Inglese: analysing economic and

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Inglese: analysing economic and
Inglese: analysing economic and...
Terza parte dell‘esame di inglese con le prof
Santini/Nicolini
N.B. il programma cambia tutti gli anni: variano sempre due o tre testi, spariscono i vecchi
e aggiunge qualcosa di aggiornato . Considerate quindi l‘indice e cercate i testi che vi
servono. Riporto tutto in unico file per comodità di caricamento e per tener ordine nel sito.
Riassunti basati sul programma 2011/2012 + testi
File versione Beta che include i testi a cui si riferiscono i riassunti.
Studiate i testi, i riassunti non bastano!
INDICE
Dovendo assemblare testi doc più pdf non ci sono i numeri di pagina, ma solo l‘ordine in cui
troverete i testi. L‘impaginazione è la seguente: riassunto e a seguire testo integrale.
Dal testo ―Success with BEC - Vantage‖, Summertown Publishing
Module 1.1 Ways of working pp. 6, 7, 8 e 9; text: ―How to job share‖
Module 2.1 Company Benefits pp. 16, 17 e 18; text: ―Is working for Xerox too good to be
good?‖
Module 6.3 Reading test: Part Two pp.64-65; text: ―Too much work is a health hazard‖
Module 11.2 Discussing Trends pp.110, 111 e 112; text: ―Good Greed‖
Letture tratte da aulaweb/dispensa
Increasing returns
Shiny Happy People
Guidelines of National Indicators of Subjective Well-being and Ill-being
Happy Talk
Chasing the Dragon and the Tiger
China‘s labour tests Its Muscle
India‘ s economy.
Selling becomes sociable
Powered by Demand
Keynesianism: monetary and fiscal policies
Living a Second Life
Easyjet: How it all started (tutto il testo)
Easyjet: Crisis control
The power of mobile money
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Google Wallet
Telework 2011
Global Imprint
AIESEC presentations tesi su aula web riguardanti le presentazioni fatte dai ragazzi
Hungary‘s troubles
Diaspora Bonds
Measuring Global Poverty
A Capital Solution (Dead Aid, chapter 6)
The Chinese are our friends (Dead Aid, chapter 7)
Credit and the financial crisis in Greece
Greece and the potato revolution
Appendice su analysing economic and news discourse:
non ho riassunto le pagine tratte dall‘omonimo libro, ma vi riporto le scansioni delle prime 4 pagine
della dispensa che trattano l‘argomento
N.B. non badate a sviste/errori ortografici: non mi funziona il correttore e non li vedo finchè non stampo!
N.B.
APPUNTI E PREPARAZIONE.
ATTENZIONE! L‘esame richiede una conoscienza approfondita dei testi.
Per tanto QUESTI APPUNTI NON SOSTITUISCONO I TESTI DA STUDIARE E NON SONO
SUFFICIENTI DA SOLI PER LA PREPARAZIONE DELL‘ESAME.
Possono capitare domande su dettagli che qui non figurano.
Vi consiglio di armarvi di pazienza e studiare bene i testi e vedere questa raccolta
di sintesi come uno strumento per una panoramica generale e il ripasso, utile ma
non sufficiente.
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Riassunti ―Success with BEC‖
How would you like to work?
WAYS OF WORKING (p 6-7-8-9)
Regular hours/flexible hours?
In a team/ on your own?
For a boss/ as your own boss?
From home/ in an office?
Definitions
Freelance: you sell your work and services to different companies. ―It‘s great to be my own boss but
i‘ve to work with different people‖.
Teleworking: you work for a company from home via email, phone or internet. ―it can get a bit
lonely at times, i miss my collegues and office gossip but i can spend more time with my
children‖.
Job-sharing: you do your job for part of the week and another person do it for the other part.
―when one of us wants a week off, the other people does a few extra days so it‘s faitly
flexible‖
shift work: you work during different parts of the day (includes nights). ―The only problem is sleeping
your body never knows if it‘s night or day‖
part-time: you work for some of the week.
Temping (interinale): you work for different companies for a short time without a permanent
contract.
Consultancy: you are paid to give specialist advice
Flexitime: you work a numbers of hours per week or month but you decide when start and finish
Hot desking: you don‘t have a permanent place or office to work, you find place when you arrive.
Testo: how to job-share (in programma)
Guidelines to making work job share.
1) Fond the perfect partner, someone you like: you have to communicate and share credit
and blame
2) Open your mind, job-share is a great opportunity because twice can be seen as much
experience, skills, brainpower and energy. Why boss should consider requests for flexible
working from employees with children
3) Plan for disasters, be prepared to face the worst-case scenarios. When a teacher interviwed
lost her partner the retourn to full time seemed inevitable: she was very lucky to find another
partner who fitted with her
4) Get organised, plan the system for handin work over (passare le consegne) and play to
each other‘s different strengths. Delegate the workload according to each other‘s
particular skills and qualities
5) Set your limits with the employer. Managers should clarify what they expect in terms of
hours, availability and results and employeers should manage theese expectation and
eventually say no if it‘s necessary
6) Put pen to paper the agreements about holidays, parental leave, retirement, etc. Everyone
should know where they stand from the beginning.
7) Don‘t fell guity and try to make up (compensare) working until 1 am for not being in office
every day
8) Two become one, try to work closely together like a marriage.
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About the text: analisi, appunti e annotazioni
Observing the layout (visual disposition of the text on the page) we can notice a title that tries to
catch our attention, an abstract wich introduce the topic and 8 paragraphs, one for each advice
given. The text is structured in two columns (tipical of journalism) and there‘s a picture in the
bottom. Paragraphs orientate the reader throught the text divind it in parts. Each paragraph title
has an imparative verbs to give immediacy to the message. For this purpose the text use the verb
should: this verb give advices, and express emotional closeness.
The use of short forms is a way to get closer to the reader being less formal.
The text is is very informal. the author places to the reader as a friend, with the typical emotional
closeness.
Working from home
Advices:
1) Even you are at home, set a timetable
2) You need to find a quite place to work
3) If you communucate with client on the phone rather than face to face it‘s still important to
dress for work as normal
4) You need peace and quite at home: don‘t answer the door to neightbours or make social
calls
5) Once you‘ve been working from home you can be feel a bit lonely. Go to the office once
or twice a week
6) After you have been at the computer for a few hours, remember to take a break
7) Be strong and don‘t give in to distractions
8) Make sure colleagues and clients can reach you and answer the phone as though you are
in office
COMPANY BENEFITS (p 16-17-18)
Benefits (perks): garanzie offerte con la posizione lavorativa
incentives(rewards): ottenute al raggiungere di un obiettivo
examples of benefits:
 Good salary
 Impressive job tittle
 Flexible working hours
 Opportunities for promotion
 Days off and long holidays
 Training and staff developement




A pension
Opportunities to travel
Parental leave
A company
Testo: is working for Xerox too good to be true? (in programma)
What a lovely place Xerox is to work!
Kim Moloney, a client services executive can‘t say enought nice things about her employer.
Moloney has been in Xerox for two years and she‘s amazed at the number of people who have
worked here for so long. There‘s truth behind her enthusiasm.
Carol Palmer (resources director) joined Xerox in 1978 as a temp and has been in her present role
for 7 years. ―Xerox has been good to me over years and supported me through qualifications‖ she
said.
Human resourches is taken seriusly at Xerox: the company has a policy of promoting from within.
The company takes on only 15-20 graduates each year and Moloney was part of an intake who
joined having a coulple of years work experience yet. She started as project manager for Xerox
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global Services before moving into sales. Now is responsability is ― grow and maintein costumer
relationships‖. Moloney works in the head office in Uxbridge. ―it‘s great in terms of working
enviroments. In this office there‘re brainstorming rooms and breakout areas‖.
Moloney‘s role is visinting clients so she doesn‘t have a permanent desk at the head office. She‘s a
hot-desker and sit with different people in the hot-desk area; she has a place to store her things.
1200-1500 people work in head office. The company has 4 other main offices in UK. The nature of
the organisation, which encompasses sales and marketing, global services (the biggest division),
developing markets, research and development and manufacturing, means that the opportunities
at the company vary from service engineers to sales roles and consultants.
Perks include a final-salary pension scheme and varous discount schemes.
The reward and recognition scheme is a little different and rather nice. Each manager has a
budget every year to recognize and reward staff. It can be in the form of a meal for two or a bottle
of wine. It can be up to 1000£. Moloney likes the non-cash rewards: xerox offers lifetime incentive
trips and she recently organised a sailing trip for her team.
―xerox takes care of all its staff and recognizes people who put in added effort‖
The idea of working abroad with the company appeals to her and she says that her career goal is
to be part of the senior management team. Seems like she planned to stay in Xerox for a long time.
About the text: analisi, appunti e annotazioni
The 5 W
Who? In this text we talk about and with Moloney, a young lady working in Xerox for 2 years ( for
most of the time), Palmer, the group resources director who joined Xerox in 1978, and of course
Xerox Company.
What? The object of the text is analysing the working experience in Xerox.
Where? geographical references concern the head office in Uxbridge and the other 4 main offices
of the UK
When? Temporal references concearn the date on wich Palmer and Moloney joined Xerox.
Why? Why was the text written? The text analyse the pros of working in xerox. Reading the text we
can list the following reasons: work opportunity, rewards and benefits, long and satisfactory
careeer.
TOO MUCH WORK IS A HEALTH HAZARD (p 64-65)
Testo: too much work is a health hazard (in programma)
If you constantly try to be the best of the best stop it. You could be on the way to giving yourself
future health problems.
Take Larry, a US consultant who travelled non-stop, worked 60-80 hours per week and still attended
meetings at weekends. A period of intensive care in hospital due to stress convinced him to adjust
his work-like balance. Larry could have avoided hospitalization by looking out for the signs of
burn-out (esaurimento). Headhackes, high blood pressure, exhaustion are all the tipical warnings
that your body shows. If your boss is irritable and guilty of confused thinking prepare for a
promotion: he or she is probably too stressed and could be fired very soon. A recent research
found that ¾ of UK workers cannot swich off when they leave the office.
Of course stress, ill-health, long hours aren‘t the only causes of unhappiness at work:
49% of employees are frustrated by their career progression: half of them said that the lack of
management support is a barrier to success. More than a third said that their managers fail to set
clear development goals or provide regular careers reviews
How you determ if you are stressed out by your boss‘s careless attitude or because you‘re working
too hard?
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There‘re some obvious signs of the second reason: Do you take work on holiday and hide the fact
from others? If you have answered ―Yes‖ you have probably crossed the line between everyday
hard work and workaholism. This is just one of the twenty questions that the organisation
Workaholics asks potential members on its website. The organisation has 50 branches in the world.
There‘re no joining fee and the only requirement for membership is the desire to stop working
compulsively. Members can attend a conference every two years and share their experiences. The
next conference is due to take place in the peaceful Doplhin Beach Resort on the Gulf of Mexico
(Florida). If it seems a little too far the ―Workaholics Anonymous Book of Recovery‖ is avaible in
bookstores: it includes stories of recovery of members, a step-by-step study guide and helpful
literature (bibliografia) to support members in their reconvery journ
DISCUSSING TRENDS (p 110 -111- 112)
P110, about discussing trends: alternative energy sourches
Wind Power refers to the energy generated by eolic power, more precisely it is the conversion of wind energy into a useful
form of energy, through wind turbines to make electricity, windmills for mechanical power, windpumps for water pumping or
drainage, or sails to propel ships Wind power has already been implemented in many countries though some people say it
can never provide enough energy on its own. The initial cost is also very high. Yet the total amount of economically
extractable power available from the wind is considerably more than present human power use.
Solar Power refers to the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly using
concentrated solar power (CSP). Commercial concentrated solar power plants were first developed in the 1980s. Solar
power is being widely used either on people‘s own houses or in the form of huge areas of land with solar panels. The cost of
technology is falling for this energy so it looks like a good investment.
Biofuels which make use of residue from plants are already used in some cars. They look set to provide one solution to the
lack of petrol fuels. Biofuels are gaining increased public and scientific attention, driven by factors such as oil price hikes, the
need for increased energy security, concern over greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, and support from government
subsidies. Not all biofuels perform equally in terms of their impact on climate, energy security and ecosystems. Many
scientists and researchers are working to develop biofuel crops that require less land and use fewer resources, such as water,
than current biofuel crops do. According to recent studies, algae is a source for biofuels that could utilize currently
unprofitable land and waste water from different industries.
Coal, a fossil fuel, is a combustible sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal
seams. Throughout history, coal has been a useful resource for the production of electricity and/or heat, and is also used for
industrial purposes such as refining metals. Coal is criticised for the pollution it creates and many countries are looking at
alternatives which suggests it isn‘t a good investment. However, in some parts of the world such as China there are huge
coal reserves which are only now being mined and used in power stations. In this case coal may still be a good investment
but be bad for the environment: gross carbon dioxide emissions from coal usage are slightly more than those from
petroleum and about double the amount from natural gas. The price of coal increased from around $30.00 per short ton
(2,000 pounds) in 2000 to around $150.00 per short ton as of September 2008. As of October 2008, the price per short ton had
declined to $111.50. Prices further declined to $71.25 as of October 2010.
Wave Power it is the transport of energy by ocean surface waves, and the capture of that energy to do useful work, such as
electricity generation, water desalination, or the pumping of water (into reservoirs). Machinery able to exploit wave power is
generally known as a wave energy converter (WEC). Wave power generation is not currently a widely employed
commercial technology although there have been attempts at using it since at least 1890. In 2008, the first experimental
wave farm was opened in Portugal. There is a potential impact on the marine environment. Noise pollution, for example,
could have negative impact if not monitored. Waves generate about 2,700 gigawatts of power. Of those 2,700 gigawatts,
only about 500 gigawatts can be captured with the current technology.
Tidal power also called tidal energy, is a form of hydropower that converts the energy of tides into useful forms of power mainly electricity. It is based on the coming and going of the Earth's oceanic tides. This gives this form of renewable energy
a distinct advantage over other sources that are not as predictable and reliable, such as wind or solar. The Department of
Trade and Industry has stated that almost 10% of the United Kingdom‘s electricity needs could be met by tidal power.
Hydroelectricity is the production of electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. It is
the most widely used form of renewable energy, accounting for 16 % of global electricity consumption, and a reason for the
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rapid rate of increase experienced between 2003 and 2009. Hydropower is produced in 150 countries, with the Asia-Pacific
region generating 32 percent of global hydropower in 2010. China is the largest hydroelectricity producer.
Nuclear Power has attracted bad publicity but many governments have returned to the idea of building nuclear power
stations in order to solve the potential shortage of energy. And yet private investment may provide good returns. Nuclear
power is the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity. Nuclear power plants provide about 6% of the
world's energy and 13–14% of the world's electricity, with the U.S., France, and Japan together accounting for about 50% of
nuclear generated electricity. The economics of new nuclear power plants is a controversial subject, since there are
diverging views on this topic, and multi-billion dollar investments make their good fortune on the choice of an energy
source. Nuclear power plants typically have high capital costs for building the plant, but low fuel costs. In Eastern Europe, a
number of long-established projects are struggling to find financebecause some potential backers have pulled out. Where
cheap gas is available and its future supply relatively secure, this also poses a major problem for nuclear projects. Following
the 2011 Fukushima I nuclear accidents, costs are likely to go up for currently operating and new nuclear power plants.
Testo: good greed(in programma)
Would you like to know how to make money and do your bit for enviroment?
Investing in something that will save the planet is becoming easier as the private sector starts to
step in with powerful and profit-driven solutions for huge world problems. For example more and
more investissor are now looking to risk huge amount in alternative energies.
Solar power is one such case. There‘re lots of companies who manufacture or sell solar material
and systems, and big-name billion dollar investors have already rushed to invest stocks.
Cautious investors can‘t forget that a similar optimism was responsable for the peak (picco) in ebuisness in the nineties before the crash. In the case of solar power such concerns (preoccupazioni)
are well-founded because solar energy has one big economic problem: it costs twice more per
kilowatt-hour as power from the grid (energia della rete nazionale).
Despite evets are changing in a way that may encurage investissors:
 Rising petroleum prices
 Nobody belives the cost of natural gas will go down again
 Traditional energies prices begin to rise
 Solar energy costs are expected to continue their descent: the cost kilowatt-hour has
declined from 47 cents in 1990 to 21 cents today.
 Government subsidies encurages this energy source: in USA there‘s 30% tax credit to
businesses that use solar energy.
Vocabulary to discuss trends
To increase
Increase
Raise
To go up
Ascend
Grow
Augment
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Decrease
Reduce
To Diminish
Decent
To decline
To fall
To Go down
Level out
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Fluctuate
fluctuation
Increasing returns
Increasing returns are the tendency for that which is ahead to get further ahead, for that which
loses advantage to lose further advantage. It‘s the tendency of networks to drastically amplify
small imputs leads to the second key axiom of the network logic (un assioma è una proposizione o un
principio che viene assunto come vero perché ritenuto evidente o perché fornisce il punto di partenza di un quadro teorico
di riferimento. )of the network logic. In networks we find self-renforcing virtuous circles. Each additional
member increases the network‘s value, which in turn attracts more members, initialing a spiral of
benefits.
Networks encourage the successful to be yet more successful. In the network economy success is
self-reinforcing: it obeys the law of increasing returns.
We observe the law of the increasing returns operating in areas such as Silicon Valley: each new
strart-up attracts other strart-ups, which in turns attract more capitals and skill and yet more startups.
Comparing increasing returns in network economies and industrial economy of scale we notice first
that in the industrial economy success was self-limiting because obeyed the law of decreasing
returns. At first glance the law of increasing returns may seem identical to the familiar textbook
notion of economies of scale: the more product you make, the more efficent the process
becomes. That self-feeding circle is a positive feedback loop, like the law of increasing returns but
with two key differences:
1) Industrial economies of scale increase value gradually and linearly: small efforts yield small
result, large efforts give large results. Networks increase value exponentially, small efforts
reinforceone anotherso that results can quickly snowball into an avalanche.
2) Industrial economies of scale embody the herculan efforts of a single organization to
outpace (battere) the competition together create the network‘s value. Networked
increasing returns are created and shared by entiere network: competitors togheter create
the network‘s value
These positive feedback loops are created by network externalities. Anything that creates or
destroys value which cannot be appointed to someone‘s account ledgers (libri contabili di
qualcuno) is an externality. The total value of a telephone system lies outside the total internal
value of the telephone companies and their assets, it lies externally. Networks are particularly
potent sourches of external value and have become a hot spot of economic investigation in the
last decade; a lots of accademic papers were investigated on network externality: when do they
happened, how do they break down, are they symmetrical, can they be manipulated?
Increasing returns and network externalities are garneing attention is because they tend to create
apparent monopolies. Are network super-winners such as Microsoft or Oracle, in fact monopolies?
They‘re not like monopolies of the industrial age: they not anger costumers with high pricing,
haughty service or lack of options. Customers have nothing to complain about because they get
lower prices, better service and more feature from network super-winners in the short term. The only
thing to complain about are the competitors because increasing returns create a winner-take-most
environment: if the competitors pull back or disappear the costumers will have reason to complain.
The new monopolies are different in several ways:
 traditional monopolies dominated commodities, in the new order dominance consist in a
successively taking over more and more threads of the web technology. Superwinners can
practice a type of crossover where control of one layer of the web leverages control into
others.
 Traditional monopolist as a mono-seller could push prices up and quality down. In the
network economy, the unpardonable transgression is to repress innovation: that happened
when competition is controlled. In the new order innovation is more important than price
because price is a derivative of innovation
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
What‘s intorrelable in network economy isn‘t mono-seller but ―monovation‖, the depending
of innovation from a single source. This is the danger of monopolist in the network economy.
To solve this problem we can
o Creating open systems
o Moving key intellectually properties into the pubblic domain,
o by releasing source code democratilly

industrial monopolies exploited simple economies of scale for their own benefit. Network
effects are not about economies of scale, they are about value that is created above and
beyond a single organization and then returned to the parts, often unevenly.
Silicon valley‘s success is external to any particular company‘s success, and so loyalty is external
too: silicon valley has in effect become one large, distribuited company. People think they‘re
working for Silicon Valley, not for a firm in particular. In this era workers and consumers will feel more
loyalty to a network than to any ordinary firm. Silicon Valley‘s greatest product is the social
organization of its companies.
The social web (ragnatela) displays some stress marks: network economy is winner-take-most. The
trajectory of increasing returns and a shortage of attention focuses success toward a few points. A
few brands sell like crazy, and the rest sell only a few. If a new novel, a new product, a new service
begins to succeed it‘s fed more, if it falters, it‘s left to winner.
The current great debate is wheter the law of increasing returns favors the early or not:
when tecnlogical competitors such as VHS and Betamax video formats, increasing returns favored
one technology over the other to eventual demise the unfortunate one. The technology that came
to dominate, thanks to increasing returns, was not necessarily the superior one: it was just the luvky
one, or the early one. All the things being equal, early success has a mesurable advantage.
Technologies which seem to be inferior often reveal themselves under further study to be slightly
superior in keys way (examples between Beltramax and VHS, windows and apple, Dvorak
keyboard and Qwerty
being first or best sometimes helps but not always. The outcome of a competition in a network is not
determined solely by the abilities of the competitors, but by tiny differencesincluding luck, that are
greatly magnified by the power of positive feedback loops. What can be predicted is the way in
wich networks enlarge small advantages and then lock the advantage in. In the same way, initial
parameters and conventions can quickly freeze into unalterable standards.
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HAPPY TALK
David walker explain how boosting wellbeing became a government priority
David Walker spiega come potenziare il benessere è diventato una priorità del governo (stiamo
parlando del governo britannico nello specifico)
The social sciences aren‘t a narrow money-focused way of thinking about progress anymore:
today there are broader assessments of wellbeing.
Politicians and policy makers are rethinking what government can and should do to make people
feel more positive about themselves and their non-economic prospects. Money and economic
growth matter, but they aren‘t the only thing that matters: many non-material aspects of life are
important too. Government may need to rethink its priorities.
Just as Gordon Brown takes over as prime minister there's a swing (svolta) towards revaluing noneconomic factors in several departments. In the areas of communities and local government, for
example, there's a new agenda to do with "place shaping" that goes well beyond the
conventional attempt by councils to promote economic growth and jobs: Now efforts are being
made to lift expectations and stimulate the public's imagination.
How much income surely affects the happiness of pensioners and older citizen, but their happiness
is affected by their possibility to learn something new, to do things, and by their interrelationship
with family and society. Government can provide opportunities: the Department of Work and
Pensions is trying out a new "opportunity age" programme.
The Department of Health has framed its model for what primary care trusts should "commission" in
terms of wellbeing, hoping for a move away from exclusive focus on medical services for patients
to broader ideas of what makes for good health, in the sense of leading a contented, fulfilling life.
Not only medical services makes for good health: a fulfilling life makes for good health too.
Wellbeing policies for schools put more emphasis on eradicating bullying and inculcating a sense
that all children can attain: this is a new thinking that underpins the growth of personal records of
achievement alongside formal examinations.
area in which government
operate
communities and local
government
pensioners and older citizen
primary care
schools
Old idea
New intervents
councils to promote economic
growth and jobs
Efforts to lift expectations and
stimulate the public's imagination.
How much income affects the
happiness of pensioners.
their happiness is affected by their
possibility to learn something new,
to do things, and by their
interrelationship with family and
society. Government can provide
opportunities.
what makes for good health, in
the sense of leading a contented,
fulfilling life
eradicating bullying and
inculcating a sense that all
children can attain  growth of
personal records of achievement
alongside formal examinations
exclusive focus on medical
services for patients
formal examinations
An influential figure in recent years has been the Labour peer Lord Richard Layard, whose book
Happiness, Lessons from a New Science, urged much more spending on helping people out of
mental health problems.
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It's not just people
on the left of centre
who are attracted
by the new ideas.
The Conservative
housing spokesman,
Michael Gove, says
public services have
to show more
"emotional
intelligence" in
dealing with people
and the party
leader, David
Cameron, argues
wellbeing should be
the object of public
policy.
Per capire: LABURISTI E CONSERVATORI
Il laburismo è una corrente di pensiero prettamente britannica
Il Partito del Lavoro (Labour Party) sorse in Inghilterra nel XIX secolo con ispirazione socialista,
richiamandosi alle esperienze precedenti del Cartismo, del Fabianesimo, delle Trade Unions. Si
costituì come partito nel 1909 con la confluenza delle varie organizzazioni sindacali e politiche di
carattere socialista-democratico. Il Laburismo si prefissava di riplasmare le vedute del socialismo e
del liberalismo in una visione politica nuova che mettesse parimenti al centro le istanze di giustizia
sociale tipiche del socialismo e la tutela dell'individuo in quanto soggetto di diritti inalienabili come
la libertà e la proprietà. In Italia esponenti vicini al Laburismo britannico sono presenti nella
formazione politica Rosa nel Pugno, nei "I Socialisti" di Bobo Craxi, nella "destra" dei Democratici di
Sinistra e in altre formazioni politiche minori.
