Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ads from the past

Pepsi Godfather Ad

Monday, August 30, 2010

Who holds American debt?

Yuan vs. the dollar

As much as ever this week, it seemed as if China and the U.S. were on escalators going in opposite directions. In the U.S., the government cut its own growth estimates. A top debt-rating agency threatened the country with loss of its triple-A status. And the country's central banker hinted he was ready to print money.

The mood from China seemed completely different.

The world's biggest bank and the world's biggest oil company, both Chinese, saw profits rise nearly 30 per cent. A Chinese company announced it was listing on the Taiwanese stock exchange. And the country was still basking in the news that, by some measures, its economy is the world's second largest, beating out Japan.
Now, on top of this, there is word that China is preparing its money, the renminbi (also known as the yuan), to be the world's new reserve currency, displacing, or at least competing with, the U.S. dollar.

Meanwhile, Standard & Poor's rating service was telling the U.S. it might have to reconsider America's top debt rating unless it gets its budget in order. You'll remember that's what started all that trouble in Greece. Still, Bernanke, the country's central banker, was bracingly optimistic.You can hardly expect him to lead the charge toward gloom. But Bernanke did allow that he "is prepared to provide additional monetary accommodation through unconventional measures if it proves necessary, especially if the outlook were to deteriorate significantly."

He doesn't say it directly, but that sounds like he is going to print money to try to jumpstart the American economy. And that is not good for a reserve currency, the so-called anchor currency that governments everywhere elect to have stockpiled.

Good luck

So what are the true prospects for China to provide the currency that we use to trade between nations?
It seems a bit bizarre considering that the renminbi, or the yuan, if you prefer, doesn't even trade freely on world markets. It is still strictly controlled by a government agency that keeps it pegged to a basket of other world currencies.But already that may be changing. As you can see in the Pilling article, the U.S. fast food chain McDonald's has issued bonds in renminbi. (The joke in the trade is that RMB, the letter symbol for the security stands for Ronald McDonald Bonds.)
Other companies, mostly banks, are doing the same thing. Today, the Chinese government is encouraging companies that do regular business in China to denominate some of their deals in renminbi. According to Sharon Wilks at HSBC Canada, you can't yet get renminbi personal accounts here, but you can in Hong Kong.
The day after Pilling's article, the paper he works for editorialized on the subject. It expressed a certain doubt that China can pull it off but, magnanimously, encouraged it to try.

Centre stage

In many ways, China is today playing the role the U.S. did in the middle of the last century. The dollar took centre stage, particularly after the Second World War, as the British pound was becoming mired in crisis.Back then the U.S. was slowly but surely outgrowing the British Empire, which was in terminal decline. Even the frontier analogy would not be out of place in today's context: One of America's great strengths was that it grew into the West, using the most modern European technology to build an internal economy that could out-perform its European rivals.China is now doing exactly that, expanding into its own populated frontier with brand new infrastructure and technology.Perhaps, very soon, it will do what the U.S. did and begin consuming so much of its own product that exports will just be gravy.

As it becomes economically more secure, there are indications that China is moving into the next stage of being the world's premier power.Its fear of openness may be fading. An example being the stock listing in Taiwan. Perhaps it is in the process of becoming more humane. The People's Congress discussion on cutting back on the use of the death penalty from outrageous to merely excessive might be seen as a good sign in some quarters.But we should probably remember that the smart people at China's central bank aren't just promoting the renminbi to be cool or modern.

Being able to borrow money in your own currency, while having trillions of it sitting in the world's bank accounts, is very profitable indeed. It is something that has helped to power the American 20th century miracle.If China is able to follow the same route and not stumble on the way, your children will be singing about the Chinese currency the way your parents sang about the Yankee Dollah'.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2010/08/27/f-vp-pittis.html#ixzz0y5pj6zWY

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2010/08/27/f-vp-pittis.html#ixzz0y5p7rELp

A Seminal Moment- The Great Unwind

John Gerzema says that consumers are leading the world out of depression by taking back their power. He reviews the financial picture and reports a positive estimate of what is happening.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cultural Persuasion

How do some cultures get prosocial actions from their populations? In Copenhagen, they wish people would use the bike racks so instead of scolding or fining, they have a team of people who take bikes that are not in the racks and they oil the change and inflate the tires and leave a note politely asking them to use the bike racks. A little kindness- and it works!
Below is a video of rush hour bike traffic in Copenhagen.

