Monday, 31 August 2009

EU: a spade = a spade!! ja?

EU: time to start calling a spade a spade if the eu is to move forward at all (IMO)

4 mini analyses on "Greed"

thinking about greed under 90+ degrees (lol):

video

a) mis-channeled zest for life
b) we do not all work for greedy people
c) a sports analogy
d) financial delegation capitalism and corporatism

what small companies need

Reminder to poiiticians:

Small companies need climate of fewer but better laws and regulations - over-regulation suffocates small biz

fixing the glitches in capitalism

The solutions to the problems of capitalism exist within the system: eg SRI (socially (and environmentally) responsible investment)

noble capitalism

Moble Vapitalism: what does it take?

the man in the streets

Philosophy:

Does the "man in the street" care whether Doha Round - WTO talks will be completed, who the new EU Commissioners will be, etc?

How much of news is real news, ie contributing to a person's awareness of the "world"? why?

Sunday, 30 August 2009

WTO Doha Round talks

India is hosting 34 trade ministers, Sept. 3-4, in New Delhi, to talk of the Doha Round of WTO talks, on the way to the G20 talks in Pittsburgh.

Do they really think that the Doha round of WTO talks will be completed in 2010?

Eg. Does the new US Pres. have a "fast track" powers?

Is Greed the cause of the global economic crisis?

recession and re-bounds: Why?:

GDP growth in Q2 negative in USA, UK and Eurozone (-1%, -0.7%, -0.1%) while positive in Germany, France, Japan, HK, etc. One wonders why.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Pluralism vs Social Responsibility

Philosophy: Pluralism vs Social Responsibility

Do/should people or legal entities have to adhere to "social laws" or pressures in addition to the (real) laws of a land (ie laws proposed and voted by institutional bodies and in line with the Constitution not ad hoc "social dynamics")?

Friday, 28 August 2009

The philosopher-CEO

"mankind will have no respite from trouble until either real philosophers gain political power or politicians become by some miracle true philosophers."
- Plato, Republic

That was then.

Now, in 2009:

the economy will have no respite from trouble until either real philosophers become CEOs or CEOs become by some miracle true philosophers

- Panayotopoulos, nickpthinks

American Dream - Scandic Reality?

I wrote this in March 2007, but I think it applies in 2009 as well:

Business/entrepreneurship is the most suppressed form of personal expression in the world today.

A society where a child, irrespective of his/her or his/her parents background can realistically dream of starting and surviving a business (even very small) is not only economically, but also socially "libertarian"-liberal-free one!

In view of recent world rankings of economies and countries, could one speak these days of an "American Dream" but also of a "Danish, Swedish and Finnish Reality" (since those countries rank in top spots in competitiveness and other rankings, way above the USA, UK, France, Germany, Japan, China, India, etc)?

corporate "democracies"?

Democracy is IMO the best political system, but is it the best corporate governance system? philosopher-king to philosopher-CEO

Economic "Aurarky"?

Economy "Autarky":

a) national
b) regional (eg EU, NAFTA, CAFTA, Mercosur, ASEAN, African Union, etc) or
c) global (WTO)?

d) .......?

sales of new and existing US homes in July

The annual rate of sales of new US homes rose 9.6% July, beating analysts' expectations.

This constitutes the biggest rise in sales of new houses since September 2008.

Other data showed a 7.2% rise in the sales of existing home sales in July.

orders of US durable goods in July

Orders for US durable goods increased by 4.9% in July, beating analysts' expectations.

US's GDP in Q2 2009 (revised)

The US GDP in Q2 2009 declined at an annualised rate of 1% (-1%), unchanged from an initial estimate released last month. In Q1 the annualised rate of contraction 6,4% (-6,4%).

UK's GDP in Q2 2009 (revised)

UK's domestic product (GDP) in Q2 2009 has been revised to -0.7% (from -0.8%) compared with the previous quarter.

The year on year decline has been revised to -5.5% from -5.6%.

Philosophical and policy question: private or public?