Il conservatorismo è una corrente politica che, in linea con il tradizionalismo, diffida dei
cambiamenti improvvisi (la cui massima espressione è il concetto di rivoluzione) e sostiene la
necessità di preservare un determinato stato politico, sociale e religioso.Il termine "conservatore" in
genere connota i partiti della destra politica o del centro-destra. È alquanto difficile tuttavia dare
una precisa definizione del conservatorismo. Molti partiti assumono espressamente il nome di
"Partito Conservatore". Sono, di solito, partiti che pongono l'accento sui concetti di patria, fede,
famiglia, ordine sociale. Sono partiti tanto liberali, quanto sociali. Nella maggior parte dei casi sono
favorevoli al libero mercato, ma a volte "conservatori" sono anche partiti che accentuano il ruolo
di controllo dello Stato nell'economia.
Queste contraddizioni sono dovute all'evoluzione storica del conservatorismo.I conservatori non
sono favorevoli all'immobilismo sociale ma si dichiarano più che altro fautori di una progresso
graduale (concetto non dissimile a quello di riformismo) che accompagni la società senza
sconvolgerne le caratteristiche ed i parametri di riferimento.
The new thinking was on display in a conference at the University of Bath, showcasing research
commissioned by the Economic and Social Research Council, especially on how wellbeing should
recondition policies for development in Africa, Asia and South America.
Professor Allister McGregor, the research leader, says focusing on "human flourishing" brings muchneeded attention to how much power people exercise, rather than where they fit in the economy.
Conventional economics tends to focus on individuals and ignore how wellbeing often stems from
relationships within families and within communities.
Economists and accountants put work down as a cost, something you do to earn money. The new
approach is to see work as a potential source of fulfillment, even of happiness.
You can even be in debt but remain relatively happy- if you trust the people who lent you the
money, for example family members or friends.
Only 10% of the causes of happiness have to do with where we fit in the social order, according to
new psychological studies. What matters much more is "mindset", according to Professor Felicia
Huppert of the University of Cambridge. She reports that what matters is the belief that what you do
can affect your position: for example, believing you are destined to do badly at school (which
many children do) is linked to unhappiness.
Governments should seek to alleviate miserableness. One of Labour's problems has been the
mismatch between increased spending on public services and public perceptions that health,
education and other services are getting worse, not better. This may have to do with the sense of
gloom imparted by the Blairite reformers, who implied things were in a terrible state.
The media too, Professor Huppert argues, are a prime cause of unhappiness on the part of the
public: public and unremittingly negative reporting helps generate dark and low moods which,
research shows, impact on how we behave. (comportiamo).
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Wellbeing often depends to relationships with families and communities
Work isn‘t a cost, it‘s a potential sourches of happiness
Only 10% of causes of happiness have to do with where we fit in social order
 Mindset is what really matters: it‘s the belief that what you do can affect your position
The media too, are a prime cause of unhappiness on the part of the public: they affect the
perception of policies and decisions
One of problems with Labour‘s reforms were the
Mismatch between spending on pubblic services
and the perceptions that the services are
getting worse
This may have to do with the sense of gloom
imparted by the Blairite reformers,
who implied things were in a terrible state.
Questo può avere a che fare con il senso di oscurità i
mpartito dai riformatori pro Blair,
che implicava che le cose fossero in uno stato terribile.
Governments should seek to alleviate miserableness:
government should try to make people feel more positive about themselves and their noneconomic prospects.
Money and economic growth matter, but they aren‘t the only thing that matters: many nonmaterial aspects of life are important too. Government may need to rethink its priorities.
Il brano è tratto dal Guardian, a liberal newspaper
David Walker is editor of Public magazine.
SocietyGuardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
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HAPPY TALK – testo integrale
David Walker explains how boosting wellbeing became a government priority
A tornado is sweeping through the social sciences as narrow, money-focused ways of thinking
about progress give way to wider appraisals of wellbeing.
Politicians and policy makers, too, are rethinking what government can and should do to make
people feel more positive about themselves and their non-economic prospects. Money and
economic growth matter, of course, but so do the many non-material aspects of life and, it is being
argued, government may need to rethink its priorities.
Ironically, just as Gordon Brown takes over as prime minister - on the back of a record as chancellor
centred on economic achievement - there's a swing towards revaluing non-economic factors in
several departments. In the areas of communities and local government, for instance, there's a
new agenda to do with "place shaping" that goes well beyond the conventional attempt by
councils to promote economic growth and jobs. Now efforts are being made to lift expectations
and stimulate the public's imagination.
How much income they have affects the happiness of pensioners and older citizens, but so does a
sense they can still learn, can still do things - as well as their interrelationship with family and society
at large. Government can provide opportunities: indeed, the Department of Work and Pensions is
trying out a new "opportunity age" programme.
The Department of Health has framed its model for what primary care trusts should "commission" in
terms of wellbeing, hoping for a move away from exclusive focus on medical services for patients
to broader ideas of what makes for good health, in the sense of leading a contented, fulfilling life.
Wellbeing policies for schools put more emphasis than before on eradicating bullying and
inculcating a sense that all children can attain, a new thinking that underpins the growth of
personal records of achievement alongside formal examinations.
An influential figure in recent years has been the Labour peer Lord Richard Layard, whose book
Happiness, Lessons from a New Science, urged much more spending on helping people out of
mental health problems.
It's not just people on the left of centre who are attracted by the new ideas. The Conservative
housing spokesman, Michael Gove, says public services have to show more "emotional
intelligence" in dealing with people and the party leader, David Cameron, argues wellbeing should
be the object of public policy.
The new thinking was on display last week at a three-day conference at the University of Bath,
showcasing research commissioned by the Economic and Social Research Council, especially on
how wellbeing should recondition policies for development in Africa, Asia and South America.
Professor Allister McGregor, the research leader, says focusing on "human flourishing" brings muchneeded attention to how much power people exercise, rather than where they fit in the economy.
Conventional economics tends to focus on individuals and ignore how wellbeing often stems from
relationships within families and within communities. Economists and accountants put work down as
a cost, something you do to earn money. The new approach is to see work as a potential source of
fulfillment, even of happiness. You can even be in debt but remain relatively content - if you trust
the people who lent you the money, for example family members or friends.
Only 10% of the causes of happiness have to do with where we fit in the social order, according to
new psychological studies. What matters much more is "mindset", according to Professor Felicia
Huppert of the University of Cambridge. She reports that what matters is the belief that what you do
can affect your position: for example, believing you are destined to do badly at school (which
many children do) is linked to unhappiness.
Governments should - it was argued - seek to alleviate miserableness. One of Labour's problems has
been the mismatch between increased spending on public services and public perceptions that
health, education and other services are getting worse, not better. This may have to do with the
sense of gloom imparted by the Blairite reformers, who implied things were in a dire state.
The media too, Professor Huppert argues, are a prime cause of unhappiness on the part of the
public: public and unremittingly negative reporting helps generate dark and low moods which,
research shows, impact on how we behave.
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Chasing the dragon and the tiger: the growth of India and China
Written by Simon Collinson
We hear talking about India and China almost everyday, especially about impressive facts and
figures: deeper insights into the implications of the rapid economic growth and social and political
change taking place are more difficult to find.
SCALE, SCOPE AND SPEED OF GROWTH (SCALA E PORTATA E VELOCITÀ DELLA CRESCITA)
These countries contains more than one in three (un terzo) of world‘s population. They have only
recently re-connected with the modern world to boost trade and foreign direct investment:
liberalisation, opening up of borders and markets to foreign products services and investissment
began in 1980‘s (eightees) in Cina and in 1990s in India.
Both countries had a similar sized economies when they opened their economy but China was
growing faster: today China has an economy which is approximately twice the size of India‘s.
China has passed UK becoming the fourth largest economy: at curret growth rate will probably
overtake USA by 2040.
CHINA
China‘s planned economy is dominated by
manufactoring and has a heavy reliance on
foreign firms. Half of his export are from foreignowned firms based there.
INDIA
India gains less of its GDP from manufacturing.
It‘s strengts are in services, customized software,
back-office outsurching, biotechnology, media
sector (Bolliwood film industry for example).
China‘s other stregths are electronics, white
goods,telecoms, autos, computing
equipement. Dell and wall-Mart are two firms
who buy lots of goods from china (17$ billion).
India‘s advantages are a more efficent capital
markets, a well structured legal system, a highly
enterpreneurial culture, a very useful global
diaspora, english language.
Local incomes made China the largest market
for cell phones, cement, steel, television,
machine tools. China will become the largest
market for evrything
Its weekness relative to China are poor
infrastructure, difficult labour laws, restrictive
Governament bureaucracy, lower literacy
rates.
OPPURTUNITIES, THEATS AND A GROWING PRESSURE TO ADAPT (OPPORTUNITÀ, MINACCE E UNA CRESCENTE PRESSIONE
ALL‘ADATTAMENTO)
Many commentators view the two countries as competing in a ‗race to the top‘.
But it is far more relevant to think in terms of the combined effects of both countries on the rest of us
(because they‘ve, as explaned before different strengths). To do this we need to understand the
type of economies they are evolving as the expertise of their people and the capabilities of their
firms improve across particular industry sectors.
 This will provide some degree of foresight (previsione) into future opportunities and threats.
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Trends towards higher value-added products and services and international expansion
Make the leap from low price products to higher value added products
China
They are less well-known when we talk about
China. The contry is second only to US in terms
of exporting advanced tecnlogy goods. It‘s the
second larger investissor in research and
developement, it spends over three times much
as UK ech year. China technlogy companies
are catching up their foreign rivals: they moved
from low-price product segments to hight price
product segments and expertise in design,
engineering and product development.
They‘re adding more value per employee and
getting increasly better at innovating (sources
of sustained competitive advantage)
India
The success of indian software industry is
legendary. And as Indian firms (like Tata and
VSNL) expand through crossborder merger-andacquisition, Western firms see competitors
where they once saw benign collaborators:
they start to become ―scared‖ by Indian firms.
The processes of change aren‘t unprecedented: we have seen this pattern before in indian
software industry, Korean and Taiwanese electronic industries and Japanese auto and consumer
electronics industries (same path : stesso percorso), but they‘re spending less time to make the leap
(salto di qualità)
 SAME PATH, LESS TIME
INDUSTRIES DOMINATION?
Which industries will China and India come to dominate?
How long will it take?
Reasearchs try to answers to theese questions. They noticed that:
 Many firms have reduced production costs by tapping into cheaper labour and/or better
expertise in these emerging markets, or increased revenues by selling products in domestic
markets.
 Many firms are too focused on short term gains, and are failing to undestreand the longer
term competitive thereats from these emerging markets. Especially in the case of China,
some firms are unitentionally ―breeding‖ (stanno allevando) their future competitors.
 Once valuable brands, key technologies, effective management practices, or customer
connections ‗leak‘ out, often via local partnerships and joint ventures, what distinctive
competitive advantages remain?
Where will western firms move to in response to the Indian and Chinese challenge?
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Chasing the dragon and the tiger: the growth of India and China
TESTO INTEGRALE
Chasing the Dragon (and the Tiger): The growth of the
two economic giants - India and China
By Simon Collinson
[c]
Impressive facts and figures on both India and China are everywhere as both countries constantly feature
on TV, in newspapers and the media. Deeper insights into the implications of the rapid economic growth
and social and political change taking place are more difficult to find.
SCALE, SCOPE AND SPEED OF GROWTH
These two giant countries contain more than one in three of the world’s population (2.4 billion combined)
but have only recently re-connected with the modern world to boost trade and foreign direct investment
(FDI). Liberalisation, the opening up of borders and markets to foreign products, services and investment
began in the early 1980s in China under Deng Xiaoping. By the time India began the same process in the
early 1990s both countries had similar-sized economies, but China was already growing faster, at 8-9
percent GDP growth per year compared to 5-6 percent in India. As a result China has an economy which
is now roughly twice the size of India’s. It has recently passed the UK to become the fourth largest
economy, and at current growth rates will be Number 2 by 2016 and overtake the USA by 2040.
China’s ‘planned economy’ is dominated by manufacturing (39 percent of GDP) and has a heavy reliance
on foreign firms. It has attracted ten times the inflow of FDI compared to India and around half of its
exports are from foreign-owned firms based there. China’s key strengths, in addition to clothing and
textiles, are electronics, consumer electronics, white goods, telecoms, autos and computing equipment.
As a result both Dell and Wal-Mart buy around $17 billion worth of goods from China each year. But as
local incomes rise China has also become the largest market for cell phones, cement, steel, television
sets and machine tools, and will soon be the largest market for almost everything.
India by comparison gains just 16 percent of its GDP from manufacturing. Its strengths are in services,
including customised software, back-office outsourcing and, increasingly, biotechnology and some media
sectors including the Bollywood film industry. Its advantages include more efficient capital markets, a
well-structured legal system, a highly entrepreneurial culture and a very useful global diaspora, as well as
the English language. Its poor infrastructure, difficult labour laws, restrictive Government bureaucracy
and lower literacy rates are seen to be weaknesses relative to China.
OPPORTUNITIES, THREATS AND A GROWING PRESSURE TO ADAPT
Many commentators view the two countries as competing in a ‘race to the top’. But it is far more relevant
to think in terms of the combined effects of both countries on the rest of us. To do this we need to
understand the type of economies they are evolving as the expertise of their people and the capabilities
of their firms improve across particular industry sectors. This will provide some degree of foresight into
future opportunities and threats.
The success of the Indian software industry is legendary. And as Indian firms like Tata and VSNL expand
through crossborder merger-and-acquisition, Western firms see competitors where they once saw benign
collaborators. Trends towards higher value-added products and services and international expansion are
less well-known when it comes to China. The country is already second only to the US in terms of
advanced technology exports, and it will overtake Japan this year to become the second largest investor
in R&D. It spent around half of the UK budget on R&D in 1994 and now spends well over three times as
much as the UK each year. A recent survey by McKinsey & Co. and Tsinghua University in Beijing shows
that China’s technology companies are catching up their foreign rivals, moving from low-price product
segments and a reliance on cheap labour to high price product segments and expertise in design,
engineering and product development. They are adding more value per employee and getting
increasingly better at innovating, both of which are key sources of sustained competitive advantage.
While the scale of these changes may be unprecedented, the processes of change are not. We have seen
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this pattern before. Some local industries in China are moving along the same path followed by the
Indian software industry, and before it the Korean and Taiwanese electronics industries, and before them
the Japanese auto and consumer electronics industries. But while it took 30-35 years for firms like Toyota
and Sony to move from a cheap labour advantage to become lead innovators, firms like Samsung and
Acer took 20-25 years, and Indian firms such as Wipro, TCS and Infosys just 15 years.
INDUSTRY DOMINATION?
This leaves us with two important questions: which industries will China and India come to dominate, and
how long will it take? An obvious third question follows: are British, European and American firms going
to be able to adapt in time?
Research at Warwick Business School, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council via the
Advanced Institute of Management, is examining these very questions. Many firms have successfully
reduced production costs by tapping into cheaper labour and/or better expertise in these emerging
markets, or increased revenues by selling products and services in their growing domestic markets. What
we are also finding, though, is that many firms are too focused on short-term gains and are failing to
fully comprehend the longer term competitive threats from these emerging markets. In fact, in the case
of China we find that some firms are unintentionally ‘breeding’ their future competitors. Once valuable
brands, key technologies, effective management practices, or customer connections ‘leak’ out, often via
local partnerships and joint ventures, what distinctive competitive advantages remain? Where will
western firms move to in response to the Indian and Chinese challenge?
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China's Labor Tests Its Muscle
From the New York Time, agoust 2010
Assertive, self-possessed workers have become a challenge for the industrial titans of China that
once filled their mammoth workshops with an endless stream of pliant labor from the nation's rural
belly.
Grintosi, padroni di sé, i lavoratori sono diventati una sfida per i colossi industriali della Cina che un
tempo riempivano le loro botteghe gigantesche con un flusso infinito di manodopera rurale docile
proveniente dal ventre della nazione.
As China's export-driven has been revived and many migrants have found jobs closer to home,
employers have been forced to compete for new workers and prevent the more experts one from
defecting (disertare per ottenere) to sweeter prospects. A labor shortage (carenza) has
encouraged workers and inspired a flood of strikes in and around Zhongshan in the southeast that
paralyzed Honda's Chinese operations in June 2010. The unrest (agitazione) spread (si diffuse) to
the northern city of Tianjin, where strikers briefly paralyzed production at a Toyota car plant and a
Japanese-owned electronics factory.
Although the strikes were calmed with higher salaries (sometimes doubled) factory owners and
labor experts said that the strikes have shown a reality that had been predicted by demographers:
the supply of workers 16 to 24 years old has peaked (raggiounto il picco) and will drop by a third in
the next 12 years, thanks to stringent family-planning policies that have sharply reduced China's
population growth.
 always fewer young workers  the shortage of workers increases their bargaining power
The other new aspect is that young Chinese factory workers, raised in a country with rapidly rising
expectations, are less willing to work hard for long hours for low wages like dutiful automatons.
At the same time, China has rapidly expanded university enrollments, resulting in an already
decrease of the number of less educated workers disposed to accept the rigors and monotony of
assembly lines. And the labor agitation is not limited to factory workers.
During the past two years, laid-off bank workers have staged public protests and held sit-ins. Like
many other state-owned companies, the banks slashed wages and restructured to raise profitability
and make themselves more attractive to outside investors. And though smaller in number than
factory workers, the bank workers — educated, organized and knowledgeable about the Internet
— make use of online message boards, text messages, and frequently changed cellphone
numbers.
As the costs of doing business have risen in China because the cost of work rised, it is slowly losing
work to countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam and Cambodia — at least for cheaper, labor-intensive
goods like casual clothes, toys and simple electronics.
SURGING EXPECTATION
The factory strikes began in export-oriented Guangdong province in the southeast but have begun
spreading to other provinces as well. Many of the labor demands go well beyond the minimum
wage, which has climbed in 2010 in many cities and now tends to be in the range of 900 to 1,000
renminbi a month ($132 to $146) in relatively affluent coastal cities. The workers want sharply higher
incomes because the cost of living in China is rising, while their expectations are rising even faster.
Inflation in consumer goods is running at 3 percent a year in the spring of 2010, but housing prices
have been rising several times faster: that made difficoult for industry workers to buy a house.
At the same time, access to the Internet and advertising has fueled surging expectations among
young Chinese, who want more than the basic shelter and food that earlier generations of young
Chinese accepted after growing up with privation in rural areas: expectations grow very fast.
In organizing protests, the strikers have wielded their knowledge of text-messaging and other Webbased strategies. Some strike leaders say they spend much of their time scanning the Internet for
material on China's labor laws. They‘well informed. Beijing passed a new labor law in 2008 promising
stricter enforcement of work regulations, pressing local governments to raise the wages of migrants
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and offering better protections to these workers. But local governments, which depend on tax
revenue from factories and sometimes hold ownership stakes in them, are not always inclined to
support workers' demands.
I governi locali non riconoscono le tutele disposte da Pechino perchè le loro entrate dipendono
dalle fabbriche di cui a volte sono persino cooproprietari.
TROUBLES AT FOXCON AND IN HONDA
Since 2009, periodic strikes in southern China have been resolved quietly or not reported in the
media. But a spate of suicides at Foxconn Technology and strikes at Honda are noteworthy for
having generated considerable public attention.
The rash of suicides, more than a dozen in 2010, has intensified scrutiny of the working and living
conditions at Foxconn, the world's biggest contract electronics supplier. In response, Foxconn has
raised salaries steeply twice in June, announcing that it planned to double by October the salaries
of many of its 800,000 workers in China to 2,000 renminbi, nearly $300, a month. The announcement
of a big raise by one of the country's biggest exporters seems likely to put pressure on other
companies to follow suit, analysts say.
The workers complain about military-style drills, verbal abuse by superiors and "self-criticisms" they
are forced to read aloud, as well as occasionally being pressured to work as many 13 consecutive
days to complete a big customer order — even when it means sleeping on the factory floor.
Although the legal limit in China is 36 hours of overtime a month, several workers have said they
regularly exceeded that by wide margins.
To resolve the strike at its transmission plant, Honda offered workers raises of 24 to 32 percent. That
strike had forced Honda to shut down its four assembly plants in China. Striking Honda workers at
one plant have marched, demanding the right to form an independent labor union. But the strikers
are also facing tough tactics on the part of management: a strike at a Honda auto parts factory in
southeastern China collapsed as the automaker's hiring of hundreds of replacement workers of the
strikers prompted most of them to return to work. The factory had raised wages and benefits,
although the increase fell far short of what the strikers had demanded. It was unclear how many
longtime workers had lost their jobs to replacement workers.
Beijing's Response
But the breaking of the Honda strike may not become widely known in China. After allowing
nationwide television and newspaper reporting of the early days of the transmission plant strike,
Beijing authorities have imposed severe restrictions, without explanation, on the ability of the
domestic media to report on labor unrest. But government official news agency reported that
Prime Minister had called for local governments to improve the living conditions of migrant workers
in urban areas. Beijing's municipal government said it would raise its minimum wage by 20 percent.
The salaries of Chinese factory workers are still low compared to those in the United States and
Europe (the hourly wage in southern China is only about 75 cents an hour). But economists say
wage increases in the country will eventually ripple through the global economy, driving up the
prices of goods as diverse as T-shirts, sneakers, computer servers and smartphones.
Analysts say that Beijing is supporting wage increases as a way to stimulate domestic consumption
and make the country less dependent on low-priced exports.
The government hopes the move will force some export-oriented companies to invest in more
innovative or higher-value goods like the smartphones. A necessary restructuring is under way: that
should allow the nation's huge population of migrant workers to better share in the benefits of
growth and stimulate domestic consumption.
Improved working conditions come at a price: China is loosing work going to Bangladesh and
other countries where the manufacture of cheap goods does not necessarily require literate
workers and can tolerate unreliable transportation systems and electrical grids. The flow of jobs to
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poorer countries started even before Chinese factory workers obtained pay-rises. Economists
expect the migration of China's low-paying jobs to poorer countries to accelerate.
Migrant Workers' Tech Savvy
One factor in the expanding consciousness of migrant laborers is an astounding rise in education,
with an additional three million students graduating high school between 2004 and 2008. The result
is that a growing number of young people are ambitious, optimistic and more aware of their rights.
Then there is their fluency with technology — cellphones, e-mail and Internet chat — that connects
them to peers in other factories. These workers when they bump against unfair treatment, they are
less afraid to challenge authority.
The migrant workers, the backbone (spina dorsale) of the country's industrial sector, are behind the
strikes across China, and the new labor law has accelerated the workers' consciousness of their
rights. During a strike at the Honda factory some of the strikers started posting detailed accounts of
the walkout online, keeping informated not only the strikers but also the workers elsewhere in China.
Strikers at other Honda factories setted up Internet forums and made online bulletin board postings
about their own battle with the Japanese automaker over wages and working conditions.
A looming (incombente) question now, in fact, is whether and when the government might try to
repress the strikes if they become too big a threat (una minaccia) to the established social order.
Already, the government has cracked down on strike-related Web sites and deleted many of the
blog posts about the strike
VOCABULARY
Pliant --willing to be persuaded or controlled
Juggernaut - a huge, powerful, and overwhelming force
Emboldened --willing to take more risks, esp. to get what you want
Spate -a large number of similar things coming in quick succession
Strike -a work stoppage by a body of workers to enforce compliance with demands made on an employer
Walkout - the action of leaving a meeting or organization as an expression of disapproval
Quelled -thoroughly overwhelmed and reduced to submission or passivity
Looming - taking shape as an impending occurrence
Toil - to work hard and long
Dwindling -to become steadily less : shrink
Assembly lines -an arrangement of machines, equipment, and workers in which work passes from operation
to operation in direct line until the product is assembled
Laid off
-fired, dismesse
Payrolls -the total amount of money that a company pays to all of its employees
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China's Labor Tests Its Muscle – testo integrale
China's Labor Tests Its Muscle
The New York Times Aug. 16, 2010
Assertive, self-possessed workers have become a challenge for the industrial titans of
China that once filled their mammoth workshops with an endless stream of pliant labor
from the nation's rural belly. As China's export-driven juggernaut has been revived and
many migrants have found jobs closer to home, employers have been forced to compete
for new workers — and prevent seasoned ones from defecting to sweeter prospects. A
labor shortage has emboldened workers and inspired a spate of strikes in and around
Zhongshan in the southeast that paralyzed Honda's Chinese operations in June 2010. The
unrest spread to the northern city of Tianjin, where strikers briefly paralyzed production at a
Toyota car plant and a Japanese-owned electronics factory. Although the walkouts were
quelled with higher salaries, sometimes doubled, factory owners and labor experts said
that the strikes have driven home a looming reality that had been predicted by
demographers: the supply of workers 16 to 24 years old has peaked and will drop by a
third in the next 12 years, thanks to stringent family-planning policies that have sharply
reduced China's population growth. The other new reality, perhaps harder to quantify, is
that young Chinese factory workers, raised in a country with rapidly rising expectations,
are less willing to toil for long hours for appallingly low wages like dutiful automatons. At
the same time, China has rapidly expanded university enrollments, resulting in an already
dwindling number of less educated workers willing to accept the rigors and monotony of
assembly lines. And the labor unrest is not limited to factory workers. During the past two
years, laid-off bank workers have staged public protests and held sit-ins. Like many other
state-owned companies, the banks slashed payrolls and restructured to raise profitability
and make themselves more attractive to outside investors. And though smaller in number
than factory workers, the bank workers — educated, organized and knowledgeable
about the Internet — make use of online message boards, text messages, and frequently
changed cellphone numbers. As the costs of doing business have risen in China, it is slowly
losing work to countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam and Cambodia — at least for cheaper,
labor-intensive goods like casual clothes, toys and simple electronics.
