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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Screwed up Global Economy

Current Fundamentally Defective Economy Model

The boost in economy in any country or at the global level definitely gives rise to employment and in turn to the well being of the human beings on this planet earth. That's the whole essence.

The economic growth follows a positive or negative spiral pattern. But since 2008 onwards the positive spiral pattern has almost ended and it has taken a reversal to the negative spiral pattern.

In economy one thing leads to the other but fueling this interdependency in a fundamentally wrong manner screws up the whole positive growth process.

The present model of boosting the economy is largely based on more consumption, more sales, higher prices, more profit margins per sale and overall very high profits to the producer and the seller. The seller gets motivated to sell still more at still higher prices and makes still more higher overall profits. In doing so, he does expand his business and gives employment to many more people.

People (the consumers of goods and services), either from their savings or by taking loans in a reckless manner start buying things even at the higher prices even on those items of consumption that are really not required or needed by him. Also they start buying even the really needed items in disproportionately large quantities or large sizes. A stage soon arrives when their savings get depleted and they are not in a position to repay the loans- the interest burden itself kills them, forget about repaying the principal amount.

The loan sharks (the banks and other financial joints) go on distributing the loans in this mad racket of artificial economic boom to make more and more money out of their greed and lose track of the soundness of the repayment capacities of people and the companies whom they have advanced the loans. They also boost their business by resorting to many unethical and business-wise unsound practices.

One fine morning, the consumers find no money in their coffers for repayment of loans. The banks and other financial outfits are not in a position to realize the money loaned out. The consumption falls down, sales fall down, prices can't be held at artificially inflated levels for a long period, profit per sale drops and total overall profits of the producers and sellers start diminishing at a fast rate. They stop their expansions and growth. They go on a cost cutting drive. The only thing they know under such conditions is to downsize and retrench their employees. Thus many more people who are the actual consumers of the goods and services stop earning the money because of this kind of increased unemployment. They stop buying. The economic activity comes to a grinding halt.

Many producing and selling companies go bankrupt or wind up their shops, others start limping. None of them are in any sound position to repay the loans borrowed by them from the banks and financial institutions. The banks and financial institutions are not able to recover these loans either from such companies or from the individuals whom they had advanced the loans. The banks and financial outfits too declare their sickness and bankruptcy.

The recession goes on and on because even after getting the bail-out money from the governments (actually from the people of the country- because they have been paying enormous taxes), the banks, financial joints and the producing and selling companies keep chasing the same fundamentally defective economic model of consumption, inflation, loan, higher sales volume, higher profit margin per sales and higher overall profit.

This model will always ultimately lead to perennial economic downtrend cyclically.

Also in this consumption oriented model we are depleting the environmental resources of this planet at a very aggressive rate. That is horribly dangerous to any kind of sustainability we are talking about so much these days.

Proposed Fundamentally Prudent Economy Model

To attain a continuous positive spiral of economic growth, for ever increasing prosperity of all the stake holders and for a prolonged sustainability of the environment of earth, the following model of economy needs to be adopted:

1. Consumption should be real- it need not be artificially inflated. Consume what is really needed. It will help not to waste the planet's resources recklessly.

2. Profit per unit sale should be increased not by increasing the prices (by inflation) but by keeping the prices lower and lower and by reducing the costs of production and sale by adopting creativity and innovations, eliminating wastage of all kinds, reduction of overall costs and improved productivity every where.

3. Overall profits should be an outcome of the above-mentioned two points and not an outcome of wrong and corrupt practices often followed by the corporations and financial bodies.

4. Downsizing and retrenchment in effect cut out on the buying capacities of the people and it is detrimental to economic activities and economic growth. Rather than resorting to increasing the unemployment, adopt all those policies and practices that will boost the employment potential and increase the number of employed people.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


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How to Avert Recession, How to Combat Recession and Then, How to Move Ahead?

In this space you will read about the proactive and reactive aspects of dealing with economic recession. More importantly, this article deals with the human aspects of recession and the trauma it creates for the human beings at large. The article suggests very harsh actions against the culprits and emphasizes that the people responsible for recession are worse than most criminals.

The article has the following contents:
  • When The Fundamentals Are Massacred, Global Recession Is Born.
  • Some Unethical Practices in Organizations.
  • Buying on Loans: Unnatural Economy Booster.
  • Fundamentals That Should Be Strictly Followed ALL the Times to Avert Global Recession  
  • Solution to Recession is Not Throwing People from Their Jobs: Lay-off is Not Combating the Recession.Rather, it is cowardice. Beat the recession, don't beat the people.
  • Capitalist Model is Great But It's an Illusion.
  • Who Bells the Cat in Recessionary Times?
  • Proactive Approach
When The Fundamentals Are Massacred, Global Recession Is Born

Fundamentals Slaughtered: Global Recession  Is The Outcome

Wrong exploiting practices bordering on cheating the general public led by the ever increasing greed adopted by the corporations, the industrialists, directors of the board of companies, CEOs, promoters of businesses, banks and bankers, financial institutions, builders and property dealers, the governments, politicians and bureaucrats, life and other insurance companies, credit card joints and value-flouting professionals have all finally culminated in the dangerous world wide recession (2008).

