They can try to ‘delay and pray’ but the euro is running out of time!


As a doomsayer from the start, who has written several times on the subject, I have recently been reluctant to burden my readers with more jeremiads about the euro.

As a doomsayer from the start, who has written several times on the subject, I have recently been reluctant to burden my readers with more jeremiads about the euro.

‘Why is the euro in crisis? Because it was fundamentally flawed at its inception’ Photo: GETTY

But fasten your seatbelts. Here I go again. My excuse is that this crisis keeps surprising the unwary. There is so much to say that I will have to have several bites.

Before we can find solutions, which I will discuss at a later date, first the causes. Why is the euro in crisis? Because it was fundamentally flawed at its inception. Only good luck, strong economic growth and enlightened economic management could keep it together. In fact, the eurozone has had to suffer the opposite of all three.

Giving up sovereign currencies is a serious challenge. Exchange rates act as a safety valve. When you remove them, the pressure either has to be reduced or it will find some other way out. In a fixed exchange rate system, such as the ERM, currency speculation could and did break the system. Advocates of the euro project drew comfort from the fact that, by contrast, a full monetary union is immune from such attacks.

It was recognised that economic and financial pressure might still find an outlet as countries which diverged from the core had to face higher bond yields. But this would be a good thing. The prospect of it should serve to restrain them. It wasn’t imagined, though, that strain in the bond markets could threaten the stability of the euro itself.

Failurres

Four things went wrong. The first two were private sector failures. First, far from reacting to their newly shackled state, Spain and Ireland went on a private sector spending spree. (Meanwhile, in Greece the government led the bonanza.) Second, in all these cases, the bond markets were hopeless at foreseeing possible difficulties and imposed bond yields only marginally higher than on Germany. Accordingly, they provided no restraint at all.

The third and fourth were failures of government. The authorities presided over an extremely shaky banking system, acutely vulnerable to shocks. And their policies over many years resulted in a high government debt to GDP ratio, not only in the peripheral countries, but also in the supposedly solid core. In common with almost everyone else, the European authorities grossly underestimated the possibility of sovereign default as a realistic threat and market worry, and underestimated its capacity to cause a full scale banking crisis.

The fact that the political elite ploughed on with the euro project was the result of profound arrogance. Where possible, electorates would be denied the chance to say whether they approved of the euro and other aspects of integration. Where they had to have their say, they would be compelled to go on voting until they said “yes”. The current crisis has the same roots. The project’s difficult economics would be overcome by the politics. The Brussels establishment would ensure that everything turned out all right.

But it hasn’t. Now the economics threaten to overwhelm the politics. Greece’s sovereign indebtedness is so high that it is impossible to see how it can honour its debts without outside help (ie. gifts). And the economy will go on contracting for years. There will have to be “an event”. The only issues are when this will happen; who will pick up the tab; and what it will be called.

Nonmenclature

This being the European Union, nomenclature is extremely important. Of course it won’t be called a default – I doubt it will be called anything beginning with “de”. Bad things begin with de – like decline and defeat. It will be called something beginning with “re”. Good things begin with “re”, including rebirth and renewal – and restructuring and reprofiling. But default it will be.

Who picks up the tab is important because the bill could seriously undermine some banks. Remarkably this threat includes the ECB itself because it has taken on a large amount of Greek debt. The rows over the bill are likely to delay any sort of solution and to poison the atmosphere between member states. Meanwhile, the fate of the European banking system will be hanging by a thread.

This is why the “when” issue is so important. The current approach is to try to stave off the event until things get better. You will notice that this bears a striking similarity to the sophisticated strategy adopted by British banks in the face of dud commercial property loans, namely “delay and pray”. Mr Micawber had the same idea but expressed it differently.

So even though the markets cannot cause the euro to break up by exchange rate pressure, they can cause an internal financial crisis worse than any currency panic. The prospect, or the reality, of such a crisis could yet cause some European leaders to precipitate the end of the euro as we know it.

By Roger Bootle  who is managing director of Capital Economics and economic adviser to Deloitte.

Blogging can really pay off


My Blog Is Also Paying My Bills

Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Darren Kitchen, shown with Shannon Morse, a host on his webcast, sells items on his computer-hacking Web site.

