Posts from ‘March, 2009’

“****, I’m not getting a bonus this year!” – Scenes from the life of an investment banker

Last weekend, I spotted a full-page interview with a former investment banker in Germany’s leading quality paper Frankfurter Allgemeine. To be honest, I’m not sure how representative her answers were for the industry (I’ve never been an investment banker myself), but her stories seemed to confirm some widespread perceptions anyway.
This is not meant to [...]

…speaking of falling exports: global trade to decline by 9%, says WTO

In a statement released this week, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said that it sees global trade volumes shrinking by around 9% in 2009, as a result of what it now describes as “the biggest economic downturn in decades” – following another hefty downward revision of growth expectations.
Exports from industrialised nations will contract by [...]

Ouch! The latest exports stats from Japan are out

It’s been clear for quite a while that Japan as a particularly export-dependent market is feeling the impact of the global (synchronised) recession very strongly. No news in that. The Japanese experience is similar to Germany’s, only tougher.
But it’s the latest details from the Japanese export sector that make interesting reading.
According to Japan’s [...]

Budgets revised in Russia and Venezuela (the oil price, the oil price)

Couple of interesting stories to report from Russia and Venezuela, both of which are huge crude oil exporters and, therefore, heavily depend on world market prices. The sharp price drop seen in recent months has lead the governments of both countries to completely re-visit their latest budget plans.
Russia has more than halved its full-year average oil [...]

Quick word in favour of tough competition

My customer feedback on DB, the German railway company, after travelling to Cologne and back to Frankfurt this weekend, in just four symbols:
(However, a couple of friends have told me that my experience was still pretty good when compared with what can happen to you in Italy, Spain or the UK. Fair enough.)
I don’t really [...]

China’s export markets on a map

Here’s a little map that I spotted recently, published by World Trade Organisation (WTO) and highlighting the importance of the world’s main regions for China’s export industry. As widely known, China’s economy is firmly based on exports, and its foreign sales amounted to USD1.2 trillion in 2007, corresponding to a massive 37% of GDP.

In [...]

Spiderman in Zagreb

Series dedicated to and invented by Nat Berg, our grocery research boss, who got this Obama issue for me from America. Where will Spiderman travel next, hmm?

The tone has changed in the public debate

¡Buenos días!
Having returned from a nice relaxing holiday in the summery Canary Islands (sunshine, 26 degrees) on Saturday night and opening the paper on Sunday to check out the latest football results (Bayern Munich continue winning streak, what a pain), I quickly found out that the public debate around the current global synchronised recession has [...]

Holiday retail adventures, part VI: a really different store entrance; the secret service; flies; and a pretty mountain pharmacy

According to the old wise law (or not) of the ancient tribe of the don’t-know-who, you’ve got to leave your village and mustn’t return home until you’ve survived seven adventures… and I think I’m allowed to go home to Germany tomorrow even by these tough standards, so this blog will go back to normal contents [...]

Holiday retail adventures, part V: Jesuman beats the competition

This Jesuman cash & carry in Alcala is protected by Saint Mary, the mother of Jesus. I know that creativity is encouraged in the tough grocery competition, but isn’t this company going a bit too far? The authorities in Madrid and Brussels might want to take a closer look here.
And once again, the Pope is [...]