1)
The factory strikes began in export-oriented Guangdong province in the southeast but
have begun spreading to other provinces as well. Many of the labor demands go well
beyond the minimum wage, which has climbed in 2010 in many cities and now tends to
be in the range of 900 to 1,000 renminbi a month ($132 to $146) in relatively affluent
coastal cities. The workers want sharply higher incomes because the cost of living in China
is rising, while their expectations are rising even faster. Inflation in consumer goods is
running at 3 percent a year in the spring of 2010, but housing prices have been rising
several times faster, leaving home ownership far out of reach for industrial workers. At the
same time, access to the Internet and advertising has fueled surging expectations among
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young Chinese, who want more than the basic shelter and food that earlier generations of
young Chinese accepted after growing up with privation in rural areas. In organizing work
stoppages, the strikers have wielded their knowledge of text-messaging and other Webbased strategies. Some strike leaders say they spend much of their time perusing the
Internet for material on China's labor laws. The central government in Beijing has been
trying in recent years to ease a widening income gap. As a result, Beijing passed a new
labor law in 2008 promising stricter enforcement of work regulations, pressing local
governments to raise the wages of migrants and offering better protections to these
workers. But local governments, which depend on tax revenue from factories and
sometimes hold ownership stakes in them, are not always inclined to support workers'
demands.
2)
Since 2009, periodic strikes in southern China have been resolved quietly or not reported in
the media. But a spate of suicides at Foxconn Technology and strikes at Honda are
noteworthy for having generated considerable public attention. The rash of suicides, more
than a dozen in 2010, has intensified scrutiny of the working and living conditions at
Foxconn, the world's biggest contract electronics supplier. In response, Foxconn has raised
salaries steeply twice in June, announcing that it planned to double by October the
salaries of many of its 800,000 workers in China to 2,000 renminbi, nearly $300, a month. The
announcement of a big raise by one of the country's biggest exporters seems likely to put
pressure on other companies to follow suit, analysts say. Rather than take their own lives,
many more Foxconn workers — tens of thousands more — have simply quit after a few
months. They complain about military-style drills, verbal abuse by superiors and "selfcriticisms" they are forced to read aloud, as well as occasionally being pressured to work
as many 13 consecutive days to complete a big customer order — even when it means
sleeping on the factory floor. Although the legal limit in China is 36 hours of overtime a
month, several workers have said they regularly exceeded that by wide margins. To
resolve the strike at its transmission plant, Honda offered workers raises of 24 to 32 percent.
That strike had forced Honda to shut down its four assembly plants in China. Striking Honda
workers at one plant have marched, demanding the right to form an independent labor
union. But the strikers are also facing tough tactics on the part of management. A strike at
a Honda auto parts factory in southeastern China collapsed on June 13, as the
automaker's hiring of hundreds of replacement workers on the previous day prompted
most of the strikers to return to work. The factory had raised wages and benefits, although
the increase fell far short of what the strikers had demanded. It was unclear how many
longtime workers had lost their jobs to replacement workers. The factory was severely
understaffed before the strike because it had not raised wages, workers said.
3)
But the breaking of the Honda strike may not become widely known in China. After
allowing nationwide television and newspaper reporting of the early days of the
transmission plant strike, Beijing authorities have imposed severe restrictions, without
explanation, on the ability of the domestic media to report on labor unrest. But
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government official news agency reported on June 15 that Prime Minister Wen Jiabao
had called for local governments to improve the living conditions of migrant workers in
urban areas. In early June, Beijing's municipal government said it would raise its minimum
wage by 20 percent. The salaries of Chinese factory workers are still low compared to
those in the United States and Europe: the hourly wage in southern China is only about 75
cents an hour. But economists say wage increases in the country will eventually ripple
through the global economy, driving up the prices of goods as diverse as T-shirts, sneakers,
computer servers and smartphones. Analysts say that Beijing is supporting wage increases
as a way to stimulate domestic consumption and make the country less dependent on
low-priced exports. The government hopes the move will force some export-oriented
companies to invest in more innovative or higher-value goods like the smartphones.
Economists say a necessary restructuring is under way, one that should allow the nation's
huge population of migrant workers to better share in the benefits of growth and
stimulate domestic consumption. Improved working conditions come at a price, though.
China, long the world's shop floor, is seeing work go to Bangladesh and other countries
where the manufacture of cheap goods does not necessarily require literate workers and
can tolerate unreliable transportation systems and electrical grids. The flow of jobs to
poorer countries started even before Chinese factory workers obtained pay-rises.
Economists expect the migration of China's low-paying jobs to accelerate.
4)
One factor in the expanding consciousness of migrant laborers is an astounding rise in
education, with an additional three million students graduating high school between 2004
and 2008. The result is that a growing number of young people are ambitious, optimistic
and more aware of their rights, said Lin Yanling, a labor specialist at the China Institute of
Industrial Relations. Then there is their fluency with technology — cellphones, e-mail and
Internet chat — that connects them to peers in other factories. "When they bump against
unfair treatment, they are less afraid to challenge authority," she said. The migrant workers,
the backbone of the country's industrial sector, are behind the strikes across China, and a
2008 labor law has accelerated an upsurge in workers' awareness of their rights. Hours into
a strike at the Honda Lock auto parts factory on June 9, some of the 1,700 strikers started
posting detailed accounts of the walkout online, spreading word not only among
themselves but also to workers elsewhere in China. The disgruntled workers took their cues
from earlier groups of Web-literate strikers at other Honda factories, who in mid-May set up
Internet forums and made online bulletin board postings about their own battle with the
Japanese automaker over wages and working conditions. A looming question now, in
fact, is whether and when the government might seek to quash the worker uprisings if they
become too big a threat to the established social order. Already, the government has
cracked down on strike-related Web sites and deleted many of the blog posts about the
strike
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India‘s economy
The economist, sep 2010
The article analyse india‘s economy in occasion of Commonwealth games in Delhi: a big sport
event, some people believe, tells you something important about the nation who host it.
Horrible toilets, stagnant puddles buzzing with dengue-spreading mosquitoes, collapsing masonry,
Lax security. India‘s preparations for the 72-nation Commonwealth games, which are scheduled to
open in Delhi on October 3rd, have not won favourable reviews. At best—assuming that the
organisers make a last-minute rush to spruce things up—the Delhi games will be remembered as a
disaster. The contrast with China‘s practically perfect hosting of the Olympic games in 2008 could
hardly be starker. Many people will draw the wrong lesson from this. The fact that India cannot built
beautiful stadiums and make the shuttle buses run on time suggests that it will be always a second
rate power.
Despite the headlines, India is doing rather well. Its economy is expected to expand by 8.5% this
year. It has a long way to go before it is as rich as China—the Chinese economy is four times
bigger—but its growth rate could overtake China‘s by 2013, if not before. Some economists think
India will grow faster than any other large country over the next 25 years.
There are two reasons why India will soon start to outpace China
In india
DEMOGRAPHY
India is now blessed with a young and growing
workforce. Its dependency ratio—the proportion of
children and old people to working-age adults—is one of
the best in the world and will remain so for a generation.
India‘s economy will benefit from this ―demographic
dividend‖, which has powered many of Asia‘s economic
miracles.
INDIA‘S MUCH DERIDED DEMOCRACY
The notion that democracy retards development in poor
countries has gained currency in recent years. Certainly,
it has its disadvantages. Elected governments bow to the
demands of selfish factions and interest groups. Even the
most urgent decisions are endlessly debated and
delayed. India‘s state may be weak, but its private
companies are strong. Indian capitalism is driven by
millions of entrepreneurs all furiously doing their own
thing. Since the early 1990s, when India dismantled the
―licence raj‖1 and opened up to foreign trade, Indian
business has boomed. They are less dependent on state
patronage than Chinese firms, and often more
innovative: Ideas flow easily around India, since it lacks
China‘s culture of secrecy and censorship; That, plus
China‘s rampant piracy, is why knowledge-based
industries such as software prefer India instead China.
Meanwhile in Cina
China‘s workforce will shortly start
ageing; in a few years‘ time, it will start
decrease. That‘s because of its onechild policy.
China does not have this problem.
When its technocrats decide to dam a
river, build a road or move a village,
the dam goes up, the road goes down
and the village disappears. The
displaced villagers may be
compensated, but they are not
allowed to stand in the way of
progress. China‘s leaders make
rational decisions that balance the
needs of all citizens over the long term.
This has led to rapid, sustained growth
that has lifted hundreds of millions of
people out of poverty.
We have to pay attention to India‘s problems too
 Lack of infrastructures: The roads are atrocious. Public transport is a disgrace. Many of the
country‘s dynamic entrepreneurs waste hours each day stuck in traffic. Their firms are
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
hobbled by the costs of building their own infrastructure: backup generators, watertreatment plants and fleets of buses to ferry staff to work.
India‘s literacy rate is too low, even is rising thanks in part to a surge in cheap private schools
for the poor. The workforce is young and growing, but 40% are illiterate and another 40%
failed to complete school. India‘s labour market asks for engineers, graduates and trained
workers: there‘re a surplus of barely skilled workers in agriculture. India‘s best universities - the
Indian Institutes of Technology - are world class, unaccustomed to thinking about real-world
problems. Public schools are a mess. Supplies disappear. Teachers do not turn up, and even
the worst are unsackable: as civil servants, their jobs are constitutionally protected.
Advantage India
The Indian government recognises the need to tackle the infrastructure crisis, and is getting better
at persuading private firms to stump up the capital. But the process is slow and infected with
corruption.
Given the choice between doing business in China or India, most foreign investors would probably
pick China. The market is bigger, the government easier to deal with, and if your supply chain for
manufactured goods does not pass through China your shareholders will demand to know why. But
as the global economy becomes more knowledge-intensive, India‘s advantage will grow.
India‘s economy – testo integrale
India's economy
Sep 30th 2010 | Adapted from The Economist
HORRIBLE toilets. Stagnant puddles buzzing with dengue-spreading mosquitoes. Collapsing
masonry. Lax security. India‘s preparations for the 72-nation Commonwealth games,
which are scheduled to open in Delhi on October 3rd, have not won favourable reviews.
―Commonfilth‖, was one of the kinder British tabloid headlines. At best—assuming that the
organisers make a last-minute dash to spruce things up—the Delhi games will be
remembered as a shambles. The contrast with China‘s practically flawless hosting of the
Olympic games in 2008 could hardly be starker. Many people will draw the wrong lesson
from this.
A big sporting event, some people believe, tells you something important about the
nation that hosts it. Efficient countries build tip-top stadiums and make the shuttle buses
run on time. That India cannot seem to do any of these things suggests that it will always
be a second-rate power.
Or does it? Despite the headlines, India is doing rather well. Its economy is expected to
expand by 8.5% this year. It has a long way to go before it is as rich as China—the Chinese
economy is four times bigger—but its growth rate could overtake China‘s by 2013, if not
before. Some economists think India will grow faster than any other large country over the
next 25 years. Rapid growth in a country of 1.2 billion people is exciting, to put it mildly.
People power
There are two reasons why India will soon start to outpace China. One is demography.
China‘s workforce will shortly start ageing; in a few years‘ time, it will start shrinking. That‘s
because of its one-child policy—an oppressive measure that no Indian government would
get away with. Indira Gandhi tried something similar in the 1970s, when she called a state
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of emergency and introduced a forced-sterilisation programme. There was an uproar of
protest. Democracy was restored and coercive population policies were abandoned.
India is now blessed with a young and growing workforce. Its dependency ratio—the
proportion of children and old people to working-age adults—is one of the best in the
world and will remain so for a generation. India‘s economy will benefit from this
―demographic dividend‖, which has powered many of Asia‘s economic miracles.
The second reason for optimism is India‘s much-derided democracy. The notion that
democracy retards development in poor countries has gained currency in recent years.
Certainly, it has its disadvantages. Elected governments bow to the demands of selfish
factions and interest groups. Even the most urgent decisions are endlessly debated and
delayed.
China does not have this problem. When its technocrats decide to dam a river, build a
road or move a village, the dam goes up, the road goes down and the village
disappears. The displaced villagers may be compensated, but they are not allowed to
stand in the way of progress. China‘s leaders make rational decisions that balance the
needs of all citizens over the long term. This has led to rapid, sustained growth that has
lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. Small wonder that authoritarians
everywhere cite China as their best excuse not to allow democracy just yet.
India‘s state may be weak, but its private companies are strong. Indian capitalism is driven
by millions of entrepreneurs all furiously doing their own thing. Since the early 1990s, when
India dismantled the ―licence raj‖ and opened up to foreign trade, Indian business has
boomed. The country now boasts legions of thriving small businesses and a fair number of
world-class ones whose English-speaking bosses network confidently with the global elite.
They are less dependent on state patronage than Chinese firms, and often more
innovative: they have pioneered the $2,000 car, the ultra-cheap heart operation and
some novel ways to make management more responsive to customers. Ideas flow easily
around India, since it lacks China‘s culture of secrecy and censorship. That, plus China‘s
rampant piracy, is why knowledge-based industries such as software love India but shun
the Middle Kingdom.
For now, India‘s problems are painfully visible. The roads are atrocious. Public transport is a
disgrace. Many of the country‘s dynamic entrepreneurs waste hours each day stuck in
traffic. Their firms are hobbled by the costs of building their own infrastructure: backup
generators, water-treatment plants and fleets of buses to ferry staff to work. And India‘s
demographic dividend will not count for much if those new workers are unemployable.
India‘s literacy rate is rising, thanks in part to a surge in cheap private schools for the poor,
but it is still far behind China‘s.
The workforce is young and growing, but 40% are illiterate and another 40% failed to
complete school. The Boston Consulting Group sees a shortfall of 200,000 engineers,
400,000 other graduates and 150,000 vocationally trained workers in the coming years.
Meanwhile, there are 62m surplus workers in agriculture, most of them barely skilled. India‘s
best universities - the Indian Institutes of Technology - are world class, unaccustomed to
thinking about real-world problems. Employers train them for months, at great expense.
Then they are ruthlessly poached by rivals. Public schools are a mess. Supplies disappear.
Teachers do not turn up, and even the worst are unsackable: as civil servants, their jobs
are constitutionally protected. India‘s adult literacy rate is only 66%, China‘s is 93%.
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Advantage India
The Indian government recognises the need to tackle the infrastructure crisis, and is
getting better at persuading private firms to stump up the capital. But the process is slow
and infected with corruption. It is hard to measure these things, but many observers think
China has done a better job than India of curbing corruption.
Given the choice between doing business in China or India, most foreign investors would
probably pick China. The market is bigger, the government easier to deal with, and if your
supply chain for manufactured goods does not pass through China your shareholders will
demand to know why. But as the global economy becomes more knowledge-intensive,
India‘s advantage will grow. That is something to ponder while stuck in the Delhi traffic.
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Selling becomes sociable
The Economist – september 2010
E-commerce is becoming more social and more connected to the offline world
The article analyses the changes in the e-commerce and its new apperance, Social Commerce.
Firms in this market combine e-commerce with social networks and other online group activities.
An example of this new conception is the new start-up Swipely, where users can pubblish their
purchases: whenever they swipe their credit card the transaction is listed on the site to be discussed
by other users.
E-COMMERCE SITES‘ STORY
1) The first generation of e-commerce sites, which hit the web in the late
1990s, were essentially digitised mail-order catalogues. Websites like
Epinions collected user reviews and recommendations, but they did
not sell anything and many collapsed during the dotcom crash. Only
Amazon brought together selling and social feedback, to great effect.
By means of collective filtering, it made suggestions based on other
buyers‘ purchases.
2) The second generation of e-commerce firms is quite different. They
tend to have offline roots, and sometimes seek to drive customers to
actual shops. Many make their money from flash sales—brief offers of
steep discounts on products—that are advertised to registered
members. The pioneer of flash sales, Vente Privée, grew out of the
French apparel industry. Even today, its centre of gravity is offline, says
Jacques-Antoine Granjon, Vente Privée‘s boss, who founded the firm in
2001 along with seven partners. Hundreds of designers, photographers
and hairstylists organise its online sales events. After a slow start, Vente
Privée has been growing quickly. Its five local sites in Europe have more
than 12m members and are expected to bring in about €800m ($1
billion) in revenues this year.
3) Vente Privée‘s success has inspired others: the best known is Gilt
Groupe, which emulates the sample sales of luxury retailers in New York,
where it is based. Gilt is smaller than Vente Privée. It has only 2.5m
members and expects to turn over between $400m and $500m in
revenues this year. Gilt wants to become a platform for all sorts of social
commerce, says Susan Lyne, its boss. It recently launched several local
sites in America, offering ―deals of the day‖. Gilt Groupe is straying into
the territory of another clutch of city-based e-commerce sites, which
facilitate collective buying. Every day these sites offer the service of a
local business—a restaurant meal, a spa-treatment, the rental of an
expensive car—at a discount of up to 90% (they generally keep half of
the sale price). But a deal is struck only if a minimum number of
members pounce. Buyers thus have an interest in spreading the word,
which they do mostly on social networks.
4) Many such sites have sprung up. The most successful is Groupon (a
combination of the words ―group‖ and ―coupon‖, which buyers print
out to pay for their service). Although the firm launched only in late
2008, it already operates some 230 local websites in 29 countries and
boasts 15m subscribers. Groupon is more about people than
technology. It grew out of The Point, a Chicago-based website that
offers tools to organise collective action. The firm employs a worldwide
sales force of nearly 2,000 to identify interesting local merchants and
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1st generation:
digitalised mail-order
catalogues. Amazon
brought together selling
and social feedback.
2nd generation:
flash sales for registred
members
3rd generation:
collettive buying of the
―deals of the day‖.
Strongly presence into
territory, trying to identify
interesting local merchants
150 writers to describe the offers. It wants to be the company that
finally allows small businesses to participate in e-commerce, explains
Rob Solomon, its president.
5) The latest batch of firms try to build their business on top of the ―social graph‖: the network
of friends spun on social networks. They make use of virtual currencies and the growing
popularity of smart-phones, which can track consumers‘ location. ModCloth, which sells
clothing from independent designers, has an active forum on Facebook and lets customers
vote on which products the site should stock. Lockerz, another upstart, pays members
―pointz‖ if they watch videos with advertisements, invite friends and do things with them.
They can then use this currency to obtain discounts. Similarly, Shopkick rewards consumers
for offline activities such as visiting stores and scanning products with their smart-phones.
FOR THE NEW GENERATION OF E-COMMERCE FIRMS, THE OFFLINE WORLD IS AS IMPORTANT AS THE
ONLINE ONE.
Will making shopping more social really disrupt commerce as much as Mr Davis expects?
It is hard to predict whether the second and third generations of e-commerce sites will continue
their rapid growth. Consumers may tire of flash sales, as they did of online auctions. Even collective
buying may have its limits.
One of Groupon‘s biggest problems is that tens of thousands of local firms want to be featured, but
each of its sites offers only one deal per day. They have started to personalise some of its sites,
meaning that different users will see different deals depending on things like age, sex and interests.
But if personalisation goes too far, and users see only the sort of things they already knew they
wanted, this kind of shopping could become less fun.
E-commerce is bound to become more social.
Retailing has several persistent problems: the high cost of attracting visitors, the low probability that
they become buyers and the difficulty of getting them to come back. Sociable e-commerce offers
potential solutions to all of them.
So expect your favourite site to add social features, whereas many of the pioneers will end up with
arrows in their backs, as innovators often do.
Selling becomes sociable – testo integrale
Selling becomes sociable
E-commerce is becoming more social and more connected to the offline world
Sep 9th 2010 | The Economist
THOSE who cherish privacy will recoil in horror, but for digital exhibitionists it is a dream. At Swipely, a web start-up, users can
now publish their purchases. Whenever they swipe their credit or debit card (hence the service’s name), the transaction is listed on
the site—to be discussed by other users. ―Turn purchases into conversations‖ is the firm’s mantra.
Swipely is among the latest entrants in the growing field of social commerce. Firms in this market combine e-commerce with social
networks and other online group activities. They aim to transform shopping both online and off. Angus Davis, Swipely’s boss, points
out that the internet has already disrupted the content industry. Commerce will be next, he says.
The first generation of e-commerce sites, which hit the web in the late 1990s, were essentially digitised mail-order catalogues.
Websites like Epinions collected user reviews and recommendations, but they did not sell anything—and many collapsed during the
dotcom crash. Only Amazon brought together selling and social feedback, to great effect. By means of collective filtering, it made
suggestions based on other buyers’ purchases. The second generation of e-commerce firms is quite different. Few emerged from
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Silicon Valley. Indeed, they tend to have offline roots, and sometimes seek to drive customers to actual shops. Many make their
money from flash sales—brief offers of steep discounts on products—that are advertised to registered members.
The pioneer of flash sales, Vente Privée, grew out of the French apparel industry (the name means ―private sale‖). Even today, its
centre of gravity is offline, says Jacques-Antoine Granjon, Vente Privée’s boss, who founded the firm in 2001 along with seven
partners. Hundreds of designers, photographers and hairstylists organise its online sales events. After a slow start, Vente Privée has
been growing quickly. Its five local sites in Europe have more than 12m members and are expected to bring in about €800m ($1
billion) in revenues this year. Vente Privée’s success has inspired others. The best known is Gilt Groupe, which emulates the sample
sales of luxury retailers in New York, where it is based. Gilt is smaller than Vente Privée. It has only 2.5m members and expects to
turn over between $400m and $500m in revenues this year. Gilt wants to become a platform for all sorts of social commerce, says
Susan Lyne, its boss. It recently launched several local sites in America, offering ―deals of the day‖.
Gilt Groupe is straying into the territory of another clutch of city-based e-commerce sites, which facilitate collective buying. Every
day these sites offer the service of a local business—a restaurant meal, a spa-treatment, the rental of an expensive car—at a discount
of up to 90% (they generally keep half of the sale price). But a deal is struck only if a minimum number of members pounce. Buyers
thus have an interest in spreading the word, which they do mostly on social networks.
Until they drop
Many such sites have sprung up. The most successful is Groupon (a combination of the words ―group‖ and ―coupon‖, which buyers
print out to pay for their service). Although the firm launched only in late 2008, it already operates some 230 local websites in 29
countries and boasts 15m subscribers. Flush with money from investors, it has embarked on a global land-grab, buying Groupon
clones in other countries, such as Germany’s CityDeal. Groupon is more about people than technology. It grew out of The Point, a
Chicago-based website that offers tools to organise collective action. The firm employs a worldwide sales force of nearly 2,000 to
identify interesting local merchants and 150 writers to describe the offers. It wants to be the company that finally allows small
businesses to participate in e-commerce, explains Rob Solomon, its president.
Yet it may be a third generation of social-shopping sites that really deserves the label, says Sucharita Mulpuru of Forrester Research.
The latest batch of firms try to build their business on top of the ―social graph‖: the network of friends spun on social networks. They
make use of virtual currencies and the growing popularity of smart-phones, which can track consumers’ location. ModCloth, which
sells clothing from independent designers, has an active forum on Facebook and lets customers vote on which products the site
should stock. Lockerz, another upstart, pays members ―pointz‖ if they watch videos with advertisements, invite friends and do things
with them. They can then use this currency to obtain discounts. Similarly, Shopkick rewards consumers for offline activities such as
visiting stores and scanning products with their smart-phones.
For the new generation of e-commerce firms, the offline world is as important as the online one. Swipely is a good example. By
uploading transaction data, the start-up makes it easy for customers to tell their friends how they are spending their money in the real
world, something they probably would not do if they had to type all the data in. At the same time, customers can keep those
transactions secret that they do not want to share.
Will making shopping more social really disrupt commerce as much as Mr Davis expects? It is hard to predict whether the second
and third generations of e-commerce sites will continue their rapid growth. Consumers may tire of flash sales, as they did of online
auctions. Even collective buying may have its limits. One of Groupon’s biggest problems is that tens of thousands of local firms want
to be featured, but each of its sites offers only one deal per day. The outfit has started to personalise some of its sites, meaning that
different users will see different deals depending on things like age, sex and interests. But if personalisation goes too far, and users
see only the sort of things they already knew they wanted, this kind of shopping could become less fun. Whatever the fate of
individual firms and sales models, e-commerce is bound to become more social, predicts Sonali de Rycker of Accel Partners, a
venture-capital firm. Retailing has several persistent problems: the high cost of attracting visitors, the low probability that they
become buyers and the difficulty of getting them to come back. Sociable e-commerce offers potential solutions to all of them. So
expect your favourite site to add social features, whereas many of the pioneers will end up with arrows in their backs, as innovators
often do.
