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Economics

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Average wages in European countries
This is a map and list of countries containing monthly (annual divided by 12 months) gross and net income (after taxes) average wages in Europe in their local currency and in euros…
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Minimum official wages by country
This is a list of official minimum wage rates of the 192 United Nations member states excluding South Sudan, which gained independence in July 2011, plus the Republic of China (Taiwan), Northern Cyprus, Hong Kong, and Kosovo…
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Countries listed by GDP per capita in 2013
This article includes four lists of countries of the world sorted by their gross domestic productper capita at nominal values…
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Countries listed by GDP growth rate in 2013
This is a list of estimates of real gross domestic product growth rate for the latest years recorded in the CIA World Factbook. The estimates are for the year 2013 unless otherwise indicated. The list contains some non-sovereign territories…
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Countries that have the largest foreign-currency reserves, including gold, special drawing rights (SDRs) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) reserve position
Foreign-exchange reserves (also called Forex reserves) are, in a strict sense, only the foreign-currency deposits held by national central banks and monetary authorities (See List of countries by foreign-exchange reserves (excluding gold))...
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Countries that have the biggest foreign-currency reserves (excluding gold)
This is a list of the top 30 countries of the world sorted by their foreign-exchange reserves excluding gold reserves. The table includes the latest available data, mostly from the International Monetary Fund, and includes certain economies that are not considered to be countries (such as Taiwan and Hong Kong, because of their special economic statuses)…
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28 countries listed by average yearly wages
The average wage is a measure for the financial well-being of a country's inhabitants. A similar measure is GDP per capita. However, GDP (on the income side) = compensation of employees + gross operating surplus/mixed income + taxes on production - subsidies. This way, various components increase the GDP that are not directly contributing to the well-being of citizens…
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European countries listed by average monthly wage
This is the map and list of European countries by monthly net average wage. The chart below reflects the average (mean) wage as reported by various data providers. The salary distribution is right-skewed, therefore most people earn less than the average net salary. In less developed markets, actual incomes may exceed those listed in the table due to the existence of grey economy…
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Countries listed by GDP growth rate in 2012
This is a list of estimates of real gross domestic product growth rate for the latest years recorded in the CIA World Factbook. The estimates are for the year 2012 unless otherwise indicated.[1] The list contains some non-sovereign territories…
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Countries listed by population in 2012
This is a list of countries by population. The list includes independent countries and inhabited dependent territories based on the ISO standard ISO 3166-1. Also given in percent is each country's population compared to the population of the world, which according to the United States Census Bureau population clock is estimated at 7.055 billion…
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Extraordinary Delusions and the Madness of Crowds – The European Financial Transaction Tax
Do you know the connection between Tulips and the Euro Crisis? I remember reading, a few years ago, the “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” by Charles Mackay, a book that offered, among many other things, an overview of historical economic bubbles and their effects…
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Countries listed by GDP growth rate in 2011
This list shows the increase in value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year, taking into account inflation…
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The Nineteen Eighty-Four arrived in 2011
It was when I realised that Angela Merkel will never accept the emission of Eurobonds that it strike me and I was able to finally name the feeling that I was having for a while. I fear that today’s Europe is a hostage of the “doublethink”! The younger ones, or the less fond of reading George Orwell literature, surely will not be familiar with the “doublethink” concept, however…
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Twenty years of greed in America
We are currently in the midst of a Fourth Turning. This twenty year Crisis began during the 2005 – 2008 timeframe with the collapse of the housing bubble and subsequent repercussions on the worldwide financial system. It is progressing as expected, with the financial crisis deepening and leading to tensions across the world. It will eventually morph into military conflict, as all prior Fourth Turnings have…
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US Economy: Road to Inferno?
Decade after decade, Americans have voted for intellectually and morally bankrupt dullards that promise them more goodies under the tree. Every day is Christmas in Washington DC. Long-term means the next election cycle to these traitors of the Republic. I have written ad nauseum about the impending financial cataclysm that awaits our nation…
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Money-madness is the root of all evil
Money doesn’t grow on trees for most of America. We sit down at our kitchen tables and write out checks to the phone-company, electric company, credit card-company, mortgage-company, and auto finance company every month. We clip coupons and go to the grocery store every week to put food in the mouths of our children. This is what our parents did before us. We work 40 to 60 hours a week to pay these bills and feed those mouths. It’s not easy…
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USA versus China
Do you ever get the feeling that we are being pursued by someone who wants to kill us? No matter what we do, they are still in pursuit. They never let up. We’ve tried deception, trickery, and frantic escapes. Now we have climbed a steep mountain and are cornered in a canyon with our pursuers above and a river below. We don’t have many choices. We could give up, we can fight and die, or jump and hope to live another day. Our pursuers are not going to surrender…
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Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God
You know civilization is in danger when I find more wisdom in the words of Ozzy Osbourne than in the words of any elected U.S. official. The U.S. war machine keeps turning. As we enforce our will on foreign countries, we produce more people who hate us. Just when you think the U.S. government is beginning to make sense by withdrawing troops from Iraq, they make the terrible decision to shuttle 21,000 more troops into the Afghan calamity…
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Oil price - $200?
