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Elections, Elections & Elections

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Targeted within the next 100 days are some 500 million voters around the world;

Thirty plus nations are going to elect leaders and later USA in 2020. Measured only by the final count of votes, a successful election winning should also deliver economic performance measured only by the final count of real good quality jobs and not some hologramic mumbo jumbo statistics. It’s time for great jobs, quality jobs and well paying jobs. The world’s most dramatically engaging, expensive and time consuming election of USA is now unfolding; while the world awaits a mega global financial collapse also arrives at the precipice.

It makes no difference when will the next global meltdown starts as the economic damage is now visible from space, it makes no difference why is this happening because most mighty nations have already tried hard to fix it to the best of their ability and lastly, it makes no difference whatsoever to what will happen afterwards as nothing happened last time; no crime, no penalty, outside those exceptional who jumped out of high-rise windows some one billion mostly from the middle and bottom got badly crushed. This time the numbers may be double. Time will tell.

It’s popcorn time.

What will make the difference is the brand new realization that the global-age skills of the working citizenry of the world have seriously slipped away in acquiring special advancements to read his global-age better, faster and with more productivity zest. All over the world, today, deemed useless are the accumulated educational trainings during the last few decades and very soon smart robots will replace the most knowledge acquired within the last five years. It’s about time to ask tough questions about the future usability of our education and real productivity value of trainings; demanded are deeper studies on applying lifelong learning; real competencies for real global-age, continuous advancements of human development, emotional intelligence and mental endurance all to deal with critical thinking absolutely necessary on complex enterprise modeling with global implications.  To acquire varying level of mastery, these new skills are not that difficult at all, after all mankind is always superior over robots but what is extremely difficult is the way overly sensationalized narrative articulated by stock markets responding to every major technological advances placing too much emphasis on IT and coding creating general fears amongst masses of workers around the globe. The new global age demands brand new thinking capable to be able to shed the old skin and come out new and shiny, once again.

Study the global tsunami of computer age and advancements of micro-desktop-computers in offices around the world in 80s and how things changed from A-Z. Repeated is the same style cycle all over here. Study the subject deeply, compare the last few cycles when global societies transformed for Print Society to Radio Societies, to TV, to Computer to Cyber etc… the patterns are very similar just the dramatic changes are much faster.  Transitions took 20-30 years, now 2-3 years. Virtual reality and block-chain deployment is far more massive than mobile phone and this will happen within next 1000 days. The officeless office revolution will shrink and collapse old glory of office towers around the world in next few years. Study these major changes and develop your own vision, apply all your own current skills and exercise your inner strengths, study very deeply, while acquiring expertise and becoming a ‘doer’ ‘thinker’ ‘innovator’ and ‘collaborator’ and let other experts handle the technology.

It’s time to vote, but first vote yourself in as if you already are in the shoes of the leader but fix your global age skills or simply become a compulsive clicker on social media or a slave to robots. Only the skilled ones will drive the future agenda. Currently, trying very hard, almost all over the world, the political leaderships based on their capabilities, available timelines and mostly caught in some self-inflicted rotten system but once again asking them to fix today’s grassroots prosperity problems is like asking the same gang of people who brought the grand-chaos with no idea on the next direction to lead is a serious judgment call. 

While, you are the only one but imagine like a potential candidate worthy of a vote, you are the only leader of your own path and you are the only undisputed champion of your own skills sets, so move on and vote for a revolutionary change but start improving your skills. You will start to notice the emergence of new thinking, others will come forward and join your cause, and a level of new understanding will emerge with solutions at times way better and above political shenanigans. Almost, each and every single voter around the world has some access to a trillion dollar worth of free technology available via internet plus entire study of our civilization on finger tips…learn to optimize and humanize progress but stay away from fakery. Time manage your global-age skills acquisition charts.

Historically, this is how Mankind came out of the caves

Skilled citizenry is the biggest hidden asset of the nation, ignored last few decades in the dust of globalization, now a critical issue these elections. The other options for the world are to simply wait for an unfathomable chaos while listening to the restless citizenry. If it’s time to vote, it’s also time for asking the most difficult questions. For national leadership, creation of intelligent debates on such complexity is critical while keeping it under the rugs the silence becomes the proof of incompetency.

In a hyper-accelerated supercharged world, understanding and measuring incompetency of working masses is a brand new art; identification of this critical void with right contents to fix the crisis of exportability performance is a new science, the mobilization of working-citizenry to regain new skills is new deployment strategy and bold national debates to openly face these challenges is new global-age example of successful political leadership.

