The U.S. stock market has recovered and gone beyond where it was at the marking point in October 2008. I hear that even Lehman Brothers continues to make huge profits today.
The job creation in America last month was a bright number, at 300,000. My suggestion is if such a number was created for another five months, it would be reasonable to say that the economic Recovery has strengthened significantly.
No, that would not neccesitate further tapering. I am of the opinion that Dr Yellen needs to perhaps increase the QE by about $5 billion a month for the foreseeable future, until Recovery is complete.
At $45 billion a month, there is a shortage for the meantime to fund the social aspect, and cutting would have a similar impact to the dreadful sequestration, when poor students were being sent home because there was no provision for a mid-day meal for them. (Of course, the wisdom may be to ask them to bring their own lunch and provide them the opportunity for education, and keep them from turning to delinquency).
The U.S. housing market seems to have stabilised, but has still scope for improvement. While foreign investors and hedge funds will avail themselves of these opportunities, the American households are still holding to wait and see that there is sustained recovery in the jobs market with prospects long-term before they start to buy houses. I of course would suggest that they should consider now, when rates may be just edging up a little from historic highs and prices remain affordable.
On this side of the pond, in the United Kingdom, the housing market has just become stable. I don't see much upside this year, in view of cut-backs in social security for housing. A lot of the estate agents relying on government funding for housing have closed shop; and I see a few landlords putting up their big houses for sale. The time of easy regular income for landlords seems to be now over. It may be a good chance for the government to provide housing to deserving people on low incomes if the rents are actually downwards from the recent highs. That would make sense to the government purse as well as tenants.
Other than that the economy seems to be quite robust, with creation of jobs and employment opportunities for many, together with en masse creation of apprenticeships under the guidance and friendly policies of the Cameron government, which has been one of the most people sensitive government the Tories have formed so far. The multi-cultural cohesion and contented atmosphere is something to be appreciated.
The Greeks have got their economy improving, with 10 years Bonds at a yield around 6 percent. Not many moons ago, the yields were an exhorbitant 30 percent or so. The generosity of the European Union in bailing them out played a tremendous part in helping this situation to be reached. All European nations, flowers of the same bouquet, must rejoice. Spain is also seeing signs of improvement, and now that I hear of KKR looking to fund some Spanish bank, I guess the economy there will start to improve quite rapidly. The huge opportunity is there, for people who like the good climate and culture, to buy properties there perhaps for retirement, and even start businesses there, which could be a way to create jobs in Spain.
As governments adjust their policies to allow more immigration, especially to parts which are sparsely populated, more young blood can settle and rejuvenate the economies of the advanced nations. The ageing populations need looking after, and the young immigrants would be happy to come and work hard and pay their taxes, buy houses, cars, books, TVs, etc, etc. The economies would pick up. That will I believe be the second leg of Recovery.
I believe the future is very bright, as Recovery will turn to Prosperity, which could be even within six months. At least I pray for that.
Remembrance Day at the Ilford chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was marked by the Bishop and congregation paying respects to the memories of the heroes and heroines who gave their lives in the quest for freedom from tyranny and injustice.
How great a freedom we enjoy today as citizens of England is all due to the heroes and heroines who laid down their lives, as well as those valiant men and women who helped negotiate peace and brought forward this day into being.
Brother Jeremy Boyden : "We remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice, like our Saviour, and we mark this day when peace was first agreed between all nations, on 11th November 1918".
The President's wife Sister Saltzman read a poem about Flanders Fields.
The Bishop's son, Brother Michael Onaolapo Jnr : "Greater love hath no man then He who gave up His own life so that others may live."
Sister Shannon Pickering, who was baptised in the Ilford ward two weeks ago, spoke a few words about the loving atmosphere that prevails in this land, thanks to people like her gransparents who did their bit during the war.
Sister Joanne Boyden read a famous poem, starting The glory shines upon my tears....She read the bit about hopes and expectations and stars and then became very emotional. (I asked her later; she explained that her Mother lost two brothers in the war). (For the Fallen, Robert Laurence Binyon).
