MasterFeeds: 2014

Subscribe in a reader Add to Google Reader or Homepage


November 22, 2014

Blaming Israel for Palestinian violence is racist: it denies that Arabs are moral agents - Telegraph

The media response to the Jerusalem killings betrays a widespread assumption: that Palestinians are "noble savages" who are not responsible for their actions

An excellent article on the pathetic excuses of the Palestinians espoused by those who hate Israel. 

Blaming Israel for Palestinian violence is racist: it denies that Arabs are moral agents - Telegraph
Alan Johnson

There were some odd media reactions this week to the murder of four Jews at prayer (and the heroic Israeli Druze first responder Zidan Saif who tried to rescue them) by two Palestinians perpetrators in Jerusalem.
Of course not all reporting was of this character. But still, what explains the exculpatory impulse, also widespread on social media?
Part of the explanation lies in the profound influence that the anti-Zionist ideology (a system of demonising ideas and representations about Israel and the Jews) now exercises in our culture. At the heart of the ideology is a deeply buried, often unconscious, assumption about the dichotomous natures of Israelis and Palestinians that warps our understanding of the conflict. Here it is: Palestinians (and Arabs in general) do not have agency and choice, and so cannot be held accountable and responsible. Israelis do and can; always, and exclusively.
Palestinians are understood as a driven people, dominated by circumstance and emotion, lacking choice, below the age of responsibility, never to be held accountable. Israelis are the opposite; masters of all circumstances, rational and calculating, the root cause of everything, responsible for everything.
It is, palpably, an Orientalist view of the Palestinians as the Other, except this time they are affirmed as noble savages. It’s a bit racist, to be honest. For example, the Liberal Democrat David Ward MP tweeted that the Palestinian synagogue terrorists had been "driven to madness"    - which not only removes agency from them but also sanity.
This groupthink is the reason that parts of the media are reluctant to challenge the Palestinian national movement when it is guilty of rejectionism, terrorism, authoritarianism, corruption and the promotion of a vile culture of incitement, demonization and antisemitism. After all, those things are just not the "the Israel story", are they? As Matt Seaton, comment editor at the New York Times, tweeted recently, his opinion pages will only cover Palestinian racism when “they have [a] sovereign state to discriminate with.”
The world view is being spread by a network of hugely influential public intellectuals. They are shaping much of the debate about the conflict in Britain because their ideas are not remaining in the seminar room but are being 'translated' and popularised by determined activists with status and authority in universities, churches, trade unions, NGOs, political parties and popular culture.
• Academic and writer Jacqueline Rose says Israel is “the agent” that is responsible for Palestinian suicide terrorism. She uncritically passes on to her readers a defence of the suicide bomber given by Hamas leader Abdul Aziz al-Ratansi (“If he wants to sacrifice his soul in order to defeat the enemy and for God’s sake – well, then he’s a martyr”).
• The Israeli novelist (and Peace Now founder) Amos Oz complains that incitement by extremist Palestinian intellectuals leads some Palestinians to be “suffocated and poisoned by blind hate.” The anti-Zionist writer Yitzhak Laor is outraged, denouncing Oz for… “incitement” against the Palestinians.
• Shlomo Sand - whose books are found in Waterstones stores across the UK –expresses his disgust at Jewish Israeli intellectuals who opposed Saddam Hussein during the first Gulf War. Now, Saddam was firing scud missiles at Israeli civilians at the time, so how did he justify his stance? Palestinians felt “joy” at an ““Arab” show of force”, he wrote, and that should have been decisive.
• Ilan Pappe’s recent book The Idea of Israel (Summary: it was a very Bad Idea and should now be Corrected) offers an apologia for the pro-Nazi war-time Palestinian leader Al-Husseini. So keen was Al-Husseini on Adolf that he formed a Muslim SS Unit, but Pappe reduces all this to “an episode” in the “complex” life of a nationalist; a “foolish flirtation” that should only be of interest to the reader because it has been exploited by Zionists to “demonise” the Palestinians. Pappe argues that Al-Husseini was – here it comes! - “forced” into the alliance with Hitler.
The idea that good/innocent/authentic Palestinians are in a Manichean struggle against bad/guilty/inauthentic Israelis is part of a mind-set - a "theory" of sorts - that became dominant on much of the Left after the 1960s. Let’s call it reactionary anti-imperialism. It divides the world, and everything in it, into two opposed “camps”: Imperialism versus Anti-Imperialism. Anyone shooting at Imperialism (the USA, the UK, Israel, "the West", "the Global North", or just "the Man") is now part of the progressive anti-imperialist “resistance” to imperialism. Once in thrall to    this ‘theory’, parts of the left redefined themselves as (not very) critical supporters of, or at least apologists for, the reactionary forces doing the shooting, including radical Islamists.
Here is the Socialist Workers Party theoretician John Molyneux instructing the members in the finer points of reactionary anti-imperialism:
"To put the matter as starkly as possible: from the standpoint of Marxism and international socialism an illiterate conservative superstitious Muslim Palestinian peasant who supports Hamas is more progressive than an educated liberal atheist Israeli who supports Zionism (even critically)."
And here is Judith Butler - a professor at Berkeley and one of the most influential academics on the planet – drawing the political conclusions: “[Hamas and Hezbollah are] social movements that are progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global Left.” (See 16:24 in this video.)  
What we learnt (again) this week was that the anti-Zionist ideology, the ludicrously simplistic assumptions it makes about Palestinians and Israelis, and the demonising/exculpatory framework through which it distorts our understanding of the conflict, is now bleeding from the cloisters of academia into those wider structures of feeling and patterns of response that shape our public square. A prediction: we ain't seen nothing yet.

