Ten Commandments Of The Honorable Merchant

In September of 2010 Berlin Museum of Economics and Business administration: scholars rummaged up a yellowed cardboard with the inscription “The Honorable Merchant” in a dusty chamber named “Department of Stored Concepts.” Inside, they detected 10 tablets, each inscribed with a single sentence in ancient handwriting.

  • One goes: “The honorable merchant respects the interests of the owners.”
  • Another one: “The honorable merchant supports the common welfare in the society.”
  • This one’s also nice: “The honorable merchant aims his actions to virtues that create long-term confidence.”

Certainly, anybody today will define current incidents on each of these old-fashioned Words-Of-Wisdom: Hostile takeoversHouse banking scandalHealth care fraud … you can find seemingly endless lists of considerable companies that are convicted of felony offenses, and they’re still in business – or to say it in better words: still busy in corporate crime. In today’s markets economy the antiquated doctrines above seem to be not very useful. The moldy cardboard is probably at the right place, slowly rotting in the department of stored concepts.

Are practices that are morally reprehensible the contemporary vision of our global management caste?

The term “The Honorable Merchant” originates from the 12th century, shaped in the German Hanseatic League and Italy. It was a guiding principle in those ages, but buried in oblivion for the last centuries. Currently it is on everyone’s lips, i.e. the Humboldt University in Berlin (the guys who found the cardboard) now seriously wants to reintroduce the “Virtues Of The Honorable Merchant” in today’s faculties for Management and Business economics — as they declare, not for moral reasons, but because of the stability of society!

My two cents: As an entrepreneur, one should always be conscious about the virtues of decent trade and correct action, anyway. Who is cheating has no customers. But I’m just a bod, the man on the street.

Author: Mathias Roth
Published: September 29, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Top Ten Countries with which the U.S. Trades

For the month of April 2013

                                                  Year To Date
                                    Total in         Total in
                                    Billions         Billions
 Country Name                       of U.S. $        of U.S. $

 Canada                                         54.75           208.98
 Mexico                                         44.24           164.53
 China                                           42.09           167.43
 Japan                                                  17.04            67.11
 Germany                                       13.62            51.55
 Korea, South                                  8.79            34.23
 United Kingdom                              7.81            32.58
 France                                          6.75            24.20
 Switzerland                                   6.32            19.55
 India                                            5.73            20.56

source: http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/top/dst/current/balance.html

Global Update: Retail Sales on the Rise in the EU

Consumer spending may be on the rise in the Euro-zone as indicated by the increase in retail sales this year, and more specifically this August. Sales rose by 0.7% from July but were still 0.3% lower than last year. It is evident that the financial crisis is still luring but these figures indicate a sign of slow but steady recovery.

Consumer spending had been declining since mid-2011. The July and August 2013 figures suggest further recovery in the future. However, retail sales are still below the rates seen before the 2008 financial crisis hit.

Without a doubt Germany has had the fastest growth with Italy notably accounting for its fastest growth in two years. On the other hand, Spain’s economy contracted.

What does the contracting of Spain’s economy signify? Post your comments below!

 

Source: WSJ

Germany’s Imports Rebound in January

U.S. exports may be ready to recover after a downturn in the Fall.  German imports have rebounded in January 2013. There is hope that increased trade will shrink Germany’s trade surplus. From October 2012 to December 2012, Germany’s economy shrank by 0.6%.

 

German domestic demand is anticipated to play a large role in boosting the Germany and Eurozone economy this year. Since currently borrowing costs for businesses are purposefully low, perhaps German demand will increase.