Finances and Saving is Dominating Consumer Behavior

Due to all the doom and gloom purported by the mass media after the mortgage crisis fallout, and stock market collapse; many financial commentators have stated things like; “it’s like the consumer just fell off the cliff all of a sudden.” Meaning that the consumers stopped buying, and retailers noticed this right away.

People stopped buying cars, electronic equipment, imported Chinese goods, and they even cut back on the amount of food they were buying. Some might say this is a good thing because consumers were spending tons of money on credit cards. Due to all the layoffs many people have had their houses foreclosed on and they have stopped paying their credit cards.

In fact, the fallout rates are very similar to the unemployment rates which continue to rise. Even those people who are not losing their jobs are worried about them and they have started saving more, and spending a lot less, worried more about their budgeting. The savings rate of consumers is now a 10% which is unheard of in the last four decades.

Thus, finances and savings are dominating consumer behavior, and it is slowing the chances for a robust economic recovery. Some economists believe we will have a slow recovery, which is probably better to guard against inflation. But most all economists believe we will have a recovery and that we’ve already hit the bottom of the recession and the consumers will get back on board as the news changes from bad to better, which is already happening in the stock market, which generally leads the economy by 6 to 8 months. I hope you will please consider all this.

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Sustainable Agriculture is Important to the Environment But So Are Sustainable Finance and Economies

Only the bad stuff makes news and the end of July was no exception with three different environmental reports that financial institutions, businesses and politicians should take heed of.

Yet somehow, it all seems to carry on regardless. In the aftermath of the most catastrophic economic situation since the 1930s, there is still no sign of contrition from those widely regarded to be most culpable.

They are the financial institutions that speculated wildly on continued growth when bundling dodgy property loans (given to people who had little prospect of repaying them) into obscure financial packages – called mortgage backed derivatives – that not even some bankers and economists understood.

Is this writer the only person on the planet who can see a similarity to pyramid selling?

Legislation to tighten control and regulation of banks and other financial institutions in the USA, UK and Europe, according to economic experts like Prof Raghuram Rajoram, of Chicago University, and former member of the UK’s Monetary Policy Committee, Dr Sushil Wadhwani, are toothless while the emphasis is still on a recovery based on growth.

Yet it’s feared that the strict austerity measures introduced in the UK, US and Europe are endangering economic recovery and while it may be necessary to cut the massive government debts that propping up the banks has caused it should be done more gradually. Some would go further.

What’s needed, according to Dr Wadhwani, is a more sustainable – and differently structured – economic model. Yet, he says, policy makers and financial regulators are still using the same techniques used in previous recessions and making the same policy mistakes and has said: “there’s not enough contrition being shown…. Banks haven’t absorbed the appropriate lessons of the mistakes they made, in fact they’re not even willing to admit that mistakes were made.”

There’s that word sustainable again. It’s familiar in the spheres of environment, agriculture and the need to grow more food. It should be familiar in the financial and political worlds also.

But what have financial investors and Funds done? They’ve turned their attention to other sources of investment in the form of speculation on basic commodities like grain, artificially pushing up prices of basic foods beyond the means of the poorest on the planet.

Of course, in their small and insular world, any commodity in short supply is likely to be a good investment – buy up scarce stocks or options in future trading and the price will rise giving more profit for the investor.

There’s plainly no room in the world of money for ethics.

It’s instructive to put the reports mentioned earlier into this context. Firstly a report on climate change revealed 2010 has been the warmest year on record.

Then came a report that global warming might be the cause of micro-organisms dying out in the world’s oceans. Phytoplankton have been diminishing at the rate of 1% per year since the mid-20th Century. They are crucial to the marine food chain and to drawing down carbon dioxide as well as producing around half the oxygen we breathe.

Finally the Financial Times, London, revealed the leaked contents of a report by the World Bank into investors from rich nations buying up African farmland. It’s due in August and expected to conclude that foreign investors without the slightest agricultural expertise are threatening local resources by buying up farmland in places like Africa in order to gain on commodity prices.

Anti poverty campaigners have raised concerns about the effect of speculative land buying on the poorest local producers, whom they push out while at the same time investing little in improving agricultural techniques to meet the huge growth of food production needed to feed a growing global population.

It may be na├»ve but wouldn’t it actually benefit investors to put their resources into those techniques – such as the new generation of low-chem agricultural products, including biopesticides, biofungicides and yield enhancers – into training small producers to use them and into infrastructures to get the produce to market to ensure a sustainable return on their investment?

