Recently in Trade Category

Cost Benefit of Bikini Waxes

Tim Harford has put online a recent column of Dear Economist not available on the FT site.

Dear Economist, Bikini waxes: boyfriends seem to like the results, but they hurt. What would you say were the costs and benefits? Yours, Sylvia, via email

Related; Cost Benefit of Circumcision

Perspectives on “Dark Matter”

Interesting paper-Statistical Issues Related to Global Economic Imbalances: Perspectives on “Dark Matter”;

“There has been a large amount of recent interest in how the U.S. can be the so-called world's largest debtor nation and at the same time have a persistent surplus on income in its balance of payments accounts. Based on BEA's published data, two factors explain the incongruence -- a difference in the composition of U.S.-owned assets abroad compared to foreign-owned assets in the U.S., and a higher rate of return earned by U.S. investors on their overseas assets, particularly on direct investment, than the rate of return that foreign investors earn on similar classes of assets invested in the U.S. In contrast, some others have recently argued that the explanation for the incongruence is that U.S.-owned assets abroad are undervalued, mainly because large exports of intangible assets by U.S. direct investors to their foreign affiliates have gone undetected. This paper reviews the main points of this argument and discusses some of its implications.”

For more on the issue see Econbrowser

Doing Business in Iraq

A US website maintains an FAQ on doing business in Iraq (last updated 18 May 2005). Some questions and answers below;

How can a small business pursue business opportunities in Iraq? Prime contractors of the first round of contracts issued under the $18.4 billion U.S. reconstruction funds are required by their contracts to allocate 10 percent and are encouraged through incentives to fulfill 23 percent of a contract to U.S. small, disadvantaged, or minority businesses. Small businesses interested in pursuing business opportunities in Iraq should demonstrate relevant experience, financial capability, capacity to proceed quickly and the aptitude to navigate a complex business environment, in addition to meeting specific contract criteria. The best way to ensure consideration as subcontractors or suppliers on reconstruction contracts is to directly contact the contractors, who are entirely responsible for choosing their own business partners. A listing of prime contractors’ representatives responsible for small business/subcontractor business development is available at http://www.export.gov/iraq/pdf/small_business_reps.pdf (PDF only). Businesses are encouraged to first consult the websites of these prime contractors because most require businesses to register on their websites. For Iraqi Ministries, private sector, and other business opportunities, businesses should monitor Iraqi newspapers www.onlinenewspapers.com/iraq.htm.

Carnival of Podcasts

A couple of podcasts mostly from Radio National Australia; please note some of discussions start at the end or middle of the audio. Also if you don’t download now, it might not be available next week.

Why don't Americans like soccer?; Economist Allen R Sanderson says that Americans appreciate competitive market forces and incentives that reward ability, hard work and ingenuity, in sport as well as business, and soccer just doesn't make the grade. John Birmingham reflects on the Australian view of the European game.

Future of trade liberalisation; With the latest GATT attempts to further open up international trade, the DOHA Round, collapsing some weeks ago, Alan Oxley explains what went wrong and what might happen next

The rise of the carbon traders

John Taylor, former undersecretary for international affairs at the U.S. Treasury and now an economics professor at Stanford University, talks with Bloomberg's Tom Keene from Palo Alto, California, about the outlook for the central bankers' annual conference this week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and China's economic growth.

Stephen Roach, chief global economist at Morgan Stanley, talks with Bloomberg's Tom Keene in New York about the state of China's economy, banking system and political environment.

The Nature of Belief : Australian Science Festival Debate

Nazi New Religions, Pt 1

Christian Relics and the Historical Jesus

Conflict: What good is it?

Vietnam Remembered

Travel in the Age of Terrorism

A narrative for a long war

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