Who Gets The Most National Public Holidays?
Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
The Commerce Department reported today that corporate profits strengthened in the second quarter, and hit an all-time high of $1.646 trillion on a before tax basis and $1.154 trillion after taxes (see chart above). Profits after taxes grew by 5.4% in the second quarter, after rising by 1.5% in the first quarter. Year over year, corporate profits increased by 3.5%.
Typical buyers of the 1-lakh car would include the millions of Indians who currently have a motorcycle or moped as the "family vehicle" (see the picture above; look closely and you'll see two adults and 4 children on one motorcycle!).
On the other end of the vehicle market, Tata wants to buy Ford's luxury brands Jaguar (pictured above is the new 2009 Jaguar XF, availabe in June 2008) and Land Rover.
Wall Street Journal: The acquisition, which could cost more than $1 billion, also would fit the Tata Group's plans to become one of India's first global brands and diversify its businesses overseas.
It is unlikely that Tata Motors will be able to sell many Jaguars or Land Rovers in India, but it could use the companies' technology and production facilities to improve its own cars and trucks. Tata Motors also would seek to use Jaguar's and Land Rover's international distribution networks to promote its own cars abroad.
The steel-to-software Tata Group is one of India's largest and most respected conglomerates. Its 96 companies employ about 200,000 people and have annual sales of more than $20 billion. The group has been leading a wave of Indian overseas investment as local companies have used the wealth generated in India's strong domestic economy to make acquisitions around the world.
Bottom Line: As India grows and prospers, and as its middle class increases by 5 times over the next several decades, India's consumers and companies will increasingly shop and invest globally, to the benefit of many U.S. companies.
WASHINGTON -- Existing-home sales fell a fifth straight time during July (see top graph), while inventories of unsold property climbed (see bottom graph) and prices dropped.
Imagine that you're getting ready to go out to a restaurant with friends, and you're trying to decide whether to eat Mexican food or Thai food. To help make your decision, would you ever think of calling a phone number at random and asking a complete stranger for his or her advice on Mexican vs. Thai food? Probably not.
Suppose a private company had an opportunity to save $100 million annually by switching to a lower cost input without adversely affecting the quality of the final product. The switch would typically happen without hesitation. That's the definition of a "no-brainer."
And that company is the Jarden Corporation (NYSE:JAH), whose stock has done quite well lately, much better than the rest of the market over the last 5 years, see chart below of Jarden (blue) vs. the S&P500 (red).
Another perfect example of how a well-organized, special interest group engages in lobbying and "rent-seeking" to hijack the political process in its favor, at the expense of the "rationally ignorant" voters/taxpayers. As H.L. Mencken pointed out, it's like "two foxes (the zinc lobby and Congress) and a chicken (voters/taxpayers) taking a vote on what to eat for lunch."
From The Economist: With low crime, little threat from instability or terrorism and a highly developed transport and communications infrastructure, Canada and Australia are home to the most liveable destinations in the world. Four of the ten most liveable cities surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit are in Australia, and two of the top five are Canadian. Vancouver is the most attractive destination, with a liveability index of just 1.3% (see table above, click to enlarge).
The chart above (click to enlarge) shows the total capitalization of the world's stock markets, measured in trillions of US dollars, from Global Financial Data.
Raman Roy (pictured above) has been referred to as the "father of Indian outsourcing," "one of the pioneers of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry in India," and "the father of India BPOs." In terms of his impact on the global economy, Raman Roy probably ranks in importance with figures like Bill Gates. Check him out here:
Wharton School (UPenn) interview with Raman Roy.
Wikipedia listing for Raman Roy.
CBS "60 Minutes" transcript of "Out of India" featuring Raman Roy's famous quote "Geography is history, Morley (Safer), distances don't matter anymore."
Forbes story on "The Father of Indian Outsourcing."
Exciting opportunity: Raman Roy is speaking to the Detroit Economic Club on Wednesday, September 12 in Birmingham, Michigan, on the topic "Harnessing Global Intellectual Capital to Create Corporate Value." I will be taking a group of University of Michigan-Flint students to the luncheon, free of charge (thanks to a corporate sponsor), and we will meet with Raman Roy before the luncheon in a private reception for students only. If you are a UM-Flint student and interested, please send me an email at your earliest convenience, this is an incredible opportunity and I'll do my best to accommodate as many students as possible, on a first-come, first-served basis!
(CHENNAI) - The global-giant handset-maker Nokia (NYSE:NOK) plans to make its Chennai manufacturing plant a major nerve center. Nokia said it plans to make its manufacturing plant in India, now the second-largest market for its handsets, a global hub for exports. Nokia already exports to 58 countries from the India plant, and it is looking at the Chennai as a global plant for global operations.
The Shrinking Budget Deficit:
"Kids are the best, Apu. You can teach them to hate the things you hate. And they practically raise themselves, what with the Internet and all."
Despite Michael Moore's glorification of British health care and the NHS in the movie "Sicko," recent research shows that the cancer survival rates for men and women in the U.K. are the lowest in Europe, and significantly below the rates in the U.S. (see chart above, click to enlarge), which are the highest in the world.
From Britian's Telegraph: "Cancer survival rates in Britain are among the lowest in Europe, according to the most comprehensive analysis of the issue yet produced.
England is on a par with Poland despite the NHS spending three times more on health care.
Survival rates are based on the number of patients who are alive five years after diagnosis and researchers found that, for women, England was the fifth worst in a league of 22 countries. Scotland came bottom. Cancer experts blamed late diagnosis and long waiting lines."
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's main stock index climbed for the first time above the 5,000-point level on Thursday, passing another milestone in a spectacular bull run that has more than quadrupled the index since the start of last year, and doubled this year (see chart above, click to enlarge).
Russian immigrant Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google:
Question: Is homeownership a social blessing that should be encouraged with subsidies and public policy?
From today's Wall Street Journal, "Zipcar Goes to College":
Data in the chart above (click to enlarge) are from the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, 1997 Annual Report, and show the significant improvements in living standards and purchasing power over time. Prices of various food and household items are stated in "time cost," i.e. the number of minutes or hours that the average person, working at the average wage, would have to work to earn enough income to purchase various items in different years.
Chart above is from the Dallas Federal Reserve.
From today's Chronicle for Higher Education (subscription required):
No, not Indian reservations in the United States, I'm talking about reservations in India, a government-enforced system of quotas for higher education and government jobs based on caste, religion and language. Like affirmative action in the U.S., reservations in India are highly controversial, because college admissions and job promotions are often not based on merit. In 2006, there were massive anti-reservation rallies and protests in India. India's prime minister (Dr. Manmohan Singh) has apparently suggested extending reservations/quotas to the private sector, which adds to the controversy.
On a previous post, I presented historical data to show that we live longer, start to work later in life and work much less annually, spend 30% less time working around the home vs. 100 years ago, retire earlier, have an increasing number of years in retirement, experience 3X as much waking leisure now compared to our ancestors in the 1800s, etc.
From Jeff Jacoby in the Boston Globe:
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), there are about 75 million homeowners in the U.S., and about 1/3 (or 25 million) own their homes free and clear of any mortgage and 2/3 (about 50 million) have some kind of mortgage (see chart above, click to enlarge).
Bottom Line: Considering that: a) most loans are fixed-rate, b) more than 1/3 of American homeowners don't even have a mortgage, c) the overall subprime market is such a small fraction of the overall mortgage market and the riskiest subprime ARMs are even a smaller fraction, I agree with the MBA, I don't see how troubles in the subprime market can bring the economy down, or start a recession, or be considered a "macroeconomic event."