Posts from ‘February, 2009’

Japanese exports, US recession, business confidence, more regulation and a holiday

Before I’m off to a little holiday in the Canary Islands, let me take up some lose ends from preceding blog posts, just a handful of little updates!

Just like Germany, China and other export-oriented nations, Japan is suffering from foreign demand that has weakened rapidly since last autumn. This week, new data showed that industrial [...]

German business expectations continue to brighten up (from low level)

The Munich-based Ifo institute has this morning published its monthly business climate indices for Germany, Europe’s largest economy.
Without getting too detailed, the around 7,000 businesses interviewed unsurprisingly gave a worse assessment of their current situation in February (down from 86.8 in January to 84.3) - mainly because Germany’s important export sector continues to be under [...]

The global financial system after the credit crunch

Attention, attention: just because this post mentions the “financial system” in its headline, this doesn’t mean it’s a boring one. Give it a try, even if you’re in retail. Come on!
I promise to keep it really really simple.
OK. - Some readers may remember that I recently mentioned a certain lack of vision, on [...]

Globalisation in its darkest moments, part VII

As the world is turning into a multi-polar place and economic power shifts away from the US towards Europe and many emerging markets… and as a result of, errr… years of piling up massive public and consumer debt in America… …the US Dollar lost almost 40% of its value against the Euro in the years from 2001-2008. [...]

Want some good news for a change? – Here you go.

Good morning!
At the end of January, I wrote about how some lead indicators were suggesting that economic recovery in Europe might be “just” a few months away. In particular, I focused on

the EuroZone’s purchasing manager index – a key lead indicator of manufacturing output, which in January showed its first increase since August 2008. Recovery [...]

Product piracy – five examples from China and Europe

More than one in four consumers buy fake products, at least occasionally, and more than 60% of buyers do so deliberately. Particular openness can be observed among cash-strapped young people, according to a survey carried out across Germany, Austria, Switzerland and The Netherlands by Valid Research, on behalf of Germany’s branded manufacturers’ association, Markenverband, and [...]

A revealing little joke

Cartoon borrowed & translated from German satirical magazine Titanic (click on image for larger version).

For those who speak German, one of many proofs can be found here – the story of a ridiculous piece of manipulated information that was picked up from Wikepedia by journalists and then quickly spread across the national media landscape [...]

New US bank rescue plan announced – just waiting for the long-term vision

Yesterday, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced details of the Obama administration’s plan to get the credit market functioning normally again. Not enough details to impress market participants – who had hoped for one or the other positive surprise on top of what they had already expected – and more announcements are due to follow. [...]

UK retail sales surprisingly good – but this doesn’t mean the recession is over

As reported by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) this morning, UK retail sales in January rose by 3.2% year-on-year, and by 1.1% on a like-for-like basis. According to the BRC, “by both measures, this was the best performance since May, when sunny weather had boosted sales.”

As you would expect in a recession, food sales grew [...]

Credit card fraud – I’m a victim, how exciting!

I bought a report from the World Bank last month, for USD39. Paid for it with my business card, and received it a couple of weeks ago. Nice bumper book, around 5 cents per page.
Then someone got my card details and went on a shopping spree in Dubai, for the equivalent of EUR26,000.
The [...]