This reality is also about those crossroads; where universities of the world failed the students, ask billion indebted students, this is where government bureaucracies failed the citizenry, ask billions of SME taxpayers, and this is where conflict-centric agenda stripped naked the global populace of any intelligent dialogue and this is also where divisive politics and populist thinking are finding fertile grounds. A change to internally uplift the working citizenry is the smart call. Programs to national mobilization of entrepreneurialism are the solution.

European Union is tabling a 100 Billion dollar program to uplift its high potential enterprises also a great example of becoming internally focused and national mobilization of entrepreneurialism. Is the new world getting ready for new thinking, where Inversion Economy; grassroots transformation becomes a top priority over Projectile Economy where Rocketry and Mars Missions drive the agenda. Trade-wars are proof of poor quality exportability, poor skills and poor policies, but skills-wars are about creating highly skilled citizenry creating superior edge of exportability and blossoming local grassroots prosperity. Nations should avoid blaming, screaming and declaring trade-wars on other countries and rather first look inside and declare internal skills-wars on their own working-citizenry to improve their performance and capability to stand up to global age trading challenges. In global search for collaborative synthesizim, Expothon Worldwide is seeking alliances to downstream high quality debates and discussion with top leadership within a nation and inviting trade groups, trade associations, Chambers and experts in various business growth fields to join the platform already aligned with this global exportability driven metamorphosis. The recent move last month by Worldbank to adopt this very format with their launch of a global project Econothon is also a very good step forward. Expect some major and positive events in this arena to uplift this new global thinking forward.

Vote you must;

Remember as when you vote, you have already placed yourself first in line of acquiring improved skills to help your nation.  Earn a globally respectable position for your nation expressed by your competitive skills become smart on exportability, trade globally.  There is no escape. The clouds are gathering. Already consumed and wasted with fakery the decades long grace periods allowed are all but over and now with limited time available so prepare rapidly, mobilize and deploy.

The Next 100 Days:
How large are these national/global issues?
How will the nation/world survive?
Where are the bright new ideas?
What will the voters do?
What will the USA voters and leadership learn from the outside world?
Firstly, they all must vote
Secondly, debate and engage political leadership, because they all need help.

Here are the key elections in 2019 alone; Canada, Tunisia, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Guinea, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka Uzbekistan, Norway, Portugal, Austria, Poland, Swiss, Bulgaria, Gibraltar, Romania, Croatia, Haiti, Dominican Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Israel, Oman, New Zealand, UAE and USA in 2020.

With so much time and resources wasted in fakery, time to uplift working citizenry within a nation is now becoming almost like a critical salvage operation. Restless citizenry needs job security with global-age skills to bring a new ride of confidence but must not be confused with old style traditional education and training. Clouds of technology will not rain local grassroots prosperity but watch slow death, national mobilization of small and midsize economy with create local jobs and harmony, the dust of globalization is a proof and inversion towards grassroots economy is a must.

Try it in your own local regions…

Naseem Javed is a corporate philosopher, Chairman of Expothon Worldwide; a Canadian Think tank focused on National Mobilization of Entrepreneurialism Protocols on Platform Economy and exportability solutions now gaining global attention. His latest book; Alpha Dreamers; the five billions connected who will change the world.

Economy

Rebalancing Act: China’s 2022 Outlook

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Authors: Ibrahim Chowdhury, Ekaterine T. Vashakmadze and Li Yusha

After a strong rebound last year, the world economy is entering a challenging 2022. The advanced economies have recovered rapidly thanks to big stimulus packages and rapid progress with vaccination, but many developing countries continue to struggle.

The spread of new variants amid large inequalities in vaccination rates, elevated food and commodity prices, volatile asset markets, the prospect of policy tightening in the United States and other advanced economies, and continued geopolitical tensions provide a challenging backdrop for developing countries, as the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects report published today highlights.

The global context will also weigh on China’s outlook in 2022, by dampening export performance, a key growth driver last year. Following a strong 8 percent cyclical rebound in 2021, the World Bank expects growth in China to slow to 5.1 percent in 2022, closer to its potential — the sustainable growth rate of output at full capacity.

