Aquela altura da vida em que sentimos que deixamos o caminho feito por nós até aqui e iniciamos um novo ramo, um novo caminho.
quarta-feira, março 31, 2021
A leitura de "The Visionary Realism of German Economics: From the Thirty Years' War to the Cold War" é uma sucessão de surpresas boas. Depois da concorrência imperfeita, agora é a arte e os Muggles.
"The theoretical conflict between the forefathers of today’s mainstream economics and the forefathers of the alternative canon has existed since the 1622– 23 debate between Gerard De Malynes (Malynes, 1622, 1623) and Edward Misselden (Misselden, 1622, 1623), where Malynes represented a static theory rooted in barter and Misselden represented a theory centred on learning and production. In the history of economic thought, their debate is interpreted as being about exchange controls and the balance of trade. However, by going back to the sources, one finds that the main line of attack by Misselden against Malynes is his ‘‘mechanical’’ view of man – Malynes has left out Man’s ‘‘art’’ and ‘‘soul’’. Misselden quotes at length a paragraph from Malynes, where Malynes reduces trade to three elements, ‘‘namely, Commodities, Money, and Exchange’’. Objecting to this definition, Misselden says: ‘‘It is against Art to dispute with a man that denyeth the Principles of Art’’. Misselden scorns Malynes for not seeing the difference between a heap of stones and logs and a house – because Man’s productive powers produce the house but his soul has been left out. A similar criticism can be made of neo-classical economics.
Misselden represents the acute Renaissance awareness of the enormous territory to be covered between Mankind’s present poverty and ignorance, and the enormous potentials."
terça-feira, março 30, 2021
"Em África, todas as manhãs, uma gazela acorda. Sabe que tem de correr mais depressa que o leão, ser mais veloz ou será morta. Todas as manhãs, um leão acorda. Sabe que tem de correr mais depressa que a gazela mais lenta, ou morrerá de fome. Não interessa se és um leão ou uma gazela. Quando o sol se levantar será bom que corras."
A vida é uma peça de teatro: O Rei Lear
segunda-feira, março 29, 2021
Sábado à tarde investi algum tempo a ler mais umas páginas de "Windows of Opportunity: How Nations Make Wealth" de David Sainsbury.
Uma lição magistral sobre o que aconteceu nos últimos 30 anos a nível do comércio mundial. Uma lição que devia ser lida pelos tótós que defendem que o euro foi o responsável pelo desempenho do nosso país. Sainsbury dá como exemplos a China, a Polónia e a Índia. Em 2015 a China tinha 20% da manufactura mundial... em 1990 tinha 3%.
Primeiro, a drástica limitação da influência do estado na economia e a abolição de preços fixados pelo governo, deixando isso ao cuidado do mercado. E isso coincidiu com uma janela de oportunidade:
- a liberalização do comércio mundial;
- novas formas de transporte; e
- o desenvolvimento de cadeias de fornecimento globais CFG.
"In the late 1980s, developing countries not only cut tariffs, they also developed a new relationship to foreign direct investment (FDI). Up to this point, they had had a love/hate relationship with FDI. Though they liked foreign investment, they feared the impact it might have on the performance of their own companies. In almost all developing countries, the balancing of these pros and cons had led to regulation of FDI. This attitude changed, however, in the late 1980s, and can be seen in the growth of bilateral investment treaties (BITs)."
"Internalised technology transfer provides access to state-of-the-art technologies, along with brand names and entry into global markets. It is, therefore, very effective way to transfer and operationalise new technologies for export competitiveness."
Por fim, recordo Bloomberg e o setting the table:
"The third factor that helped developing countries build up their capabilities was the management of technology diffusion by governments"
E os tótós que culpam o euro... queriam o escudo para, à custa da ilusão monetária, competir com os custos chineses... uma tolice pegada.
BTW, acho que isto "Suez blockage will accelerate global supply chain shift, says Maersk chief" está a acontecer há alguns anos, a estória das cadeias de fornecimento por continentes e não globais, mas é como os nenúfares no lago, temos 47 dias incipientes pela frente.
domingo, março 28, 2021
No Dinheiro Vivo de ontem li este artigo "Concorrência asiática põe em risco máscaras made in Portugal" e fiquei parvo... tanta infantilidade.
Gente que se mete num negócio de volume, sem conhecimento do mercado e sem escala ...