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Powered by demand
The story of a boat designed with the Sailing Anarchy‘s visitors‘ help
An accidental posting on Sailing Anarchy website has prompted a story of design democracy and
sales success for Bob Perry and his chinese builder
From ―powered by demand‖ by Bob Perry – april 2006
A year ago Bob Perry became involved with the Sailing Anarchy website, and he volunteered to
draw a 30er, designed to fit the requirement of Sailing Anarchy community. Sailing Anarchy is a
website devoted to sailboat racing.
Meanwhile, with his business partner Bill Stevens, he spent a week in China working on a club racer
for the China market: this boat would be 10m LOA (10 metri di lunghezza) and an able sailer
designed in the ―sportboat‖ style, but also easy to sail for anyone just learning to race. It would be
marketed in China and designed to fit into a high-cube container to be easly shipped to any part
of China for regattass. Bill wanted a club racer for the Chinese market. They thought that SA30
were a reasonable place to start preliminary design work, so they produced a drawing of a 10m
version. They sent the project to Steve Davis who did a fancy rendering (Il rendering è il processo per cui
un programma trasforma una grafica vettoriale, ovvero fatta di informazioni rappresentanti elementi geometrici, in una
immagine "raster" ovvero fatta di punti, quindi una foto oppure un frame di un video).
After weeks on the homepage of Sailing Anarchy website there was the rendering of the Flying
Tiger. There was no explanation of what the boat was, no dimensions, no builder and no designer.
Bill instructued to Bob to keep quiet about the project. In the mrantime the whole Sailing Anarchy
community pondered exactly what this boat was. The guesses were all over the map and it was a
lot of fun to watch and see of far off they could be regarding just the basic dimensions. After four
days Bob opened a floodgate of enquires for exactly the boat was: he had not answers because
he had no real design. He admitted it and asked if the site community would like to partecipate in
the design process. It has been nightmarish at times but it has allowed to collect lot of great ideas.
Meanwhile Bill had returned to China, sat down with the owner of the yard and priced out the boat
with the boatyard being a partner in the project: the could sell the boat FOB the yard for $39.500.
as they posted the prices a flood of comments quite skeptics on the line of ―you get what you pay
for‖ (the price was very low!). Bob had already worked with the chineese and the built a couple of
boats and they came out superb and well below the market price of similar boats built in UK or USA.
Bill annonced to the Sailing Anarchy board that a US $1.000 refundable deposit would hold them a
hull number. Today they get deposits for 75 boats, despite the fact that the price was guaranteed
for only the first 50 boats the deposits keept coming in: if they weren‘t happy Bill and Bob will
refound the deposits. A preliminary hull shape became a finished set of lines which they posted on
Sailing Anarchy site: a major element of debate was the shape of the windows in the cabin trunk.
Ben and Bob realised that some decisions were too important to the performance of the boat to
open to group discussion and they made their decisions in those areas. The rest of the time any
poster on Sailing Anarchy was welcome to submit ideas and criticisms.
So what is the boat? We wanted a fast sailboat that would be able to race competitively with a
crew of five. They‘ve made two trips to the yard so far and he‘s impressed with their quality. Bob is
confident that they‘ve a strong beginning to what will become a powerful and international onedesign class.
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Keynesianism: Monetary and fiscal policies
Three decades of keynesianism have provided abundant evidence that both the monetary and
fiscal policies which have been followed are only clumsy instruments of limited usefulness in
achieving our economic objectives.
For successfull stabilization an inflationary or recessionary condition must be diagnosed early
enough for preventive action to be taken, and the measures used to redirect the economy must
be rapid but controllable.
We still lack finesse in forecasting the future course of the economy and, even when the need for
action is finally appreciated, monetary and fiscal policy are slow to impact in the economy. There‘s
a real danger that attempts to iron out fluctuations may instead aggravate them or cause a new
policy cycle: measures take in period 2 to deal with a situation of periode 1 show real effects in
period 3; meanwhile conditions could be changed and they may call for a complete reversal of
the policy.
Even we can safely say of a measure that it will work in a particular direction, questions of by how
much and when may not be answerable with the same confidence.ù
An analysis on the management of the post-war British economy conclued that as far internal
conditions are concerned then, budgetary and monetary policy failed to be stabilizing and must
on the must on the contrary be regarded as having been positively destabilizing.
Keynesianism has consequently come under fire and from different quarters (diverse parti):
 Those on the left point to the difficulties of managing an economy in whivh key variables like
private investment and foreign trade are unpredictable. For them the answer lies in greater
public ownership and more direct, selective intervention by the State to replace the
broader manipulation of the economy which constitutes the Keynesian approach. But
there‘re also a lassez-faire inclination who instead conclude that the authorities have been
over-ambitious in their attempts to stabilize the economy. Sceptical of the effectiveness of
what has passed as stabilization policy, they argue against both the practicality and the
necessity for fine tuning in the economy.

Economists disceples of Friedman point out that in the first place a modern economy is to
some extent already self-regulating, containing elements which automatically
counterbalance cyclical tendencies.
Two examples of such built-it stabilizers are progressive taxation and the payment of
unemployment benefits. In the recovery or boom stages of the trade cycle, generally rising
incomes mean that more and more people people fall into the higher tax brackets; there‘s
thus a greater than proportionate increase in tax revenues and total spending by the
private sector is consequently restrained. In the same way tax revenues will fall off more
rapidly than incomes during a depression period and to that extent, private spending can
be maintained. Demand during a slump will be further supplemented by increased
government expenditure on unemployment benefits and National Assistance.
Due esempi di questi stabilizzatori sono la tassazione progressiva e il pagamento dei sussidi di
disoccupazione. Nelle fasi di recupero o di boom del ciclo economico, i redditi in generale aumento
comportano che sempre più persone rientrino negli scaglioni fiscali più alti, c'è quindi un maggiore
aumento proporzionale delle entrate fiscali e la spesa totale per il settore privato è quindi trattenuta.
Allo stesso modo le entrate fiscali cadranno più rapidamente dei redditi nel corso di un periodo di
depressione e in tal senso, la spesa privata può essere mantenuta a un certo livello. La domanda nel
corso di una recessione sarà ulteriormente integrato da una maggiore spesa pubblica sulle indennità
di disoccupazione e assistenza nazionale.
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LIVING A SECOND LIFE
From The Economist – october 2006
A californian firm built a virtual online world like no other. Its population is growing and its economy
is thriving. Now politicians and advertisers are visiting.
Second Life is a ―metaverse‖, a metaphysical universe, a three-dimensional world whose users or
―residents‖ can create and be anything they want. Residents can fly over islands, meander through
castles and gawk at dragons.
Second Life is not only a game, the use for things that are quite serious are increasing: users form
support groups for cancer survivors, they rehearse responses to earthquakes and terrorist attacks,
they build buddhist retreats and meditate.
Peter Yellowlees, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, used Second Life to explain
to his students how a schizophrenic patient feels. Using Second Life Mr Yellowlees create
hallucinations and 73% of his students said that it improved their understanding of schizophrenia. Mr
Yellowless leases an island where he has built a clinic that looks exactly like the real one in
Sacramento where many students practice. He gives to his students avatars so they can attent his
lectures inside Second Life and experience hallucination.
Many use Second Life as a communications medium: Mark Warner, a former governor of Virginia
became the first politician to give an interview in Second Life. He discussed with the reporter about
Iraq and other issues of real life untill mr Warner disappeared in a cloud of pixels.
Second Life is different from other synthetic online worlds.
Most of massively multi-player online role-playing games offer players pre-fabricated or themed
fantasy worlds. The biggest by far is ―World of Warcraft‖ by a Californian firm. These worlds are the
modern, interactive, equivalents of Nordic myths and Tolkien fantasies. They allow players to
escape into their immaginations, and to take part by, say, joining with others to slay a monster.
Second Life by contrast was designed from inception for a much deeper level of participation,
second life simulate reality. The founder Philip Rosedale set out to construct something that would
allow people to extend reality by building a virtual version of it, a ―second life‖.
Unlike other virtual worlds, which may allow players to combine artefacts found within them,
Second Life provides its residents with small elements of virtual matter called ―primitives‖, so that
they can build things from scratch. Because everything about Second Life is intended to make it
an engine of creativity, Linden Lab ealy decided that residents should own the intellectual property
inherent in their creations: Second Life allows creators to determine wheter the stuff they conceive
may be copied, modified or transferred. The objected created are bought and sold in the in-world
currency, Linden Dollars (exchangables for hard currency). Second Life has about 7000 profitable
business.
Second Life devotions to what is called ―user-generated content‖ places at the center of the trend
called Web 2.0. This term usually refers to free online services delivered though a web browser such
as blog or social networks. Even if Second Life is not delivered through a web browser but through
its own software it‘s a good example of web 2.0 because it celebrates individuality and it connects
people.
Second life business
Second Life business follows an original model. Linden Lab doesn‘t sell advertising, it‘s a virtual
property company. It makes money when residents lease property by charging an averange of 20$
per virtual acre per moth. Only the 3% of the population lease property, but they lease 53.800
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acres. This works out to monthly revenues of 1$milion dollars, not counting the commissions that it
takes on currency exchanges between Linden dollars and hard cash.
Second Life business: makes money
 When residents lease property
 When residents change hard cash in linden dollars (commissions)
A common reaction to such numbers is the stonishment that anybody should pay anything at all for
something that exist only in a metaphysical sense, but all kinds of things derive their economic
value only from the realm of the virtual: the american dollar for example is virtual, aside the value
of the paper used for the bills, in that requires consumers to have faith in its worth.
In the context of social games, virtual economies much bigger than Secon Life have existed for
years but Second life is unique because the residents can conceive what they sell. Mr Lanier said it
was the only example of a self-sustained economy on the internet.
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EASYJET
Intro & Ackowledgement
The text extract by a book, an unathorized report of easyjet and his story: the orange airline has
transformed peoples‘ lives by makeng flying affordable for everyone.
The book collects nomerous interviews with key players in the airline industry, people associted with
airlines and passengers. In this part the author thanks people who helped them to create the book.
Easyjet: how it all started
Easyjet took the skies on 10 November 1995, flying from Luton to Glasow with a plane normally used
by BA. One passenger were Stelios Haji-Ioannu, its founder.
Visitors to Luton Airport where the company was based, in the autumn 1995 regularly looked at two
of the Boing 737s parked outside: along the fuselages of the aircrafts someone had painted
human-sized digits who made up a telephone number. People who dialled it found they could fly
between Luton and Glasgow for 29£ withan airline called Esyjet.
Talking about Stelios and easyJet
Stelios‘very rich, because his father is a shipping tycoon (magnate). Even he‘s very rich, he doesn‘t
like to show off his fortune: ―nobody likes fat cats‖ he commented.
Stelios has a very immaginative approach to air travel that make him popular with all ranks of
society. He offer to consumers an airline with low-fare flights (low-cost): he cutted out travel agents,
uniforms (flight attendants were dressed casually in black jeans and orange polo shirts), inflights
meals (if you want to eat during the flight, you pay for it). No frills (fronzoli), no extras, you pay for
the flight and nothing less. The freebies (free services/benefits) that other airline offers aren‘t free at
all, they‘re rip-off (fregature): there‘s no such thing as a free lunch so we don‘t pretend to provide
one.
The airline estabilishment was less enthusiastic: when Swissair opposed esiJet‘s plans to fly to
Barcellona from Geneva insisting the airline obey an obscure rule that its cheep flights must come
with accomodation attached (coi voli economici devono essere incluse la sistemazione), Stelios
pitch a tent on a rocky hillside of Barcellona and inviting easyJet passengers to stay there.
The essentials elements of the esyJet business model have always been fast tournarounds (inversioni
di tendenza), no free lunch and low fares that rise as flights fill up (tariffe basse che aumentano
man mano che il volo si riempie),
EasyJet operate on competitive routes between major cities.
EasyJet cost control is legendary: for example the writer talks about an interview with Stelios in 1996,
in wich he didn‘t received the same glamourus typical treatment of other airlines (champagne,
luxurios press trips) but a cup of instant coffee. During the interview Stelios was opening to talk
about almost everything, except his love life. Stelios during that interview had given me an
excellent set of quotes for my story and about his vision of how no-frills flyng would change the skies
over Europe.
EasyJet grow to become the largest no-frills airline based in Britain. Easyjet flies with the same
airplanes as his competitors but manages to do it more cheaply taking passengers away from
traditional airlines and making traveling affordable for everyone.
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EasyJet changed British‘s lifes: the consider to buy second homes in Spain, Italy,France, fashionistas
fly to Milan for a shopping weekend, Prague, Amsterdam, Budapest and Tallinn became the most
popular destinations for a stag party (addio al celibato) or hen weekend (addio al nubilato).
Of course there‘re negative aspects: the fragile infrastructure of Ibiza is affected by the mass
tourism and now much of the tap water tastes salty because of seawater infiltrating the overused
walls; splendid eastern Europe cities are having hard time adjusting to the hordes of English guys
who parade through their streets dressed up in women‘s clothes, screaming and getting drunk. But
overall the advantages of cheep flights outweight the disadvantages.
British flying pubblic has lowered its expetctations of on board service: people don‘t care if they get
the wrong plane, if they lose their luggage as long as they get a cheap deal.
Stelios‘ story
Stelios was born in Athens in 1967. He‘s the younger soon of Loucas and Nedi. His father Lucas
made his fortune buying old tankers cheeply when no one wanted them, twice cashing out when
there was a shortage of tanker capacity. Shipping, shipping and more shipping was Loucas‘
philophy. At home in Athens the talk were always business. Her mother Nedi helped Stelios to keep
this feet on the ground. When he was a child, Stelios was scared of aereoplanes.
Stelios enjoyed a privileged childhood: he attended private school and learnt English. He was a
good student. At the age of 17, Stelios moved to London for his higher education. His parents never
kept him short of money but he developed a work ethic very early on. He graduated at London
School of Economics and the next year graduated in City University Business School.
For years stelios‘ ambition was to take over the family business: he worked with his father during his
student holidays and after graduating joined the company Troodos shipping in 1988. Two years
later Loucas made himself a chairman and Stelios the chief executive: but it was only on paper.
When Stelios tried to move Troodos from typewriters to computers, his father interferred with his
negotiation with supplier. Loucas wasn‘t ready to retire. Stelios didn‘t want to hang around the
shadows of his father: he wanted prove that he wasn‘t just the son of a rich father.
THE INCIDENT
On 11 april 1991 a Troodos tanker anchored outside Genova, explodeed: five crew members died
and 35.000 tons of crude oil swamped the italian coast. The whole thing become a legal saga:
Stelios and his father were criminally charged of manslaughter, extorsion and attempinting to bribe
a witness. If the Haji- Ioannous were found negligent they would be personally reliable for $1 billion
claims. If human error by the crew was the cause of the accident, the assurance will pay for $200
million. Stelios and his father were twice cleared of all charges
The traumatic experience shaped the way that Stelios looked at life. He decided that he want to
build a business that people like. He persuaded his father to help him to start his own business. He
left Troodos and received founds from his father. Loucas imposed one condition: if he became
financial successful, his brother and sister would benefit too.
NEW BUSINESS FOR STELIOS
In 1992 Stelios set up at Athens the Stelmar Shipping: he wanted to run a company with modern
ships that focused on operating, not the buying and selling of assets.
After collecting success with this company he realised that he wasn‘t the person to run Stelmar. He
wanted to do something away from home, in a new sector.
AIRLINE BUSINESS
It was on a Virgin Atlantic flight between Athens and London in the arly 1990s that Stelios had the
idea that lauched his empire. His friend offered to him an opportunity to invest in a Virgin franchise:
he declined the offer but decided to enter in the airline business on his own terms instead. A trip in
the US impressed him with the low-cost business run by Southwest Airlines.
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Stelios undesteand that the world‘s biggest companies (such as Wall-Mart and McDonalds) got
that way because they sell low-cost products: ― the cheeper you can make something, the more
people there‘re who can afford it‖.
EasyJet knew it had to focus on its competitor‘s soft spot: price and changed the way of thinking: if
tyhe price is right, people should take the benefit and see other places. People can jump on an
aereoplane like they would jump on a bus.
Wheter you‘re interested in, having a billionaire father always helps when it comes to start a
business: Stelios is the first to admit. He asked help to his dad telling him about his project to set up a
cheap, no-frills airline, designed to attract costumers from coaches and trains and from other
airlines. Loucas adviced Stelios not to base the airline in Athens since he considered the Greek
market too small and seasonal. London was the obvious choice. Stelios based his business on
London Luton Airport. Stelios based his head office in a prefabricated building in Luton: he believed
that offices should be spartan.
Stelios worked 100-hour weeks, but his style at work was very relaxed. Colleagues called him by his
first name.
FINDING A NAME
The airline still didn‘t have a name. Stelios hired an expensive brand consultancy, but promptly fired
them. He came up with the airline‘s name himself. For the company logo he went to a small local
design consultancy who gaved the airline its famous shade of orange.
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EASYJET
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Easyjet: crisis control
EasyJet as pubblic company
EasyJet career as a pubblic company started badly, with losses of £10.3 million for its first six months.
Industry analysts pointed out that the loss was to be expected since the airline traditionally made
all its profits in the summer period when passenger volumes and yields were high.
About competitors
Meanwhile the major carriers were recording falling passenger numbers. The US economy was
entering in recession and as trsnsatlantic travel fell away the large carriers saw their margins being
eroded. Airlines had grown accustomed to taking the easy way out, and many were fat and
complacent after pampered decades of government control.
Luftansa had capitulated after a strike of just 3 days and awared its pilots a 12 per cent pay raise.
Airlines were accurately vulnerable to industrial action, even the threat (minaccia) of a strike
encouraged passengers to switch allegiances to rival carriers.
British Airways bade farewell to CEO Bob Ayling. Rod Eddington became the new chief executive.
He push though as many as 20.000 job cuts. Rod Eddington had grown up in the country side in
Western Australia. He married an air hostess and had two children. After running Ansett, eddington
become a non-esecutive director on the board of Murduch‘s News Corporation.
Airline traffic volumes for BA‘s crucial long-haul business were nose-diving as western economies
deteriorate faster than expected and competition intensified. Profits from the long haul business
were simply no longer robust enough to cover the spiraling costs of its short-haul flights.
I volumi di traffico aerei per BA cruciali erano i voli a lungo raggio: essi sono in picchiata, come le economie
occidentali, si deteriorano più rapidamente del previsto e la crescente concorrenza non aiuta. Gli utili
derivanti dall'esercizio di viaggi d‘affari a lungo raggio erano sufficientemente abbastanza robusti per coprire i
costi a spirale dei voli a corto raggio.
BA‘s new CEO worked hard at consolidating and rationalising the company short-haul UK and
European businesses, which has been losing BA £300 million a year. He cut BA‘s long haul flights
from Gatwick, transferring some to Heathrow and reduced the number of companies using the BA
brand. He also promised to fight back in the domestic and europrean short-haul market abainst
easyJet and Ryanair
Ryanair liked to compare itself with Wallmart in the US. The company is the fastest-growing airline.
Ryanair is accompanied by a stellar share performance. The Irish Boss of the company, Michael
O‘Leary was too happy to offer cheap seats to keep people flying. O‘Leary had trained as a tax
consultant with KPMG in Dublin. Ryanair offered fares as low as onetenth of the price of the
national carriers on intra-European routes. Ryanair didn‘t compete head-on with national carriers or
fly into major airports. A flight to Paris with Ryanair really meant a flight to Beauvais, 43 miles north of
the city.
While EasyJet hat to pay standard airport fees at major airports (15-20 € per passenger) , Ryanair
could negotiate airport fees of as little as €1.50 per passenger and get marketing and training
support for as long as twenty years.
No-frills airlines
EasyJet maintened it was well positioned to withstand any economic slowdown, arguing that it
would benefit from passengers trading down to cheaper carriers. The percentage of easyJet
customers who had ―business travel characteristics‖ (the booked last minute and left and returned
within the week). There‘s an increasing acceptance among business travellers of easyJet and if
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there‘s an increasing acceptance among business travellers of easyJet and if there‘s a recession
then there could well be s further migration of these passengers.
BA no-frills arm, Go, was also enjoying success. Go ran services to twenty destinations from Stansed
and eight destinations from Bristol. Go operate in Glasgow and Edinburgh too.
Aviation analysts expected Europe‘s burgeoning low-cost airline market to grow between 25 per
cent and 35 per cent over the following five years and easyJet was in a prime position in that
market.
Gli analisti del settore dell'aviazione prevedono in Europa un crescente mercato per le compagnie low-cost
crescente tra il 25 per cento e 35 per cento nei successivi cinque anni e easyJet si trovava in una posizione
privilegiata in tale mercato.
11 september 2001
In just one day, the world changed irrevocabily. The crash into the World Trade Center on 11
september 2001 pushed the world into grief and fear.
Several european carriers (vettori) had already been wobbling (traballavano) before 11 september
and now they were struggling (lottando) to survive. Many people decided that is too dangerous to
fly and rapidly cancelled their holiday plans. Business axed (hanno ridotto drasticamente) travel
budgets.
Big national carriers came under enormous financial pressure.
To counteract falling passenger volume, Europe‘s major airlines cut flights, grounded aircraft, raised
fares and sacked workers in their tens of thousands.
Alitalia
Announced cost-saving
measures including the cutting
of 2500 jobs, 12% of the
workforce
Air Lingus
Dismissed almost a quarter of
its employees
Luftansa
Cut catering from European
flights and asked staff to
accept a four-day working
week, pay cuts and early
retirement
Many airlines cut fares in a bid to encourage passengers back on their planes. BA offered 5 million
tickets to 21 European destinations at bargain prices (a un prezzo d‘occasione). For example BA
offered tickets to European cities to 69£ and ―children go free‖ deal. Despite the promotion BA
announced a 73% fall in profits in 6 months. It annunced 7.200 retiring.
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The power of mobile money
Mobile phones have transformed lives in the poor world. Mobile money could have just as
big an impact
Sep 24th 2009 - from The Economist
Mobile phones have evolved in a few short years to become tools of economic empowerment for
the world‘s poorest people. Even in Africa, four in ten people now have a mobile phone. These
phones compensate for inadequate infrastructure, such as bad roads and slow postal services,
allowing information to move more freely, making markets more efficient and unleashing
entrepreneurship. All this has a direct impact on economic growth: an extra ten phones per 100
people in a typical developing country boosts GDP growth by 0.8 percentage points, according to
the World Bank.
The spread of mobile phones allows a new technology: mobile money, which allows cash to travel
as quickly as a text message. Across the developing world, there‘re corner shops where people buy
vouchers to top up their calling credit. They can take your cash, and (by sending a special kind of
text message) credit it to your mobile-money account. You can then transfer money (again, via
text message) to other registered users, who can withdraw (ritirarli) it by visiting their own local
corner shops. You can even send money to people who are not registered users; they receive a
text message with a code that can be redeemed for cash.
By far the most successful example of mobile money is M-PESA, launched in 2007 by Safaricom of
Kenya. M-PESA first became popular as a way for young, male urban migrants to send money back
to their families in the countryside. It is now used to pay for everything from school fees (no need to
queue up at the bank every month to hand over a wad of bills) to taxis (drivers like it because they
are carrying around less cash). Similar schemes are popular in the Philippines and South Africa.
BANKING ON IT
Extending mobile money to other poor countries, particularly in Africa and Asia, would have a
huge impact: It is a faster, cheaper and safer way to transfer money than the alternatives, such as
slow, costly transfers via banks and post offices, or handing an envelope of cash to a bus driver.
Rather than spend a day travelling by bus to the nearest bank, recipients in rural areas can spend
their time doing more productive things.
Mobile money also provides a stepping stone to formal financial services for the billions of people
who lack access to savings accounts, credit and insurance. Although for regulatory reasons MPESA accounts do not pay interest, the service is used by some people as a savings account.
Having even a small cushion of savings to fall back on allows people to deal with unexpected
expenses, such as medical treatment, without having to sell a cow or take a child out of school.
Mobile banking is safer than storing wealth in the form of cattle (which can become diseased and
die), gold (which can be stolen), in neighbourhood savings schemes (which may be fraudulent) or
by stuffing banknotes into a mattress.
Financial innovation has a bad reputation at the moment, because exotic derivatives were one of
the causes of the credit crunch. But mobile money and other new ideas that could help the poor.
Given all of its benefits, why is mobile money not more widespread? Its progress has been impeded
by banks, which fear that mobile operators will eat their lunch, and by regulators, who worry that
mobile-money schemes will be abused by fraudsters and money-launderers. In many countries
mobile money has been blocked because operators do not have banking licences and their
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networks of corner-shop retailers do not meet the strict criteria for formal bank branches. And some
mobile-money schemes that have been launched, such as one in Tanzania, failed to catch on.
