Almonds, water and the paradox of value

Anybody following the news about California might think, on the surface, "Wow, time to get serious about global warming." Anybody who's read a few stories and has an inclination towards speculative behaviour might think "Ah, time to buy almond futures!" And finally, anyone who's read some basic economic history might stop and reflect upon Smith's 'paradox of value'. I will expound briefly on the latter two - avoiding the global warming (or 'climate change') debate. I simply am too confused about ...

Looking for a context

One of the weaknesses of both internal assessments and extended essays that I read relates to the lack of context. As a reader, I sometimes reach the end of an investigation unclear as to the place of the organisation within its market and/or the extent of the problem that organisation is facing. This means that there is no clear business rationale for the study. The student needs to present a well evidenced and sourced situational analysis of the firm and ...

The icy blast of unfresh air!

As the western world is gripped by the ravages of double dip recessions, western governments look to the East with envy at the economic growth rates being achieved.  China's GDP in the first quarter of 2012 was 10,799.5 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 8.1%. From 1978 to 2010, average annual GDP growth rates in China were 9.8%, the highest in the world during the period. After more than 30 years of development, China can be called a modern economic miracle. What ...

A Euro 2012 bonanza?

Research has shown that major sports competition can lead to a considerable economic development in the years following the event.  For example, after the Summer Olympics in Barcelona in 1992, there was a significant impact on tourist traffic, with the number of tourists visiting the city doubling to 3.5 million eight years later; a benefit referred to as the “Barcelona effect”. As Euro 2012 got underway in the midst of a European economic crisis, the focus on economic benefits was as ...

Using averages can be a poor marketing strategy

In a time of recession, and when business confidence is low, we know consumers begin to tighten their belts and demand falls across the economy. There are several measures of recession.  The US National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) defines an economic recession as: a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales. Other economic bodies define recession as a ...

Economic contagion threatens global business

The Eurozone economy's growth almost ground to a halt in the third quarter of 2011 with just a 0.2% rise, reinforcing expectations that the region could slip into a 'deep and prolonged recession' next year. There is much debate in global financial and investment markets as to whether a European economic recession will pull US and Asian economies down in its wake. The European Union said last week that the Eurozone is expected to grow just 0.5 per cent in ...