Blaming Israel for Palestinian violence is racist: it denies that Arabs are moral agents - Telegraph

The MasterMetals Blog


October 10, 2014

#Venezuela: Crisis averted? @beyondbrics

Great management of the treasury:
International reserves declined $1.8bn, which is likely being used to pay the $1.5bn of the sovereign bond…

Venezuela: Crisis averted?

By Pan Kwan Yuk and Andres Schipani

Thumbing his nose at critics, Venezuela’s finance minister, Rodolfo Marco Torres, said on Wednesday via a series of tweets that the socialist government has paid a $1.5bn government bond that was due.

As fastFT reported, Mr Torres took to Twitter, under the hashtag #VenezuelaSeRespeta, or Respect for Venezuela, to write:

Acknowledging the instruction of our president Nicolás Maduro, today we paid #GlobalBond2014 #RespectForVenezuela

Today we paid $1.561.665.000 in capital and corresponding interests of #GlobalBond2014 #RespectForVenezuela

The Boliviarian government shows its commitment to the Motherland and the capacity to honour its obligations #GlobalBond2014 #RespectForVenezuela

Amid a spiralling economic vortex that sent inflation to gallop at 63 per cent, pessimism over a lack of necessary adjustments, among other issues, rattled Venezuela’s debt market in recent weeks, fuelling fears of default on bond payments due this year.

As fastFT explained:

The cost of insuring Venezuelan debt against a possible default spiked sharply to within a whisker of a six-year high last month after Standard & Poor’s downgraded Venezuela’s rating to CCC+ and said there was a 50-50 chance that the government would renege on its debts over the next two years.

