Category: 21. Global

‘Ocean forests’ counter global warming

Seaweed forests face threats from marine heatwaves and climate change – but they may also hold part of the answer, with their ability to grow quickly and sequester carbon, according to Albert Pessarrodona Silvestre, Karen Filbee-Dexter andThomas Wernberg from The University of Western Australia, in an article in The Conversation © Helen Walne Like other plants, seaweeds grow by …

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It’s time for business to end its Faustian pact with autocrats

A worthy article in Fortune.com Commentary says ‘the risks of doing business with autocrats should be front of mind for every multinational in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’ – written by David Kamenetzky, a past member of the executive committee of Mars and a former chairman of JAB Investors, and Leopoldo López, a …

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Faster productivity growth would solve many problems

Macro level productivity pearls, published in the Financial Post and penned by William Robson, CEO of the C. D. Howe Institute. which have a direct read-across from Canada to many other developed nations, especially the UK Canadians are beset by economic problems. Inflation is hammering their purchasing power. Forecasters are predicting weak, if any, growth …

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How does South Korea surpass Japan in real GDP per capita?

Richard Katz, a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, draws a few lessons from the growth experience of South Korea versus Japan over the last several years which could provide useful guidelines for the UK and others A major geoeconomic event occurred in 2018 when South Korea’s real GDP per capita …

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How can technological innovation mitigate climate change?

Stephen Carson  and Harald Edquist, in an article published by ericsson.com, claim technological progress has the power to transform lives, but it’s often come at a high cost – they outline how technological innovation, specifically ICT, can play a leading role in addressing the challenges of climate change. In effect, the more ICT employed, the …

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Productivity After The Pandemic

Interesting views  expressed in the Financial Advisor magazine from Laura Tyson, former chair of the U.S. President’s Council of Economic Advisers, is Professor of the Graduate School at the Haas School of Business and Chair of the Blum Center Board of Trustees at the University of California, Berkeley. Sadly, as ever, they all hinge on …

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U.S. May See Post-Pandemic Productivity Surge

Rich Miller pens an optimistic article for bloomberg.com – welcome stuff after the past year plus – he refers to a McKinsey & Co. report which makes a lot of good sense for what may happen out there – indeed, only they, of all the management consultants in the world, publicly recognise the importance of …

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Productivity is almost magical, but don’t forget the side effects

Ross Gittins, economics editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, highlights the benefits of national productivity improvement in his article below – in particular, he applauds the effectiveness of Australia’s  very own ‘Productivity Commission’ – however, he rightly reminds all that mental wellbeing is at least as important as material wellbeing  Something we’ve had to relearn …

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Four-day week could boost jobs in Spain

Adam McCulloch reports in ‘Personnel Today’ on a proposed initiative being considered in Spain – to reduce their working week in order to boost employment, health and productivity – in our view, a 4 day working week is inevitable, and soon, just as a 7 day week became 6, and then pressure grew for 5 …

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France planned to reverse globalisation but is still bleeding jobs

Today, a smattering of schadenfreude is permitted to lighten the mood of all our British readers, especially after the last, rather heavy, post on the future economic needs of developed nations – the following extracts are from an article by Liz Alderman writing in the New York Times about our old enemy France, soon to …

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The post-pandemic brave new world

The following views from Martin Sandbu, the Financial Times’ European economics commentator, are well worth reading – in my case, at least twice to get the broad span of them on board – there is no doubt that CV-19 has created a major watershed for businesses worldwide and it now needs leaders to grasp the …

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Is the pandemic making us more productive?

A big-picture, easy-to-read article just in from the antipodes, published in the Australian ‘Financial Review’ and written by Nathan Sheets, chief economist and head of global macroeconomic research at PGIM Fixed Income – essentially, he agrees with our view that the pandemic, when eventually over, will be seen to have ushered in a sea-change in …

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How Fed Policy Is Wrecking the Economy

The following insightful article was posted by James A. Bacon of baconsrebellion.com – it makes one wonder about the quality of thinking of those on national bridges steering all economies, not just the USA’s Of all known government interventions in the U.S. economy, the most insidious and dangerous is regulation of the price of money (interest …

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How to reverse the productivity slowdown

Thought-provoking views follow from Alistair Dieppe,  Lead Economist in the Development Prospects Group at the World Bank – he considers how global economies got to their current low point, and then ventures some broad solutions, but one has to question who will act on them and be able to make the big quantifiable productivity improvements …

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5 Questions About China That Boards Should Be Asking Right Now

Another thought-provoking  HBR article follows, this time by William J. Holstein and Roger M. Kenny  U.S.-China relations have not been so tense since before President Jimmy Carter and Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping agreed to exchange ambassadors in 1979. Attitudes have hardened especially in the last two months, in part because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and in …

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Will companies shift from China to India?

