Деятельность в международном бакалавриате



Мои разработки



Core theme – patterns and change

        There are 4 compulsory topics in this core theme. In particular:

1. Populations in transitions.

2. Disparities in wealth and development.

3. Patterns in environmental quality and sustainability.

4. Patterns in resource consumption.

Let’s study and investigate second topic. It is “Disparities in wealth and development”. 

Measurements of regional and global disparities

There is a number of indices  which can be used to measure regional inequalities:

-          GDP;

-          unemployment rates;

-          income per head;

-          rates of outmigration;

-          proportion of GDP from agriculture;

-          proportion of population employed in agriculture and declining industries;

-          industrial and transport linkages;

-          aid;

-          age-structure of the population;

-          investment into the area;

-          type of industry in region and its rate of growth;

-          number of people of further education;

-          housing quality;

-          social service provision;

-          environmental quality.

 

Origin of disparities

 

There are 2 main reasons of  regional inequalities:

-          unequal distribution of resources;

-          variations in economic growth over time.

Disparities and change

 

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Reducing disparities

 

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 Доклад Баскевич И.А. Итоги VI Конференции АШМБ



















Культура общения

         (Слайд 1 – вступительный) В современном мире тема об общении и культуре становится всё актуальней. На протяжении всего своего существования человек нуждался в контакте с окружающим миром. И нужды эти со временем становятся только сильнее.

Для того, чтобы правильно удовлетворять свои потребности в общении, человек должен уметь идти на контакт и знать правила разговора. Поэтому, культура общения является темой нашего сегодняшнего доклада.

Чтобы правильно понять, что такое культура общения, нужно обратиться к истокам и дать определение слову культура.

(Слайд 2)Итак, культура (от лат. слова Cultura - воспитание, почитание) – это передача интеллекта, нравственности и некоторых областей деятельности  из поколения в поколение. Культура – это также проявление субъективности человека (его характера, навыков, умений и знаний). Существует также понятие культурологии. Культурология – это наука, изучающая культуру.

(Слайд 3)Культура состоит из нескольких аспектов. Основными критериями культуры являются:

- Мораль

- Религия

- Искусство

- Наука

- Спорт

-Общение

Общение является одним из главных составляющих культуры. Оно является таковым, потому что именно по общению мы судим об общей культуре человека.

(Слайд 4) Общение – это разговор, взаимодействие двух или более людей, социальных групп и т.д., обмен сведениями с помощью языка или жестов, а также иных способов контакта.

Произведение искусства и рекламная акция, подарок на день рождения и мимолётная улыбка незнакомца в толпе, драка и научная дискуссия, написание письма и заявление о приёме на работу – всё это разные лики человеческого общения, проявление связей между людьми.

В действительности почти всё, что делает человек, является актом общения и взаимодействия с другими людьми.

(Слайд 5) С самого появления на свет человек включается в непрерывный процесс общения. Существует три основных способа общения. Человек может использовать один или несколько способов сразу при контакте с другими людьми.

Вначале человеку доступно только эмоциональное общение – это может быть взгляд, прикосновение, жест или использование мимики (улыбка).

Затем он осваивает язык и основным становится речевое общение – общение, при котором человек использует голос и навыки говорения.

Позже человек учится писать и осваивает письменное общение – непрямой вид общения, при котором человек передаёт свои слова при помощи письма.

Общение с коллегами и начальником по работе, с учителем, с родными, друзьями, близкими людьми, знакомыми, соседями и случайными попутчиками – всё это общение с другими людьми, в котором человек нуждается всегда и в любом возрасте.

Так как же общаться правильно, чтобы получать от общения удовольствие, положительные эмоции и массу энергии, как же сделать своё общение культурным?

Основным правилом общения является проявление внимания и уважения к собеседнику. Нужно общаться с человеком так, как вы бы хотели, чтобы он общался с вами.

Существуют определённые нормы общения.

С древних времён существует этикет, правила которого помогают нам культурно общаться в любой ситуации.

(Слайд 6) Этикет (от фр.слова étiquette —этикетка, надпись) — нормы и правила, отражающие представления о должном поведении людей в обществе. Странами – родоначальницами этикета являются Англия и Франция.

Этикет бывает разным  и может касаться самых разных сторон жизни. Для нас особый интерес представляет школьный этикет, то есть правила общения в школе.

Из чего складывается школьное общение?

(Слайд 7)Школьное общение складывается из приветствия при встрече, разговора, дружеской беседы, общения с учителем и прощания в конце учебного дня.