Not surprisingly, following Torres’s announcement on Wednesday, the five-year CDS price on Venezuela fell sharply – by as much as 62.37 basis points, the biggest drop in the world.
Beating its chest, Venezuela’s communications ministry, then issued a statement saying:

This payment, which was always planned, dismantles a campaign launched by international financial capital’s spokespeople and media to harm the Republic’s image and its people’s integrity with perverse political and economic aims.
While some analysts have argued that default fears were overdone from the start, some remain sceptical over the state of Venezuela’s finances, which are in shambles following years of mismanagement. Barclays said in a note in Tuesday, called “Venezuela: Payment in Process”:

International reserves declined $1.8bn, which is likely being used to pay the $1.5bn of the sovereign bond…

The use of BCV international reserves to pay the maturing bond raises some concerns. In the past, the treasury tended progressively to accumulate resources outside the reserves for bond payments. This is a signal of less provident procedures followed by the authorities and their liquidity constraints.
The next test for the country, as fastFT noted, will come on October 28 when state-owned oil company PDVSA is due to make a $3bn debt repayment.

Related reading:
Venezuelan CDS climbs again as default fears mount, beyondbrics
S&P: Venezuela has 50:50 odds of default, beyondbrics
Guest post: why Venezuela should not default, beyondbrics
Spectre of default looms over Venezuela despite oil reserves, FT

Venezuela: Crisis averted? – beyondbrics - Blogs -

The MasterMetals Blog


July 29, 2014

U.S.: Businesses and households are increasing their leverage

Loans & leases remain on a significant uptrend in July. What's more, the improvement is widespread with both consumer and commercial & industrial loans showing sizeable increases. 

July 23, 2014

#China - Stock market looks good on the upside - Especially with so many bears around!

Everybody I talk to has a bad story on China.

Source: Stock Charts

The chart however suggests that the Chinese stock market is ready to go up. When a stock market is deeply oversold and nobody wants to invest anymore most likely a lot of money can be made!

Bears are fascinated with China & yet the market isn't falling…

When discussing risks in the global economy and macro investments, majority of the fund managers agree that China is the biggest worry and one majority lose sleep over. The bearishness has actually been intensifying over the last few years, and yet the Chinese stock market has actually failed to fall lower. Volatility has completely died out in 2014 and it seems a big move is coming soon.

The truth is, Chinese mainland stock market is incredibly oversold. After peaking in 2007 at around 6000 points, the index finds itself 66% lower 7 long years later. Furthermore, since 2009, Shanghai Composite has failed to staged a multi-quarter rally. Constantly bombard by bad news and a sideways trending market, investors have surely forgotten that Chinese stocks can actually go up, too.


July 1, 2014

The Press Keep Talking The Market Down – Historically this is Very Bullish Indeed

bull market ALWAYS rises with rising interest rates

The Press Keep Talking The Market Down – Historically this is Very Bullish Indeed

Posted on June 30, 2014 by Martin Armstrong


I have warned about how the press had constantly written negatively about the rising stock market during the 1920s.  Once again, the press are now hanging on the hope that the Fed will start to raise rates to justify their bearish bias swearing the market cannot be justified at these highs. However, I have shown the evidence that a bull market ALWAYS rises with rising interest rates and declines with dropping interest rates. These people who think markets will decline because of a rise in rate repeat the same propaganda they have never once investigated or bothered to check the facts. If you think the market will rise by 25%, you will borrow at 10%. You will not borrow at 0.1% if you do not believe the market will rise at all – i.e. Japan for 23 years.

Sorry, but the Fed DOUBLED interest rates from 1924 into 1929. The Wall Street Journal accused Jesse Livermore of trying to influence Presidential elections back then for they could not understand that there were international capital flows pouring into the USA. This domestic analysis is simply lethal.

True, in the past week, James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve bank, told Bloomberg News that the economy was improving enough to handle an increase in short-term rates next year. The Fed fears that unless they raise rates, they will have no leverage when the economy turns down. The Fed is not entirely convinced about the negative interest rate scenario put forth by Larry Summers.

The press will go nuts when stocks rise with rising interest rates. In 1927 there was a secret meeting where the USA tried to lower its interest rates to deflect the capital inflows from Europe that was creating a shortage there and set the stage for the defaults in 1931. History is repeating. US and UK rates will rise while Europe will go negative. This will set the capital flows to the USA and may yet create a bubble top.