"Um ano depois, e com muitos milhões de euros gastos, o mercado está inundado de máscaras chinesas e quem investiu já se arrependeu. Os encerramentos estão à vista. "Tem sido uma luta constante e diária, é impossível concorrer com os preços que vêm da China", diz Pedro Nicolau, da Vencer o Momento, Lda. "Não temos como dar continuidade a este projeto, com uma concorrência tão desleal [Moi ici: Quando entra esta argumentação eu saio, ela só demonstra a infantilidade do seu autor] e se não houver na Europa uma forma de proteger os seus interesses e contribuintes", diz, por seu turno, Carlos Alexandre Brito, da OH Máscaras.
Num mercado global, em que a concorrência se faz única e exclusivamente pelo preço, as máscaras não terão futuro para nós” [Moi ici: Como é que poderiam ter pensado numa alternativa proteccionista?]
“Com capacidade instalada para mais de 400 mil máscaras por dia, precisávamos de chegar aos grandes compradores, hospitais e escolas, mas nos concursos públicos deparamo-nos com concorrência desleal de tradings que são meros intermediários da produção chinesa, sabe-se lá em que condições”, diz Carlos Alexandre Brito.
O responsável da OH Máscaras garante que os preços praticados nos concursos públicos “estão abaixo do custo de produção”.
Mas já não vê saída: “Temos ótimas condições, temos produto de qualidade, tínhamos tudo para conseguir vencer, mas, como está o mercado, é impossível. É difícil aguentar o barco com custos mensais de sete ou oito mil euros e praticamente sem lucros”."
sábado, março 27, 2021
E continuava eu a minha leitura de "The Visionary Realism of German Economics: From the Thirty Years' War to the Cold War" durante a caminhada matinal de ontem quando tropeço nisto:
"Looking at history from a simple perspective of barter, not production, [Moi ici: Como não recordar as palavras de Vera Gouveia Barros sobre concorrência perfeita] and under diminishing returns/ single equilibrium/ perfect information, the importance of these policies is lost. In the diminishing return/ equilibrium perspective, any and all factors causing unequal economic growth are lost, creating the world of artificial harmony and world- wide factor- price equalisation. As we shall attempt to show later, a most important historical role of Adam Smith’s was precisely that of laying the ground for ‘‘perfect markets’’ and ‘‘natural harmony’’ by making the quest for knowledge into a zero- sum game – using the metaphor of a lottery – from the point of view of both the individual and the State. In this way Adam Smith effectively removed the quest for imperfect competition through new knowledge which was so important to Renaissance thinking. This is the root of why new knowledge and new technology hits today’s mainstream economics as ‘‘manna from heaven’’.
Just as we today would see a career of washing dishes in a restaurant as having a limited potential for creating income compared with a career as a lawyer, the Renaissance economists extended this argument to apply to the common weal as well. In other words, they believed that the factors which created differences in welfare within an economy were the same factors which created differences in income between nations. As a result of the process of pre- Ricardian common sense, no factor- price equalisation would be achieved by putting all the people washing dishes in one nation and all the lawyers in another and open up for free trade between the two nations. In these theories economic growth is ‘‘activity- specific’’; it is only available in some economic activities subject to dynamic imperfect competition, and not in others.
What, then, are the characteristics of growth inducing – ‘‘good’’ – economic activities? We have, in several publications, provided a ‘‘quality index’’ of economic activities, listing the characteristics which, in a system of dynamic imperfect competition, ranks economic activities according to their ability to provide increasing economic welfare to a nation. This ‘‘quality index’’ is reproduced in Figure 2.2.
Differences in wage levels, both nationally and between nations, seem to result from varying degrees of imperfect competition – caused by both static and dynamic factors. The factors at work have long been identified both by businessmen and in industrial economics, and they are correlated. Figure 2.2 attempts to create an area from light to dark grey where ‘‘the quality’’ of economic activities at any time can be roughly plotted on a scale from white: ‘‘perfect competition’’ – to black: ‘‘monopoly’’. The latter is only a temporary state, as new technologies fall towards a lower score as they mature."
sexta-feira, março 26, 2021
"The world is going to change, and resilience is our best response.
It’s not about building things that always turn out the way we expect. Bulletproof is too expensive, too rigid and requires perfect knowledge of the future.
Instead of designing for the best case scenario, we make the effort to consider how our work thrives when the best case doesn’t arrive. Because that’s far more likely.
Flexibility, community, and a sense of possibility can go a long way. That doesn’t make it easier, but it’s our best path forward."
O Jornal de Negócios brinda-nos hoje com dois textos sobre moratórias, chamo especial atenção para a dimensão das associadas às PMEs.
BTW, um outro texto do mesmo jornal, o texto de Cristina Casalinho sobre comparações estatísticas deixa dois temas importantes de fora... quando ela compara o número de portugueses com uma licenciatura: licenciatura em quê? Licenciatura para quê, para arranjar guia de marcha para emigrar?
