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Read full Online Pharmacy. Further, households are not only labouring under record debt levels but unemployment and underemployment remain at elevated levels and employment growth has been close to zero for the last few years. All of these negative trends are linked directly to the failure of the government to take responsibility and to use its fiscal capacity to stimulate growth.
Here are two graphs produced from Table 3B, the first showing real private capital expenditure by broad sector from the September-quarter to the June-quarter The second graph shows the quarterly percentage change in Total and Mining private capital expenditure in real terms from the December-quarter to the June-quarter Capital formation has declined in six of the last seven quarters and the rate of decline remains high. But the real news from the data is the forward-looking expenditure plans signalled by the firms:.
The ABS also produce very interesting data on the expected investment expenditure plans over 7 discrete quarters. As a result the following pattern of data collected emerges:.
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As a result we get the following graph of Total Capital Expenditure black columns and Expected clear columns , which allows you to trace the shifting expectations of expenditure the plans and what actually transpires. It is clear that expected planned private investment expenditure for was significantly lower than it was in and that decline has been realised. The forward-looking plans also signal a further decline in investment although the rate of arrest has slowed. Notwithstanding that the government cannot seem to correctly add up to present the correct figure they are trying to hack out of the aggregate spending stream with greater multiplied effects , it is clear that if they are successful in getting this through the legislative process, it will further undermine economic prosperity in Australia.
Fiscal policy has to be expansionary at present — that is a fact — given all the data trends being realised. Even conservatives like Christopher Sims can now see that monetary policy has to work hand-in-glove with fiscal policy and if the central bank is cutting interest rates then the fiscal authority has to be increasing its fiscal deficit to make the policy changes stick. Milton Friedman also advocated a close relationship between fiscal and monetary stimulus. So for every dollar of fiscal stimulus, he effectively advocated a dollar of monetary stimulus.
Maybe, finally, a crack in the Groupthink wall! The conservatives will have to claim it was all their doing, all their invention. And deny, simultaneously, any responsibility for four decades of hogwash economics. Closing date is 7th September Please write an objection. Another major failure of monetary policy is the gold standard thinking that reducing rates reduces the exchange rate.
Reducing interest payments ie. New money creation actually reduces the dollars in circulation and actually raises the exchange rate is deflationary. Literally nobody realises this simple fact.
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So, by default, the US has maintained a more supportive fiscal environment. This leads to Sims arguing pp. Sims concluded that: Fiscal expansion can replace ineffective monetary policy at the zero lower bound. That is a classic Groupthink response. Monetary and Fiscal Cooperation — Overt Monetary Financing The need to ensure that monetary and fiscal policy work together is exemplified by the proposals to implement Overt Monetary Financing OMF and for governments to stop issuing debt to the non-government sector to match their deficit spending. None of these arrangements should cloud, in the words of Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann uttered during a Speech — Money Creation and Responsibility : … the fact that central banks can create money out of thin air … [a capacity he thinks] … many observers are likely to find surprising and strange, perhaps mystical and dreamlike, too — or even nightmarish.
Always finish by promoting the taboo!
Monetary policy has to work hand-in-glove with fiscal policy to be effective
In his second paragraph, Lerner writes: In recent years the principle by which appropriate government action can maintain prosperity have been adequately developed, but the proponents of the new principles have either not seen their full logical implications or shown an over-solicitousness which caused them to try to save the public from the necessary mental exercise. Not much ever changes. The article then said: The central idea is that government fiscal policy, its spending and taxes, its borrowing and repayment of loans, its issue of new money and its withdrawal of money, shall all be undertaken with an eye only to the results of these actions on the economy and not to any established traditional doctrine about what is sound or unsound.
He called this principle Functional Finance. He also said that the: … first financial responsibility of the government since nobody else can undertake that responsibility is to keep the total rate of spending in the country on goods and services neither greater nor less than that rate which at the current prices would buy all the goods that it is possible to produce … the government can increase total spending by spending more itself or by reducing taxes so that taxpayers have more money left to spend.
And the same in reverse. On taxes and bond-issuance we read: 1.
