29 October 2011

Risky Chinese Loans for EFSF

Mr Klaus Regling, the chief executive of the European Financial Stability Facility, met with Chinese government officials to discuss how best to structure the EFSF to attract money from China.

EFSF may consider issuing bonds in yuan if China approves of the arrangement.

Is this a wise move?

Aren't Americans a Silly People?

Americans are a silly people.

The tragedy is that not many Americans acknowledge their silliness nor how their silliness may affect the future of their country and the free world, possibly within their lifetime.

23 October 2011

What the Unemployment Rate Means

Singapore's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for residents was 3.0 per cent as at June 2011, according to Labour Market Second Quarter 2011, published by the Manpower Research and Statistics Department of the Ministry of Manpower.  The non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for residents was 3.9 per cent.

Most people think they know what the unemployment rate means, but it is likely that few really do.

The unemployment rate is defined as the ratio (expressed as a percentage) of unemployed persons to the total number of economically active persons.

Who are considered unemployed?

Who are considered economically active?

17 October 2011

Economic Performance and Forecasts

The Ministry of Trade and Industry recently released advance estimates of Singapore's GDP for Q3 2011.

The economy grew 1.3 per cent on a quarter-on-quarter basis, after it had contracted 6.3 per cent in Q2.  As a result, Singapore avoided a technical recession.

The government expects GDP to grow 5 per cent for 2011.  No forecast was provided for Q4 2011.

Two observations may be made.

12 October 2011

Poverty Amidst Riches — The Income Divide

"The real problem we have here is that people who work are still poor.  Immigration keeps wages down, and the unions are very weak.  This island is still talking about small government, big market.  But people are getting angry now."

Professor Wong Chack Kie from the Chinese University of Hong Kong was not talking about Singapore, but it almost seemed that he was.

03 October 2011

The Plight of the Under-Employed in 2010

For many people, the concept of employment seems straightforward.  If a person receives an income from work, he is employed; otherwise, he is unemployed.

In practice, not many people are familiar with how employment, unemployment and under-employment are measured.

What does being employed mean?