Friday, January 20, 2017

Beware the Datum


I am watching television.  I hear a number.  Population growth percentage. This is given to bring calm to those who predict that overcrowding will bring doom.  I hear this and I feel better.

About a year later, I remember something I posted to my blog about statistics.

If the Government spends $100,000,000 a year on a programme, then cuts $20,000,000 from the program bringing the spending to $80,000,000, The headline reads, the Government cuts spending by 20%.

A year later, the Government restores the $20,000,000 in spending, increasing the spending from $80,000,000 to $100,000,000, The headline reads, the Government increases spending by 25%. 

A similar paradigm applies to population.

When I was young, the population was 100,000,000 people.  The population increased by 10,000,000 or 10%. 

Recently, with a population of 300,000,000, the populations increased by 15,000,000 people.  Or 5%. 

One report reads, that the growth trend in population increased from Ten million people to 15 million people or that the population growth rate increased by 50%.

The other report reads that the growth trend in population growth moved from 10% to 5%.  Or that the population growth rate decreased by 50%.  

I am reminded of this each and every time I hear someone report a number.

Beware the Datum.



Copyright (c) 2017 Bob Asken
All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Apple Ireland Taxes

Apple and the EuroTax Conundrum.

Can this work?

Apple pays Ireland $14 Billion in taxes.

Ireland gives Apple a $14 Billion Dollar Economic Development Grant.

Apple takes the write-off for the taxes.

Slim receives a measly 1% consulting fee with half the money going to form a "Work Tank" to help to develop Globalisation through the forming of an E 20 Group of Nations and a Union of Emerging Nation Economic Unions.

Just a thought.

Warmest regards,


Copyright (c) 2016 Bob Asken
All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Closing the Gap

Closing the Gap

It is not the redistribution of wealth, but rather the redistribution of money that is the solution to the inequality. 
How do I know?  It happened before.

Caveat:  This is an Economics lesson. Focus on the Economics only.

Mr. Widget will not hire one additional widget maker until he has an order for one (1) widget more than he can produce when operating at maximum capacity and optimal efficiency.

As with the Government.

There are two (2) ways to increase revenue:

1. Increase taxes.
2. Increase the number of tax payers.

So too, by way of metaphor, there are two (2) ways to close the inequality gap.

1. Redistribute wealth.
2. Redistribute money.

Wealth is what you have.
Money is what you make.

To continue the metaphor in plain speaking:

When Widget raises wages Employees make more money.

People who make more money buy more stuff.

People who sell stuff, buy more stuff from manufacturers.

When manufacturers sell more stuff, they make more stuff.

To make more stuff, they need more widgets.

Mr. Widget hires more widget makers.

More workers: More buyers.

This brings us back to the Government.

More workers making more wages:

1. Increase Government revenue without increasing taxes.
2. Need less Government spending--because they are working--decreasing the Government need for revenue.

Mr. Widget makes more profits by selling more widgets, not by raising widget prices.

The result?

We redistribute the money, closing the gap between the rich and the poor.
Provide Government with more "discretionary revenue" to spend on [infrastructure]  because more people working means fewer people shackled to poverty by being kept shackled to poverty programmes.

The same paradigm applies to Emerging Nations to help one (1) Billion People living on less that one ($1) dollar a day.



Copyright (c) 2016. Bob Asken
All rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

EU Taxes Patience


The EU ruling on Apple’s Taxes and Ireland is not about Apple or taxes or Ireland.

  • The EU, first of all,  is shedding light the suffering of a nation that capitulated to the fait-accompli issued by the Eurocrats.  That nation is Greece.
  • The EU has just validated Brexit.
  • The EU has justified those in Ireland who would follow Britain's lead if there was good cause and if they see a pathway to a better future.
  • The EU has just campaigned for an Italian referendum to leave the EuroUnion--and supported same.

And the issue goes beyond the EU Ruling on Ireland and Apple and Taxes.

In my article, "This is Brexit", I suggested the formation of The Exit Nations.

I can now add Ireland.

