Archive for the 'Economics' Category

Data Visualization: The Three Trillion Dollar War

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An outstanding infographic by the Good Magazine on the true cost of the war in Iraq.

The image is based on work by Nobel Prize laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes who have together published a book on this subject earlier this year (link below). There is also a video narrating the key parts of the graphics on the Good Magazine web site.

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The 2007 Mafia Inc. Balance Sheet

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It looks like it was another very good year for Mafia Inc. in Italy.

With corruption and bribery on the rise almost everywhere the Neo-Liberals got a foot in the door and with the worldwide financial crisis 2008 might turn out to become even better.

With the Neo-Liberal deregulations and the loss of business ethics, new business practices that were just a few years ago considered as criminal and prosecuted as such together with the vacuum created by the loss of values, no wonder bribery and corruption is on the rise, and everybody seems to be doing it not necessarily because they want so, but because they are forced to.

Single persons to get a favor or place someone on an important position, companies to get contracts, and governments on a really, really big scale. And who would be surprised that at the same time these governments have…

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Humor: Pay Rises

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In quite a few countries around the globe the next rounds of pay negotiations will soon start or have just started. And this time those negotiations most likely in a few countries might turn out to end in fights for workers getting at least the inflationary price increases covered.

Interestingly enough while those managers that have caused the current world wide economic crisis have recently given themselves pay rises of 20% or more (plus of course millions in bonus and dividend payments) they are once more demonstrating complete resistance to let those who create the results participate – even with a minimal share. And based on recent publications real inflation e.g. in the UK is actually closer to 18% and not around the 3-4% published by the government.

Now here’s an image to help sustain these hardships and to make you feel better (or at least smile).

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Stock Markets: VW speculations

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How crazy the worldwide stock markets have become and how little effects the Trillion dollar packages, speeches and appeals of politicians had on the casino players could one more time be seen today in Germany.

Stocks of one of the worlds largest car makers, VW, rose more than 300 % with intraday peaks even higher – yes we mean it – more than three hundred percent. And some of the in-the-money call options have seen their prices increase of more than 27,000% (twenty seven thousand percent).

While car makers around the world tiptoeing along bankruptcy and demand forecasts for the next year(s) are at best catastrophic for some of them – BMW today stopped production for a few days in some of its factories and Daimler today announced that they will stop production for a few weeks later this year- the outlook for VW is anything but peachy as well.

It’s not fundamentals that are behind these price jumps, it’s plain speculation, the same casino plays like…

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Germany: Bank Robbers ante portas

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There was a lot of hectic movement with governments around the world the last weeks to confine the disasters from betting / wild casino speculation within financial institutions. Approaches and road maps laid out (if any) are pointing to different directions even in the key G7 developed countries.

The U.S. – for example – first wanted to give absolute powers to the executive branch and the government – a move widely criticized and changed by the U.S. Congress in the debates following the first bailout plan.

France and the UK have taken another road and bailing out their banks by providing funds only against a collateral – meaning they are de-facto nationalizes key players in their finance industries. France even went a step further with President Sarkozy calling for the creation of national industry funds to stop the fire sales of key industrial players to overseas investors – an interesting step that found much applause with the European Parliament. If you think that further it…

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Financial Crisis: How to say good by in style

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One of the big questions and one some of us are getting asked quite a few times these days is it already time to buy back or still better to wait was answered by a Californian hedge fund manager – Andrew Lahde – who made one of the biggest percentage profits of all time and bowed out of the business last Friday with a fierce attack on the “idiots” running big banks who were willing to take the other side of his bets.

He also demonstrated how to say good by in style (when you’ve made your profit).

Below a quote from the letter he sent out and published on the INet (link to full text below)…

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