Saturday, January 8

We don't need no education

I saw this status update on facebook

“Goin 2 pursue diz year so frndz plz sugst me sme gud colgs 4 :-)”

Wasn't very sure what to make of it besides hitting myself over the head with a cudgel and wanting to stab myself with a toothpick!

Friday, January 7

The world in 2050

My bank released a report on what will happen in 2050. Here’s the summary

With the rapid growth of the emerging markets, the global economy is experiencing a seismic
shift. In this piece, we argue that this shift is set to continue. By 2050, the collective size of the
economies we currently deem 'emerging' will have increased five-fold and will be larger than
the developed world. And 19 of the 30 largest economies will be from the emerging world.
At the same time, there will be a marked decline in the economic might – and potentially the
political clout – of many small population, ageing, rich economies in Europe.

Anyway, I sent the report on to my son when i realised something interesting. Here’s what i said:

this report tries to predict what will happen in 2050. In other words, you will be about as old in 2050 as I am now in 2011. You might want to have a quick look through it as you will worry about your children then as we are worrying about you now and Dadu worries about me.

How time flies, eh? I will most probably be dead when 2050 comes along, based upon the life expectancy and the pretty heavy body destruction i did, lol. So this is what we will leave behind for our kids. Here’s another longer article which talks about the study.

HSBC sees China and America leading global mega-boom

The greatest global boom of all time has barely begun. Over the next forty years, economic growth will quicken yet further as the rising powers of Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America reach their full stride

In a sweeping report entitled "The World in 2050", HSBC said China at $24.6 trillion (constant 2000 dollars) and the US at $22.3 trillion will together tower over the global economy.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard 6:00AM GMT 05 Jan 2011

Crunching everything from fertility rates to schooling levels and the rule of law, HSBC predicts that the world's economic output will triple again by 2050, provided the major states can avoid conflict - trade wars, or worse - and defeat the Malthusian threat of food and water limits. Growth will rise to 3pc on average, up from 2pc over the last decade.

In a sweeping report entitled "The World in 2050", the bank said China would snatch the top slot as expected, but only narrowly. China at $24.6 trillion (constant 2000 dollars) and the US at $22.3 trillion will together tower over the global economy in bipolar condominium - or simply the G2 - with India at $8.2 trillion far behind in third slot, and parts of Europe slithering into oblivion.

Turkey will vault past Russia, settling an Ottoman score. Egypt, Malaysia and Indonesia will all move into the top 20. Muslim societies may start to reassert an economic clout unseen since the late Caliphate. Yet Brazil may disappoint again, stalling at 7th place in 2050 as its birthrate slows sharply and bad schools exact their toll.

The surprise is how well the Anglo-Saxon states hold up under HSBC's model, which is based on the theoretical work of Harvard professor Robert Barro. America's high fertility rate (2.1) will allow it too keep adding manpower long after China's workforce has begun to contract in 2020s and as even India starts to age in the 2040s.

An eightfold jump in the per capita income of China and India will keep growth brisk despite demographic headwinds, but they will not come to close to matching US living standards. Americans will be three times richer than the Chinese in 2050.

Britain at $3.6 trillion also fares well, slipping one rank to sixth place but pulling far ahead of Italy and France, and almost displacing Germany as Europe's biggest economy. This is chiefly due to the UK's healthy fertility rate (1.9), although sceptics might question whether a birthrate inflated by the EU's highest share of unmarried teenager mothers is a good foundation for prosperity.

The low fertility of Korea (1.1), Singapore (1.2) Germany (1.3), Poland (1.3), Italy (1.4), Spain (1.4) and Russia (1.4), more or less dooms these countries to aging crises and population decline unless they open the floodgates to immigration.

Japan is already deep into this phase of atrophy, explaining why the country has had such trouble shaking off the effects of the Nikkei bust. Its total population began contracting outright since 2005. It shed a record 120,000 last year, and will shrink 37pc by 2050.

"Demography matters," said Karen Ward, the report's chief author. The "big losers" are the smaller states of Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, and Austria, which will mostly drop out of the top 30. "They may struggle to maintain their influence in global policy forums," she said.

HSBC works from the assumption that mankind will avoid the energy crunch and overcome the eco-deficit, a term used to describe the world's depletion rate of non-renewable assets. It calls for $46 trillion of investments in alternative forms of energy to break out of the carbon trap, and head off a supply crisis that could derail growth.

Feeding the world may be harder. The UN expects food demand to rise 70pc by 2050, yet the yield growth of crops has slowed to 1.5pc a year from 3.2pc in the 1960s. The number of people living in areas experiencing "severe water stress" will double from a third of the world population to two thirds between 1995 and 2025. The water basins irrigating the crops of the North China plain are being exhausted at an alarming rate.

HSBC admits that it economic projections are based on a "rather rosy scenario". Yet one thing seems clear. As superpowers of world food output, the US and Canada are sitting pretty.

Thursday, January 6

Yearly leave of 3 months in the EU

Now this is very nice indeed. I quote:

Despite being paid six figure salaries, 1,962 of EU's most senior civil servants have been allowed to join a "flexitime" scheme, originally meant for lower paid secretarial staff, that gives an extra 24 days off work every year for those that put in an extra 45 minutes a day in the office.

The perk comes on top of annual holidays of 24 days as well as seven days off for public holidays, and in 2010, 11 "non-working" days out of the office when the Brussels institutions are closed in summer and at Christmas.

The allowances mean that last year many EU staff were entitle to 66 days or 13 weeks or a quarter of the year off work.

I found it further amusing that Inge Grassler thinks that leadership roles with 6 figure salaries in industry work 37.5 hours. Which industry would that be, Inge? Leadership roles at that level frequently put in 50 hour average weeks. bah!

This is indeed bloody strange and what a rip off.

Wednesday, January 5

More charity options

Given that I will soon be completing my studies, I thought of trying to find something local to assist. Also I am pushing Karn to join into doing something charitable, good for his development and good to give something back. Lazy git that he is, he was whining away but he has come up some ideas such as reading to partially or unsighted / blind people, assisting in website development, etc.

Anyway, I also checked out the Do-It website. Looks like a neat idea for people to search for volunteering opportunities, so I have plonked down couple of enquiries to assist as a Photographer with Community Link-Up, Trustee/director with Home-Start (Hillingdon) and Trustee with Creative Performance Limited. Dont have much detail on this, but the first one looks like it does projects with young uns, the second is for assisting people at their homes and the third is for creative performance. Lets see..

Monday, January 3

Wake up Brits, you are spending your children’s money

See this blog post and wonder. We are spending like the rich while earning as much as the poor while saving zilch. Who is going to pay for the ever rising health, pensions, education, PFI agreements, etc. etc. etc. And not to mention the government borrowing.

I am seriously concerned about the lack of spending discipline in this country. We HAVE to move into fiscal surplus and then do it for few decades so that we can retire our debt. THAT is when we can say our financial situation is good. We are borrowing from our children to pay for our current needs. What kind of parents does that make us? Pretty bad ones.

The financial markets arent worried about their debt because they know the idiot taxpayer will be on the hook for the debt, but beware, each and every government is going to slash its spending.