A tectonic shift in global business supply chains may be about to happen according to an article in the Harvard Business Review by Vijay Govindarajan and Gunjan Bagla   America’s (and other developed nations’) relationship with the two most populous countries in the world, China and India, is undergoing a stark, rapid and perhaps permanent transformation. …

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Coronavirus statistics: what can we trust?

The flurry of figures, graphs and projections surrounding the pandemic is confusing. An article in The Guardian by two experts, Sylvia Richardson and Professor David Spiegelhalter, guides us through the maze The past few weeks has seen an unstoppable epidemic … of statistics. The flood threatens to overwhelm us all, but what do all these numbers …

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The economic impact of CV-19?

An article in the Harvard Business Review by Philipp Carlsson-Szlezak, Martin Reeves and Paul Swartz follows – the bulk that I think I understood makes interesting reading – maybe the rest does too! As the coronavirus continues its march around the world, governments have turned to proven public health measures, such as social distancing, to physically disrupt …

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CV-19 kick starts new mentalist era

CV-19 naturally dominates the news at present – it’s all ‘doom and gloom’ as we wonder if the damned invisible bug will ‘get us’ or not We’re told there are computer models (so they must be right?) being used by experts to determine their advice on what we all should do, the aim being to …

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Capitalism or Communism?

Communism has been defined as a system where: People work according to their ability and receive according to their needs All big decisions are made at the centre All data is processed at the centre   Capitalism, on the other hand, is an alternative where: People are free to buy/ sell/ invest in whatever they like …

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BIF drains, not lines, national coffers

The following are extracts from ‘Divested’ by Ken-Hou Lin and Megan Tobias Neely They claim the BIF – Banking Insurance Finance – sector is draining, not lining, developed nations’ coffers For proof, they look to the USA’s experience Until the 1970s, the financial sector accounted for a mere 15% of all US corporate profits: Banks …

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2020 foresight for fossil-free energy

A report by Kelsey Warner in The National says that, over the next 10 years, the Middle East’s biggest export could become the sun, not oil, thanks to new technology that turns solar power into fuel A new Bill Gates-backed clean energy company, Heliogen, based in Lancaster, California, has concentrated solar energy to exceed 1,500°C …

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Productivity stagnant despite global stimulus

Mark John reports that economies around the world have failed to boost productivity levels despite $10 trillion of central bank stimulus unleashed since the global financial crisis of a decade ago, according to the WEF (World Economic Forum) think tank. Productivity, a measure of an economy’s ability to generate growth, has become of a matter …

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All nations need a National Productivity Centre

An article by Lalin Fernandopulle in Sri Lanka’s Sunday Observer, headed ‘Productivity policy vital for economic growth’, promotes the worth of all nations having a National Productivity Organisation  Sri Lanka is the only APO (Asian Productivity Organisation) member country which does not have an NPO (National Productivity Organisation). Company director Sunil Wijesinghe says: “Setting up a …

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Protectionism ensures slower growth

Excerpts from an article in Forbes by Jeffrey Dorfman, a professor of economics at the University of Georgia. USA , follow Dorfman claims that tariffs help uncompetitive industries because: They put a penalty on imports in the form of a tax Domestic producers that would otherwise lose market share to imports are able to produce …

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NZ shows way for public sector productivity

The New Zealand Productivity Commission was asked by its Government to provide guidance and recommendations on measuring and improving productivity in public services, especially education, health, justice and social welfare which play an important role in promoting individual and community well-being The Commission interviewed multiple current and former senior state sector leaders, carried out case studies to …

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Communism versus Capitalism

Communism has been defined as a system where: People work according to their ability and receive according to their needs All big decisions are made at the centre All data is processed at the centre   Capitalism, on the other hand, is an alternative where: People are free to buy/ sell/ invest in whatever they like …

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UK works longer hours than EU

Of the 168 hours in any week, the average person works (on tasks she needs to be paid for) around 40 hours of that time An average worker’s hourly breakdown per week is guestimated to be 30% work-related/ 70% home related viz: 40 (24%) = Work 10 (6%) = Commute to/ from work 60 (35%) …

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Energy is unlimited

The following is mostly extracted from Dr Yuval Noah Harari’s splendid book Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind which is full of fascinating facts and consequences, and well worth reading We all know energy is vital for economic growth But why do so many doomsayers, nowadays, keep alarming us by saying we’re running out …

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Free trade is good for all nations

“Economists are worried about international trade” according to Harvard Professor Gregory Mankiw in an article printed by the New York Times No less than Adam Smith, in his famous ‘Wealth of Nations’ made the case for free trade, arguing that trade among nations is like trade among people: No one feels compelled to sew his …

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