Which economic activities are better suited for the private sector - supply-demand, which for the state and which for "mixed"?

Wanted

1) A greener - less materialist, more intellectual products oriented version of capitalism

2) A simpler but more satisfactory way of life, still consistent with the basics of Western civilisation.

Consider the pros and cons of 200 years of industrialism - what to keep and what to revise

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

How much Services can your economy produce and export?

How many services are really "tradeable" enough for an economy to depend for exports?

Which ones can the US or the UK or other OECD countries be "good"/globally "comparatively" competitive at?

And can they be "produced" in volumes and prices that can replace the exports of industrial goods? Or will they need to radically reduce their imports to achieve viable trade balances?

living in the era of services and intellectual products

Can the US, the UK, Germany, France and other OECD economies survive and prosper mainly via services and intellectual products?

Can they?

What kind of re-engineering do they need to be able to do that?

Eg Financial Services: Were/are London and NYC over relying on financial services for economic activity and for jobs? What are the employment and other economic effects these days?

2009 US record budget deficit

The White House and the Congress have warned that the US budget deficit will reach almost USD 1.6 trillion this year (USD 455cbn deficit in 2008).

Part of the reason is the USD 787bn stimulus package as well as lower tax revenues due to the recession.

Further, the White House predicts that a (cumulative) debt of USD 9 trillion will be recorded from 2010-2019!

2009+ viable models for economic growth, exports and jobs

With 75-80+% of most OECD economies being Services, what are viable models for economic growth, exports and jobs?

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Who cares about anything when life is being lived

(based on my "Game in Town" poem)


Who cares about the winter, when summer is so glorious
Who cares about losing, when winning is so grand
Who cares about anything, when life is being lived
Who cares about anything, when life is being lived

In bars and in bistros, commitments were kept
promises betrayed, anticipations realised

Kings and queens, knights and ladies, we are all here, because here is the place (x2)

Who cares about anything, when life is being lived

Industrial Orders in the EU and the Eurozone in June

Eurozone: New orders rose by 3.1% compared with May but down 25.1% compared with June 2008.
EU: They fell by 0.4% compared with May

The biggest rise compared with May was recorded in Ireland,14.8%.

Need to redefine "privacy"?

What is/should be considered "private" and what "public" nowadays?

Of course, in a fully (utopian) pluralist and safe society, IMO most of the need for privacy would become obsolete!

the real caviar in life

Philosophy - Life Management:

The real "caviar" in life IMO:

a) Philosophy (social, popular) - thinking and

b) sex

Yes, ecomomic post-materialism!

Monday, 24 August 2009

back to basics?

Philosophy - Economy:

Do we need a "back to basics" approach (as individuals and Society)?

IMO, we do.

revising capitalism?

Philosophy - Economy:

Does capitalism as we know it need a major revision job?

I think it does. It is festered with too many bugs and systemic faults. It does need re-engineering, IMO.

job satisfaction

Life management - philosophy - jobs:

If people turned their hobby into a profession the world would be a better place (and they happier)?

bugs in capitalism 1.0

life, philosophy, economy and policy:

Should the prices of basic goods such as oil, energy and food be the objects of "speculation"?

policy: fine balances

Policy: spending money does not guarantee healthy growth, cutting costs per se does not make an economy lean

life management: the value of sensuality

life management and philosophy:

In these volatile, gloomy, somewhat miserable times do more people need more sensuality in their daily lives?

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Liberal or Libertarian?

"Funny" how the term Liberal means opposite things in Europe vs. the US (European liberal = US libertarian)

Saturday, 22 August 2009

philosophy: a person's "strategic tool"

IMO philosophy is not about aimless thinking endevours, its role is to provide people applied "strategic" solutions for their daily lives

"life management": in other words, philosophy is to individuals/people what strategy is to companies

economic humor?

recession + recovery specs: she loves me, she loves me not, recovery, recovery not lol

oil dynamics

what price (range) of oil is high enough to promote the switch alternate energy sources and low enough not to cause economic effects analogous to mid-2008?

oil prices reach year's highest on Friday

The price of oil has hit its highest point of 2009 on Friday (today), a year of extreme price volatility.

