Comments Off on Last Week In Switzerland, A Big Mac Cost $7.54
The Economist invented the Big Mac Index in 1986 as an entertaining way to assess whether currencies were at the “correct” levels. The index uses purchasing power parity (PPP) to measure one currency against another. PPP is the idea that exchange rates should adjust so the same product (in this case, a hamburger) has the same price in two different countries when the price is denominated in the same currency. After updating the Index on January 22, 2015, The Economist reported: (more…)
The good news is most analysts expect economic growth in the United States to continue. The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Federal Reserve, and the International Monetary Fund all have forecast gross domestic product growth in the United States at 2.5 to 3.0 percent for 2015. That’s not quite as good as the 7 percent growth forecast for China or the 6.5 percent growth estimated for India, but it’s decent for a developed nation with a mature economy. In the UK, The British Chamber of Commerce (BBC) is forecasting a moderate slowdown in growth from 2015 at 2.8%. (more…)
Comments Off on Why Are People Worrying About Deflation?
Deflation is a general decline in prices. For anyone who has been struggling to make ends meet that may not sound all bad. In fact, it’s not always bad. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, between 1876 and 1879, prices in the United States fell by about 5 percent per year, on average, while the economy grew at a 7.6 percent clip.
The UK is often considered to have been the hardest hit during this period, losing some of its large industrial lead over the economies of Continental Europe. The average rate of growth grew at just 1.75-2.25 percent, reflecting the growing pace of industrialisation and technological progress. (more…)
If you’re about 74 inches tall, have a deep voice, and have run a marathon, you may. The Economist’s recent article, Look of a Leader, found; “It is remarkable, in this supposed age of diversity, how many bosses still conform to the stereotype.” The article included a mixture of studies describing the characteristics of chief executive officers (CEOs) and other leaders. (more…)
For decades, internships have offered opportunities to learn new skills and find gainful employment. However, a rise in lawsuits involving unpaid interns and the companies where they worked has focused new attention on the subject. In an article on the topic, The Economist offered some information worth pondering: (more…)
Comments Off on What’s The Fastest Growing Country In Latin America?
Nope, it’s not Brazil. The gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for Brazil was lowered from 2.2 percent in January 2014 to 1.8 percent in June 2014, according to The Economist. That means Brazil is expected to grow more slowly than the United States this year. (more…)
Comments Off on HARVARD DOES IT. MIT DOES IT. UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO AND STANFORD DO IT.
It doesn’t cost a fortune either. In fact, it’s often free. The world’s best colleges and universities (along with organizations like The World Bank, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and National Geographic) are offering massive open online courses (MOOCs) as well as interactive online classes. The offerings are available to anyone with Internet access anywhere in the world.
As The Economist tells it, rising costs, changing labour markets, and disruptive technology are conspiring to overthrow higher education as we know it, and the revolution could send colleges and universities down a path previously taken by print newspapers. The success of online education is uncertain. It’s held back, in part, by lack of a formal system of accreditation, although some universities have begun to accept MOOC credits toward their degrees.
“Traditional universities have a few trump cards. As well as teaching, examining, and certification, college education creates social capital. Students learn how to debate, present themselves, make contacts… The answer may be to combine the two… Students could spend an introductory year learning via a MOOC, followed by two years attending university and a final year starting part-time work while finishing their studies online. This sort of blended learning might prove more attractive than a four-year online degree.”
Needless to say, the revolution in education could have significant implications for parents and students who are contemplating the costs of higher education as well as workers who need to develop new skills to find places in the labour force.
Comments Off on We’ve All Talked About Spending Time….
….but how many people really think of it as currency?The Economist offered an interesting commentary on the value of time last week or, more accurately, on the hidden cost of wasted time. It seems two billion people around the world have watched the Korean music video “Gangnam Style” on YouTube. The Economist commented, “At 4:12 minutes, that equates to more than 140 million hours, or more than 16,000 years.” That’s about how long it would take to build: (more…)
“Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
“To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
“The dog did nothing in the night-time.”
“That was the curious incident,” remarked Sherlock Holmes.” (more…)
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