The Economics of Social breakdown

How do we define the state of our nation at the moment? For a little while now we have been experiencing an 'unease' with the communication revolution and the disparate nature of communication tools at our disposal. On the surface it would appear that what is happening is that rather than bind together a society … Continue reading The Economics of Social breakdown

US Treasuries – 4 trading days on and rates look rosy?

Today’s brief commentary piece tracks the US Treasury Yield curve of 5 August 2011 (before the Standard & Poor’s downgrade announcement) and the closing rate on 10 August 2011. As can be observed, across the board, the T-Bill yields of 10 August are lower than on 5 August 2011.   It begs the question: Is a ratings … Continue reading US Treasuries – 4 trading days on and rates look rosy?

US Treasuries – An FX or a market call?

So it has finally happened. After threatening for months that a credit rating down grade was probable for the USA, Standard & Poor's finally took the 'big step' on Friday 5 August, after the major markets closed. So what next? In our article 'US Treasuries - Are the markets really that bothered?' published on 30 July 2011, … Continue reading US Treasuries – An FX or a market call?

Economics of Taxation

There are in essence only two ways of taxing citizens: A Tax on Stock (Wealth) A Tax on Flows (Income or consumption) Within these two tax methodologies are hidden the minutiae of  the tax regime system, but at a fundamental level, any tax raising authority has to look at these two options / methodologies available to … Continue reading Economics of Taxation

The US Treasury Yield Curves #2 – Do you factor inflation into the deal?

In the previous article we posted, mention was made of the (0.72)% [negative 0.72%] real return US Treasury investors can currently expect on 5 Year Treasury Bills.  The Nominal (quoted) Yield Curves and Real (Inflation adjusted) Yield Curves for two specific points in time, namely Friday 29 July 2011 and 30 July 2006 are listed below. Yield … Continue reading The US Treasury Yield Curves #2 – Do you factor inflation into the deal?

The US Treasury Yield Curves – Are the markets really that bothered?

  As a general introduction today we will look at two US Treasury Yield curves.  The first Yield curve in the Curve graphic 1 below is the 3 Month bills compared to the 10 Year bills over the last 5 years. Yield Curve 1 In this table it is clear that the current 10 Year … Continue reading The US Treasury Yield Curves – Are the markets really that bothered?

A Storm in a ‘Tea’ cup

Never resist the temptation to start a discussion with a pun. In our previous article we highlighted the ‘battle royal’ on Capitol Hill to get a proposal agreed to address the possibility of a US Treasury default, whether actual or technical on or after 2 August 2011. So the Republicans could not muster together enough … Continue reading A Storm in a ‘Tea’ cup

Hold your nerve!

It is a confidence thing. We are so very, very close to seeing and experiencing another colossal collapse in confidence in the world’s financial system. This time it is driven by the ‘US Debt Ceiling impasse’.  A steady flight to gold has been taking place over the past few months and even though most informed … Continue reading Hold your nerve!

The Elusive “G” Factor – Part 1

[Economics in a Nutshell]   An Introduction There is a conundrum here somewhere!  As a libertarian leaning Think Tank organization and publication, we instinctively know that more government interference in the economy and bigger government per se is not a good thing.  And so is sovereign debt and the servicing of that debt.  Both are … Continue reading The Elusive “G” Factor – Part 1

Risk Management Ideas

Risk has as one of its essential elements TRUST as a foundation. Trust on the other hand has many other factors that interplay and interact on it. Markets are created when there are needs that are not immediately met from you local environment and therefore scarcity exists.  Market participants step in to fill this 'needs' … Continue reading Risk Management Ideas

An Aggregated Challenge

Conspiracy theories! Today we express an opinion on the phenomenon of ‘governmental’ economic landscape shaping. Interference whether actively pursued or via involuntary actions promotes our heightened sense of concern by the effects that the aggregation of supply and therefore the encouragement, either directly or indirectly of oligopolistic and monopolistic market structures, is having on the … Continue reading An Aggregated Challenge

The Hungry Spirit

Today's post is a very short and concise post, yet these are some inspirational quotes and extracts from two chapter's of Charles Handy's 1997 book entitled: "The Hungry Spirit":   A Life of our own Capitalism, efficiency and markets have their flaws, but also their uses.  They are neither the complete answer to our dilemmas … Continue reading The Hungry Spirit

The Morass of Mediocrity

We link today’s article to one of our main themes on our home page, namely the ‘Battle against the Status Quo’, or as per the title of this posting, ‘The Morass of Mediocrity’.   The underlying intent and theme is that of competition and competitive behaviours and the difference between rules based and principles based … Continue reading The Morass of Mediocrity

Commentary on newly proposed UK Financial Regulation

Commentary on the new powers and tools of the Bank of England as announced by George Osborne during his first Mansion House address

The Cost of a ‘Licence to Operate’

Reputation Risk and damage mitigation must be some of the watch words and the top priorities at BP at the moment. So how are they faring in the management this agenda item? What ‘price’ or cost must we attach to a ‘licence to operate’? It is interesting to observe behaviours of Chief Executives under the … Continue reading The Cost of a ‘Licence to Operate’

Sustainability I

The focus on sustainability and sustainable practices is a self defeating objective.  Sustainability means that business leaders take their eye off the equity holder’s value creation ideal, as it flies in the face of self-interest as promoted by Adam Smith some 234 years ago (The Wealth of Nations , 1776). Self-interest and the pursuit therefore is being … Continue reading Sustainability I

Short-sighted: Actor behaviour in the market for competitiveness

Competition has to be guided, controlled and focussed. How do we manage this process and in addition attract talent to sustain organisations deep into the 21st Century?

Does Law inform or enforce culture?

If ‘the Law’ is the codification of cultural norms and practices, does the Law then not inform culture? Policy, social malice and engineering of social outcomes bend these laws into legislative blunt instruments designed to enforce cultural behavioural changes on a grand scale, trouncing the common law of good judgment, neighbourly relations and common sense … Continue reading Does Law inform or enforce culture?

The Sustainability Gene

The CBI published a report entitled "The shape of business - the next ten years" in late 2009.   The authors identified 5 key drivers affecting the business environment, namely:   1.  Changing finance and capital conditions, 2.  The decline of trust in business and markets, 3.  A less benign macroeconomic environment, 4.  Social and … Continue reading The Sustainability Gene

End to End or Integrated systems and thinking processes

Silos. We hear this management buzz word quite often touted in office settings, and conferences in the media, etc. We argue today that silos are cultural norms.  They are national cultural models possibly endemic of certain national cultures.  We certainly have no empirical evidence for this, so this is pure opinion and conjecture on the … Continue reading End to End or Integrated systems and thinking processes