And the funniest part is, they are all asking for help from the governments who in fact collect the money, in the form of taxes from the very public (the gullible public) who are ultimately the suckers, the same very people who have been duped by the recession. So, the culprits are begging for their existence from the same very people whom they have looted in the first place. Where from this public who is losing their earnings and jobs in millions will pay taxes to the governments and where from the governments will pay these losing corporations?

Utter paradox and contradictions!! It's a full foul circle or more correctly put, negatively increasing spiral- damn difficult to break in. Only way to break in it and cut into it to convert it into a positively increasing spiral is: Start following the FUNDAMENTALS and Don't Fool With.

Some Unethical Practices in Organizations

(Organizations include all kinds of organizations including governments)

  • Organizations may become selfish and their interests take over the interests of their customers, employees and general public. 
  • Organizations may encourage unethical behavior by resorting to forming cartels or lobbies to un-naturally beat the competition, twist the prices and literally kill the spirit of free economy.
  • Organizations jack up the prices of goods and services that are way out of proportion to their costs and reasonable profits. 
  • Organizations may promote falsification about claims/advantages of their products through advertisements or other means and thus, increase their sales wrongly.
  • Many times, organizations reward secrecy and acts of dishonesty.
  • Top managers of organizations may decide and grab enormously high salaries/unfair salaries not justified by any reason. On the other hand, they do not pass on the justifiable or fair salaries and returns to organization's stake holders.
  • Organizational hierarchies may put pressure on peers, subordinates, suppliers and other associates to adopt unscrupulous practices.
  • In many cases, top management of organizations is interested in short term results whether they are conducive to long term results or not and in the process, damaging the organizations heavily for it's long term standing.
  • Organizations may resort to high risk trading without making any substantial study.
  • Many organizations tend to falsify their accounting documents and paint a rosy picture of the organization.
  • Many times organizations and their various managers indulge in scams, frauds and corruption.
  • Financial organizations dole out loans to the public and other organizations without substantiating their credibility due to several reasons including corrupt practices.
  • The consumers, people in general (and even organizations) start buying more than what they can really afford. Then, they take loans and more loans to an extent that it is beyond their capacities to pay them back comfortably. They have very little of their own money left for even their day-to-day existence and they are in debt till neck. They stop/reduce buying.
  • Lopsided over-emphasis by the interested parties (corporate sector, stock brokers, financial institutions, governments etc) on promoting/luring investments by the public and others only in stock markets to the extent of curbing the investments by the public in savings elsewhere and for this purpose, artificially jacking up of the stock prices through unethical practices and governments making the laws tilted towards stock market investments and unfavorable to other savings/investments.
Buying on Loans: Unnatural Economy Booster

Motivating the buyers to buy the things when they don’t have their own money is done through advancing them the easily available loans by the sellers in league with various finance, banking and credit card companies etc. Buyers take these loans as they are easily made available (most times without even substantiating the creditworthiness of the buyers) and they buy immediately with loans rather than wait to buy later with their own saved money.  Since the loans are advanced, large numbers of buyers are tempted to buy. The sellers are tempted to increase the prices of their offerings knowing that buyers will buy them in spite of higher prices as their buying power has increased by the loans they can easily take. Thus buyers expect to make more money by selling more quantities at higher manipulated (unnatural) prices. However, when it comes to repayment of loans, due to overload of loans on the buyers, they cannot repay the loans which are now too steep due to principal amounts of many loans further severely fattened by the huge interest rates on them. A day comes when many buyers raise their hands and short-close or fore-close their buy. The short-closed goods don’t have any new buyers most of the times for obvious reasons already explained (most prospective buyers are also deep into loans). The sellers and their finance partners cannot get their money back from the buyers. The sellers' sales start dipping. They too have borrowed from finance and banking companies which they cannot return. Their working capital dwindles. They cannot produce further and yes, the buyers have vanished from the market place since they just don't have money to buy. The sellers' profitability starts showing downward trend too. The stock markets crash. Investors stop investing. The existing projects have already slowed down and new projects also get shelved. Everybody has got stuck into a big jam. Organizations start layoffs and people are jobless. Their buying power further gets weaker. There is no taker for whatever goods are still being produced. The negative spiral is closing in rapidly.