Or is it all about short term gain and selfishness for a minority of already-powerful people with no real concept of living on the same, shared planet, in the same, rapidly-deteriorating environment, breathing the same globally warmed air?

It has to be more than chance that running the world on a continuous economic growth model in a largely unregulated market coincides with accelerated destruction of rain forests, soil fertility, global warming and a host of now annual extreme weather events, like the latest devastating monsoon in Pakistan.

Sustainable economic systems are plainly as important to people’s survival as they are to the planet’s and it’s a lesson of history that financial institutions, regulators, politicians and powerful multinational businesses all need to learn – fast.

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Online Finance and Banking Training

Finance and banking are two of the leading forces behind the economy. Both categories are applicable to business, corporate jobs, and personal usage. With money being a driving force in the world people have the option of gaining specialized training in these areas.

First, let’s look at the definitions for each field of study to gain a better understanding of where an online class will head as a student progresses through the coursework. Finance is the commercial activity that provides funds and capital. It is the branch of economics that studies the management of money and assets.

Banking is the business of keeping money for savings and checking accounts that enable the bank to exchange or issue loans, credit, and more. An individual transacts business with the bank via depositing, withdrawing, or requesting a loan. In essence a bank is a financial institution licensed by the government.

Length and pricing will vary depending on the course load, school, and degree desired. Certain schools have a wide range of courses priced at $159 a class. A student can take classes one at a time like above or obtain a degree based on a curriculum given online. A student has the option of finding a school to gain a master’s degree in banking and financial services. Some programs at this level may consist of 12 courses for a total of 48 credit hours. Class structure would have the student taking two, seven-week courses online per semester. The length of this type of program will take an average of two years to complete.

Students have the option of completing a degree program online that encompasses finance and banking or gaining a degree in finance and banking separately. Different online schools offer programs starting with an associate’s degree to a doctorate in finance and banking. The right fit will depend on previous schooling and the career goals an individual has.

Gaining a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration for Finance can be an option for an individual who has strong career goals in the business field. Learning as a student will give the capability to research, solve, diagnose, and evaluate business troubles in a team environment.

Graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration for banking enables a graduate for a wide range of managerial jobs in business, government, and non-profit organizations. Skills acquired are practical and professional. These skills prepare a student to understand all phases of business, which include decision making and problem solving.

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Train For Finance and Banking Online

Every business and organization that earns a profit has to think about their financial and banking needs. These aspects of a business need qualified individuals who understand monetary funds and how to manage those funds in a bank. Online accredited colleges and universities offer training in finance and banking that teach students how to work for an organization in this capacity.

Professionals use their knowledge by making suggestions to a business to help them grow financially. The professional’s job is to aid their client in sound financial decisions in order to help them use their resources to obtain monetary goals. A professional who understands banking is a strong asset to a business because they keep track of fund activity by making sure it is recorded and handled properly. Prospective students can learn how to perform these main duties through numerous online programs. Students can choose to study finance and banking in a combination program or choose a degree program specifically geared towards one.

Students need to decide prior to enrolling in a degree program if they want to work for finance, banking, or both. This will help a student know if they need to find a combined degree program or find a specific degree program. A finance degree program will provide students with the knowledge to analyze and implement financial procedures in a managerial position. The minimum requirement for a career in the field is a bachelor degree. In a bachelor degree students can expect to complete the program in four years. Curriculum will include general education and degree specific education. The finance part of the program could include courses on risk management, corporate finance, statistical analysis, critical thinking, and more. Students will be able to understand the procedures and principles of financial markets and the distribution of funds in every sector of an organization.

A bachelor degree program in banking is a financial business degree with its focus on banking. The degree program prepares students to work in various careers inside a bank. Courses will center on teaching a student about the many areas of financial institutions. Specific courses may include corporate finance, banking law, international trade law, and global economy. Students will learn about all bank practices, credit, and lending. Career options will allow students to become credit analyzers, loan processing managers, and more. Gaining a degree in banking significantly increases an individual’s annual income within the industry.

A combined approach will prepare students by giving them a strong foundation in management, corporate finance, and the global market. Students will examine every area of the industry through courses that include investments, capital raising strategies, corporate operations, and mergers. A financial and managerial accounting course will teach students how to function as a manager and work with employees within the procedures of accounting. Students will explore topics like financial statements and cost analysis. A combined degree will allow students to work in all areas of both industries.

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