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Americanization and Westernization of the Global Culture
Trish Hallmark - 4/4/2013
Are Americans forcing a global culture that smacks of jeans, t-shirts and apple pie? As American corporations like Wal-Mart, McDonalds and Acuvue Oasys, as well as European ones like Niance dot the globe, fueled by entrepreneurship ideologies, are they diluting the distinct cultural differences of our world? The debate over the Americanization of global culture centers around the trepidation ...
Lenin’s dream of financial ruin
Mike Spaniola - 2/28/2013
Clues to the nation’s financial debacle can be found in the dustbin of history, but those most responsible hide their sleights of hand as closely as any magician. In 1919, British economist John Maynard Keynes observed: “[Vladimir] Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. … Lenin certainly was right.
US-China on-going confrontation: Is New Cold War Likely?
Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi - 2/28/2013
Although China and the United States have never been close allies despite very significant trade promoted by international business management more so than the governments, the recently increased activities of America in Asia-Pacific region, particularly as regards South China Sea row and China’s amazing overall progress, all these appear tending towards differences between them, thereby risking the eruption of a new Cold War.
Friction, Efficiency, and Volatility in Financial Markets
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/16/2012
It is an open question whether frictionless markets are more efficient. Traders and investors need time to digest new information; incorporate it in models and theories regarding the markets and specific securities; map out the full implications of recent developments; and decide how to act. We call this time lapse "friction" and it guarantees that players and agents act more or less rationally and consistently. In a frictionless market, panics, crashes, and bubbles are far more likely, rendering it less efficient, not more so.
The Social Costs of Small Business
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/22/2012
Big Business (with 1000 employees or more) and traditional business (central office or factory) provided workers with a network of social contacts and with opportunities to fraternize and befriend others. These workplaces fostered the formation of formal and informal emotional and economic peer-based support groups. These benefits were lost with the advent of the Small Office Home Office (SOHO), flextime, and personal entrepreneurship.
GLOBAL SWEEP USA Like Greece, Retail Sales, Euro,
Prof. Peter Morici - 6/16/2012
I. The United States Is Becoming Too Much Like Greece
GLOBAL SWEEP: US Jobs, Spain and the Euro, JP Morgan
Prof. Peter Morici - 6/4/2012
I. Another Lousy Jobs Report: Unemployment Up, Few Jobs Added
GLOBAL SWEEP: Europe, Romeny, US Recession
Prof. Peter Morici - 5/27/2012
I. U.S. Recession Could to Follow Greek Exit from Euro
GLOBAL SWEEP: Greece, American Banks
Prof. Peter Morici - 5/19/2012
I. Why and How Greece Must Exit the Euro
Austerity is imposing intolerable unemployment and political chaos in Greece, and won’t permit it to repay its debts. Athens must abandon the euro and reintroduce the drachma.
After the euro was adopted in 1999, productivity growth was slower and prices rose faster in Southern Europe than in Germany and other northern states. The more competitive north enjoyed growing trade surpluses and the Mediterranean states deficits.
Trade deficits can instigate high unemployment and curb tax revenues, and to create jobs and finance social pr...
GLOBAL SWEEP: Yuan, JP Morgan, Euro, Trade Deficit
Prof. Peter Morici - 5/16/2012
I. China’s Yuan Remains Hugely Undervalued, Dragging down U.S. Growth, Jobs
America's GDP, Europe's Collapse
Prof. Peter Morici - 4/30/2012
I. USA: First Quarter GDP Advances 2.2 Percent, Economy Slowing
INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS: Spain and China
Prof. Peter Morici - 4/19/2012
I. Spain Predicament Show the Perils of Austerity, Tough Limits on Central Banks
Global Cyber Name Identities Face New Storms
Naseem Javed - 2/24/2012
Suddenly, perfect storms are developing on the global branding fronts; the top of the agenda is now ‘naming’ of the brands itself and how will the names survive the rapid changes of massive digitalization of social media where such name identities reside and skate to catch customers via global cyber branding.
FDI Policy in Multi-brand Retail Favors the Big Multinationals
Shekar Swamy - 2/24/2012
On 24 November 2011, the Indian government approved 51 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail stores and 100 percent in single brand outlets in its $450 billion retail market. The decision was met with a howl of protest from allies and opposition alike. Even several sections of the ruling Congress party have also expressed their reservation against the policy announcement. The country has not witnessed such a polarized view on foreign investment policy in the last two decades.
The Death Knell of Success in Business
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/16/2012
The film “The Artist” describes the waning career of a megastar of the era of silent movies when he refuses to make the transition into the epoch of “talkies” (films with sound.) He mocks the innovation and then challenges it by producing a lavish production of yet another silent epic. His inevitable downfall follows. He is reduced to pawning and auctioning off his few remaining belongings.
Cruise Ship Vacation Wisdom
Joel S. Hirschhorn - 1/24/2012
I have taken a number of cruise ship vacations. The last one was about a year and half ago. I learned a lot about cruise ships and what factors should go into decisions about selecting a specific cruise ship that I want to share with you.
Rating Downgrades: S&P Got France Right, Germany Wrong
Prof. Peter Morici - 1/17/2012
Standard & Poor’s was correct to downgrade the credit ratings of France and seven other Eurozone governments, but wrong to affirm Germany’s AAA status. The euro will inevitably collapse and chaos will follow, endangering even the strongest governments.
Recession 2012, Euro Rejected, Newt and Obama
Prof. Peter Morici - 12/19/2011
I. A Second Great Recession in 2012?
Just as the U.S. economy appears improving, four sets of forces could thrust America into an abyss rivaling the Great Depression.
First, for decades, the Washington has pursued more open global trade and domestic deregulation. These unleashed great potential for innovation and growth; however, China and other nations have abused freer trade through export subsidies and import barriers to boost their economies at the expense of others. And, in some industries, a few players have amassed great monopoly power—notably, large financial house...