Приветствия бывают самыми разнообразными. Если бы вы попали в Англию, то, вероятно, вам бы сразу бросилось в глаза, что там женщина приветствует мужчину первой, а где-то в знак приветствия люди касаются друг друга носами. Но у нас такие экзотические формы приветствия не приняты. У нас принято словесное приветствие и рукопожатие. Обычно, юноша первым должен приветствовать девушку, а старшего по возрасту – младший. Рукопожатие принято у мужчин. Оно должно быть крепким, но не следует долго и бурно трясти руку, а также ронять её, не успев пожать. Приветствуя друг друга, следует смотреть прямо в глаза, не отводя и не пряча взгляда.

Вести беседу с другим желательно тогда, когда тема беседы вам интересна, и когда вы в ней хорошо ориентируетесь. Беседа – это тоже искусство, и вести её надо так, чтобы ни одна из сторон не сожалела о ней. Одним из важнейших правил вести беседу является умение слушать. Прежде, чем резко отрицать что-то или высказывать категорическое мнение, небесполезно узнать, не обидите ли вы этим кого-либо из присутствующих. Не ставьте никого в неловкое положение. Если хотите, чтобы уважали ваши чувства – научитесь уважать чувства других, даже если вы их не принимаете полностью. Особое внимание обращайте на юмор. Весёлый и находчивый человек ценится в любой компании, однако, не следует забывать о том, что одна и та же шутка не везде воспринимается одинаково. Талантлив тот собеседник, который даёт возможность другому раскрыться и проявить себя с лучшей стороны, умеет похвалить удачное высказывание. Восхититься оригинальной мыслью.

Общаясь со старшими, то есть с учителями и родителями, всегда требуется соблюдать уважение и вежливость. Молодой человек должен внимательно и почтительно слушать старших, никогда не прерывая их. Никогда нельзя повышать голос и громко смеяться.

Если вы общаетесь с незнакомым человеком, помните, что первое впечатление нельзя произвести дважды. А доброе слово и кошке приятно.

(Слайд 8)Очень важно знать правила культурного общения. Однако не следует забывать о том, в какой стране человек находится, поскольку каждой стране присуща своя манера общения. Многие народы мира имеют разный темперамент, что следует учитывать в беседе. Здесь представлены основные примеры поведения в разных странах:

1)    Японцы. Японцы – закрытые люди. Вся жизнь японцев насыщена многообразными церемониями и подчинена строгим канонам, которые они никогда не нарушат. Во время приветствия японцы не жмут друг другу руки – они кланяются. А во время деловой встречи следует обмениваться визитными карточками. Визитная карточка в Японии – ваше “лицо”, с ней нужно обращаться очень аккуратно. Японцы – очень пунктуальный народ. Назначив вам встречу, японец обязательно придёт за две минуты до указанного времени.  Японцы очень уважают свои традиции и уделяют большое внимание своей культуре.

2)    Считается, что чем южнее страна – тем более темпераментный народ в ней живёт. Яркий пример тому – испанцы, стилем общения которых являются эмоциональность и экспрессия. Необычность их поведения бросается в глаза сразу. Неискушенному слушателю может со стороны показаться, что люди сильно ругаются, а на самом деле это может быть вполне мирная, но эмоциональная беседа двух друзей. Испанцы очень приветливы и вежливы. Спросив у испанца дорогу, вы не только получите исчерпывающее объяснение, сопровождаемое выразительными жестами и мимикой. Вполне вероятно, что вас проводят до места назначения, подскажут, где вкуснее всего перекусить и вообще как лучше провести время.

3)    А вот соблюдение традиций и формальностей – стиль жизни англичан. Любовь к своей стране воспитывается у англичанина с раннего детства. Нетрудно узнать истинного англичанина в толпе – невозмутимый, выдержанный, вежливый и эрудированный человек. В Англии существует много строгих канонов и правил поведения. При общении с Британцем следует обращать внимание на все детали и тонкости, быть вежливым, спокойным и выдержанным.

4)    К странам, почитающим свои традиции, также можно отнести и Францию. Французы уважают свой народ, свои обычаи и свой язык. Они гордятся своими национальными традициями. Французы приветливы и разговорчивы, однако, они легко обижаются и никогда не прощают пренебрежительного отношения даже к мелочам. Во Франции большое значение придают различным формам вежливости. Яркий пример тому – общепринятые обращения к мужчинам (“мсье”), незамужним и замужним женщинам (“мадмуазель” и “мадам”). Во Франции высокое значение также придаётся уровню образования собеседника. Если вы проявите себя с лучшей стороны, то француз к вам отнесётся очень доброжелательно и сердечно.

