Monday, 23 February 2015

Be independent

"If a country really wants to be independent, it should avoid debts". This sentence is from a Spanish economist, quoted in this article from Jorge Almeida Fernandes. From my end, it seems a great principle.

And it is even more painful when those debts are incurred, not for growth related projects, that would generate higher income for a country, but just to face current expenses, due to the inability to control them.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Education is the greatest social equalizer


It equalizes society by giving everyone the right to ascend socially, to build a better life and future for himself and others. Like this story shows.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

China - I agree with Krugman


Paul Krugman says that China keeps him up at night, pointing a number of reasons for that:

1) The need to transition from an investment to a consumption economy, and how difficult that will be

2) A shrinking work force - to which I would add its low qualification

3) And poor quality of data


To these, though, I would add just 2 more:

4) Low return on investment in many of Chinese investments, that are poorly linked to an effective economy. Let's just think about the huge amounts that are being spent on real estate projects that are then left empty or on the incredible percentage (30%?) of wind power generators that are not connected to the electric grid.

5) The rigid and extremely uncertain ability of the current Governmental regime to actually manage the transition from a capital extensive economy to an intensive, imaginative one.


Yep. China also keeps me up at night.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Elite

A world in which a elite possesses more than 50% of the wealth and dictates norms and laws to 100% of it is a nightmare that we should all the be fighting hard. Even that elite should be massively worried about it - this situation is not sustainable and will lead to a social rupture, in which everyone will lose too much. The clock is ticking.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

3D printing & copyright


The predictions that 3D printing will disrupt the economy are not new. Typically, they focus on the shift of manufacture from lower production costs' countries to anyone who owns a 3D printer and knows how to operate it. Everybody could do their own objects, based on files it would upload to its 3D printer.

Now, this poses a different question - how was that file acquired. And it is here that the play will be over the next 2 years. The strength of copyright will play a key role in the 3D printing industry, as file ownership and availability to use will be central. If the industry can own files (and prevent their usage from anyone who didn't buy them), then a market will arise on objects blue-prints - and probably Apple, Google, Amazon and Alibaba, who operate major digital stores will dominate the industry especially after an initial period where hardware development will still be the focus. Now, if such a copyright strength is not enforced in the files themselves, the industry will be mainly a hardware oriented one.

This will have major implications and is not a straight forward play. Just think about points such as files' standards development (remember the VHS vs Beta fight?), hacking (just think about the European countries where political parties advocating the free usage of entertainment files, like movies and music, and their role on this ground) and personal creativity. This will be an incredibly interesting market to look at over the next 2 years. Stay tuned!

Monday, 3 November 2014

What should be scarying all of us


This article is an amazing summary highlighting 10 of the scariest things happening in the Global economy right now. It only forgets about one other, in my humble opinion - Global warming and what that will mean in terms of living conditions in many parts of the world (and the cost associated with it).

Having said this, please, read the article if you like good horror stories that should keep you awake at night.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

To the attention of Portugal


This HBR article about Scotland  (and, by the way, England) just highlights the need for a small  country to clearly define its role in the global market as a key point for its success in a highly connected world - and why this can be a better strategy than most of the bigger countries are doing.