What Will Happen to My Euros?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/14/2011
Investors have lost confidence in the political leadership of the Eurozone: in their commitment to the project, their solidarity, their willingness and ability to adopt unpopular measures, and their managerial competence.
Merkel Reforms Will Worsen Euro Crisis
Prof. Peter Morici - 12/8/2011
European leaders are working feverously to create what German Chancellor Merkel is calling a “fiscal union” to restore private investor confidence in Europe and rekindle growth. Unfortunately, what she advocates will thrust Europe into a deeper economic crisis, and leave European leaders without the fiscal and monetary policy tools necessary to combat recessions.
American, Jobs, German Euro
Prof. Peter Morici - 12/5/2011
I. Unemployment Drops to 8.6 Percent as Many Adults Quit Labor Force
Abandon the Euro, Shy Away from Treasuries
Prof. Peter Morici - 11/28/2011
I. Time Fast Approaching for EU to Abandon the Euro
Germany is Next to Fall
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/16/2011
As the crisis in Italy is threatening to spread to France, Austria, Belgium, and other "solid citizens" of the eurozone, pundits have hitherto ignored the greatest threat: Germany. With its economy stagnant (0.5% projected GDP growth this year), Germany has assumed hundreds of billions of euros in new commitments to the faltering euro project. Normally, in times of crisis, investors would snatch up German bunds, driving up their prices and driving down their yields. This time, yields on Germany's much-vaunted bunds remained stable. Investors are shying away, terrified that the toxic waste gene...
Will Google Search Replace Domain Names?
Naseem Javed - 11/14/2011
The growing notion among big advertising agencies and brand marketers is that as search engines find answers instantly, there's no real need to enter a domain name in the browser and therefore domain names are far less important. They're absolutely right. Why would you type www.rolex.com when you can simply enter 'Rolex' and be there before you blink?
Penn State Scandal: Big Time Sports Harm Universities
Prof. Peter Morici - 11/14/2011
The scandal at Penn State is more than a stain on a storied college football program and patriarchic coach. It is an indictment against universities who continue the pretense that big time sports support their academic mission.
Eurozone Crisis: You Read It First in Global Politician, almost TWO YEARS ago!
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/9/2011
Almost two years (!) before anyone dreamed of a eurozone crisis, a Greek default, and soaring yields on Italian bonds, Global Poilitician has published a series of articles predicting all three events. Click on the links and judge for yourselves:
Italy, Gold, and the Euro
Prof. Peter Morici - 11/9/2011
I. Berlusconi Ouster Won’t Avert Italian Default, Euro Collapse
Weak Position Limits Cannot Tackle Speculation in Commodities
Kavaljit Singh - 11/2/2011
After months of delay, the US commodity regulator – Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) – finally approved new rules to limit traders’ positions on 28 physical commodity futures (and swaps) contracts.
The Quick Demise of Qwikster - ICANN gTLD Approach
Naseem Javed - 10/19/2011
The superstar movie rental giant, Netflix rapidly graduated to movie streaming and suddenly splintered the old fashioned DVD movie rentals and created 'Qwikster', a separate division with a name identity inspired by the sorts of Twitter and Napster etc. When the outcry of customers reached the boardroom, the objections over account access, dual billings and having to deal with two separate unrelated name identities overwhelmed the management while the wisdom kicked in.
It's the Same Banking Crisis, Stupid!
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/15/2011
The crisis that started in 2008 is a banking crisis and it is still going strong. Banks all over the world over-leveraged their capital and extended loans unwisely to the undeserving.
Yen’s Recent Surge Hurting Japan
Rajaram Panda, Ph.D. - 9/5/2011
The steady appreciation of the Japanese Yen is hurting Japan’s economy at a time when it is still struggling to recover from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and the unresolved crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The administration of Kan Naoto government was unable to implement policy measures to deal with the catastrophe. His successor Noda Yoshihiko, who was the finance minister in the Kan Cabinet, is expected to understand financial matters better and therefore has a tough job to do to rein in the surging Yen. When the Yen ventured near its March 17 high of 76.25 agains...
Crisis of Growth, Crisis of Measuring Growth
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/26/2011
The sovereign debt crisis of 2010-2 emanated from the realization that lower growth rates throughout the industrialized West were insufficient to guarantee the repayment of debts accumulated by governments. The proceeds of the credits and loans assumed by public sectors throughout Europe and in the USA were ploughed into successive futile attempts to stimulate ailing economies and avert banking crises and panics.
The Debt Crisis and the Difference between a Strategic and a Tactical Surprise
Yoav J. Tenembaum - 8/19/2011
One of the main features that distinguish a crisis from a non-crisis situation is the element of surprise.
The global crisis and the decline of market fundamentalism
Prof. Dr. Rumen Georgiev - 8/18/2011
The questions how is the current global economic crisis similar to previous collapses of this kind and in what way it differs from them, as well as what lessons we should draw from it, has been debated on a number of occasions during various scientific discussions and in the media.
The Greatest Savings Crisis in History
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/27/2011
In 1996-7, a saving bank named TAT collapsed in Macedonia, eliminating the savings of thousands of people of all walks of life and nearly causing a recession.
Portfolio Management Theory And Technical Analysis Lecture Notes
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/25/2011
The Bill of Rights of the Investor
1. To earn a positive return (=yield) on their capital.
2. To insure his investments against risks (=to hedge).
3. To receive information identical to the that of ALL other investors - complete, accurate and timely and to form independent judgement based on this information.
4.To alternate between investments - or be compensated for diminished liquidity.
5. To study how to carefully and rationally manage his portfolio of investments.
6.To compete on equal terms for the allocation of resources.
7. To assume tha...
The Morality of Child Labor
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/21/2011
From the comfort of their plush offices and five to six figure salaries, self-appointed NGO's often denounce child labor as their employees rush from one five star hotel to another, $3000 subnotebooks and PDA's in hand. The hairsplitting distinction made by the ILO between "child work" and "child labor" conveniently targets impoverished countries while letting its budget contributors - the developed ones - off-the-hook.