The price of US crude closed at USD 73.89, of London Brent at USD 74.19.

US real estate

US sales of existing homes were up by 7.2% in July, at an annual rate of 5.24 million units.

Friday, 21 August 2009

whom do you trust?

In the economy, in politics, in relationships, in life in general: Whom do YOU "trust"?

public vs. private and the politicians' role

Some things are better done by the private sector, some by the
public, it is not ideological it is "structural" IMO

In countries where many citizens fear the #public sector and #bureaucracy it is the politicians, past and present, fault

Many politicians have a natural propensity to over-regulate, over-legislate, think they can determine everything

Many politicians think that "the market" and "supply and demand" will solve everything, they are equally wrong IMO

a public sector - bureaucracy that you can "trust"

if u do not trust ur country's "public sector", why not vote to change it? make it more effective, less bureaucratic - not private

economic type of "phobias"

While thinking about the "Obamacare" plan in the US and many people's reaction to a socialised coverage system, I realised that (in general, not the US):

Some people have a public sector - bureaucracy "phobia"
Some people have a private sector - greed "phobia".

cash rebates for replacing cars with more fuel efficient ones

The US Car Allowance Rebate System's total budget will stay at USD 3 bn (initially it was 1 bn).

Countries that implemented such schemes (boosting car sales): USA, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain

European Union: can it move "forward"?

IMO it is high time for radical new thinking towards more depth with clear communication of them and their rationale

The pro-EU camp has to call a spade a spade if the European Union is to move forward, no more "fuzz".

social media and "followers"

re socialmedia:

IMO "social capital" does not mean social "currency"

"Followers": IMO people do not "follow" people they "follow" ideas, thoughts, opinions, insights etc

trade: bilateral vs multilateral agreements

lots of new (bilateral) free trade agreements in the making, it seems. Do they undermine the (multilateral) WTO agreements/rules?

how many jobs lost in the US since the crisis?

Since December 2007, how many million jobs have been lost in the US? a) 4.7 b) 6.7 c) 8.7?
The answer: 6.7 (b)

careering in 2009

Investing in a career: what is the "underlying value" of a CV? Is there one or is it intangible/virtual?

analysing the causes of the crisis

Global financial crisis:

lessons?

Thinking hard in Wyoming?

(Meeting of central bankers and economists in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Geo or job flexibility?

Is geographical relocation or job flexibility more effective in job search?

UK's debt

The UK government's debt has reached 56.8% of GDP, the highest in more than 25 years!

UK retail sales

UK retail sales were 0.4% in July compared with June, 3.3% up from last year(ONS stats). Clothing and footwear sales (up 10.3% from a year ago), furniture and electrical goods were some of the main "drivers".

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

healthcare usa: a "hybrid" solution

One solution is IMO to keep it private but subsidize the premiums so that each holder pays the same fee no matter what his/her personal/family medical history/risk is.

on new policy making (a tip)

A tip to policy makers (in the USA, EU, etc) when you introduce new policy (especially radical/innovative/ground breaking) you do not make it "1000" pages (see eg what happened to the EU constitution)!

Why?

Because most of those who actually take the time and energy to read those "1000" pages will be its "enemies" and then good luck proving to the people that what is in those "1000" is "good" for them.

In other words:

Learn to draft policy and legislation in brevity and every day language. Easy? No. But no one said it was going to be easy!

the No. 1 challenge nowadays

No 1 challenge (for thinkers, philosophers, politicians, policy makers, etc, and yes, "people" - "the average citizen") today/nowadays (IMO):

To balance individualism and collectivism in the midst of loud voices that max on the former or the latter

In search of logic? the causes of dogmatic thinking

The causes of dogmatic - close minded thinking: is it any wonder that so many people try to cling to political, ideological, economic and other dogmas (because reality is so inconsistent)?