Fundamentals That Should Be Strictly Followed ALL the Times to Avert Global Recession  

If all kinds of organizations (including governments) and people in general, follow the fundamentals given below, all the times (even in good times), recession can be eliminated, averted and tackled.
  • No one should try to exploit the general public in any way. 
  • No one should try to exploit the customers in any way.
  • Prices of lands, buildings, goods and services (particularly education and health care) as well as share (stock) prices should not be artificially inflated. If need be, there should be a non-corrupt state control over the prices of land, houses, essential food stuff, health care and education.
  • Buyers should not take loans to buy the things needed by them. They should try to buy what they can afford without taking loans. If at all they wish to take some loans, the loan amount should be absolute minimum which they can return very easily within their income levels.
  • Propelling the economy by way of promoting easy and unsubstantiated loans to individuals and corporations by any financial institution or government is never the sound and lasting way of bringing up economy.
  • Jacking up the motivation among people and corporations for purchases/demands of goods and services artificially and in un-natural ways will never build up strong permanent economy.
  • Profit margins should not be draconically out of proportions.
  • Prices of goods should be an outcome of free economy based on sound principles of supply and demand and healthy competition and should not be an outcome of lobbying and cartels (there should be a strict curb on it by the law). Maintain the spirit of free economy.
  • Corruption of various kinds in corporate- public and private sectors and governments should be eliminated. Corrupt people at all the levels should be severely punished.
  • Real competent (competence includes ethics obviously) people should be put at the helm of affairs of various important and vital organizations like government, banks, financial institutions, life and general insurance companies and even in the corporate- industrial and business sectors etc.
  • The organizations should be run at the highest effectiveness and efficiency levels all the time.
  • This is the real time when all kinds of service and manufacturing organizations and governmental departments should start believing and implementing the fundamental and scientifically established principles and practices like waste reduction, cost control, inventory control (just-in-time management), lead time control, productivity improvement, resource utilization, zero defects (quality management), zero breakdowns (total productive maintenance management) etc. This will release the much needed cash (working capital) in the organizations and all kinds of wastage will minimize. Cost of production of goods and services will reduce and selling prices can be lowered so that people/companies/organizations can start buying.
  • All kinds of non-value adding expenses should be controlled; cost management should be at its peak all the time.
  • The salaries, perquisites and profit sharing percentages/bonuses of people particularly, the promoters of companies, CEOs, directors and other top/senior managers of various organizations, politicians, ministers and top/senior bureaucrats should be decided in proportion, based on their likely long term as well as short term contributions and not out of their greed.
  • The bonuses/profit sharing, particularly to the top brass of all the organizations of any type and even to the other employees, should not be distributed as cash but can be given in the form of the shares of that organization and there must be some controls over the period (number of years) during which they can not be sold/traded. It will put responsibility on the top brass to look after the health of the companies they run on a longer term basis. 
  • Rather than removing the people from their jobs in the times of down-trends of the organizations under the notorious garb of downsizing and right sizing, the salaries of the people particularly at the levels where they are paid astronomically high salaries in a lop- sided manner should be curtailed. Thus, people will not be out of employment and this will retain the purchasing power in the system at reasonably stable and good levels so as not to upset the economy and create recession.
Solution to Recession is Not Throwing People from Their Jobs

Lay-off is Not Combating the Recession.

Rather, it is cowardice. Beat the recession, don't beat the people.

Try to reason out as to who are the culprits of the world wide slow down/recession? The answer is: the decisions and actions of the people at the helm of the affairs of all kinds of organizations, companies, institutions and governments. The answer is: the greed, profiteering, irresponsible behavior towards the customers, abnormally (forced) high prices of lands/construction/buildings/houses/education/health care/all kinds of products, artificially jacked up stock prices, corruption/scams/frauds etc. It is the top management everywhere of every organization (including governments), that is the real culprit.

As an extreme statement, any Tom, Dick and Harry can run the organizations in good times. It is during bad times, they need to really run the organizations. It is then that their mettle can be tested.

Running the organization in such bad times does not mean chucking out people of the organization as the first and the easiest of all the solutions. And yet, how many organizations throw out their top management guys? Perhaps none.

The business sense will tell any fool that we need people to buy things. If you throw out large numbers of people from their jobs, the purchasing power dips further which is one major cause of recession or slow down. Apart from that, you are putting millions of people and their families under the traumatic experiences without jobs. Families after families get uprooted when you throw them out of jobs during recession or slow down and many people have committed suicide due to the trauma of job loss and loss of earnings for the family.

Better solution will be to reduce the salaries of every one in the organizations and not lay off any one.

More salary cuts should be for the top guys of various organizations (including the ones in the governments) since their salaries are abnormally high in general and they are the ones who made horrendous mistakes and drove everyone to this disaster called recession. There have been numerous instances when despite recession and despite employees being laid off, the company top bosses distributed huge bonuses to themselves. And then, these same top bosses go to the governments (in other words, to the same public whom they are chucking out from their jobs) with the begging bowls for the bail-out money. More steep salary cuts of the top brass of the companies and moderate/reasonable salary cuts of other employees will bring down the salary costs of the organizations dramatically.

