El otro blog para cosas más serias

El otro blog para cosas más serias
El otro blog para cosas más serias

sábado, 8 de mayo de 2010


  • Boone y Johnson sobre Europa "In the last few days, bond markets have decided that the deflationary adjustments – cutting wages and prices — needed in large parts of the eurozone are not politically feasible.  The deflationary spiral that will come with fiscal cuts causes political turmoil and reduces revenues – that in turn makes it ever harder to service debt; see Greece this week.  Eurozone countries running large budget deficits with substantial outstanding public debt are finding they are cut off from credit markets as a result.  This is a solvency issue, not a liquidity issue.... The traditional holders of these bonds (los españoles, portugueses...) , such as AXA the French insurance group, or German Commerzbank, are telling investors exactly how much risk they have in Portgual-Ireland-Italy-Greece-and-Spain.  The true message is:  “We promise we will not buy more of the these countries’ debt”. (Y el problema es que el nivel de deuda española que tienen los extranjeros es similar al de Grecia)  Without the traditional investors available, who is going to finance Spain, Ireland, Italy, and Portugal’s ongoing large budget deficits?The euro zone in its current form needs to be wound down, most likely being reduced to a core of countries that are sufficiently similar – and without the presumption that others will soon be admitted.  The weaker countries badly need currencies reflect their national fundamentals. Germany does not need a weak currency, but Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Spain today do. A depreciation of the euro against the dollar and other major currencies would help.  But these nations trade more with each other more than with non-euro countries, so they need to change competitiveness relative to each other" Lo que Zapatero no parece entender es que no podremos crecer - salir de la recesión dice que es un requisito previo para reducir el déficit - si no nos financian y no nos financiarán si no creen que vayamos a crecer. 
  • Portugal and Spain must do more to convince the markets they are not Greece. Both have smaller deficits and less government debt. But now that the markets have awoken to sovereign risk, Portugal and Spain need to do more to narrow their deficits. Unfortunately, Portugal has announced only increases in capital gains taxation, which is weak soup in an environment where capital gains are scarce. Spain has done even less. Meaningful spending cuts are in order if the Iberians want to avoid becoming two peas in the Greek pod.The more fundamental problem in Portugal and Spain is structural, a problem that the two countries do, in fact, share with Greece. They need to reform their labour markets, fast. Keeping their debt burdens manageable will require economic growth. It will require exporting. And without labour market reform, growth will disappoint. The days are over when the Iberians can grow on the basis of English expats’ appetite for beachside apartments. The ECB will have to buy their governments’ bonds directly on the secondary market. Doing so is the only way of preventing them from being further infected by the Greek crisis. With European growth now slowing, there is no reason to worry about the inflationary effects. If Portugal and Spain take meaningful fiscal and structural measures, they deserve the support. From this point of view, the failure of the ECB to give a stronger statement of intent – and for Mr Trichet to say that the board didn’t even talk about bond buying in its 6 May meeting – is deeply worrying. The charitable interpretation is that the central bank is waiting to first see action from the Spanish and Portuguese governments, at which point it will jump in with both feet".
  • The need for Greece and other European economies to slash government spending is not some artificial imposition by the IMF or the European Union. Once investors decide that a country living beyond its means will have a hard time meeting its debt obligations, spending cuts become a reality of arithmetic
  • Maravilloso vídeo sobre matemáticas y naturaleza "In "Nature by Numbers," filmmaker Cristobal Vila presents a series of animations illustrating various mathematic principles, beginning with a breathtaking animation of the Fibonacci sequence. Then it moves on to the Golden and Angle Ratios, the Delaunay Triangulation and Voronoi Tessellations. This would be math-class gold, and it's awfully sweet even if math class is years behind you". Y aquí, una presentación de lo que aparece en el video, en español
                                                                                                  Sucesión de Fibonacci.
  • La diferencia entre complicado y complejo:  "What we need, suggests Brenda Zimmerman, a professor at Schulich School of Business in Ontario, is a distinction between the complicated and the complex. It’s complicated, she says, to send a rocket to the moon — it requires blueprints, math and a lot of carefully calibrated hardware and expertly written software. Raising a child, on the other hand, is complex. It is an enormous challenge, but math and blueprints won’t help. Performing hip replacement surgery, she says, is complicated. It takes well-trained personnel, precision and carefully calibrated equipment. Running a health care system, on the other hand, is complex. It’s filled with thousands of parts and players, all of whom must act within a fluid, unpredictable environment. To run a system that is complex, it’s not enough to get the right people and the ideal equipment. It takes a set of simple principles that guide and shape the system. For instance: Teach everyone the best practices of doctors who are really good at hip replacement surgery.“We get seduced by the complicated in Western society,” Ms. Zimmerman says. “We’re in awe of it and we pull away from the duty to ask simple questions, which we do whenever we deal with matters that are complex.”  

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