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The UK is having a hard time breaking away from trade deficit →

Exports have reached new record levels as it arose, but imports have exceeded as well as its prior highs and thread of shockingly high deficits is almost unchanged.  Due to this some scientists say that the recovery will only make the gap grow.  The UK continues to import more than they export and are carrying a perpetual trade deficit.

 

The UK has balanced its trade deficit with income from abroad for a period of time.  Many companies and investors who own assets in foreign lands and send back the gains to UK are still enjoying the legacy of the empire

 

The positive result on UK’s present account has decreased harshly since the financial crash, but, and the future looks less hopeful.

 

HSBC’s chief economist, Stephen King, is also affected by 5% deficit.  He argues that that should be down to zero or positive in the aftermath of a severe recession. 

 

King’s concern is that deficits grow in times when many shoppers consume more imported goods than ever.   Much better to start from a situation of balance or even a positive balance sooner than the situation worsens.

 

An appropriate recession, one in which declining wages or mass unemployment that eradicate people’s incomes in total, lessen the import bill noticeably.  It is a land that can be seen in Greece, Spain and Portugal, where the horrendous economic and financial conditions they find themselves in have at least improved the trade balance.

 

The Keynesian answer to the crisis in the UK implemented by Labour and partly sustained by the coalition supports employment and public services, however, as well has the unlucky consequence of preserving high levels of imports.  That is the reason the enormous deficits run up by successive governments during and after the recession required to be offset by a major jump in exports.

 

Regardless of a 25% drop in the significance of sterling, the increase was just small.  There are many rival explanations for the reason.  The dependence on the EU, which separate from Germany has resisted development since 2008. The inclination for exporters to jack up their prices instead of the increase production as an answer to higher demand is one more long-term problem.

 

Both give slight motive to expect that an economy that month on month runs a historic elevated deficit previous to the upturn has achieved actual momentum, and with imports increasing further, can evade a mini sterling crisis.

 

Doomsayers disagree Britain has 18 months to two years to discover its export mojo ahead of it is becoming crystal clear a lower pound is needed.  A minor pound would give exporters another increase and perhaps close up the deficit, however, would as well elevate import prices and inflation.  Higher inflation, joined with a consumer boom that is mostly based on additional borrowing, may perhaps oblige the Bank of England to jack up interest rates.  Whatever supporters of higher rate dispute, a speedy and vicious response from the central bank is unwanted and would convey the recovery to a shaky halt.

Little options of Saudis as they push tougher foreign policy →

Saudi Arabia, regardless of its deep discomfort about the West’s hesitant rapprochement with Iran, seems to have some viable selection for practicing a more independent and straightforward foreign policy.

Disappointed with the United States from constructing tactical relations with other world powers to thrusting a tougher line in opposition to Iranian allies in the Arab world and, in an instance that the world powers be unsuccessful to foil Tehran’s nuclear objectives, even looking for its own atomic bomb so senior Saudis have expected at a range of possibilities.

However substitute powers are tough even to think for a nation that has been holding back to U.S. ally for decades.  Russia is on the conflicting side against Riyadh concerning the Syrian war and China’s military clout is still modest as compared with the United States’.

Robert Jordan, U.S. ambassador to Riyadh from 2001-03, said there would be limits to any Saudi alliances with other powers.

Good judgment in forecasting international affairs →

The Economist’s The World in 2014 issue focuses international attention on the geopolitical outcomes we can expect to see over the next 12-14 months hits the newsstand.  It features an article by University of Pennsylvania psychologist Phil Tetlock and journalist Dan Gardner on the Good Judgment Project.  That said article isa research study funded by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA, the U.S. government’s analog to DARPA), as a result, makes such geopolitical predictions each day.

IARPA has posed approximately 100-150 questions every year to research teams partaking in its ACE forecasting tournament on topics like the Syrian civil war, the constancy of the Eurozone and Sino-Japanese relations since 2011.  Every research team was obliged to collect individual forecasts coming from many forecasters online and to produce daily collective forecasts that allocate sensible probabilities to potential outcomes.