Brother Michael Lighten paid tribute to the great example of Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse, recounting events in the Captain's life in the Royal Army Medical Corp, who had to combine civilian with military duties at the front, where he saw within a few hours 189 casualties out of 600. Captain Chavasse worked behind enemy lines for four hours, just 500 yards to safety. On another occasion just 25 yards from enemy trenches. Altogether, Captain Chavasse saved the lives of approximately 20,000 men.
On another occasion, he worked with protection against an attack of mustard gas.
Noel picked up his torch, and rose up in his time, working against impossible conditions of mud, blood and water. Captain Chavasse was decoated with a rare second Victoria Cross. Such men are rare indeed, and we all recall his courage with awe and celebration.
"For their tomorrows, we give our today" John Maxwell Edmonds. That was the spirit of the unknown solider, great soul who's memory we salute today.
We stood and paid our respects to the memories of the men and women who have won the freedoms that have greatly contributed to the enjoyment of peace and peaceful life that England enjoys today.
Bishop Onaolapo made these closing remarks : "We are here because of the sacrifices the soldiers, male and female, have made for us. That is why the great atmosphere of stability and safety, friendliness and love prevails in this nation. I am sure this country will go from strength to strength because of that, and I am proud to be a citizen of this great country of ours."
I believe this sums up the congregations sentiments on this day, when we salute those whose lives were lost, as well as those who brought about peace.
May God's blessings be upon all.
(written by Duru-darshan
LDS Ilford ward)
It appears the Obamacare rollout has had teething problems, especially with the website interfacing.
Perhaps they should have stuck with their initial design, just to guage peoples interest without putting them off by asking comprehensive personal details. It's like me asking you for your personal details before allowing you to read my blog.
Good news comes from Professor Gruber's analysis of the figures that would need or benefit from Obamacare, and provided provisions have been pencilled in for the expenditure, the launch should be quite successful, after the rationale is accepted by Joe Public.
It seems that about 14 percent of the U.S. population would need Obamacare, the other 86 percent are adequately catered for.
Of the 14 percent, Obamacare seeks to enlist the young working people, who don't have any kind of health care provision. Once these people start to sign up in numbers, I presume the premium costs would start to come down. It has to be attractive for people to sign up, not a cumbersome figure that people would be unwilling to pay and indeed may not see the immediate necessity to pay if they are currently in good health. Everything being equal, most people would expect to continue to enjoy good health, and it seems a foolish waste of money to buy an insurance policy for health to most young people. However, good health carries no guarantees into the future, and it is against this that people need to have cover, seeing how people's lives are sometimes marred by ill-health and their careers written off. It is against this realistic look that young people need to consider taking up a policy to safeguard their future.
(In Britain it is straightforward enough. Everyone is levied what is termed National Insurance, which is a fixed percentrage of one's income, and universally everyone gets medical cover under the National Health Service. Some out of personal preference for quicker or better service decide to take out additional policies with private health insurance companies. Side by side, the NHS and organisations such as the not-for-profit BUPA and Simply Health serve the population very well, in practical terms.)
If lot more people show an interest in what Obamacare offers, presumably the insurance premiums would start to come down and encourage more and more people to sign on, so it would actually deliver what would become affordable health care.
As the issue is debated and considered, I guess it will gather acceptance, if not straight away then over a number of years. Good health brings great benefits in enjoyment of life and work, creating a happy atmosphere and bringing prosperity to all, a welcome place.
It has taken all of five years for the world economies to be restored to semblance of normality from the dark days of 2008.
Remember those days when the interest rates were quite high in the advanced economies, anything from 4 to 7 percent - and that for the benchmark European Central Bank, Federal Reserve and Bank of England rate.
The crisis created by the collapse of Lehmann Bros sent shockwaves throughout the financial system worldwide, with stockmarkets tumbling, loss of confidence in trade, fall in house prices, and a mood of pessimism gripped the world.
At the vortex of the crisis, when Oil price reached $147 per barrel, according to OPEC AND European Union figures, about $250 billion additional bills were imposed on the European Union's oil expenditure, and what a terrible crisis it created, making transportation and manufacturing unviable in many countries, e.g. Portugal, Spain, Greece, the extra drain sucking the life-force out of the system.