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Two, you have to localize. Now we say that all the time about how you have to be local. But you really do have to be local. That means you need people to run your offices who are Chinese and understand the marketplace, understand the people, understand what they want and you have to be willing to adapt to that, you have to be flexible. There's too many people coming to China from outside China and we've seen a lot of people that came in and they left after a few years because it wasn't successful. So, you have to be willing to adapt. Christine Tan: Well earlier this year, you and senior management decided to change the name of the parent company from Priceline Group to Booking Holdings.
I know that you've been mulling over it for a long period of time, what finally made you do it? Glenn Fogel: Well, it really doesn't matter much to our customers because they know those brands and those brands are continuing to grow, Booking. But for other areas in the world we want to make sure that the investment community is aware of who we are and what we are. We're in Singapore right now, if I went up to investors right now and I said what do you think about the Priceline group?
They'd say "Priceline? I'm not that familiar with it. Now, there's also as you said that Booking is by far our biggest subsidiary in the group. It's important, I think, to align the parent name with the biggest subsidiary. I think that's helpful too. Christine Tan: Well these days it seems that you're making a change in the way you carry out your marketing spend.
Where exactly are you putting your marketing dollars? Glenn Fogel: Well, you know people notice for a long time - you look at our income statement and you'll see we have two different ways to describe marketing. One of them is our performance marketing, then there's our brand marketing. We are one of the biggest players in the world in what's called the performance market.
That means we spent a lot of money with players like Google, for example. Over time, we've been trying to increase the spend on brand marketing and not as much of an increase in performance marketing, to create a better balance. Christine Tan: This is just to generate more direct bookings. Is that the end result? One of the strategies is really is to try and drive more and more people to come to us direct.
When you're doing performance marketing, that means they're going first to somewhere else, they're going to Google first or Facebook first, they're looking off a YouTube ad and they're clicking off that. Or they're doing a metasearch for example, like Kayak is one of our metasearch site, that's not direct. We want our customers when they're thinking "I need to travel" first thing in their mind that I want them to think is Agoda, Booking, Booking, Agoda. That's what we want. Not Google. So through brand advertising, we're promoting that awareness by driving people to come to our site.
At the same time we're paying for performance marketing which is also helpful. Christine Tan: Some concerns lately about weak forecast on the third quarter earnings, leading some market commentators to question whether the company is actually sacrificing growth to focus more on margins and profitability.
What is your position on this? Glenn Fogel: Well, look, we always want to create a balance. We're always trying to create a balance, and I've said this to the investors all the time, you know, create the right balance for the return to the shareholders to the bottom line, at the same time, maintaining growth. Now there are a couple factors that we talked about in our earnings call that were happening regarding the beginning of the third quarter.
In the long run, we're going to continue to grow faster than the general travel business as these people go from offline to online travel. You know the idea that 10 years from now somebody is going to book travel by walking down to a store and getting an extra person doing that. I just find it hard to believe that there are a lot people that are doing it. It's so much more convenient when you open up your phone, you see the Booking app, they just to have to tick, tick, tick and it's done and it's easier, frictionless. When you do that through all this incredible technology, well our systems don't forget about what you'd like.
We know what you like because you told us what you like, and we can offer all the different ways you can do it. You can do it frictionlessly, seamlessly. So I see that there is still a lot opportunity for growth. Christine Tan: Well in the earlier days Priceline together with Expedia was seen as the big disruptors. Now your hotel business is getting disrupted itself by these disruptors - tech startups Airbnb also in partnership with hotels, not to mention hotels themselves also wanting more direct bookings.
Are you feeling the pressure? Are you feeling the squeeze? Glenn Fogel: I have always felt the competitive pressure in every business I've been in, forever. You know the famous book by Andy Grove who ran Intel, he talked about how only the paranoid survive. You should always be concerned about your competition. That's a great thing because it really makes people work harder to create a better product, to create a better service, and we're always doing that. And I believe that some of things we're doing right now are addressing that. For example, the non-hotel accommodations, what we like to call homes Glenn Fogel: Alternative accommodations, exactly.