National Debt by Country

The CIA's assessment of the Canadian Economy

As an affluent, high-tech industrial society in the trillion-dollar class, Canada resembles the US in its market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and affluent living standards. Since World War II, the impressive growth of the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy into one primarily industrial and urban. The 1989 US-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (which includes Mexico) touched off a dramatic increase in trade and economic integration with the US, its principal trading partner. Canada enjoys a substantial trade surplus with the US, which absorbs nearly 80% of Canadian exports each year. Canada is the US's largest foreign supplier of energy, including oil, gas, uranium, and electric power. Given its great natural resources, skilled labor force, and modern capital plant, Canada enjoyed solid economic growth from 1993 through 2007. Buffeted by the global economic crisis, the economy dropped into a sharp recession in the final months of 2008, and Ottawa posted its first fiscal deficit in 2009 after 12 years of surplus. Canada's major banks, however, emerged from the financial crisis of 2008-09 among the strongest in the world, owing to the country's tradition of conservative lending practices and strong capitalization.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$1.279 trillion (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 15

$1.312 trillion (2008 est.)

$1.305 trillion (2007 est.)

note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$1.336 trillion (2009 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
-2.5% (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 153
0.5% (2008 est.)
2.2% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$38,200 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 27
$39,500 (2008 est.)
$39,600 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 2.3%
industry: 26.4%
services: 71.3% (2008 est.)

Labor force:
18.39 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 2%
manufacturing: 13%
construction: 6%
services: 76%
other: 3% (2006)

Unemployment rate:
8.3% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93
6.2% (2008 est.)

Population below poverty line:

10.8%; note - this figure is the Low Income Cut-Off (LICO), a calculation that results in higher figures than found in many comparable economies; Canada does not have an official poverty line (2005)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 24.8% (2000)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
32.1 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 100
31.5 (1994)

Investment (gross fixed):
20.9% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80


revenues: $521.6 billion

expenditures: $578.7 billion (2009 est.)

Public debt:

75.4% of GDP (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 18

64.9% of GDP (2008 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

0.3% (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 32

2.4% (2008 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

1.75% (31 December 2008)

country comparison to the world: 109

4.5% (31 December 2007)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

4.73% (31 December 2008)

country comparison to the world: 137

6.1% (31 December 2007)

Stock of money:

$356.2 billion (31 December 2008)

country comparison to the world: 6

$391.6 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:

$1.299 trillion (31 December 2008)

country comparison to the world: 5

$1.381 trillion (31 December 2007)

Stock of domestic credit:

$2.335 trillion (31 December 2008)

country comparison to the world: 9

$2.382 trillion (31 December 2007)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA (31 December 2009)

country comparison to the world: 10

$1.002 trillion (31 December 2008)

$2.187 trillion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

wheat, barley, oilseed, tobacco, fruits, vegetables; dairy products; forest products; fish


transportation equipment, chemicals, processed and unprocessed minerals, food products, wood and paper products, fish products, petroleum and natural gas

Industrial production growth rate:

-13% (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 152

Electricity - production:

620.7 billion kWh (2007 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7

Electricity - consumption:

536.1 billion kWh (2007 est.)

country comparison to the world: 8

Electricity - exports:

55.73 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

23.5 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

3.289 million bbl/day (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 6

Oil - consumption:

2.151 million bbl/day (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 11

Oil - exports:

2.421 million bbl/day (2008 est.)

country comparison to the world: 4

Oil - imports:

1.165 million bbl/day (2008 est.)

country comparison to the world: 15

Oil - proved reserves:

178.1 billion bbl

country comparison to the world: 2

note: includes oil sands (1 January 2009 est.)

Natural gas - production:

161.3 billion cu m (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 4

Natural gas - consumption:

94.62 billion cu m (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7

Natural gas - exports:

94.67 billion cu m (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 3

Natural gas - imports:

16.59 billion cu m (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 16

Natural gas - proved reserves:

1.64 trillion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 21

Current account balance:

-$36.13 billion (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 186

$7.61 billion (2008 est.)


$323.4 billion (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 11

$459.1 billion (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities:

motor vehicles and parts, industrial machinery, aircraft, telecommunications equipment; chemicals, plastics, fertilizers; wood pulp, timber, crude petroleum, natural gas, electricity, aluminum

Exports - partners:

US 75.02%, UK 3.37%, China 3.09% (2009)


$327.2 billion (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 11

$415.2 billion (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, crude oil, chemicals, electricity, durable consumer goods

Imports - partners:

US 51.1%, China 10.88%, Mexico 4.56% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$54.36 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 28

$43.87 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Debt - external:

$833.8 billion (30 June 2009)

country comparison to the world: 12

$781.1 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$494.6 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 9

$412.3 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$576.2 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 11

$520.4 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Exchange rates:

Canadian dollars (CAD) per US dollar - 1.1548 (2009), 1.0364 (2008), 1.0724 (2007), 1.1334 (2006), 1.2118 (2005)

Eurozone Debt- Yikes!