By KATE MURPHY

Casting the digital equivalent of a message-in-a-bottle into the Internet’s vast sea of content, many people start Web sites or blogs hoping that they will find an appreciative audience for their precocious parrot videos, cupcake recipes or pithy commentary on everyday life. The dream, of course, is that they will develop a large and loyal following — and potentially profit from it.

Related

Kyle Johnson

Molly Wizenberg, 32, of Seattle, started her blog, Orangette, in 2004. It led to the publication last year of her book, “A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes From My Kitchen Table.”

Bron Johnson

Participants in a workshop on personal growth in Las Vegas, a result of Steve Pavlina’s blog. He said he made $40,000 from the workshops.

Cloud photos taken by Kelly DeLay on his Web site, the Cloud 365 Project. Visitors donate a total of $200 to $400 a month to the site.

While most of these self-publishers don’t attract the attention of anyone other than indulgent family and friends, there are those who find wider recognition and some income. What the successful have in common is a passion for their subject and a near-compulsion to share what they know. Advertising, merchandising, offline events, book deals, donations and sometimes sheer luck also play a part.

“My advice is to choose a topic you’ll never get tired of,” said Stephanie Nelson, 47, of Atlanta, a homemaker who founded CouponMom.com in 2001 to share tips on saving money by using coupons. “The first three years I made no money at all, so I had to love what I was doing to keep going.”

Ms. Nelson said her Web site now has more than 3.8 million visitors a month, and the income it generates supports her family of four — allowing her husband to retire early from his corporate job five years ago. “I’m still not tired of it,” Ms. Nelson said.

Half of the site’s revenue comes from Google’s AdSense service, and the other half is from companies like Groupon and LivingSocial that buy ads directly from her. AdSense generates ads based on the words that appear on Web pages. For example, if a blog post is about dogs, ads for dog food or dog grooming might appear beside it.

Many of the Google ads generate income only if people click on them — usually yielding a fraction of a cent per click. It’s also possible to get paid every time a Google ad appears on a page. Rates are determined in part by advertisers bidding in an online auction.

Other companies like BuySellAds.com and BlogAds allow self-publishers to determine what they want to charge for placing an ad on their sites. They then match sites with eager advertisers for a percentage of ad sales — 14 to 30 percent is typical.

Federated Media, which is a sort of Web talent management company, is more selective, negotiating rates on behalf of independent content creators it agrees to represent. In general, online ad rates vary widely, from $54,000 a day for an ad on a popular blog like PerezHilton.com to $10 a month for an ad on the cartoon blog The Soxaholix. (The New York Times Company is an investor in Federated Media.)

Clayton Dunn, 32, and Zach Patton, 31, the bloggers behind The Bitten Word, make around $350 a month from pay-per-click Google ads, and in commissions from Amazon.com when readers follow links to cooking gadgets, books and magazine subscriptions they recommend. Mr. Dunn and Mr. Patton, who live in Washington and blog about recipes they have tried from popular magazines, started the site in 2008 and now have about 150,000 visitors a month.

“It more than pays for the groceries,” said Mr. Dunn, who added that they are further compensated by readers who may give them delicacies like fresh avocados and Hawaiian ginger syrup.

For those who want to generate more income through advertising, Jonathan Accarrino of Hoboken, N.J., founder of the technology news and how-to blog MethodShop.com, advises having contextual ads, which are highlighted words in posts that provide a link to the vendor of a relevant product or service. A commission is paid on resulting sales.

Adding video to a post is another strategy that Mr. Accarrino said contributes to his blog’s six-figure yearly income: “I’ll record video walk-throughs of my tutorials and upload them to Blip.tv,” a video sharing service similar to YouTube. And like YouTube, Blip.tv gives users the option to run ads with their videos. These generate $1 to $10 for every thousand views, depending on the advertiser.

Indeed, many video bloggers, or vloggers, make money this way. Sheila Ada-Renea Hollins-Jackson, a 22-year-old makeup artist in Farmington, Mich., makes up to $200 a month from the 63 videos about beauty treatments she has posted on YouTube since 2008. “It pays my cellphone bill,” she said. Vloggers either apply or are invited by YouTube to display ads based on demonstrated viewership or outstanding content.