Indeed, growth in the second half of 2021 was below this level, and so our forecast assumes a modest amount of policy loosening. Although we expect momentum to pick up, our outlook is subject to domestic in addition to global downside risks. Renewed domestic COVID-19 outbreaks, including the new Omicron variant and other highly transmittable variants, could require more broad-based and longer-lasting restrictions, leading to larger disruptions in economic activity. A severe and prolonged downturn in the real estate sector could have significant economy-wide reverberations.

In the face of these headwinds, China’s policymakers should nonetheless keep a steady hand. Our latest China Economic Update argues that the old playbook of boosting domestic demand through investment-led stimulus will merely exacerbate risks in the real estate sector and reap increasingly lower returns as China’s stock of public infrastructure approaches its saturation point.

Instead, to achieve sustained growth, China needs to stick to the challenging path of rebalancing its economy along three dimensions: first, the shift from external demand to domestic demand and from investment and industry-led growth to greater reliance on consumption and services; second, a greater role for markets and the private sector in driving innovation and the allocation of capital and talent; and third, the transition from a high to a low-carbon economy.

None of these rebalancing acts are easy. However, as the China Economic Update points out, structural reforms could help reduce the trade-offs involved in transitioning to a new path of high-quality growth.

First, fiscal reforms could aim to create a more progressive tax system while boosting social safety nets and spending on health and education. This would help lower precautionary household savings and thereby support the rebalancing toward domestic consumption, while also reducing income inequality among households.

Second, following tightening anti-monopoly provisions aimed at digital platforms, and a range of restrictions imposed on online consumer services, the authorities could consider shifting their attention to remaining barriers to market competition more broadly to spur innovation and productivity growth.

A further opening-up of the protected services sector, for example, could improve access to high-quality services and support the rebalancing toward high-value service jobs (a special focus of the World Bank report). Eliminating remaining restrictions on labor mobility by abolishing the hukou, China’s system of household registration, for all urban areas would equally support the growth of vibrant service economies in China’s largest cities.

Third, the wider use of carbon pricing, for example, through an expansion of the scope and tightening of the emissions trading system rules, as well power sector reforms to encourage the penetration and nationwide trade and dispatch of renewables, would not only generate environmental benefits but also contribute to China’s economic transformation to a more sustainable and innovation-based growth model.

In addition, a more robust corporate and bank resolution framework would contribute to mitigating moral hazards, thereby reducing the trade-offs between monetary policy easing and financial risk management. Addressing distortions in the access to credit — reflected in persistent spreads between private and State borrowers — could support the shift to more innovation-driven, private sector-led growth.

Productivity growth in China during the past four decades of reform and opening-up has been private-sector led. The scope for future productivity gains through the diffusion of modern technologies and practices among smaller private companies remains large. Realizing these gains will require a level playing field with State-owned enterprises.

While the latter have played an instrumental role during the pandemic to stabilize employment, deliver key services and, in some cases, close local government budget gaps, their ability to drive the next phase of growth is questionable given lower profits and productivity growth rates in the past.

In 2022, the authorities will face a significantly more challenging policy environment. They will need to remain vigilant and ready to recalibrate financial and monetary policies to ensure the difficulties in the real estate sector don’t spill over into broader economic distress. Recent policy loosening suggests the policymakers are well aware of these risks.

However, in aiming to keep growth on a steady path close to potential, they will need to be similarly alert to the risk of accumulating ever greater levels of corporate and local government debt. The transition to high-quality growth will require economic rebalancing toward consumption, services, and green investments. If the past is any guide to the future, the reliance on markets and private sector initiative is China’s best bet to achieve the required structural change swiftly and at minimum cost.

First published on China Daily, via World Bank

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Economy

The US Economic Uncertainty: Bitcoin Faces a Test of Resilience?

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Is inflation harmful? Is inflation here to stay? And are people really at a loss? These and countless other questions along the same lines dominated the first half of 2021. Many looked for alternative investments in the national bourse, while others adopted unorthodox streams. Yes, I’m talking about bitcoin. The crypto giant hit records after records since the pandemic made us question the fundamentals of our conventional economic policies. And while inflation was never far behind in registering its own mark in history, the volatility in the crypto stream was hard to deny: swiping billions of dollars in mere days in April 2021. The surge came again, however. And it will keep on coming; I have no doubt. But whether it is the end of the pandemic or the early hues of a new shade, the tumultuous relationship between traditional economic metrics and the championed cryptocurrency is about to get more interesting.