Ontem, jovem com 26 anos (true story) ligou-me a dizer que depois de impostos ia ganhar 6800 €/mês não em Portugal, claro! Lembrem-se da caridadezinha.
Trecho retirado de "Resilience"
quinta-feira, março 25, 2021
Este é o meu mote para o trabalho que desenvolvo na área da gestão com PMEs.
Ontem, ouvi o podcast do programa "Tempestade perfeita", na rádio Observador do passado dia 22 e sorri ao ouvir o início da intervenção de Vera Gouveia Barros. E recordei um livro de economia de César das Neves onde ele incluía um subcapítulo sobre a beleza da concorrência perfeita.
Pois bem, este anónimo engenheiro da província continua a assumir-se como um promotor da concorrência imperfeita, dos monopólios informais e das rendas pornográficas.
- Fugir de eficiência (Dezembro de 2017)
Pois bem, este anónimo engenheiro da província continua a assumir-se como alguém que vê como algo interessante o fim das patentes.
- Num mundo sem patentes (Setembro de 2019)
- quem são os alunos formatados por Vera Gouveia Barros? Qual vai ser o seu destino?
- o que é isto de "bem estar no seu total"?
quarta-feira, março 24, 2021
Ao longo dos anos tenho escrito aqui sobre o futuro do calçado, e de outros sectores tradicionais, em Portugal. Recordo daqui aquilo a que chamo a Fase IV, para subir na escala de valor vai ser preciso:
"O número de empresas vai voltar a diminuir
A quantidade de pares produzidos vai voltar a diminuir
O número de trabalhadores vai voltar a diminuir
O preço médio por par vai novamente dar um salto importante"
Esta será, é, a corrente de fundo, a evolução estrutural.
No entanto, o evento pandémico, provoca perturbações conjunturais.
Em Fevereiro passado, aqui, escrevi:
"Sim, sexta-feira estive com empresários em Felgueiras que estão muito animados com as perspectivas, com as encomendas que têm caído. Eu não estou tão optimista."
Entretanto, falei com outras pessoas que comentaram que a situação no sector era muito heterogénea, e que sobretudo as empresas grandes estavam carregadas de encomendas, algumas já estavam tomadas até Junho/Julho.
Por que volto a referir isto? Por causa deste artigo "Esta têxtil de Barcelos precisa de confeções para dar resposta às encomendas":
"Esta têxtil de Barcelos acaba de lançar o apelo nas redes sociais: "A Pedrosa & Rodrigues está a alargar a rede de Confeções Parceiras e procura fábricas com capacidade para grandes produções, em regime de subcontratação. Pedimos às Confeções interessadas que por favor nos contactem pelo Messenger, sendo que será dada preferência a empresas com corte, confecção e embalagem integrados", diz a empresa espcializada na produção de moda na sua página do Facebook.
O pico é já totalmente focado na produção de moda, sendo que há peças com encomendas mais numerosas, para as quais a empresa precisa de parceiros."
Recordo aquilo a que há anos chamo de "o efeito do banhista gordo". A China é muito, muito grande, tem uma capacidade produtiva enorme. Estando os países ocidentais com dificuldades em colocar encomendas na China, ou em fazer o seu acompanhamento, as marcas procuram colocar as encomendas em zonas mais próximas. Como a China é muito grande, é preciso recorrer a muitos países para dar conta da procura. Assim, o evento pandémico acaba por provocar um intervalo na seta do tempo da evolução estrutural. Quanto tempo durará?
BTW, amigos economistas que pregam a necessidade de empresas grandes, não esqueçam, em sectores tradicionais quanto maior a dimensão da empresa menor à margem unitária, menor o valor acrescentado de cada unidade produzida.
terça-feira, março 23, 2021
Recordar Irlanda e João Duque:
- Tamanho, produtividade e a receita irlandesa
- A caminho da Sildávia, portanto.
- Ah! Claro que os macacos não podem faltar. Eles não voam, trepam às árvores.
segunda-feira, março 22, 2021
Vamos lá tentar relacionar uma série de textos publicados no blogue ao longo das últimas semanas, e ao longo dos anos. Comecemos por este texto de Maio de 2011 sobre o “Vocabulário do valor” (BTW, Nuno, este texto foi pensado aqui), onde se pode visualizar esta figura:
Vamos simplificá-la desta forma:
Vamos considerar a situação de uma empresa “instalada”, preguiçosa, confiante no direito ao seu queijo.