The Good Judgment Project came out as the evident winner and the Good Judgment Project forecasters have established the capability to produce more right forecasts that have surpassed even a few of the most positive approximation at the start of the tournament.  The supplementary graphic shows the calculation from three GJP forecasting techniques on a up to date question about whether the first round of chemical weapons inspections in Syria would be completed before Dec. 1.

Industry, labor, foes sound off during hearing on nuclear waste →

http://www.thecrownmanagement.com/industry-labor-foes-sound-off-during-hearing-on-nuclear-waste/

Not often carry out nuclear industry executives and hardline activists who be against them agree on anything.

Mutually the two hates the thought of continuing to stockpile highly radioactive waste the reactor cores of nuclear power plants on the site of each power-generating station.

An hour-long hearing held December 2, 2013 drew almost 200 people from Ohio and Michigan to the Hilton Garden Inn in Perrysburg’s Levis Commons was a reminder that both sides are still far apart on what the government’s next step should be.

Although it would mean putting up with the waste decades longer than expected, industry and trade unions eventually want a single, national repository. Failure to develop a solution is reason enough to shut down the industry; this is the antinuclear activists claim to the government.

Nuclear power provides 20 percent of America’s electricity.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the government agency that oversees the nuclear industry, learned a lot of information, the 11th stop on the agency’s 12-city tour in which it ought to do just that: Get a cross section of opinions.  As an answer to the government’s decision to unfinished plans for a national repository in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain, the NRC has been asking Americans about their thoughts regarding the agency’s proposed “waste confidence” rule and its affiliated environmental impact statement,.

As a consequence, the NRC is inquiring what the public’s thoughts concerning leaving the waste where it is, at least for the time being.

Tagged: Industry labor foes sound off during hearing on nuclear waste

British-Muslims contribute 31 billion pounds to economy →

Britain has more than 10,000 millionaires from among 2.72 million Muslims contributing 31 billion pounds or Rs 3.0 trillion to its economy, says a report.


‘The Muslim Pound - How Muslims Add Value to Britain’s Prosperity’ was released by the Muslim Council of Britain ahead of the just-concluded 9th World Islamic Economic Forum Meet 2013 in London, one report says.


Five decades on, there are more than 10,000 millionaires and thousands of others are engaged in higher managerial, administrative and professional occupations.

 

Nearly 2.8 million Muslims in the UK contribute over 31 billion pounds to its economy and wield a spending power of 20.5 billion pounds, a report said this November.

 

A paper from the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said from coffee houses in Elizabethan London, to curry houses in modern day Britain, thousands of Muslim-owned businesses have made a significant contribution to the UK economy and by extension, the cultural life of Britain.

 

The report said there are some 2.78 million Muslims in Britain, contributing over 31 billion pounds to the economy.  There is an anticipated 10,000 Muslim millionaires in the UK with liquid assets of more than 3.6 billion pounds, with more than a dozen British Muslims listed in the 2013 Sunday Times Rich List of the most affluent in the UK.

 

In London alone, there are over 13,400 Muslim-owned businesses in London creating more than 70,000 jobs, the paper said.

 

The report was published to highlight Muslims’ growing contribution to the UK and to mark the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) went to London this month, the online portal Huffington Post UK reported.

 

The MCB report comes as Prime Minister David Cameron is set to unveil a new Islamic index on the London Stock Exchange.  The move, as expected to be worth 1.3 trillion pounds next year, marks the capital’s significance as a global centre for Islamic finance.

 

The city will be the first non-Muslim city to host the World Islamic Economic Forum.

 

"I welcome the effort of the British Muslim community in bringing the World Islamic Economic Forum to London. My have worked with the Muslim Council of Britain to bring this Forum to London, who has been a key delegation at World Islamic Economic Forum since its inception," said London’s Mayor Boris Johnson.

