Saturday, August 4, 2012

AxSA: The Week (04 August 2012)


The Week is a scouting report compiling the latest news, concepts, and insights from the worlds of business and economics. For more real-time information, visit the consultancy on Facebook by clicking here.
Dateline: 03 August 2012
AxSA: Factoid of the Week
31 July 2012
Has there been significant demand destruction in the U.S. economy? Consider this: as of 2011 our country has built economy that is just over $15.5 trillion in size, in terms of its economic output, and two-thirds of the demand for that output comes from consumers. Back in 2006, that output was being absorbed at uncommon pace. Consumer spending was so strong that some economists posited that America had a saving problem. In fact, in that year, the savings rate of most Americans was -1% of their personal disposal income. Put another way, for every $100 a person had to spend, that person spent $101-and that form of overspending, which totaled roughly $92 billion and was owed in large part to low borrowing costs, resulted in a second consecutive year of negative savings by Americans (only the fourth such year ever in the country's history). Now, in 2012, where interest rates are extremely low but actually borrowing prospects are also low for many Americans, and where uncertainty is sapping consumer confidence, the savings rate is strikingly high, at 4% (or $475.3 billion) of personal disposal incomes. The consequence of America's newly-found frugality is apparent, as it has produced a quantum shift in demand, leaving many businesses with unsold inventories of goods, up roughly 0.32% for the second quarter, and prompting others to refrain from new investment in resources and personnel.
23 July 2012
The demand by employers for H-1B workers usually fluctuates with conditions in the economy. Before the financial upheaval of 2008, for example, the number of applications for highly-skilled immigrant workers reached 404,907, the highest point in over the last ten years. Today, interestingly enough, though, demand for H-1B visas is still strong, with as many as 336,309 applications filed in 2011. Even still, the federal government has neither been quick nor liberal in its award of such visas. In 2011, it only granted 129,134 visas.
News & Commentary
Weather
Heat, Drought Lead to Ear Rot Potential in Corn Grain
Corn & Soybean Digest
Extreme heat is taking its toll on America's corn supply...Read More
Crops Hurt, but Farmers Will Still Get Paid
Wall Street Journal
The ongoing drought is forcing a record number of farmers to file insurance claims against crop losses...Read More
The Worst Is Yet to Come in the Atlantic Hurricane Season
Historically, the tropics ignite with activity between August and October, and this year, the Central Gulf of Mexico, Florida, and the mid-Atlantic should expect higher landfall probabilities...Read More
Technology
Start-up Says 80% of Its Facebook Ad Clicks Came from Bots
Los Angeles Times
Another black eye for a company thought to set the standard for social media...Read More
Personal Genetics Company Seeks Regulatory Approval
Technology Review
23andMe is hoping that a seal of approval from the FDA will raise consumer confidence in the company's ability to identify genetic vulnerabilities...Read More
Economics
Seven Reasons Why July's U.S. Jobs Report Is Not As Good As It Seems
International Business Times
Friday's lackluster jobs report points to more discouraged workers, a troubling unemployment rate of 15%, and more...Read More
Sales & Marketing
To Build a Great Sales Team, You Need a Great Sales Manager
Harvard Business Review
The person in charge of business development for your company has to also have very adept managerial skills...Read More
Five Ways to Alienate a Customer
Inc.
Your customers are a fickle bunch, and so, these relationships must be handled with care...Read More

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