One effect of the systemic irrationality: can one expect the jobless in the USA, the EU, the world, to embrace free trade or other fancy ideas most governments do not even seem to practice?

In search of logic?

How logical - rational are the political, policy, economy (and job market) and other systemics of the world we live in? consistent?

Is it rational to expect a tad more rationality, logic or at least consistency?

free trade and protectionism

free trade and protectionism:

What is an "average citizen" (especially worker, jobless or small business owner) to believe nowadays?

Whose rhetoric? Which part of it?

Do as I say but not as I do?

Example:

The G20: How serious are they re anti-protectionism? Do as I say but not as I do?

re-thinking "comparative advantage"?

The key words are:

Policy Philosophy Economics Globalization

And the thought:

Re-thinking "comparative advantage"?

example: June 2009: According to the German Finance Minister, Germany must begin to reduce its dependence on foreign trade

Food for thought?

Globalisation pros and cons - food supply and demand

economic modeling and policy: lessons from the 2008 world prices crisis in staple foods?

USA: economic in-dependence?

End of June holdings of US Treasury Bonds in bn USD: 1) China 776.4 2) Japan 711.8 3) UK 214

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

The Dutch way in keeping unemployment low

How do the Netherlands manage to keep unemployment so low? Last time I checked, it was around 3% in spite of world recession!

Lessons for policy makers in other countries?

growth = mini and small companies

Policy: making it easier to start and operate a mini or small company (all countries) is IMO crucial for growth out of the recession.

WTO rules at all levels

IMO all public procurements at all levels (national/federal, state/provincial/regional, local, etc) must be under WTO rules in ANY WTO member country, federal or not.

life management: cost management

Life and Jobs: If you cannot make enough money, spend less money. Companies do the same (cost management)

on comparative advantage 1809 vs 2009

Do David Ricardo's (1772–1823) theories on comparative advantage apply to 21st century systemics and dynamics?

Humans over Things in Globalization

Is inter-national transportation too cheap for goods and too expensive for people??? food for thought (globalization)

life philosophy: accomodating "surprises"

Life Philosophy: Can you "plan" for surprises?

Foreign investment: private vs state?

Policy: Should a country discriminate between foreign private and foreign state investment to it?

IMO, Yes.

Economics 901: export then invest

Economics 901: Country X keeps its currency low, exports (big!) to ur economy, then uses part of the (huge) revenues (and foreign currency reserves) to invest in ur economy!!!!!!! Wow?

Out of recession since Q2 2009!

What did Japan, Hong Kong, France and Germany have in common in Q2 of 2009?

Their GDP growth got them out of recession!

US retail sales

US Retail Sales declined, unexpectedly, 0.1% in July, after a 0.8% increase in June.

When one excludes sales of car and auto parts, retail sales were down 0.6% in July!

US industrial production

US industrial production was up 0.5% in July, beating expectations. It was the first increase in 9 months.

UK inflation in July

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) remained at 1.8% in July, same as in June, in spite expectations of a decline to 1.5%.

The Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation rate, which includes mortgage interest payments, also rose unexpectedly to -1.4% from -1.6%.

The philosophy of "Society"

IMO a truly public health insurance and care option should be financed not via employers and employees Social Sec contributions, but the general taxes. Again IMO solidarity is health risks and costs is a basic function of a "Society". W/o it there is no "Society" to speak of. Only a "trailer park", at best. No person should have to pay the private sector premiums that his/her or family history "dictate" or be labeled "too risky to insure

Ancient Sparta or Ancient Athens? Which Societal-Civic "model"?
IMO, Ancient Athens!

It takes a "Society"

IMO a truly public option should be financed not via employers and employees Social Sec contributions, but the general taxes. Again IMO solidarity is health risks and costs is a basic function of a "Society". W/o it there is no "Society" to speak of. Only a "trailer park", at best. No person should have to carry the private sector premiums that his/her or family history "dictate" or be labeled "to risky to insure".