Over the past six years, I have repeatedly warned that the EuroCrats’ pursuit of Austerity would lead to disaster and explained the inherent flaws in the plan.

I forecast the migrant crisis in Merkel's Big Lies?  In lies number six and seven, I specified the scapegoating and vilification of migrants and the reactionary  rise of the right. The strategies were intended to destabilise the target nation in Merkel's Economic Putsch.

My statement on Brexit was simple:  

If Merkel knows that Britain can't leave the EuroUnion, then Britain can't negotiate reforms.  

Remember, Cameron said repeatedly that he wanted Britain to remain in a reformed EuroUnion.  

He would have had a better chance of success if he'd flown to Arizona, USA to look for the Lost Dutchman Mine.  

I tweeted to Cameron, "Be Britain's next Wellington, not Britain's next Tsipras.

Britain voted to leave and Cameron showed an astounding lack of leadership by resigning.  Witness Greece.  The Greek people voted OXI.  Tsipras met with the EuroCrats, Merkel issued a fait-accompli, Tsipras folded and returned to Greece with his tail between his legs.

Years ago I said, "The problem is not that Europe can't afford Greece. The problem is Europe can't afford Germany."  And, that Greece should leave the EuroUnion.  And I spelled it out.  No one listened.  My views were validated in the recent book reviews of books by Merritt, Galbraith, & Stiglitz in the New York Times Book Review and in a discussion Steve Liesman had with a guest on Squawk Box on CNBC.  

(There is no proof that had I not been distracted by my cat, Zoe--who wanted her tummy rubbed--I would have heard what the guest had said.)

Then we have the paper written by Dr. Ken Rogoff, the purported architect of austerity.  I recently read the article about the youngster majoring in economics who tried running Dr. Rogoff's numbers through the computer and failed to duplicate Rogoff's results.   I was validated, but slow to catch a major detail.

Did Dr. Rogoff's paper go through Peer Review?  There are some who may believe:

  • If the paper did not receive peer review, the paper was worthless.
  • If the paper did receive peer review, the peer review was worthless.

Nonetheless, Austerity was a failure.  And the EuroCrats still clutch retentively to Austerity like a two-year old with his hands down his nappy fondling his own bowel movement..

In This is Brexit, the expedited manœuvre propounded to save the EuroUnion is this simple:

The leaders of the Exit Nations: Britain, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, & now Ireland:


Read through "the rules"

Use a blue pencil to strike out any provision that encroaches on domestic issues and/or national sovereignty

Write up the ultimatum. Eg:

You have 15 days to agree to the demands.

If you do not agree to the demands in 15 days, we will immediately declare the provisions contained herein to be null & void, not in force, and unenforceable.  We will form our own union.

If you need historic validation, consider the Colonial Rebellion of 1776.  

There was no invoking of Rule 50.  

There was no 2-year exit process.

There was no Meeting of The Empire Nations.  

"Before you can leave the Empire, your exit must be approved unanimously by the colonies in the Empire Union: Canada, Australia, India, Hong al."  

Read:  This is Brexit.

This, of course, is metaphorical.  However, it explains, why you don't talk about it.  Why not?  

I explained the reason in The Unspoken Understanding.

Einstein said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Slim Fairview said,  "By extension, the argument can be made that the definition of sanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same results.

Europe has embraced austerity.  
All austerity measures have failed to improve the European economy.
The US embraced economic stimulus.  
The US economy improved.  
The EuroCrats should embrace a successful strategy, not cling to a failed strategy.  
Specially not one based on a paper that has purportedly been repudiated.

The frenzied declamations prior to the Brexit Vote served to affirm the validity of the Brexit vote.  The more hysterical the predictions of disaster grew, the more desperate the EuroCrats appeared.

After the Brexit vote, the face saving arrogance:  "...don't let the door hit you in the bum on the way out." made the EuroCrats look more ridiculous than they did by Britain's rebuff of the Union.

The EuroUnion can be saved. The European Economy can be improved. However, not by adhering to Merkelism: an economic paradigm based on the fear that someone, somewhere, is earning a living.