Marketing in a Recession- A gift of knowledge

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ask yourself....

This was found on Business Pundit and it asks an important question for anyone doing advertising or website marketing:

Are you certain you are creating to impress your target market and NOT yourself or your peers?

Embrace Life

Here is a palpable example of how advertising can evoke emotion and shape behaviour.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Is it on time?

best business as compiled by BusinessInsider

 Here are the best business as compiled by BusinessInsider
  1. Go: Less mass
  2. Competitors: Who cares what they're doing?
  3. Takedowns: Planning is guessing
  4. Hiring: Resumes are ridiculous
  5. Hiring: Everybody works
  6. Productivity: Long lists don't get done
  7. Productivity: Meetings are toxic
  8. Damage Control: Speed changes everything
  9. Promotion: Marketing is not a department
  10. Promotion: Build an audience
  11. Promotion: Go behind the scenes
  12. Culture: Decisions are temporary
  13. Culture: Sound like you

The Geosocial universe





Sergi Brin Lecture at Berkley - 2005

Sergi Brin Lecture at Berkley

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Steven Levitt

With his 2005 book Freakonomics (co-authored with Stephen Dubner, a writer who profiled him for the New York Times), Steven Levitt carried hardcore economic method into the squishy real world and produced a pop-culture classic. Freakonomics is both an economics textbook and a series of cautionary tales about the fallacy of conventional wisdom. Levitt examines the links between real-world events, and finds many instances where the data simply doesn't back up popular belief.

He asks provocative questions: If selling crack is so lucrative, why do dealers live with their mothers? Does parental doting really improve children's test scores? Did New York City's crime rate really drop because of police tactics (or population trends)? His controversial answers stir debate, and sometimes backlash.

"Imagine a whip-smart economist with a sprawling imagination. Now imagine he's 9 years old and wants to know everything. That is the basic profile of Steven Levitt."


Monday, August 16, 2010

Monkey Economy illuminates our own

Cost of Cotton

Cotton may climb to the highest price since 1995 as rising demand in emerging markets for everything from shirts to bed sheets forces textile makers to restock inventories that are the tightest in 13 years.

Export sales by the U.S., the largest shipper, are off to their fastest start since 1993 as apparel demand in China, the biggest consumer, increased 24 percent, government data show. Cotton may advance 13 percent to a 15-year high of 94.9 cents a pound before new supplies are harvested in October, according to 17 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg on Aug. 12 and Aug. 13.

The commodity is projected to extend its gains because demand is growing in Asia’s developing nations, even as signs emerge that the U.S. economic recovery may slow. While the rally is enriching some cotton investors, it’s also boosting costs for Levi Strauss & Co. and Hanesbrands Inc., the maker of Hanes underwear and the Wonderbra. The last time cotton traded above 90 cents a pound, in 2008, some merchants including Paul Reinhart Inc. were forced into bankruptcy.

“Global consumption is exploding,” said Ron Lawson, a managing director at Logic Advisors, a commodity consultant in Sonoma, California. “We just can’t get enough cotton in place to meet the growing demand.”

Cotton for December delivery on ICE Futures U.S. in New York reached 85.71 cents on Aug. 13, the highest level since April 28. The 31 percent gain in the 12 months through Aug. 13 was the third-biggest in the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 commodities, trailing the 64 percent jump in hogs and the 44 percent surge for wheat. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of U.S. equities rose 6.6 percent during the same period.

Production Deficit

Production by the world’s cotton farmers will fail to keep up with demand for a fifth straight year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s eroded inventories that merchants were reluctant to expand during the past two years.

U.S. stockpiles totaled 3.1 million bales at the end of the marketing year on July 31, the lowest level since 1996, USDA data show. Supplies in warehouses monitored by ICE have plummeted 98 percent since the end of May to 25,504 bales as of Aug. 12. A bale weighs about 480 pounds (218 kilograms).

Global demand probably will grow 2.7 percent this year to 120.87 million bales as China boosts imports by 14 percent to 12.5 million bales and Pakistan’s surge 53 percent, the USDA said Aug. 12.