 

The MCB is a national representative Muslim umbrella body with over 300 affiliated national, regional and local organizations, mosques, charities and schools.

International relations: Russia rises as world leader →

Many are the references in the speeches of US Presidents about the need to “lead the world”, an arrogant and intrusive approach from those elected by a percentage of their own people and nobody else. Yet today, what has America’s “leadership” led to, where has it led the USA and its allies, what is its standing in the hearts and minds of the international community?

The Helsinki Final Act, or Helsinki Declaration, of 1975, was perhaps the visible face of the stance of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, looking for friendly relations with the West while it brought generations and millions of oppressed persons education, healthcare and decent public services, freeing them from the yoke of imperialist tyranny.

By 1989, the USSR was spending on average 250 billion dollars - a quarter of a trillion USD - on development projects overseas, implementing policies which guaranteed the right to basic services in countries where imperialism and colonialist policies had syphoned off the resources, placing corrupt political figures in power so as to guarantee the one-way direction of resource flow - outwards.

Scroll back seventy years, when the Russian Revolution was for the first time bringing backward societies into the front line of industrial development, guaranteeing housing, for free, free public utilities, free or heavily subsidized communications, subsidized public transportation, free primary and secondary education, free higher education, free healthcare, free dental treatment, zero unemployment, safety on the streets, security of the State, social mobility, indexed pensions, guaranteed basic foodstuffs, leisure time activities, free sports facilities, free cultural facilities… and back then we could already see the true mettle of the west.

The psyche of the United States of America, its poodle-in-chief, the UK and in turn the ex-colonies of London, principally Australia and the sickening clique of sycophants which crawl around, licking Washington’s legs and feet - namely France and to varying degrees the NATO pack - is in essence Anglo-Saxonic, is based upon wanderlust, imposition of cultural values in a top-down, holier-than-thou approach which saw the same nations drawing lines on maps.

The Crown Capital Management International Relations» The World’s Top Ten Most Dynamic Economies →

http://www.thecrownmanagement.com/the-worlds-top-ten-most-dynamic-economies/

Of the top 10 world economies with the highest prospects for commerce growth in 2013, the U.S. is noticeable for its absence.

Based on Grant Thornton’s 2013 Global Dynamism Index (GDI) involving 50 countries, the U.S. slid down from No. 10 last year, to No. 11 in 2013. And to make it worse, its stats for indicators such as financing and labor markets, sank from a collective 64.1 in 2012 to 60.5 in 2013.

Yet, it is not that bad. U.S. left behind the Japanese (15) and the South Koreans (13). It also crushed the U.K., which ranked 34 overall, scoring only 51.5 out of a perfect 100. So, things in the U.S. are far from being that bad.

“I believe the U.S. is playing out almost exactly the way we expected,” said Marc Tommasi, a managing director at investment company Manning & Napier. “It is neither bright nor that terribly bad.”

Grant Thornton’s index provides insights into which of the 50 nations evaluated presents the best ecosystem for investment growth. The U.S. has dropped from the charts. But it has some company. Only a few nations have scaled the charts, and among the most stellar performers is China. It joined the top 10 this year after having placed No. 17 in 2012.

Rankings are according to performance in five main areas – business working environment, economics & growth, science & technology, labor & human capital and the lending conditions.

The obvious news from this year’s index: Asia is a powerhouse for investment growth. And even with the Nordic nations sliding, government policies there make it one of the most ideal areas in the globe to nurture a business. Even more so than the center of capitalism, Uncle Sam.

For China, the business working environment and financing were both graded badly, close to the base of the stack. However, nothing defeats the Chinese labor market. Not merely is it cheap, but on the East Coast especially, they are exceedingly skilled as well. In addition, in terms of holistic outlook there, China is No. 2 for general business growth.

This makes China the second highest jumper, right behind the upcoming tiger-economy Philippines (which climbed 25 places from No. 46 last year). The progress in China is principally powered by its science & technology ranking, where it jumped 8 places to rank 14 on the back of stable information-technology firms and spending on research and development.

