Globalization and Cultural Diversity
Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
MP: How long will it take before there is a "no surfing while driving ordinance?"
According to today's Gongol.com's Traffic Rankings for Major Business and Economics Websites, Carpe Diem broke into the Top 10 for the first time (see chart above, click to enlarge), finishing in 6th place for average daily page visits (based on August activity), just behind #5 Greg Mankiw! If Carpe Diem was a newspaper, it would have the readership of Phoenix's Arizona Republic. Thanks for your support! I was helped enormously in August by several CD postings that were featured on Reddit.com (like the one on $1500 houses in Detroit) and generated tons of activity, thanks to Reddit readers and posters!
Economist Thomas Sowell, commenting in his column today about how he survived for 30 years on a limited income with no health insurance, by paying cash for a broken arm, a broken jaw, a badly injured shoulder, and miscellaneous other medical problems:
TOP TEN BENEFITS OF ECONOMIC FREEDOM:
"A lawmaker from Washington State might be told something like this: Indian outsourcing companies may funnel some Seattle-area technology jobs to India, but with the affluence that creates in India, more and more Indians are flying. That has made India a huge buyer of Boeing aircraft and thus a creator of jobs in the Seattle area, where Boeing does much of its manufacturing."
First Lesson of Economics: We live in a universe of scarcity, and scare goods must be rationed efficiently.
"Farmers" harvesting cash in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN:
Looks like maybe a map of subway stations in Manhattan?
The US and China appear to be determined to go blow for blow to determine who is the filthiest nation of them all. The latest playground-style broadside from China is that the US has worms.
Reversing a 180-year trend (see chart above, click to enlarge) from 1822-2002, the USD has fallen by 17% vs. the Indian rupee in the last five years, from a high of Rs. 48.96/USD in May 2002 to Rs. 40.62/USD today, the lowest level for the dollar in more than nine years vs. the Indian rupee.
If you are Chinese, or visiting China, try very hard NOT to get sick. Here's why:
The Commerce Department reported today that corporate profits strengthened in the second quarter, and hit an all-time high of $1.646 trillion on a before tax basis and $1.154 trillion after taxes (see chart above). Profits after taxes grew by 5.4% in the second quarter, after rising by 1.5% in the first quarter. Year over year, corporate profits increased by 3.5%.
Typical buyers of the 1-lakh car would include the millions of Indians who currently have a motorcycle or moped as the "family vehicle" (see the picture above; look closely and you'll see two adults and 4 children on one motorcycle!).
On the other end of the vehicle market, Tata wants to buy Ford's luxury brands Jaguar (pictured above is the new 2009 Jaguar XF, availabe in June 2008) and Land Rover.
Wall Street Journal: The acquisition, which could cost more than $1 billion, also would fit the Tata Group's plans to become one of India's first global brands and diversify its businesses overseas.
It is unlikely that Tata Motors will be able to sell many Jaguars or Land Rovers in India, but it could use the companies' technology and production facilities to improve its own cars and trucks. Tata Motors also would seek to use Jaguar's and Land Rover's international distribution networks to promote its own cars abroad.
The steel-to-software Tata Group is one of India's largest and most respected conglomerates. Its 96 companies employ about 200,000 people and have annual sales of more than $20 billion. The group has been leading a wave of Indian overseas investment as local companies have used the wealth generated in India's strong domestic economy to make acquisitions around the world.
Bottom Line: As India grows and prospers, and as its middle class increases by 5 times over the next several decades, India's consumers and companies will increasingly shop and invest globally, to the benefit of many U.S. companies.
WASHINGTON -- Existing-home sales fell a fifth straight time during July (see top graph), while inventories of unsold property climbed (see bottom graph) and prices dropped.
Imagine that you're getting ready to go out to a restaurant with friends, and you're trying to decide whether to eat Mexican food or Thai food. To help make your decision, would you ever think of calling a phone number at random and asking a complete stranger for his or her advice on Mexican vs. Thai food? Probably not.
Suppose a private company had an opportunity to save $100 million annually by switching to a lower cost input without adversely affecting the quality of the final product. The switch would typically happen without hesitation. That's the definition of a "no-brainer."
And that company is the Jarden Corporation (NYSE:JAH), whose stock has done quite well lately, much better than the rest of the market over the last 5 years, see chart below of Jarden (blue) vs. the S&P500 (red).
Another perfect example of how a well-organized, special interest group engages in lobbying and "rent-seeking" to hijack the political process in its favor, at the expense of the "rationally ignorant" voters/taxpayers. As H.L. Mencken pointed out, it's like "two foxes (the zinc lobby and Congress) and a chicken (voters/taxpayers) taking a vote on what to eat for lunch."
From The Economist: With low crime, little threat from instability or terrorism and a highly developed transport and communications infrastructure, Canada and Australia are home to the most liveable destinations in the world. Four of the ten most liveable cities surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit are in Australia, and two of the top five are Canadian. Vancouver is the most attractive destination, with a liveability index of just 1.3% (see table above, click to enlarge).
The chart above (click to enlarge) shows the total capitalization of the world's stock markets, measured in trillions of US dollars, from Global Financial Data.
Raman Roy (pictured above) has been referred to as the "father of Indian outsourcing," "one of the pioneers of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry in India," and "the father of India BPOs." In terms of his impact on the global economy, Raman Roy probably ranks in importance with figures like Bill Gates. Check him out here:
Wharton School (UPenn) interview with Raman Roy.
Wikipedia listing for Raman Roy.
CBS "60 Minutes" transcript of "Out of India" featuring Raman Roy's famous quote "Geography is history, Morley (Safer), distances don't matter anymore."
Forbes story on "The Father of Indian Outsourcing."
Exciting opportunity: Raman Roy is speaking to the Detroit Economic Club on Wednesday, September 12 in Birmingham, Michigan, on the topic "Harnessing Global Intellectual Capital to Create Corporate Value." I will be taking a group of University of Michigan-Flint students to the luncheon, free of charge (thanks to a corporate sponsor), and we will meet with Raman Roy before the luncheon in a private reception for students only. If you are a UM-Flint student and interested, please send me an email at your earliest convenience, this is an incredible opportunity and I'll do my best to accommodate as many students as possible, on a first-come, first-served basis!
(CHENNAI) - The global-giant handset-maker Nokia (NYSE:NOK) plans to make its Chennai manufacturing plant a major nerve center. Nokia said it plans to make its manufacturing plant in India, now the second-largest market for its handsets, a global hub for exports. Nokia already exports to 58 countries from the India plant, and it is looking at the Chennai as a global plant for global operations.
The Shrinking Budget Deficit:
"Kids are the best, Apu. You can teach them to hate the things you hate. And they practically raise themselves, what with the Internet and all."
Despite Michael Moore's glorification of British health care and the NHS in the movie "Sicko," recent research shows that the cancer survival rates for men and women in the U.K. are the lowest in Europe, and significantly below the rates in the U.S. (see chart above, click to enlarge), which are the highest in the world.
From Britian's Telegraph: "Cancer survival rates in Britain are among the lowest in Europe, according to the most comprehensive analysis of the issue yet produced.
England is on a par with Poland despite the NHS spending three times more on health care.
Survival rates are based on the number of patients who are alive five years after diagnosis and researchers found that, for women, England was the fifth worst in a league of 22 countries. Scotland came bottom. Cancer experts blamed late diagnosis and long waiting lines."