U.S. export sales of upland cotton, the most common variety it grows, totaled 5.41 million running bales for the marketing year that began Aug. 1, more than twice as much as a year earlier and the most since 1993, according to USDA data as of Aug. 5. A running bale weighs 500 pounds, or 227 kilograms.

Shrinking Supply

Worldwide stockpiles will drop 4.1 percent to 45.61 million bales, or about 38 percent of demand, the lowest ratio since 1994, data from the USDA show.

“During the recession, everyone got rid of inventories,” Logic Advisors’ Lawson said. “Yarns, woven goods, textiles, clothing, you name it. There was tremendous purging, and now everyone is trying to rebuild inventories.”

Stockpiles are slipping as emerging-market economies expand at more than twice the pace of the U.S. and six times the rate of the euro zone. India will grow 9.4 percent this year and China’s gross domestic product will increase 10.5 percent, the Washington-based International Monetary Fund forecast on July 7.

Indian Clothing Demand
India’s Arvind Ltd., the world’s biggest maker of denim and a supplier to U.S. clothing companies including VF Corp. and Levi Strauss, says its sales will rise about 23 percent to 40 billion rupees ($855 million) in the year to March.

“I see good times for textiles in India,” Sanjay Lalbhai, a managing director at Ahmedabad-based Arvind, said on Aug. 12. “The middle class is growing. They have started spending more money on grooming better and on wardrobe. Things are changing and this trend will continue for another 20 years.”

Mill use in India, the world’s second-largest cotton consumer, will increase about 8.9 percent in the year ending Sept. 30 to 20.7 million bales, the Cotton Advisory Board said on July 30 in Mumbai. An Indian bale weighs 170 kilograms. Total demand will rise 26 percent to 33.3 million, it said.

Retail sales of garments, footwear, hats and knitwear in China jumped to 38.8 billion yuan ($5.7 billion) in July, bringing the total to 314.1 billion yuan for the first seven months of the year, the Beijing-based National Bureau of Statistics said Aug. 11. Both the monthly and the annual figure represented a 24 percent climb from a year earlier.

"Strong’ Harvest Expected

A “strong” cotton crop in this month and September may curb the rally in cotton, according to Eric C. Wiseman, the chief executive officer at Greensboro, North Carolina-based VF Corp., the maker of Lee and Wrangler brand jeans.

The global harvest is expected to jump 14 percent to 116.85 million bales in the year that began Aug. 1, the most in three years and the biggest increase since 2005-2006, the USDA estimates. U.S. output will surge 52 percent to 18.53 million bales, with the bulk of the harvest starting in October, the department said.

“The August and September cotton crop is expected to be strong,” Wiseman said on a July 22 conference call. “That could provide some relief next year.”

The new crop will be reaching the market amid growing signs that the U.S.’s recovery from the longest recession since the Great Depression is deteriorating.

Economic Outlook
U.S. unemployment claims unexpectedly rose in the first week of August and sales at U.S. retailers increased less than forecast last month, reports showed last week. The Federal Reserve said on Aug. 10 that the pace of recovery will probably be “more modest” than forecast.

"When you look at the world economy and you look at all of what’s happening, you wonder if you’re going to see the demand for cotton as strong as some people say,” said Sid Love, the president of Joe Kropf & Sid Love Consulting Services LLC, a commodity adviser in Overland Park, Kansas. “You need food, but you don’t necessarily need new clothes. You can use 1-year-old, 2-year-old clothes and make do.”

Cotton prices may remain “historically high” until at least the U.S. harvest, said Cliff White, a senior vice president at Singapore-based Olam International Ltd., the world’s third-biggest cotton trader, behind Cordova, Tennessee- based Allenberg Cotton Co. and Minnetonka, Minnesota-based Cargill Inc.

Crop Damage

Floods and landslides during the past two months have destroyed crops in China, which grows almost a third of the world’s cotton. Output may drop 5 percent to 10 percent, said Li Qiang, the managing director at Shanghai JC Intelligence Co.

In Pakistan, the fourth-largest grower and importer, the deadliest floods in decades destroyed 30 percent of its cotton crop, according to Khursheed Ahmed Khan Kanjo, president of the Kissan Board of Pakistan.

Higher cotton costs are squeezing clothing makers, who have passed along some of the expense to consumers.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Hanesbrands will spend $33 million more on the fiber this year than in 2009, as the per-pound costs rises to 79 cents in the fourth quarter from 61 cents in the second quarter, Chief Financial Officer E. Lee Wyatt Jr. said on a July 21 conference call.