Se nada for feito, a WTP (willingness to pay) baixa, o produto ou serviço deixa de ser novidade, outros conseguem apresentar alternativas mais baratas, logo o preço praticado baixa, ao mesmo tempo que os custos aumentam (vejo muitas vezes na análise de contexto da ISO 9001 a inclusão do aumento do salário mínimo como um exemplo de factor externo negativo 🙏). Ou seja, se nada for feito, o “valor líquido co-criado” (ver primeira figura acima) encolhe.
Quando ao longo dos anos aqui no blogue escrevo sobre a subida na escala de valor, (BTW, caro Pedro a caixa de que falo neste link foi-me oferecida por si) escrevo sobre o aumento do valor líquido co-criado:
Vamos chamar a esta empresa preguiçosa, empresa A.
Vamos chamar de empresa B a uma empresa que segue o truque alemão e aposta na inovação para aumentar a WTP dos clientes, não segue a religião dos Muggles. Reinveste grande parte do lucro (ou seja, aposta forte nos custos do futuro).
Vamos chamar de empresa C a uma empresa que não conhece o Evangelho do Valor e, por isso, faz um grande esforço a tentar melhorar a eficiência.
Vamos agora simular a evolução do “valor líquido co-criado” ao longo tempo:
Diferentes empresas terão diferentes velocidades de criação ou destruição de “Valor líquido co-criado”. Acabarão a trabalhar para diferentes tipos de clientes.
Uma lição que aprendi em 2008(?):
Uma das coisas que aprendi em 2008 foi a da variabilidade da distribuição de produtividades. Existe mais variabilidade da produtividade entre as empresas de um mesmo sector de actividade económica do que entre sectores de actividade económica.
Por que existe esta dispersão de produtividades? Porque as empresas são compostas por humanos, humanos diferentes, com vontades diferentes, com conhecimentos diferentes, com motivações diferentes. Sim, é verdade, por mais que o know-how esteja disponível nem todos o usam. Ou porque não têm recursos (porque desviam poucos lucros para os custos do futuro, ou porque não conseguem capitalizar o suficiente), ou porque preferem a gratificação imediata da exploitation, ou porque têm medo do alto-mar e preferem a cabotagem.
domingo, março 21, 2021
"Eu? Dizendo que não é possível financiar a saúde, a educação, as pensões, etc. sem enfrentar o problema do desempenho económico mediocre do pais. Ou mudamos ou acabaremos uma Suécia fiscal implantada numa Albânia económica. A classe média já exporta os filhos licenciados para fora. Um dia esses filhos enviarão remessas para financiar a velhice dos pais. O colapso da classe media significará a inviabilidade do pais e do nosso regime democrático. Chega de propaganda, chega de atirar palavras contra a realidade. A realidade vence sempre."
"As the firms in a country take advantage of the windows of opportunity for innovation to which they have access, they increase their value-added per capita, and the wages and salaries they pay their employees. And this in turn opens up a window of opportunity for countries with lower wages to exploit, provided they can develop the capability to do so. The new opportunity for these firms becomes a 'capability-destroying' challenge to the incumbents, unless the incumbents' capabilities allow them to introduce and exploit new opportunities of their own. [Moi ici: Esta é a lógica que permitiu que o Portugal dos anos 60 em diante aproveitasse a deslocalização da indústria tradicional francesa e alemã, mas que os portugueses quiseram impedir que acontecesse, quando eles próprios se transformaram em incumbentes preguiçosos]
This is the dynamic behind the technological upgrading of countries in sequence, which was named the 'flying geese model' by the Japanese economist Kaname Akamatsu in the 1930s. Saburo Okita, another Japanese economist and later Minister of Foreign Affairs in the 1980s, adopted the 'flying geese model' and argued that a poor country is able to upgrade its technology by jumping from one product to another with increasing knowledge content.
In the case of cheap garments, the first flying goose was Japan's firms, which boosted their value-added and increased the standard of living of Japan to such an extent that production was taken over by South Korean firms, while Japanese firms moved into the more complex manufacturing of TV sets. South Korean firms then increased their labour costs, and cheap garments were for a while produced in Taiwan, until the same thing happened there and the production of cheap textiles moved to Thailand and Malaysia, and then finally to Vietnam. In this way, whole group of countries used garment production to upgrade their production capabilities and standard of living. [Moi ici: Daqui a importância de em vez de perder energia a defender o passado, abraçar a mudança para subir na escala de valor]
In order to understand the ability of the firms and nations to innovate and grow, it is also necessary to understand the linkages between the capabilities of different industries. Beneath the surface of every product there are not just physical components, but a deeper set of hidden technological and organisational capabilities that enabled it to be created and produced. Today, for example, electronics account for about one-third of materials and labour involved in producing an automobile.
