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2017
Asia Needs more Dialogue
Solutions to urban pollution may prove complex
Spread of ESGs could herald new global movement
Investing in quality education is imperative if India wants to reap demographic dividends
China needs to lead in new multi-stakeholder world
China’s B&R initiative leading a resurgence of Asia
Education is key - but long-term: Can we survive?
New wave of robots will be beneficial to all
China needs to continue with its ‘heavy lifting’
Time is right for Chinese firms to invest in Europe
Robots to the rescue for China?
Asian Multinationals are Going Global, But to Where?
China ratchets forward with energy efforts
China’s calm necessary for globalization push
Bridging managerial gaps involves trust-building
China well-placed to power its future through green technology advances
China's new 'springtime' is here
2016
China’s moves show it’s banking on the future
Mindset for action at the G20 summit will be determined by Chinese presidency
Chinese head-hunting intensifies for rare managers that can steer overseas firms
US talk of isolation jars with growing links in Europe and Asia
Electoral rhetoric on global trade not in sync with reality
Is it time to be prudent and consider austerity policies again?
What will we do if we have no oil?
Unlock talent by finding the right fit for a person
The benefits are real and tangible
Trade along China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ won’t succeed without the currency of trust
Reasons for optimism about the long term
2015
Can big oil go green and win?
Poorer Nations Could Sway Climate Talks
Combating Idleness and Deprivation
How China can be a model of food sustainability for the developing world
Kyoto II – Is it a Done Deal?
A meeting of the two largest economic powers
Why China will experience a 'soft' landing
Beware of superstitions
The Elephant and Dragon move ahead
G-7 target on fossil fuels raises many questions
Why Battle for Net Neutrality in the US Matters Globally
China’s resurgence – the ‘normal new’
Wanted: A managerial culture that embraces cultural differences
China's early education plan a smart investment in the future
The New Normal for China and India
2014
China's infrastructure push offers a sure track to better growth
US-China climate pact a good start, but not quite enough
Rethink the human’s place in the ‘digital revolution’
China springs a carbon surprise
Infrastructure - the invisible hand in full view
Dialogue vital for survival of Iraqi nation
China must nurture a new generation of beautiful minds
Great expectations in China and India
GM Cereals – The Pros and Corns
Time to be Honest about Our Energy Prospects
Weathering the Storm of Climate Change
Making a Big Decision? Beware of Your Biases
West Deserves Better Logistics Infrastructure
Digital Currencies do Represent the Future
From 'Printed' Houses to Wooden Skyscrapers
It’s time to bail out our schools, not our firms
Solution to India’s housing shortage – print new ones!
And the most promising green technologies of 2014 are ...
Transport infrastructure key to domestic, export growth
Oil stopgaps: Not worth risking
2013
Why the US should grant Edward Snowden amnesty
May we be more optimistic!
China headed for another massive social experiment?
A dialogue that worked
Yes, politicians deserve vacations - because we benefit
NPOs, NGOs invaluable as creators of dialogue
Look closer and ask: Is America reinventing itself?
Boston bombings case underlines need for dialogue
Millennium Development Goals or own goals?
As usual it's about balance - and timing - of course
Chinese strategists make right moves for growth
2012
Preparing for tomorrow
Austerity or growth?
Japan in danger of becoming 'just a place to fly over'
Beware of the business cycle?
An inconvenient truth
Limited offer sale: Buy a country
Where did our money go?
Leading from behind - a year of elections is almost over
Driving towards a green future
Waiting for springtime
Preserve or Perish
Startlingly similar Asia policy for Obama, Romney
Globalisation remains an irresistible trend
Google has the edge in smartphone war
U.S. Braces for China's Rise
Mankind’s General Scourge
The summer holidays are over and nothing has changed!
Put the hidden trillions to work
Making sense of India’s woes and wonders
Storm in a teacup!
Let’s give bad bankers a venue to admit their sins
News is about depth, not puff or velocity
Booming India, but too few toilets
Delayed Court decisions doesn't mean one may continue to play 'Great Game'
We need media to reflect on data and offer public a balanced view
Big polluters can lead in forging common purpose
The weighty issue of choosing a leader
EU-India Relations - Facing similar challenges
Educating with a goal
The Judicial Malaise
We are growing out, but not growing up
EU´s retrenchment enigma
Urbulence in the Eurozone and the effect on SMEs
Skolkovo May Help Russia to Diversify
Make things more effective
Tapping into the Commonwealth connection
Innovative models for public finance
Facebook revolution but Indian style
The feel-good factor
Asian investors - a private equity opportunity
India needs to be taller and stronger
China´s low sales volume...
Nations playing leapfrog
Shafts of sunlight
What webs we weave
As performers go to Davos, the circus steals the show
Can we control the politicians?
 