5)    Немцы, как и французы, расчётливы и бережливы, более надёжны и пунктуальны, но уступают французам в чувстве юмора и сердечности. Хорошо известны такие черты немецкого характера, как трудолюбие, прилежание и рационалистичность, любовь к организованности и порядку. Немцы могут отличаться серьёзностью, немногословием и сдержанностью. Им также присущи свободный образ мыслей и огромное гражданское чувство.

 

 (Слайд 9) В общении также следует учитывать возраст собеседника. Ведь каждый человек общается по-своему еще и в силу своего возраста. Например, людям в возрасте присуща вежливость, сдержанность и спокойствие, пришедшие к ним с жизненным опытом. Молодые люди, ещё не познавшие жизнь настолько, отличаются раскованностью, эмоциональностью, энергичностью, любознательностью и желанием показать себя, обратить внимание на себя и свою индивидуальность.

Узнав основные особенности культурного общения и некоторые правила этикета, можно подвести итог и сделать вывод о том, что такое культура общения в целом.

(Слайд 10) Культура общения – это умение правильно взаимодействовать с собеседниками, обмениваться информацией, убеждать, объяснять и воодушевлять так, чтобы обе стоны получили от этого общения максимально положительные эмоции. Это одна из сторон культуры поведения населения Земли. В её базе – уважение и доброжелательность к человеку, желание сделать при общении самые лучшие условия. Это способность выразить человеку признательность, уважение, создать отличное настроение и душевный подъём.


(Слайд 11) В заключение хочется сказать именно о культуре общения в 9«А» классе. В плане культуры общения наш класс развивается в лучшую сторону, нарабатывает сплочённость и умение держаться всем вместе. Однако, есть ещё многие вещи, которым следовало бы поучиться. Каждый из нас имеет свою модель поведения, такие личностные качества, которые в себе нужно ещё развить. В каждом из нас есть свои достоинства и свои недостатки, которые нам ещё предстоит превратить в достоинства. Наверное, каждый сам должен осознавать, какие качества и черты характера ему в себе стоило бы развить. 



Материалы в помощь при подготовке к урокам географии в системе МБ


Central Europe faring relatively well

March 8, 2010

Global M&As plummeted in 2009 to $1.6 trillion (according to Mergermarket data) of which a little less than half in North America (45%) and the remaining split between Europe, where M&A activity nosedived, and Asia and the rest of the world that are increasingly making their mark in the global investment arena.  I’ll be posting more on this in the future.  In the meantime I’ll be highlighting the opportunities that this data suggest for emerging markets.  These opportunities have being around for some time; it’s just only now in my opinion that they’re more emphatically substantiated with figures.  Apart from economical growth, opportunities in these markets may be supported from decreasing number of large private equity transactions in developed markets (due to limited past success and unavailability of leveraged financing) and crowding out of new capital raising from government debt issues.

 Based on recent research that I presented at the 10th NYU Global Business Conference, Central Eastern Europe, the emerging part of Europe, appears to be recovering from the global crisis.  After a shock caused by the credit crunch early in the financial crisis, investor confidence seems to be returning.  Probably this shock was good after all, as capital poured in too far too fast and valuations have gone out of hand (but as Jim Chanos would say, “bubbles are created by credit excesses not valuations”).  As you may see in the attached graph, GDP per capital across CEE is one third of the EU average; the convergence can’t happen overnight as pre-crisis valuations implied.  However opportunities remain there for the knowledgeable investor.  After all we’re talking about an area of 180 million people, growing GDP, EU backing, skilled, relatively low labor cost and contrary to the PIIGS, descent fiscal condition.  However, capacity and infrastructure limitations should be taken into consideration, as well as local sensitivities and practices.

 Regarding industry sectors I would see opportunities in:

 -       Energy (GDP growth/investment in efficiency and renewables)

-       Financials (increase in consumer lending)

 -       Telecoms (new technologies, DSL)

 -       Consumer (rise of middle class)

 -       Outsourcing (good workforce, European time zone and proximity)

 -       Manufacturing (in the context of global facility diversification)

 -       Logistics (central location)

 -       Health (population aging)

 -       Leisure & Tourism (upgrade of services and facilities)

 The NYU conference also covered opportunities in Asia as well as Africa which I see gaining increased attention.  Overall opportunities exist everywhere and an informed global investor should analyze each one in the local context but without missing the global perspective and ignoring good old investment analysis as better opportunities might exist elsewhere and investment analysis is the tool to figure this out.  Act local; think global to remember the old marketing fad.

