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|Posted on May 13, 2014 at 3:59 PM||comments (12)|
The U.S. stock market has recovered and gone beyond where it was at the marking point in October 2008. I hear that even Lehman Brothers continues to make huge profits today.
The job creation in America last month was a bright number, at 300,000. My suggestion is if such a number was created for another five months, it would be reasonable to say that the economic Recovery has strengthened significantly.
No, that would not neccesitate further tapering. I am of the opinion that Dr Yellen needs to perhaps increase the QE by about $5 billion a month for the foreseeable future, until Recovery is complete.
At $45 billion a month, there is a shortage for the meantime to fund the social aspect, and cutting would have a similar impact to the dreadful sequestration, when poor students were being sent home because there was no provision for a mid-day meal for them. (Of course, the wisdom may be to ask them to bring their own lunch and provide them the opportunity for education, and keep them from turning to delinquency).
The U.S. housing market seems to have stabilised, but has still scope for improvement. While foreign investors and hedge funds will avail themselves of these opportunities, the American households are still holding to wait and see that there is sustained recovery in the jobs market with prospects long-term before they start to buy houses. I of course would suggest that they should consider now, when rates may be just edging up a little from historic highs and prices remain affordable.
On this side of the pond, in the United Kingdom, the housing market has just become stable. I don't see much upside this year, in view of cut-backs in social security for housing. A lot of the estate agents relying on government funding for housing have closed shop; and I see a few landlords putting up their big houses for sale. The time of easy regular income for landlords seems to be now over. It may be a good chance for the government to provide housing to deserving people on low incomes if the rents are actually downwards from the recent highs. That would make sense to the government purse as well as tenants.
Other than that the economy seems to be quite robust, with creation of jobs and employment opportunities for many, together with en masse creation of apprenticeships under the guidance and friendly policies of the Cameron government, which has been one of the most people sensitive government the Tories have formed so far. The multi-cultural cohesion and contented atmosphere is something to be appreciated.
The Greeks have got their economy improving, with 10 years Bonds at a yield around 6 percent. Not many moons ago, the yields were an exhorbitant 30 percent or so. The generosity of the European Union in bailing them out played a tremendous part in helping this situation to be reached. All European nations, flowers of the same bouquet, must rejoice. Spain is also seeing signs of improvement, and now that I hear of KKR looking to fund some Spanish bank, I guess the economy there will start to improve quite rapidly. The huge opportunity is there, for people who like the good climate and culture, to buy properties there perhaps for retirement, and even start businesses there, which could be a way to create jobs in Spain.
As governments adjust their policies to allow more immigration, especially to parts which are sparsely populated, more young blood can settle and rejuvenate the economies of the advanced nations. The ageing populations need looking after, and the young immigrants would be happy to come and work hard and pay their taxes, buy houses, cars, books, TVs, etc, etc. The economies would pick up. That will I believe be the second leg of Recovery.
I believe the future is very bright, as Recovery will turn to Prosperity, which could be even within six months. At least I pray for that.
|Posted on November 10, 2013 at 11:40 AM||comments (9)|
Remembrance Day at the Ilford chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was marked by the Bishop and congregation paying respects to the memories of the heroes and heroines who gave their lives in the quest for freedom from tyranny and injustice.
How great a freedom we enjoy today as citizens of England is all due to the heroes and heroines who laid down their lives, as well as those valiant men and women who helped negotiate peace and brought forward this day into being.
Brother Jeremy Boyden : "We remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice, like our Saviour, and we mark this day when peace was first agreed between all nations, on 11th November 1918".
The President's wife Sister Saltzman read a poem about Flanders Fields.
The Bishop's son, Brother Michael Onaolapo Jnr : "Greater love hath no man then He who gave up His own life so that others may live."
Sister Shannon Pickering, who was baptised in the Ilford ward two weeks ago, spoke a few words about the loving atmosphere that prevails in this land, thanks to people like her gransparents who did their bit during the war.