If we see rising US rates, the dollar will rise and capital will flow to the USA especially when smart money begins to realize that the IMF solution is to freeze all public debt in Europe so you cannot liquidate and/or seize everything in the pension funds. Once you extend 30 day government paper into 10 year, how do you sell anything next year? These IMF solutions are made by lawyers who are brain-dead with zero understanding of the credit markets or human nature.

We may be seeing history repeat again like an old record that is scratched and cannot move forward. So welcome the press and their perpetual talking down the market. As long as they keep this up, we are nowhere close to a major high.


May 26, 2014

Full coverage of election news in #EU, #France, #UK, #Ukraine, #Colombia, #Egypt from Sunday May 25

  1. Poroshenko leads with 53.7 percent after 60 percent of votes ...

    Kyiv Post-20 minutes ago
    Editor's Note: Ukrainians are coming to the polls on May 25 for an early presidential election amid bright sunshine and warm temperatures. There are 21 names ...
    Chocolate baron claims Ukraine's presidency
    Independent Online-31 minutes ago
    Explore in depth (4,102 more articles)
  2. Farage hails 'extraordinary' UKIP win in European election

    BBC News-11 minutes ago
    With only Scotland left to declare, UKIP has 27.5% of the vote and 23 MEPs. Labour, on 25%, is narrowly beating the Tories into second place while the Lib ...
    Ukip wins European elections
    Canterbury Times-15 minutes ago
    Explore in depth (1,985 more articles)
  3. Marine Le Pen's confidence vindicated by Front National election ...

    The Guardian-32 minutes ago
    The far-right FN had done better than even it had probably expected or hoped, polling a historic 25% of votes in the European elections and becoming France's ...
  4. European Elections 2014: What The Front Pages Say About ...

    Huffington Post UK-1 minute ago
    Electoral personnel count votes after presidential elections at a polling station in Cali, Colombia, on May 25, 2014. Colombians vote Sunday in a presidential ...
  5. Canterbury Times

    Nick Griffin Loses Election And Admits: 'Yep, We Are Indeed What ...

    Huffington Post UK-1 minute ago
    Electoral personnel count votes after presidential elections at a polling station in Cali, Colombia, on May 25, 2014. Colombians vote Sunday in a presidential ...
  6. Egypt elects new leader to steer country out of crisis

    BBC News-19 minutes ago
    The elections
    are being held across two days, with the official result to be
    announced on 5 June. Shortly after polls opened, Mr Sisi cast his vote at a polling ...
    Polls open in Egypt's presidential election seconds ago
    Explore in depth (1,244 more articles)
See full election news from may 25 here - Google Search

April 12, 2014

#Leviathan of last resort- State subsidies for the financial sector @TheEconomist

The Economist
The future of finance
State subsidies and guarantees are once again corroding the financial sector and creating new dangers

EVER since Lehman Brothers went bankrupt in 2008 a common assumption has been that the crisis happened because the state surrendered control of finance to the market. The answer, it follows, must be more rules. The latest target is American housing, the source of the dodgy loans that brought down Lehman. Plans are afoot to set up a permanent public backstop to mortgage markets, with the government insuring 90% of losses in a crisis. Which might be comforting, except for two things. First, it is hard to see how entrenching state support will prevent excessive risk-taking. And, second, whatever was wrong with the American housing market, it was not lack of government: far from a free market, it was one of the most regulated industries in the world, funded by taxpayer subsidies and with lending decisions taken by the state.

March 17, 2014

In #Putin’s #Russia, risk prices you @FTAlphaville

Perhaps Russia, however, never stopped being a frontier market: investors just pretended otherwise. The Moscow stock market has a $500bn capitalisation, sure, ... Frontier appellation seems absurd.

But the whiff of sanctions grapeshot will just remind investors of deep-seated anxieties about the safety of keeping money in Russia, or investing in companies which do. 

