More and more desperate calls for all-out QE in the Eurozone make me laugh and cry at the same time. Laugh because it is not very likely that the hoped-for revival of the economies in the weak member states of the zone will happen. One has to look at the micro-economic aspect of the problem: why would any business invest/hire just because the rate of borrowing has declined by some small fraction? Given high tax rates - and they are going up all the time, openly or in stealth fashion (think 'fees' and 'charges' by public bodies) it should be expected that the entrepreneurial class will cut back on its work load. Why not take it easy if the larger part (60, 70pct if one adds in tax on taxed income, i.e. VAT, stamp duties etc etc) of additional income is confiscated by a parasitic caste of politicians, bureaucrats and their favoured beneficiaries? And why would I cry? Because the chances that the march into ever-higher control of our lives via the permanent avalanche of ill-thought-out legislation and higher taxation/spending is not going to be reversed anytime soon.
planning at Santander - an example to follow
Yesterday's announcement of the death of Emilio Botin, the man behind the immense growth of Banco Santander over the past decades, highlights the need to prepare for the smooth handover of leadership. While Santander may appear to be a special case - the succession is clarified on the next day - every business should be able to replace key personnel without delay. This applies not only to CEO roles but all managerial positions in the organisation. Internal promotions should be the rule as they boost morale and team spirit and usually are cheaper and quicker to realise.