2011
Europe’s reminiscence
China firms should go for win-win in overseas ventures
Of procrastination...
Making sense of profiteering
Truth about financial mess must be laid bare
Small is also beautiful
China can help Europe with debt crisis
Excising the cancer of global corruption
Education, a critical asset
Arab uprisings set in motion forces of creative destruction
A new era of change
We must ensure better education for all
Beijing wary of bankrolling a lost cause
Asean's re-emergence as a local and global leader
Why India's Role in the Global Economy is Still Work in Progress
Its the leadership, stupid!
Reverse globalisation: The new buzzword
Beware of the business cycle?
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
Financial Mirror, 14 November 2012
 

We often hear Ministers, especially Finance Ministers, saying we will “… work with the business cycle”: and the media moguls and global warriors all nod their heads sagely. But what do they really understand? Of course, for years we have seen that financial cycles move through boom and bust, through depressions to the better years, and most accept there are long Kondratiev waves of 50 years or more. In fact Joseph Schumpeter, as well as others, noted there were distinct waves of economic activity that now named after their proposers – the Kitchin inventory cycle, the Juglar fixed inventory cycle, the Kusnets infrastructure investment cycle, and as we noted, the Kondratiev cycle. These fluctuations with different cycle times form the foundation of modern economics.

So far so good; but let us return to the Ministerial speeches. This year, 2012, has seen important elections across the globe. China is undergoing its 10-year cycle of top changes with its consequential changes rippling through its hierarchies as new leaders emerge. And the us presidency race was determined by mid-November. European nations have passed through their elections and now all is mostly settled. But the global economy is not really growing as well as everyone wishes. As the elected representatives of the people change across the lands, the policies of the leaders seem to change – at least they opine that is so. But behind these new leaders in their Parliaments, Senates or Government Buildings rest their permanent secretaries and civil servants. They cannot alter the global situation in isolation as they are supposed to be politically independent, doing the bidding of their political heads and feeding their leaders with the results of new research and analyses. So it all comes back to the leaders and their understanding of ‘… the business cycle’.

At one time we might have accepted that the construction sector represented a ‘leading indicator’. More laying of roads, water and electricity supplies could support more commercial and private buildings which must later create greater Spending on fitments. While that initial construction was taking place, it was not commercially sensible to make too many tables, chairs or televisions as there would be no buildings in which to place them. Yet, prudently, a government ought to think ahead and risk stimulating quiescent sectors – for instance, the electronics industry needs to continually re-invent its products. Apple is a prime example with its Rolling-out of new i-Objects; and the Asian electronics industry always offers new smart-phones with facilities we did not know we needed. It takes a courageous manager or Minister to risk their reputation on a new venture with a potential pay-off some years ahead.

Economists looking back to the Rise of Capitalism following the two world wars up to the 1971 Bretton Woods collapse, the Oil Shock of 1973, and the collapse of the global stock markets in the mid-1970s have said it is important to restrain the business cycles from their excessive boom & bust activity. I would agree with that, yet presently we see that there is a far larger income disparity than ever before. What has gone wrong with the suggested restraint? Or are we simply observing the tail-end results of the greed boom that led to the present financial bust?

Following the Second World War, the American government offered education packages to their returning soldiers ranging from basic skills right up to degree level and research studies. Slightly lagged in time was a baby boom, and these children grew up into an economically booming nation as the better educated peoples greatly expanded the us economy. Those children promoted education as well as infrastructure growth – supervising in the 1960s what was the most massive growth in state and inter-state roads ever seen across the world – until the recent Chinese expansion of its rail and road networks. China too has expanded its education programme, but like Japan, concentrated perhaps too much on technological prowess rather than a broad spectrum of technology, science and social studies. Schumpeter was an economist; hence his views were upon economic cycles, but there are other cycles that refer to the human condition which ought not to be ignored. We ought not to concentrate too strongly on the Rise of the Machine and forget the Suppression of the Human.

Across the globe we see large disparities of wealth and of the raw ability of the people. It is a sad fact that universal education has suffered in many nations – they have not invested early enough, nor allowed their girls to be educated to high levels. The United Nations’ Millennium Goals stressed education simply as it is a long-term driver of general growth and well-being. However, education is one of the long [business] cycles, and is often forgotten by politicians in their rush to be re-elected in the near-term. It is an error made by democratically elected leaders as well as unelected Presidents; and it is an error that will be played out in the near future simply because ‘… the business cycle’ is unsupportable without a well-educated people.

The us and Europe lifted education and expansionist growth after ww2, and China has done so following Deng’s opening up. It is quite clear that the Asian and Western ‘business cycles’, though integrated by globalisation, are still somewhat out of synchronization: time will clear this up.

 

Frank-Jürgen Richter is founder and chairman of Horasis, a global visions community. Horasis hosts the upcoming Global China Business Meeting. Http://www.Horasis.Org


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