Saturday, March 20, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Washington Post Foreign ServiceTuesday, March 16, 2010The United States and other top world economies need to make potentially painful government spending cuts or risk losing the high-grade credit ratings that have kept borrowing affordable, the Moody's rating agency said Monday.
In an ironic twist of fate governments will now "enjoy" credit scores the same way regular folks do. It is heartening that print-your-own-money governments are not exempt from the rigors and discipline of a free market economy.
Posted by William Meloney at 6:15 AM
Monday, March 15, 2010
Bhagwan Chowdhry's FAB Campaign Aims to Put $100 in Bank Account for Every Baby
BY FAST COMPANY STAFFSun Mar 14, 2010
Bhagwan Chowdhry, a Professor of Finance at UCLA's Anderson School, outlines his organization's mission to give every newborn in the world access to financial legitimacy. The most stunning part of the FinancialAccess@Birth (FAB) campaign isn't the remarkable impact that participants would get from a mere $100 starting balance or even the GNP metrics envisioned to fund this campaign, its the idea that this could help erase poverty. Here's the organization's plan in full.
Posted by William Meloney at 3:00 PM
Sunday, March 14, 2010
China is one generation away from revolution - either way you look at it.
Old school ideologues believing that the views of a few old curmudgeons can by shear force of will direct the largest economy in the world is, well, old fashioned. The key word in all of this is not ideologue or curmudgeon or will but Economy. Even at the height of the Chinese social revolution there was an economy. In fact, much to the chagrin of the revolutionary leaders, there was not one, but at least two economies simmering away just beneath the thin veneer of egalitarian socialism.
An economy is not a static entity. It is, to paraphrase the Tao, like water in that if finds its own level. When "contained" by the guidelines of strict social(istic) rules one of China's economies simply became an underground river. Value for value was exchanged away from the watchful eyes of the Party observers. The other economy which the Revolutionary leaders conveniently downplayed was China's relationship to the world economy. An equally paraphrased Party line is 'The proletariat need only be concerned with his or her own contribution to the well being of the Revolution.' Little of no mention is made of gold prices or oil prices or international monetary exchange rates yet they all had significant impact on the China of the day. China, for better or far worse, has always been a player in the world economy.
China is now experiencing a new social revolution. Gone are the glory days of the beneficent state. Today China is faced with the reality of "improving" personal economies. Today's revolutionaries are the young. The youth of today who do not have first hand knowledge of the last revolution. The kids who are not looking back to social equality but forward to economic equality, on a world scale. The internet connected young men and women who can see the truth of their world standing. The next generation of slightly materialistic, subtly upwardly mobile, achievers. The generation that will not stand for being held back from their personal goals and aspirations. And they certainly won't be held to wading knee deep in water and mud to plant the next season's rice.
Whether is is being kept from or moving to a new economy, China is just one generation away from the new revolution.
Posted by William Meloney at 10:40 AM