From Madoff to Murdoch to Greece: Whatever Happened to Ethics?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/18/2011
The former head of the biggest stock exchange in the world swindles his clients. The editors and journalists of Britain's largest paper hack the phone of the victims of crime and terrorism. Greek workers paralyze the country, refusing to give up early and costly pensions. American congressmen say that defaulting on the country's debts wouldn't be such a bad thing.
Metamorphosis: Digital Presence of Print Newspapers (Lecture Notes)
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/12/2011
Stage 1: Brainstorming
PAPERNAME ONLINE / ePAPERNAME SUGGESTED BRAINSTORMING AGENDA
I. STRATEGIC AIMS
Print versus Web primacy
Content flow models
The Web as an income or profit center
The Web as a marketing tool
The community aspects of the Web (interactivity, UGC - User Generated Content, social media strategies)
The Web as a shopping mall (e-commerce)
Integrative function of the medium's Web presence
PAPERNAME Online/ePAPERNAME as a brand and brand differentiation (the problem of cannibalism)
II. CONTENT and TRAINING
The Making of Muhammad Yunus
Rashidul Bari - 6/28/2011
Grameen Bank (GB) was founded by Muhammad Yunus, a Fulbright scholar with a flair of a Citoyen (comrade). He was a classical economics student at Vanderbilt University, who had been schooled in the tradition of Adam Smith and Karl Marx. He was also a gifted writer who became a revolutionary journalist during the Bangladesh Liberation War.
Global Image Cyber Warfare: The gTLD weaponry
Naseem Javed - 6/22/2011
Why would someone invest $187,000 for single name application with ICANN plus another few hundred thousands of dollars on related costs to acquire a new gTLD domain root system? Simple, the real motivation will be to declare global-image-cyber-warfare and to create global market domination under a name identity.
Power Play of Name Evaluation
Naseem Javed - 5/12/2011
There was a time, when businesses names were simply picked out of a hat, literally, and at times very successfully. Later, the complexity of the marketplace boosted the name lists to such huge quantities that they had to use larger drums, truly.
Corporate Face: The Five Masks
Naseem Javed - 5/2/2011
Every corporation has a face, as imagery, shine and style is inter-layered into a skin appearing as a mask with uplift captured by its distinct name identity and poised to reach the upper stratosphere of stardom. Corporate masks are just like real people, some are exciting and some boring, some you remember and some you forget, some you like and some you simply don’t.
Effects on Emerging Economies of Downgrading of US Credit Rating
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/29/2011
Standard and Poore’s have changed the outlook for the credit rating of American Federal obligations (including Treasuries) from “stable” to “negative”. This means that the rating agency believes that the current fiscal haemorrhage (budget deficit) of the USA is not sustainable. The value of American debt is bound to be eroded either by defaulting on it (unthinkable hitherto) or, much more likely, by soaring inflation. Simultaneously, S&P downgraded debt instruments issued by US municipalities (“munis”) whose proceeds were used to pay for previous issues.
Fearing the Worst: How Crises in Middle East and Japan Threaten a Second Great Recession
Prof. Peter Morici - 3/22/2011
Crises in the Middle East and Japan threaten to thrust the U.S. and global economies into a second recession.
Striking a Balance: Unions and the Public Interest
Prof. Peter Morici - 3/1/2011
The drama playing out in Wisconsin and public reaction illustrates why unions have America’s governors and legislatures hog tied and states teetering on insolvency.
Food inflation: Back into the driver’s seat
Bhuwan Thapaliya - 2/25/2011
How do you sell poverty? Very simple – inflate the food prices. And unfortunately, this is happening. Much to the dismay of the poor – the global food inflation has raised its murky head yet again, and rising food prices is making life a misery for millions of people all around the globe.
Corporate and Product Brands as Stereotypes
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/16/2010
Brands can be viewed as reputation-based stereotypes which are the emergent outcomes of mass opinions and judgements (mainly communicated via word-of-mouth); public perceptions and misperceptions; cognitive and emotional elements and deficits; and new data. Brands are impermanent and amenable to constant revision. There are negative brands (negative brand equity) as well as positive brands. Brands imply a promise, a contract between the firm and its various stakeholders (investors, management, employees, customers, suppliers). Brands signal information about the firm and its products to competitors and the media.
Monopolizing the Field of Vision: From AND Screens to OR Screens
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/8/2010
1. Screens that Include Reality vs. Screens that Exclude It
Economic Trust and Mistrust Numercal Index
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/26/2010
I suggest a simple index of economic trust with the following variables, all of which are scored on a scale of 1 to 10:
Britannica's Reference Galaxy 2011
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/20/2010
The Encyclopedia Britannica has long been much more than a venerable print reference work. A decade ago it pioneered a freemium website (some content free, other content behind a pay wall). This has now flourished into a comprehensive walled garden of knowledge. Additionally, the Britannica publishes books and CD-ROMs about specific topics and issues. These are the best primers and introductions available to a host of fields and areas, from history to science.
Basel III and the Safety of Banks
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/14/2010
In the wake of the Great Recession (2007-8) - a crisis largely of the financial system - the multinational Basel Committee and the Group of Central Bank Governors and Heads of Supervision, comprised of central bankers, banking supervisors, and regulators more than doubled the amount of equity (Tier 1) capital banks must have to 4.5%.
Print Books (p-books) and Electronic Books (e-books): Different Packaging or Revolution?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/15/2010
The first-ever print runs were tiny by our standards and costly by any standard. Gutenberg produced fewer than 200 copies of his eponymous and awe-inspiring Bible and died a broken and insolvent man. Other printers followed suit when they failed to predict demand (by readers) and supply (by authors who acted as their own publishers, pirates, underground printers, and compilers of unauthorized, wild editions of works).