Rohm Emanuel’s famous quote regarding the current financial crisis, "Never let a serious crisis go to waste...it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before." was ignored last summer when oil prices reached $147 a barrel. The Obama administration has taken advantage of the financial crisis to ram through their socialist agenda which will add trillions to the National Debt. It will stimulate unions, bureaucrats, government employees, and defense contractors…
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US Economy on a burning platform
David Walker served as Comptroller General of the United States from 1998 through 2008. He is now the CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and leader of the Fiscal Wake Up Tour. He has been a lone voice in the wilderness for the last decade regarding our looming fiscal disaster…
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As General Motors Go, So Goes the Nation
General Motors (GM) was founded in 1908 in Flint, Michigan, and grew to be the largest corporation in the world. Its market capitalization reached $50 billion in 2000. In the past week, its market capitalization dropped below $1 billion to levels last seen during the 1920s. The story of General Motors is the story of America…
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Collapsed Retail Paradise
She was buying the stairway to heaven using her home equity line, but now that she is underwater on her mortgage she tried to pay using her Amex card, but her credit score had dropped to 600 and they cut her credit line in half. The stairway to heaven isn’t as easy to achieve as it used to be. Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi feel bad for the lady. They are going to borrow against your children’s future tax dollars and give them to the lady, so she can buy that stairway to heaven…
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When USA ruled the world
America has squandered the human sacrifice, blood, sweat and tears of two generations in less than seventy years. We have been an independent country for 226 years. From 1783 until 1946 was an unrelenting upward trajectory for the beacon of the free world. With the end of World War II, America was the last country standing. Germany and Japan were in shambles. Russia had lost millions of citizens, with Stalin about to murder millions more…
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Who Created The Financial Crisis And Why
"The Big Takeover" by Matt Taibbi is probably the best article written to date explaining the financial crisis and how we got to where we are now. Taibbi's necessarily lengthy article explains the problems, names the "poipetrators", and exposes all of the conflicts of interest - absolutely a must read…
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The Federal Reserve - Who Owns It?
The whole world is in a state of complete confusion. Americans are coming to the realization that their lives have been a grand illusion. You thought your neighbor had it made. They were driving a Mercedes, spent $40,000 on a new kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, sent their kids to private school, had a second home at the shore, and took exotic vacations all over the world…
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How to Stop the Financial Crisis. USA versus Japan.
Every day seems worse than the previous day. Five hundred thousand people are getting laid off every month. Our banking system is on life support. Retailers are going bankrupt in record numbers. The stock market keeps descending. Home prices continue to plummet. Home foreclosures keep mounting. Consumer confidence is at record lows…
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An American Tragedy
Truth is the mortal enemy of the lie. This is a profound observation from such an evil man. The definition of truth is, being in accordance with fact or reality. The Nazis were masters of using propaganda to manipulate facts and produce the reality that suited their wicked purposes…
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What Happened to the American Dream
Mr. Adams penned these words in the midst of the Great Depression, the worst economic crisis in our history. It is timely to reflect on these words, as it appears that the American Dream is slipping further out of reach for most Americans…
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Orwell's 2009 - Big Brother is Watching
George Orwell wrote his legendary novel 1984 just after World War II. It is renowned for its portrayal of government’s encroachment on the rights of the individual. It was Orwell’s warning against totalitarianism, specifically Stalin’s Soviet Union…
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Ghost Malls: Coming to Your Town
The illustration of Old West ghost towns is something that every American can relate to. During the great gold rush of the mid 1800’s in California, Nevada, and Wyoming towns sprung up out of nowhere to support the gold mining efforts of those looking to strike it rich…
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Can The Fed Stop The Bleeding?
