Archive for the ‘economy’ Category

goldman sachs chief economist not bullish on 2011

Monday, October 18th, 2010

the l.a. times quotes goldman sachs’ chief economist as saying in 2011 the u.s. economy will be: ‘fairly bad’ or ‘very bad’. this forecast is burried in a story about bobama’s chances for re-election in 2012.

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what will mckinsey find at conde nast

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

gawker and new york magazine have been constantly a-twitter since it was announced last month that mckinsey would be combing the conde nast books.

would you like to know what an mba student thinks? well, basically initially mckinsey will most likely comb the accounting books of each individual book within conde nast from details magazine to gourmet to vogue. then they will search for efficiencies. which doesn’t mean ‘who can we fire.’ at least, not initially. but they will look for overlaps. and question why one executive needs multiple assistants and ask what’s the difference between editor, managing editor, associate editor, and assistant editor and so on.

then they will ask questions like, why do you need one person to book your covers. doesn’t the editor make this decision? couldn’t the assistant handle this?

or, as what happened with anheuser busch when inbev took over (see the wall street journal). and inbev decided that no one needed an assitant by asking the question, can’t you answer your own phones and use your own computer?

this is not an argument for getting rid of assistants. they are actually an intrigal part to the smooth running of any magazine. –see ‘ugly betty.’ but the real question is, how many people do you need in the art department and what does a top editor really do?

but this could be an argument against anna (edit: initially spelt with ‘e’ for shame!) wintour making the rounds of fashion week in europe and racking up 250K in expenses. does one need multiple stylists when one has been wearing the same hairstyle fot the past half century? is the ritz really necessary? why not stay at a 5 star boutique hotel that would be so grateful to have you occupy the whole building for a week that they would offer you an incredible discount. or maybe even give you half the rooms for free in exchange for a half page ad or an advertorial.

one could argue what a bunch of guys (and they will be mostly guys) in brooks brothers suits and thomas pink ties might know about fashion and the fashion industry and the unique way that magazine publishing works. and anyone who would offer this up at conde nast would definitely have a point.

but then the question is is overspending ever justified? yes, in fashion, perception trumps reality. one would rather stay at the ritz than the hilton. or god forbid, days inn, but when there’s a financial crunch, reality trumps everything.

consumption tax on the way in the u.s.?

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

the obama administration is considering the possibility of implementing a value added tax. this could be a 10% national tax on products that would be added to the state and city taxes on goods and services. so if a state has an 8% tax, this would raise the price of a purchase to 18%. thereby putting the nail in the coffin for retailers during this trying recession. you can find out more information here. and here.

the international monetary fund says: “VAT can be a regressive tax, especially when implemented at a single rate, as the IMF usually advises. This can worsen already-high inequality in developing countries, cut the tax base and cause a decrease in overall tax revenues. In addition, the ‘complex’ record keeping of VAT has been the source of problems: small businesses can be pushed into the informal sector, while governments may not have the administrative capacity to implement the VAT and its refund system.”

organizing men in the u.s.

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

men in power is a new student group at the university of chicago. the article, in the chicago tribune could be a companion piece to the book ‘trouble with boys,’ detailing their problems in school. you can read about the book on amazon.com.

perhaps such a group might get feminists and other identity groups’ panties in a bunch. but there is a sort of crisis brewing in the u.s. and it’s all about men. they are beingin disproportionately hit by the recession. and education hasn’t been so nice to them. the majority of bachelor degrees in the u.s. go to women. and apparently (need to look the exact figure up) only 46% of undergraduates at u.s. universities are male.according to the tribune article, in the states, women get 135 bachelor degrees for every 100 males.

perhaps this is an ‘iron john moment,’ in the early 90s the book ‘iron job’ moved men to go into the wilderness and re-connect with their inner id. or something like that. but there are endless books like boys adrift that are being written at the moment concerning the woosification of men with some blaming public grammar school educators for not acknowleding the obvious. that testosterone works differently than estrogen. and just because sally can sit down nicely and do her homework doesn’t mean that johnny can. or something like that.

66% children born out of wedlock in iceland, 40% in united states

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

forty percent of children are born out of wedlock in the united states. that number is 66% in iceland but only 2% in japan. along with the financial crisis that has devastated iceland, what has become of the family unit? could the low rate in japan explain why, despite 10 years of financial meltdown in the 90s, during it’s own banking crisis, there was no social unrest?

research has shown that kids raised in 2 parent homes tend to go on to have more stable lives. single parent families, at least in the united states, tend to be poorer and the children and families have more social problems.

the onion announces new detroit housing project

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

this story is thought provoking. according to the article, ‘baneberry heights has the very worst that money can buy.’

gop plans yet another tea party

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

the original boston tea party took place 236 years ago on dec 16, 1773. the naughties versions began trickling in in march culmulating to a large national event on tax day. the u.s. republican party is planning next month.

the original boston tea party was one of a series of events that triggered the american revolution, coined the phrase ‘no taxation without representation,’ and cummulated in the u.s. breaking ties with its colonial oppressor, the united kingdom. this could conceivably be why americans drink tea with lemon and honey as opposed to with milk and sugar.

whats 539K plus 66K

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

if the u.s. government hadn’t hired 66,000 people last month, april unemployment numbers would’ve looked similar to those of preceding months. so why are people excited that the u.s. has ‘only’ lost 539,000 jobs? unemployment is just below 9% –which isn’t the true unemployment number. this number only applies to those still collecting checks from the government and doesn’t take into account people formerly working full-time who are now only in part-time jobs.

the luck of the irish

Friday, May 8th, 2009

christopher caldwell, in the latest issue of the weekly standard writes about the origins of the current woes of ireland. it’s worth reading.

uk follows german offering 2K to scrap old car

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

following on the heels of the success of germany’s 2500 euro rebate to scrap old cars and upgrade to more environmentally, friendly one, the uk government is looking to enact a similar plan in the united kingdom. the program has essentially revived the german car industry. not just for german cars but also for japanese and american brands. with additional incentives given by the various brands, in germany, it is possible to save up to almost 5,000 euros on a new automobile. more information can be found on the german rebate program on Bild and on the UK programhere.

update. from may in the uk you can get 2000 pounds off a new car if you scrap one that’s 10 years or older. the cost apparently will be evenly split between the car company and the government. more details about gordon brown’s new proposals on the independent website.