“It’s a pressure on the business,” John Anderson, the chief executive officer of San Francisco-based jeans maker Levi Strauss, said July 13 on a conference call with analysts. “We have already taken some price increases for the second half of this year.”

Bankrupt Merchant
The last time prices topped 90 cents was more than two years ago. Paul Reinhart Inc., one of the biggest U.S. cotton merchants, filed for bankruptcy in October 2008 after losses tied to volatility in the futures market. In March 2008, cotton touched a 12-year high of 92.86 cents before plunging to 39.23 cents by November.
"Supplies of cotton are at all-time lows,” Hanesbrands Chief Executive Officer Richard A. Noll said on the company’s July 21 conference call. “While I can’t predict the price of cotton on any given day, I do think over time, long term, you’re going to see the price of cotton continue to rise.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Jennifer A. Johnson in Chicago at Jjohnson133@bloomberg.net; Elizabeth Campbell in Chicago at ecampbell14@bloomberg.net.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Difference between advertising and direct marketing

“advertising is a collection of powerful media seeking the right idea, while direct marketing is a powerful idea seeking the right media”
Rory Sutherland

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The 5 NEW Rules Of Social Media Optimization (SMO)

Aug 11, 2010 (20 hours ago) The 5 NEW Rules Of Social Media Optimization (SMO)

from Influential Marketing by Rohit

5 NEW Rules Of Social Media Optimization:

1. Increase your linkability Create shareable content - Four years ago I focused on linkability because the main currency that could drive up your traffic was how many people were linking to your content. Today content can be liked or tweeted and it is about more than links - it is about creating content that is shareable. The better your content is, the more people will want to share it with their entire social networks whether they link it, like it, dig it or share it.

2. Make tagging and bookmarking easy Make sharing easy - Following from the previous point, tagging and bookmarking only scratch the surface of the many ways that people can share content with others. They can post a short link to their profile, embed a video, send out a tweet or create a hashtag for a conversation. Limiting the ways of sharing to just tagging or bookmarking doesn't make sense anymore. The core of this rule, however, was the point about making it easy and that is still at the heart of this new rule. Once you have shareable content, it has to be one-button-easy so people will do it with minimal effort or thinking.

3. Reward inbound links Reward engagement - In 2006, the main thing most marketers were concerned about were inbound links. It was a time when Technorati was the standard by which we all measured the performance of our content and many bloggers focused more on their number of inbound links than their readership or traffic numbers. Today the real currency is around conversation or engagement. While there are a million definitions for "engagement" ranging from comments and discussion to posting or sharing content - this is the behaviour that matters most in the social web and the one that we should all focus on rewarding when it happens.

4. Help your content travel Proactively share content - This was the weakest of the original 5 rules, as the original rule simply talked about publishing your content in other formats such as PDFs or videos and submitting them to other sites. Instead, the essence of the new version of this rule is all about proactively sharing content in a different way. This encompasses everything from creating slides to post on Slideshare or documents to share on Scribd - as well as tweeting about your content or offering embeddable versions of it, or using RSS feeds to syndicate it. Proactively sharing even includes posting your content to social networking profiles or creating profiles on video sharing sites.

5. Encourage the mashup Encourage the mashup - The last original rule of SMO is the one that I would leave intact. The concept of the "mashup" where people take and remix your content by adding their own input and voice has only grown over the past four years. The mashup will be around to stay, whether the term continues to be used or not. Allowing people to take an ownership over the social content you publish will continue to be a key way that you can optimize your content for the social web.

On the original 5 rules, several other smart folks jumped in to add 12 more rules to the list ... it only makes sense for me to try and invite the same input this time around. What do you think of these updated rules? Are there others you would add to the list?

1920 clothing ads

Hans Rosling - Statistics and Sword Swallowing

Don:t be tempted to cut this short- there is a surprise at the end! (sword swallowing)

Researcher Hans Rosling uses his cool data tools to show how countries are pulling themselves out of poverty. He demos Dollar Street, comparing households of varying income levels worldwide. Then he does something really amazing.

Computer Statistics- What sets Rosling apart isn't just his apt observations of broad social and economic trends, but the stunning way he presents them. Guaranteed: You've never seen data presented like this. By any logic, a presentation that tracks global health and poverty trends should be, in a word: boring. But in Rosling's hands, data sings. Trends come to life. And the big picture — usually hazy at best — snaps into sharp focus. Rosling's presentations are grounded in solid statistics (often drawn from United Nations data), illustrated by the visualization software he developed. The animations transform development statistics into moving bubbles and flowing curves that make global trends clear, intuitive and even playful. During his legendary presentations, Rosling takes this one step farther, narrating the animations with a sportscaster's flair.