These capabilities are also not static.
This point about the capabilities underlying the products of a particular industry is very important when thinking about whether a new industry entering a country will be successful. A good mental image to use in such cases, as César Hidalgo has suggested, is a jigsaw puzzle. Bringing a complex industry into a new country is, according to him, like trying to move a jigsaw puzzle from one table to another. [Moi ici: Outra vez a imagem dos macacos que não voam, trepam as árvores] The more pieces are in the puzzle, the more likely it is to fall apart as one tries to move it. It is also easier, he points out, to move such a jigsaw puzzle if one only has to move a few pieces to another table, on which the remaining pieces of the same puzzle have already been assembled."
Trechos retirados "Windows of Opportunity: How Nations Make Wealth".
sábado, março 20, 2021
Claro que Adam Grant escreveu o texto que se segue a pensar em pessoas. Eu aproveito-o como desafio para que quem lidera empresas interprete-as à luz da empresa:
"One day she saw a patient on the floor of an elevator writhing in pain, and the staff members nearby weren’t sure what to do. Candice immediately took charge, rushed the woman into a wheelchair, and took her up in the elevator for urgent treatment. The patient later called her “my savior.”
Candice Walker wasn’t a doctor or a nurse. She wasn’t a social worker, either. She was a custodian. Her official job was to keep the cancer center clean.
Candice and her fellow custodians were all hired to do the same job, but some of them ended up rethinking their roles. One cleaner on a long-term intensive care unit took it upon herself to regularly rearrange the paintings on the walls, hoping that a change of scenery might spark some awareness among patients in comas. When asked about it, she said, “No, it’s not part of my job, but it’s part of me.”
Our identities are open systems, and so are our lives. We don’t have to stay tethered to old images of where we want to go or who we want to be. The simplest way to start rethinking our options is to question what we do daily.
It takes humility to reconsider our past commitments, doubt to question our present decisions, and curiosity to reimagine our future plans. What we discover along the way can free us from the shackles of our familiar surroundings and our former selves. Rethinking liberates us to do more than update our knowledge and opinions—it’s a tool for leading a more fulfilling life."
O mundo está sempre a mudar, o valor está sempre a ser erodido, a menos que se trabalhe para subir na escala, deliberadamente. Muitas vezes isso representa largar a pele antiga e abraçar uma nova vida.
Trecho retirado de “The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know”
sexta-feira, março 19, 2021
Mais uns trechos de "Windows of Opportunity: How Nations Make Wealth".
Recordar Irlanda e João Duque:
- Tamanho, produtividade e a receita irlandesa
- A caminho da Sildávia, portanto.
- Ah! Claro que os macacos não podem faltar. Eles não voam, trepam às árvores.
"If we want to know why some countries grow faster than others, it is also important to understand that there is a ladder of economic development, the rungs of which represent different types of industry. It is a ladder developing countries have to climb in order to be successful - no developing country tries to start growing by creating a pharmaceutical industry, and no country has ever achieved a high GDP per capita by having a cheap garment industry.
perhaps a more useful way of thinking about the rungs of the ladder of economic development is to see them as representing industries which require increasingly complex organisational and technological capabilities. On the bottom rungs are simple industries involved in, for example, the production of cheap clothes, the assembly of electronic components and the making of simple toys. On the top rungs are industries requiring complex organisational and technological capabilities that can only be acquired experientially, cumulatively and collectively; such as the aerospace, pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries. In simple industries, such as the production of cheap clothes or the assembly of electronic components, it is difficult for any firm to gain a competitive advantage. Consequently, the value-added per capita of firms is low, and the wages and salaries they can pay is also low.
Knowledge involves understanding the relationships or linkages between entities, and being able, therefore, to predict the outcome of events without having to act them out.
Knowhow is different, as it involves the capacity to perform tacit actions; that is actions that cannot be explicitly described.
Before knowledge and knowhow can be used to make new products and services, they have to be embodied in individuals and organisations. The knowledge and knowhow that a single individual can acquire is limited, as an individual can only absorb so much information. Therefore, the knowledge and knowhow to make complex products and services have to be embodied in a number of different individuals and co-ordinated by a firm's organisation.
This point about the difficulty of accumulating the knowledge and knowhow to make products and services is important for two reasons. Firstly, neoclassical economists tend to assume that demand and incentives are enough to stimulate the production of a product or service anywhere in the world, and if they don't it must be because the system of allocating resources is not working efficiently. However, while incentives and demand may be enough to motivate intermediaries and traders, the people who produce goods and services also need to know how to make them.
