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The pursuit of happiness" is an American myth. The ideologies and governments of this century that promised happiness, have left people with more material possessions, but less psychological well-being. Many of the citizens are emotionally bankrupt and unhappy. The demands of life in our current socioeconomic system require that we keep running and running with little or no breaks....Like their parents, most of the young professionals will drift through life racing for the "American Dream", going through very expensive trial-and-error lessons and struggling to achieve happiness and fulfillment.
You cut the jacket to fit the person, you do not cut the person to fit the jacket. Do not imitate the strategies of your competitors or blindly implement industry best practices. The Leader of an organization must analyze the situation and customize the business plans to fit the organization's position.
There are two main reasons that caused mainstream economists and financial media to miss the financial crisis of 2008. The first is the NIH (Not Invented Here) bias, which is an organizational phenomenon manifested as an unwillingness to adopt an idea because it originates from unknown outsiders. It is a form of social cognition bias that leads to errors in group judgments such as missing on new opportunities or risks. The second reason is a cognition bias known as the Confirmation Bias which is the tendency to search for, filter in, or interpret information in a way that confirms existing preconceptions. The Confirmation Bias is recognized as an individual cognition bias, but when met with (NIH) bias it appears to develop into a social bias very similar to the Groupthink syndrome.
Since the beginning of business history, managers have come to realize their competitiveness depends on being able to find, develop and retain top talent
The worst thing that could happen to any economy is the loss of confidence. - [predicting the US economic crisis]
All financial rations being equal, I prefer to invest in multinational companies with more diversified sources of income and who can benefit from the higher growth of the emerging markets.
I do not agree with the prophets of doom who are predicting the socioeconomic collapse of the United States. Make no mistake, US will recover. The road to recovery is rocky with potential setbacks, and we have to pay for our mistakes like everyone else.
Politicians should shift their thinking from how I can balance the budget to how I can attract top global talents, businesses and investments to compete in a global economy.
History teaches us that people from different religions and ethnic groups can be united around one shared economic goal; equality and prosperity for all. We saw that in the rise of the communist USSR. When the economic policies of the USSR failed, ethnic and national divisions took the forefront and the USSR was dissolved. That can happen to the US if we are hit hard enough by hyperinflation and currency collapse. How the divisions evolve and what forms they will take depend on the type and speed of the government's reaction. It is too early to foresee such events. However, it is important to note that no country is above the socioeconomic laws, US included.
I would not bet against US innovation, entrepreneurship and business culture - The trinity that drives economic growth and recovery. Yes, we do face a major crisis, but we also do have a proven track record of recovery.
In life, we have three choices; to lead, follow or resist the change. The last choice is the usually the most expensive one.
In pursuit of knowledge, something new is learned. in pursuit of wisdom, something old is unlearned.
In seeking knowledge, something new is learned In seeking wisdom, something old is unlearned To grow, we need to learn, unlearn and re-learn
It is important to fully understand the performance variables, benefits, and risks of each investment and why you'd want to add each investment to your portfolio in amounts that fit your risk appetite
Sustainable prosperity and stability of the nations in the Middle East cannot be realized without re-engineering their state models to more open socioeconomic systems allowing equal access to national resources and opportunities instead of the current closed systems based on tribal, ethnic, and religious quotas
Take care of the success of those who work with you and they will take care of your success. Honor and respect those who support your success, including the ones who manage you and the ones you manage.
The adage that knowledge is power is true. In the world of financial markets and investments, knowledge is the ultimate power. Educate yourself before you invest, if you know something that others don't, you will make a lot of money
The best strategy to making money in the stock market is to buy an asset before it becomes too popular. You buy low and sell high, you do not buy high and hope you will sell higher. This is not an investment strategy it is speculation.
The forces of the Power Cycles work over time to distributes the power and wealth among nations. Every nation and every political party must go through the cycles of expansion and contraction. This is true for all past, current and future powers. The only difference is that this power cycle got accelerated tremendously with the introduction of the Internet and global communications.
The historical crusades against Muslim lands, the colonization of Spain by the Muslim Moors and India by the British were all driven by economic interests, despite the advertised reasons that were used to mobilize their armies at the time. In my opinion, the invasion of Iraq was not about spreading democracy or weapons of mass destruction, it was about the oil.
The poor work to make money for the rich, the middle class work to make money for themselves, the rich make money from other people's work.
Transformation does not happen by learning new information. It happens with the formation of new thinking patterns and new behavioral habits.
When people have hope that their economic conditions can improve by simply working harder, they care less about politics and religion, they may not like many things in their society but they are unlikely to get angry to a point of violent uprising or dividing the country. When people feel stuck or when they are poor and do not have much to lose, they are more likely to rise against the people in power.