 


The Euro, the Greek debt crisis and exaggerations

March 7, 2010

 So much for the Euro and Greek crisis… It looked like the issue was exaggerated and here’s some news about a hedge fund dinner where the idea of shorting the Euro came up: http://www.reuters.com/article/idCNN2515219020100226).  It’s not that there’s no need for serious restructuring in the EU mechanisms, in the economy of Greece and of the other PIIGS but for sure problems were exaggerated as always when there’s unwillingness or inability to counter worrisome voices and room to profit for that.

 It now looks like the Greek crisis is settling with the additional fiscal measures and EU’s backing, while the Euro has come to a more favorable rate for export countries.  In any case this trade is over and we’re now looking at some reversal, at least in the short term.  After all who remembers of the Brazilian crisis 10 years ago?  Brazil is now one of the most promising emerging markets. No that it bears similarities to Greece but the point is that investor sentiment and circumstances change over time.

 The attention may now move to other countries and there’re many countries that may fail their fiscal targets over the next year. One should however look for the ones that cannot raise funds if want to place a bet or hedge (that’s the difference between Greece and the other countries that was compared to over the last months with such comparisons often being unfortunate to say the least).  On the other hand hedge funds may now switch their focus in going long on the global recovery or the next market breakthrough (could this be renewables or emerging markets?) as new capital will be committed in capital markets.

 


Large Private Equity Deals-that 800 pound gorilla?

November 9, 2009

 It was a great revelation coming across this very interesting recent article at NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/05/business/05buyout.html?ref=global) that supports my belief that large Private Equity deals don’t work that well (I’m sure that there should be other practitioners and research pointing out to this; I’m not claiming the authority here).  The reason is that it’s just too difficult to move around this 800 pound gorilla in the room (although the good fees in trying to do so).  Other reasons is that there might be difficult to re-float a large investment in stable or even decreasing capital markets (taking into consideration demographics and other factors) while increased supervision over large funds may further increase effectiveness and increase operating costs.  Private Equity I believe is more relevant in small-middle market where knowledgeable experts can leverage their experience in business practices and financing.  That calls for a specific structure, business model and skill set in private equity funds and maybe some restructuring in the sector.  Prospects are really unparallel in middle market cross-border investments taking advantage of unavailability of funding but economic growth in overseas markets.  However this trend has to overcome the lack of knowledge/experience in foreign markets and the necessity to build economies of scale and internal structures to make PE work efficient.

 


G20 meetings and the Economic Crisis– Differences and Action Plan

July 8, 2009

 The G-20 leaders met in London in April 2009 and the summit covered the status of the financial crisis, world economy, and future measures to be implemented by G-20 members. It presented differing points of view and approaches in Europe, U.S. and Asia.  During the meeting US sough stimulus spending and Europe more regulations.  Emerging markets pressed for more power sharing, more direct investment and less protectionism.  Among the summit’s decisions were the additional funding to the IMF that may fuel growth, more regulation expected with the establishment of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) as well as a commitment to pursue resolutions and breakthroughs in the areas of international trade (Doha round) and green investing.  You may read the official statement at:  http://www.londonsummit.gov.uk/en/media-centre/latest-news/?view=News&id=15892812

 In attempting to explain opposition to further stimulus spending, that was more strongly expressed by Germany, some observers claim that the debate fails to take into account differences between the U.S. and European economies such as Europe’s generous welfare states, that mitigate effects to society and economy in recessions as well as its defined benefit pensions plans.  On the other hand the US Treasury Secretary Geithner urged that there’s a need for the rest of the world, to stimulate demand at home “We must set ourselves on a path so that one country, or group of countries, does not consume in excess while another set of countries produces in excess,…”, “American people and investors (around the world) need to understand that we will have the will and the commitment as a country to go back to point that we are living within our means,..”  German Finance Minister Peer Steinbruck said however later this year that Germany has to strengthen internal demand to reduce dependence on foreign trade.

 Apart from differences in social systems and structure of the economy one has also to take into consideration circumstances in the respective banking sectors as well as the relative size of spending to the GDP.  Since the beginning of the crisis governments around the world have committed a total of more than $2.6 trillion to bail out banks and jump-start growth. In addition, they have promised to guarantee $2.7 trillion-plus in loans.  That accounts for 21% of GDP for the UK, 16% for China, 7% for Germany, 6% for the US and 2% for France, according to FT data.  These figures have alerted investors that raised concerns over inflation and the value of US$ denominated investments and country ratings elsewhere.