Sister Joanne Boyden read a famous poem, starting The glory shines upon my tears....She read the bit about hopes and expectations and stars and then became very emotional. (I asked her later; she explained that her Mother lost two brothers in the war). (For the Fallen, Robert Laurence Binyon).
Brother Michael Lighten paid tribute to the great example of Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse, recounting events in the Captain's life in the Royal Army Medical Corp, who had to combine civilian with military duties at the front, where he saw within a few hours 189 casualties out of 600. Captain Chavasse worked behind enemy lines for four hours, just 500 yards to safety. On another occasion just 25 yards from enemy trenches. Altogether, Captain Chavasse saved the lives of approximately 20,000 men.
On another occasion, he worked with protection against an attack of mustard gas.
Noel picked up his torch, and rose up in his time, working against impossible conditions of mud, blood and water. Captain Chavasse was decoated with a rare second Victoria Cross. Such men are rare indeed, and we all recall his courage with awe and celebration.
"For their tomorrows, we give our today" John Maxwell Edmonds. That was the spirit of the unknown solider, great soul who's memory we salute today.
We stood and paid our respects to the memories of the men and women who have won the freedoms that have greatly contributed to the enjoyment of peace and peaceful life that England enjoys today.
Bishop Onaolapo made these closing remarks : "We are here because of the sacrifices the soldiers, male and female, have made for us. That is why the great atmosphere of stability and safety, friendliness and love prevails in this nation. I am sure this country will go from strength to strength because of that, and I am proud to be a citizen of this great country of ours."
I believe this sums up the congregations sentiments on this day, when we salute those whose lives were lost, as well as those who brought about peace.
May God's blessings be upon all.
(written by Duru-darshan
LDS Ilford ward)
|Posted on November 5, 2013 at 7:26 AM||comments (3)|
It appears the Obamacare rollout has had teething problems, especially with the website interfacing.
Perhaps they should have stuck with their initial design, just to guage peoples interest without putting them off by asking comprehensive personal details. It's like me asking you for your personal details before allowing you to read my blog.
Good news comes from Professor Gruber's analysis of the figures that would need or benefit from Obamacare, and provided provisions have been pencilled in for the expenditure, the launch should be quite successful, after the rationale is accepted by Joe Public.
It seems that about 14 percent of the U.S. population would need Obamacare, the other 86 percent are adequately catered for.
Of the 14 percent, Obamacare seeks to enlist the young working people, who don't have any kind of health care provision. Once these people start to sign up in numbers, I presume the premium costs would start to come down. It has to be attractive for people to sign up, not a cumbersome figure that people would be unwilling to pay and indeed may not see the immediate necessity to pay if they are currently in good health. Everything being equal, most people would expect to continue to enjoy good health, and it seems a foolish waste of money to buy an insurance policy for health to most young people. However, good health carries no guarantees into the future, and it is against this that people need to have cover, seeing how people's lives are sometimes marred by ill-health and their careers written off. It is against this realistic look that young people need to consider taking up a policy to safeguard their future.
(In Britain it is straightforward enough. Everyone is levied what is termed National Insurance, which is a fixed percentrage of one's income, and universally everyone gets medical cover under the National Health Service. Some out of personal preference for quicker or better service decide to take out additional policies with private health insurance companies. Side by side, the NHS and organisations such as the not-for-profit BUPA and Simply Health serve the population very well, in practical terms.)
If lot more people show an interest in what Obamacare offers, presumably the insurance premiums would start to come down and encourage more and more people to sign on, so it would actually deliver what would become affordable health care.
As the issue is debated and considered, I guess it will gather acceptance, if not straight away then over a number of years. Good health brings great benefits in enjoyment of life and work, creating a happy atmosphere and bringing prosperity to all, a welcome place.
|Posted on October 28, 2013 at 8:34 AM||comments (101)|
It has taken all of five years for the world economies to be restored to semblance of normality from the dark days of 2008.
Remember those days when the interest rates were quite high in the advanced economies, anything from 4 to 7 percent - and that for the benchmark European Central Bank, Federal Reserve and Bank of England rate.
