Wednesday, April 7, 2010

EU and Eurozone GDP in Q4 of 2009 (Eurostat 2nd estimate)

According to Eurostat's second estimate for Q4 of 2009, released today

Eurozone: Zero (0%) GDP growth in Q4 of 2009 (+0.1% in 1st estimate) compared to Q3 of 2009.

EU: GDP growth in Q4 of 2009 +0.1% (same as in 1st estimate) compared to Q3, -2.3% compared to Q4 2008

Compared to Q4 of 2008, only Poland (+2.8%) and Lux (+1.4%) saw positive #GDP change in Q4 of 2009 in the EU

The Local, National, Regional, Global confusion! (systemics)

a) Local (a2) for US, Germany, etc: state) b) National c) Regional d) Global (or WTO - 153 countries?)

Which is the above is the so called Optimal level for an individual or a household to "operate on" in the following types of "activities"?

1) Buy 2) Work (including seek work) 3) Be aware (via news etc) and Think 4) Invest/Save 5) Feel 6) Study 7) take Vacations 8) Date 9) Live (the "experience" of life in general)?

Posted via web from nickpthinking

Some thoughts on economic and policy dynamics

IMO An EU "Common Market" (or even a simple EU Free Trade Area that some Euroskeptics want) means - needs common laws & a common democratic government.

Equivalently, IMO, global trade, economy & rules need a global democratic government.
Does the G20 have the political - democratic legitimacy to decide any laws or rules for participating members (not to mention non-participants)?

How come many/most Eurosceptics, especially those very concerned about sovereignty, for consistency, aren't also skeptic of the G20, WTO, any international agreement, plus SWFs?

A catch 22? US economic optimism rises after last Friday's job stats in the US and as a resut the price of oil rises!

Competition law and policy: Should the "relevant market" in some sectors today be the sum of 153 WTO member economies?

Policy: How does competition law apply in the financial markets - industry? a) National b) global?

Competition law is supposed 2 protect from big brothers in the markets. But what protects from big brothers in public policy?

Pseudo-dilemma: Big brother government or big brother biz?

The lessons of the 2009 world prices crises in oil and staple foods. It hiked up the cost of inputs and became an economic crisis. Then came the unrelated subprime led financial and then economic mega-crisis - tsunami! But let us not lose sight of that crisis and lessons from it:
IMO, it makes a case for national (or regional, eg EU or ASEAN) self-sufficiency in energy and basic foods. In other words, the ability of a country to not depend on imported energy (oil, etc) for its energy and basic nutritional needs.

IMO the US and European countries need to re-design their taxation systems and philosophy of taxation from scratch in order to fit the new systemics and adapt to this era.

Is free trade dead or in decline? IMO, no, because real (global) free trade has not been "born" yet! What we have these days is merely trade that more less un-free than 30, 60 years ago.
Plus as long as free trade and mobility of capital are not coupled with immigration freedom, system is unfair and unbalanced.
Plus IMO, an international - world trade and economic system that does not empower SMEs (small + med size companies) cannot enjoy world popular support. Thus, it has to empower them (see: redesign the system).
In addition:
Should the (old) political-economic theory that trade promotes democracy be re-examined in light of modern age data? As well as David Ricardo's "comparative advantage" theory?

In the US there is a lot of fuss re China's policy via its currency in the last decade (since WTO entry of China) and its effect on US exports and US jobs. My thought is: If one looks at Yuan vs USD vs Euro in 2001-2008 charts, what does one see, from an EU - Eurozone point of view?

What is really a "Free Market"? Beyond myths and simplicities

Free market, is a key world in the vocabulary of both its proponents and its critics, in the the political, policy, economic, business, mediatic, intellectual and other milieux around the world. .

The (overlooked?) importance of market access in world trade

Do "some" of the major players in global trade provide sufficiently "free" market access to foreign companies in their own markets. Eg when a company is forced, either officially or de facto (or even, in some cases of country/ies) assigned a "native" partner in order to be allowed into a national market, is that consistent with a so called "free trade"? Do existing WTO rules adequately address market access issues - barriers?

Posted via web from nickpthinking

Each type of economic activity - "industry" has its own characteristics; thus political theories ..

Each type of economic activity - "industry" has its own characteristics; thus political theories or ideologies that explicitly or implicitly treat all economic activities as the same are IMO too simple and thus faulty in addressing real world problems and situations. For example 1) some "industries" need more regulation, some less, much less than the status quo 2) some activities are better done by the public sector, some (more) by the private one (ie supply and demand).

Posted via web from nickpthinking

The beauty of football (soccer), business and politics.

Thoughts after the FC Barcelona - Arsenal games:

The beauty of football: To come back from a 0-2 deficit in the first leg by scoring 3 in a row (2 at home and then 1 away, at the return game) and then concede 4 in a row for a 3-6 aggregate.

The beauty of business and the beauty of politics are .... (ah, nevermind)!

Posted via web from nickpthinking

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Beyond the national vs global debate

IMO globalization is not cutting it in its present version and that is largely the main cause of the re-focus on national levels in recent years. The same can be said of one of the main aspects of globalization, free trade. Having national leaders and other key figures make pro free trade and anti protectionism declarations, IMO, does nothing to address the systemics factors behind a) the protectionist and b) national focus dynamics of recent years. Free trade does produce extra world GDP but one has to consider and discuss who gets most share of that "added value" from trade and any other benefit of a global focus. And I re-iterate my view on the need to reconsider David Ricardo's "comparative advantage" theory, with relevance to modern systemics and dynamics.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

On voices, mouths and national and EU "interest"

There is a lot of discussion re the issue of representation of the EU with either a "singe voice" vs (latest idea introduced)"single mouth" (eg in the G20).

IME what is key is for single EU voice and/or mouth to reflect a position that's representative of all 27 or decision reached by 27.

Is having a single mouth boring? No, IME that is not the case with European PMs and Presidents (eg Sarkozy) or Obama when they speak re national interest

Thus IMO the challenge is to define "EU interest" in an inclusive way for all "parts" of the EU, in the same way that eg Angela's voice is inclusive of all 16 laender & Obama's of all 50 states & Brown's of England, Scotland, Wales and NI.

On economic and political governance

Re all the economic governance "fashion" of recent months and weeks:

All policy issues have an economic dimension but no policy even econ has only an econ dimension 25 minutes ago via we

IMO economic policy decisions cannot be left to the "market" or supply and demand, they should not replace elected political governance.

For a market to be truly free it must also be "democratic" and rule of law does not mean rule of market rules or #economic theories.

Even common markets and free trade areas need political governance, IMO. Hence EEC Common Market naturally led towards EU Political Union.

IMO, we see the same thing happening with world free trade, ie for political governance to balance multilateral economic activity.

IMO all policy decisions must be approved by the people or their elected reps and economic, monetary and fiscal policies are no exception.