“As China advances to a more sustainable economic development path, the GDI 2013 results provide a major sign that our business growth environment remains on the road to improvement,” Grant Thornton managing partner Xu Hua was cited as saying in the report published last week.

 

The top 10 most dynamic economies in 2012 were, namely from 1 to 10: Singapore, Finland, Sweden, Israel, Austria, Australia, Switzerland, Korea, Germany and the United States.

Here are the top 10 most dynamic economies of 2013.

 

No. 10: Norway

Norway got 60.9 points on the index this year, down from 62.6 last year. Multinationals have worked in Norway for so many years, most of them engaged in the oil and gas industry. The most popular Norwegian companies are Statoil and Norsk Hydro.

 

No. 9: Sweden

Sweden stands No. 9 and gained 61.6 out of a perfect 100. Last year, Sweden’s business vitality scored a 69.6 on the Grant Thornton Global Dynamism Index, so this year’s economic deceleration in southern Europe made a dent. Swedish technology exists in many American homes and enterprises. Ericsson is location in Stockholm. Husqvarna lawn-mowers mow many American lawns. 

 

No. 8: Israel

Israel scores lower this year with 61.8 on the index compared with 69.3 last year, losing its former No. 4 spot. Israel’s growth economy is founded on biotechnology and software. Teva Pharmaceuticals is Israeli-owned and is the largest manufacturer of generic medicines in the world.

 

No. 7: Singapore

Singapore slid down this year but remains up there. On the index in 2013, it scored 61.9 out of a perfect 100, down from the No. 1 spot last year at 72.1. The country is generally noted as the biggest trade center in the world.

 

Tied with Canada: Finland

Finland ties with Canada with 62.3 this year, dropping from the No. 2 spot last year with a score of 70.5. Naturally, everyone remembers Finland as the people who gave us Angry Birds. Rovio Mobile is housed in Espoo. Microsoft adores Finnish tech so much it acquired Nokia this year.

 

No. 5: Canada

Canada and Finland both scored 62.3 out of a perfect 100 and is improving. Last year on the index, it gained 61.7. Canada is popular as the country that gave us the smartphone. BlackBerry is located in Waterloo. And while BlackBerry has seen brighter days, Canada likewise hosts TD Bank and airplane manufacturer Bombardier. 

 

No. 4: New Zealand

That Fly Emirates symbol printed on the jib sail of an America’s Cup catamaran belongs to Team New Zealand. The country ranked No. 4 with an index score of 62.6, sliding from 63.9 last year on the Grant Thornton Global Dynamism Index. In spite of this lower index number, New Zealand climbed from No. 13 in 2012. 

 

No. 3: China

China is doing something right, climbing from Rank 20 last year to No. 3. It scored a 62.7 out of 100, up from last year’s score of 61.4. China is the world’s No. 2 economy, and here in the U.S., it is referred to as the economy every politician “loves to hate”. Accused of causing massive losses of manufacturing jobs in America and a crushing trade deficit, China is no longer merely a Happy Meal toy-manufacturing economy. It is now noted for being a melting-pot for luxury retailers. However, it is also popular for Internet pet-companies such as Tencent, Baidu and Sina. 

 

No. 2: Chile

Chile has always been favoured by the global executive. The only thing that has changed is that it continues to get better. Last year, it garnered No. 11 with an index score of 63.8. This year, it is No. 2 with an index score of 64.5. Noted for its copper mining, red wine and salmon, it is also home to LAN Airlines, the biggest airline owned by Latin Americans. Chile is good; but not as good as these guys…

 

The Most Dynamic Business Climate On Earth…

…is Downunder. Australia climbed from No. 7 last year with an index score of 65.6 to No.1 with an index score of 66.5. Australia has so much to offer prospective investors: twenty two years of continuous economic growth; stable institutions; a trained, industrious labor force and a vigorous culture of investment in research and development. The country’s most noted firms include mining giant BHP Billiton, surf apparel and culture brand Billabong and Rip Curl, and brewery Fosters Group. Addicted to playing fruit ninja on X Box Kinect? It is a product of Halfbrick Studios of Australia.