 

Stimulus and Bailout Plans to Country GDP

 Source: Germany Says Its Spending Package Is Already Big Enough  Wall Street Journal, March 12, 2009 and data compilation from “Adding Up the Global Bailout”, Business Week, 1-Dec-08

 The IMF says that as much as two thirds of the $4 trillion in bank write-downs are yet to be revealed. U.S. property prices are a long way off a strong recovery, which will go on undermining mortgage-backed securities. On the positive site though confidence and appetite for risk has returned to investors as exhibited from the rebound in stock markets.  The following months will certainly be interesting with the debate shifting to the length and pace or recovery.

 A very interesting discussion on the G20 was held at NYSSA with the participation of dignitaries from Germany, India, Czech Republic and US scholars in April 2009, coorganized by the EU-USA NGO www.euusa.org

 Related Articles: The G20 Wishlist“, FT March 11 2009,  Industrial Nations Celebrate-Trillion Dollar Compromise, Spiegel April 03 2009, Geithner urges global effort to tamp crisis Reuters, Apr 22, 2009,  Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, Remarks before The Economic Club of Washington US Department of Treasury April 22, 2009,  Czech PM attacks Obama spending BBC Wednesday, 25 March 2009, FACTBOX – EU leaders’ messages to G20 summit on April 2- Reuters, March 20, 2009, Germany Says Its Spending Package Is Already Big Enough  Wall Street Journal, March 12, 2009, China’s Stimulus Package Boosts Economy, Business Week, April 22, 2009, Asia urged to rethink growth policies amid crisis. Associated Press Stephen Wright, AP Business Writer May 3, 2009, Adding Up the Global Bailout, Business Week, 1-Dec-08, Credit Crisis: Over at Last? Business Week, June 4, 2009, Germany must expand domestic demand, Steinbruck says, BBC 25 June 2009

 

Regulatory Framework Overhaul- Hedge Funds and Tax Havens; but what about supervision?

July 8, 2009

 There have been strong voices calling for revising the financial sector’s regulation including that for hedge funds throughout the financial crisis and leading up to the G20 meeting.  In this context the European Commission unveiled its much awaited draft proposal of a Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers.  The draft Directive will introduce licensing and reporting requirements for EU-domiciled managers of alternative investment funds. Once considered and approved by the European Council and the European Parliament, the Directive will enter into force, but likely not before 2011. The topic came up at a recent NYSSA panel that I co-chaired and a useful reference to that is provided by March MacHarg of Debevoise & Plimpton.

 Outside Europe the G20 has decided to strengthen regulation globally with the introduction of the Financial Stability Board (FSB).  Actions in this front are yet to be clarified but probably are going to move slowly.  The US has outlined in the meantime a reform of regulatory framework that will probably steer much discussion and has already attracted much opposition but it seems that this is central to Obama’s administration agenda.  What I really find interesting in the discussion regarding averting financial crises are two points:

 The notion of “Too big to fail” is under increased skepticism.  For years there was a theorem that when a company was too big somehow it wouldn’t fail. Probably there was the assumption that there was too much wisdom possessed within in, too many repercussions from a possible fallout.  At least the second was proved to be right with the Lehman bankruptcy but what people come to focus upon now is the connection between country GDP and financial assets at risk.  That along with the notion that as a recent NY Times article put it ”banks that, in life, are global in scope, but national in death when they become wards of the taxpayers” and that had at least brought to the knees whole nations like Iceland (UK, Switzerland, Belgium where also affected).  US is much safer when it comes to this ratio but still was affected.  Hence it will be interesting to see who will be footing the bill in the future and who will be regulating and supervising.  And that gets me to the second point: supervision.  There’s a saying that I’m familiar with saying that “there’re already a lot of laws what we lack is implementation (or supervision)” I wouldn’t like to draw examples from recent fallouts but clearly supervision is key otherwise people are just window dressing.  In this respect I’ve read with interest Britain’s hesitation towards a pan-European supervisory body although it accepts common regulation.  Some cite reservation over EU bureaucrats, probably different systems but this is one very interesting story unfolding.

 On a different front the tax haven status of certain countries has come under increased scrutiny creating tensions even within European Union members and leading to review of bank secrecy laws in Switzerland and Luxembourg.

