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We don’t understand the Greeks

Economics Blog | January 30, 2015 | Antonio Argandoña

Greece, Syriza and the European Union

Everyone is uneasy about the electoral victory of Syriza in Greece and the threat of populism in Europe. The media has been buzzing for days now with comments and analysis, largely talking about what Syriza should do, what should be done by the European Union, Germany, the International Monetary Fund… the consequences of the policies announced…

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New challenges in recruiting: Finding the hidden gem

Managing People in Organizations | January 29, 2015 | Mireia Las Heras

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Hiring a new employee is certainly an important decision for a company. The recruiting process is often expensive, and making a hiring mistake can prove costly. In the digital age, recruiting processes have changed so much that companies must leverage tools made available by technology to find the right person, wherever they may be.

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Unite to Make Diversity Work

Expatriatus Blog | January 29, 2015 | Sebastian Reiche

Cultural diversity may bring about more creativity, which is good for innovation, problem solving and decision making. Diversity may also increase returns through employee satisfaction, but they also have process losses of increased conflict and lower social integration. To put it differently, globally diverse companies may have abundant opportunities to beneficially utilize this diversity, as long as they are capable of effectively managing the possible conflicts.

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Risk-Free Rate: An Irrational Financial Practice

Economics Blog | January 28, 2015 | Eduardo Martínez Abascal

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A key concept at the heart of financial theory is the “risk-free rate.” The idea is simple: the rate at which you would lend money to a very secure borrower, one with 0% probability of default. If you lend money to a riskier borrower (one with some probability of default) you would charge a “risk premium” or extra return due to the risk you bear (the probability of not being paid back). Like most successful academic theories, the idea is simple, clear and alluring; hence its widespread acceptance in the financial community. And yet, many would argue that you don’t need an academic to explain such a basic law of human behavior.

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African Investments in Africa

Africa from Africa Blog | January 28, 2015

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Great news! Africa is the second largest source of greenfield foreign direct investment projects in Africa. This is according to a perspective paper by Ralf Krüger and Ilan Strauss published by the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investments. So it looks like African development is finally beginning to come from within the continent.

Over 400 Africa-to-Africa projects (which I like to call intra-African development projects) were carried out between January 2003 and January 2014.

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Draghi Deploys the ECB’s Full Artillery? A Reaction

Economics Blog | January 26, 2015 | Antonio Argandoña

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The best commentary came from the Spanish daily Expansión. They gave us nine pages on Draghi’s measures and a headline from a statement made by Francisco González, president of BBVA: “The ECB cannot fix [all] the problems” (note – I added the “all” to that statement). Draghi was already talking, a few months ago, of measures that needed to be taken in three different areas: Monetary policy (him), fiscal policy (the national governments and the European Commission) and structural reforms (national governments).

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Fact and Fantasy at Davos

Doing Business on the Earth Blog | January 26, 2015 | Mike Rosenberg

World Economic Forum 2015---Davos

As discussed in last week’s post, a number of very interesting sessions at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week had to do with the Middle East and taking my own advice, I tried to watch as many as I could.

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Swiss Franc: It ain’t gonna happen

Economics Blog | January 20, 2014 | Antonio Argandoña

This colloquial phrase is used when something is considered impossible. That seems to be the case with the Swiss franc, which saw a major appreciation when the Swiss National Bank (SNB) announced it was floating its currency. It is an excellent example for one type of exchange rate.

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The Sharing Economy: An Ocean of Unconscious Cooperation

Economics Blog | Januray 7, 2015 | Pedro Videla

The sharing economy is a topic of hot debate. It means different things to different people. For investors, firms like Uber and Airbnb offer tantalizing market capitalizations. For visionaries, the peer-to-peer transaction model represents a new, post-capitalist economic reality. Meanwhile, critics see the rise of these services as just another brick in the winner-takes-all wall.

Whatever your view, the collaborative economy chronicle is certainly becoming harder to ignore. Take Uber, the San Francisco Internet firm offering ride sharing. Perhaps unexpectedly, Uber is battling against vested interests. Taxi-drivers everywhere are uniting against it, taking them to court, securing bans and organizing protest marches. By the law of unintended consequences, the protests generated more publicity for Uber – bringing them to the attention of new clients!

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China’s Explosive Digital Growth

Face IT Blog | December 22, 2014 | Javier Zamora

The boundaries between the physical and digital are disappearing and as this expansion continues China will be in the vanguard. By 2015 some 680 million Chinese will be connected to the Internet and that same year three times as many smartphones will be sold in China than in the U.S. and most of them will be manufactured locally.

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Who contributes to the growth of the US Economy?

Economics Blog | December 11, 2014 | Eduardo Martínez Abascal

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis provides interesting data on the contribution of 93 different industries (and groups of industries) to the GDP. In a previous post I analyzed the contribution of the oil industry to US GDP growth. Now I present the big picture: the contribution of every industry to the GDP and GDP growth. In other words, who is responsible for the sound growth of the US economy since the crisis of 2009?

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Why Should we Invest Responsibly?

Business Ethics Blog | December 10, 2014 | Antonio Argandoña

I don’t want to discuss socially responsible investment, just investment plain and simple. Deciding how to invest my money: what type of assets, where to invest, which industry, which company or government, etc. When I was young(er), ethics manuals talked about the responsibility of cooperating with the actions of others (whether good or bad).

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Experiential marketing: involve, don’t only engage

Marketing | December 9, 2014 | Iñigo Gallo

In the world of marketing, experiential is officially a buzzwordAll brands are now expected to go experiential: develop non-TV, non-print campaigns around live events in which consumers interact with the brand. Such activities, the argument goes, provide personal and memorable experiences for consumers and therefore bring them closer to the brand, trigger motivation, and ignite word-of-mouth.

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