The crisis created by the collapse of Lehmann Bros sent shockwaves throughout the financial system worldwide, with stockmarkets tumbling, loss of confidence in trade, fall in house prices, and a mood of pessimism gripped the world.
At the vortex of the crisis, when Oil price reached $147 per barrel, according to OPEC AND European Union figures, about $250 billion additional bills were imposed on the European Union's oil expenditure, and what a terrible crisis it created, making transportation and manufacturing unviable in many countries, e.g. Portugal, Spain, Greece, the extra drain sucking the life-force out of the system.
At the peak of the crisis, people who were earlier working in the textile industry were suddenly without work, and wondering how they would find their cod-and-chips. Enterprising young people and old were trying their hand at the e-commerce economy, and finding lot of work but little revenue. The Prime Minister of a sovereign nation which was so prosperous not so long ago was visiting the heads of state of various nations, asking for help. The social security systems were severally stretched, the tax revenues not corresponding to the new outflows. The interest on the bonds became quite high, to attract investors. Talented people from universities were not able to find opportunities to make a living.
Demand on housing was as high as ever, but people didn't have money to rent, nor were banks willing to extend mortgages. Indeed, banks and loan corporations were suddenly unviable, after the property price plunge and bankruptcies of many individuals.
Today, comparatively, there has been a return of confidence. Things are getting better. Spain, Portugal and Greece have seen their bonds become more attractive to international investors.
But the worst is hardly behind us, yet the oil price remains so high. The pending closure of the Grangemouth Refinery is an indicator of the havoc the oil price plays with the balance sheet of such businesses. A business that was viable up until recently today stands in need of £300 million, with that it would support 800 jobs until trade is more favourable. This may be a microcosmic illustration of what could be in store for the OPEC nations, unless they decide to reduce the oil price to a level that is affordable to the rest of the world, and would give the OPEC nations an on-going stable income on a long-term basis into the future, and allow the world to breathe, and help sustain Recovery.
It took two-and-a-half years after the high oil price knocked the economies for six for a return to some kind of normal business activity. Common sense tells me that the high price today will probably hamper growth for about a year-and-a-half, and it is already restricting growth and causing hardships in many places, e.g. Yemn, Kenya, India, and almost all the nations outside the G20.
I WOULD RESPECTFULLY SUGGEST THAT THE OIL PRICE NEEDS TO BE BELOW $85 A BARREL.
That would help the hard-pressed developing nations meet their bills from their depleted reserves or devalued currencies, and enabling continuation of trade with the U.S., China, European Union, Israel and indeed OPEC, which would create a dynamic of mutual co-operation and support that may help all nations thrive and develop all their potential. That is the missing piece of the jigsaw in the picture of a continuation of the worldwide economic Recovery.
All the listening hearts of the world know what I am saying, and those who sit in positions of influence will do what is necessary, for that I pray.
|Posted on October 23, 2013 at 3:29 PM||comments (9)|
Recently I've had a lot of visitors to my blog and website from Putian as well as Beijing.
I note the Indian Premier Dr Manmohan Singh has been to visit Beijing soon after his trip to Moscow, and
things are looking good for co-operation on peacefully observing each other's shared borders as well as increase in friendly relations and trade.
My personal hope is to become nominated by the Congress Party of India (UPA) as the Prime Ministerial candidate for May 2014. Should my wish be fulfilled with approval of Rahul and Mrs Sonia Gandhi, I would be thrilled and would go to India straight away to start campaigning in earnest.
I have a vision for India as a good neighbour to China, Russia, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and the whole region, as well as to unlock the huge potential that there obviously is for growth of infrastructure such as roads, bridges, dams, power generation, further irrigation, as well as housing, hospitals, schools, universities, and so on, which would utilise the resources and cater to the public, as well as use the skills and expertise internationally in building up this great nation. I have lived in London the last 41 years, and see the n-th degree developments of this nation (United Kingdom) as something India could well try to aim for. I imagine that with India's resources both of the peoples' savings and growing expectations of improvements in living standards, it would fit hand-in-glove.
