drake was overwhelmed, though wounded, he was safe, and his extremely fortunate mortal blow saved his life. He let out a sigh of relief. It was over, and he got his vengeance. A pebble rolled down beside him, the triumphant explorer turned around, and his heart froze. Surrounding him was an army, a pack of these super hunters, not fully fledged adults yet, however still huge compared to Darion, hungry and closing in for the kill. Even today the remains of the great hunter, and the hunted lay side by side, laid to waste by the destruction of time, and death.