Losing Faith in Gold From Ghana to Vancouver Proves Rout →

A couple years back, GCHQ held its yearly sports fest on Wednesday, 15 June at London’s Civil Service Sports Club. A gender-friendly, six-a-side football match was the main event of the activity, with games kicking off at exactly 11 A.M..

The day was a cheerful experience for those normally ensconced in the agency’s unique doughnut-shaped command centre in Cheltenham. Participants were given a six-page list of rules and regulations to ascertain that people played fair.

"Each team MUST field at least ONE lady player at all times," the note said. "Proper footwear shall be worn. Crocs, sandals or flip-flops are not allowed. The wearing of shin-pads is REQUIRED."

Among all the extremely confidential papers about GCHQ exposed by the whistleblower, Edward Snowden, this has to be one of the least delicate. But it provides a peek into the world of the 6,100 people packed into the open-plan and underground GCHQ offices; that there is a sports activity at all shows something about the agency which many people outside their world could not appreciate.

Last year, GCHQ also made trips to the Paris Disneyland, and its sailing club participated in an offshore regatta at Cowes. The agency also has a chess club, regular pub quiz nights, cake bazaars and an in-house puzzle newsletter named Kryptos. A member of Stonewall beginning last year, GCHQ has its own Pride group for employees who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

There is also a paranormal group that describes itself as “GCHQ’s ghost-hunting group”. It is open to staff and their partners either “sceptics or believers” who want to explore “supposedly haunted properties”.

Employees reckon their age on the internal directory, “GCWiki”, by their “internet age”, a gage of how long they have been experts on the web.

They meet friends during yearly family open-days, or through messages on the agency’s own version of MySpace, aptly titles SpySpace.

Colleagues are bound to meet others cut from the same fabric. The agency’s 2010/11 recruitment guide states that GCHQ hires top-calibre technologists and mathematicians familiar with the intricate algorithms that fuel the Internet. But it has space for a few accountants and librarians. No vacancies available for classicists, however. 

No one at Cheltenham is significantly well compensated, at least, in comparison with the private sector – a junior analyst might earn £25,000. “We can provide a fantastic mission; but we cannot shell out private-sector-level salaries,” one briefing note warned.

Being a world apart from the rest, GCHQ is an intricate, clandestine community, snugly bound by its location outside London, the characteristics of its people, and the mystery in which their job must be done.

26 Million People Struggling Financially →

http://www.thecrownmanagement.com/26-million-people-struggling-financially/

Approximately 26 million Britons are presently having money problems because the economic

slump has induced a “live for the moment” mentality, based on a major report on the wellbeing of the country’s finances.

Over fifty percent of UK adults stated that they were struggling with their finances, the

government-sponsored body, Money Advice Service (MAS), bared. This is a sudden increase

from 35 percent of people who were undergoing a hard time paying their bills compared to the

previous time a similar study was conducted in 2006.

Hourly salary has plummeted by 6 percent in real value since the previous research was carried

out, making it more difficult for people to eke out a living.

A “live for the moment” culture and lack of financial smarts were also discovered to be possible

reasons.

Twenty percent of those polled stated that they would prefer to have £200 at present than

£400 after four months, with twenty-five percent of people replying they choose to live for the

present rather than plan for the future.

The report also showed that a disturbing number of Britons are deficient in financial awareness.

About 12 percent of those asked believed the Bank of England’s base rate, which has been at a

remarkable 0.5 percent low for over four years, was over 10 percent.

Over one third of the people asked did not comprehend the great effect that inflation has on

their savings and 16 percent could not tell the right balance on a bank statement.

