Today the shareholders of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. prepare for one of the most contentious stockholders votes of recent memory. One of the main issues centers on Jamie Dimon, who is the CEO of the company as well as the Chairman of the board of directors. Many of those who hold stock believe that these roles should be separated; in the vote last year the proposal was rejected but still received the backing of 40% of stockholders, which is nothing to take lightly. The arguments in favor of this separation range from too much power being concentrated in a single person to a person can only focus on so many things and being CEO of company as large as J.P. Morgan Chase is enough of a task in itself. Regardless of the facts of this specific case, it brings into the question the larger issue of corporate governance. It would be beneficial to see how different countries operate – both in theory and practice – and see how those companies perform under different structures.
globalEDGE Blog - By Author: Machlin Fink
The past five years has seen an increased importance placed on a country's level of debt. Trying to deal with this problem can differ greatly by country. From the gradual debt reduction approach seem to be preferred by the United States to the austerity measures that became a popular tool by Eurozone governments, countries are waking up to the realization that too much debt is a bad thing. What is too much debt? The groundbreaking academic paper released by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff in 2010 seemed to have solved the problem when the models they ran indicated that when a country exceeds a 90% debt to GDP ratio it greatly diminishes growth rates.
Jobs, a word that stirs up many emotions, and as of late mostly worry. For those of all ages the economy is worrisome. From those who have been loyal employees at the same company for thirty years to those stepping off of campus this month with the ink still wet on their diplomas. All are troubled with what the future holds for them. Every year, at this time, the discussion resurfaces and as graduation inches closer for us here the thought of life after school becomes ever more prominent.
How to encourage entrepreneurship? This is a question many universities, cities, states and nations ask themselves on an almost daily basis. The notion of entrepreneurship is a romantic one. Those who begin ventures in a dorm room or garage and achieve success are universally beloved – look no further than Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. The secret formula to release and cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit has long been debated. Could failure actually be a cause?
What leads to the prosperity of nations? It is an interesting question that many have tried to answer throughout time. It puzzles many that a small island off the northern edge continental Europe can come to dominate the globe for a period of time. There surely is not one answer to this question and, in fact, there are many more that can be written. Niall Ferguson takes on this question through the effect that financial institutions have on the prosperity of nations in his financial history of the world in The Ascent of Money.
What seemed unthinkable just a half decade ago is now reality. The United States has surpassed Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest fuel producer. Crude output in the U.S. has hit a 20 year high and has produced the most fuel in the world for the first time since 2002. The United States is producing 11.65 million barrels of liquid fuel a day (which includes crude, refined petroleum products, and biofuels) surpassing the Saudi Arabian output of 11.25 million barrels a day.
Earlier this week, my colleague Kyle Brown asked the question “Isolated Issue or Global Supply Chain Problem?” This question was addressing the recent uncovering that many of the products we believe to be 100% beef, actually contain a fair amount of horse meat. It would seem that this question has been answered relatively quickly with a new Oceana report released yesterday. Oceana is an advocacy group for the world’s oceans that has sampled over 600 outlets in 20 states over a two year period in one of the most comprehensive food and health studies done in recent years.
When taking a company, product, or service internationally one has to take into consideration the variability of laws they will encounter. This tends to be quite the process, and a very complex one at that. Few may be more complex (and more of a hindrance) to business expansion than copyright law, specifically when it comes to the music industry. This makes for a wide array of complications that music empires have to deal with and has even derailed some.
The lackluster global economy is now going on its fifth year and new information suggests that it is still a series of ebbs and flows. Economists’ predictions about the United States’ fourth quarter growth was off by over a percent and the U.S. experienced a contraction of the economy for the first time in a few years. The unemployment rate ticked up .1% to 7.9%, not the kind of news a recovering economy wants.
Regulatory environments vary significantly from country to country and have a dramatic impact on business, both domestic and international. In the Doing Business 2013 report, senior managers reported that they spend 11% of their time dealing with government regulations and more than 50% of them feel that regulations are inconsistent. The Doing Business Report is a study that rates the attractiveness of a country based on its legal institutions and regulatory environment. Latin America is making progress according to the report, but no country from the region has been able to break into the list’s top 30. What does this mean for Latin America’s role in international business?