Selling merchandise on a vlog, blog or personal Web site can bring in even more cash. Darren Kitchen, 28, of San Francisco said he makes $5,000 a month selling stickers, T-shirts, baseball caps and computer hacking tools on his Web site, Hak5.org, which offers a weekly video show about computer hacking.

“It’s crazy how many people want the stickers,” said Mr. Kitchen, who started Hak5 in 2005 and says he has 250,000 monthly viewers.

Book deals are the ultimate goal for many bloggers who are aspiring writers. Molly Wizenberg, 32, of Seattle, started her blog, Orangette, in 2004 as a way to hone her writing skills after dropping out of a Ph.D. program in anthropology.

Her musings about food and life attracted 350,000 visitors a month and the attention of Simon & Schuster, which led to the publication last year of her book, “A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes From My Kitchen Table.” Last month she signed a contract to write another book. “It’s beyond what I ever imagined,” Ms. Wizenberg said.

Some people simply ask their fans and followers to make donations to support their creative efforts. Kelly DeLay of Frisco, Tex., said he gets $200 to $400 a month from visitors to his Web site, The Clouds 365 Project, where he posts a daily photograph of cloud formations. “People can be very generous,” said Mr. DeLay, who began taking pictures of clouds full-time after he was laid off from his job as an interactive media director last year.

Charging for content is also an option. Collis Ta’eed, 31, of Melbourne, Australia, founded FreelanceSwitch.com, which gives practical advice to freelancers, and Tuts+, which offers technology-related tutorials. He said he brought in $150,000 a month from his sites, most of it from premium content — primarily tutorials and e-books.

“People will pay for content if you offer them something of value that is authentic and is generally useful,” said Mr. Ta’eed, who said his two blogs together have 6.4 million visitors a month. One example of useful content is FreelanceSwitch’s job board, which brings in $7,000 a month, he said. Job posters pay nothing; job seekers pay $9 a month.

And sometimes people will pay to attend events organized by bloggers they admire.   Steve Pavlina of Las Vegas said he made $40,000 from weekend workshops that were an outgrowth of his blog, StevePavlina.com, which focuses on issues related to personal development. He started the blog in 2004 and says it has 2.5 million visitors a month. Besides workshops, he said he made about $100,000 a month in commissions from sales of products like speed-reading courses and high-speed blenders that he recommends on his blog.

“I tell people if they want to start a blog just to make money, they should quit right now,” Mr. Pavlina said. “You have to love it and be passionate about your topic.”

Hands off the Arab spring


 Soumaya Ghannoushi By Soumaya Ghannoushi The Guardian

The US wants to turn the Arab revolutions into eastern Europe part 2. It is destined to fail

The US wants to turn the Arab revolutions into eastern Europe part 2. It is destined to fail

The first wave of Arab revolutions is entering its second phase: dismantling the structures of political despotism, and embarking on the arduous journey towards genuine change and democratisation. The US, at first confused by the loss of key allies, is now determined to dictate the course and outcome of this ongoing revolution.

What had been a challenge to US power is now a “historic opportunity”, as Barack Obama put it in his Middle East speech last week. But he does not mean an opportunity for the people who have risen up; it is a chance for Washington to fashion the region’s present and future, just as it did its past. When Obama talks of his desire “to pursue the world as it should be” he does not mean according to the yearnings of its people, but according to US interests.

And how is this new world to be built? The model is that of eastern Europe and the colour revolutions; American soft power and public diplomacy is to be used to reshape the socio-political scene in the region. The aim is to transform the people’s revolutions into America’s revolutions by engineering a new set of docile, domesticated and US-friendly elites. This involves not only co-opting old friends from the pre-revolutionary era, but also seeking to contain the new forces produced by the revolution, long marginalised by the US.

As Obama put it last week: “We must … reach the people who will shape the future – particularly young people … [and] provide assistance to civil society, including those that may not be officially sanctioned.” To this end he has doubled the budget for “protecting civil society groups” from $1.5m to $3.4m.