March 12, 2014

#StanleyFischer, Fed Nominee, Has Long History of Policy Leadership @NYTimes

Stanley Fischer has worked for much of his professional life to
improve economic policy in the developing world. Now he is on the verge
of a new role in a country with plenty of economic problems of its own:
the United States

Stanley Fischer, Fed Nominee, Has Long History of Policy Leadership


— Stanley Fischer has worked for much of his professional life to
improve economic policy in the developing world. Now he is on the verge
of a new role in a country with plenty of economic problems of its own:
the United States.
Fischer, nominated by President Obama to serve as vice chairman of the
Federal Reserve, is likely to move quickly through a confirmation
process that begins with a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee
on Thursday morning.
Mr. Fischer successfully negotiates that gantlet, he would join Janet
L. Yellen, the Fed’s new chairwoman, in the difficult work of figuring
out how much more the Fed can do to help the economy recover from the
Great Recession. Ms. Yellen proposed his selection to the White House.
Fischer has supported the efforts by the Fed and other central banks to
revive economic growth, but he has also described the benefits as
limited. “You could do a lot with monetary policy, but you couldn’t get
the economy growing fast again,” he said on Bloomberg Television in
September. “You needed fiscal policy.”
Genial, courtly, self-effacing, Mr. Fischer is skilled at making sharp points without making enemies.
H. Summers, a former Treasury secretary, suggested at a November
conference held by the International Monetary Fund in Mr. Fischer’s
honor that there were fewer financial crises in the decades after World
War II because people acted prudently.
Mr. Fischer responded, “I wonder whether the 35 years after World War
II had something to do with the fact that financial liberalization
hadn’t yet happened.”
Fischer, now 70, is a widely respected figure in the world of economic
policy. His academic work in the 1970s helped to provide the
intellectual justification for today’s activist monetary policy. His
students included the recently retired Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke,
and Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank.
subsequently began a career in policy-making, including a stint as
second-in-command at the International Monetary Fund during the 1990s
and, most recently, an eight-year run as governor of the Bank of Israel,
a job he left in June.
the way, Mr. Fischer, born into a family of shopkeepers in a small town
in present-day Zambia, in a home without running water, amassed a
fortune as the author of a best-selling economics textbook and a senior
executive at Citigroup.
Fischer in December disclosed assets worth $14.6 million to $56.3
million, including a residence in New York worth at least $5 million. He
said that he would divest some stock and investment holdings if he were
Fischer has said that his upbringing in Mazabuka, then part of the
British colony of Northern Rhodesia, imbued him with a passion for
economic development.
of the things that got me interested in economics, peculiarly, was that
Dag Hammarskjöld was an economist,” Mr. Fischer recalled in a 2004 interview with his friend Olivier Blanchard,
now the chief economist at the I.M.F. “When I was in high school, Dag
Hammarskjöld was this great man. Then he was killed in the then-Belgian
Congo, right next door. I knew he had done good in the world and my
parents had brought me up to believe I should do good in the world. I
realized that economics would help you do good.”
Fischer came to America in the late 1960s for a doctorate at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, then spent nearly two decades
there as a professor of economics. His most famous work was a 1977 paper that helped to ignite a revival of the idea that central banks can stimulate economic activity. He became an American citizen in 1976.
turned to policy-making in the late 1980s — a change Mr. Bernanke and
others would describe as an inspiration in their own careers — by
joining the World Bank as chief economist. Then, after a brief return to
academia, the Clinton administration secured his appointment as the
I.M.F.'s first deputy managing director.
nations were hit by a series of financial crises during Mr. Fischer’s
time at the fund, and the changes in economic policy that the I.M.F.
required from countries seeking its help remain controversial. The
fund’s typical demands included reductions in domestic spending and
greater openness to foreign investment. Critics argue that many of the
changes did more harm than good.
of millions of people were unnecessarily thrown into poverty,” said
Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the liberal Center for Economic and Policy
Research. He said the United States suffered, too, as those countries
devalued currencies and pumped out cheap exports, driving trade deficits
to record heights.
he ever admit that they were wrong in the Asian crisis?” Mr. Weisbrot
asked of Mr. Fischer. “If he’s never admitted that, then I wouldn’t
trust him.”
Fischer’s tenure as a Citigroup executive between 2002 and 2005 also
has drawn scrutiny from Democratic senators who favor stronger limits on
big banks.
“I’d never been in a private sector and it interested me,” Mr. Fischer said in 2004.
led the bank’s public sector advisory group and served as president of
Citigroup International, overseeing the bank’s foreign operations,
working under a contract that allowed him to leave for a “high-level”
government job without surrendering the value of his stock options. When
Israel called in late 2004, he left.
Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, has said that he plans to ask Mr.
Fischer what he learned on Wall Street and how it would influence his
work at the Fed.
Fischer became an Israeli citizen in 2005 while retaining his American
citizenship, but he already had deep ties to the country, and he
insisted on speaking Hebrew there from the outset. His arrival was
compared by one local paper to the acquisition of the Brazilian soccer
great Ronaldinho by an Israeli team.
the Israeli economy swooned during the global financial crisis, it
never fell into recession. Mr. Fischer cut interest rates quickly at the
crisis’s beginning and, breaking with the I.M.F. playbook he had helped
to write, he built up foreign reserves to limit the rise of the shekel.
Maital, a professor at the Technion Institute of Management, credited
Mr. Fischer with “navigating Israel through the global financial crisis
that began in 2008, more or less unscathed, by clever manipulation of
interest rates and impeccable timing.”
Fischer also worked quietly to preserve the Palestinian banking system
and, when he stepped down last year, both Israeli and Palestinian
officials mourned his departure.
Mr. Fischer has avoided public speaking in recent months, there have
been glimpses of his views. The former secretary of the Treasury Robert
Rubin said last week that he had made a $1 bet with Mr. Fischer about
the economy’s performance in 2014. Mr. Rubin said he was the pessimist,
while Mr. Fischer was more optimistic.
“I think he’s good for the money,” Mr. Rubin joked. “I know I am.”

