Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What's In The News

Another Aphorism from Warren Buffett

"If it's going to keep me awake at night, I am not going to go there."..... in reply to the question whether anything (in his own financial decisions) was keeping him awake at night.

Economic 'Double Dip'

Professor Joseph Stiglitz has warned that the global economy could be heading for another dip. Savings rates are increasing so there are not that may people spending money to drive demand for products and services. I think that this reinforces our own precarious position here in Ireland. Looking at my own credit card statement for last month, the only 'Irish' transaction on it was a purchase at Shannon Duty Free.

Reports Galore

The Reports of the 'Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes' and 'Commission on Taxation' have been issued and the findings/recommendations will be debated for some time to come. Of course the 'real' debates will only commence once someone actually decides to implement any of the recommendations. Until such time as that occurs, I don't think that there is too much point dwelling on them.

I was however, disappointed that I could not find a recommendation from the 'Commission on Taxation' on allowing Gains/Losses to be offset against each other on Unit-Linked Saving/Investment type products.

The upshot of all these reports is that we need to save and spend at the same time, to keep the show on the road. A delicate balancing act for any Government in difficult times.

The Search for Value

More and more, consumers are seeking out better value on products and services. 'Mediocre' is just not acceptable with the thrift campaign that the Nation has embraced. To paraphrase Colm McCarthy, product and service providers "need to do more with less". Forced competitiveness, if you will.

PS :

Animated Films

For those of you with kids who like good animated films, you should check out some of the ones by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata at Studio Ghibli (if you have not already done so). This market does not begin and end with Disney/Pixar.

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