The New Year began with the United States barely avoiding sequestration that many economists agree would have been a giant setback for the U.S. economy that would pile on to the global economic troubles. Not the way to start things off. With the major economies of the world still struggling to return to the growth needed to bring down unemployment there may be good news after all.
In a move that always stirs controversy and can enflame international relations President Evo Morales, of Bolivia, has moved to nationalize the energy sector by overtaking the largely Spanish owned company, Electropaz. President Morales has accused the Iberdrola, the company based in Spain that owns the majority of Electropaz, of charging artificially high prices to residents in rural areas of the country. Morales argues that under the constitution this move is permissible by acting in the public’s interest.
Today we are profiling the globalEDGE LinkedIn group. The group is open to anyone who has a LinkedIn profile and acts as a medium where the latest business news is presented and debated. To spur conversation, every week we post an article pertaining to a recent business development. We then hope to engage some of our group members in dialogue to better understand what the implications of this development mean and to hear different perspectives from others.
We hope you will take some time when you are visiting LinkedIn to stop by the globalEDGE Network and post or comment in the ongoing conversation. Our LinkedIn group can be found here!
As globalization has emerged and evolved into one of the leading factors driving business decisions today, certain countries and economies have been profiled for their seemingly important role in this new age. India is seen as one of those stars in the age of globalization but recent setbacks may warrant a second look. With anemic growth in the United States economy and the European Union with its whole host of problems some economic consequences for India seem legitimate. However, with the missteps that India businesses have taken, both at home and abroad, the business practices of the country must be questioned.
Just about two weeks ago it was reported that Hewlett-Packard had to write down somewhere in the neighborhood of $8.8 billion, stemming from an acquisition of a United Kingdom based software company, Autonomy. Accounting improprieties within the acquired company seem to be at the heart of the issue and HP claims the fraudulent numbers account for over 5 billion of the write down. Two of the “Big Four” accounting firms were brought in to perform due diligence for the deal but the inconsistencies still managed to slip through. This is an extremely public example that calls into question the different accounting standards practiced in different countries and how those should be reconciled.
Big Data is increasing the amount of information that is collected about a person or demographic and companies have begun to notice. In an ever more competitive global market, companies are looking for any advantage and Big Data is showing big signs of potential. By collecting and connecting big data, companies can identify traits about potential customers that they themselves may not even know. Behavior is much more predictable than you may suspect and this bodes well for companies who lead in collecting such data. Consolidating facts about a person in seemingly unrelated areas paints a remarkably accurate picture of their habits and how they behave. The question for companies is not if they will use this data but how they will use it.
When the financial crisis hit the world in the fall of 2008 most sectors of the economy came crashing down with it. International trade was no different, and by some measures the decline was more pronounced. When world GDP began to contract and hit its bottom in 2009, exports dropped nearly 30%. One would expect a certain amount of withdrawal when a crisis of this magnitude hit but with such a huge drop off the question arises what other factors could have played in? The answer is not as simple as it may seem.
Packaging is seldom thought about throughout the course of the day, yet we come into contact with some form of packaging constantly. For as long as there has been goods that needed transportation there has been packaging – beginning with woven baskets and ceramic vases. Throughout the centuries since then packaging has continued to evolve, and continues till this day.
One of the most public dramas that has played out in the downturn of the economy has been the manufacturing sector's struggles. Data released earlier this week shows reason for cautious optimism in the United States. For nearly the first time in four months, manufacturing grew within the United States. While the U.S. welcomes even the smallest improvement, other regions did not fare as well. Both China and the Eurozone continue to see the manufacturing sector of their economy contract.
In today’s world, energy is always in demand and this has led many companies in the energy sector to focus on new renewable forms of energy. Lately renewable energy, specifically solar, has experienced a multitude of issues that threaten many of the companies that specialize in solar power. From the high profile collapse of Solyndra to the free fall of prices around the world, many are left wondering what the future holds for this burgeoning industry.