The job market is at the most confusing crossroads in recent times. The hiring rate in the US has slowed down in the past two months, with employers adding only 199,000 jobs in December. The numbers reveal that this is the second month of depressing job additions compared to an average of more than 500,000 jobs added each month throughout 2021. More concerning is that economists had predicted an estimated 400,000 jobs additions last month. Nonetheless, according to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, the unemployment rate has ticked down to 3.9% – the first time since the pre-pandemic level of 3.5% reported in February 2020. Analytically speaking, US employment has returned to pre-pandemic levels, yet businesses are still looking for more employees. The leverage, therefore, lies with the labor: reportedly (on average) every two employees have three positions available.

The ‘Great Resignation,’ a coinage for the new phenomenon, underscores this unique leverage of job selection. Sectors with low-wage positions like retail and hospitality face a labor shortage as people are better-positioned to bargain for higher wages. Thus, while wages are rising, quitting rates are record high simultaneously. According to recent job reports, an estimated 4.5 million workers quit their jobs in November alone. Given that this data got collected before the surge of the Omicron variant, the picture is about to worsen.

While wages are rising, employment is no longer in the dumps. People are quitting but not to invest stimulus cheques. Instead, they are resigning to negotiate better-paying jobs: forcing the businesses to hike prices and fueling inflation. Thus, despite high earnings, the budget for consumption [represented by the Consumer Price Index (CPI)] is rising at a rate of 6.8% (reported in November 2021). Naturally, bitcoin investment is not likely to bloom at levels rivaling the last two years. However, a downfall is imminent if inflation persists.

The US Federal Reserve sweats caution about searing gains in prices and soaring wage figures. And it appears that the fed is weighing its options to wind up its asset purchase program and hike interest rates. In March 2020, the fed started buying $40 billion worth of Mortgage-backed securities and $80 billion worth of government bonds (T-bills). However, a 19% increase in average house prices and a four-decade-high level of inflation is more than they bargained. Thus, the fed officials have been rooting for an expedited normalization of the monetary policy: further bolstered by the job reports indicating falling unemployment and rising wages. In recent months, the fed purview has dramatically shifted from its dovish sentiments: expecting no rate hike till 2023 to taper talks alongside three rate hikes in 2022.

Bitcoin now faces a volatile passage in the forthcoming months. While the disappointing job data and Omicron concerns could nudge the ball in its favor, the chances are that a depressive phase is yet to ensue. According to crypto-analysts, the bitcoin is technically oversold i.e. mostly devoid of impulsive investors and dominated by long-term holders. Since November, the bitcoin has dropped from the record high of $69,000 by almost 40%: moving in the $40,000-$41,000 range. Analysts believe that since bitcoin acts as a proxy for liquidity, any liquidity shortage could push the market into a mass sellout. Mr. Alex Krüger, the founder of Aike Capital, a New York-based asset management firm, stated: “Crypto assets are at the furthest end of the risk curve.” He further added: “[Therefore] since they had benefited from the Fed’s “extraordinarily lax monetary policy,” it should suffice to say that they would [also] suffer as an “unexpectedly tighter” policy shifts money into safer asset classes.” In simpler terms, a loose monetary policy and a deluge of stimulus payments cushioned the meteoric rise in bitcoin valuation as a hedge against inflation. That mechanism would also plummet the market with a sudden hawkish shift.

The situation is dire for most industries. Job participation levels are still low as workers are on the sidelines either because of the Omicron concern or lack of child support. In case of a rate hike, businesses would be forced to push against the wages to accommodate affordability in consumer prices. For bitcoin, the investment would stay dormant. However, any inflationary surprises could bring about an early tightening of the policy: spelling doom for the crypto market. The market now expects the job data to worsen while inflation to rise at 7.1% through December in the US inflation data (to be reported on Wednesday). Any higher than the forecasted figure alongside uncertainty imbued by the new variant could spark a downward spiral in bitcoin – probably pushing the asset below the $25000 mark.

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Economy

Platform Modernisation: What the US Treasury Sanctions Review Is All About

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Image source: home.treasury.gov

The US Treasury has released an overview of its sanctions policy. It outlines key principles for making the restrictive US measures more effective. The revision of the sanctions policy was announced at the beginning of Joe Biden’s presidential term. The new review can be considered one of the results of this work. At the same time, it is difficult to find signs of qualitative changes in the US administration’s approach to sanctions in the document. Rather, it is about upgrading an existing platform.