 Related Articles:  European Commission unveils tough hedge fund directive, The Telegraph 29 Apr 2009, Reuters Summit-Regulatory heat turned up on hedge funds, Reuters, Tue Apr 28, 2009, UPDATE 1-Eurogroup’s Juncker: no clear way out of crisis, Reuters, Wed Apr 15, 2009, Austria, Luxembourg, Belgium escape tax blacklist, euobserver 3, April 2009, U.S. financial regulation reforms outlined, Reuters, June 15, 2009, In Britain, an Aversion to Rules From Europe, NY Times, June 17, 2009, Brown agrees to common EU rules for financial oversight, . The Times (London) (19 June, 2009), Global coordination of regulatory overhaul falls apart, . Financial Times (free content) (17 June ,2009)

 


Turmoil on the FX markets and power struggles: Foreign demand for US financial assets falls, BRICs meet in Russia

July 8, 2009

 This story follows up on discussions regarding reserve currencies and the threat to the US dollar’s role.  It seems that Japan and China have trimmed holdings of US assets.  The US dollar has been losing ground to the Yen but analysts believe that this will hurt the Japanese economy.  At the same China has also been critical of the US dollar role.  Discussions with Brazil over a new reserve currency were initiated.  One has to however put these moves into perspective; US financial market remains one with the highest liquidity and US market one of the largests and that will be for some time.  According to top FX analyst Boris Schlossberg the discussion is more about expressing concerns over US’s fiscal policy and not so much about changing reserve currency policies in China.  After all China holds 10% of US publicly held debt; a massive investment.  However there’s a discussion that has started on this.  Lately the emerging economies have met in Russia; the so-called BRIC bloc. Although there’s not doubt that their share to global economy is increasing is not yet up to EU/US/Japan level. Furthermore they have much different economies; hence probably different objectives.

 Related Articles:  Foreign demand for US financial assets falls, AP, June 15, 2009, Emerging Economies Meet in Russia, New York Times, June 16, 2009,  Analysis: BRIC’s differences might outweigh common goals, RGE Monitor,16 June, 2009

 


Europe’s consumer spending, GDP, exports post record drops / Ripple Effects from the crisis across Europe

July 8, 2009

 In a series of statistical shocks that raise doubts about Europe’s economic recovery, the region’s consumer spending, GDP and exports all dropped in the first quarter at an alarming rate, according to EU’s statistics office (Eurostat).  GDP fell by 2.5% in the euro zone and by 2.4% in total EU during the first quarter of 2009, compared with the previous quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2008, growth rates were -1.8% in eurozone and -1.7% in all EU.  During the first quarter of 2009, household final consumption expenditure declined by 0.5% in eurozone and by 1.0% in all EU (after falling by -0.4% and -0.6% respectively in the previous quarter).  Overall these figures paint a grim economic picture. Earlier this year Jean-Claude Juncker, the Eurogroup Chief, has warned that job losses will escalate this year despite measures taken by EU leaders in recent months to boost the economy.  Euro-area unemployment is at a 10-year high of 9.2%, according to the latest official figures.

 The crisis has severely affected Central European countries a region that has been experiencing a fast paced growth.  One shouldn’t however look the region as a whole as there are differences between countries and every country is faring differently through the crisis.  IMF and the EU have come to support Hungary that was facing problems in late 2008.  Elsewhere Standard & Poor’s downgraded the long-term rating of Ireland, Spain and Greece expressing concerns over the state of their economies and the financial sector.  Prior to the current downturn, the Irish economy had not experienced a recession since 1983 and enjoyed double-digit growth in the 1990s. In another development that shocked markets, the UK Treasury failed in March 2009 to sell all its government bonds in an auction, for the first time since 2002.

 Related articles:  Eurostat portal, Eurostat NewsRelease, 3 June 2009, European Spending, Exports Decline Most in 14 Years Bloomberg Update, Eurogroup chief predicts huge layoffs, euobserver 16.04.2009 , IMF, EU agree Hungary rescue-but will it work? Reuters Oct 29, 2008, Greece’s Sovereign Credit Rating Cut to A- by S&P, Bloomberg  Jan. 14, 2009, Spain Downgraded by S&P as Slump Swells Budget Gap, Bloomberg Jan. 19, 2009, Ireland credit rating cut for the second time Times OnLine June 8, 2009, UK government bond auction fails, BBC, 25 March 2009, Record unemployment in eurozone crushes hopes of fast recovery, Forbes/Reuters (15 June, 2009)

 