Secondly, if the ability to accumulate the knowledge and knowhow to make products and services is difficult, it is likely that countries will have accumulated varying levels of knowledge and knowhow on their economic history, and therefore the complexity of the products and services they can produce will vary.
products requiring a large input of knowledge and knowhow would tend to be exported from only a few countries. Some of the products exported by a large number of countries include simple garments, such as underwear, shirts and pants; while some of the products exported by a relatively few countries include optical instruments, aircraft and medical imaging devices. Such a simple scan suggests that industries requiring less knowledge and knowhow are present in more places, as one might expect."
quinta-feira, março 18, 2021
"Schumpeterian elements are deeply embedded in the German economics tradition. A focus on learning and progress, very clear in Leibniz and Wolff, is based on the Gottesähnlichkeit of man: man’s near- God- like quality of being able to create new things. Being born in the image of God meant that it was man’s pleasurable duty to invent. At its most fundamental level, the contrast between English and German economics lies in the view of the human mind. To John Locke, man’s mind is a blank slate — a tabula rasa — with which he is born, and which passively receives impressions throughout life. To Leibniz, man has an active mind that constantly compares experiences with established schemata, a mind both noble and creative.
Of Adam Smith’s ideas, the one most repudiated by German economists was that man is essentially an animal that has learned to barter. In the tradition that followed Smith, ideas and inventions have been produced outside the economic system. Karl Menger, the founder of the Austrian School of Economics, dedicated a whole chapter in his Grundrisse to refute Smith’s view on this point. In the German tradition, including Marx and Schumpeter, the view is that man is an animal who has learned to invent. Nietzsche later added the point that man is the only animal that can keep promises, and therefore creates laws and institutions. Putting these elements together, we have an impressionistic picture of what differentiates English from German economics — barter and ‘metaphysical speculation’, on the one hand, and production and institutions, on the other."
Trecho retirado de "The Visionary Realism of German Economics: From the Thirty Years' War to the Cold War".
Interessante esta cascata de consequências:
"A more than 10-fold rise in the price of cardboard since the start of the pandemic is raising concern among small UK companies that they will be unable to source boxes to send out products and parts to customers.Demand from Amazon and other online sellers, along with border disruption and stockpiling caused by Brexit, has led to a national cardboard shortage."You cannot get hold of new cardboard," said Mandy Ridyard, finance director at aerospace component manufacturer Produmax. "We are holding on to the boxes we have."Quack Snacks, which sells food pellets for wildfowl, first experienced shortages in December. "Where suppliers had always previously offered a next-day service, some box sizes were being listed with mid-January dispatch dates," said founder Andrew Hemmings.Simon Ellin, chief executive of the Recycling Association, which represents cardboard-makers, blamed the "Amazon effect"."There is a monumental increase in demand caused by the surge in online deliveries during the pandemic," he said. "It's a global shortage - not just the UK or EU - given huge demand from China. People are going around stealing cardboard."Figures from letsrecycle.com, the industry database, reveal prices of old cardboard used to make new boxes rose from as low as £10 a tonne in January last year to up to £118 a tonne last month. But they have risen further since then, according to Ellin, reaching £140-£150 a tonne this month."
Trecho retirado de "Amazon effect sends cardboard prices soaring" publicado no FT do passado dia 15 de Março.