Rosling developed the breakthrough software behind his visualizations through his nonprofit Gapminder, founded with his son and daughter-in-law. The free software — which can be loaded with any data — was purchased by Google in March 2007. (Rosling met the Google founders at TED.)

Rosling began his wide-ranging career as a physician, spending many years in rural Africa tracking a rare paralytic disease (which he named konzo) and discovering its cause: hunger and badly processed cassava. He co-founded Médecins sans Frontièrs (Doctors without Borders) Sweden, wrote a textbook on global health, and as a professor at the Karolinska Institut in Stockholm initiated key international research collaborations. He's also personally argued with many heads of state, including Fidel Castro.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cannon and Innovation

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Meet the Boss

Meet the boss.tvhttp://www.meettheboss.tv/broadcast/?contributorFullName=tom-schmitt&mediaTitle=how-an-innovation-leader-became-fedexs-secret&mediaFileId=118

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

The World would love to be Canadian

Written by Joe Friesen Tuesday June 22, 2010 and copied from the Globe and Mail online

More than half of people around the world say they would abandon their homelands and move to Canada if they could.

Given the choice, 53 per cent of adults in the world's 24 leading economies said they would immigrate to Canada, according to an international survey commissioned by the Historica-Dominion Institute in partnership with the Munk School of Global Affairs and the Aurea Foundation.

It's a startling finding, one that is reinforced by respondents' overwhelmingly positive attitudes about Canada's welcoming and tolerant treatment of newcomers. The results bode well for Canada's efforts to attract highly educated immigrants as the global search for talent heats up in coming years. “Canada is considered desirable for people all around the world. The shining city on the hill, as America was, and remains, for many people,” said Andrew Cohen, president of the Historica-Dominion Institute.
“Largely, it's because we welcome immigrants. We do not have anti-immigration parties in Canada. Almost every European country has one. We do not have a skinhead movement in Canada. So that speaks well of Canada and may point to our greatest success of the last 25 years, which is the manner in which we have continued to welcome immigrants.”

The tilt toward Canada is most pronounced in the emerging economies of the G20. More than three-quarters of those surveyed in China said they would prefer to live in Canada, followed by Mexico and India at close to 70 per cent. Slightly more than half of Britons, Italians and Russians said the same, while about four in 10 French and Germans would also choose Canada. Citizens of Japan and Sweden, followed by the United States and Australia, were the least interested in moving to Canada, with only one in five Swedes saying they would make the move.

Janice Stein, director of the Munk School at the University of Toronto, said the survey suggests Canada can thrive in the looming global talent wars. “In terms of our economic future, our social future, our capacity to innovate, on all these dimensions that intelligent Canadians think about all the time, these are enormously encouraging data,” Prof. Stein said. “The developed world is getting old very quickly. … We are going to have to recruit globally as everybody else does.”

The reasons for Canada's relative attractiveness are clear: 86 per cent of respondents around the globe said Canada is a country where rights and freedoms are respected; 72 per cent said Canada is welcoming to immigrants; 79 per cent said Canadians are tolerant of people from different racial and cultural backgrounds; and 79 per cent said Canadians have one of the best qualities of life.

On most questions Canadians feel more strongly about their openness and tolerance than non-Canadians. Ninety-four per cent of Canadians say Canada is welcoming to immigrants, more than in any other country, but China and India, which have the largest diasporas in Canada, are not far behind.

“Of course we think we are [generous, open and tolerant,] Prof. Stein said. “Are we more vain than other publics? I doubt it.” Canada's reputation in some areas is even stronger than Canadian vanity. Citizens of five countries, South Africa, Australia, France, Indonesia and South Korea are all more likely than Canadians to describe Canada as a country where rights and freedoms are respected.

