Americans were primed for battle over who should be voted into the White House in November long before they rang in the New Year. This time around, I demand that aimless vitriol be replaced by a focus on trends that have booted us from top-dog status in key international benchmarks and on the investment imperatives those trends engender.
On Feb. 19, MarketWatch.com, the Dow Jones subsidiary that provides stock market quotes and business and financial news, reported that executives of China’s Cnooc Ltd. asked to delay the signing of an estimated $850 million oil deal until after the Chinese New Year, which fell on Feb. 3.
Since Jan. 25, days of rage have erupted across the Arab world and in other parts of the globe, with unarmed men, women and children pitting themselves against some of the most repressive regimes and some of the most dehumanizing dictates.
Discrimination is a multimillion-dollar cost factor in the business of doing business. Perpetrators have to pay up when caught: victims must be compensated; lawyers must be paid; and, in the aftermath of due process, there are hefty fees to shell out to clean up the image of the business. Meanwhile, the damage to productivity is irreparable.
On Saturdays, I like to walk around the commercial section of my community. It’s a bustling enclave of small businesses, stretching several blocks in either direction of the intersection of two of the borough’s busiest thoroughfares.
If imitation is the best form of flattery, then the jobless immigrants who introduced dollar vans to U.S. commerce are due for some puffing up. So, too, does the informal economy, where dollar van-type “popular entrepreneurship” thrives.