My next admonition.  

To Prime Minister Matteo Renzi:
"Be Italy's next Garibaldi, not Italy's new Berlusconi."
Before Italy holds a referendum or an election, meet with Britain, Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Spain;  Discuss the reforms; Write them up; and Issue the ultimatum.  

If the EuroCrats refuse to accept them, let the EuroCrats bear the burden of the collapse of the European Economic Union.

Best of luck.

Warmest regards,


Copyright ©  2016  Bob Asken
All rights reserved.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Merritt, Galbraith, and Stiglitz

I read the reviews in The New York Times Book Review.

I read the reviews of the new books by Giles Merritt, James K. Galbraith, and Joseph Stiglitz.  I read with rapt attention. This, because I've been writing articles about the EuroCrisis for the past 6 years.

Of course, The Drs. Merritt, Galbraith, and Stiglitz don't need me to explain the EuroCrisis to them.  And I don't need them to explain the EuroCrisis to me.

"Everybody knows what everybody knows."  ~Slim Fairview.  
The first of "The Quotations of Slim Fairview (c) 2016

When there is a crisis, or a disaster, as with the European Economy, it is a sad indictment of Economics that Economists will tell us what happened and why rather than tell us what will happen and what to do about it.

I am in good company.  

Chancellor Merkel has been a strict adherent to austerity.  On the other hand, President Obama has been an advocate of Economic Stimulus.  Now, to insure that I do not sound too Keynesian, let me express it in Republican Terms.  "You have to spend money to make money."

Ken Rogoff, the purported architect of austerity expended some energy making the Network rounds.  He appeared on CNBC, on CNN, and on BBC--World News America.  Each time he said the same thing.

"Even if we go back to 2010...."

Can we go back to 2010?  No? What else have you got?

"Even if we were to wipe out Greece's entire debt...."

Can we wipe out Greece's entire debt?  No? What else have you got?

When Fareed Zakaria asked Dr. Rogoff, point blank, about the success of President Obama's economic stimulus programme, Dr. Rogoff made a sarcastic allusion to the economic travails of Puerto Rico and returned to Europe.  "Even if we were to wipe out Greece's entire debt...."

Now, there is Urban Legend suggesting that some youngsters majoring in Economics tried running Dr. Rogoff's numbers through the computer and failed to duplicate his results.  The story died with no resolution, or conclusion.  It is still urban legend.  

Back to the EuroCrisis and Slim Fairview's Empirical Method of Analysis.

Did we try austerity?
Did the European economy get more high, good, better?
Did the European economy get more low, bad, worse?
Abandon austerity: embrace economic stimulus.

We all know what Einstein said.  "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Slim Fairview builds on that.  "By extension, the argument can be made that sanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same results."  Meaning.  We had economic stimulus.  We had good results.  Europe embraces economic stimulus, Europe has good results.

Some may cite slowing global growth as part of the cause of Europe's problems.  Others may say that Europe's economic travails have been part of the cause of slowing global growth.

Heart Warming Moments.

When the reviewer, Paul Hockenos, imputed the following to the author, James K. Galbraith:

"The EU erred egregiously in making draconian austerity policies the price of Greece's rescue...."  And concluded the paragraph, "Greece's withdrawal from the Eurozone, he suggests, would have been preferable."  I wrote, the problem is not that Europe can't afford Greece.  The problem is that Europe can't afford Germany.

The latter, a sentiment expressed to Steve Liesman on Squawkbox by a guest as Mr. Liesman indicated with..."So in other words, what you're saying is Europe can't afford Germany."

The review by Roger Lowenstein of The Euro, the book by Nobel Laureate Dr. Joseph Stiglitz was more dense.  Just as Mr. Lowenstein says of the book.  (imagine an economic text written by Michael Moore.)  I would have written, imagine an economic text written by Marie-Claire Blais.  

Mr. Lowenstein "indicts" Dr. Stiglitz for descending to slurs evoking the Nazi era; but, concludes the paragraph with, "The fact is, German industry is more productive."