Deflation in the USA and its Effects on Consumption and Investment
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/11/2010
Interview granted to Bankrate.com, August 2010
Q. Why would deflation happen in the United States?
A. For deflation to happen in the USA, an unlikely confluence of economic developments and policy errors must occur. Unemployment must resurge and reach levels of well above 15% on a prolonged and sustained basis; consumption and, consequently, capital investment must collapse; asset prices - especially equity and residential real-estate - must crumble; the banking system must suffer a substantial contraction; the government must cut its budget deficit considerably and abruptly; and...
Deflation and the Value of Cash
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/2/2010
Traditional economics claims that deflation actually increases the value of cash to its holder by enhancing its purchasing power in an environment of declining prices (negative growth in the average price level). Though highly intuitive, this is wrong. It is true that in a deflationary cycle, consumers are likely to delay consumption in order to enjoy lower prices later. But this precisely is what makes most asset classes – including cash – precarious and unprofitable.
Deflationary expectations (let alone actual deflation) lead to liquidity traps and zero interest-rates....
Why Do People Pay Taxes?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/3/2010
It is commonly - albeit erroneously and counterfactually - thought that taxpayers are intimidated into the fulfilment of their fiscal obligations and that tax collection is mainly about coercion. The truth is different.
Dow-Jones: I Told You So 14 Months Ago
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/2/2010
In February 2009 (when the Dow-Jones was hurtling towards 6500) I made a startling prediction:
REVIEW: The Britannica Guide to Climate Change
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/12/2010
Climate change and its cause, global warming, are concepts that are far less controversial today than they were a mere five years ago. Yet, both still generate heated debates online and off the Net and not only among ignorant laymen: scientists and politicians butt heads and shower insults on their opponents when it come to this most contentious of latter day apocalypses.
Europe's Torture Exports
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/22/2010
A report published in March 2010 by Amnesty International and the Omega Research Foundation and titled “From Words to Deeds” accused European companies of manufacturing and selling “tools of torture”. Among these were fixed wall restraints, metal "thumb-cuffs", and electroshock "sleeves" and "cuffs" that deliver 50,000V shocks.
Positioning the Encyclopedia Britannica
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/24/2010
In the age of the Wikipedia, nearly-accurate information is ubiquitous. Granted, the data are riddled with errors and do not amount to structured knowledge. Still, Wikipedia-like online efforts are more than adequate for the needs of the vast majority of users. When in search of fault-free, in-depth, and articulate wisdom, students and academics revert to textbooks and scholarly magazines. Thus, the Encyclopedia Britannica falls between the cracks: it is too detailed, costly, and thorough to cater to the wants of the occasional peruser, yet it is not sufficiently authoritative to serve as a bibliographic source in a textbook or doctoral thesis.
Are commercial partnerships between science and industry the best way to reduce GHG emissions?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/21/2010
If the reduction of GHG (Greenhouse Gases) is a public good, it should be provided mainly by the government (or by NGOs), possibly - but not necessarily - in conjunction with industry. If cutting emissions is essentially a commercial or private good, it is best left to market forces (firms, exchanges) with science merely providing guidance and input to agents and players.
Why Free Trade Is Failing America
Prof. Peter Morici - 1/14/2010
No economic policy could better serve Americans than genuine free trade, but open trade policies are failing Americans. Free trade is a compelling idea to capitalists standing at conferences in front of their banner stands for trade shows. Let each nation do more of what it does best, and specialization will raise productivity and incomes. Americans are not sharing in those benefits because President Obama, like President Bush, permits China and others to cheat on the rules, unchallenged, to the detriment of the U.S. interests he was elected to champion.
Can We Be Pleased with the Progress We Made on Climate Change Mitigation?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/20/2009
The response to climate change has hitherto been characterized either by dewy-eyed romanticism or by malignant optimism ("if we only recognize the magnitude and nature of the problem and throw money and new technologies at it, all will be well"). These twin fallacies (really, psychological defense mechanisms) have led to the adoption of implementation of measures and technologies that ranged from the futile (ethanol in gas) to the harmful (biofuels). In lieu of devising effective strategies to cope with this potential threat, leaders and civil society (NGOs, multilateral organizations) engaged...
Vanity Publishing will Rescue the Print Media
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/22/2009
The circulation of print magazines has declined precipitously in the last few years. This dissolution of subscriber bases has accelerated dramatically as economic recession set in. But a diminishing wealth effect is only partly to blame. The managements of printed periodicals - from dailies to quarterlies - failed miserably to grasp the Internet's potential and potential threat. They were fooled by the lack of friendly and cheap e-reading devices into believing that old habits die hard. They do - but magazine reading is not habit forming. Readers' loyalties are fickle and shift according to co...
Seven Concepts in Derivatives
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/3/2009
The implosion of the markets in some complex derivatives in 2007-9 drew attention to this obscure corner of the financial realm. Derivatives are nothing new. They consist of the transfer of risk to third parties and the creation of a strong correlation or linkage between the prices of one or more underlying assets and the derivative contract or instrument itself. Thus, whenever guarantors sign on a loan or credit agreement, they, in effect, are creating a derivative contract. Similarly, insurance policies can be construed as derivatives as well as options, futures, and forward contracts.
Dow-Jones: On the Way to 4800
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/3/2009
A prediction I made in February 2009 (when the Dow-Jones was hurtling towards 6500) came true. In an article dated February 22, 2009 and titled "The Next 18 Months: Recession, False Recovery, Depression", I wrote:
Global Warming and Climate Change as Opportunities
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/18/2009
How must society adapt to rapid climate change to minimise severe upheaval?
Carbon-neutral Transport Systems: Are We Doing Enough?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/14/2009
Are we doing enough to ensure a rapid and smooth transition to carbon neutral transport systems this century?
The Britannica 2010 Victorious?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/7/2009
With the demise of Microsoft's Encarta (it has been discontinued) and the tribulations of the Wikipedia (its rules have been revamped to resemble a traditional encyclopedia, alienating its contributors in the process), the Encyclopedia Britannica 2010 (established in 1768) may have won the battle of reference.