It is regrettable that there have been skirmishes on the international border with Pakistan, especially just after Dr Manmohan Singh-ji had constructive talks with Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif in New York recently. Mr Nawaz Sharif has a great reputation as a man of his people and a positive personality, who would only wish the best for his people and continuation of peaceful co-existence with India. The Indian PM has offered bilateral talks on this issue to find a resolution, and I sincerely hope common-sense and peace prevails once again.
I hope my readers will be able to make an accurate picture of what I would like to do, and I would welcome your comments on this matter.
In the meantime, I wish you a peaceful and happy evening.
|Posted on October 19, 2013 at 12:21 PM||comments (7)|
When I get so many readers from Kansas City to my blog, I think Narayani Namastute! Narayani Namastute! Yes, on the auspicious day of Full Moon, as it was yesterday, and with the conjunction of the debt ceiling raise decision in the U.S., I was wondering what the Kansas City Fed Chairman Narayanan Kocharlakota was thinking. I haven't read anything in the press, but he is normally an advocate of quantitative easing with deliberate measure. In this regard, again, it is early days to see a ballpark figure of the debt ceiling raise, and for the 4 months of January 15th, Congress has announced that the U.S. government will be fully funded. Their Comptroller is likely to know what that means, and how much money will continue to flow into the system until then.
In the meantime, it must be a great relief that the shutdown has been lifted. Never again, I can hear everyone saying. People have lost income and business, tourists have suffered not being able to visit monuments and museums they may have especially travelled over the States to visit. The short but very long 14 days have cost the U.S. dear, to the tune of some $24 Billion in lost revenue and productivity. The lesson is clear, such a shutdown over an extended period would cause the economy to slow down, and the economy to lose something on the GDP measure. It is like an economy in good shape being told to trim down. Never again, I hope.
As to the ballpark figure, my suggestion is $1.32 Trillion over 20 months, which works out at $66 Billion per month. After payment of some $60 Billion per month for the social security net, that leaves $6 Billion per month for enterprise and job creation. Jobs ranging in pay from $20 or $30,000 per annum to $250,000 per annum could be created, perhaps 300,000 or 400,000 per month. And he presto! within six months the U.S. would have whizzed on from Recovery to Prosperity.
But that's just a ballpark figure I am suggesting. At current Stimulus of $85 Billion per month, maybe it could be different. In view of the regime of Abenomics in Japan and their Stimulus of $85 Billion per month, the per capita differential is in Japan's favour. It is a theme to be explored over the coming days.
I am glad to note the global economic order has been stabilised after the agreement in the U.S. on the debt ceiling raise. As they all enjoy four months of relative calm and stability until 15th January and then to 7th February, I trust they will have this in mind and not give everyone, including themselves, a tough time.
Certainly, the costings and implementation of Obamacare is something they can review and see how technically it would be best implemented. The beginnings of the British NHS took about 40 years in gestation, before it received the blessing as a Royal Charter in 1947 under the kind King George. Obamacare is by comparison in its infancy, and needs to be tweaked and explored before this very sound principle can bring benefits to the citizens and the nation.
|Posted on October 8, 2013 at 3:41 PM||comments (6)|
Each one can imagine some kind of bleak scenario, in the event that the Debt Ceiling was breached and there was no agreement in Washington between the Republicans and Democrats.
At the moment, the world watches in exasperation as the two sides debate and give a very mixed impression. As they gleefully remain entrenched as to what they will concede or not, the time is ticking away to 17th October.
Japan and China have wondered at the shutdown, and why it is not being lifted swiftly. In those nations, such a situation, were it ever to arise, would be reversed as a matter of honour and in the interests of not impeding the economic engine. It would be done swiftly with a command from the leadership.
In the U.S., by contrast, as is the nature of democracy, every fine detail has to be debated. That is fair enough, but time is running out nevertheless.
In the event that there is no Debt Ceiling raise by 17th October, one can envisage a bleak picture where government will not be able to pay its employees, which of course also includes the Representatives and Senators who have defended very narrow corners and brought about the current shutdown and the furloughs, disrupting peoples' daily routines and reducing their paypackets. Of course this would have an impact on the economy overall were it to continue for any length of time. Just over a week has gone, and the mood on the stockmarket has been subdued. If it were to continue for consecutive 21 days, probably it would cause a disheartening mood, which would dampen the feelings and start a down-turn.