You cannot lead others, if you cannot lead yourself. Know yourself and develop self discipline first, the rest is easy
I do not understand why some would call me an economic oracle. Although I correctly foretasted key economic events in the past 10 years, the truth is that any economic forecasting model can become useless with the change of just one variable. And if we learned anything from experience, the only constant in markets is change. The first rule of economic forecasting is to understand that it is a science of probability not a science of certainty.
In pursuit of knowledge, something new is learned in pursuit of wisdom, something old is unlearned. To grow, we need to learn, unlearn and re-learn.
Lack of regulation is as bad as over-regulation. Although I believe governments should not regulate free market choices, I also believe they should regulate to protect investors against conflict of interests and negligence by investment bankers. Regulations should also ensure full transparency and disclosures and should effectively penalize violators.
Oil prices will keep breaking new records until other countries move to nuclear and alternative energy sources or we discover massive new reserves and increase production dramatically over the next few years.
One question can make all the difference between your success or failure. A winner asks how it will be done. A loser asks why it cannot be done. Asking how to succeed, helps you find a way. Asking why you will fail, gives you an excuse to stay.
The challenge is that CEOs now think like global investors, while the political leadership thinks like local civil servants. Getting the right policies to attract and develop talented labor, capital and diversify the income sources will determine the prosperity and wealth of the people of each nation.
The knowledge, wealth, and development gaps among nations is reducing and the reign of superpowers is shortening. Just look at the history of the Roman, Islamic, Russian and British empires, the newer the power the shorter the reign. In the economic and business worlds the same power cycles apply. Ford, IBM, Nokia and other companies all lost their leadership position to newer companies.
The knowledge, wealth, and development gaps among nations is reducing and the reign of superpowers is shortening. Just look at the history of the Roman, Islamic, Russian and British empires, the newer the power the shorter the reign. In the economic and business worlds the same power cycles apply. Ford, IBM, Nokia and other companies lost their leadership position to newer companies faster than their predecessors
There globalization of trade, knowledge, innovation, industrialization and entrepreneurial culture is increasing at a rapid rate and the net result is more distribution of wealth and power. A new world order is imminent. The countries that succeed will be those with better socioeconomic policies, more cash, natural resources and creativity. The US can embrace this change and compete or we can resist it and lose.
There is an undercurrent of cultural changes in the Middle East region driven by the globalization of media and the Internet. Smart leaders will anticipate these changes and initiate gradual democratic reforms to avoid political instability and economic problems.
Transformation does not happen by learning new information. It happens when you change how you view and react to other people, events and things around you.
It is not possible to have a politics-free organization. The desire for power and control is part of the human nature. Successful business leaders know how to leverage organizational politics by setting performance-oriented instead of resources-oriented political rewards.
A simple lifestyle gives you freedom. An expensive lifestyle enslaves you. Create a simple lifestyle, regardless of how much money you earn. Simple living will remove unnecessary demands on your life and free your mind to make the right choices. Simplicity will reduces your stress and make you happier
China and Africa have strong growing relationship; as China continues to grow, we will see the Chinese offer more infrastructure development to African governments in return for natural resources and farmland to support its vast population. It is a natural and mutually beneficial relationship.
Over the long term, if government revenues continue to be less than the expenditures (deficit), then the economic health of the country worsens because this will result in accumulated debt. An increasing government debt will result in higher interest payments, and less money available for socioeconomic development. To pay for the debt, the government will have to raise taxes, which will reduce the competitive position of the country in the global economy and chase investors away resulting in less economic activities and more job losses. In order to avoid higher unemployment and social instability, the government have to raise more debt to fund spending and welfare support by raising the interest rate which will increase the cost of money, reduce corporate profits and slow economic investments, thus resulting in more job losses and reduced government revenues, despite income tax increases. It is what I call a vicious economic cycle.
Unlike many in the investment community, I classify gold and other high volatility assets as speculative investments, so although I would invest in gold, I would keep its share of the portfolio to minimum and would monitor them closely.
Although the protesters in Egypt and neighboring countries are calling for democratic reforms, in reality they are calling for better economic life. Democracy is only a means to an end. I believe the driving forces behind the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings are economical. A chronic high unemployment combined with an inflation in food prices is a volatile mix that can lead to major civic outbursts.
American leaders created a system that allowed a free distribution of wealth and power. People leave their economic class and become richer regardless of their ethnic or national background. Therefore, despite having more diverse people in our society than any other nation, we have more stable national politics. If our elites try to limit the openness of the socioeconomic system, the system will be corrected in any number of forms including civic unrest. When Bush's administration invaded Iraq and bailed out Wall Street, the people brought in Obama. When Obama bailed out Wall Street again and considered raising the tax on the people, the system brought the Tea Party into power and the ruling party lost control of the Congress. People expressed their anger via peaceful elections.