Should Communities be Allowed to Generate Their Own Power?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/25/2009
Until well into the 1930s local communities in the West produced their own energy, drilled their own water and hauled it, and, in general, were self-sufficient as far as the consumption of utilities was concerned. The New Deal and the Depression brought this to a halt: governments monopolized both the generation and distribution of electrical power and water (as well as other public utilities, education, health, telecommunications, and transportation). This shift had its positive sides in that it encouraged economies of scale and firmly established the public goods nature of energy and water.
Gmail not Safe, Google not Comprehensive
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/23/2009
I. Gmail Not Safe
Gmail has a gaping security hole, hitherto ignored by pundits, users, and Google (the company that owns and operates Gmail) itself.
The login page of Gmail sports an SSL "lock". This means that all the information exchanged with Gmail's servers - the user's name and password - is encrypted. A hacker who intercepted the communicated data would find it difficult and time-consuming to decrypt them.
Yet, once past the login page, Gmail reverts to plain text, non-encrypted pages. These can easily be tapped into by hackers, especially when such data travels ove...
Self-defeating Environmentalism: The Case of Nuclear Energy Technologies
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/31/2009
More than 70% of contracts for new nuclear power plants were cancelled between 1970 and 1990. Nuclear energy has proven to be by far too expensive, partly the outcome of meager investment in research and development. But why didn't this promising industry seek efficiency and productivity gains? Why didn't it increase its capacity to remove production bottlenecks (for instance of containment vessels)? Why did the entire civilian nuclear sector capitulate even in the face of volatile oil prices which should have rendered it more of an attractive energy option? The short answer is: the malignantly romantic (not to mention highly lucrative) cult known as "environmentalism".
Alternative Energies and Other Fairy Tales
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/25/2009
The quest for alternative, non-fossil fuel, energy sources is driven by two misconceptions: (1) The mistaken belief in "peak oil" (that we are nearing the complete depletion and exhaustion of economically extractable oil reserves) and (2) That market mechanisms cannot be trusted to provide adequate and timely responses to energy needs (in other words that markets are prone to failure).
The Pros and Cons of Corruption
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/1/2009
Corruption runs against the grain of meritocratic capitalism. It skews the level playing-field; it guarantees extra returns where none should have been had; it encourages the misallocation of economic resources; and it subverts the proper functioning of institutions. It is, in other words, without a single redeeming feature, a scourge.
How Michael Hart Revolutionized the Internet
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/17/2009
In the annus mirabilis of 1971, Michael Hart conceived of electronic books (e-books), open sourcing, and of user-generated content in one stroke of genius.
The Hazards of Biofuels
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/25/2009
Technologies that appear at first blush and in the lab to be both benign and efficacious often turn out, upon widespread implementation, to be counter-productive or even detrimental. We have yet to accurately capture and model the complexity of reality. Emergent phenomena, unintended consequences, unexpected and undesirable by-products, ungovernable economic and other processes all conspire to adversely affect the trajectories of even the most thoroughly studied inventions.
The Map as the New Media Metaphor
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/22/2009
Moving images used to be hostages to screens, both large (cinema) and small (television). But, the advent of broadband and the Internet has rendered visuals such as video chat, independent of specific hardware and, therefore, portable. One can watch video on a bewildering array of devices, wired and wireless, and then e-mail the images, embed them in blogs, upload and download them, store them online ("cloud computing") or offline, and, in general, use them as raw material in mashups or other creative endeavours.
The Shifting Sands of Finance Lingo
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/15/2008
In 1976, the word "subprime" used to mean: a loan offered to desirable, creditworthy clients with its interest rate set below the prime rate. Within less than 15 years it came to be defined by this arbiter of proper usage, the Oxford English Dictionary, as: "Of or designating a loan, typically having relatively unfavorable terms, made to a borrower who does not qualify for other loans because of a poor credit history. "
Why Apartment Rental Prices in Developing Countries are So High?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/26/2008
In most developed countries, the renting of residential property (apartments) provides the owner with an annual income equal to 2-3% of the value of his or her real estate. In developing countries, owners make 6-7%. An apartment selling for 100,000 euros will often rent for 7000 euros a year. One pays the same to rent an apartment in Skopje, Macedonia and in Berlin, Germany even though, in Berlin, apartments are three to five times more expensive to buy.
No Foreign Banks - A Curse or a Blessing?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 7/7/2008
The Austrian Erste Bank has just published a report about the state of the banking system in Central and Eastern Europe. Macedonia is not even mentioned. The banking sectors of Bulgaria, Romania, Russia and Ukraine are poised to grow the fastest, as these countries catch up with the West.
The New 'Superclass' – Hype -vs- Reality
Iqbal Latif - 6/1/2008
David Rothkopf’s book, Superclass: The Global Power Elite and The World They Are Making, is an interesting read but contains much that I disagree with the author about.
The Museums of Branding
Naseem Javed - 6/1/2008
All over the world, with so many different meanings and perceptions of the word "branding", it appears that it has lost its true meaning; the terminology is more like a walk through a museum with a glorious past. Loose words like "economy" carry different meanings that speak differently to different people. To some, economy may refer to money, while to others, it means jobs, whereas for some, it's the thing causing climate change. Hold it right there. Branding gets even more adventurous. To many it's about having a business card with psychedelic logo, all the way to the polishing of doorknobs ...
Interview with Ray Power, main shareholder and General Manager of iDevelop, Macedonia and Chairman of the British Business Group
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/12/2008
1. Can you briefly describe your product, your market niche, and marketing strategy?
RP: In brief, it is a solution that allows companies to monitor their website traffic in real time and initiate chats with those visitors without any downloads etc. Our primary market is the SME (Small to Medium Enterprises) segment and we are finding a lot of success with realtors, travel agencies, hotels and car dealerships.