Is the plan is "dead", I am alas not surprised. It seems that the same special interests that opposed Hilary's plans in the first Clinton Admin. (1994) and almost "cost" him his re-election, have won again, some 15 years later. Would a Hilary Administration have a better chance to pass a plan this year? One will never know. Her plan was more ambitious though. Who knows, maybe in 2016 (years).

Or maybe Americans who wants solidarity based health insurance may need to start heading towards the North or the East (again, this time the opposite way from the 15th century).

Sparta or Athens? It seems that the Spartan system has won. It seems.

working vs entrepreneurship

What is harder nowadays? to find a job or to start a mini company?

The job of hunting for a job!

Looking for a job is a job, one of the hardest ones nowadays, actually

Civics: The Athenian vs. Spartan models today

Are there people today who consider the ancient Spartan socio-political model better than that of ancient Athens?????

US healthcare reform

Healthcare Reform: Is maybe a national Referendum the solution?

Monday, 17 August 2009

thinking and/or feeling?

Does logical thinking involve feeling?

"strategy" in business and in life

One company's perfect strategy is another company's disaster. Tailor make your company's strategy. The same applies to work/career and other personal matters as well. JMO

thinking vs action: thinking "is" action!

philosophy: life, job, business: Thinking before action! Never mind what some people say, Thinking is "action" too! Beat the groupthink, do not waste your energy in "instinctive" action. Thinking before action. JMO

work strategy dilemma

A long term post with average salary or a high risk post with premium salary?

thinking vs action

Life, job, business: thinking before action!

decisions, choices, the value of thinking

It's YOUR life, your job or business, thus make YOUR decisions!

IMO, thinking is the "competitive advantage" of our times

online dating vs online job hunting

What do you prefer: online job hunting or online dating?

Has online dating helped or hurt your dating life?
Are people spending too much time chatting before they actually meet? IMO, yes!

the core business functions in 2009?

IME Sales and Finance (and Operations) continue to be seen as the core of a corporation - business!

HR, PR, Public Affairs etc, even Marketing, are seen (really) as "auxiliary" by many corporations

The "PR" about HR

Human Resources (HR) Management is much more than the old "Personnel Mgt" but not many companies really believe in its value for all seasons

industrial policy

What is YOUR economy's "backbone" industrial - business sectors?

Does an economy need sectoral based "backbones"?

Sunday, 16 August 2009

factors in Germany's rebound

According to a German friend, unchanged domestic consumption (due to high savings in the last decades), car sales (Ed.Note: due to rebate offered by government for retiring old cars, similar systems in USA and other countries) and strong growth in asia (meaning exports) are the main reasons for Germany rebound back into positive GDP growth territory in Q2 of 2009.

Note the high savings in last decades factor!!!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Germany - Russia relations warm

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev have held talks for the second time this month and the third time this year! They focused on Russian human rights and boosting investment links as well as ways to overcome the consequences of the global recession.

Success keys in 2009

Success Keys in 2009 (IMO):

awareness
thinking
feeling
relaxation
philosophy
humor

Success in 2009 terms

What is "success" in 2009 terms?

US industrial production in July

The US industrial production rose 0.5% in July.
That's stronger than expected and it is the first rise in 9 months!

market access is key

A market is not "free" when you need middlemen to access it, is it?

France and Germany out of recession in Q2 0f 2009?

-.0.1 Eurozone + 0.3 Germany + 0.3 France - 0.8 UK = ??

UK unemployment

UK 2.4 million unemployed in the UK in Q2 of 2009. Ouch!

The career myth?

Who wants, today, to forgo over-time pay etc for the vague prospect of LT senior management and similar ambitions?

Career in 2009 terms

Beyond the myths: What is a "career" in 2009 terms compared with eg 1989 terms?

Export competency

Recent economic history: what turned the US and the UK from net exporters to net importers? Can that be reversed?

The largest car market in the world

What is the largest car market in the world with 11 million cars expected to be sold this year?

China, of course (given the 1.4 billion population)

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Are we dust in the wind?

"Dust in The Wind": A beautiful song by Kansas, one of my fave of all times.