The recipients are not only the usual neoliberal elements, but also activists who spearheaded the protest movements, and mainstream Islamists. Programmes aimed at youth leaders include the Leaders for Democracy Arabic project, sponsored by the US state department’s Middle East partnership initiative. A number of Arab activists, including the Egyptian democracy and human rights activist Esraa Abdel Fattah, were invited to an event hosted by the Project on Middle East Democracy in Washington last month – one of many recent conferences and seminars. Meetings between high-ranking US officials – such as the House majority leader, Steny Hoyer – and the Muslim Brotherhood took place in Cairo last month, while the deputy chairman of Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda party has recently returned from a visit to Washington to “discuss democratic transition”.

Washington hopes that these rising forces can be stripped of their ideological opposition to US hegemony and turned into pragmatists, fully integrated into the existing US-led international order. Dogma is not a problem, as long as the players agree to operate within parameters delineated for them, and play the power game without questioning its rules. It remains to be seen, however, if they risk losing their popular base in return for US favours.

Containment and integration are not only political, but economic, to be pursued through free markets and trade partnerships in the name of economic reform. Plans “to stabilise and modernise” the Tunisian and Egyptian economies – already being drafted by the World Bank, IMF and European Development Bank at Washington’s behest – are due to be presented at this week’s G8 summit. A $2bn facility to support private investment has been announced, one of many initiatives “modelled on funds that supported the transitions in eastern Europe”.

As usual, investment and aid are conditional on adoption of the US model in the name of liberalisation and reform, and on binding the region’s economies further to US and European markets under the banner of “trade integration”. One wonders what would be left of the Arab revolutions in such infiltrated civil societies, domesticated political parties, and dependent economies.

However, although the Obama administration may succeed with some Arab organisations, its bid to reproduce the eastern European scenario may be destined to fail. Prague and Warsaw looked to the US for inspiration, but for the people of Cairo, Tunis and Sana’a the US is the equivalent of the Soviet Union in eastern Europe: it is the problem, not the solution. To Arabs, the US is a force of occupation draped in a thin cloak of democracy and human rights.

No one could have offered stronger evidence of such a view than Obama himself, who began his Middle East speech with eulogies to freedom and the equality of all men, and ended it with talk of the “Jewishness of Israel”, in effect denying the citizenship rights of 20% of its Arab inhabitants and the right of return of 6 million Palestinian refugees. In vain does the US try to reconcile the irreconcilable – to preach democracy, while occupying and aiding occupation.

The half-past-six JPA scholarships:half-boiled eggs and half-baked moves…


ON THE BEAT WITH WONG CHUN WAI

The former have had bad press but they may be better than they are made out to be. But the latter cannot be excused at all.

I HAVE finally turned 50. The day started off with a breakfast of two half-boiled eggs with the right dash of soya sauce and pepper, and a cup of hot Milo.

It’s a simple pleasure in life and certainly most Malaysians would describe our traditional breakfast as heavenly.

I am sure it’s a Malaysian creation. I still do not know why Singapore has not staked a claim on this brilliant culinary work.

Maybe Singapore refuses to be associated with anything that’s regarded as half-measured, half-done or half-boiled. But hey, our national tolerance for mediocrity is higher, so if it tastes good, who are others to tell us otherwise.

I do not know whether our penchant for half-boiled eggs has anything to do with the national psyche but let’s not allow jealous foreigners to divide us. We do not want Perkasa to turn this into a nationalist frenzy over half-boiled eggs and we certainly don’t want Ibrahim Ali to issue “ada telur” dares to imagined foes.

Half-boiled eggs would be frowned upon in Western countries, where most hotel kitchens refuse to accept such orders as the eggs would not be cooked according to the stipulated health requirements.

Westerners, who cannot stomach what we eat, feel they could be exposed to salmonella, the bacteria that can lead to food poisoning. So never bother asking for half-boiled eggs during your holidays overseas.

Besides, what’s half-boiled eggs without kicap?

Older Malaysians have been taught from young that to stay healthy, we should have two half-boiled eggs every morning. I really do not know how, when and why some medical experts suddenly concluded that eating eggs, especially with the yolks – the best part of the eggs – can ruin your health.

One large egg is said to have 213mg of cholesterol, all found in the yolk, and eating too much of it can lead to a high cholesterol level. That’s what was said in one story I googled.

But I have also read that former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had a strict diet of 28 eggs a week plus steak, salads and her favourite tipple – whisky – each time she campaigned.

That’s according to personal documents published by the Margaret Thatcher Archive Trust. She is turning 86 this year and we know for sure that this Iron Lady remains one of the best leaders the world has seen so far.