quarta-feira, março 17, 2021
- O truque alemão e não só ou
- Portanto, cuidado com pedintes que ameaçam sair da União Europeia
- Consequências da radioclubização ou os muggles à solta
"While English economists tended to see the world through the lenses of long-distance traders, German economists often saw the world through the lenses of tax collectors of small states. The English emphasis on trade and barter, rather than on production, still today continues to be a key characteristic of mainstream economics....David Ricardo’s 1817 Principles of Economics— with an even more extreme focus on barter rather than production as the determining factor in the international economy — moved economics to a much higher level of abstraction. As opposed to the German language tradition right, left and center— Joseph Schumpeter, Karl Marx and Rudolf Hilferding, respectively— Ricardo did not separate the financial sector from the real economy. This came to limit today’s understanding of financial crises.Ricardo’s foundation of international trade theory as represented by the barter of qualitatively identical labor hours, void of any qualities, is in my opinion perhaps the largest barrier to our present understanding of two main problems in the world economy today: poverty and large- scale migration....from its very inception, German economics was that of a backward nation attempting to catch up with its wealthier neighbours....Second, German economics has consistently, through the centuries, seen the economy from a different vantage point with different metaphors: essentially from the point of view of production rather than trade, and operating at a much lower level of abstraction than today’s mainstream economics and its predecessors. Third, the scope of economics in the German tradition has been much wider than in the Anglo- Saxon mainstream. Factors such as geography and history, technology and technical change, government and governance, and social problems and their remedies, have all been central to the approach since its very inception....German economics is above all an Erfahrungswissenschaft — a science based on experience. There is little metaphysical speculation and high abstractions; many considered the economic theories of David Ricardo to be an example of ‘metaphysical speculation’. Strukturzusammenhänge — structural coherence and connections — among economic factors, and between the economy and the rest of society, are not only obvious, understanding such connections is also most important for both economic theory and policy. Synergies would be one example of this. Compared to Anglo- Saxon economics, the German approach has therefore always been holistic....Praxisnähe — closeness to reality [Moi ici: Como não recordar Anteu e a sua perdição] — and relevance have been key criteria for academic quality in this tradition. There is also a fundamental understanding that important economic factors are irreducible to mere figures and symbols. A frequent criticism is that standard economics often produces qualitätslose Grössen, quantities that are devoid of any qualitative understanding. Even the most accurate and comprehensive description of a human being by all his or her quantifiable aspects — height, weight, percentage of water and trace minerals — would leave out the key factor in economic development, what Friedrich Nietzsche called Geist and Willenskapital: the wit and will of mankind."
Imaginem ter professores deste calibre num país de carneiros como o nosso:
"One day, an eighth grader complained that the reading assignment from a history textbook was inaccurate. If you’re a teacher, that kind of criticism could be a nightmare. Using an outdated textbook would be a sign that you don’t know your material, and it would be embarrassing if your students noticed the error before you did.But Erin [the teacher] had assigned that particular reading intentionally. She collects old history books because she enjoys seeing how the stories we tell change over time, and she decided to give her students part of a textbook from 1940. Some of them just accepted the information it presented at face value. Through years of education, they had come to take it for granted that textbooks told the truth. Others were shocked by errors and omissions. It was ingrained in their minds that their readings were filled with incontrovertible facts. The lesson led them to start thinking like scientists and questioning what they were learning: whose story was included, whose was excluded, and what were they missing if only one or two perspectives were shared?After opening her students’ eyes to the fact that knowledge can evolve, Erin’s next step was to show them that it’s always evolving."
terça-feira, março 16, 2021
"Sales at Honey-Can-Do International LLC are soaring, as homebound Americans snap up the Chicago-area company’s clothes racks, shelves and other housewares.But the company’s contract manufacturers in China and Southeast Asia are so busy that they are struggling to meet demand, company founder and Chief Executive Steve Greenspon said.Moreover, the scramble for goods produced overseas has created bottlenecks in shipping. Orders to Honey-Can-Do’s manufacturers in China that took 30 days a year and a half ago now take up to three months, while shipping costs are 50% higher, Mr. Greenspon said.“Ships can sit offshore for weeks at a time in the U.S.,” waiting to dock at busy ports, Mr. Greenspon said. “There doesn’t seem to be any relief.”Successful vaccination campaigns in the U.S., accumulated savings and pandemic-relief legislation are turbocharging consumer demand. That is straining the supply chains companies rely on to deliver everything from toys to cars.....But surveys of manufacturers indicate that lengthening delivery times—a sign that capacity is under strain—are now a near ubiquitous problem. Data firm IHS Markit reported that global delivery times were the second longest on record in February,...The cost of moving a 40-foot steel shipping container of toys from China to a West Coast port is now $4,500, up from $2,500 to $3,000 a year ago, Mr. Freman said. At that rate, the company’s transportation costs will increase by about $1.8 million a year, he said. Rising transportation costs have affected businesses everywhere."
Trechos retirados de "Factories Struggle To Meet Demand" no WSJ de ontem.
segunda-feira, março 15, 2021
Mais uns trechos de "Windows of Opportunity: How Nations Make Wealth".