The “subprime” debacle in the last few weeks seemed to come from nowhere to suddenly infuse panic into financial markets from stocks to mortgages to hedge funds to banks to precious metals to consumer spending…
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The Specter of America's Coming Economic Disaster - Congress Continues on Its Path of Fiscal Irresponsibility
As a financial planner I deal with cash flow issues daily. Perhaps that's why I have become increasingly disturbed by Washington's irresponsibility when it comes to its budget. Admittedly, I am not an expert on the national budget so this paper will rely heavily on what the experts say…
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Just Another Credit Crunch
Many investors are beginning to think that income investing is every bit as risky as equity investing, but nothing has really changed in the relationship between these two basic building blocks of corporate finance. What has changed in recent years is the nature of the derivative products created by the wizards of Wall Street…
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Why The U.S. Fed's 0.50% Rate Cut Won't Save The U.S. Markets
“Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights” - Alan Greenspan, 1966, more than 20 years before he served as Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve from 1987-2006…
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Working with Export and Free Zones
Ukrainian President, Leonid Kuchma, told, in Fenruary 2003, an assembly of senior customs service officials that "it is necessary to put an end to (Ukraine's 11 free economic and 9 priority) zones (and) liquidate them completely. (They) have become semi-criminal zones, and this refers not only to the Donetsk zone…
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The Delicate Art of Balancing the Budget
Government budgets represent between 25% and 50% of he Gross Domestic Product (GDP), depending on the country. The members of the European Union (Germany, France) and the Scandinavian countries represent the apex of this encroachment upon the national resources. Other countries (Great Britain, to name one) fare better. But even the more developed countries in South East Asia do not clear the 25% hurdle…
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Austrian Banking - Interview with Wolfgang Christl
In the second half of 2005, Erste Bank, Austria's second largest, took over yet another East and Central European financial institution: Romania's BCR (Romanian Commercial Bank). This acquisition threw into sharp relief the post-Communist Mittel- European strategy of Austrian banks, big and small…
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The Role of Central Banks in Banking Crises
Central banks are relatively new inventions. An American President (Andrew Jackson) even cancelled its country's central bank in the nineteenth century because he did not think that it was very important. But things have changed since. Central banks today are the most important feature of the financial systems of most countries of the world…
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Rough Flight Ahead For Helicopter Ben?
The last time a new Federal Reserve Chairman took office, replacing the legendary Paul Volcker on August 11, 1987, not only did he find himself with a big pair of shoes to fill, but he also faced a plunging bond market that would soon send long-term interest rates spiraling into double digits. Desperate to immediately establish his credentials as a staunch inflation fighter, the freshly appointed Alan Greenspan wasted no time in hiking the discount rate on September 4…
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Fedspeak: Polyglot Perspicacity
"Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe." Reading silently or aloud creates rhythmic nonsense, you might think. Humpty Dumpty explains, defines, and clarifies for Alice. Soon Alice sees meaning. As she does, the upside downs become the right side ups…
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Is There Income After Peak Oil And Economic Collapse? There Is If You're Clever
Many predict that the world will soon experience an economic depression, brought on by a variety of factors, but most particularly Peak Oil - the lessening production of petroleum…
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Tax Haven Raises 2006 Entry Price
While Monaco is a well known European tax haven, Andorra has remained little known outside of the financial community - despite enjoying the same tax advantages and arguably more private banking than her better known rival…
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The Business of Theme Parks
War - especially coupled with a globally sluggish economy - has a contradictory effect on the consumption of entertainment. Disposable incomes plummet curtailing the sales of medium to big ticket items such as cruises and resort vacations. But people - besieged by anxiety and bad news - also wish to be diverted. As the conflict rages, they stay indoors and tune in. Home entertainment booms. But once physical insecurity abates, consumers go out in full force mobbing movie theatres and theme parks, making up for lost time and frayed nerves…
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How to Benefit from Public Procurement
In every national budget, there is a part called "Public Procurement". This is the portion of the budget allocated to purchasing services and goods for the various ministries, authorities and other arms of the executive branch. It was the famous management consultant, Parkinson, who once wrote that government officials are likely to approve a multi-billion dollar nuclear power plant much more speedily that they are likely to authorize a hundred dollar expenditure on a bicycle parking device…
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The Revolution of Symbols
Five thousand years ago, people were still roaming the earth as nomads. They carried along their few precious possessions in their hands and on their backs. They hunted and gathered food at random…
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Soccer as Business in Eastern Europe
