Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘markets’ Category

This is what I found on my holidays last week in a beautiful town by the beach. I think this is the most sensible advertisement that I have ever seen.

woman.jpg

Mr Material is looking for his Ms Right:

  • Good Woman
  • Must be able to cook
  • Clean
  • Gut fish
  • Dig worms
  • Have a nice boat
  • Have a prestige car
  • Please send your photo of car and boat to…

Heehee.. At least this guy doesn’t lie 🙂

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

One of the most repeated apocalyptic scenarios through History has been that of a “superpopulated” world, exhausting resources in an unsustainable growth. Well, recent studies say that the End of the World is not any more. Well, not that way at least.

You might have heard about the Easter Island where, legend goes, a culturally and socially advanced society flourished before the European arrival. The population grew to such extent that they exhausted the resources that sustained them. The 3,200km that separate it from the Chilean shore prevented the emigration, which triggered the dawn of the civilisation, among cannibalism scenes (so the legend says). Some have found this to be the mirror of the Earth, meaning the end of Mankind.

The English economist Thomas Malthus coined the famous statement that says that food grows in arithmetic progression while population grows in geometric progression. In Leyman’s words: the population grows faster than the resources that sustain it. This means that there will be a moment when the Earth will not be able to sustain its population. He justified the population growth with the following words:

“[…]the passion between the sexes is necessary and will remain nearly in its present state”(1)

From this point “Malthusianists” appeared, and the Club of Rome, which proposed the “zero growth” as the pursue of continuous growth is unsustainable.

Malthus also favoured chastity as a way to control population growth (but he didn’t trust this option, as his best bet for population control was periods of famine). But how was he going to foresee that the anticonceptive industry would allow the guy next door to free his passion without that meaning a further burden for poor Earth? The Economist published some days ago that UN reckons that population will reach a peak of 10 billion around year 2050 and then will begin a low descent. Great! No end of the World. No Soylent Green for dinner.

But it seems that this is not reason for happiness. Now, an ageing society will need young brains to keep on creating and more important, pay for the pensions. All this time hoping that the “one child” policy in China worked out to control the population, and now we will have to import qualified labour. Will some countries be left empty? Like those towns where only old people remain. Immigrants, instead of coming in illegal lorries or precarious boats will arrive in business class, paid by the developed countries, to save Humanity. “And do not forget coming with your wives and do not stop making children”.

So long worrying about a crisis for superpopulation, and now I will have to worry about a n infrapopulation crisis. Please, let’s make up our mind!

(1) An Essay on the principle of population, by Thomas Malthus

Read Full Post »

Co-writers: Sirventes & Liliane

They said: Economic bubbles were about to be burst. It dragged down stock markets and the world wide Economy. A Depression as bad as 1929 was about to happen. But whom was it to be blamed? Or really, was there such a crisis?

Last week, we witnessed volatile market movements. All the electric boards in the City were red, share prices dropped, newspapers were talking about a financial crisis and compared it with the 1929 Great Depression.

Reasons??? Obsession, Sub-prime, Panic.

Obsession to have a house in the US is as high as anywhere else in the world, the house where they live in, a second house for lending, that’s even better. The normal thing was a middle class retiree tries to hold on at least one property.
Before granting the credit, in US and UK, what the banks/ lenders do is that they “run a credit check”, which means, they are using a third party to check if the borrow is able to repay the loan or not. Normally, if it’s a “not good credit rating” or “not enough credit history”, borrowers are rejected.
So, sub-prime lenders appear as a hero for those who have been rejected by the banks with “credit checking” procedures. These sub-prime lenders agree to lend those with poor or no credit history, but of course, with higher interest rate – due to higher risk.
And what would happen? Default! Sub-prime borrowers cannot repay the loans. And when the level of bad debt is rising, the news comes out. And there it spreads on the news. Several hedge funds collapse, bailouts are needed…

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke warns that the crisis in the US sub-prime lending market could cost up to $100bn

Alright. Another sector crisis. It happens. The worse thing starts the news spreads this and a market panic is inevitable. In front of every house, there is a now a “For-sale” sign.

And to make it even worse, in the City, brokers are not fundamentalists. They don’t pay much attention to a company ‘s yield or performance during the year. What they are using is called Technical Analysis, which, in simple word, is: They look at the graph of share price. When it goes up to one point, they sell. When it goes down to a certain point, they buy. But if the price continues going down, instead of analysing the situation of “sub-prime” panic, they sell, and other brokers see that, they also sell, and the price is therefore plunging like a stone…
The banks are now doing the same thing, sell as much as they can, and stop granting more credit… Which, in turn, worsen the situation.

The central banks – the Fed, ECB, Bank of England, Bank of Canada, etc… have been injecting money into the market (approx $323 billion) in just two days, and are ready to take actions to intervene. The markets are now recovering. Relief! No more crisis!

Hmm… So where was the fuss?

Read Full Post »