"Finally, I will argue that there is a ladder of economic development, the rungs of which represent products that require increasing amounts of organisational and technological capability, and which produce increasing amounts of value-added per capita due to fewer companies being able to produce them....How, then, do firms increase their value-added per capita? Assuming they are not overmanned they can do it in two ways. They can increase their production efficiency by innovation or they can create a competitive advantage over their rivals based on a capabilities/market-opportunity dynamic. The first will reduce the denominator, and the second will increase the nominator in the calculation of value-added per capita.[Moi ici: Olha, olha, a minha referência ao denominador e ao numerador.]...Where there is perfect competition, as in neoclassical growth theory, it is not possible for firms to gain a competitive advantage over their rivals, enabling them to raise the willingness of their customers to pay for their product or service. The entrepreneur cannot influence the price of what he produces. He or she sees or reads on their mobile phone what the market is willing to pay and is a price-taker rather than a price-maker. This situation, however, is only found in a few commodity markets for agricultural or mining products. Business-people will often refer to a product becoming a commodity, meaning it should be avoided because it is not possible to create a competitive advantage and achieve a high level of value-added.In most markets, however, competition is not the perfect competition of neoclassical economics, and in any country at any one time, opportunities will exist in specific industries for a firm to create a competitive advantage by differentiating its product or service andmaking it more attractive to its customers.It should be noted, however, that when an entrepreneur creates a competitive advantage, and increases value-added per capita for a firm, he also creates a disequilibrium, which as soon as it is established sets in motion the competitive process that leads to its destruction....Standard textbook economics to understand economic development in terms of frictionless "perfect markets" totally misses the point. Perfect markets are for the poor."
domingo, março 14, 2021
Ao ver este pequeno filme "System Error" e estas imagens:
sábado, março 13, 2021
Mais uns trechos de "Windows of Opportunity: How Nations Make Wealth".
"Very few countries have ever developed by means other than innovation, learning [Moi ici: The race to the top] and the growth exceptions to this rule have been of industrial production.
it is the production-capability school of thought that has proved most to policy-makers trying to increase the growth rates of their countries; while a harsh assessment would conclude that the market-efficiency school of thought, including neoclassical economics, proved most useful to policy-makers trying to stop other countries from catching them up and competing against them.
Starting at the beginning of the twentieth century, neoclassic economists came to view the economic problem as being the optimal allocation of scarce resources rather than one of generating productivity to overcome conditions of scarcity. [Moi ici: Era outro tempo. Recordar isto]
The premise of neoclassical theory is that, if the investments are made, the acquisition and mastery of new ways of doing things is relatively easy, even automatic. [Moi ici: Recordar isto acerca do plano de recuperação e resiliência. Macacos trepam, não voam]
[neo-classical economic theory] It does not see production as it in the observable world; that is, as a complex process which involves innovation and the creation of competitive advantage, and which needs an entrepreneeur to make it happen.
Secondly, it underestimates heterogeneity of production activities within and across production sectors. It ignores the issue of both what is being produced (i.e. the product) and how it is being produced i.e. the technologies and organisation used). [Moi ici: Este foi um dos temas que sempre me fez espécie, ninguém fala da variabilidade intersectorial]
The third element is the capability of a firm, which enables it to apply the activity-specific technology to producing the product or service in order to meet market demand, thus creating a capability/market-opportunity dynamic. [Moi ici: É sempre mais fácil culpar o contexto externo]
The fourth element is the institutions of the country where the firm is located, which enable the capability/market-opportunity dynamic to operate effectively. [Moi ici: Recordar "Why Nations fail". Recordar que o futuro tem um custo, se as empresas não se podem capitalizar, não podem enfrentar o futuro de forma séria e proactiva... viram zombies]
Because neoclassical economists have not been able to quantify these four elements and so include them in their mathematical models, they have not been able to explain why different sectors in an economy have different levels of value-added growing at different rates.
the growth rate of country depends on what is happening to the value-added per capita in each of its different sectors as a result of the capability/market-opportunity dynamic, and on any shift in the distribution of economic activity across sectors. [Moi ici: Racional perfeito para fugir aos mitos]
[the dynamic capability school] does not assume the market economy is one of perfect competition, in which every firm is selling the same product at the same price as its competitors. This is a completely unrealistic view of the world, as can be seen by a quick trip to any shopping centre or car showroom. Instead, the dynamic capability theory assumes that, in a competitive market economy, firms compete by trying to gain a competitive advantage over their rivals, [Moi ici: Aqui torço o nariz a este trecho. Sim, mas! É outra vez o fenómeno da obliquidade, mas mais ainda. A economia não é necessariamente um jogo de soma nula. A economia não é uma guerra para eliminar o advsersário, o sucesso das empresas passa por satisfazer os clientes. Cuidado com o Dick Dastardly] as this is what enables them to grow and their profitability. It also assumes that this same type of competition exists between firms in different countries and is what determines in the long term what goods and services a country exports and imports.
The essential question that economic growth theory raises, therefore, is how do firms gain a competitive advantage over their rivals? There are two ways they can do this. Firms can either reduce the cost of their product or service through innovations in their production methods, or use innovation to make their product more attractive to their customers by better meeting their needs through enhanced performance, more functionality or improved design." [Moi ici: Recordar as três regras]