I am pretty sure Tony Blair and Gordon Brown didn’t like eggs. But I am convinced that Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen also eat plenty of eggs. They are sharp and look good. Gutsy, for sure, and they make many men politicians look like wimps.

Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo conti­nues to defy nature. But I’m not sure if it’s half-boiled eggs or tempeh, a popular Javanese soy product.

I do not know why but eggs always seem to fly in the direction of some politicians. Joining the fray over the award of Public Service Depart­ment (PSD) scholarships, maverick minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz has finally said the controversy should be discussed by taking into consideration the views of other parties, including the MCA and Gerakan.

He seems to miss the point – no one is saying that all PSD scholars should be sent overseas. What the applicants have complained about is that there have been those with less than 8A+, some allegedly with just 6A+, who have been sent overseas by the Government.

It does not matter what race or religion the applicants are but if you are not a top achiever, what are the possibilities of these scholars entering top schools like Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard or Imperial College London?

It does not make sense to use taxpayers’ money to admit them into middle or low-level universities.

Our grading system has already been questioned by top foreign universities. The high string of distinctions mean nothing to them now.

Yes, we are all aware the Prime Minister has promised that students who obtained 8A+ and above are eligible for PSD scholarships to study either locally or abroad. It’s a fantastic decision and everyone should be clear about it.

But procedures on scholarships should be clear and open. It really doesn’t make sense when there are mismatches, bad decisions and even questionable moves. It is precisely this resentment that has led to eggs being thrown at the faces of the PSD officials.

All the good intentions of the Government are now being affected because of these half-boiled, or rather half-baked, measures.

Good students deserve scholarships

I AM very disappointed over the current distribution of the Public Service Department (JPA) scholarships.

As the chairman of Higher Education Bureau, National MIC Youth, I strongly believe that Education should be fair to all students irrespective of race and religion.

All Malaysian citizens must have equal rights to a good education. Many work hard to earn their good grades.

Nobody is questioning the Federal Constitution here, so there is no need for certain groups to say that we have gone against the Constitution when we raise issues affecting the community.

What we are asking is for government scholarships to be given to deserving students regardless of their race and religion.

These students are the creme de la creme.

Those who scored 8A+ and above expect to be given a scholarship.

While some of the top scorers are lucky enough to be “grabbed” by neighbouring countries for their outstanding results, many are forced to look elsewhere for funding

There are also parents, who have to use up their life savings to send their children overseas. Can anyone blame these students if they do not come home after graduation?

In recent years, our government has been trying to woo overseas Malaysians who have made great strides in their chosen fields to come home, simply because of their expertise and knowledge.

It would be such a waste to lose these top achievers to other counntries, and then complain later that there is a brain drain.

MAHAGANAPATHY DASS

Chairman, Higher Education Bureau

National Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) Youth

Social media and networking


By TEE LIN SAY linsay@thestar.com.my

Guy Clapperton (pic), the author of ‘This is Social Media: tweet, blog, link and post your way to business success’ was recently in Kuala Lumpur to promote his updated book.First published in 2009, this version offers new insights on using the social media as an efficient and measurable way for people to market their business.

Organisations, whether larger or small, are using social media and social networking to build robust communities of followers, to stay ahead of the competition and increase profits.

For business owners who want access to social networking tactics and reach new customers, Guy has simple, practical and real life examples for them.

SBW: What made you decide to write a book on social media?

GC: Well, I freelance in the UK for The Guardian and The Times and I have been writing on small businesses and technology for many years. Back in 2007 to 2008, I felt I needed to get my brain around what was happening in the world of social media. There was none. My brain got into gear. There was no book on this subject, and this was something I was familiar with. I wrote to John Wiley Publications, and got a meeting with the director! They subsequently passed the book to Capstone Publishing, and thats how it all started.

What are some of the new developments included in your updated book since the first was published in 2009?

Well, I got a critic who mentioned that I was too dismissive about web designers in my first book. That could have been true. So, I wrote a little bit more on web designers this time around. I also expanded on Foursquare, which is one of the first social networks that really took advantage of mobile networks from the start.

What is different in your book compared with other social media books?