I reject the Nazi slurs.  That the German economy benefited from deficit spending elsewhere in Europe has been generously expressed. However,  I would have written, Merkel fed the German economic machine at the expense of the Satellite Nations in southern Europe.

The example "US v. EuroUnion" vis-a-vis their respective structures is something I expressed--perhaps not eloquently--several years ago in an interview with   

As far as the democratisation of the EuroUnion, I would suggest that The European Commission exists for one reason and one reason only.  To justify the existence of The European Commission.

MIGRANTS are NOT the problem.  Merkel is the problem.  However, I called that in 2013 when I wrote:

Merkel's Big Lies?  Ten tactics used in an Economic Putsch.  Or, Merkel's Economic Theatre of Operation.

"Austerity only makes it sound bad.  I just wanted to balance the budget."

"Don't you think I've seen the posters of me dressed as a Nazi?  Poor me. I'm the victim here."

And, I did forecast the unrest and the rise of the right.

I posted  Greek Proposal.  Tsipras folded.  Merkel issued a fait-accompli, and Tsipras returned to Greece with his tail between his legs.  

I also wrote  This is Brexit.

"But don't bother listening to me. Everyone always doesn't listen to me." ~Slim Fairview

The last quotation from "The Quotations of Slim Fairview (c) 2016

Warmest regards,


Copyright (c) 2016  Bob Asken
All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Brexit: Now What?

This morning I received a message.

We are out of the Union.  Now what?

The following is my unedited and unpolished reply.

In "This is Brexit" I suggested the Exit Nations. Britain Greece Italy Portugal Spain.

 I have repeatedly warned that the EuroCrats pursuit of Merkelism would lead to disaster and explained the inherent flaws.

 I called the migrant crisis in Merkel's Big Lies, (I believe it was "lies number 6 and numbers 7). In addition

(In the New York Times, an article about China and the AIIB. Also that Singapore has logged more visits to my blog in 4 months than Germany did in 4 years and that the Most read article of all time, is

Emerging Nation Economic Union (That is coming) Also, I pointed out that Ashburn Virginia (Amazon) is hawking my ppt presentation Global Management and that France is hawking my ppt presentation "Forming an E 20"

The best move would be for the "Exit Economic Union" to form and to do so quickly.

Now the EuroCrats (Juncker) are sabre rattling. Telling Britain to get out quickly. This is a sad face saving gesture like Cameron attempting to look like a strong leader by scheduling the referendum in the first place.

Nonetheless, I wrote Europe is unraveling and why in two articles

"Gordian's EuroKnot and

Rogoff, Merkel, and China, Oh My.

The Exit Nations must unite quickly, and issue the faite-accompli described in This is Brexit. And resist efforts to cause problems.

For example, there is no reason that the British Passport that was valid the day before the election should not be valid the day after the election (metaphorically speaking). The only problems are the ones that will be created by the Commission.

(Their Budget should be cut. Not the working people, but the "leadership and management people", should have their wages cut by 10%.

I pointed out, "The European Commission is a gratuitous organisation that exists wholly and solely to validate its own existence."

The commission exists to justify the existence of the commission.

Too much of what the commission concerns itself with (barging into other countries' business) could be handled by treaty or by sidebar agreements within the framework of "The Union".

Still little chance they will listen to me. I warned of the disaster of Merkelism, the "migrant situation" that Saudi Arabia would act to protect its revenues, China's global economic diplomacy, and the rest.


Future of the G 20 in Good Times & Bad

 "But don't bother listening to me. Everyone always doesn't listen to me."
The Quotations of Slim Fairview (c) 2016.

Thank you again for your interest in what I write and in reading about my views. I am deeply flattered.



Copyright (c) 2016 Bob Asken
All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

This is Brexit

The chances are, if history is a guide, that Cameron will fold despite the vote. 

The Greeks voted OXI. Tsipras folded. Varoufakis folded. 

Merkel issued a fait accompli. to Greece. Take it or leave it. Greece folded. 

The Brexit Vote is window dressing. Cameron seems not to be Britain's new Wellington. Cameron seems to be Britain's new Tsipras, new Varoufakis. 