Read the article online here: Stanley Fischer, Fed Nominee, Has Long History of Policy Leadership -

January 25, 2014

It's not just the locals taking advantage of the exchange controls in #Venezuela

Venezuela's Currency Controls propel those in the know to the top |

"the price of the dollar on the black market rose to 12.5 times the official rate, making common scams taking advantage of the differential between the exchange rates even more lucrative. Some business visitors here are paid expenses in US dollars at the official rate even though they obtain their local currency on the black market. One young European business consultant, who asked not to be named, was able to pay off his entire student loan after a month's work in Venezuela. Those with foreign health insurance plans that pay out in foreign currency are able to make a more than ten-fold profit on claims. For example, a visit to the doctor can turn a profit of $115. This is because an appointment costs around 800 Bolívares, which is noted on the claim form. The insurance company then converts this at the official rate and pays out $127. But, if the patient had initially converted US dollars on the black market to pay for the appointment, the actual cost of the vist would have been around $13. Similarly, with such arbitrage, an MRI scan can net a profit of around $500. A week-long stay in the hospital can be even more lucrative, bringing in more than $10,000. This has turned a few foreigners here into hypochondriacs."

Read more: Venezuela's Currency Controls propel those in the know to the top |

January 20, 2014

How can the gov't & the media be reporting an economic recovery when the industry that accounts for 70% of GDP is in free fall? @ZeroHedge

If ever a chart provided unequivocal proof the economic recovery storyline is a fraud, the one below is the smoking gun. November and December retail sales account for 20% to 40% of annual retail sales for most retailers. The number of visits to retail stores has plummeted by 50% since 2010. Please note this was during a supposed economic recovery. Also note consumer spending accounts for 70% of GDP. Also note credit card debt outstanding is 7% lower than its level in 2010 and 16% below its peak in 2008. Retailers like J.C. Penney, Best Buy, Sears, Radio Shack and Barnes & Noble continue to report appalling sales and profit results, along with listings of store closings. Even the heavyweights like Wal-Mart and Target continue to report negative comp store sales. How can the government and mainstream media be reporting an economic recovery when the industry that accounts for 70% of GDP is in free fall? The answer is that 99% of America has not had an economic recovery. Only Bernanke’s 1% owner class have benefited from his QE/ZIRP induced stock market levitation.