OUT OF AFRICA, ALWAYS SOMETHING NEW
But in recent months there have been some more hopeful signs. Kenya‘s success story has
demonstrated mobile money‘s potential, and its benefits are starting to be more widely
appreciated.
 More enlightened regulators are no longer insisting that these services meet the rigid rules
for formal banking.
 Some banks, meanwhile, have come to see mobile money not as a threat but as an
opportunity, and are teaming up with operators.
 Phone companies have studied Kenya closely to learn how to establish and market a
successful mobile-money scheme.
MTN, Africa‘s biggest operator, has launched a mobile-money service in Uganda in conjunction
with Standard Bank; it appears to be doing well. MTN is fine-tuning its service in Uganda before
rolling it out across Africa.
Banks and regulators elsewhere should take note. Instead of lobbying against mobile money, banks
should see it as an exciting chance to exploit telecoms firms‘ vast retail networks and powerful
brands to reach new customers. Tie-ups between banks and operators will help reassure regulators.
But they, too, need to be prepared to be more flexible. People who want to sign up for mobilemoney services should not, for example, have to jump through all the hoops required to open a
bank account. Concerns about money-laundering can be dealt with by imposing limits (typically
$100) on the size of mobile-money transactions, and on the maximum balance. And inflexible rules
governing the types of establishments where cash can be paid in and taken out ought to be
relaxed.
Mobile money presents a shining opportunity to start a second wave of mobile-led development
across the poor world. Operators, banks and regulators should catch it.
The power of mobile money – TESTO INTEGRALE
The power of mobile money.
Mobile phones have transformed lives in the poor world. Mobile money could have just as big an impact Sep 24th 2009 - from The Economist
ONCE the toys of rich yuppies, mobile phones have evolved in a few short years to become tools of
economic empowerment for the world’s poorest people. These phones compensate for inadequate
infrastructure, such as bad roads and slow postal services, allowing information to move more freely, making
markets more efficient and unleashing entrepreneurship. All this has a direct impact on economic growth: an
extra ten phones per 100 people in a typical developing country boosts GDP growth by 0.8 percentage
points, according to the World Bank. More than 4 billion handsets are now in use worldwide, three-quarters
of them in the developing world (see our special report). Even in Africa, four in ten people now have a
mobile phone.
With such phones now so commonplace, a new opportunity beckons: mobile money, which allows cash to
travel as quickly as a text message. Across the developing world, corner shops are where people buy
vouchers to top up their calling credit. Mobile-money services allow these small retailers to act rather like
bank branches. They can take your cash, and (by sending a special kind of text message) credit it to your
mobile-money account. You can then transfer money (again, via text message) to other registered users, who
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can withdraw it by visiting their own local corner shops. You can even send money to people who are not
registered users; they receive a text message with a code that can be redeemed for cash.
By far the most successful example of mobile money is M-PESA, launched in 2007 by Safaricom of Kenya.
It now has nearly 7m users—not bad for a country of 38m people, 18.3m of whom have mobile phones. MPESA first became popular as a way for young, male urban migrants to send money back to their families in
the countryside. It is now used to pay for everything from school fees (no need to queue up at the bank every
month to hand over a wad of bills) to taxis (drivers like it because they are carrying around less cash).
Similar schemes are popular in the Philippines and South Africa.
Banking on it
Extending mobile money to other poor countries, particularly in Africa and Asia, would have a huge impact.
It is a faster, cheaper and safer way to transfer money than the alternatives, such as slow, costly transfers via
banks and post offices, or handing an envelope of cash to a bus driver. Rather than spend a day travelling by
bus to the nearest bank, recipients in rural areas can spend their time doing more productive things. The
incomes of Kenyan households using M-PESA have increased by 5-30% since they started mobile banking,
according to a recent study.
Mobile money also provides a stepping stone to formal financial services for the billions of people who lack
access to savings accounts, credit and insurance. Although for regulatory reasons M-PESA accounts do not
pay interest, the service is used by some people as a savings account. Having even a small cushion of savings
to fall back on allows people to deal with unexpected expenses, such as medical treatment, without having to
sell a cow or take a child out of school. Mobile banking is safer than storing wealth in the form of cattle
(which can become diseased and die), gold (which can be stolen), in neighbourhood savings schemes (which
may be fraudulent) or by stuffing banknotes into a mattress. In the Maldives many people lost their savings
in the tsunami of 2004; it hopes to introduce universal mobile banking next year.
Financial innovation has a bad reputation at the moment, because exotic derivatives were one of the causes
of the credit crunch. But mobile money and other new ideas that could help the poor (see article) provide a
useful reminder that financial innovation in itself is not always a bad thing.
Given all of its benefits, why is mobile money not more widespread? Its progress has been impeded by
banks, which fear that mobile operators will eat their lunch, and by regulators, who worry that mobile-money
schemes will be abused by fraudsters and money-launderers. In many countries mobile money has been
blocked because operators do not have banking licences and their networks of corner-shop retailers do not
meet the strict criteria for formal bank branches. And some mobile-money schemes that have been launched,
such as one in Tanzania, failed to catch on. As recently as a year ago people wondered whether M-PESA’s
success was a fluke.
Out of Africa, always something new
But in recent months there have been some more hopeful signs. Kenya’s success story has demonstrated
mobile money’s potential, and its benefits are starting to be more widely appreciated. More enlightened
regulators are no longer insisting that these services meet the rigid rules for formal banking. Some banks,
meanwhile, have come to see mobile money not as a threat but as an opportunity, and are teaming up with
operators. And phone companies have studied Kenya closely to learn how to establish and market a
53
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successful mobile-money scheme. MTN, Africa’s biggest operator, has launched a mobile-money service in
Uganda in conjunction with Standard Bank; it appears to be doing well. MTN is fine-tuning its service in
Uganda before rolling it out across Africa.
Banks and regulators elsewhere should take note. Instead of lobbying against mobile money, banks should
see it as an exciting chance to exploit telecoms firms’ vast retail networks and powerful brands to reach new
customers. Tie-ups between banks and operators will help reassure regulators. But they, too, need to be
prepared to be more flexible. People who want to sign up for mobile-money services should not, for
example, have to jump through all the hoops required to open a bank account. Concerns about moneylaundering can be dealt with by imposing limits (typically $100) on the size of mobile-money transactions,
and on the maximum balance. And inflexible rules governing the types of establishments where cash can be
paid in and taken out ought to be relaxed.
Mobile money presents a shining opportunity to start a second wave of mobile-led development across the
poor world. Operators, banks and regulators should seize it.
Google Wallet
Google Wallet mobile payments system launched to public.
Mobile payments technology are now available for some Android phone users after trial,
but international customers will need to pre-pay.
by Juliette Garside - from guardian.co.uk, Monday 19 September 2011
Google has launched its mobile payments technology, Google Wallet, making it available to the
public via an application which can be downloaded from a United States mobile phone network.
Google Wallet is vying to replace credit cards with phones containing a special chip with Near
Field Communications (NFC) technology, which can be tapped against readers at cash tills in
shops to make payments.
After a trial conducted by 1000 employees of Google in the cities of San Francisco and New York,
now any costumers of the Sprint network whit a Nexus S phone (which runs google‘s operating
system Android) will now be able to download the applicationso that can use their phone to make
payments.
Costumers will have to sign up for a Citi MasterCard account or get a Google Prepaid Card.
Google has also announced that the futures versions will working with Visa, American Express and
Discover cards.
The lauch were annunced on Google blog by the vice president of Google payments, Osama
Bedier. My beider annunced that Google‘s goal was make it possible to add all of your payment
cards to Google Wallet.
The service will be marketed in the United States only, although the pre-paid card will work
internationally at launch. The company is working towards a European launch in 2012, and hoping
the UK will be its first location outside America. The technology can be used at any of the 300,000
shops and other outlets in the US and internationally that accept MasterCard PayPass. Transactions
require a PIN and that the phone's screen is turned on, so payments cannot be taken covertly.
Google can also disable the Wallet function remotely.
Most cabs in New York have readers, as do Bloomingdales department store, McDonalds, 7-Eleven,
Best Buy, Foot Locker, BP, and in the UK Tesco, Boots and Burker King have signed up. Google will
initially focus its marketing and sales efforts on New York and San Francisco, where it would be
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working with shops to implement its 'SingleTap' process. This lets customers redeem vouchers, loyalty
card points and make payments with a single tap of the phone. Google's next Nexus phone,
expected later this year, will also feature the chips needed to run the Wallet.
Bedier joined Google in January 2011 after eight years at the eBay-owned online payments
company PayPal ( which is suing Google, claiming he took its secrets with him) It is promising
demonstrations of its own product at a trade show in October. Google said at the time: "We
respect trade secrets and will defend ourselves against these claims."
Bedier collabora con Google dal gennaio 2011 dopo otto anni alla conduzione eBay società online di
pagamenti PayPal ( paypal che ha citato in giudizio Google, sostenendo che Bedier ha portato i suoi segreti
con lui ) e promette dimostrazioni del proprio prodotto ad una fiera nel mese di ottobre. Google ha detto al
tempo: "Noi rispettiamo i segreti commerciali e ci difendiamo contro queste affermazioni."
Google Wallet – testo integrale
Google Wallet mobile payments system launched to public.
Mobile payments technology available for some Android phone users after trial – but international customers will need
to pre-pay - by Juliette Garside - from guardian.co.uk, Monday 19 September 2011
Google has launched its mobile payments technology, Google Wallet, making it available to the public via an
application which can be downloaded from a United States mobile phone network. Google Wallet is vying to replace
credit cards with phones containing a special chip with Near Field Communications (NFC) technology, which can be
tapped against readers at cash tills in shops to make payments. The technology has been on trial in New York and San
Francisco since May with around 1000 employees of Google and its partners in the venture, including MasterCard and
Macy's department store. Any customers of the Sprint network with a Nexus S phone, which runs on Google's Android
operating system, will now be able to download the application so that they can use their phones to make payments.
Customers will have to sign up for a Citi MasterCard account or get a Google Prepaid Card. Google has also announced
that it is working with Visa, American Express and Discover cards to make them available on future versions of Google
Wallet.
Osama Bedier, vice president of Google payments, announced the launch on the Google blog. He said: "Our goal is to
make it possible for you to add all of your payment cards to Google Wallet, so you can say goodbye to even the biggest
traditional wallets. This is still just the beginning, and while we're excited about this first step, we look forward to
bringing Google Wallet to more phones in the future." The service will be marketed in the United States only, although
the pre-paid card will work internationally at launch. The company is working towards a European launch in 2012, and
hoping the UK will be its first location outside America. The technology can be used at any of the 300,000 shops and
other outlets in the US and internationally that accept MasterCard PayPass. Transactions require a PIN and that the
phone's screen is turned on, so payments cannot be taken covertly. Google can also disable the Wallet function
remotely.
Most cabs in New York have readers, as do Bloomingdales department store, McDonalds, 7-Eleven, Best Buy, Foot
Locker, BP, and in the UK Tesco, Boots and Burker King have signed up. Google will initially focus its marketing and
sales efforts on New York and San Francisco, where it would be working with shops to implement its 'SingleTap'
process. This lets customers redeem vouchers, loyalty card points and make payments with a single tap of the phone.
Google's next Nexus phone, expected later this year, will also feature the chips needed to run the Wallet. Bedier joined
Google in January 2011 after eight years at the eBay-owned online payments company PayPal – which is suing Google,
claiming he took its secrets with him. It is promising demonstrations of its own product at a trade show in October.
Google said at the time: "We respect trade secrets and will defend ourselves against these claims."
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TELEWORK 2011: a special report
The report is based on data collected by the Dieringer Research Group inc and WorldatWork
The document report sourches in the abstract on the first page. We may expect a text which deals
with the topic in detail.
INTRODUCTION
Tecnology companies have been predicted that telework (performing work from home or another
remote location) soon will become the most common mode of work for American worker.
Technology alone made it possible, even psycology barriers remain for both employers and
employees.
When the data were collected in december 2010 the average of American workers were more
concerned with job security than with taking advantages of opportunities to telework. The
employers view about telework is changed and the use on ad hoc or occasional basis is
expanded.
Tecnological changes have supported telework as a pratical matter. Employers are increasing
recognizing the bottom-line benefits of telework such as supporting business continuty strategy,
reducing cost and attracting talents.
Telework has value as it relates to employee engagement, satisfaction and retention as either an
overall differentiator from a competitive standpoint or because employees view it as a privilige that
is earned through good performance.
Il telelwork assume valore per quanto riguarda il coinvolgimento dei dipendenti, la loro soddisfazione e la
fidelizzazione sia come insieme, sia come differenziazione dal punto di vista competitivo o perché i dipendenti
lo vedono come un privilegio che viene guadagnato con buone prestazioni.
This report provides a view from both the employees and the employers. It creates a useful picture
of how telework is playing out in the US today.
FINDINGS
Findig 1: fewer employed americans teleworked regulary in 2010 than in 2008
For the first time the number of teleworkers has dropped. The 26 milions who teleworked in 2010
represents nearly the 20% of the US working adult population. The decline is due a combination of
factors: fewer americans in the workforce overall due to high unemployement, higher anxiety
surronding job security, lack of awareness of telework options.
o Higher unemployment
The number of teleworkers declined as overall working population shrank. A slight majority
of the decline of the total number of teleworkers comes from lower total employment in the
US; the other part comes from the reduction in the percentage of workers defined as
teleworkers.
We observe fewer employee teleworkers and fewer contract teleworkers
o Employee anxiety surronding job security
In an economic enviroment of relatively high unemployment, some employees are
concerned that employers will perceive teleworkers negatively compared to peers who are
in office every day. Further the high number of a long-term unemployed creates a situation
in which employers often are in a better negotiating position and telework is often seen as a
benefit for the employee
o Lack of awareness of telework options
Finally, employees may simply be unawere of the existence of telework options because
many such programs are implemented informally: there‘re no written policies or forms.
Findig 2: the frequency of telework, by those who telework regularly is on rise
Even as the total number of teleworkers decreased, the percentage of people who teleworked
more often than once per month increased. In 2010 84% of teleworkers did so one day per week or
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more. Telework is not an all-or-nothing proposition. The employer survey found that organizations
offer various degrees of telework: we know ad hoc or occasional telework, telework once a month,
once a week o full-time telework. The prevalnce of ad hoc telework is a positive indication that
employers are willing to grant this accomodation on as-needed basis.
Findig 3: today‘s teleworkers are most often 40-year-old male college graduates
The 2010 employee survey provides a demographic profile of those who telework: the most
teleworkers are male, around 40 years old, college graduates.
Most of teleworkers are knowledge workers, contradicting the stereotype that teleworkers are
mostly working mothers who need to have autonomy to work to deal with family issues.
Flexibility offerings are used equally by both men and women.
The option to telework regularly on a monthly basis is offered more often to salaried employees
than to hourly employees
Findig 4: home is still the most common location for telework; satellite center and hotel are gaining
around
The large increase in people working while on vacation draws attention to one of the pitfalls of
telework: the general availability of wi-fi and wireless services makes it harder for workers to unplug
during vacation. Studies have shown that working while on vacation reduce the possibilities for the
employees to return to work more productive and engaged.
Findig 5: being allowed to work remotely is frequently peceived to be a reward by employers and
employees
The consistent part of people who answered at the survey view the telework as a employee
benefit.
Very few companies employ large numbers of remote full-time staff and offer the option to
telework full time to some of their workforce. The call center industry is one notabe exception to
this. Employers with an established culture of flexibility view telework as strategic and an essential
element in achieving organization success.
Wheter telework is viewed as a right or as a reward, in needs to be designed, implemented and
communicated properly in order to be successful. Telework can be a mutually beneficial program
enhancing both the employees‘ work and personal lives while reaping positive returns to the
organization through lower absenteeism and turnover, and higher employee satisfaction and
engagement. Employers reported that flexibility programs have a positive impact on employee
engagement, motivation and retention. The employer also revealed that very few companies
provide the necessary training to ensure success.
Telework success depends on leaders who manage by objectives, not by observation, and this
critical skill needs to be taught and learned.
METHODOLOGY
Employer data
WorldatWork collected workplace flexibility survey data from employers between 20 october and
2 november 2010. There‘re 537 responses in the final dataset. WorldatWork pubblished a separate
report covering 12 forms of flexibility titled ―survey on Workplace flexibility 2011‖. 69% of those who
responded are from private sector and 31% from pubblic and not-for-profit sectors.
Employee data
Between 9 and 30 december 2010 a random-digit-dialed telephone survey was conducted by
Dieringer Research Group Inc with funding from WorldatWork. Telephone interviews were
conducted among 1002 US adults ages using computer-generated, random-digit telephone list.
The data were weighted to match current population norms in the US using the following factors:
 Age
 Gender
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

Educational attainment
Us census region
ANALYSING the text
The first thing we can observe is the amount of details: the report is very accurate.
In a repo there isn‘t a conclusion because this the annual datas‘ demo and it need for a discussion
of future. It provides useful information for discussion.
There‘re tables,graphs, pie-charts which support the data reported. The boxes are usefull to focus
informations and find arguments. The layout is very important in this text: graphics of the document
is designed to facilitate the consultation and give emphasis to the message.
The report includes a section talking about the methodology used to find the data reported,
detailed referrences and aknowledgement. The text is structured in 4 parts:
 Introduction: explain the topic in general and includes a box with definitions
 findings: this section is divided undersections and in subheadings. It explain very accuratly
the findings
 methodology: this section show the accuracy of the report. It‘s important to analyse the
data understeand how the data were collected
 referrences
On the cover of the report sources are cited.
Talking about grammar structure, we observe that the most used tenses are present perfect
continuous, past simple and future. There‘re many repetitions of suonds, words, espressions, verb
phrases, tenses, structures. We can find keywords and key expressions which indicate the msin
topics of the text.
DEFINITIONS
 Telework
To work from home or another remote location, either for an employer or through selfemployment.
 Employee teleworker
A regular employee (full or part time) who works remotely at least one day per month
during normal business hours.
 Contract teleworker
An individual who works on a contract basis for an employer or is self-employed and who
works remotely at least one day per month during normal business hours.
 All teleworkers
Employees or contractors working remotely at least one day per month during normal
business hours; the sum of ―employee teleworkers‖ and ―contract teleworkers.‖
 For purposes of this report, ―all teleworkers‖ also includes titles such as telecommuters,
mobile workers, nomad workers, web commuters, e-workers, agile workers and anyone who
usually works in an office setting but works remotely at least one day per month during
normal business hours.
 Commuters: pendolari
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Telework 2011
A WorldatWork Special Report
Based on Data Collected by The Dieringer Research Group Inc.
and WorldatWork
Telework 2011 | A WorldatWork Special Report
Acknowledgements
WorldatWork Staff Contributors:
Brian Moore, Marcia Rhodes, Rose Stanley
Editor:
Andrea Ozias, WorldatWork
Media Inquiries
Marcia Rhodes, [email protected], 480-304-6885
Design (U.S.)
Senior Manager, Marketing, Communications
and Creative Services I Barry Oleksak
Art Director I Jamie Hernandez
Creative Services Manager I Rebecca Williams
Graphic Designer I Hanna Norris
June 2011
Copyright © WorldatWork
WorldatWork (www.worldatwork.org) is a not-for-profit organization providing
education, conferences and research focused on global human resources
issues including compensation, benefits, work-life and integrated total
rewards to attract, motivate and retain a talented workforce. Founded in
1955, WorldatWork has nearly 30,000 members in more than 100 countries.
Its affiliate organization, WorldatWork Society of Certified Professionals ®, is
the certifying body for the prestigious Certified Compensation Professional ®
(CCP ® ), Cer tified Benefits Professional ® (CBP), Global Remuneration
Professional (GRP ®), Work-Life Certified Professional™ (WLCP ®), Certified
Sales Compensation Professional™ (CSCP™), and Certified Executive
Compensation Professional™ (CECP™). WorldatWork has of fices in
Scottsdale, Arizona, and Washington, D.C.
The WorldatWork group of registered marks includes: Alliance for Work-Life
Progress ® or AWLP ®, workspan ®, WorldatWork ® Journal, and Compensation
Conundrum ®.
For more about WorldatWork research, visit us online.
2
Telework 2011 | A WorldatWork Special Report
Table of Contents
2
| Introduction
3
| Findings
7
| Methodology
8
| References
For more about WorldatWork research, visit us online.
1
Telework 2011 | A WorldatWork Special Report
Introduction
T
echnology companies have been predicting
that telework — performing work from home
or another remote location — soon will become
the most common mode of work for American
workers. (Lister 2010; Scheid 2009) And while some
assert that technology alone will make this possible
(Diana, A. 2010), barriers remain for both employers
and employees that have more to do with psychology
than technology.
When employee data was collected in December
2010, the average American worker was more
concerned with job security than with taking advantage of opportunities to telework. At the same time,
employer views about telework have been changing,
as evidenced by its expanded use on an ad hoc or
occasional basis. (WorldatWork 2009)
In addition to technological changes that have further
supported telework as a practical matter, employers
are increasingly recognizing the bottom-line benefits
of telework, such as supporting business continuity
strategy, reducing real estate costs, and attracting
talent from wider labor pools. (Corporate Voices for
Working Families [CVWF] 2009) Additionally, telework
has value as it relates to employee engagement, satisfaction and retention as either an overall differentiator
from a competitive standpoint or because employees
view it as a privilege that is earned through good
performance. (CVWF 2009)
This special report provides a view of telework
from both the employee and the employer perspectives, and creates a useful picture of how telework is
playing out in the United States today.
Findings in this report are based on employee
data collected by The Dieringer Research Group Inc.
(commissioned by WorldatWork) and employer data
collected by WorldatWork from its membership of
human resources and total rewards professionals.
Definitions
Telework
o work from home or another remote location, either
T
for an employer or through self-employment.
Employee teleworker
regular employee (full or part time) who works remotely
A
at least one day per month during normal business hours.
Contract teleworker
n individual who works on a contract basis for an
A
employer or is self-employed and who works remotely at
least one day per month during normal business hours.
For more about WorldatWork research, visit us online.
All teleworkers
mployees or contractors working remotely at least
E
one day per month during normal business hours; the
sum of “employee teleworkers” and “contract teleworkers.” For purposes of this report, “all teleworkers”
also includes titles such as telecommuters, mobile
workers, nomad workers, web commuters, e-workers,
agile workers and anyone who usually works in an
office setting but works remotely at least one day per
month during normal business hours.
2
Telework 2011 | A WorldatWork Special Report
Findings
Finding 1: Fewer Employed Americans
Teleworked Regularly in 2010 Than
in 2008
Employee Teleworkers vs. Contract
Teleworkers
For the first time since WorldatWork began studying
the telework phenomenon in 2003, the number
of teleworkers has dropped. The total number of
people who worked from home or remotely for
an entire day at least once a month in 2010 was
26.2 million, down from 33.7 million in 2008. (See
“Employee Teleworkers vs. Contract Teleworkers.”)
This figure, 26 million, represents nearly 20% of the
U.S. working adult population of 139 million (as of
fourth quarter 2010). (BLS 2011) At first glance, the
data might lead most to conclude that teleworking
stalled in 2010. However, the decline likely is due
a combination of factors: fewer Americans in the
workforce overall due to high unemployment, higher
anxiety surrounding job security, and lack of awareness of telework options.
Higher Unemployment
The number of teleworkers declined as the overall
working population shrank. In fourth quarter 2010,
nearly 15 million Americans were jobless and the
number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for
27 weeks or more) accounted for 44.3% of the unemployed. (BLS 2011)
Figure 1:
Fewer employee teleworkers: This group decreased
slightly from about 17 million in 2008 to 16 million in
2010, according to the employee survey. (See Figure 1.)
Interestingly, this group has seen the biggest net gain
(74%) since 2005, yet experienced a small decline in 2010,
suggesting that, all things being equal, this group likely
will continue to grow.
Fewer contract teleworkers: This group experienced slow
growth earlier in the decade, followed by a huge decline
in 2010. There was a very slight gain from 16.2 million in
2006 to 16.6 million in 2008, before sliding to just under
10 million Americans in 2010.
From a purely mathematical perspective, a slight
majority (54%) of the decline in total number of teleworkers shown in Figure 1 comes from lower total
employment in the United States; the other 46% comes
from the reduction in the percentage of workers
defined as employee teleworkers.
Teleworker Trendline
40
35
30
25
"Employee teleworker" at least one day per month (millions)
20
15
"Contract teleworker" at least one day per month (millions)
10
Total teleworkers at least one day per month ((millions))
5
0
2001
2002
2003
2004
For more about WorldatWork research, visit us online.
2005
2006
2008
2010
3
Telework 2011 | A WorldatWork Special Report
Employee Anxiety Surrounding Job Security
In an economic environment of relatively high unemployment, it is not surprising to see a reduction in teleworking.