Limited effect from IFRS adoption in the US

July 8, 2009

 A new academic study shows that there will be very limited if any effect from the adoption of IFRS in the US.  The study mainly focuses on effects in the capital markets i.e stock liquidity, cost of capital and stock valuations (the complete study can be found here).  It seems that companies that benefit from that are those early adopters in countries with relaxed regulatory or supervision frameworks.  That means that investors appreciate increased quality in reporting and disclosures from IFRS adoption as well as easier comparability.  However what it indicates is that the IFRS will not really affect the markets.  Professional experience have also showed that it will not significantly affect as well the overall compliance system as US GAAP are already a high quality reporting system and supervision in US is strict compared to other countries.  IFRS and US GAAP are also converting on various issues like in M&A accounting.  So this reduces the amount additional work that accounting professionals will have to perform.  The only issue is probably related to the cost of first time implementation as well as educating the professionals to the new standards and most importantly according me to a new approach on auditing which under IFRS emphasizes “substance over form”.  The SEC under its previous administration has manifested its commitment to a rather quick IFRS adoption which is yet to be confirmed by new management.  The Obama administration is also committed to the harmonization something that is within the topics of the Transatlantic Agenda as well.

 On a related issue PCAOB has put on hold for up to three years its plans to inspect any non-U.S.-based registered audit firm acknowledging problems with getting international inspections done.  Again this probably comes down to differences in regulatory frameworks.

 You may contact me if you need information regarding differences between IFRS and US GAAP.

 Related Articles: SEC: Early IFRS Adoption Will Cost Firms $32M, CFO.com November 17, 2008, Study Predicts Little Benefit to Adopting IFRS in U.S, IFAC Applauds US Administration’s Support for Global Accounting Standards in US Financial Reform Proposal, IFAC June 18, 2009, PCAOB Votes to Delay Some International Inspections, ComplianceWeek June 26, 2009

 


EU tough on anti-monopoly rules; discomforts US companies- $1.45 billion fine to Intel; Microsoft to not include Internet Explorer in Windows 7; warns drug makers for antitrust probes

July 8, 2009

 EU fined Intel the U.S. chipmaker more than $1.45 billion for allegedly anticompetitive moves against AMD that limited choice in PC users and manufacturers. The European Commission says Intel broke EU competition law by exploiting its dominant position with a deliberate strategy to keep AMD out of the market.  It says the company gave rebates to computer manufacturers Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo and NEC for buying all or almost all their x86 computer processing units, or CPUs, from Intel and paid them to stop or delay the launch of computers based on AMD chips.

 On another case EU charged Microsoft with monopoly abuse in January, following a complaint from Norway’s mobile Internet browser maker Opera Software ASA, which said Microsoft was unfairly using its power as the dominant supplier of operating system software to squeeze out competitors.  In response Microsoft decided that Windows 7 sold in Europe will not include a Microsoft’s browser (versus the option whether to install it or not).  Computer manufacturers will have the option to add the browser back in, ship another browser, or ship multiple browsers.  Consumers who purchase retail copies will not have a browser that they can use to download a browser.  However European Union regulators said Microsoft Corp. was offering less choice, not more, by vowing to sell the next version of Windows without any Web browsers at all.  That is probably due to the fact that it would be awkward to download a browser from the internet if a browser in not preinstalled (could be downloaded through FTP for example).  Therefore it seems that this case is not resolved yet as another fine is under consideration.  Microsoft has been fined $2 Billion by the EU in the past, the highest fine ever, for not providing key code to rival software makers so their software could work with the Windows operating system.

 On a different front the EU warned investigations against drug makers that try delay the introduction of generic versions of their drugs when their patent protection period expires.

 Related articles:  Europe to Nail Intel on Antitrust, Business Week, May 11, 2009, Intel Fined Record $1.44B for Monopoly Abuse, Fox News May 13, 2009, EU fines Intel $1.45 billion for sales tactics, May 13, 2009,  EU: browser-free Windows gives no real choice, June 12, 2009, Microsoft to release Windows 7 in Europe without Internet Explorer, BetaNews,  June 11, 2009, EU Raises Microsoft Fine to a Total of $2 Billion, February 27th, 2008,  EU fines Microsoft record $1.4bn BBC, 27 February 2008,  EU warns of antitrust probes into drug makers, AP, 8 July 2009




REGIONAL ECONOMIC INEQUALITY: IMPACT ON ECONOMIC GROWTH AND ITS OPTIMAL VALUE IN RUSSIA

   In the modern world almost all the countries, federative or unitary, consist of some parts. These territories can have different names as states, cantons, federal earth, prefectures, etc. Meanwhile, all the governments have got a purpose to provide a homogeneous territory development, socially and economically. In practice it is rather difficult to reach an absolute parity among the country territories and some level of regional inequality will always take place.