Now, philosophically speaking: Are we indeed dust in the wind? And in what sense?

What is your POV? If we accept that we are, then what could that mean, philosophically, re our personal lives and values/mindsets?

About our values and priorities as "Humankind"? Eg does that make us abstain from petty arguments and feuds and wars and focus on the things that really matter, love for our fellow humans, less greed, etc.?

A more "intellectually" rather than materialist based living?

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

USA-China trade in June

In June, the US' trade deficit with China reached $18.4bn

US trade gap in June

After a $26bn trade deficit in May that was the smallest in more than nine years, in June, US trade registered a deficit of #27bn.


Imports: $152.8bn (up 2.3% from May, the largest increase in more than 6 months)
Exports: $125.8bn (up 2%).

Who creates jobs?

When will politicians (UK, EU, USA, etc) realise that they cannot create jobs, only foster the climate for job creation by the economy?

Eg: Are apprenticeships an effective way of helping young people enter the job market in a viable way?

Q2 UK unemployment the highest in 13 years

In Q2 of 2009 the UK unemployment rate rose to 7.8% from 7.1% in Q1. That means that 2.4 million people in the UK were unemployed in Q2 (April-June). The number is higher by now (August).

almost 1 million under 25 Brits looking for work

928,000 under 25 Britons are looking for work (ONS data).

Re-thinking the economic basics

Supply and demand! but who's supply and who's demand?

On the EU and US "Single Markets"

What does the EU Single Market need to be more like a real "Single Market"?

PS. Is the USA a real "Single Market"?

Do regulations and laws really have the right effect?

Do more regulations, laws and agencies really affect the "plays" of the "big players" (in markets of all sorts)?

Red tape and the small company

Do politicians and policy makers in Europe, the EU, the USA, etc. realise how their over-regulation and legal labyrinths "suffocate" small companies?

Globalization, market access and the small companies

Does anyone really expect small companies - anywhere - to feel part of the globalization "game" as it is today?

IMO the name of the globalization game is: (real) Market Access. Without it, it's a myth

Monday, 10 August 2009

The global effects of the "Buy American" provision

The "buy American" provision in the US stimulus package may or may in line with actual trade agreements but IMO, in any case, it gives out - emits a very pro protectionism signal to the whole world!

visions of the global staple food crisis 2008? a case for regionalisation - fortresses?

The price of sugar: visions of the global staple foods price crisis on 2008?

A reason for national or regional economic fortresses (aka self-sufficiency in production)?

The recent events:

The world price of raw sugar has reached to its highest level since March 1981!

This price increase seems to be driven by supply side fears related to the growing demand in Brazil for sugar to be turned into ethanol and a sharp 45% 2008-2009 year-on-year decline in production in India and concerns that since India had less rain in the monsoon season etc, the pending sugar crop, which will be ready around November, will be lacking.

USA and EU public policy and the man in the street:

USA and EU public policy and the man in the street: who really pays attention to what is happening - new policy + laws in DC and in Brussels/Lux/Strasbourg?

What is the effect of that?

thinking vs. action in our epoch

What is the value of common sense in such a volatile epoch? IMO, not that high!!!
hy is thinking things thru so hard in our epoch?


Act first, think later? Is this the effect of the dynamics of our epoch?

what do you want, want do you really need?

A music vid philosophical commentary on needs and wants in 2009!

video

Some thoughts on Governing in 2009

IMO most countries/states need fewer but better laws, neither chaos nor bureaucratic labyrinths

A free market presupposes strong but clear competition rules

It's not the role of governments to protect jobs in specific companies but to protect the employability of the people ("flexicurity")

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Dynamics: Dilemmas or win-win? Local and Global?

Buy local or global? How about regional (eg EU, NAFTA, ASEAN, Mercosur, etc)?
How about work (local, global, regional)?
City or countryside?
Commute to work or pay high rent downtown?

The system or the people?
The Society or the individual?

Financial or Human capital?

The place or the people (or both)?

Dilemmas or win-win?