Primary Technology, Consumer Technology, and World Peace
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/3/2008
Paradigm shifts in science and revolutionary leaps in technology are frequently coterminous with political and military upheavals. The dust usually requires three centuries to settle. Such seismic waves and tectonic shifts occurred between the 12th and 14th centuries AD, again starting with the 15th and ending in the 17th century AD, and, most recently, commencing in the 19th century and still very much unfolding.
Iqbal Latif - 4/11/2008
For any nation to grow 'free mind' is a must. Gun running culture, famine and implosion are mass characteristics of a failed nation. Any governance system would fail when human cooperation turns into 'bigotry' and hatred, productivity flourishes on tolerance and co-existence.
The Economic And Legal Analysis Of Dumping
Shruti Ojha - 1/10/2008
One of the main reasons behind distortion of international trade and fair competition is that though increasing returns in a monopolistic market promote international trade this situation ignores many of the detrimental effects that can arise due to imperfect competition, such as a disparity in the prices a firm charges for its goods that are exported and the ones that are sold in their respective domestic markets, constituting price discrimination. The most common form of price discrimination is dumping, defined as a situation where, “the price of a product when sold in the importing country is less than the price of that product in the market of the exporting country.”1
The Big Green Paint Job
Naseem Javed - 1/10/2008
Suddenly, away from the hundreds of available colors, there is a rush all over the world to paint almost everything green; green paint, green ribbons, green wrappings and green fabrics becoming the top choice, causing shortages of the material, while green logos, green billboards and almost politically-correct green ties and attires are becoming the most fashionable and trendy statements.
The Top Inventions Of 2008
Michael Hart - 1/3/2008
What will be the top inventions in 2008?
1. Inexpensive Terabytes and USB 3.0
The advent of USB 3.0 will combine with inexpensive terabyte drives to create systems in which no one needs to ever delete anything AND backups will become so feasible that someone should write something like "Backups For Dummies" or "Backups For Idiots."
The result will be far fewer stories of accidentally lost files for the future than in the past, even though there will be ever so many more file to possibly lose. Of course, there still be will the one person here and there who refuses to bu...
Welcome To The Click Society: The 2008 Mega Trends
Naseem Javed - 11/30/2007
We are simply not alone any longer, anywhere or anytime... not even in the most private rooms and quiet spaces that we so dearly cherish. All that beautiful décor and openness that we think is filled with fresh air is actually jam packed with zillions of invisible wireless messages, electronic signals, streaming videos and all kinds of pulses that are fast forwarding our cyber-society of today.
Is Mankind Facing New Kind Of 'Malthusian Constraints'?
Iqbal Latif - 10/16/2007
We are facing 'Malthusian constraints' not as a result of geometric progression of population but as a result of too many demanding a middle class consumption level emerging from the lowest level of poverty. Non inflationary growth in the global economy is the key solution to impending problems of debt/liquidity when they arise. Leaderships in the growing countries should realize that: If the economy grows at least a fast as the debt grows, and inflation is low tax receipts shall grow in tandem with the growth of the debt.
No place for gloom and doom - 'It's productivity, stupid.'
Iqbal Latif - 10/2/2007
I religiously follow ‘Steve’ he is one of the most outstanding ‘skeptical optimist’ on the net. He weighs evidence before and after deciding an issue and continues to cobble together new pieces of evidence that further strengthens his eternal optimism. Judging truly from the lessons of history he believes that humans are on net balance builders and not destroyers. Some nations have missed their grand opportunity of embracing a new renaissance; they rather missed all chances of reawakening and enlightenment. Future growth and better living standards belong to only those who will not only work h...
We Almost Know What The Voice Of Money Sounds Like
Angelique van Engelen - 9/21/2007
Walking around in Amsterdam recently, I bought a mars bar for the astortionate price of one euro. McDonalds next door to the candy store offered burgers for one euro too. The difference between the calorie intake of a mars bar and a burger wasn't what concerned me all that much. (seohertfordshire.org But it was a numbers game that made me think about my choice until long after.
International Investments: Is Policy Pendulum Swinging Back?
Kavaljit Singh - 8/2/2007
In the last five decades, there have been dramatic swings in the policy pendulum governing foreign investments at various levels in response to changing global political context. In the 1960s and 70s, the dominant thinking was foreign investments should be restricted as it interferes in the domestic economic policy making besides posing a threat to national sovereignty. The 1980s and 90s witnessed major swings in the investment policy pendulum towards greater liberalization of the regulatory framework at the national level. The swing was more pronounced in developing countries, particularly in...
Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) - Pros and Cons
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/20/2007
The role of foreign direct investment (FDI) in promoting growth and sustainable development has never been substantiated. There isn't even an agreed definition of the beast. In most developing countries, other capital flows - such as remittances - are larger and more predictable than FDI and ODA (Official Development Assistance).
Who Really Owns Your Brand?
Naseem Javed - 6/15/2007
You may think that you have an absolute, 100% ownership for your brand, yet if your name identity is shared with hundreds of others, then you clearly lack 100% ownership. What's the point of brand-building if you are simply brand-sharing? Global icons like Sony, Rolex or PlayStation are completely unique around the world, there is no dispute concerning who owns these brands whatsoever.
Growing Abuse of Transfer Pricing by Transnational Corporations
Kavaljit Singh - 5/30/2007
The large-scale tax avoidance practices used by transnational corporations (TNCs) came into public notice recently when the giant drug TNC, GlaxoSmithKline, agreed to pay the US government $3.4 billion to settle a long-running dispute over its tax dealings between the UK parent company and its American subsidiary. This was the largest settlement of a tax dispute in the US . The investigations carried out by Internal Revenue Service found that the American subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline overpaid its UK parent company for drug supplies during 1989-2005 period, mainly its blockbuster drug, Zantac....
A Gala Tribute to Global Copycats
Naseem Javed - 3/21/2007
Over the decade, the art of copying and stealing other people's content and ideas has settled comfortably in the mainstream across the globe. What formerly would constitute an act of piracy is now a commonplace, everyday occurrence. Isn't it time to give these 'borrowers' a tribute, host a gala dinner and hand out awards?