Some employees are concerned that employers will
perceive teleworkers negatively compared to peers who
are in the office every day. Further, the high number
of long-term unemployed creates a situation in which
employers often are in a better negotiating position such
that, to the extent one views telework as an accommodation for an employee or contractor, some reduction
in telework is to be expected.1 Regardless of whether
employers had the upper hand in 2010, the employer
survey conducted by WorldatWork in late 2010 found that
nearly 80% of organizations did not make any changes to
their flexibility offerings as a result of the 2009 recession.
(WorldatWork 2011)
Lack of Awareness of Telework Options
Finally, employees may simply be unaware of the
existence of telework options because many such
programs are implemented informally. The employer
survey found that flexibility programs such as telework
are informally implemented by 6 out of 10 employers.
(WorldatWork 2011) An informal approach is defined as
having no written policies or forms, where implementation is inconsistent and left to manager discretion.
In addition, WorldatWork found that while 83% of
employer respondents2 offered ad hoc3 teleworking,
only 28% communicated the benefit to recruits.
Finding 2: The Frequency of Telework,
by Those Who Telework Regularly,
Is on the Rise
In 2010, even as the total
number of teleworkers
(working
remotely
or
from home once a month
or more and had done
so at least once in the
month prior to the survey)
decreased, the percentage
of people who teleworked
more often than once per
month increased. In 2010,
figure 2:
84% of teleworkers did so one day per week or more,
up from 72% in 2008. (See Figure 2.)
Telework is not an all-or-nothing proposition. The
employer survey found that organizations offer various
degrees of telework:
Ad hoc or occasional telework (e.g., to meet a
repairman)
Telework once a month
Telework once a week
Full-time telework.
The prevalence of ad hoc telework as a matter of both
policy (83% of employers offer ad hoc telework) and
practice is a positive indication that employers are willing
to grant this accommodation on an as-needed basis.
Finding 3: Today’s Teleworkers Are Most
Often 40-Year-Old Male College Graduates
The 2010 employee survey provides a demographic
profile of those who telework. The data in Figure 3
illustrate that most teleworkers in 2010 were:
Male
Around 40 years old
College graduates (almost half, including 25% with
post-graduate degrees).
The findings suggest that most teleworkers are
knowledge workers, contradicting the stereotype that
teleworkers are mostly working mothers who need to
Frequency of Teleworking
Percent by Frequency
Cumulative Percentage
2008
2010
2008
2010
(n=130)
(n=96)
(n=130)
(n=96)
Almost every day 40%
45%
40%
45%
At least one day per week
32%
39%
72%
84%
At least once per month
28%
16%
100%
100%
1A
lso see “Issues in Labor Statistics: Sizing up the 2007-2009 Recession: Comparing Two Key Labor Market Indicators with Earlier Downturns” for further discussion regarding comparisons to past
recessions of the unemployment rate and employment population ratio whereby these measures had not yet turned around as they did in prior recessions as of data reflecting 34 months following
the start of the most recent recession. Furthermore, as shown in Chart 2 of “Issues in Labor Statistics: Ranks of Those Unemployed for a Year or More Up Sharply,” the current share of total unemployment represented by individuals who have been unemployed for one year or more represents a record high for this data series (measured to 1967).
2W
orldatWork members who represent the universe of survey participants tend to come from larger companies. Almost two-thirds of members are employed by companies with total (global)
employment of 2,500 or more, including one-quarter with more than 20,000 employees.
3O
ccasional teleworking to accommodate an employee need (e.g., being at home to meet a repair person). At least some of this activity reflects less frequent than once per month, which is the
cutoff for identifying teleworkers in this survey.
For more about WorldatWork research, visit us online.
4
Telework 2011 | A WorldatWork Special Report
have autonomy to work when, how and where they
work best in order to deal with family issues. In fact,
flexibility offerings are used equally by both men and
women, as reported by a majority (65%) of surveyed
employers. The demographic profile also is consistent
with employer survey data that show that the option
to telework regularly on a monthly basis is offered
more often to salaried employees (97%) than to hourly
employees (11%). Nonexempt employees historically have
been managed based on time accounting, and there are
specific legal and regulatory requirements imbedded in
that management system.
Finding 4: ‘Home’ Is Still the Most
Common Location for Telework; ‘Satellite
Center’ and ‘Hotel’ Are Gaining Ground
In the employee survey, respondents were offered a
question that included a variety of location choices
from which they might have conducted work in the
prior month. (See Figure 4.)
Although “home” maintained its position at the top of
the list of common locations for teleworking in 2010, it
nonetheless experienced one of the biggest declines as
a remote work location from 2008 to 2010. Meanwhile,
“satellite center” and “hotel” trended upward from 2006
to 2008 to 2010, as did “while on vacation.”
The large increase in people working while on
vacation draws attention to one of the pitfalls of
telework: The general availability of wi-fi and wireless devices makes it harder for workers to unplug
while on vacation. Numerous studies have shown
that working on vacation lowers resiliency for the
worker, thereby reducing the opportunity for rested
employees to return to work more productive and
engaged. (WorldatWork 2009 and 2006)
full time to some of their workforce. The call center
industry is one notable exception to this; several U.S.based call centers employ thousands of home-based
workers. Employers (36%) with an established culture
of flexibility view telework as strategic and an essential
element in achieving organization success.
Whether telework is viewed as a right or a reward,
it needs to be designed, implemented and communicated properly in order to be successful. Telework
can be a mutually beneficial program enhancing both
the employees’ work and personal lives while reaping
positive returns to the organization through lower
absenteeism and turnover, and higher employee satisfaction and engagement. Employers have embraced
the business case; three out of four respondents in
the employer survey reported that flexibility programs
have a positive to very positive impact on employee
engagement, motivation and retention. Unfortunately,
the employer survey also revealed that very few
companies provide the necessary training to ensure
success. Only 21% of employers train managers on how
to implement and support flexible work arrangements,
and only 17% train workers on how to be successful
as an employee with a flexible work arrangement.
(See Figures 5a and 5b.) Telework success depends on
leaders who manage by objectives, not by observation,
and this critical skill needs to be taught and learned.
Finding 5: Being Allowed to Work
Remotely Is Frequently Perceived to
Be a ‘Reward’ by Both Employers and
Employees
In a new question of the employee survey, respondents
were asked, “In your organization, is being allowed
to work remotely considered more of a right or a
reward?” While almost half of employee respondents
indicated “not applicable/no one is allowed to work
from other location,” 28% viewed it as a “reward” or
benefit. This is consistent with the current employer
view of telework as an employee benefit.
Very few companies employ large numbers of remote
full-time staff, although 37% offer the option to telework
For more about WorldatWork research, visit us online.
5
Telework 2011 | A WorldatWork Special Report
figure 3:
Profile of a Teleworker, 2006, 2008 and 2010
Total teleworkers (United States)
2006
(n=140)
2008
(n=130)
2010
(n=96)
28.7 million
33.7 million
26.2 million
Men
53%
61%
56%
Women
47%
39%
44%
Age
18-34
38%
42%
42%
35-54
52%
48%
51%
55+
11%
8%
8%
Mean age
41.0
40.3
39.9
Median age
40.0
38.0
40.0
18%
23%
24%
Educational Attainment
High school or less
Some college/vocational
25%
28%
32%
College graduate
57%
50%
44%
Post-graduate degree
22%
15%
25%
figure 4:
Locations Where Work Was Conducted in the Past Month
Location
2006 (n=140)
2008 (n=130) 2010 (n=96)
Home
76%
87%
63%
In the car
38%
37%
40%
While on vacation
18%
23%
37%
Hotel or motel
26%
26%
36%
Café or restaurant
31%
23%
34%
Customer/client’s place of business
28%
41%
33%
Airport, train depot or subway platform
16%
23%
16%
Park or other outdoor location
19%
14%
14%
Library
16%
10%
13%
On airplane, train or subway
13%
21%
12%
Telework Center — office leased by employer
Satellite center — an employer office that is
located closer to an employee’s home
Figure 5a:
New in 2010
3%
Training for Employees
“Is training provided to employees about how to be successful
as an employee with a flexible work arrangement?” (n = 455)
Yes
17%
No
83%
For more about WorldatWork research, visit us online.
7%
12%
11%
figure 5b:
Training for Managers
“Is training provided to managers about how to successfully manage
employees with a flexible work arrangement?” (n= 455)
Yes
21%
No
79%
6
Telework 2011 | A WorldatWork Special Report
Methodology
Employer Data
WorldatWork collected workplace flexibility survey
data from employers (members of WorldatWork)
between Oct. 20 and Nov. 2, 2010. There are 537
responses in the final dataset. WorldatWork published
a separate report covering 12 forms of flexibility
titled “Survey on Workplace Flexibility 2011.” Survey
respondents are WorldatWork members employed in
the HR, compensation and benefits departments of
mostly U.S. organizations; 69% from private sector
and 31% from public sector and not-for-profit.
Employee Data
Between Dec. 9 and Dec. 30, 2010, a random-digitdialed (RDD) telephone survey was conducted by
The Dieringer Research Group Inc.4 with funding
from WorldatWork. Telephone interviews were
conducted among 1,002 U.S. adults ages 18 and older
using computer-generated, random-digit telephone
lists. The survey instrument was based on the same
questions asked when the survey was fielded in
2006 and 2008 as part of the WorldatWork Telework
Trendlines series. The data were weighted to match
current population norms for U.S. adults using four
weighting factors:
Data reported for all U.S. adults are considered reliable at the 95% confidence interval to within +/-3.1%.
This sample size allows representative population
projections for selected segments of both online and
offline U.S. adults, 18 years and older. The “all teleworker” subsegment of the sample has a margin of
error of +/-10%.
Customized analysis of employee survey data can
be commissioned from The Dieringer Research Group
Inc. For more information, call 888-432-5220.
Any data or tables taken from this white paper should
be referenced as “Telework 2011: A WorldatWork
Special Report.”
Members of the press should contact Marcia Rhodes,
media relations manager for WorldatWork, 480-304-6885,
or e-mail [email protected] All others
should contact [email protected]
Age
Gender
Educational attainment
U.S. census region.
4T
he Dieringer Research Group Inc. has been involved in tracking telework since conducting the first nationally recognized survey of the trend in 1985. Since 2003, WorldatWork and The Dieringer
Research Group Inc. have collaborated to collect and provide the latest data on teleworkers. As the topic of telework has evolved, so has the survey. For example, some refinements were made to
the survey instrument in 2008 and again in 2010 to better capture the proliferation of smartphones and wireless access.
For more about WorldatWork research, visit us online.
7
Telework 2011 | A WorldatWork Special Report
References
“Corporate Voices Study Links Workplace Flexibility for Hourly Workers/Attainment of Business Financial Goals and Core Business Objectives.”
May 7, 2009. Corporate Voices for Working Families. http://www.cvworkingfamilies.org/node/232
Diana, A. 2010. “Executives Demand Communications Arsenal.” InformationWeek: Technology for Small and Midsize Business, Sept. 30.
http://www.informationweek.com/news/smb/network/227501053 Viewed: June 7, 2011.
Fuoco, C. 2006. “GSK’s Team Resilience Blends Business Results and Personal Priorities.” The Alliance. October 2006.
http://www.worldatwork.org/waw/adimLink?id=17484
Lister, K. 2010. Workshifting Benefits: The Bottom Line. San Diego: Telework Research Network.
http://www.worldatwork.org/waw/adimLink?id=40057
“More than Half of Employees Work While on Vacation.” June 12, 2009. WorldatWork. http://www.worldatwork.org/waw/adimComment?id=33248
Scheid, J. (ed.) 2009. “Telecommuting Trends and Stats in the 2009 Economy and Beyond.” Bright Hub.
http://www.brighthub.com/office/home/articles/22829.aspx?image=48422 Viewed: June 7, 2011.
“The Employment Situation — December 2010.” Jan. 7, 2011. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/empsit_01072011.htm
WorldatWork. 2009. Telework Trendlines 2009. Scottsdale: WorldatWork. http://www.workingfromanywhere.org/news/Trendlines_2009.pdf
WorldatWork. 2011. Survey on Workplace Flexibility. Scottsdale: WorldatWork. http://www.worldatwork.org/waw/adimLink?id=48160
For more about WorldatWork research, visit us online.
8
Global Headquarters
14040 N. Northsight Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85260 USA
Washington, D.C. Office
& Conference Center
1100 13th St., NW, Ste. 800
Washington, D.C. 20006
Toll-free: 877-951-9191
Phone: +1 480 951 9191
Fax: +1 480 483 8352
SR-06-11
Global Imprint
It‘s a dun. The term imprint is referred to
the company‘s business. Litteraly means
to mark a paper and it‘s a metaphor,
means something that lasts for a long
time
Questo testo integra il capitolo sul BEC in cui si parla di quanto è bello lavorare per XEROX
The text talks about Xerox CEO Ursula Burns. She‘s 52 years old, she studied mechanical engineering
at Polytechnic Institute of New York and at Columbia University.
She joined Xerox as Mechanical engineer intern in 1980 (a normal job). She was nominated chief
executive in 2009 and chairwoman in 2010. She‘s paid 13.2$ million per year. She‘s married with a
son and a daughter. She‘s the first African American woman to run a Fortune 500 company.
Xerox CEO Ursula Burns arrived at the company‘s Wilsonville. Burns sat for a discussion of the long
view: managing the $22 billion company‘s shift toward business services while keeping a wary eye
on the economy.
Xerox is the Oregon‘s second-largest tech employer aftyer Intel. Burns was in town for a talk to the
1400 employees in Wilsonville, which is home to the company‘s color-printing business.
It was founded in 1906. The headquarter is in Norwalk. Xerox produce office equipement,
production equibement and business services. It has 136.000 employees. The last year revenue was
21.6$ billion, the profit was 606$ milion.
In Oregon (the newspaper from which the article is taken is The Oregonian) Xerox paid $950 million
for Tektronix‘s color printing business in 2000 and moved into Tek‘s former Wilsonville campus. In
2009, Xerox agreed to pay $6.4 billion to buy Affiliated Computer Services, a call centre outsourcing
company that had several hundred Oregon employees. The Oregon workforce is 3,300 including
1,400 in Wilsonville.
Burns wants to grow her company internationally while containing costs everywhere.
The journalist asked about investissment in Research and Development for the long term, since for
the past six months was down about 10 percent. Burns answered that about R&D, it wasn‘t easy to
change the foundamental structure and infrastructure of your R&D in any given quarter. The
decline in R&D is a strategical move: it‘s not to have less, it‘s to be significantly more efficent in the
way we do it.
Xerox had a business that was basically a tech business, all around copies and documents. When
the company bought ACS a year and half ago we brought 6,5-7 billion dollars in the company.
What the company is doing now is distribuiting the R&D to support revenue growth opportunities
that it have: that requires that we do a resetting of some skills.
In Wilsonville Xerox has shifted 600 engineers, 120 from Wilsonville in Oregon, to Indian contractor
HLC Tecnologies last month in an effort to specialize in Xerox‘s key capabilities and offload less
specialized work. They‘ll continue to work on Xerox projects in Xerox offices, but will split time with
HCL clients. the reporter is skeptical and investigates the real reasons for the transaction, he ask
where did the cost saving come from. Burns answer that there were certain functions in
engineering, customer care, customer support that have become more standard across different
industries, and the way to become more efficent was outsourching, using a central provider of this
service. There‘re certain aspect in Xerox considered core business, because only people of the
company can do it: for example they‘ve a set of tecnologies that have been developed here in
Wilsonville and it can‘t be scaled better than we scale it. The company keep theese kinds of
resources in house.
Althought the transferred workers stayed put phisically, the transition represents a cultural shift,
troducing uncertainty about workers‘ future and the company‘s direction. Part of the shift has been
an emotional shift (they‘re afraid not to working for Xerox anymore because Xerox is a good place
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to work) , say Ursula Burns. The second problem is that Xerox partnered with an Indian firm: the trust
in the indian firm is is less than would be like if the company were American or English. Xerox uses
resources from the world and sells everywhere in the world. It has to be global, but it can‘t be
global and chase costs only: Xerox chases costs, chases skills, chases flexibility. (chase = inseguire,
scacciare). The transferred workers are worried to moved to India: Ursula explains that the
possibilities of mooving the HCL workers to India was low, the plain didn‘t consider that option.
Theese employees will have work for Xrox and other companies and they will stay in the current
location.
The reported asks to Ursula if Xerox was going to shift other services from the site of Wilsonville. Ursula
answered saying that this site had the capability to do certain things that nobody at Xerox has.
Solid ink and the entire printing infrastructure was housed here. Xerox was investing hundreds of
millions of dollars to populate our product line up from small to largeThis site is pretty safe. It‘s safer if
we‘re successful.
Ursula Burns is the president of the export Council. Ursula supports the thesis that is necessary to
open the markets to do greatness, because this allows to sell lots of stuff reaching more people
than the 300 million people living in the USA.
The last question of the interview point on Obama statement about being the first African
American president: he says that being the first was interesting and usefull in the first 5 minutes. The
reporter ask to Ursula if being the first African American woman to run a Fortune 500 company was
useful. Ursula say it was under two aspects: first it allows her to talk about his company a lot, for
example when someone contact her to talk about his life; seconds she can send a message to
people who don‘t have, showing them it‘s possible to grow.
Global Imprint TESTO
INTEGRALE
Global Imprint
Xerox CEO Ursula Burns juggles the big picture
and growing internationally
By Mike Rogoway in The Oregonian - August 14, 2011
Ursula Burns
Age: 52;
Education: Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering
from Polytechnic Institute of New York University;
master’s degree in mechanical engineering from
Columbia University.
Experience: joined Xerox as a mechanical engineer
intern in 1980; named chief executive officer in 2009 and
chairwoman in 2010
Pay: $13.2 million (2010)
Family: married with a son, 22 and a daughter, 18
Xerox CEO Ursula Burns arrived at the
company’s Wilsonville campus Thursday morning with
her smartphone out, catching up on the stock market’s
wild ride and news from the family back home. Burns
sat for a discussion of the long view: managing the $22
60
billion company’s shift toward business services while
keeping a wary eye on the economy. Though based in
Connecticut, Xerox is Oregon’s second-largest tech
employer after Intel. Burns was in town for a talk to the
company’s 1,400 employees in Wilsonville, which is
home to the company’s color-printing business.
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The first African American woman to run a
Fortune 500 company, Burns is an unapologetic
globalist. She wants to grow her company
internationally while containing costs everywhere.
That includes Wilsonville. Xerox shifted 600 engineers
– 120 in Oregon – to Indian contractor HCL
Technologies last month in an effort to specialize in
Xerox’s key capabilities and offload less specialized
work. They’ll continue to work on Xerox projects in
Xerox offices, but will split time with HCL clients.
Although the transferred workers stayed put
physically, the transition represents a cultural shift – a
painful one, for some – introducing uncertainty about
workers’ future and the company’s direction.
With workers in transition and the economy in
flux, Burns insists that Xerox is committed to solid ink,
to growing the company, and to Oregon.
heard about the HCL deal. We have to make sure that
we invest in those areas and leave the other areas to
people who are more skilled at it.
Xerox Corp.
Founded: 1906
Headquarters: Norwalk, Conn.
Business: Office equipment, production
equipment and business services
Emplyoees: 136,000
Financials: $21.6 billion in revenue last year;
$606 million in profits
In Oregon: Xerox paid $950 million for
Tektronix’s color printing business in 2000 and
moved into Tek’s former Wilsonville campus. In
2009, Xerox agreed to pay $6.4 billion to buy
Affiliated Computer Services, a call centre
outsourcing company that had several hundred
Oregon employees.
Oregon workforce: 3,300 including 1,400 in
Wilsonville
Q: Research and development for the past six
months was down about 10 per cent. How do you
invest for the long term?
A: The good news about R&D is it’s not easy to
change the fundamental structure and infrastructure of
your R&D in any given quarter and then change it
Q: There are some functions that former Xerox
again in the next quarteri. The decline in our R&D is a
engineers will be doing that are important to Xerox.
strategic move, not a tactical move. The move is not to
Where do the cost savings come from?
have less, it’s to be significantly more efficient in the
way that we do it and then to make a fundamental
shift…to more evenly shift our investments across our
business. We had a business that was basically a tech
business, all around copier and documents. When we
bought ACS (Affiliate Computer Services, see box in
the next page) a year and a half ago, we brought 6.5-7
billion dollars into the company. And if we ran the
company the way we did before, we would have 100
percent of the R&D on half the company’s revenue and
none on the other half. So what we are doing now is
more evenly distributing the R&D to support the
revenue growth opportunities that we have. That
requires that we do a resetting of some skills. You’ve
A: There are certain functions in engineering, customer care, customer support, that have become more standard across
many different industries, that you can become more efficient in by using a central provider. There are certain things
that are, in Xerox’s parlance, “crown jewels”, which means we’re the only people who can do it. We have a set of
technologies that have been developed here in Wilsonville. It can’t be scaled any better than we can scale it. Those
kinds of resources we will keep in-house.
Q: It seems like it was a cultural transition with a certain amount of cultural pain.
A: Part of the shift was an emotional shift. The second, which is a big deal, is that we partnered with an Indian firm.
If I had outsourced this to a British firm, or a US firm, we would have had the first problem and not the second.
We will use resources from the world. We’d better. We sell everywhere in the world. Not using resources from
everywhere in the world seems shortsighted, and unrealistic. We have to be global, but we can’t be global and chase
cost only. We’re chasing cost, we’re chasing skill, we’re chasing flexibility. We expect a lot of the work to stay in the
Unites States, because it’s close to the design centre.
Q: Some of it comes down to the individuals. They think their jobs are going to India. Are they?
A: That is directly connected to how well we do. If we can grow our business, which we are investing in as if we will,
then the likelihood of HCL moving all of this work to India would be low. The initial design is not to do that at all. Over
time these employees will have – this is HCL’s stated purpose – enough work, not only Xerox work but other work as
well, to keep them heartily and happily employed in their current location.
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Q: This site has a long engineering, technical and manufacturing history. As you shift to more services, what’s
the future in Wilsonville?
A: The good news about this site is that it has the capability to do certain things that nobody at Xerox has. Solid ink
and the entire printing infrastructure is housed here. We are investing hundreds of millions of dollars, not for it just to
be a small thing, but to populate our product line up from small to large. I generate $10 billion of revenue from our
printing business, roughly. A little bit less than half of that comes from color. More and more of that color is going to be
solid ink-based color. This site is pretty safe. It’s safer if we’re successful.
Q: You’re on the President’s Export Council. What do you tell the White House about what the country needs to
do to be successful?
A: There are things that we can do to spark confidence on jobs. We have 300 million people in the United States. The
rest of the world has 6 ½ billion people. If we actually believe that we can make greatness by selling just to the (300m)
people, then we’re crazy. We’re stunted in math. Let’s make sure we have enough open markets to send stuff out to. I’d
like to have an option for the 6 billion.
Q: When President Barack Obama became the first African American president, he said that being first was
interesting and useful for about five minutes. Is being the first African American woman to lead a really large
company useful?
A: Absolutely. I get talked to more, so I can say “Xerox” a whole bunch. Most of it is around, “Thank you for having
me here to talk about my life. Let me talk to you about my company.” The second benefit is that there is still a huge
disparity between people who have and people who don’t have. People who don’t have, they generally have spirit. They
don’t have as much opportunity, or they have opportunity but they started further behind.
It’s good to show
people that it’s possible to grow. It’s possible, if you’re just a regular Joe – which I definitely am a regular Joe – to
actually lead a company.
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AIESEC
Hungary‘s troubles: not just a little question
From the Economist 11/01/2012
The pressure is piling up on the Hungarian government. Today (11.01.2012) the European
Commission threatened (ha minacciato) it with legal action over several new "cardinal" laws that
would require a two-thirds majority in parliament to overturn. The commission is still considering the
laws, but today it highlighted concerns (preoccupazioni) over three issues:
This are 3
points, the
most important
at the
moment:
Hungary
democracy is
in danger
1) The indipendence of central bank: Hungarian Parliament passed a law
which expands the monetary concil and takes the power to nominate
deputies away from the governor and hands it (e lo consegna) to the prime
minister. A separate law opens the door to a merger between the bank
and the financial regulator.
In breve:
adesso il primo ministro nomina i membri del monetary council. Prima lo
faceva il governatore. In questo modo la Banca Centrale non è più
indipendente dal potere politico. Inoltre un‘altra legge apre a una fusione
tra la banca e the financial regulation.
2) The judiciary. More then 200 judges have been forced into retirement. The
national judical athority is headed by a friend of family of the prime minister
Orban.
3) The indipendence of the national data authority
Hungary also received a ticking-off (avvertimento) from Olli Rehn, the economic affairs
commissioner, for not doing enough to face its budget deficit: it may lose the access to EU founds.
The hungary government is under pressure at home too: Gordon Bajnai (socialist prime minister from
2009-2010) fired off a brodside (ha sferrato un attacco) that sent shockwaves through the political
and media estabilishments: after a year and a half of government by Fidesz party (Victor Orban is
the prime minister: is a conservative right-wing party), Mr Bajnai wrote in a lengthy article saying
that democracy has been destroyed in Hungary. The country, he warned, is scarred by division and
is drifting towards bankruptcy and away from Europe.