Countries that try to spread their ideologies by force, be it religion, socialism, capitalism, democracy or something else, will be overwhelmed by the human and economic cost of conflicts. Those countries will lag behind other countries that are focusing on developing their economies and advancing their interests via global partnerships and trade.
Knowledge networks will transform the global economy. They will change the way we think, learn and work. In the new economy your network should be at the heart of your strategy.
The integrity of states is ruled by the socioeconomic well-being theory. The degree of the stability of any social system is proportional to the degree of its economic growth and vice versa. Stated differently, the risk to national integrity increases proportionally to the country's economic decline.
We over-praise leaders when organizations succeed and over-blame them when organizations fail. Success or failure depends on the environment as much as or even more than the leader. Effective leaders navigate and influence the environment to enable key success factors for their followers
Leadership excellence requires a balanced mix of paradoxes. Leaders need to be visionary yet practical, teachers yet learners, and believers yet open-minded.
Innovation in products, services, value chains and business models is the only sustainable growth strategy. New knowledge and business networks will shape the new global economy.
Commodities have shown a high correlation to inflation, especially in high inflation periods. In addition to diversification, the commodities asset class may also protect investment portfolios against an expected inflation or a declining local currency.
Inflation is a force of pressure. If the socioeconomic system of a country is open and democratic, the pressure will dissipate via elections and peaceful change of government. On the other hand, if the system is closed, it might be able to contain the pressure for a while, but the pressure will continue to build up and at a certain point it will exceed the strength of the system causing it to crack. Rulers who learn from history and create a socioeconomic system that is open will achieve stability and continuity. Those who fight against these socioeconomic forces may win some battles in the short term, but they will lose the war.
It is expected from the government officials and the financial sector to selectively report on the good news to avoid investors panic and maintain confidence in the economy. Unfortunately building confidence has been the name of the game since the beginning of the crisis rather than real economic reforms.
Countries that quit producing real products, spend more than they produce, lag in education, burden their middle class with higher taxes, and continue to import billions from other countries, bail out failed businesses and reward bad behavior instead of investing in good businesses, will eventually lose their leadership and wealth
Countries that try to spread their ideologies by force, be it religion, socialism, capitalism, democracy or something else, will be overwhelmed by the human and economic cost of conflicts. Those countries will lag behind other countries that are focusing on developing their economies and advancing their interests via global partnerships and trade. With the new global knowledge and global competition, if you take your eye off the economic ball someone else will pick it up.
Gold belongs with a class of speculative investments and should be kept to a minimum in long-term investment portfolios. This statement is valid until the world adopts gold as the main component of a new international currency.
In the age of knowledge and global socioeconomic exchange, goodwill and trade relations are far important to national prosperity and stability than land or military power. Socioeconomic systems that are built on exclusive ideologies, religious or ethnic purities are breeding grounds for extremism and will eventually lead to civil and international conflicts. Those countries must change or fail.
History teaches us that people from different religions and ethnic groups can be united around one economic goal; equality and prosperity for all. We saw that in the rise of the communist USSR. When the economic policies of the USSR failed, ethnic and national divisions took the forefront and the USSR's was dissolved. That could happen to the US if we are hit by hyperinflation or currency collapse. No country is above the socioeconomic laws, US included.
Over the long term, if government revenues continue to be more than expenditures (surplus), then the economic health of the country is good, because the government can afford to invest in development projects such as research and development, education and infrastructure. With more income, the government can also afford to lower taxes, which increase corporate profits and attracts more foreign investors, resulting in more economic activities, creating more jobs and enlarging the consumer spending and government revenues overall despite income tax cuts. It is what I call a virtuous economic cycle.
Throughout the history, national and international conflicts can be traced to economic reasons, they can be disguised under different propaganda and may take different forms as conflicts evolve, but these forms are the effect not the cause.
In US we had our share of civil conflicts driven by economic forces. The European immigrants brought slaves from Africa to use them as cheap labor for farming their lands. The color of the skin is only a rationalization for the continuation of the slavery system. All the segregation and discrimination rules against the blacks at that time were made to preserve the existing economic system and the interest of its beneficiaries. Though the American civil war was attributed to states and civil rights, the driving forces behind the war was the conflict of economic interests.
Countries that have strong pre-crisis macroeconomic metrics, rich natural resources and export-based industries have stronger recovery prospects from economic crisis.
Without peaceful international relations, there could be no economic stability and prosperity. On the political front, world leaders and UN veto-holding members could reset their foreign policies and stop burdening their economies and their people with international conflicts. The UN international courts of justice could be responsible for resolving international conflicts. The implementation of this solution requires a strong global leadership vision and action. Unfortunately the US leadership is limited by many conflicting private interest groups and is buried in domestic politics, ideological conflicts, and security issues. It is also unlikely that the global powers will let go of their power voluntarily and the situation will not get better before it gets worse.