Citizens of 10 countries, including China, South Africa, France and Russia, are more likely than Canadians to say Canada is tolerant of people from different racial and cultural backgrounds.
Hewlett-Packard boss quits after sex probe


Mark Hurd, President, CEO and chairman of Hewlett Packard, testifies during a hearing held by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee investigating Hewlett-Packard on Capitol Hill in Washington September 28, 2006. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

SAN FRANCISCO - Hewlett-Packard Co CEO Mark Hurd resigned Friday after an investigation found that he had falsified expense reports to conceal a "close personal relationship" with a female contractor.
The shocking announcement from the world's top personal computer maker sent its shares plunging 10 percent, as Hurd is one of the most admired executives in Silicon Valley, credited with reviving HP after the tumultuous reign of Carly Fiorina.
The unnamed contractor, who did marketing for HP from late 2007 to fall 2009, contacted the firm's board in June this year and alleged that Hurd had sexually harassed her, HP said. The board ordered an investigation and found that the married 53-year-old Hurd did not violate HP's sexual harassment policy. But he had a "close personal relationship" with the woman that was never disclosed to the board, HP said.

"The board investigation found that Mark demonstrated a profound lack of judgment that seriously undermined his credibility and damaged his effectiveness in leading HP and Mark agreed," HP General Counsel Mike Holston said, adding that the board's decision to replace Hurd was unanimous.
Gloria Allred, a Los Angeles-based attorney who has represented numerous high-profile clients including Tiger Woods' alleged mistresses, said late Friday she is representing the woman who made the sexual harassment claim.

She said her client did not have sex with Hurd, but declined to identify the woman or comment further.
According to HP, Hurd filed "numerous inaccurate expense reports" that concealed his relationship with the contractor, who also received compensation and expense reimbursements without legitimate business reasons.

Hurd, who was also chairman of HP and had a reputation for rigid cost discipline, said the decision to step aside was a "painful" one. "I realized there were instances in which I did not live up to the standards and principles of trust, respect and integrity that I have espoused at HP," Hurd said in a statement.
A source familiar with Hurd's account of the situation described his relationship with the contractor as "business acquaintances" who had dined together about a dozen times. The source said the expense issues stretched over two years, were related to travel, meals and lodging, and totaled up to $20,000.

Another source familiar with the situation described the woman as a "low-level contractor" who would assist at marketing events. This person said Hurd submitted falsified expense reports that said he dined alone or with a bodyguard when he had dined with her.


The revelation immediately triggered speculation on who would succeed Hurd, who during his five years at the helm engineered transformative acquisitions, from smartphone pioneer Palm to technology services giant EDS. Chief Financial Officer Cathie Lesjak will take over on an interim basis, though she has taken herself out of consideration as the permanent CEO, HP said.
Analysts said there was no shortage of tech veterans who would be eager to lead HP, which also has a deep bench of internal candidates like PC chief Todd Bradley or corporate strategy head Shane Robison.

"They probably have their pick. HP is one of the showcase companies that people would be interested in running," said Mark Kelleher, an analyst at Brigantine Advisers.
Analysts said Hurd's departure should alter neither its strategic direction nor its performance record.
In a bid to reassure investors, HP raised its outlook for full-year profit forecast to $4.49 to $4.51 per share excluding items, from $4.45 to $4.50. The average EPS forecast from analysts was $4.49, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

HP's forecast of revenue of $125.3 billion to $125.5 billion also surpassed the average estimate of $124.5 billion. (For additional stories, please see 1/8ID:nN06228849 3/8)

News of Hurd's departure stunned the technology world. HP is the world's largest technology company by revenue, and it is a major player in personal computers, servers, services and printers.
"Shock and puzzlement, that's how it's going to go down," said Russell Hancock, president and chief executive of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, an area business group. "There wasn't anybody who criticized his handling of the company."

HP, a Silicon Valley icon founded in a Palo Alto garage in 1939, has experienced a fair amount of turmoil in recent years. That has hurt a firm that has prided itself on building trust with employees, a mantra often referred to as "the HP way."

In 2006, former HP Chair Patricia Dunn resigned after reports surfaced that HP had hired private investigators to spy on board members and journalists to plug media leaks.

The buttoned-down Hurd, who took over as CEO after Fiorina resigned in February 2005 in the wake of a controversial deal to acquire PC maker Compaq, brought stability to HP.
HP shares have more than doubled since Hurd, former CEO of NCR Corp, took the helm five years ago. He cut costs and expanded HP's footprint in the services market. Hurd was known as a serial acquirer, unafraid of making bold moves to take on competitors like IBM , Apple Inc and Research in Motion.

"Mark Hurd was extremely instrumental in turning this company around," said Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Jeffrey Fidacaro. "There's going to be a serious gap in leadership at the top of this company."
Hurd will be well compensated as he departs HP, receiving a severance payment of $12.2 million. His 2009 total compensation was $30.3 million, according to a filing. His total compensation in the last three years was about $97.8 million.