Then having achieved this, motivate all the people in the organizations to apply their minds towards further cost cutting. As a result, organizations will be in position to reduce the prices of land, construction, buildings, houses, education, health care and all kinds of products. As the prices become reasonably low and realistic and within the reach of people, they will start buying the things and investing in things. The whole resurrection will be absolutely painless.

Also, devise and implement stricter controls over the governance of the organizations (including those of external auditors and justice departments) so that the scams/frauds/corruption are brought down to minimum and ultimately eliminated. The companies should not be allowed to carry on with the same external auditors sine die as it happens now. The companies often literally buy the external auditors as is evident from the many scams which fortunately got discovered.

Capitalist Model is Great But It's an Illusion 

Among all the known models, the capitalist model seems better, more effective and more beneficial for most people in every way. But there is a catch to it. It works well when things are done in a "natural' way, when people behave in a "balanced" manner, follow the life's "fundamentals" and operate on a "win-win" approach. The moment these things are screwed up by the people with large ulterior motives and exploitative behavior, the model gets screwed up in reality. It looks like an illusion. So, in reality, we cannot think of an Utopian society of only value based people. There are always those monsters and criminals and greedy people who do not value "values" much and remain utterly selfish. These people gang up and screw up the advantages of capitalist model and free economy. The result: recession and yet worse, economic depression.

What's the solution then? It has to come in the form of some socialist controls which work as deterrents on the value-less unethical actions of the people who try to indulge in them. These controls can be introduced and exercised in the form of laws passed by the democratic systems or the bodies, institutions or organizations of the people from the entire human society. In the capitalist model, a spirit of taking care of the general public should be integrated. The whole affair has to be a win-win outcome. The phenomenon of "people who have money keep on making money at the expense of others" should be constantly watched  and people in general should be facilitated to get their proportionate share.

A judicious mix of capitalist model with socialist spirit emerges out to be the winner. A disciplined society of people alone can reap the real benefits of capitalism, economic and democratic freedom. Or else, we will keep going through the painful bouts of recession periodically.

Who Bells the Cat in Recessionary Times?

Perhaps, everyone. But someone has to initiate. Governments and the corporate sector are the ones who should take the lead to tackle the issues related to recession. Both should try and generate employment as the first step. Both, in fact, have peoples' money. It's people in general, the public who fund the governments and corporate sector by way of various taxes and investments. Public has the real claim on that money. This is the occasion when saving/providing/generating  employment should be the first and foremost priority of the governments and the corporate sector. It is best done by starting new projects which will need purchasing goods and services from various  organizations and people. The economy gets put into the first gear now. It will need lots of torque though- lots of efforts, lots of will power, lots of missionary zeal, lots of spirituality (nothing to do with religions or gods). And that can alone start the engine of progress once more.

These new projects will provide large degrees of employment to people as direct, contracted and temporary employees in them. Also, these projects will need lots of goods and services from the goods manufacturers and service providers. They, in turn, will once more get into action and will be capable of retaining their existing employees and perhaps, may need to employ more people to cope up with new orders. They may need additional financial support which will give work to banks and financial institutions. This whole cranking of the economic system will give more purchasing power to the public in general and to various organizations in corporate, governments and other sectors. Once more the places will start humming with hopeful activities.

In all this, the governments who are the elected/appointed servants of the public in general (they call themselves as leaders and that is an out and out erroneous paradigm) and who have to work for the people in general, will have to take the lead role in pumping the new life, by way of not only initiating the new projects but also by supporting the deserving banks/financial institutions and the industries. However, governments will also have to learn to exercise stricter non-corrupt governance over the organizations to whom they will advance the revival money. Also, governments will have to dramatically curtail their own non-value adding, nonessential expenditure. This whole process may give opportunities to some anti-social elements in every organization, including the governments to squander the public money now being used for new projects and as revival packages to banks/financial institutions and the industries. Governments, auditors, justice departments, media and the public will have to keep a great watch on these kinds of corrupt people and will have to deal with them with severe penalties if these people do indulge in such corrupt practices. They will have to ensure that the money being pumped in for revival of economy is utilized effectively and efficiently.

Proactive Approach

Many recessionary cycles have come and gone creating social and economic havoc and they keep coming back again and again to create the insurmountable problems. Nobody seems to have found a permanent solution for this. It is high time that the people who are responsible to prevent them from the root level to recur get together and put their heads together to find permanent solutions. Is it really that difficult? The answer is plain "no". But it requires the missionary zeal to tackle this Himalayan task. There is a need to adopt a proactive approach.

It's no good then just to think and find solutions on papers but implementation and actions will only bring about the desired positive results.

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