Mr Bajnai called for a radical change of government and a complete political re-orientation: a
new government must have a program that can be applied without delay, a programe who
promote the republic, reconciliation and recovery.
Fidesez is rattled by Mr Bajnai who since leaving office has been teaching at Columbia University in
New York.
He headed a technocratic administration which stabilised the economy. He isn‘t connected to the
old Communist elite (Unlike his Socialist predecessor, Ferenc Gyurcsány, he was neither part of the old Communist elite
nor connected to it by marriage, and so cannot be smeared as a "Komcsi" . )He is modern in outlook and well
regarded internationally.
Mr Bajnai has little patience for the narcissistic exceptionalism that shapes Fidesz‘s worldview (Mr
Bajnai mal sopporta il narcistico vittimismo . An example of this view is the plaintive cry of János
Martonyi, the foreign minister, who lamented recently: ―The world will never understand our pains
and spiritual wounds‖. Such self-pity is unlikely to endear the Hungarian government to Brussels or
Washington DC (to where it has sent an envoy this week to negotiate with the IMF) = tale
autoccommiserazione non farà di certo guadagnare popolarità al governo ungherese di fronte
l‘UE e gli USA.
63
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Fidesz won a two-thirds
majority in 2010. But its support
is evaporating, and analysts
say there is a gap in the
political market for a centrist
pro-business party committed
to democratic norms. Mr
PER CAPIRE: un articolo che illustra la situazione in Italiano.
30/12/2011
Situato nel cuore di Europa danubiana, l‘Ungheria è in procinto di passare a
un regime autoritario. Mentre gli Stati Uniti si mostrano preoccupati, la
comunità europea è sorprendentemente tranquilla e silenziosa.
Nell‘arco di sedici mesi, l‘Ungheria ha perso il suo carattere democratico.
Salito al potere nel maggio 2010, il partito Fidesz della destra conservatrice
del primo ministro Viktor Orban, ha bloccato le istituzioni per garantire la sua
Bajnai, who has not ruled out
rielezione nel 2014. Dopo la legge sui media, votata all‘inizio dell‘anno che
a return to politics, would be
limita la libertà di stampa, anche l‘indipendenza della magistratura è messo
an obvious candidate to lead
in discussione. Trecento giudici, sospettati di esseri prossimi al precedente
it.
governo socialista, sono stati costretti a ritirarsi, mentre i poteri della Corte
Suprema sono stati trasferiti al Parlamento controllato dal Fidesz.
Per paura di essere sopraffatto dal Jobbik, un partito di estrema destra,
Meanwhile, as Hungarians
Viktor Orbán non fa nulla per distinguersi dalla retorica xenofoba e
watch the value of their assets
antisemita di questo partito. La scorsa settimana, György Dörner, vicino
vaporise (il valore dei titoli
all‘estrema destra è stato nominato alla testa del Teatro Nuovo (Új Színház)
vaporizzarsi), in large part
di Budapest.
thanks to the government‘s
L‘Europa non sembra preoccupata del deteriorarsi della situazione politica
increasingly erratic policies
in Ungheria e resta a guardare. E‘ stata la politica economica ultra(grazie alle politiche sbagliate
nazionalista condotta dal governo ungherese a spingere l‘UE ad uscire dal
adottate dal governo), Mr
suo silenzio. Il 20 dicembre, il presidente della Commissione europea Jose
Orbán smirks (sogghigna) his
Manuel Barroso ha inviato una lettera a Viktor Orbán, lamentandosi della
sua politica economica e fiscale. Pochi giorni prima, una delegazione dell‘
way through press
FMI presente a Budapest aveva interrotto la sua visita per criticare il
conferences.
tentativo di prendere il pieno controllo sulla banca centrale del paese.
Il Parlamento ungherese ha adottato Venerdì 30 dicembre, una normativa
Here for example he is
che accresce l‘influenza del governo conservatore di Viktor Orban sulla
dodging/bypass (schivando)
Banca centrale europea (BCE). La legge è stata approvata con 293 voti
questions from a reporter from
favorevoli, quattro contrari e un astenuto, grazie alla maggioranza dei due
HVG, an economics weekly,
terzi di cui dispone il partito Fidesz del primo ministro Viktor Orban.
about his responsibility for the
La riforma della Banca Centrale (MNB), che dovrebbe essere indipendente
crisis and trying to shift the
dal potere politico, toglie al suo presidente la prerogativa di scegliere i suoi
membri, che passano da 2 a 3, d‘ora innanzi nominati dal capo del
blame to his old enemy
governo. Il terzo (nuovo) membro è stato qualificato come "commissario
András Simor, president of the
politico" da parte del Governatore della MNB, András Simor, che
central bank.
notoriamente non piace Viktor Orban a causa della sua politica monetaria
The interview ran as follows:
(tassi di interesse elevati).
Il consiglio monetario della istituzione, che decide in merito alla politica dei
hvg.hu: Do you feel
tassi di interesse, passerà da 7 a 9 elementi. I suoi due membri
responsible for the
supplementari esterni, come altri quattro, sono nominati dal Parlamento,
falling/weakening forint?
dunque dal Fidesz. La riforma della MNB è simile a una "presa di potere
Ti senti responsabile per
totale" dell‘istituzione da parte del governo conservatore di Viktor Orban,
secondo Andras Simor.
l‘idebolimento del fiorino?
Questo evento è l‘ultimo di una lunga (la riforma dei media, della giustizia,
Mr Orbán: You mean the
della legge elettorale e una legge sulla "stabilità finanziaria"), serie che isola
president of the central bank?
l‘Ungheria in seno all‘Europa e affossa, un po‘ di più, la democrazia
He did not comment on it.
ungherese.
Intende il presidente della
Guy Verhofstadt, ex primo ministro belga e presidente dei liberali al
banca centrale? Egli non ha
Parlamento europeo, considera la nuova Costituzione ungherese come il
commentato al riguardo.
"cavallo di Troia di un sistema politico più autoritario basato sulla
hvg.hu: No, you, Mr prime
perpetuazione del potere di un partito".
minister!
La politica economica "non ortodossa" di Viktor Orban - imposte su banche,
compagnie energetiche e di telecomunicazioni, la nazionalizzazione dei
No intendo lei, signor primo
fondi pensione privati - ha fatto precipitare la moneta ungherese, il fiorino,
ministro
che ha perso oltre il 20% rispetto all‘euro negli ultimi tre mesi.
Mr Orbán: The personal
Nonostante le critiche, di cui l‘ultima da parte del Segretario di Stato, Hillary
responsibility of the president
Clinton, preoccupata per "la situazione della democrazia" in Ungheria,
of the central bank was not
Viktor Orban va avanti, fingendo di ignorare le conseguenze delle sue
discussed over the meeting.
azioni, sul suo paese e sul suo popolo. Venerdì, ha affermato senza mezzi
termini: "Nessuno può intervenire nel processo legislativo in Ungheria".
Il Parlamento dovrebbe presto approvare una nuova legge sulle religioni
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Parlamento e una legge sui "crimini comunisti".
Nel bel mezzo della crisi dell‘euro, il caso ungherese è ben lungi dall‘essere
una priorità per l‘Unione europea. Questa situazione politica è considerata
temporanea, spiega il politologo Jean-Yves Camus. L‘Europa considera che
tale governo autoritario non sia che una parentesi nella storia ungherese.
64
La responsabilità del presidente della Banca Centrale non è stata discussa nell‘incontro
hvg.hu: You, your personal…!
Intendo la sua
Mr Orbán: That neither.
Neanche.
Surrounded by yes-men and grinning flunkies, Mr Orbán seems increasingly out of touch. He‘s living
in his own reality.
His future will likely be decided not in the gilded corridors of the Hungarian parliament, but in
Brussels and Washington DC.
What happens next?
If his hand is forced Mr Orbán can probably endure policy reversals on the independence of the
central bank and the data ombudsman. Sorry, he would say to his loyal followers: national crisis,
what can you do. The dismantling of the judiciary would be another matter. If outsiders keep up the
pressure and the judicial changes are judged to be in breach of the EU treaty, Mr Orbán would be
in a tricky spot. It‘s hard to see how he could declare the 200-plus judges his government has
forced into retirement ready for office after all, and still sit in his own.
Se la sua mano è costretto Orban probabilmente può resistere alle inversioni politiche sulla
indipendenza della banca centrale e il difensore civico dei dati. Spiacenti, diceva ai suoi fedeli
seguaci: crisi nazionale, cosa si può fare. Lo smantellamento del sistema giudiziario sarebbe
un'altra questione. Se esterni mantengono la pressione e le modifiche giudiziarie sono ritenute
violazione del trattato UE, Orban sarebbe in una posizione difficile. E 'difficile immaginare come
può motivare il fatto di aver costretto oltre 200 giudici al ritiro e di sedere ancora nel suo.
Cronological Events
April 2009 – may 2010: Mr Bajnai is Socialist prime minister
May 2010: Fidsez won two thirds majority.
November 2011: Mr. Bajnai article about Orban saying that democracy has been destroyed in
Hungary.
End of 2011: 3 reforms who opened concearn about
1) The indipendence of central bank: Hungarian Parliament passed a law which expands the
monetary concil and takes the power to nominate deputies away from the governor and
hands it (e lo consegna) to the prime minister. A separate law opens the door to a merger
between the bank and the financial regulator.
2) The judiciary. More then 200 judges have been forced into retirement. The national judical
athority is headed by a friend of family of the prime minister Orban.
3) The indipendence of the national data authority
January 2012: European Commission threat (minaccia) legal action over several new "cardinal"
laws that would require a two-thirds majority in parliament to overturn. (per cui sarebbe necessaria
una maggioranza di 2/3 per rovesciarle)
Opinions
about
Hungary
situation,
What
happened
today?
65
Mr Orban
Mr Bajnai
UE
Fidsez party has passed
laws that undermine
democracy in the country:
the Central Bank isn‘t
indipendent anymore, and
the data authority too.
More then 200 judges
have been forced into
retirement.
Mr Bajnai opposes the
government Orban.
He called for a radical
change of government
and a complete political
re-orientation: a new
government must have a
program that can be
applied without delay, a
European Commission
threat (minaccia) legal
action over several new
"cardinal" laws that would
require a two-thirds
majority in parliament to
overturn. (per cui sarebbe
necessaria una
maggioranza di 2/3 per
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What they
will do in
the future
He refuse to admit his
responsability in the
vaporisation in assets‘
value and for the falling
forint.
programe who promote
the republic, reconciliation
and recovery.
rovesciarle).
Hungary also received a
ticking-off (avvertimento)
from Olli Rehn, the
economic affairs
commissioner, for not
doing enough to face its
budget deficit: it may lose
the access to EU founds.
Mr Orban
Mr Bajnai
UE
Surrounded by yes-men
and grinning flunkies, Mr
Orbán seems increasingly
out of touch. He‘s living in
his own reality.
His future will likely be
decided not in the
Hungarian parliament, but
in Brussels and Washington
DC.
Mr Bajnai, who has not
ruled out a return to
politics, would be an
obvious candidate to lead
the centrist pro-business
party missing now
If the judicial changes are
judged to be in breach of
the EU treaty, Mr Orbán
would be in a tricky spot.
Hungary's troubles. Not just a rap on the knuckles
from The Economist - Jan 11th 2012, by A.L.B. | BUDAPEST
THE pressure is piling up on the beleaguered Hungarian government. Today the European Commission threatened it
with legal action over several new "cardinal" laws that would require a two-thirds majority in parliament to overturn.
The commission is still considering the laws, but today it highlighted concerns over three issues:
- The independence of the central bank. Late last year the Hungarian parliament passed a law which expands the
monetary council and takes the power to nominate deputies away from the governor and hands it to the prime minister.
A separate law opens the door to a merger between the bank and the financial regulator.
- The judiciary. More than 200 judges over the age of 62 have been forced into retirement and hundreds more face the
sack. The new National Judicial Authority is headed by Tünde Handó, a friend of the family of Viktor Orbán, the prime
minister.
- The independence of the national data authority.
That wasn't all the commission had to say today. Hungary also received a ticking-off from Olli Rehn (pictured), the
economic-affairs commissioner, for not doing enough to tackle its budget deficit. It may now lose access to EU funds.
Slammed in Brussels, the Hungarian government is also under pressure at home. Earlier this week Gordon Bajnai, who
served as Socialist prime minister from 2009-10, fired off a broadside that sent shockwaves through the political and
media establishments. After a year and a half of government by the right-wing Fidesz party, wrote Mr Bajnai in a
lengthy article on the website of the Patriotism and Progress Public Policy Foundation, democracy has been destroyed
in Hungary. The country, he warned, is scarred by division and is drifting towards bankruptcy and away from Europe.
Mr Bajnai called for a radical change of government and a complete political re-orientation. ―A new government must
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have a programme readily at hand that can be applied without delay: a programme that promotes the republic,
reconciliation, and recovery.‖
Fidesz is rattled by Mr Bajnai, who since leaving office has been teaching at Columbia University in New York.
Understandably so. He headed a technocratic administration which stabilised the economy. Unlike his Socialist
predecessor, Ferenc Gyurcsány, he was neither part of the old Communist elite nor connected to it by marriage, and so
cannot be smeared as a "Komcsi". He is modern in outlook and well regarded internationally. Moreover, say those how
know him, Mr Bajnai has little patience for the narcissistic exceptionalism that shapes Fidesz’s worldview. Exhibit A:
the plaintive cry of János Martonyi, the foreign minister, who lamented recently: ―The world will never understand our
pains and spiritual wounds.‖ Such self-pity is unlikely to endear the Hungarian government to Brussels or Washington
DC (to where it has sent an envoy this week to negotiate with the IMF).
Fidesz won a two-thirds majority in 2010. But its support is evaporating, and analysts say there is a gap in the political
market for a centrist pro-business party committed to democratic norms. Mr Bajnai, who has not ruled out a return to
politics, would be an obvious candidate to lead it. Meanwhile, as Hungarians watch the value of their assets vaporise, in
large part thanks to the government’s increasingly erratic policies, Mr Orbán smirks his way through press conferences.
Here he is dodging questions from a reporter from HVG, an economics weekly, about his responsibility for the crisis
and trying to shift the blame to his old enemy András Simor, president of the central bank.
The interview ran as follows:
hvg.hu: Do you feel responsible for the falling/weakening forint?
Mr Orbán: You mean the president of the central bank? He did not comment on it.
hvg.hu: No, you, Mr prime minister!
Mr Orbán: The personal responsibility of the president of the central bank was not discussed over the meeting.
hvg.hu: You, your personal…!
Mr Orbán: That neither.
Surrounded by yes-men and grinning flunkies, Mr Orbán seems increasingly out of touch. His future will likely be
decided not in the gilded corridors of the Hungarian parliament, but in Brussels and Washington DC. What happens
next? If his hand is forced Mr Orbán can probably endure policy reversals on the independence of the central bank and
the data ombudsman. Sorry, he would say to his loyal followers: national crisis, what can you do. The dismantling of
the judiciary would be another matter. If outsiders keep up the pressure and the judicial changes are judged to be in
breach of the EU treaty, Mr Orbán would be in a tricky spot. It’s hard to see how he could declare the 200-plus judges
his government has forced into retirement ready for office after all, and still sit in his own.
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Diaspora Bonds: how poor countries can intercept emigrants‘ saving
From the Economist 20/08/2011
Migrants can help the country they‘ve left not only by sending money home to support their family,
but also buying diaspora bonds.
Diaspora Bonds are bonds who the country sell to its emigrants in rich countries. (it‘s a good way to
milk them: per ―spremerli‖). They‘re several advantages to sell bonds to members of a dispora:
 They‘re often patriotic: they like the idea that their savings will pay for bridges and clinics at
home
 They‘re patient: they have a long-term tie to the issuer (hanno un legame a lungo termine
con l‘emittente)
 They are less jittery (nervosi, irritabili) than other investors: they have friends who can tell
them whether political (agitazioni politiche) unrest is really as bloody as it looks on television.
 they are optimistic about currency risk: if the currency goes down they can buy, for
example, to their parents a cheep house.
Israel and India have successfully issued diaspora bonds in the past. The desperate Greek
government is pursing the idea. Diasporas are larger than ever and the migrants are richer (they‘ve
lots of saving). Migrants from developing countries remain in close touch with their homelands,
thanks to cheep phone calls and flights, and they‘re not hard to reach: government could for
example approach them via the money-transfer companies.
The World Bank is advising several nations about diaspora bonds. In the past many poor countries
were so fiscally profligate that no sane investor, even a patriotic one, would lend them his own
money. (erano così distrutti che solo un pazzo avrebbe prestato denaro ai paesi ).
Diaspora bonds will face obstacles. Migrants who fled oppressive governments can hardly be
expected to finance the regimes that drove them away. But for many poor countries the bonds are
an idea worth trying.
Measuring global poverty: Awkward questions about how best to help
the poor
From the Economist 30/09/2010
The central assumption of aid business for a decade was that poor people live in poor countries.
The thesis were true in 1990 but it looks out of date now.
Andy Sumner of Britain‘s Institute of Development Studies reckons that almost three-quarters of the
1.3 billion-odd people existing below the $1.25 a day poverty line now live in middle-income
countries. Only a quarter live in the poorest states.
This change reflects the success of developing countries in hauling themselves out of misery. In
1998 the World Bank classified 61 countries as low incomes, in 2009 they were 39. India, indonesia,
pakistan, nigeria all moved to middle-income status. Of the world‘s undersized children (a good
indicator of malnutrition), 70% live in middle-income countries.
In one sense it hardly matters to a destitute Nigerian or Indian that his country has been reclassified
by some distant development bank. But it raises hard questions about whether foreign aid should
be for poor people or poor countries. Britain, for example, has a rule that 90% of aid is supposed to
go to the poorest countries, but all poor people aren‘t living there. Aid charities strongly support
that focus.
The result is that donors have consigned programmes in middle-income countries to a ―bonfire‖
says Alex Evans, a former adviser at Britain‘s Department for International Development. Yet these
are the countries where the vast majority of the poor live, but most of the aids go to low-incomes
contries.
On sptember Bob Zoellick of the World Bank called for a profound ―change in how we conduct
development research‖. Mr Sumner says that poverty may be turning from being an international
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distribution problem to a national one. Most middle-income countries have proved better at
helping their own poor than anything invented and financed by the international industry
Diaspora bonds. Milking migrants. How poor countries can tap emigrants‘ savings
Aug 20th 2011 - from The Economist - http://www.economist.com/node/21526324
HOW can emigrants help the countries they have left? The usual answer is: by sending money home to support their
parents, put cousins through college, and so on. Such remittances are important, says Dilip Ratha of the World Bank,
but it is not enough to tap the income of migrants abroad. Poor countries should also tap their savings. One way is to
sell diaspora bonds.
The idea is simple. Poor-country governments can issue bonds and market them to emigrants in rich countries. There
are several advantages to milking members of a diaspora. They are often patriotic: they like the idea that their savings
will pay for bridges and clinics at home. They are patient, since they have a long-term tie to the issuer. They are less
jittery than other investors, too, since they have friends who can tell them whether political unrest is really as bloody as
it looks on television. And they are sanguine about currency risk. If the Zambian kwacha crashes, an expat Zambian can
buy his mother a cheap house.
Israel and India have successfully issued diaspora bonds in the past. A desperate Greek government is pursuing the idea,
too. Diasporas are larger than ever—more than 200m people live outside the countries where they were born. They are
richer, too: migrants from developing countries have saved an estimated $400 billion. Thanks to cheap phone calls and
flights, migrants often remain in close touch with their homelands. And they are not hard to reach: governments could
approach them via the money-transfer companies that they already use.
The World Bank is advising several nations about diaspora bonds. Kenya, Nigeria and the Philippines may soon set up
pilot schemes. Nigeria’s incoming finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is particularly keen. In the past, many poor
countries were so fiscally profligate that no sane investor, even a patriotic one, would lend them his own money. Most
are now reasonably creditworthy.
Diaspora bonds will face obstacles. Migrants who fled oppressive governments, for example, can hardly be expected to
bankroll the regimes that drove them away. This is perhaps why Ethiopia’s recent diaspora-bond issue flopped. But for
many poor countries, the bonds are an idea worth trying.
Measuring global poverty. Whose problem now?Awkward questions about how
best to help the poor - Sep 30th 2010 - from The Economist http://www.economist.com/node/17155748
POOR people—the destitute, disease ridden and malnourished ―bottom billion‖—live in poor countries. That has been
the central operating assumption of the aid business for a decade. The thesis was true in 1990: then, over 90% of the
world’s poor lived in the world’s poorest places. But it looks out of date now. Andy Sumner of Britain’s Institute of
Development Studies* reckons that almost three-quarters of the 1.3 billion-odd people existing below the $1.25 a day
poverty line now live in middle-income countries. Only a quarter live in the poorest states (mostly in Africa).
This change reflects the success of developing countries in hauling themselves out of misery. In 1998 the World Bank
classified 61 countries (out of 203) as low-income (meaning an annual income per head of less than $760, in money of
that era). In 2009 the number had shrunk to 39 out of 220. India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Nigeria all moved to middleincome status during that time (China passed the threshold earlier). But even excluding China and India, the share of
global poverty accounted for by other middle-income countries tripled between 1990 and 2008, to 22%. Other figures
support Mr Sumner’s finding. Of the world’s undersized children (a good indicator of malnutrition), 70% live in
middle-income countries.
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In one sense it hardly matters to a destitute Nigerian or Indian that his country has been reclassified by some distant
development bank. But it raises hard questions about whether foreign aid should be for poor people or poor countries.
Britain, for example, has a rule that 90% of aid is supposed to go to the poorest countries. Aid charities strongly support
that focus. The result, as taxpayers’ money runs scarce, is that donors have consigned programmes in middle-income
countries to a ―bonfire‖ says Alex Evans, a former adviser at Britain’s Department for International Development. Yet
these are the countries where the vast majority of the poor live.
On September 29th, Bob Zoellick of the World Bank called for a profound ―change [in] how we conduct development
research‖. President Barack Obama wants a rethink of America’s muddled aid programme. Mr Sumner’s data make that
look overdue. Poverty, he says, may be turning from being an international distribution problem into a national one.
Most middle-income countries, through national conditional-cash-transfer schemes such as Brazil’s Bolsa Família, have
proved better at helping their own poor than anything invented and financed by the international aid industry. Giving is
easy. Thinking can be a lot harder.
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Dead Aid chapiter 6: A Capital solution
In Dead Aid, Dambisa Moyo describes the state
of postwar development Policy in Africa today
and one of the greatest myths of our times: that
billions of dollars in aid sent from wealthy
countries to developing African nations has
helped to reduce poverty and increase growth.
In fact Poverty levels continue to escalate and
growth rates have steadily declined, and
millions continue to suffer. The Economist Moyo
makes a startling assertion: charitable aid to
African nation is not just ineffective – it is worse
than no aid.
The Dead Aid proposal envisages a gradual
reduction in systematic aid over a five to ten
year period. It would not be practical or realistic
to see aid immediatly drop to zero. A
reasonable person could, for example argue
that aid in Africa hasn‘t worked precisely
because it has not been constructed with the
idea of promoting growth.
Botswana‘s experience
Botswana‘s experience with aid is exactly what
we would want to see: a country that begin
with a high ratio of aid to GDP uses the aid
wisely to provide important pubblic goods that
help support good policies and sound
governance. The ratio of aid to GDP would fall
as a country developed. Botswana is
considered a prime example of International
Development Association. In the 1960s
botswana received a significant foreign
assistance. Between 1968 and 2001 botswana
average economic growth was 6.8%, one of
the highest in the world. Botswana pursed
numerous market economy options. Trade
policy left the economy open to competion,
monetary policy was kept stable and fiscal
discipline was maintened. By 2000 botswana‘s
aid share of national income stood at 1.6 per
cent. Botswana succeded by stopping to
depend on aid.
RIGUARDO IL LIBRO
La carità che uccide è il titolo italiano di Dead Aid, il
saggio da cui è tratto questo brano, in cui Moyo
illustra le proprie teorie e racconta come gli aiuti
dell'Occidente devastino il Terzo mondo. L'analisichoc del perché l'iniezione di aiuti economici nelle
casse dei paesi africani è un'iniezione letale è
finalmente edito in Italiano, pubblicato da Rizzoli.
La democrazia non è il prerequisito della crescita
economica. Al contrario, è la crescita a essere
un prerequisito della democrazia.
E l‘unica cosa di cui non ha bisogno sono gli aiuti.
L‘analisi-choc del perché l‘iniezione
di aiuti economici nelle casse dei paesi
africani è un‘iniezione letale.