The World's Largest Office
Naseem Javed - 2/5/2007
As the free-floating, nonrestrictive nature of streamlined internet access and efficiency continue to grow, the internet community will slowly render the traditional functionality of the office obsolete. Bye-bye cubicles and bye-bye water coolers.
Casino Gaming in Developing Countries - A Mistake or a Blessing?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/31/2007
154,000,000. According to fansbobet, this is the number of Americans who visited the gambling institutions in the USA in 1995. Another 177,000,000 participated in other forms of gambling: car races, horse races, other sports tournaments. They have spent well over 44 BILLION USD on gambling. On average, they lost 20% of the money that they invested - and this, approximately, is the profit of this industry in the US. The industry's annual growth rate is 11% which is an excellent figure for an industry which commenced its operations in 1940 in a desert in the S...
Spirit of Christmas: Past and Future
Ian Williams - 12/26/2006
For centuries, rum has been a warming folk remedy for colds, flu—and indeed cold itself. As the winter solstice approaches in its various festival forms, one worldwide constant is the need for rum to bring a little tropical warmth into the winter. In places like the Caribbean, India, and Australia a solid rum-drinking tradition ensures that the amber nectar is savored year-around, but in colder climes, rum in eggnogs, Christmas cakes and puddings, mince pies and of course just rum in tots, are traditional accoutrements for the holiday season.
The Demise of the Dinosaur PTTs
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/16/2006
Telecommunications is the most important physical infrastructure in the modern world. It is more important than roads because it can replace them. It is more important than office buildings because it allows for the formation of virtual offices. It is more crucial than legal and institutional systems because it surpasses national borders and undermines and subverts fossilized political structures.
Employee and Management Owned Firms
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/12/2006
Margaret Thatcher started a world trend during her tenure as Prime Minister on Downing Street. It is called: Privatization. It consisted of the transfer of control of a state-owned enterprise to the Private Sector. This was done by selling the shares of the company. At times, the control itself was maintained by the state - but the economic benefits emanating from the ownership of shares was partly sold to privates. Such economic benefits are comprised of the dividend yield of the shares plus the appreciation in their value (due to the involvement of the private sector) known as capital gains.
The Agenda of Trade
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/11/2006
Formation:Asom Sanjukta Mukti Morcha or the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) was formed on April 7, 1979 by Bhimakanta Buragohain, Rajiv Rajkonwar alias Arabinda Rajkhowa, Golap Baruah alias Anup Chetia, Samiran Gogoi alias Pradip Gogoi, Bhadreshwar Gohain and Paresh Baruah at the Rang Ghar in Sibsagar to establish a "sovereign socialist Assam" through an armed struggle.
The Inferno of the Finance Director
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/24/2006
Sometimes, I harbour a suspicion that Dante was a Finance Director. His famous work, "The Inferno", is an accurate description of the job.
Liquidity or Liquidation
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/21/2006
Large parts of the world today suffer from a severe liquidity crisis. The famed globalization of the capital markets seems to confine itself, ever more, to the richer parts, the more liquid exchanges, the more affluent geopolitical neighbourhoods. The fad of "emerging economies" has all but died out. Try telling the Macedonians about global capital markets: last year, the whole world invested less than 30 million USD net in their poor country. Breadwinners earn 150 euros (c. 200 US dollars) a month on average. Officially, in excess of one third of the workforce is unemployed. Small wonder that...
Small Businesses - Big Obstacles
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 11/20/2006
Everyone is talking about small businesses. In 1993, when it was allowed in Macedonia, more than 90,000 new firms were registered by individuals. Now, less than three years later, official figures show that only 40,000 of them still pay their dues and present annual financial statements. These firms are called "active" - but this is a misrepresentation. Only a very small fraction really does business and produces income.
Made in China: Wal-Mart Unions
Anita Chan - 10/12/2006
Global labor leaders had long considered China's unions as an arm of the government and not worthy of much respect. But that was before All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) took on Wal-Mart managers in China and quickly set up union branches at more than 20 stores. (See more info about business administration jobs in China). The move requiring grassroots organization that's not been seen in China for more than 50 years - could signal more regulation over foreign firms operating in China or discontent among labor groups who question work co...
Globalization Tames the Left in Brazil
Thomas I. Palley - 9/8/2006
Brazil elected a progressive president, yet failed to tackle a long legacy of economic injustice. Instead, President Lula da Silva, a trade union activist workers ranging from city works to green coffee bean extract farm employees, was timid with economic policies: Playing it safe, Brazil embraced its traditional role of exporting resources abroad and allowing other countries to manufacture and innovate. For example, the nation's trade patterns with China entail steady exports of soybean and imports of manufactured goods. South America's leading power has immense...
Global Economy: Surfing the Third Wave
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/17/2006
Five thousand years ago, people were still roaming the earth as nomads. They carried along their few precious possessions in their hands and on their backs. They hunted and gathered food at random.
G-8 Hype At The End Of An Age
Jan Allen - 6/12/2006
The article 'G-8 Ministers Tout Strong Global Economy' by Alex Nicholson, AP Business Writer, dated 6-10-2006, communicates economic hype from the international financial leaders. (Source: click here).
Trading in Sovereign Promises
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/12/2006
Martin Schubert and his investment boutique, European Inter-American Finance, in joint venture with Merrill Lynch and Aetna, pioneered the private trading of sovereign obligations of emerging market economies, including those in default. In conjunction with private merchant banks, such as Singer Friedlander in the United Kingdom, he conjured up liquidity where there was none and captured the imagination of businesses on both sides of the Atlantic.
Infrastructure and Prosperity
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/6/2006
In the past, if you were to mention the word "infrastructure", the only mental association would have been: "physical". Infrastructure comprised roads, telephone lines, ports, airports and other very tangible country spanning things. Many items were added to this category as time went by, but they all preserved the "tangibility requirement" - even electricity and means of communication were measured by their physical manifestations: lines, poles, distances.