Knowledge networks will revolutionize the global economy. They will change the way we think, learn and work. The prosperity of a nation and its people will be determined to a large degree by how well they can leverage the global knowledge networks to develop their resources, collaborate, innovate and market their products and services.
The socioeconomic well-being theory explains that when the members of a sociopolitical system share the same economic interests and the existing system produces enough economic opportunities to meet the needs of the members, they are likely to tolerate existing differences and work together towards shared benefits. On the other hand, when the system fails to produce enough economic opportunities over a long period of time, the members of the system are likely to compete more aggressively for existing resources, causing divisions among the members to grow stronger. The degree of social cohesiveness will diminish and divisions could take different forms such as ethnic, religious and geographic conflicts and at times class warfare or civil wars. If not managed properly, such sociopolitical systems can become dysfunctional. If the dysfunction is left untreated, at a certain point it will take more energy to fix the system than to let it collapse.
Contrary to popular belief, transformation cannot be based on a single event, advice, book, or seminar. These things may lead to a new insight or even a temporary change, however, real transformation requires the formation of new thinking patterns and behavioral habits. Transformation requires consistent action and time to reinforce new learned values and drop old ones. Once the process of transformation is completed, it will change who you are, your life and the lives of the people around you.
Countries that have strong pre-crisis macroeconomic metrics, rich natural resources and export-based industries have stronger recovery prospects. Strong budgets allow the government to stimulate the economy with less debt burden. Exports play a significant role in supporting a stable interest rate and ex-change rates thus renewing investors confidence and recovery.
The main difference in the speed of recovery between Argentina in post-2001 and Thailand in post-1997 crises is the exports. Fiscal discipline is necessary but not sufficient without export-driven economic growth. Too much debt can result in prolonged stagnation similar to the Japanese lost-decade of 1990s. With inflation risk on the rise, we could see more socioeconomic troubles and political unrest in economies with thin middle class. 2011-2012 will be challenging for many policy makers.
Over the long term, if government revenues continue to be more than expenditures (surplus), then the economic health of the country improves, because the government can afford to invest in development projects such as research and development, education and infrastructure. With more income, the government can also afford to lower taxes, which increases corporate profits and attracts more foreign investors, resulting in more economic activities, creating more jobs and enlarging consumer spending and government revenues despite income tax cuts. It is what I call a virtuous economic cycle.
Globalization of markets, competition, partnerships and risks should carry far more weight in the designing of strategic national development plans. It is not enough to think about government budgets anymore, you need to build your economy and businesses for global markets and competition
One quick and effective solution to the global economic crisis is a global economic and political reset. A global economic reset means that world leaders can come together to agree on debt forgiveness to all nations and restructuring of the global economy. Friends and enemies alike, no exceptions. To be fair to nations with lesser debts, they could be compensated on a ratio basis to enjoy treasury surpluses. A new international trade and reserve currency will probably be established to create a fair global economic system and to implement the reset. This could bring a new era of global prosperity and socioeconomic exchange. This is a much better alternative than currency wars, international hostilities and continuous risks of global socioeconomic shocks.
From a psychological point of view, when people go under pressure in life, be it economically or otherwise, they seek support from the people closest to them, usually religious or ethnic groups. They also start blaming other groups who have more control over the national resources. If the gap of power is wide, this will eventually create deep divisions in the nation. The divisions can take on new forms of conflict such as class warfare, ethnic, religious, political unrest and sometime civil war. The only effective protection against national divisions is an open socioeconomic system with a large and growing middle class
One main reason the US has been able to prevent its currency and economy from collapsing, despite the latest wars, huge debt and massive currency printing, is because the dollar is the de-facto standard for international trade and reserve currency.
Over the long term, if government revenues continue to be less than the expenditures (deficit). This will result in accumulated debt. An increasing government debt will result in higher interest payments, and less money available for socioeconomic development. To pay for the debt, the government will have to raise taxes, which will reduce the competitive position of the country in the global economy and chase investors away resulting in less economic activities and more job losses. In order to avoid higher unemployment and social instability, the government have to raise more debt to fund spending and welfare support by raising the interest rate which will increase the cost of money, reduce corporate profits and slow economic investments, thus resulting in more job losses and reduced government revenues, despite income tax increases. It is what I call a vicious economic cycle.
The US government alone cannot get its economy out of the crisis. It appears to me that the current policy makers are suffering from the gambler's syndrome. They keep spending more money hoping that they will eventually win. More debt spending is a receipt for bankruptcy. Real economic growth comes from government and private sector investments, not from massive debt spending followed by tax increases or currency devaluation.