Buy my book because the other books are all Americans! (Laughs) Anyway, my book uses a common sense approach and incorporates lots of business and budgeting strategies. You know what’s in it for a business, how you can get involved, and how to incorporate social networking into your business plan.

What are some of the developments in social media that will shape our future moving forward?

Mobile social media is going to become very important. Imagine someone standing outside your business premises and then asking on Twitter quickly whether a few thousand people know anything good or bad about it. That’s going to be important.

Do you think Malaysian or Asian companies in general, have yet to fully leverage on the benefits of social media? What are the simple things they can do to use social media to enhance their businesses?

Clearly, having been here only a couple of days I’m no expert in Malaysian businesses. Several which are international as well as Asian – LG Electronics, Samsung and others – have done well and I understand AirAsia has been a very strong performer in social media. If they’re starting now I think the best thing to do is to find which social media their clients use and start marketing on those.

Do you think that social media should be one of the ways for companies to market their products? Will companies that refuse to use social media be left behind?

It’s certainly going to be part of the mix. Companies that refuse social media can have different reasons. They might have found their customers aren’t interested, which would be a good reason for not spending time on it. I’d certainly recommend looking again in a couple of years if you don’t think social media is right for your business at the moment – the customer is changing.

What are some of the misconceptions about social media?

People underestimate the cost incurred, they think that there is no need to pay. They don’t value the time. Hey, you’ve got to pay the guy monitoring your media traffic.

Also, social media works well only if done correctly and properly. You need to find out what the customer wants and target the right group of customers rather than sending a mass message to everyone. Also, people won’t be actively seeking you out – you need to get the message out.

You’re writing another book “This is Social Commerce” to be launched by year end. What was the inspiration for that? How different will it be from your current book?

It’s a continuation in many ways. The first book is the introduction, the second develops the theme a little, talks to more businesses in depth and looks at some of the opportunities which have arisen only because social media has made them possible.

Was it always your dream to publish your own book? How exhilarating was it, to see your books on the shelves?

I’ve wanted to be an author ever since I was a child and finding the book on the shelves was as magical as I’d hoped. Finding a big picture of me standing next to it in the MPH Megatore was a bit of a shock!

Will you ever consider writing fiction some time in the future?

I’d love to but to be honest I’m not sure that’s where my talent lie. My current publisher doesn’t publish fiction so I’d have to start all over again. And I do like what I do for a living at the moment – trying to go into another field might set me up for a fall.

World’s Richest & Poorest Governments


We know the world’s richest man is Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico, followed by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet of USA .

How about governments?

Which countries government is the richest (having most money that is, in US$.

If you are expecting North American and European nations, you might be disappointed.

While the countries look rich, wealthy European nations can’t withstand a prolonged major financial crisis, just like Greece .

The USA might have the biggest economy, but the American government is not at all rich; in fact, it can’t even take out $150bn if asked to now without resorting to borrowing.

To date the US government has borrowed $14 trillion!

The UK , likewise, while the country/people are rich, the government isn’t.

The UK government’s debt stands at $9 trillion now.

World’s Richest Government

Richest governments after 2008-2009 financial crisis:

1. China

National reserves: $2,454,300,000,000

2. Japan

National reserves: $1,019,000,000,000

3. Russia

National reserves: $458,020,000,000

4. Saudi Arabia

National reserves: $395,467,000,000

5. Taiwan

National reserves: $362,380,000,000

6. India

National reserves: $279,422,000,000

7. South Korea

National reserves: $274,220,000,000

8. Switzerland

National reserves: $262,000,000,000

9. Hong Kong , China

National reserves: $256,000,000,000

10. Brazil

National reserves: $255,000,000,000

Here are the rest, in million US $:

11 Singapore / 203,436

12 Germany / 189,100

13 Thailand / 150,000

14 Algeria / 149,000

15 France / 140,848

16 Italy / 133,104

17 United States / 124,176

18 Mexico / 100,096

19 Iran / 96,560

20 Malaysia / 96,100

21 Poland / 85,232

22 Libya / 79,000

23 Denmark / 76,315

24 Turkey / 71,859

25 Indonesia / 69,730

26 United Kingdom / 69,091

27 Israel / 62,490

28 Canada / 57,392

29 Norway / 49,223

30 Iraq / 48,779

31 Argentina / 48,778

32 Philippines / 47,650

33 Sweden / 46,631

34 United Arab Emirates / 45,000

35 Hungary / 44,591

36 Romania / 44,056

37 Nigeria / 40,480

38 Czech Republic / 40,151

39 Australia / 39,454

40 Lebanon / 38,600

41 Netherlands / 38,372

42 South Africa / 38,283

43 Peru / 37,108

44 Egypt / 35,223

45 Venezuela / 31,925

46 Ukraine / 28,837

47 Spain / 28,195

48 Colombia / 25,141

49 Chile / 24,921

50 Belgium / 24,130

51 Brunei / 22,000

52 Morocco / 21,873

53 Vietnam / 17,500

54 Macau / 18,730

55 Kazakhstan / 27,549

56 Kuwait / 19,420

57 Angola / 19,400

58 Austria / 18,079

59 Serbia / 17,357

60 Pakistan / 16,770

61 New Zealand / 16,570

62 Bulgaria / 16,497

63 Ireland / 16,229

63 Portugal / 16,254

64 Croatia / 13,720

65 Jordan / 12,180

66 Finland / 11,085

67 Bangladesh / 10,550

68 Botswana / 10,000

69 Tunisia / 9,709

70 Azerbaijan / 9,316

71 Bolivia / 8,585

72 Trinidad and Tobago / 8,100

73 Yemen / 7,400

74 Uruguay / 8,104

75 Oman / 7,004

76 Latvia / 6,820

77 Lithuania / 6,438

78 Qatar / 6,368

79 Cyprus / 6,176

80 Belarus / 6,074

81 Syria / 6,039

82 Uzbekistan / 5,600

83 Luxembourg / 5,337

84 Guatemala / 5,496

85 Greece / 5,207

86 Bosnia and Herzegovina / 5,151

87 Cuba / 4,247

88 Costa Rica / 4,113

89 Equatorial Guinea / 3,928

90 Ecuador / 3,913

91 Iceland / 3,823

92 Paraguay / 3,731

93 Turkmenistan / 3,644

94 Estonia / 3,583

95 Malta / 3,522

96 Myanmar / 3,500

97 Bahrain / 3,474

98 Kenya / 3,260

99 Ghana / 2,837

100 El Salvador / 2,845

101 Sri Lanka / 2,600

102 Cambodia / 2,522

103 Côte d’Ivoire / 2,500

104 Tanzania / 2,441

105 Cameroon / 2,341

106 Macedonia / 2,243

107 Dominican Republic / 2,223

108 Papua New Guinea / 2,193

109 Honduras / 2,083

110 Armenia / 1,848

111 Slovakia / 1,809

112 Mauritius / 1,772

113 Albania / 1,615

114 Kyrgyzstan / 1,559

115 Jamaica / 1,490

116 Mozambique / 1,470

117 Gabon / 1,459

118 Senegal / 1,350

119 Georgia / 1,300

120 Panama / 1,260

121 Sudan / 1,245

122 Zimbabwe / 1,222

123 Slovenia / 1,105

124 Moldova / 1,102

125 Zambia / 1,100

126 Nicaragua / 1,496

127 Mongolia / 1,000

128 Chad / 997

129 Burkina Faso / 897

130 Lesotho / 889

131 Ethiopia / 840

132 Benin / 825

133 Namibia / 750

134 Madagascar / 745

135 Barbados / 620

136 Laos / 514

137 Rwanda / 511

138 Swaziland / 395

139 Togo / 363

140 Cape Verde / 344

141 Tajikistan / 301

142 Guyana / 292

143 Haiti / 221

144 Belize / 150

145 Vanuatu / 149

146 Malawi / 140

147 Gambia / 120

148 Guinea / 119

149 Burundi / 118

150 Seychelles / 118

151 Samoa / 70

152 Tonga / 55

153 Liberia / 49

154 Congo / 36

155 São Tomé and Príncipe / 36

156 Eritrea / 22

Big national reserves doesn’t guarantee prosperity however, for instance, the yearly expenses for China ‘s government is $1.11 trillion, their government must always think of economic growth and making more money.

The Malaysian gov’t overspent $13bn last year, if it goes on like this their reserves can only last for 7 yrs.