The Technology of Law and The Law of Technology - Part II
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/20/2006
An Epistolary Dialogue Between Roberto Calvo Macias and Sam Vaknin
The Technology of Law and The Law of Technology - Part I
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/19/2006
"The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make it its home for life. For this task, it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds its spot and takes root, it doesn't need its brain anymore, so it eats it. (its rather like getting tenure)."
Daniel Dennet - Quoted in Paul Thagard's Mind - An Introduction to Cognitive Science
Come Fly With Me On 'Air Google'
Naseem Javed - 2/1/2006
Air Google makes it possible to inspect vacation destinations, conduct market research, spy, carry out competitive surveillance, hunt for a job, trade property, study ecologies, jog trails and fish streams, among at least a million other things - virtually.
E-Commerce Branding: The Big Challenge of 2006
Naseem Javed - 1/17/2006
"Cheap" is losing its power as now "free" is in. Global competition is so fierce and the labor-cost disparity is so wide that most bargain pricing is no longer effective, as there is always some other supplier to offer a product for far less - or even for free.
How to Write a Business Plan
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 12/9/2005
There are many types of symbols. Money from investors, banks or financial organisations is one such kind of symbols. A successful Business Plan (=a successful manipulation of symbols) is one which brings in its wake the receipt of credits (money, another kind of symbol). What are the rules of manipulating symbols? In our example, what are the properties of a successful Business Plan?
Winners, Losers of Corporate Image 2005
Naseem Javed - 11/11/2005
Corporations that develop clear messages and clearly communicate their stories to both the internal organizations and the external forces are the real players. The rest are either still discovering who they are or just making stories as they go along or periodically falling flat on their faces.
The Winners and Losers of the Internet Break-Up
Naseem Javed - 10/20/2005
Why should Internet break and how ridiculous is this issue? Imagine if a few printers around the globe got together and jointly decided to replace all our current currencies and their value and choose brand new colors, designs and new values all own their own. Economy? What economy?
When TV Surrenders to Web
Naseem Javed - 10/20/2005
As long as the flow of information shifts from the old model of "from one to many" to "from many to one," the current TV and print model will crumble. And it will keep on sliding, fast. It is happening right now. Media executives, mostly in denial, are shunning the subject. Smart ones are coming up with well-branded 24/7 Web-based news sites and general broadcasts. This is a brand-new revolution, and the entire model is about to be changed.Here are the issues:
Decision Support Systems
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/14/2005
Many companies in developing countries have a very detailed reporting system going down to the level of a single product, a single supplier, a single day. However, these reports – which are normally provided to the General Manager - should not, in my view, be used by them at all. They are too detailed and, thus, tend to obscure the true picture. A General Manager must have a bird's eye view of his company. He must be alerted to unusual happenings, disturbing financial data and other irregularities.
A Final Word on Branding
Naseem Javed - 7/29/2005
Pregnant mothers are being pooled to place ads on their round, shiny stomachs as part of "tummy branding." Some argue that this is how news is created. To some, this is "desperate branding" in action. Welcome to "guaranteed-to-fail branding," a process that ensures a top spot on the list of branding failures. These projects are sometimes called "reality branding." There is no limit to these weird processes.
Is Your Global Brand Worth Billions?
Naseem Javed - 6/17/2005
Is your brand valuation worth a billion dollars today? Maybe yes or maybe no, but it surely is worth something pretty big. At the end of the day, all the work you have put in pushing your name identity and your range of products and services in your marketplace adds up in an abstract space of the consumer's mind, where it acquires some great value. This equity can be measured as a real, soft asset. It can have a monetary value like that of a certain type of goodwill or particular reputation. Brand identity is something you might not use to pay the bills but can surely use to negotiate a better price in an M&A or sale of the company.
Hawala, or the Bank that Never Was
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/15/2005
In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the USA that effected airlines from major American companies like United to companies around the world such as Indonesia's Citilink airline. Attention has been drawn to the age-old, secretive, and globe-spanning banking system developed in Asia and known as "Hawala" (to change, in Arabic). It is based on a short term, discountable, negotiable, promissory note (or bill of exchange) called "Hundi". While not limited to Moslems, it has come to be identified with "Islamic Banking".
Still A Cannibal In Our Midst
Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye - 6/10/2005
In June 2002, I published an essay in a number of Nigerian newspapers entitled: "The 17 Billion Poison House In Ibadan." The piece was my own way of pouring out my disgust and indignation due to reports in the media earlier in April that the Nigerian Government under Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo had celebratorily granted permission to a so-called "leading cigarette company", British America Tobacco (BAT), to invest a "whopping $150 million (about 17 billion naira)" in the construction of a tobacco factory in Ibadan, "the biggest and most modern" of its kind in Africa. The prominent attraction of the...
Age of Abundance Demands Innovation
Naseem Javed - 6/2/2005
headhunting - You might have the best team with the best of innovation, but there are these overly diluted markets out there, glutted with look-alike brands and identical services. The challenge is to fine-tune a marketing process that will not only re-energize the production but produce a shaper edge in design, quality and value, and build a unique iconic identity.
Technical and Fundamental Analyses of Financial Assets
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 5/3/2005
The authors of a paper published by NBER on March 2000 and titled "The Foundations of Technical Analysis" - Andrew Lo, Harry Mamaysky, and Jiang Wang - claim that:
"Technical analysis, also known as 'charting', has been part of financial practice for many decades, but this discipline has not received the same level of academic scrutiny and acceptance as more traditional approaches such as fundamental analysis.
One of the main obstacles is the highly subjective nature of technical analysis - the presence of geometric shapes in historical price charts is often in the eyes of the beholder. In...
Economics of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG)
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/27/2005
Games and role-playing are as ancient as Mankind. Rome's state-sponsored lethal public games may have accounted for up to one fifth of its GDP. They often lasted for months. Historical re-enactments, sports events, chess tournaments, are all manifestations of Man's insatiable desire to be someone else, somewhere else - and to learn from the experience.