Nevertheless, more encouraging result from the survey revealed that the number of people

checking their bank account statements had grown since 2006 and almost 84 percent of people

said they constantly monitored their finances.

40 percent of those questioned said they stay clear of doubtful dealings and 85 percent said

they were laying aside some money in savings.

Caroline Rookes, chief executive of the MAS, said: “In principle, financial management is easy –

spend less than you make and think about your future – but the challenge comes from how we

apply it in actual life.”

The MAS, an autonomous body established by the Government, has a legal duty of enhancing

public awareness and knowledge about financial issues. It plans to publish a method to assist

citizens improve their financial condition next year.

Over 5,000 people participated in the survey, with more than 70 families monitored over the

period of one year for the Financial Capability of The UK Report, which uncovered “a common

sentiment that people worry about their capability to endure until the next payday”.

Constitutionality of Renewable Energy Mandates in Question →

http://www.thecrownmanagement.com/constitutionality-of-renewable-energy-mandates-in-question-2/

In a potentially crushing strike against advocates for renewable energy mandates, a federal court ruling recently raised the issue of constitutionality of major provisions of many states’ renewable energy mandates.

On June 7, 2013, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) position against the state of Michigan (and other petitioners) in a disagreement over FERC’s proposal to distribute costs for new power lines to supply millions of megawatts of wind power in the Great Lakes area.  Michigan believes that this plan would, in essence, require them to pay for expensive new power lines intended for transmitting renewable energy out of the state. Based on the law establishing Michigan’s 2008 Renewable Energy Standard, only renewable energy generated inside its state borders is qualified to fulfill Michigan’s obligation to utilize 10% of eligible renewable energy sources by 2015.

 

Speaking for the Court, Judge Richard Posner ruled:

 

“Michigan’s first argument—that its law prohibits it from crediting wind power from out of state in favor of the state’s obligated use of renewable energy by its utilities—trips over an unbreakable constitutional precedence. Michigan cannot, without violating Article I of the commerce clause of the Constitution, discriminate against out-of-state renewable energy (emphasis added).”

 

Thirty states, including the District of Columbia, have mandates on renewable energy that require electric companies to purchase a certain quota or percentage of renewable energy by a projected year. Just like Michigan which has a clear ban on wind produced in other states from being allowed into their mandate, other states also “discriminate” against out-of-state renewable power. When counting mandate compliance, several states count in-state power at a higher rate than out-of-state power, a practice popularly labelled as “multipliers”:

Delaware has a 300% credit multiplier for customer-sited, in-state photovoltaic (PV), a 350% multiplier for a specific offshore wind project, and a 150% multiplier for all other in-state wind projects;

Colorado applies a 1.25 multiplier for its in-state generation;

Michigan provides an extra 0.1 credit for projects that use state-available components and its local workforce;

Missouri grants a 1.25 multiplier for all in-state generation.

Kansas uses a 1.1 multiplier for all in-state resources;

Moreover, some state renewable policies have a list of renewable energy grades, where certain power sources can only be utilized to fulfill a part of the mandate.  Others have grade levels dedicated particularly to in-state power generation that may now be doubtful in view of the recent decision by the federal court:

New Mexico’s Tier V applies to customer-sited resources;

Massachusetts’ Tier IV exclusively applies to in-state PV projects;

New York’s Tier II covers customer-sited resources.

The new ruling is significant since one of the main points raised by mandate proponents is the creation of jobs in the concerned state.  Certainly, these claims merely consider the overall “green” jobs provided, while totally neglecting the loss of net jobs resulting from increased electricity rates arising from these mandates. The federal court ruling might just end up nullifying the argument for in-state green-job employment since renewable power can be imported out-of-state to comply with the mandate.

Lawmakers in these states with power mandates may now question the value of raising electricity rates on their state power consumers for the purpose of subsidizing “green” job creation in another state nearby. In the end, what this ruling has done is to unravel the problems and complexities with a market for renewables that has been created through government policies.

Tagged: the crown capital management international relations