Secretary of State for the Treasury Mr Jacob Lew has said there would be about $30 billion for cash-flow, in a 'four trillion dollar enterprise'. That may be sufficient for 12 days, which would take everyone to 29th October. If there was no agreement by then, can you imagine anything but the stock markets falling, a fear factor and a lack of confidence, people being laid off by private enterprises as well. I would bet the Oil price would plummet, demand would be so drastically reduced. The domino effect would be worldwide, nothing short of alarming. It would be like looking at Greece in its recent dark days, only the U.S. is a much bigger economy, with over 16 times the population of Greece. Not only that, what is the sovereign currency of a well-functioning economy and the Reserve Currency of the world would have its standing compromised.
I trust they have some arrangement in place, whether by bi-partisan co-operation, putting aside for the moment the other issues which are dividing them at the moment, and agreeing to a Debit Ceiling raise by 17th October; or, arrangements in place to allow the President to exercise his prerogative under the 14th Amendment and sign in an amount that would be prudent and necessary.
Mr Obama has mentioned that the debt burden has been reduced by Two and a Half Trillion in the last few years, so his Administration's policies have been productive and praiseworthy, pulling the whole economy out of a severe recession and creating a nation with huge heatmaps of happiness, which have provided growing confidence worldwide. The sooner the uncertainity regarding the Debt Ceiling raise is removed, the better will it be for the whole world. America's well-wishers and creditors alike would feel good, a positive mood of certainity and predictability for future growth would continue worldwide.
The last Debt Ceiling raise in August 2011 has proved efficacious, and so there would be universal approval and applause for such a measure this once also. Those who believe in doing right by their fellow humanbeings, let them also do right by the currency that says 'In God We Trust'.
|Posted on October 5, 2013 at 2:31 PM||comments (2)|
Hi everyone, how are you?
I wrote and published several blog posts over the last seven days, as follows :-
- Germany a good model of employment
- Forward guidance and the UK Housing market
- Light a candle....
- Stimulus? Taper? Where we headed?
- Mr Bernanke's penultimate testimony before he leaves the Fed.
- The paradox in inflation
- My blog posts this month
- Thanks for visiting my website.
- Bi-partisan Agreement or 14th Amendment, either way Debt Ceiling will be raised.
- Netherlands, Kansas City, Kharkov....welcome, welcome!
Over the 7 days, I note Referring Traffic to my website and blog (www.durudarshan.co.uk)
from the following. I express my thanks to the staff at these organisations, for listing my website and blog....without you, all these readers wouldn't have found me so easily. Thanks!
I am pleased to note that the value of my website is going up, and I am getting more visitors each month. I am particularly pleased to note that I rank tops with Google. That is thanks to my parents for having given me this unique name. (Duru is the North Star, and darshan means obeisance).
I hope you find something interesting to read on my website or blog. I like to tune in to receive any interesting information, most of which I share with my readers.
This morning, I went and helped clean the LDS Chapel here in Ilford. I opened the windows, then squirted some bleach into the toilet pans on all three floors. Whilst this was doing its job, I moved the chairs in the Sacrament Hall and hovered the carpet. Just nice and easy, and the exercise did me good. In the peace and quiet of physical labour, the mind becomes quiet and receives the Eurekas!
Until next time,
Wish you a great weekend.
|Posted on October 4, 2013 at 2:59 PM||comments (3)|
It is a concensus worldwide, and not only in Washingdon D.C., that the Debt Ceiling which needs to be raised to avoid a default, which the U.S. certainly does not wish to entertain, will be raised, be it (preferably) by bi-partisan co-operation and agreement in Congress, or by Presidential Prerogative.