―Quando la Banca Mondiale crede di finanziare una
centrale
elettrica, in realtà sta finanziando un bordello.‖
—Paul Rosenstein-Rodin, vicedirettore del
Dipartimento economico della Banca Mondiale
Il 13 luglio 1985 va in scena il concerto ―Live Aid‖, con
un miliardo e mezzo di spettatori in diretta: l‘apice
glamour del programma di aiuti dei Paesi occidentali
benestanti alle disastrate economie dell‘Africa
subsahariana, oltre mille miliardi di dollari elargiti a
partire dagli anni Cinquanta. Venticinque anni dopo,
la situazione è ancora rovinosa: cosa impedisce al
continente di affrancarsi da una condizione di
povertà cronica? Secondo l‘economista africana
Dambisa Moyo, la colpa è proprio degli aiuti,
un‘elemosina che, nella migliore delle ipotesi,
costringe l‘Africa a una perenne adolescenza
economica, rendendola dipendente come da una
droga. E nella peggiore, contribuisce a diffondere le
pestilenze della corruzione e del peculato, grazie a
massicce iniezioni di credito nelle vene di Paesi privi di
una governance solida e trasparente, e di un ceto
medio capace di potersi reinventare in chiave
imprenditoriale. L‘alternativa è chiara: seguire la Cina,
che negli ultimi anni ha sviluppato una partnership
sofisticata ed efficiente con molti Paesi della zona
subsahariana. Il colosso cinese, che non deve fare i
conti con un passato criminale di colonialismo e
In breve
schiavismo, è infatti in grado di riconoscere l‘Africa
per la sua vera natura: una terra enorme ricca di
1960‘s: Botswana received significant foreign
materie prime e con immense opportunità di
assistance, and it pursued numerous market
investimento. Definita l‘anti-Bono per lo spietato
economy options: the trade policy left the
pragmatismo delle sue posizioni, in questo libro
economy open to competition, the monetary
Dambisa Moyo pone l‘Occidente intero di fronte ai
policy was kept stable and the fiscal discipline
pregiudizi intrisi di sensi di colpa che sono alla base
was maintained.
delle sue ―buone azioni‖, e lo invita a liberarsene. Allo
stesso tempo invita l‘Africa a liberarsi dell‘Occidente,
e del paradosso dei suoi cosiddetti ―aiuti‖ che
pretendono
di essere il rimedio mentre costituiscono il
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virus stesso di una malattia curabile: la povertà.
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The dead aid proposal does allow for this perspective, by leaving room for modest amounts of aid
to be part of Africa‘s development financing strategy. Systematic aid is a component of this
proposal, but only insofar as its presence decreases as other financing alternatives take hold. The
ultimate aim is an aid free world.
A capital solution to reach this aim is issuing bonds. Bonds are effectively loans or IOUs (i owe you:
it‘s a formal document acknowledging debt, who specify debtor, the amout owned and
sometimes the creditor; it does not specify repayment terms).
On issuing bonds the government promises to repay the money it borrows to the lender plus an
agreed amount of interest. Bond issued in commercial marketplace are different from aid given in
loans because:
1) interest on aid loans is below of the market rate
2) aid loans tend to have longer periods of repayment (even 50 years)
3) Aid transfers tend to carry much more lenient terms in cases of default than the relatively
more punitive private bond markets.
i trasferimenti di aiuti tendono ad avere condizioni molto più favorevoli in caso di inadempimento
rispetto ai mercati privati che adottano condizioni relativamente più sanzionatorie
Plentiful history of lesser developing countries issuing bonds:
By 1860  Argentina and Brazil were users of the international bond markets and other of the
world‘s poorest countries have issued bonds.
In a report, the rating agency S&P lists as many 35 African economies had access to the bond
markets in the 1970s and 1980s.
Point of issuing these bonds: to help finance their development programs (infrastructure,
education, healthcare). They could also have been used for expenditures such as military, civil
services, etc.
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Dead Aid chapiter 7: The Chinese are our friends
China invest a lot in Africa
In the last 60 years, no country has made as big an impact on the political, economic and social
fabric of Africa as China.
China has launched an aggressive investment assault across the continent. China is growing at a
phenomenal rate. Its economy has grown as much as 10 per cent a year over the past ten years
and needs resouces that Africa can provide (for example China need oil). China is conquer Africa
using the muscle of money: roads in Ethiopia, pipelines (oleodotti, tubature, acquedotti) in Sudan,
railways in Nigeria, power in Ghana. Theese are just few examples of projects that China has
flooded (= financed).
During the first Sino-African summit in 2006 the Chinese president launched China‘s multi-pronged
assault on Africa, which would focus on trade, agricultural cooperation, debt relief, cultural ties,
healthcare and some aid (a small component of the strategy!).
China trained African professionals, built schools and hospitals, increased the government
schoolarship to African Students. China signed trade deals.
One of the most impressive aspects of the whole Chinese package to Africa is the commitment to
FDI (gli impegni con FDI). This is achieved both directly through the government and by
encouraging private Chinese entrerprises to invest in Africa usually through preferential loans and
buyer credits (per buyers credits si intende un finanziamento concesso da banche ad un importatore di un
paese estero o ad una banca che interviene per suo conto. Tale importo è destinato al pagamento di
forniture di macchinari o impianti e sevizi connessi o esecuzioni di lavori da parte di aziende italiane.).
China invested billions
♦ in copper and cobalt in Zambia and Republic of Congo
♦
♦
♦
♦
♦
♦
iron ore and platinum in South Africa
timber (legname) in Gabon, Cameroon, Congo-Brazzaville, Central African Repubblic
buying mines in Zambia
buying textile factories in Lesotho
in railways in Uganda
retail developments in every capital city
China need to import oil: Angola is the biggest single provider of oil. African countries provided
around 30% per cent of China‘s crude oil imports.
While it‘s true that China‘s African investment have have been directed towards resourches-rich
countries and thus the mining sectors, over time a much broader investment approach is
becoming evident. Chinese FDI to Africa has diversified into sectors such as textiles, agroprocessing, power generation, road contruction, tourism, telecommunication.
Chinese government has pledged to step up China-Africa cooperation in transportation,
communications, water conservancy, electricity and other infrastructure.
Financial services and banking have also been in China‘s sights. The list of china involvement in
Africa is endless. Only five states haven‘t relationship with Beijing.
China‘s African role is wider, more sophisticated and more businesslike than any other country‘s at
any time in the post-war period.
Objections to China in Africa
There‘re lots of criticism  WHY? They care about Africa Or the underlyng political fear that China
will use Africa as a stepping stone on its relentless march towards world aggrandizement? (timore
politico di base che la Cina userà l'Africa come una pietra miliare sulla sua inarrestabile marcia verso la
conquista del mondo). Peraphs they‘ve reason to be worried. Whatever the case, the clamour of
objections surronding (che circondano) the Chineese presence in Africa grows.
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The european investment Bank has expressed concern that the world‘s developement banks may
have to water down the social and enviromental conditions the attach to loans in Africa because
they are being undercut by chinese lenders. Chinese lenders don‘t care for social or human rights
and conditions
The european investment Bank ha espresso la preoccupazione che le banche che investono in
sviluppo del mondo potrebbero dover annacquare le condizioni sociali e ambientali da applicare
ai prestiti in Africa perché tali condizioni sono aggirate dagli istituti di credito cinesi. Gli investitori
cinesi non si occupano di diritti umani e condizioni
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Credit and financial crisis in Greece
The financial crisis in Greece was well-publicised by the mainstream media, but there are
aspects of the situation that remain unexplained. Professor Herakles Polemarchakis,
Warwick Professor and economic adviser to the Greek government, examines what he
has learned in confronting the financial crisis in Greece. This article was originally featured
in the Bulletin of the Economics Research Institute (Spring term 2011)
About the writer
Professor Herakles Polemarchakis is a Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick who specializes in the
theory of economic policy. For the past year, he has also served as the head of the Greek Prime Minister‘s
Economy Office. He has previously held posts at Harvard University, Brown University and Columbia University.
By the end of 2009, Greek public debt stood at 127 per cent, the deficit at 15.5 per cent and the
current account deficit at 11 per cent of GDP. In addition, the outgoing conservative government
had failed to address these long standing problems and had succeeded in driving the country to
the brink of bankruptcy. At the same time, it had consistently misreported statistics to European
authorities, compromising the credibility of the country at a time when it needed it most.
Alla fine del 2009, debito pubblico greco era pari al 127 per cento, il disavanzo al 15,5 per cento e il disavanzo
delle partite correnti al 11 per cento del PIL. Inoltre, il governo uscente conservatore non era riuscito a risolvere
questi problemi di lunga data ed ha portato il paese sull'orlo della bancarotta. Allo stesso tempo, fornito
statistiche erronee costantemente alle autorità europee, compromettendo la credibilità del paese nel
momento in cui ne aveva più bisogno.
The country finds itself in a sorry state that is the outcome of easy money, the legacy of the
enormous credit available to both the public and private sectors after the 2001 integration of
Greece into the euro zone. This combined with many factors, among them, corruption, a failed
political culture and an educational system that failed to provide citizens with needed skills.
During recent weeks, violent and escalating riots against laws that, among others, reduce salaries
in public and semi-public enterprises have brought Greece to a standstill. The economic
adjustments require extremely painful measures and the public‘s willingness to suffer the
consequences is not taken for granted.
Il paese si trova in uno stato pietoso, che è il risultato dell‘eccessiva spesa l'eredità del credito enorme a
disposizione sia nel settore pubblico e privato dopo il 2001, anno dell'integrazione della Grecia nella zona
euro. Questo, combinato con molti fattori, tra cui, la corruzione, una cultura politica e un sistema educativo
che non è riuscito a fornire ai cittadini le competenze necessarie per il mondo del lavoro ha portato alla
drammatica situazione attuale. Nelle ultime settimane, scontri violenti e crescenti proteste contro le leggi che,
tra l'altro, riducono i salari nelle imprese pubbliche e semi-pubbliche hanno portato la Grecia a un punto
morto. Gli aggiustamenti economici richiedono misure molto dolorose e la propensione del settore pubblico a
subire le conseguenze non è data per scontata.
The value of mortgage defaults underlying the crisis was modest, but the fiscal stimulus needed to
offset them was large. The current system exaggerates the size of the default.
Il valore delle insolvenza sui mutui sottostanti la crisi è stata modesta, ma lo stimolo fiscale necessario per
compensarli era grande. Il sistema attuale esagera la dimensione del l‘insolvenza greca.
A year ago, when I arrived in Greece to work for the government, then just facing the enormity of
the crisis, I was told to brace for the worst. A man who greeted me with panic said, ―It is so bad that
we no longer have any comparative advantage.‖ His comment show panic because the ability of
a place to produce a certain good or provide certain services more cheaply than another, cannot
in theory or in practice simply evaporate.
Un anno fa, quando sono arrivato in Grecia a lavorare per il governo, mi è stato detto di prepararmi al
peggio. Un uomo che mi ha accolto dicendo: "E 'così brutto che non abbiamo più alcun vantaggio
competitivo." Il suo commento mostra panico irrazionale perché la capacità di un luogo per produrre un
certo bene o prestare determinati servizi più a buon mercato rispetto ad un altro, non può in teoria o in
pratica semplicemente evaporare.
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In the spring of 2010, the situation for Greece became untenable. The steady and rapid rise in the
interest rates faced by Greece to finance its deficit or to refinance its debt resulted in an inevitable
appeal to the support mechanism set up by the European Commission, the European Central Bank
and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The support provided by the mechanism amounts to
€110 billion over a three-year period, during which Greece enjoys full protection in the fulfilment of
its financial obligations. According to the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the
European and international authorities in May 2010, Greece has implemented severe deficit
reduction measures: among them, a 15 % decrease in public sector salaries and pensions (some
already painfully low), and a 4 percentage point increase in the VAT. But, problems remain:
sustainability of the public finances is still uncertain. The debt to GDP ratio is expected to peak at
about 150% in 2014-15. The severe reductions in public expenditures, public investment among
them, may plunge the country into a prolonged recession, with adverse consequences for longterm growth as well as for fiscal stabilization.
Nella primavera del 2010, la situazione divenne insostenibile per la Grecia. L'aumento costante e rapido dei
tassi di interesse affrontati dalla Grecia per finanziare il deficit o per rifinanziare il suo debito ha comportato un
inevitabile ricorso al meccanismo di sostegno istituito dalla Commissione europea, la Banca centrale europea
e il Fondo Monetario Internazionale (FMI). Il sostegno fornito dal meccanismo ammonta a € 110 miliardi su un
periodo di tre anni, durante il quale la Grecia gode di una protezione completa nell'adempimento dei suoi
obblighi finanziari. Secondo il memorandum d'intesa firmato con le autorità europee e internazionali nel
maggio 2010, la Grecia ha attuato severe misure di riduzione del deficit: tra di loro, una diminuzione del 15%
dei salari del settore pubblico e delle pensioni (alcuni già penosamente basso), e un aumento di 4 punti
percentuali dell'IVA. Ma i problemi rimangono: la sostenibilità delle finanze pubbliche è ancora incerto. Il
debito in rapporto al PIL è previsto il picco a circa 150% nel 2014-15. Le forti riduzioni delle spese pubbliche,
investimenti pubblici tra i quali, possono precipitare il paese in una recessione prolungata, con conseguenze
negative per la crescita a lungo termine nonché per la stabilizzazione fiscale.
Following Greece, Ireland next had to appeal to the international support mechanism. The Irish
crisis was not a public debt crisis as in Greece: it grew out of the decision of the Irish government to
bail out a banking sector that had faltered. This situation resembles events in the US, where the
financial crisis was the outgrowth of defaults in the subprime mortgage markets and the failure of
financial institutions. There is fear that Portugal, and even Spain and Belgium are next in line. In this
context, they have to address fundamental, difficult and divisive problems: the trade-off between
stimulus and restraint, with its implications for inflation, taboo from the German point of view, or the
participation of the private sector in future bail outs.
Dopo la Grecia, l'Irlanda ha dovuto fare appello al meccanismo di sostegno internazionale. La crisi irlandese
non era una crisi del debito pubblico come in Grecia: è scaturita dalla decisione del governo irlandese per
salvare un settore bancario che vacillava. Questa situazione assomiglia agli eventi negli Stati Uniti, dove la crisi
finanziaria è stata la conseguenza di inadempienze nei mercati ipotecari subprime e il fallimento delle
istituzioni finanziarie. C'è il timore per il Portogallo, e anche Spagna e Belgio sono i prossimi della fila. In questo
contesto, si devono affrontare problemi fondamentali, difficili e divisioni: il trade-off tra lo stimolo e la
moderazione, con le sue implicazioni per l'inflazione, tabù per il punto di vista tedesco, o la partecipazione del
settore privato in salvataggi futuri.
Academic economics was not able to predict the financial crisis or to offer a way out. At times, it
does not even seem to possess the categories required to comprehend the problem. But, what
options are there? These crises of our times create an urgent call for good economics: the
intellectually demanding, hard core theory and empirical work that provide the underpinnings for
sound economic policies. These policies will not offer quick, painless solutions to the world‘s
economic woes.
Le teorie accademiche non sono state in grado di prevedere la crisi finanziaria o di offrire una via d'uscita. A
volte, non sembrano nemmeno essere in possesso delle categorie necessarie per comprendere il problema.
Ma, quali possibilità ci sono? Questa crisi del nostro tempo crea un‘ appello urgente a trovare la strada per la
buona economia: la teoria hard core e il lavoro empirico che forniscono le basi per le politiche economiche
sane. Queste politiche non offriranneròo p soluzioni rapide e indolori per le difficoltà economiche del mondo.
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CREDIT AND THE FINANCIAL CRISIS IN GREECE – testo integrale
The financial crisis in Greece was well-publicised by the mainstream media, but there are aspects of the situation that remain
unexplained. Professor Herakles Polemarchakis*, Warwick Professor and economic adviser to the Greek government, examines
what he has learned in confronting the financial crisis in Greece. This article was originally featured in the Bulletin of the
Economics Research Institute (Spring term 2011)
By the end of 2009, Greek public debt stood at 127 per cent, the deficit at 15.5 per cent and the current
account deficit at 11 per cent of GDP. In addition, the outgoing conservative government had failed to
address these long standing problems and had succeeded in driving the country to the brink of bankruptcy.
At the same time, it had consistently misreported statistics to European authorities, compromising the
credibility of the country at a time when it needed it most.
The country finds itself in a sorry state that is the outcome of easy money, the legacy of the enormous credit
available to both the public and private sectors after the 2001 integration of Greece into the euro zone. This
combined with many factors, among them, corruption, a failed political culture and an educational system
that failed to provide citizens with needed skills. During recent weeks, violent and escalating riots against
laws that, among others, reduce salaries in public and semi-public enterprises have brought Greece to a
standstill. The economic adjustments require extremely painful measures and the public’s willingness to
suffer the consequences is not taken for granted.
The value of mortgage defaults underlying the crisis was modest, but the fiscal stimulus needed to offset
them was large. The current system exaggerates the size of the default. Someone who has defaulted on a $1
million house may be able to pay $750,000.
A year ago, when I arrived in Greece to work for the government, then just confronting the enormity of the
crisis, I was told to brace for the worst. A man who greeted me with panic said, ―It is so bad that we no
longer have any comparative advantage.‖ His comments offer a wry punch line to economists, for whom a
comparative advantage, the ability of a place to produce a certain good or provide certain services more
cheaply than another, cannot in theory or in practice simply evaporate.
In the spring of 2010, the situation for Greece became untenable. The steady and rapid rise in the interest
rates faced by Greece to finance its deficit or to refinance its debt resulted in an inevitable appeal to the
support mechanism set up by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International
Monetary Fund (IMF). The support provided by the mechanism amounts to €110 billion over a three-year
period, during which Greece enjoys full protection in the fulfilment of its financial obligations. According to
the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the European and international authorities in May 2010,
Greece has implemented severe deficit reduction measures: among them, a 15 % decrease in public sector
salaries and pensions (some already painfully low), and a 4 percentage point increase in the VAT. But,
problems remain: sustainability of the public finances is still uncertain. The debt to GDP ratio is expected to
peak at about 150% in 2014-15. The severe reductions in public expenditures, public investment among
them, may plunge the country into a prolonged recession, with adverse consequences for long-term growth
as well as for fiscal stabilization.
Following Greece, Ireland next had to appeal to the international support mechanism. The Irish crisis was not
a public debt crisis as in Greece: it grew out of the decision of the Irish government to bail out a banking
sector that had faltered. This situation resembles events in the US, where the financial crisis was the
outgrowth of defaults in the subprime mortgage markets and the failure of financial institutions. There is fear
81
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that Portugal, and even Spain and Belgium are next in line. In this context, they have to address fundamental,
difficult and divisive problems: the trade-off between stimulus and restraint, with its implications for
inflation, taboo from the German point of view, or the participation of the private sector in future bail outs.
Academic economics was not able to predict the financial crisis or to offer a way out. At times, it does not
even seem to possess the categories required to comprehend the problem. But, what options are there? These
crises of our times create an urgent call for good economics: the intellectually demanding, hard core theory
and empirical work that provide the underpinnings for sound economic policies. These policies will not offer
quick, painless solutions to the world’s economic woes.
*Professor Herakles Polemarchakis is a Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick who specializes in the theory of
economic policy. For the past year, he has also served as the head of the Greek Prime Minister’s Economy Office. He has previously
held posts at Harvard University, Brown University and Columbia University.
Grece Potato Revolution
The crowds keep building: hundreds of Greeks are queuing up to take part in what they're calling
the "potato revolution". – by By Mark Lowen, 15th March from BBC News, Athens
Thousands of tonnes of potatoes are sold directly from the farmer to the consumer, cutting out the
costly middleman and so slashing prices by more than half. The potato movement was born in
northern Greece a few weeks ago and is proving so successful that it's now come down to Athens,
growing ever more popular as Greeks struggle (lottano) with the worst recession in modern history.
"Salaries are very low, taxes are very high and the price of products doesn't seem to follow," says
Sofia Manidou, one of those waiting in line. "We have to pay a lot of money for basic products like
potatoes. This is the potato revolution and we hope to see revolutions of other types of food too
because we are in great need of this." And that now seems likely (probabile), with similar schemes
in the pipeline (altri schemi sono in cantiere)/ and now seems probable the creation of similar
schemes for rice, flour and olive oil. It's a movement that benefits both sides, with farmers earning
for what they produce, without paying large intermediary fees to wholesalers.
Some supermarkets have been forced to reduce their prices in response. One of the farmer who
taked part to the potato revolution say ―The middleman exploits us by buying our products at low
prices. We want to help the consumer in these difficult times. This sends a message that a few
people can't profit at the expense of all of us.‖
Greeks are finding new ways, new ideas, to deal with the deepening recession, refussing to accept
the status quo.
The potato sales are now organised by municipalities keen to participate. Customers pre-order the
quantity of potatoes they want. After paying, they're given a receipt, which they then present to
the farmers, who hand them the right number of sacks.
The whole scene is reinescent of food lines and admits, Lefteris Roubelakis, ―it‘s a little humiliating‖.
As austerity bites even deeper, the movement is meeting the need of a squeezed nation. The
minimum salary passed from 750 € to 500 €. The unemployment rise constantly.
"The situation is very bad," says Manos Psarakis, another customer. "We have to feed our families
and every day that becomes more difficult." He pays 19.50 euros for 60kg (132lb) of potatoes,
which he shares with his parents. It's less than half of what he would pay in the supermarket. "Twenty
euros is definitely worth saving," he says. "Today we count every cent."
BRAIN DRAIN (fuga di cervelli)
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Many of thoose waiting in queue are Grece‘s middle-class. Paticulary hits by the cuts. Among them
there‘s Kostas Hadzigianellis, a civil engineer working on state construction projects, which have
almost totally dried up. He invites me home where he and his wife, Katerina, a teacher, tell their
story. With two young children and salaries that have dropped by almost half, they are in difficoult.
"We have had to cut things from our lives and from the lives of our children," he says. "We are just
trying to live, but it's very hard." I ask of his plans for the future. "We have no future here," he says. "I
believe I have to leave Greece, to find another country that can offer a better life first for my kids
and then for my wife and myself."
Testo integrale
The crowds keep building: hundreds of Greeks are queuing up to take part in what they're
calling the "potato revolution". – by By Mark Lowen, 15th March from BBC News, Athens
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17369989
It is a simple idea with simple products.Thousands of tonnes of potatoes are sold directly from the
farmer to the consumer, cutting out the costly middleman and so slashing prices by more than half.
The seed of the potato movement was planted in northern Greece a few weeks ago and is proving so
successful that it's now come down to Athens, growing ever more popular as Greeks struggle with the
worst recession in modern history.
"Salaries are very low, taxes are very high and the price of products doesn't seem to follow," says Sofia
Manidou, one of those waiting in line. "We have to pay a lot of money for basic products like potatoes.
This is the potato revolution and we hope to see revolutions of other types of food too because we are
in great need of this." And that now seems likely, with similar schemes in the pipeline for rice, flour
and olive oil. It's a movement that benefits both sides, with farmers earning for what they produce,
without paying large intermediary fees to wholesalers.
Some supermarkets have been forced to reduce their prices in response. Stelios Ioannidis is one of the
farmers taking part, off-loading dozens of sacks of potatoes to the eager customers. "The middleman
exploits us by buying our products at low prices," he tells me. "We want to help the consumer in these
difficult times. This sends a message that a few people can't profit at the expense of all of us."
'A little humiliating'
It is that solidarity, that determination to fight back which is, in a sense, a positive by-product of this
crisis. Greeks are finding new ways, new ideas, to deal with the deepening recession, refusing to accept
the status quo. The potato sales are now organised by municipalities keen to participate. Customers
pre-order the quantity of potatoes they want. After paying, they're given a receipt, which they then
present to the farmers, who hand them the right number of sacks.
From afar, the whole scene is strangely reminiscent of food lines - and this in a European Union
country. "It is a little humiliating," admits Lefteris Roubelakis as he waits patiently in the queue. But as
austerity bites ever deeper, the movement is meeting the needs of a squeezed nation. Unemployment
here has now soared to 21% - 51% among the youth - and 15,000 more public sector jobs are to go
this year. The minimum wage is to be slashed from 750 euros (£624) per month to just 500 euros.
"The situation is very bad," says Manos Psarakis, another customer. "We have to feed our families and
every day that becomes more difficult." He pays 19.50 euros for 60kg (132lb) of potatoes, which he
shares with his parents. It's less than half of what he would pay in the supermarket. "Twenty euros is
definitely worth saving," he says. "Today we count every cent." Many of those queuing up are Greece's
middle-class, particularly badly hit by the cuts.
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Brain drain
Among them is Kostas Hadzigianellis, a civil engineer working on state construction projects, which
have almost totally dried up. He invites me home where he and his wife, Katerina, a teacher, tell a now
familiar tale. With two young children and salaries that have dropped by almost half, they are
struggling. "We have had to cut things from our lives and from the lives of our children," he says. "We
are just trying to live, but it's very hard." I ask of his plans for the future. "We have no future here," he
says. "I believe I have to leave Greece, to find another country that can offer a better life first for my
kids and then for my wife and myself."
Ordinary Greeks queuing to save a few euros for basic goods and an ever-growing brain drain of the
middle class: these are the signs of a society suffering in a way few could have predicted. And civic
initiatives are springing up in response, the potato movement among them. It is an act of defiance that
is taking root in a changing and deeply troubled Greece.
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