It's a very big area growing very rapidly that didn't exist seven years ago. Now it's growing very rapidly. Glenn Fogel: Exactly, we're going head to head with Airbnb and we are competing with them. We are doing everything that we think should be done to create a better solution for the customer and there are differences. For example, when you come to our site, a lot of times, people are not sure if they want a hotel or if they want an apartment.
I know that personally. When I travel, sometimes with my family, we're not sure what we want. On our side, you see the incredible breadth of hotel accommodations, and you also see those alternative accommodations on the same page. I can compare and contrast them right there.
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Airbnb you can't do that. You only can look at the alternative accommodations. It's a big difference Christine Tan: But they're now also in partnership with hotels, so they are also giving you a run for your money. Glenn Fogel: Have you looked at the number of hotels they have? Enough said.
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I don't like the end of the check out either. There's a service fee on top of the site. We don't do that. At other sites like Airbnb, you get this. To me, I want to know the price when I am looking at it. That's a big difference. And you'll see all those reviews etcetera. That's a wonderful thing to be able to do.
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Glenn Fogel: We always want to be price competitive. So if there's a competitive situation where somebody else is going out and offering a lower price, usually we'll look at the right way to make sure we match up with the other people and be competitive. The key thing is that balance, making sure that you're achieving the right results, the right way for the right price.
You know, a lot of people are going out and they've built their business by giving away the product essentially they're selling it for less than it costs to produce, in the belief that they're going to bring in a lot of customers, and then at some point they'll turn it around and start charging more and making it profitable, that's sort of the games that's being played now Glenn Fogel: No, I'm not saying that all. What I'm saying is that we're always going to be competitive in the different situations and doing it the right way, in the right place and the right time.
Christine Tan: Well, for years Booking. What are you doing to build up your expertise in this area? Glenn Fogel: This is an area that is important in the long run for us. When we started out, our main business has been hotels. We need to do more than that. We want our customers to really feel there's a reason to come to us. Besides giving them the best price, because many times there our competitor pricing is not that different, we need to offer more to them.
I've talked about this idea, this whole holistic super system that enables people to be able to do all the things they want to do when they're traveling. I just used this recently. I was in Salzburg with my family and my Wife, she did the bookings for us and she used the Booking. We got to Salzburg and she got an e-mail offering all these different things we can do and Salzburg, all these choices. All we had to do was show the QR codes when we went to the line and we went right in. I mean, that's just such an advantage for us, seeing people who were out there getting out their credit card or getting out their cash and it took them time.
We' were just showing a QR code and up we went. That made me think why would I book with Booking. And the reason is because I'm getting all these other great things. These things are frictionless, seamless, and easier to do. That's one of the parts about our business. You asked at one point, about how we can handle this price competitiveness, and margins, and the commissions - we have the largest demand platform in the world by far.
So if the supplier is someone who was offering a hotel, or they're offering a museum tour or bus tour, us being able to bring those people to those services, gives us an incredible benefit in working with those suppliers to make sure that we're able to do it in a way that's good for them and profitable for us.
That's one of the advantages we have as a very very big player. Christine Tan: So when could the experiences be a meaningful growth area for you? Glenn Fogel: It's going to take time. It's going to take time. We've always wanted to make sure we're doing things the right way and we're experimenting. That's part for our DNA, to always experiment find the right way to do it.
Now again, it's growing rapidly but it's going to be a long term project that will take time before anyone will see meaningful numbers for the income statement. The reason of course, you got to understand, we're a huge company, we earn many billions of revenue each year Christine Tan: You've had to make a write down of your acquisition OpenTable and other businesses in metasearch and ground transportation. Any lessons there learnt for the company as it continues its journey to become a full-fledged online travel agency? Glenn Fogel: You know one of the things interesting about that is for several years we've been doing acquisitions and each one has had a really eye-popping return on the investments.
And somebody said something to me that I thought was very good. He said "You know Glenn, what this really says is - it's not how great your ability to pick winners is, but it shows you're being too conservative, because if you don't have things that aren't working out, you're not taking enough risk. I think that was a great question.