June 2009 Archives

The world is confused. Bashing business and consumers is in vogue. Newspapers are announcing a 'Crisis of Capitalism' and a 'Market Failure'. Governments are pouring trillions of dollars into the economy, nationalizing a variety of industries. Can big government really solve all of our problem? Was the current crisis created due to government not being big enough? Clearly, the crisis was caused due to excess liquidity. Was it created by consumers? Was it created by investment bankers? Not really. It's interesting to read what Milton Friedman had to say about this, 47 years ago:
"History is full of evidence that what determines the average level of prices and wages is the amount of money in the economy and not the greediness of businessmen or of workers. Governments ask for the self-restraint of business and labor because of their inability to manage their own affairs - which includes the control of money - and the natural human tendency to pass the buck."
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"People are prepared to obtain order and tranquility by giving up other values such as democracy and freedom. This dangerous temptation has not disappeared, even today." (Mikhail Gorbachev, 1993)
Protests in Beijing and Shanghai


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Twenty years ago, (some) Chinese people took to the streets and demanded the freedom to speak against corruption, to buy western goods, and to manage their lives without interruption (see Wasserstrom's summary ). Twenty years later, the world is in the midst of a financial crisis, waiting for Chinese consumers to pick up the slack of international demand and drive the global financial recovery. 

On the surface, most Chinese people have little interests in the events of 1989. However, taking into account China's role in creating the current crisis, those events might have a bigger influence on current economic matters than we realize.

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Google is planning to become everything Facebook ever wanted to be. On Thursday, it announced Google Wave, a remarkable new product that has the potential to revolutionize the way we use the web. Seriously. Wave is a platform that turns the web into a never-ending conversation. It allows users to take Twitter's immediacy and Facebook's conspicuousness with them, wherever they go. 

A Wave user can comment, chat, and share photos and links (virtually) anywhere on the web. At the same time, his friends can follow this activity on his Wave page. For example, it allows you to leave a comment on a Blog and see your friend's response to this comment on the same page OR within your Wave page. You can then continue the conversation on a different blog page, or invite other contacts to join  (watch the video presentation, it will make more sense). Wave allows you to do everything you ever wanted, online, using a single account and with remarkable ease of use. 

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Note: The views and observations expressed on this web site are published for the sake of public discussion and do not represent my personal opinion or the opinion of my companies, clients, and/or employers. If you would like to get my opinion on anything, ask me.

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