Sanctions are understood as economic and financial restrictions that make it possible to harm the enemies of the United States, prevent or hinder their actions, and send them a clear political signal. The text reproduces the usual “behavioural” understanding of sanctions. They are viewed as a means of influencing the behaviour of foreign players whose actions threaten the security or contradict the national interests of the United States. The review also defines the institutional structure of the sanctions policy. According to the document, it includes the Treasury, the State Department, and the National Security Council. The Treasury plays the role of the leading executor of the sanctions policy, and the State Department and the NSS determine the political direction of their application, despite the fact that the State Department itself is also responsible for the implementation of a number of sanctions programmes. This line also includes the Department of Justice, which uses coercive measures against violators of the US sanctions regime.

Interestingly, the Department of Commerce is not mentioned among the institutions. The review focuses only on a specific segment of the sanctions policy that is implemented by the Treasury. However, it is the Treasury that is currently at the forefront of the application of restrictive measures. A significant part of the executive orders of the President of the United States and sanctions laws imply blocking financial sanctions in the form of an asset freeze and a ban on transactions with individuals and organisations. Decrees and laws assign the application of such measures to the Treasury in cooperation with the Department of State and the Attorney General. Therefore, the institutional link mentioned in the review reflects the spirit and letter of a significant array of US regulations concerning sanctions. The Department of Commerce and its Bureau of Industry and Security are responsible for a different segment of the sanctions policy, which does not diminish its importance. Export controls can cause a lot of trouble for individual countries and companies.

Another notable part of the review concerns possible obstacles to the effective implementation of US sanctions. These include, among other things, the efforts of the opponents of the United States to change the global financial architecture, reducing the share of the dollar in the national settlements of both opponents and some allies of the United States.

Indeed, such major powers as Russia and China have seriously considered the risks of being involved in a global American-centric financial system.

The course towards the sovereignty of national financial systems and settlements with foreign countries is largely justified by the risk of sanctions.

Russia, for example, is vigorously pursuing the development of a National Payment System, as well as a Financial Messaging System. There has been a cautious but consistent policy of reducing the share of the dollar in external settlements. China, which has much greater economic potential, is building systems of “internal and external circulation”. Even the European Union has embarked on an increase in the role of the euro, taking into account the risk of secondary sanctions from “third countries”, which are often understood between the lines as the United States.

Digital currencies and new payment technologies also pose a threat to the effectiveness of sanctions. Moreover, here the players can be both large powers and many other states and non-state structures. It is interesting that digital currencies at a certain stage may present a common challenge to the United States, Russia, China, the EU and a number of other countries. After all, they can be used not only to circumvent sanctions, but also, for example, to finance terrorism or in money laundering. However, the review does not mention such common interests.

The text does propose measures to modernise the sanctions policy. The first one is to build sanctions into the broader context of US foreign policy. Sanctions are not important in and of themselves, but as part of a broader palette of policy instruments. The second measure is to strengthen interdepartmental coordination in the application of sanctions in parallel with increased coordination of US sanctions with the actions of American allies. The third measure is a more accurate calibration of sanctions in order to avoid humanitarian damage, as well as damage to American business. The fourth measure is to improve the enforceability and clarity of the sanctions policy. Here we can talk about both the legal uncertainty of some decrees and laws, and about an adequate understanding of the sanctions programmes on the part of business. Finally, fifth is the improvement and development of the Treasury-based sanctions apparatus, including investments in technology, staff training and infrastructure.

All these measures can hardly be called new. Experts have long recommended the use of sanctions in combination with other instruments, as well as improved inter-agency coordination. The coordination of sanctions with allies has escalated due to a number of unilateral steps taken by the Trump Administration, including withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal or sanctions against Nord Stream 2. However, the very importance of such coordination has not been questioned in the past and has even been reflected in American legislation (Iran). The need for a clearer understanding of sanctions policy has also been long overdue. Its relevance is illustrated, among other things, by the large number of unintentional violations of the US sanctions regime by American and foreign businesses. The problem of overcompliance is also relevant, when companies refuse transactions even when they are allowed. The reason is the fear of possible coercive measures by the US authorities. Finally, improving the sanctioning apparatus is also a long-standing topic. In particular, expanding the resources of the Administration in the application of sanctions was recommended by the US Audit Office in a 2019 report.

The US Treasury review suggests that no signs of an easing are foreseen for the key targets of US sanctions. At the same time, American business and its many foreign counterparties can benefit from the modernisation of the US sanctions policy. Legal certainty can reduce excess compliance as well as help avoid associated losses.

From our partner RIAC

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