Ivan Debono

A notebook of science, thoughts and reason

Category: economy (page 1 of 2)

Size doesn’t matter

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced today the new Pentagon proposal for the future structure of the US Armed Forces. The New York Times carried an article yesterday giving an overview of the planned restructuring, which, in a nutshell, is all about downsizing. 2086099367At first glance, this might look like: less troops = less fighting power. But wars, and confrontations are not, and never where, about the number of troops. They are all about the utility of force.

The paradigm of industrial war is over. That is not to say that peace has broken out. It is just that wars are no longer a force-on-force confrontation confined in space and time. War spills over into areas outside the military domain: economic and financial power, cultural domination, cognitive warfare, demographic and political power are all means by which wars are fought, but none of them involve military force, still less force numbers.

The Armed Forces are but one weapon in the US arsenal. I don’t see any decrease in the size of the other weapons.

Such as these: IBISWorld-Top-10-Fastest-Growing-US-Industries-Apr2013

Genius isn’t always rewarded

Ten cautionary tales from BBC Wired

10 inventors who didn’t get mega-rich from their inventions

India is heading for Mars: it doesn’t need British aid money to pay the bills

India is heading for Mars: it doesn’t need British aid money to pay the bills - Telegraph


India is heading for Mars: it doesn’t need British aid money to pay the bills – Telegraph.

Foreign aid doesn’t help any poor countries – it just corrupts their governments

Map of the Internet

Fortune Magazine published this map of undersea internet data infrastructure around the globe. Continue reading

Bleak outlook


Der Spiegel published a chart showing the effects of a breakup of the euro. Will it ever come to this?

La démocratie islandaise plus forte que les banquiers | Atlantico

La démocratie islandaise plus forte que les banquiers | Atlantico.

We’re officially screwed


Paul Krugman On The Euro Crisis – Business Insider.

A fascinating interview with 2008 Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, in which he describes the last two possible solutions to the Euro crisis. Both are impossible.

He basically sees two possible outcomes, both of which are “impossible.” Continue reading

Credit ratings. We fear no storm.

9July 2012, hours before a summit of eurozone finance ministers: comes the terrible headline: Spanish borrowing costs rise ahead of euro summit

Great. Should we worry or what? In June, Moody’s had cut Spain’s credit ratings to Baa3, just one notch above junk.

The world cannot wait. You tell ’em.

Why is it important for a country to protect its credit ratings?

In theory, credit ratings should be directly linked to interest rates on public debt. Continue reading

Dude, really

BBC News – The culture of behaving badly.

A manifesto for economic sense

Paul Krugman and Richard Layard have just published a Manifesto for Economic Sense which attempts to lay out the real causes of the current economic crisis, and spell out a solution.

Make of it what you will. The professional reputation of the two authors is beyond reproach.

But perhaps they err in their innate belief in limitless growth.

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