At the peak of the crisis, people who were earlier working in the textile industry were suddenly without work, and wondering how they would find their cod-and-chips. Enterprising young people and old were trying their hand at the e-commerce economy, and finding lot of work but little revenue. The Prime Minister of a sovereign nation which was so prosperous not so long ago was visiting the heads of state of various nations, asking for help. The social security systems were severally stretched, the tax revenues not corresponding to the new outflows. The interest on the bonds became quite high, to attract investors. Talented people from universities were not able to find opportunities to make a living.
Demand on housing was as high as ever, but people didn't have money to rent, nor were banks willing to extend mortgages. Indeed, banks and loan corporations were suddenly unviable, after the property price plunge and bankruptcies of many individuals.
Today, comparatively, there has been a return of confidence. Things are getting better. Spain, Portugal and Greece have seen their bonds become more attractive to international investors.
But the worst is hardly behind us, yet the oil price remains so high. The pending closure of the Grangemouth Refinery is an indicator of the havoc the oil price plays with the balance sheet of such businesses. A business that was viable up until recently today stands in need of £300 million, with that it would support 800 jobs until trade is more favourable. This may be a microcosmic illustration of what could be in store for the OPEC nations, unless they decide to reduce the oil price to a level that is affordable to the rest of the world, and would give the OPEC nations an on-going stable income on a long-term basis into the future, and allow the world to breathe, and help sustain Recovery.
It took two-and-a-half years after the high oil price knocked the economies for six for a return to some kind of normal business activity. Common sense tells me that the high price today will probably hamper growth for about a year-and-a-half, and it is already restricting growth and causing hardships in many places, e.g. Yemn, Kenya, India, and almost all the nations outside the G20.
I WOULD RESPECTFULLY SUGGEST THAT THE OIL PRICE NEEDS TO BE BELOW $85 A BARREL.
That would help the hard-pressed developing nations meet their bills from their depleted reserves or devalued currencies, and enabling continuation of trade with the U.S., China, European Union, Israel and indeed OPEC, which would create a dynamic of mutual co-operation and support that may help all nations thrive and develop all their potential. That is the missing piece of the jigsaw in the picture of a continuation of the worldwide economic Recovery.
All the listening hearts of the world know what I am saying, and those who sit in positions of influence will do what is necessary, for that I pray.
Recently I've had a lot of visitors to my blog and website from Putian as well as Beijing.
I note the Indian Premier Dr Manmohan Singh has been to visit Beijing soon after his trip to Moscow, and
things are looking good for co-operation on peacefully observing each other's shared borders as well as increase in friendly relations and trade.
My personal hope is to become nominated by the Congress Party of India (UPA) as the Prime Ministerial candidate for May 2014. Should my wish be fulfilled with approval of Rahul and Mrs Sonia Gandhi, I would be thrilled and would go to India straight away to start campaigning in earnest.
I have a vision for India as a good neighbour to China, Russia, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and the whole region, as well as to unlock the huge potential that there obviously is for growth of infrastructure such as roads, bridges, dams, power generation, further irrigation, as well as housing, hospitals, schools, universities, and so on, which would utilise the resources and cater to the public, as well as use the skills and expertise internationally in building up this great nation. I have lived in London the last 41 years, and see the n-th degree developments of this nation (United Kingdom) as something India could well try to aim for. I imagine that with India's resources both of the peoples' savings and growing expectations of improvements in living standards, it would fit hand-in-glove.
It is regrettable that there have been skirmishes on the international border with Pakistan, especially just after Dr Manmohan Singh-ji had constructive talks with Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif in New York recently. Mr Nawaz Sharif has a great reputation as a man of his people and a positive personality, who would only wish the best for his people and continuation of peaceful co-existence with India. The Indian PM has offered bilateral talks on this issue to find a resolution, and I sincerely hope common-sense and peace prevails once again.
I hope my readers will be able to make an accurate picture of what I would like to do, and I would welcome your comments on this matter.
In the meantime, I wish you a peaceful and happy evening.