 Regional disparity can play two roles: positive and negative. From the one hand, it may become a catalyst for economic growth when the investing capital flows from the wealthy territories to poorer regions reducing business expenses on labor and spreading the market. These processes make a contribution to optimal distribution of economic resources, economically balanced territory development, forming a common market zone in the country. Thus, we deal here with the tight bonds of regions-investors with region-recipients.

 From the other hand, there may be situations when regional economic misbalance becomes an impediment for investing capital movements and favors its concentration in wealthy territories of the country. In this case the regions-investors become recipients acting as a magnet for the financial and human resources of the country and regional economic inequality soars through the time. Going further we get the economically and socially depressed lands and the poorer they are the lower chances for resolving the issue. So, if the free market does not succeed in balanced territory development the central government should intervene.

 Worth noting that the redundant regional disparity is not the only reason prevented free cross-regional capital flows. The hampers can be in economic bubbles in wealthy regional markets, market agents' expectations, politic preferences, administrative barriers. Anyway, the level of regional economic disparity takes a position of a separate factor of country economic growth.

 


Evaluation of economic regional disparity

 In economic theory there are several methods of disparity evaluation. The wide-known one is Gini coefficient. It allows identifying the inequality level of income distribution among groups of market agents. If apply Gini index to regional disparity it can be considered as a concentration rate of domestic product, investments, labor force. In this paper the regional disparity in Russia is taken as inequality in domestic product allocation by federal district.

 The choice of domestic product is supported by the following arguments. Firstly, domestic product always has the region of origin being a result of economic activities of the residents. Secondly, if take investments, we face some difficulties with their springs and different rates of return by region.

 Regarding the spatial unit being figured in Gini index evaluation for the Russian Federation we prefer federal districts as sets of geographically close regions with common economic features. The territory of the country is divided into 7 federal districts (figure 1). Each of them contains a number of regions.

 Why get them? When evaluate the economic disparity of regions, eventually, we come up against the impossible issues of domestic product distribution, for instance, between Moscow (European part of Russia) and Jewish Autonomous Oblast (the Far East). The other advantage of federal district implementation is a stability of Gini index values to region consolidations. For example, when two regions of a federal district are united in one region, the Gini index for the whole country will change despite the absence of real shifts in spatial product distribution. Thus, the aggregate format of spatial performance in Gini index evaluation has got more benefits for the further analysis and making recommendations.

 Based on the above arguments, evaluating the federal district inequality in domestic product[1] the formula of Gini index distribution is the following: where G is spatial Gini index; n is number of federal districts in Russia; Xi is cumulative share of population dwelling in certain federal districts with index from 1 to i; Yi is cumulative share of domestic product distributed in certain federal districts with index from 1 to i. It is necessary to underline that the values of Xi, Yi make certain Lorenz curves. On the horizontal axis the federal districts are placed in ascending order of their DDP per capita. Gini index can take values from 0 to 100%. When G=0, it means the absolute parity of federal districts by domestic product per capita and G=100% describes the total economic disintegration. Table 1 shows the spatial Gini index for the Russian federal districts in 1994-2006. ( Table 1. Spatial Gini index in Russia.)

in 2005. The year of 2006 is the first when G goes down. Surely, there is not enough reason for much-promising outcomes, but G=23% seems to be a sort of intermediate saturation point for the Russian economy.

 

 

Searching for optimal value of spatial Gini index: econometric models

 The optimal G values would help to get answers on some important issues as negative/positive impact of soaring spatial disparity on economic growth, how far from the optimal level the actual G values are, of course, if the optimal ones do exist. Here we pay attention to two aspects of G impact on GDP: its absolute volumes and its growth rates.

 1. Spatial Gini index influence on GDP volumes. According to the work hypothesis the dependent variable in econometric model is GDP. The independent variables may include a wide range of variables, but the empirical modeling discovers the statistically significant dependence of GDP upon two characters: G and number of employees (L). Table 2 keeps the initial data for modeling of G impact on GDP volumes. (Table 2. Initial data for modeling of G impact on GDP volumes.)

 Sources: Federal Statistic Service / www.gks.ru.

http://www.kapital-rus.ru/index.php/articles_en/article/174133

 

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