HP said its board of directors has formed a search committee to find a new chief executive and board chair.
"It's a negative because the positive leadership that HP has had under Hurd is identified with his name," Nehal Chokshi, an analyst with Technology Insights Research-Southridge Research Group, said of Friday's news.

HP, which was scheduled to report quarterly earnings later this month, also pre-reported its results.
Shares of Palo Alto, California-based HP closed at $46.30 on the New York Stock Exchange and fell to $41.50 in extended trading.

I am India

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Matthew Child’s 9 Life Lessons

Matthew Child’s 9 Life Lessons

A specialist in digital branding and interactive services, Matthew Childs seeks out new trends in competitive markets. As an advertising lead at Razorfish, Childs draws from extensive experience in the marketing world, having led Nike's global internal communications department. Before that, he was a writer and editor for Outside Magazine and Playboy.

Apart from his career, Childs' passion is rock climbing.

"Childs says the Internet offers immense potential for businesses to communicate with clients, and he enjoys the challenge of providing that link. "Most agencies, most clients are very navel-gazing.""
St. Petersburg Times

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Face the Facts of Motivation

Its time business caught up with the science on performance and human motivation.

Why China's economy isn't always what it seems

Report on Business
Derek DeCloet From Saturday's Globe and Mail

Published on Friday, Jul. 30, 2010 7:45PM EDT

Maybe it’s just what happens when a country gets used to winning. Maybe, having conquered everything from the gold medal rankings at the Summer Olympics to the world’s manufacturing business, being second doesn’t mean anything to China any more.

Unofficially, China is either the second-largest economy on the planet now or is right on the cusp of that status. At some point in the past few months, likely, the output of its 1.3 billion citizens surpassed that of Japan – just as it blew past Germany a few years ago and France before that. But within China, there are no trumpet blasts, no parades or state celebrations and barely even any official acknowledgment of the fact, aside from an off-the-cuff remark this week from a relatively minor figure in the government.

As for everyone else? They’re busy using the moment to sharpen their projections (read: wild guesses) on when China will close the $9-trillion (U.S.) GDP gap with the United States. (The betting range seems to be some time between 2025 and 2035.) This is inevitable, as any economist will tell you. China will be Number One.

Unless, of course, it’s not.

We don’t wish to be dour about China’s economic miracle or focus on the negative statistics, such as the fact that its economy, when measured on a per-capita basis, is still far smaller than that of, say, Estonia. China has achieved its stunning growth over the past three decades mostly through amazing improvements in productivity (yes, helped along by a cheap-currency policy).

It’s just that in all the fuss about China’s rise, little attention is being paid to the obstacles that could slow it down in its race to the top. We’ll focus on two.

The first risk is the likelihood of a severe financial crisis at some point, the consequence of barely-controlled growth in its banking system. An old axiom about banking goes: “If it grows like a weed, it is a weed.” Too often, it proves true. An excess of credit, flowing into the economy too quickly, is usually a recipe for rising asset values today and heaps of bad loans tomorrow.

In just five years, credit to non-government borrowers in China has more than doubled, to 49 trillion yuan ($7.44-trillion Canadian) from 23 trillion. The balance sheet of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has grown nearly 150 per cent since 2004, according to data from Standard & Poor’s/Capital IQ. “The scale of the expansion in credit has been unprecedented,” said the International Monetary Fund in a report on China this week. In some cities, there’s a bona fide real estate bubble.

“At this point, the banking system looks well placed to withstand a significant deterioration in credit quality,” the IMF added. But the most important words in that sentence are the first three: at this point. It’s far too early to know the number of bad loans made in 2009, when the government pushed state-controlled banks to lend big and lend often and credit grew by (gulp) 31.7 per cent.

The second risk is demographics, always a key factor in emerging economies. An army of migrant workers, eager to improve their lot in life and willing to move to the cities to do it, has been a driving force behind China’s industrialization. But over time, the one-child policy has dulled that advantage.

Demographically, China isn’t Japan, but it’s a greyer country than you might think. Its median age, about 35, is barely lower than that of the U.S. and much higher than Brazil’s (29) or India’s (26). The Economist described China’s as enjoying a “demographic dividend” – nearly three-quarters of Chinese are of working age, between 15 and 64. But that number is about to peak, and unless there’s a loosening of government policy on fertility, the proportion of elderly-to-active workers is likely to rise sharply in coming decades.

China’s rise to No. 2 has lifted tens of millions of people out of extreme poverty. That’s something to applaud. It’s also something that ought to be kept in perspective.