The Champions League is a rich man's club, complain football teams from nine south and east European countries. They are bent on setting up an alternative dubbed the "Eastern League". The revolt is led by Dinamo Bucharest and Greece's Olympiakos Pireu and has been joined by 14 other clubs: Steaua and Rapid from Romania, The Turkish Galatasaray Istanbul and Besiktas PAOK Salonic of Greece, the Serbian Steaua and Partizan Belgrade, Hajduk Split from Croatia, the Cyrpiot Apoel Nicosia, Maribor from Slovenia, the Bulgarian teams TSKA Sofia and Levski Sofia and the Ukrainian contributions of Shakhtor Donestk and Dinamo Kiev…
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Working with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
In typical bureaucratese, the pensive EBRD analyst ventures with the appearance of compunction: "A number of projects have fallen short of acceptable standards (notice the passive, exculpating voice - SV) and have put the reputation of the bank at risk". If so, very little was risked…
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The Business Of Factoring & How It Works
Factoring, also known as accounts receivable factoring, is a business term used to describe a method in which companies sell their outstanding receivable invoices in order to gain immediate cash for their business. When a company sells a product or service, an invoice is created stating the amount due and the number of days in which the invoice must be paid…
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Slush Funds
According to David McClintick ("Swordfish: A True Story of Ambition, Savagery, and Betrayal"), in the late 1980's, the FBI and DEA set up dummy corporations to deal in drugs. They funneled into these corporate fronts money from drug-related asset seizures…
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European Real Estate Prices To Drop In 2006
Areas of Europe popular with holiday home buyers could see property prices fall by ten per cent or more in the year ahead, according to overseas property specialists Tribune Properties…
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Global Differential Pricing
In April 2002, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, and the US-based Global Health Council held a 3-days workshop about "Pricing and Financing of Essential Drugs" in poor countries. Not surprisingly, the conclusion was: …
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The Blessings of the Black Economy
Some call it the "unofficial" or "informal" economy, others call it the "grey economy" but the old name fits it best: the "black economy". In the USA "black" means "profitable, healthy" and this is what the black economy is. Macedonia should count its blessings for having had a black economy so strong and thriving to see it through the transition. If Macedonia had to rely only on its official economy it would have gone bankrupt long ago…
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Offset and Barter Transactions
In December 2002, Poland decided to purchase 48 F-16 Falcons from Lockheed Martin Corporation - an American defense contractor. Pegged at $3.5 billion, this is the biggest defense order ever issued by an east or central European country. The financial package includes soft loans and a massive offset program - purchases from Polish manufacturers that more than erase the costs of the deal in foreign exchange…
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The Economies of the Middle East
On February 24, 2003, in the Islamic Financial Forum in Dubai, Brad Bourland, chief economist for the Saudi American Bank (SAMBA), breached the embarrassed silence that invariably enshrouds speakers in Middle Eastern get-togethers. He reminded the assembled that despite the decades-long fortuity of opulent oil revenues, the nations of the region - excluding Turkey and Israel - failed to reform their economies, let alone prosper…
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Switzerland's Cheesy Economy
In a series of referenda in 2003-5, Swiss citizens transformed their country forever, economically aligning it with the European Union and opening it up to work migration. It was an uncharacteristic response to increasingly worrisome times…
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Financial Information In Retirement
There seems to be a problem with all financial institutions in America today in that they do not take the time to understand the information needs of people in retirement. After a person retires, that person wants information with regard to financial performance, quarterly taxes, income and activity. Just about all of the institutions provide some level of the needed information, but most fall short in one or all of these areas…
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Small and Medium Family Owned Enterprises in Germany
According to a survey of German executives by the influential Ifo think tank, German business confidence rose in January 2003 for the first time in eight months - albeit imperceptibly, from 87.3 to 87.4. A poll conducted by ZEW, another brain trust, confirmed these findings. On past form, though, this confidence level heralds a contraction of 5-6 percent in industrial production…
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Interest Rate Increases And You!
After 12 rate increases by the Fed, it does appear that the real reason behind the Fed action is to apply the brakes on inflation. The Fed seems confident that economic growth is on track but wary that costlier energy could "fuel" dangerous inflation. From all reports it is working. All types of borrowing will cost more…
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Taxes: More of the Same
The President's Tax Reform Panel issued their final report last week [1]. The panel's goal was to recommend reforms that would make the tax code "simpler, fairer and more conducive to economic growth".
The panel accurately depicted the sorry state of the tax code, stating that the current code is rewritten so often that "it should be drafted in pencil"…
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Poll #039
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Poll #036
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