The Singaporean government overspent $3bn last year, much of it rescuing their banks from financial crisis, if it goes on like this their reserves can last 68 yrs.

The Swiss gov’t overspent $1bn last year, if it goes on like this their reserves can last 262 yrs.

A country normally can borrow up to 100% its GDP, a very strong industrial country or very financial stable nation can borrow up to perhaps 200% its GDP, debts over 250% GDP the country is bankrupted.

Greece ‘s Debts Is 113.40% GDP, In Danger As It Is Not Considered A Strong Industrial Or Financial Country.

Iceland Is 107.60%, Also In Crisis As It Is Not So Strong Industrial Or Financially.

Singapore Debts Is 113.10%, Not In Hot Water Due To Its Global Financial Hub Status, And Also Its Financial Strength. It’s Only Dangerous For Singapore When It Reaches 200%

Japan Debts Is 189.30%, Still Under Radar As A Powerful Industrial Nation. It Needs To Panic Only At Around 200%

US Has The World Largest Debts, But It Is Only 62% Its GDP, It Is Not In Any Immediate Danger Of Bankruptcy.

Zimbabwe Debts Is 282.60% GDP, It Is A Bankrupted Nation.

Malaysia Debts Is Currently At 53.70% GDP.

Hong Kong And Taiwan Is Doing Pretty Good With Debts At 32-37%GDP

South Korea Is Even Better With Debts At 23.5% GDP

China Is Very Stable With Debts At 16.90% GDP

Russia Is Like A Big Mountain With Debts Only At 6.30% GDP

There Are Only 5 Countries With No Debt (I.E. 0%) :

Brunei , Liechtenstein , Palau , Nieu, And Macau Of China .

70% of Science Award Finalists Are Children of Immigrants


Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer

Kids learning science
Immigrant parents’ focus on science and math pays off for their kids, a new report finds.
CREDIT: © Jonathan Ross | Dreamstime.com

Immigration is a boon to American science and math, a new report asserts, noting that 70 percent of the finalists in a recent prestigious science competition are the children of immigrants.

The report by the National Foundation for American Policy, a nonprofit research group in Arlington, Va., states that many immigrant parents emphasize hard science and math education for their children, viewing those fields as paths to success.

Statistics supporting that belief: According to a recent Georgetown University study on the value of undergraduate majors, the lifetime median annual income for someone with a bachelor’s degree in engineering is $75,000, compared with $29,000 for a counseling or psychology major. [Infographic: Highest-paying College Majors]

That study found that the highest earners are petroleum engineers, with median annual earnings of $120,000.

Only 12 percent of Americans are foreign-born, the NFAP report says. Even so, children of immigrants took 70 percent of the finalist slots in the 2011 Intel Science Talent Search Competition, an original-research competition for high school seniors.

Of the 40 finalists, 28 had parents born in other countries: 16 from China, 10 from India, one from South Korea and one from Iran.

“In proportion to their presence in the U.S. population, one would expect only one child of an Indian (or Chinese) immigrant parent every two and a half years to be an Intel Science Search finalist, not 10 in a year,” wrote the report’s author, NFAP director Stuart Anderson.

Finalists interviewed for the report attributed their interest in research to their parents’ attitudes.

“Our parents brought us up with love of science as a value,” David Kenneth Tang-Quan, whose parents emigrated from China to California, told Anderson, according to the report.

Still, children of immigrants face barriers outside of the education system. According to the Georgetown report, racial disparities in pay persist even within science fields. Whites with an undergraduate major in engineering out-earn Asians with the same degree by about $8,000 a year. African-American and Hispanic engineering graduates fare worse, making about $60,000 and $56,000 per year, respectively, compared with whites’ $80,000.

Asians out-earn whites in the fields of health, law and public policy; psychology and social work; and biology and life sciences.

The fact that children of immigrants excel in science and math should be taken into account when making immigration policy, Anderson wrote: “The results should serve as a warning against new restrictions on legal immigration, both family and employment-based immigration, since such restrictions are likely to prevent many of the next generation of outstanding scientists and researcher from emerging in America.”

You can follow LiveScience senior writer Stephanie Pappas on Twitter @sipappas. Follow LiveScience for the latest in science news and discoveries on Twitter @livescience and on Facebook.

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