Greek Economy: A Caterpillar Becomes a Butterfly

News Analysis: Much as a Caterpillar devours some of itself to morph into a Butterfly, Greece did the same. The pain its citizens experienced was the worst since World War II. The underlying problem, if one studies historical events for Greece, was “The Marshall Plan”. The largesse of the program removed the incentive to self-rely [as Japan did after the War] and instead look to government for aid. This hurt Greece from the 1940’s to the present. With others doling out monies, what incentive was there for industriousness? There was rampant tax evasion by some citizens. Rather than sitting around drinking Ouzo and quoting the Philosophers of old, Greeks really needed to use their intellect and develop international level businesses. The only semblance of such an activity has been with Greek ship owners and their fleets. The hard work of: Fafalios, Goulandris, Karageorgis, Lemos, Niarchos, Onassis, and other Shipping families put the ‘Greek Stamp’ on the world.

Today, the adjustments by the Greek government are  turning the situation around in terms increased Foreign Direct Investment [by the likes of foreseeing John Alfred Paulson, and others]. Now it is up to the Greek people to forget the ‘handouts’ by the government; and instead rely on their intelligence and intrepidness for commerce to flourish in Greece.

May the wisdom of Athena be with them.


They Do Not Spank Those Who Manage the Banks: Reality vs. Rhetoric

News Analysis:  The banking industry has too much power to have  concern about personal incarceration for purposive illegalities committed by Senior Managers. Since government fines against a bank are typically tax deductible against bank earnings, fines mean little. If one adds in the thought that banks are too important to countries fiscally, banks ‘win’.  Added to this is the fact that the fines are not remotely equal to the ill-gotten gains. In fact the bountiful potential proceeds for ‘illegal’ transactions act as an incentive to bank personnel. “No individual in the bank gets hurt [or goes to jail] so why not go for it” is their thinking one could surmise.

Bankers are the “Ones with the ‘Juice'”.

In the final analysis: Reality.


Iraq Gains Large Scale Benefits in Its Commercial Partnership with China

News Analysis: Having the fifth-largest oil reserves in the world and wanting to increase its production to three million barrels of oil a day puts Iraq in a very nice position in the oil industry. Since fuel hungry nations need oil, Iraq, with its great reserves, can choose to do business with whom it wants. In this case the primary selected country  for commercial partnership is their friend to the north-east: China.

The historical  approach of China in international business is “Bucks Not Bayonets” is  the catalyst for good long-term commercial transactions. Since the Chinese have a wise culture developed through thousands of years of experience, it does not make the aggressive blunders like countries only two-hundred plus years old. Threats and hostile actions buy one NOTHING in the long term. One has to develop the trust of others over time. Adroit leaders of nations understand this, foolish ones do not. Cooperation, not catastrophe, should be the driving force amongst countries.

The close relationship between the Iraqis and the Chinese will benefit both nations well.


World Bank Increases Ranking of Philippines for Ease of Doing Business

News Analysis:  Minimizing unproductive regulations regarding  establishing a business in the Philippines, as well other impediments to commerce, will help them continue in a favorable direction. Investors need to hear about the government’s intention to promote business growth. 

The resourceful and hard-working people of the country are its greatest asset.  Natural resources of the islands are another good reason to consider engaging in commerce in the Philippines. Its location provides proximity to Asian abundance.


International Monetary Fund Predicts Good Growth for Sub-Saharan Africa

News Analysis: The region should have increased investments from other countries due to the abundance of needed natural resources it contains. South Africa, in particular, always a leader on the continent, although more expensive than neighboring countries, will prosper. Mineral wealth, a capable work force, along with people imbued with national pride, will push South  Africa to greater prosperity.

Overall, these countries of the region   can look forward to good economic growth in the coming years. Opportunities abound in Africa for the prescient investor.


188 Countries in United Nations Voted that United States Cease Its Cuba Embargo

News Analysis:  A fifty-three year embargo evidences an archaic view of good international relations of a Super Power to its neighbor.  Cuba, purportedly sitting on top of an enormous gas/oil deposit [of which certain Americans knew about before Fidel Castro’s  rise to power] could decide to open up its territory to oil exploration. If so, the embargo would be immediately withdrawn, one could logically infer.

Historically, upsetting Americans by the taking over of casinos and other  businesses by the Cubans was merely ‘window dressing’; a pretext for the real value of Cuba to certain Americans: Petrochemicals.

Today, more damage is done to the Cuban people by isolating them. What gain is that to a civilized Super Power? Rather than evidencing animosities against the Cuban Government, the United States should engage it in meaningful dialogue. Opening up the American market to Cuban goods and vice-versa can only help neighborly relations. Perhaps then, Cuba would allow America to explore and develop its gas/oil deposits [America’s little secret known by a few].


China Construction Bank Opens Its European Headquarters in Luxembourg

News Analysis:  A goal of omnipresent use of the Chinese Yuan [Renminbi] , throughout the international banking community, will be facilitated by such bank openings. An increase in Yuan bank deposits in a multitude of countries will assist this process.

Present U.S. Dollar denominated banking will subside over the years as the profligate spending by U.S. Government leaders remains unabated. The current, for the moment, $17,000,000,000,000.00 deficit cannot logically be expected to be paid off in the foreseeable future [especially with the present-day thinking in Washington]. As a result of the financial debacle in America, being maintained by “U.S. Financial Masters of the Universe”,  ‘Print More Money’ has been, is, and will be, their clarion call. Due to the fact that there is ‘little to back the Dollar up’, Arbitrageurs will look to other currencies for strength.


China and Cyprus Sign Antiquities Accord

News Analysis:  The damage to or removal of antiquities from a country should result in severe and swift punishment to the wrongdoers. The economic gain to the seller [thief] and satisfaction of the buyer should be much less compared to the punishment meted out after being arrested. Certainty of apprehension along with the secondary element of adequate punishment should deter all but the most foolhardy individuals.

The modern day chaos which has taken place in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, with the theft of irreplaceable antiquities is tragic.  Law enforcement world wide should be on alert for dealers in such goods as well as customers who covet such items.
The “bottom line” is: The stolen antiquities are not for the seller to sell, nor for the buyer to buy.


Qantas Airline’s Ticket Payment Innovation Benefits Its Customers

News Analysis: Innovative thinking by airlines such as Qantas can produce additional customers for them to serve. The new ticket payment process offered by Qantas is laudable.

Airline executives should realize: “Loyalty is a Two-way Street.” One must give it in order to receive it from customers. All too often, in order to satisfy shareholders, everything is done to cut all costs to maximize profits in the ‘short run’. Airline customers loathe this behavior since it is they who get the results: Discomfort in seating, lost luggage, poor or non-existent meals, poor service, and, tardy flights. These shortcomings hardly induce a feeling for loyalty to the airline. Long term maximized profits are brought about with satisfied returning customers.  They are willing to pay reasonable fares and who, as result of good treatment, select upgraded classes.


Northern Territory, Australia May Become a Thoroughfare to Asia

News Analysis:  Entrepreneurs throughout the world should consider the close proximity of Northern Territory [NT] to over 2,000,000,000 people to its north. If one considers the possibility of mining various minerals in NT as well as developing manufacturing to serve the aforementioned neighboring masses [China, India,  Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam,  etc.], opportunities abound. The  “Hard Work Ethic” of Australians makes the area even better for investment. An Entrepreneur should realize above all: “THE WORLD BELONGS TO THE AGGRESSIVE.”