Cameron's call for a referendum was a shabby display, a feeble attempt to look strong. A feeble attempt to be a strong leader. 

The vote is too close to call. However, if the vote is stay, Cameron goes to the table stripped of everything except the title of Britain's Symbolic Figurehead. If the Brit's vote Exit, he has a sword that is too heavy for him to wield. 

Cameron does not have the right stuff.

Cameron will fold because Merkel will issue a fait accompli, This is, after all, Merkel's last ditch effort to fend off those who want Merkel out for domestic reasons. 

What Cameron should do is to find allies. As Benjamin Franklin said in 1776, "Either we all hang together, or we all hang separately." 

Britain, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy issues the following: 

We will void the EuroUnion Agreement effective [eg 31 July 2016] unless you submit an offer we find acceptable. When you submit such an offer,  will then take it home for a vote. We will not discuss it, we will not issue demands. You will come up with the offer to keep us in." 

The first item on the "reform" agenda should be taking a blue pencil to strike out those regulations that impinge on domestic issues. (sovereign / internal matters) 

Next, we will review the rights and responsibilities of the respective nations. However, there is a larger issue.

The one article on my blog that has skyrocketed is Emerging Nation Economic Union

In 2013 I predicted that China will form a Global Capital Investment Facility.  In 2015 they announced that they did. The HQ is in Singapore. The highest number of visits to my blog come from Singapore. 

Also, I wrote "The Next Challenge is Here." And "Forming an E 20.

The links to same: 

GreekEnomics {The only real value to this article is the number of links to articles regarding Merkel and Europe) 

However, the EuroUnion is Unraveling.

In Addition, this is what is going to happen and indeed is happening,

And should happen

Thank you again. 

Best of luck.

Warmest regards,


Copyright (c) 2016  Bob Asken'
All rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016



Back in 2013 I wrote

Apple and Facebook should buy aol Time-Warner CNN.  The concern?>  Buy content. They didn't.  Today, the industry is gobbling up content like Raisinettes(r)  at the movie theatre.

I also wrote several articles about Apple and the Corporate Success Parabola.

Remember when Xerox almost became a verb?  When IBM was synonymous with computers. Today? Not so much.

As Cell-phone sales taper off in China, and Tim Cook appeared on Mad Money with Jim Cramer I had a flashback to Bill Ackman selling Penney Stocks as JCP was on the skids. And to defend Ron Johnson.  I felt validated when someone on CNBC illuminated Cook's response on sales by expanding the analysis to a two year data report.  All I heard was Jim Cramer asking Tim Cook about Cell phones and Tim Cook responding with Q4 and Q1 financial data.  Warning, Will Robinson.

Now, India is the target.As Tim Cook ;pointed out: 50% of India's population is 25 and under. By 2020 a short 4 years from now, India will be the most populous nation on the planet. 
Please check my numbers. I wasn't listening too closely.

Content:  Bollywood is bigger than Hollywood.  One would think that rather than trying to convince the consumers to buy what the company wants to sell, tech would sell what the consumers want to buy.  Op Cit Ron Johnson.

If Apple and Facebook could team up, they could create a platform for Bollywood.  (How many years ago did I write: India: The Facebook Evolution and other articles about India?

Then we have National Pride.  China has technology, a cost effective labour force, a large consumer market, and the outpouring of National and Cultural pride, i-phone sales in China can transform into C-phone sales.  And the same can happen in India.  Will Apple be left out?  Will Apple continue to ignore content?  Will Google?  When will the i-phone sales in India give way to I-phone sales in India.  For the slow folk:  India-Phones.

Every corporation has a success parabola.  The way to avoid the doom is to transform to meet demand.  That comes from marketing not advertising.

Advertising: convince the consumers to buy what you want to sell.
Marketing: sell what the consumers want to buy.

 The definitions of Slim Fairview  Marketing:  Find a need and fill it.  

Warmest regards,


Copyright (c) 2016 Bob Asken
All rights reserved.