Secretary for the Treasury Jack Lew has suggested 17th October as the date when the current debt ceiling arrangements hit top. It will be both prudent and necessary to raise it further, and in the current shutdown scenario in Washington the options are plain : Either the partial shutdown of the departments is swiftly lifted and government can function once again as normal, giving enough time for a bi-partisan consultation and agreement on a Debt Ceiling raise; alternatively, give the President the opportunity to exercise the Presidential Prerogative under the 14th Amendment and sign into law a figure he believes justified to safeguard the normal functioning of the government and the U.S. economy.
The new jobs created figure today of 155,000 for September seems pretty healthy, although to see a fully fledged Recovery would need about 400,000 to 500,000 new jobs per month for about 6 months. Until then, the environment demands continuation of a Stimulus, which may be tapered later when conditions improve further. In the meantime, the record low interest rate gives hope that the housing market can continue to improve and strengthen, together with auto sales and hand-in-hand creation of many jobs and heatmaps of happiness. Strength of the U.S. economy for now seems a barometer of the world economy, as confidence in the world's largest economy always impacts everywhere else.
In Japan, Premier Abe's government continues with their Stimulus, which was running at $85 billion a month (equal to the U.S. stimulus at its current height). This has enabled the Japanese economy to pull out of the stagnation that has marred it for over 20 years; the investment and build-up after the Fukushima disaster has enabled Japan lay the foundation for continued improvement and growth, the fruits of which Japan shares with investment overseas in neighbouring countries and abroad. Their GNP
figures will be nothing less than impressive, with substantial investments in the U.S. also.
It will be a great blessing for the U.S. to raise the debt ceiling in a timely fashion, and renew the confidence worldwide that things can continue as normal everywhere, which can add impetus to further growth worldwide from a strengthening Recovery to Prosperity. For that I pray.
|Posted on October 2, 2013 at 8:11 AM||comments (4)|
It is that moment in time when the world knows the answers, yet some do not seem to. For their narrow vested interests, they may be taking decisions which will adversely affect so many people.
Yes, point in question about the shutdown in the United States, affecting some 700,000 government employees who have been told not to turn up for work, because the two caucuses of the centrist Republican Party which is the U.S. Congress cannot agree the left with the right. They would like concessions on many issues, which are not of prime importance today and bear some relevance to the great impending issue of the raising of the Debt Ceiling. According to Mr Jack Lew, Secretary of State for the Treasury, the clock is expected to hit a top on 17th October, giving just about 15 days for the Congress to concentrate on this priority.
The aggregate debt stands at a whopping $16.5 Trillion, but certainly that is not huge in comparison to the essence and integrity of the United States of America. At last count, when the debt ceiling needed to be raised in August 2011, the Chinese Premier Hu Jintao as well as the Japanese leaders offered their continued support.
The cash-flow in the system has enabled an ongoing Recovery, translating into much consumer confidence, demands on goods and services, and heatmaps of happiness across the world, in China, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Europe, Brazil, Venezuela, and every nation who trades, which includes all nations of the globe.
Indeed it was a great gesture when the Federal Reserve opened the Open Window in Europe, enabling the Eurozone to borrow dollars and pump into their economies, creating much growth and momentum
in production and consumer confidence.
There must be few people who do not see the benefits of a globalised economic powerhouse that is the world, where co-operation and trade between nations helps each nation produce its unique resources and exchange with the rest of the world.
I believe the world can confidently assume that the U.S. banks collectively have the wherewithal to underwrite the raising of the Debt Ceiling. As Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan and other leading bankers meet with Mr Obama today, certainly that will be on the agenda of discussion.
In August 2011 the U.S. banks collectively had over $1.45 Trillion, and enabled that raise. It will be good news to hear what they may be willing to underwrite this time. Certainly the money has swirled around the system, enabling people buy the houses and cars and television sets and sofa sets and iPads which they love, and swelled the coffers of companies such as Apple and Oracle and billionaire Carl Icahn. All that is really needed is for such companies and people to continue to create more employment in the private sector, and for government to continue to serve the people effectively.
The lifting of the shutdown would be great, and would be welcome for people who are visiting America, so that their trips are joyful in seeing the monuments they have come to see.
A rethink on what has led to the shutdown can only help the goodwill of America, and the prosperity of her own people.