 See the whole article on zerohedge here:

The Retail Death Rattle | Zero Hedge

January 9, 2014

All Norwegians become crown millionaires, in oil saving landmark

The fund is a success in the sense that parliament has managed to put aside money for the future. There are many examples of countries that have not managed that
All Norwegians become crown millionaires, in oil saving landmark | Reuters

January 8, 2014

@JPMorgan Almost Put $1.32Bn in #Madoff's Ponzi Scheme, increases litigation reserves by $400mm

On Tuesday, JPMorgan agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement on two counts of fraud and $2.6 billion in total fines. The bank, which has already reserved $23 billion for its disparate legal exposures from the housing meltdown, trading losses and LIBOR-related investigations, said in a Tuesday filing it will boost its litigation reserves by $400 million. Since Tuesday's settlement is not tax-deductible, JPMorgan forecasts a $850 million reduction against its fourth quarter net income.

JPMorgan Almost Put $1.32 Billion in Bernie Madoff's Ponzi Scheme - TheStreet

January 2, 2014

What to look out for in 2014 at the office: After the famine @Economist

What to look out for in 2014 at the office.

After the famine

Prepare for a feast of fads

Lucy Kellaway: columnist, Financial Times

Corporate life in 2014 will be a bit like the late 1940s in Britain. Rationing was coming to an end, but even though things were much easier, no one forgot how hard they had been.
And so it will be in the offices of big companies. The managers who survived successive rounds of layoffs will feel more confident as growth takes hold and will be triumphant to have made it through. But the new spirit of optimism will not be unfettered. Budgets will be there to be bid for; the winners will be those who take the most cautious risks.
Women will never have had it so good. The smart, self-assured (but not brash) young females who joined the workforce during the past decade will fit the new corporate mood exactly. They will be promoted, not just out of a craven desire to hit diversity targets, but more as a matter of course.

"That doesn’t mean that working life in 2014 is going to be comfortable—or uncompetitive. Who is up and who is down will be decided less by Machiavellian scheming than by data. Companies will start assessing people according to how well they do on social networks. Nobody will be interested in simple statistics such as numbers of followers or moronic clicking on “like” buttons. Instead, a host of sophisticated algorithmic tools with ill-spelt names like Klout and Kred will increasingly be taken seriously. Everyone will learn to understand new maps that plot the extent of their social influence."


"The year ahead will witness another large stride towards the paperless office. The under-30s, who never understood the point of paper anyway, will convert the stragglers. Anyone who insists on turning up to meetings with hard copies will look laughably yesterday. As everyone converts to tablets and the devices go on getting smaller, communications will become briefer. Jargon will still be managers’ language of choice, of course, but each helping of it will be smaller."

"The two words that will be on everyone’s lips in 2014 will be “curator” and “intrapreneur”. Even the dullest corporate manager will claim that he has become both, on the basis that retweeting a few blogs makes him a curator of ideas and suggesting the odd idea to his boss turns him into an intrapreneur. This will be vaguely tiresome.

The phrase that we will hardly hear ever again is work-life balance. ...Complaining about a lack of balance will be tantamount to admitting that you can’t cope. Having it all is on the way back in.

Two old-fashioned things will make a big comeback in offices. The first is business clothes. ... most of his employees at Facebook and others who work in Silicon Valley will have tired of coming to work looking as if they’ve just been doing the gardening. Jackets and dresses and proper shoes will be back in.

Read the whole piece online here: Business: After the famine | The Economist
From The World In 2014 print edition

The MasterFeeds