Thinking or over-analysis?

Essence or form?

The era is full of alleged dilemmas, posed by media, experts, policy makers, activists, preachers, sellers, etc etc.

But do these dilemmas really exist? Why does there have to be "or" and not "and"? How about balance? How about mix?

"The thing you own wind up owning you" ("The Fight Club")

Fast times, fast food, fast (and dilemma based) thinking?

The big city or the quaint village? Why not BOTH?

Intellectual products and their value in 2009 economies

Way of life 2009: Food for the stomach OR food for thought (the mind)?

How "intellectual" is your economy? In other words, is it goods or services or intellectual products based?

Buy/work local, global or regional?

Globalisation is supposed to work for the small company and the average person (the man in the street). Is it?

Buy local, global (WTO) OR regional (EU, NAFTA, Mercosur, ASEAN, etc)?

Friday, 7 August 2009

German and French trade balances in June

1) Germany
In June, exports rose by 7%, which is the fastest pace of growth in almost three years.
Exports were 67.4bn euros, imports 56.4bn euros, leading to a trade surplus of 11bn euros.

2) France
Exports fell to 27.44bn euros in June from 27.908bn euros in May, imports rose to 31.449bn euros in June from 31.045bn in May, thus the trade deficit grew to 4bn euros in June from 3.137bn euros in May.

US jobs lost in July

Against analysts' expectations of 320,000 non-farm job losses in July, the US economy lost 247,000 jobs "only". The unemployment rate fell to 9.4%, from 9.5% in June.

This is the first time since April 2008 that the US unemployment rate decreases. But does that mean anything re recession - recovery? Most economists as well as US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner expect unemployment not to reach its to peak until the second half of 2010, ie a year from now!

Since December 2007 when the recession is supposed to have begun, approx. 6.7 million jobs have been lost in the US.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

US consumption, personal income and wages

US consumer spending rose (0.4%) for the second consecutive month in June (0.1% in May), driven by rising food and fuel costs.

Personal income in June fell 1.3% from May (May was the month of the stimulus payments)

Wages and salaries fell by 0.4% in June from May for the eighth straight month.

What will be the consumption impact of the "cash for clunkers" scheme in July and August that allow people to trade in old cars to buy newer vehicles at a discount?

Monday, 3 August 2009

philosophy: neither Marx nor Ayn Rand!

It seems that many seek analysis of the causes and systemics of the current global crisis in either the theories of Marx or Ayn Rand.

IMO the theories of Marx and Ayn Rand are irrelevant in analysing or solving problems in the 21st century.

Why? Because the fundamentals, social, economic, political, cultural, technological, etc, in other words, the systemics and dynamics of our era, are very different than the epochs these theories were conceived and developed in.

The same applies IMO to most thinkers of past centuries.

IMO the problems of our era require fresh new thinking and new, modern, thinkers who will take into account the systemics and dynamics of our era in order to analyse the situations and problems and propose solutions or even causal analyses.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

uncertainty as opportunity or risk: USA vs. Europe

Europeans used to view uncertainty as a threat - do they still do that?

Americans used to view uncertainty as an opportunity - do they still do that?

the road to a functioning EU

The challenge for the EU IMO: balancing individuality and collectivism

EU's future: better and fewer regulations

EU's future: better, simpler and fewer regulations and laws (eu and national)

Europe's Basic Economics

As EUropean consumers lose their jobs (3.17m people in the Eurozone have lost their jobs since June 2008), they lower their spending. To attract customers, retailers have been cutting prices.

Simple Economics and what appears to be happening in Europe, especially the Eurozone, which is recording record low prices.

Eurozone jobless rate and inflation

In June, the number of jobless in the Eurozone grew by 158,000, bringing the total number of to 14.9 million or 9.4%, which is the highest rate in 10 years. The lowest unemployment rate was recorded in the Netherlands, 3.3% and the highest in Spain: 18.1%

As per the Eurozone's inflation, in July, it declined more than expected to a record low 0.6% compared to a year earlier.


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