Sunday, October 24, 2004


I agree with Wayne Hurlbert's (Blog Business World) statement:

The growth and staying power, of Carnival of the Capitalists, is beginning to catch the attention of people outside the blogging community. The readership is enlarging, and finding entirely new visitors, every single week. (Blog Business World, 10/18/04.)

Barry Ritholtz (The Big Picture) is the hosting this week's carnival of the capitalists. Mr. Ritholtz's post, The World's Most Economically Competitive Countries, got me thinking of the common notion that the Nordic countries have a successful welfare state model on how to run the economy. At a first glance at The Global Competitiveness Report by World Economic Forum, it looks like Finland and the Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden) are good at managing the macroeconomics [Editor's comment: Personally, I think that the division of economics into two parts (micro and macro) is a kind of mind-body split.] and the countries are up high on the chart... [Editor's note: Could you guess why I added the previous link?! Here is a new word for you: "MTV economics!";)]

I think that the report is a mixed bag of statistics and it is hard to get an overview of the overall competitiveness. I think that a report on economics should focus more on the tax pressure on the producers and the purchasing power of the consumers. Talking about purchasing and the state of the market, check out the Global Purchasing Managers' Index.

Going soon to Hungary, I am following the developments in former east block countries a bit more than before. Here is an excerpt from BBC News:

Estonia was marked out as the most competitive of the ten new entrant countries which joined the EU in May this year, coming in at twentieth place. (Nordic nations 'most competitive', 10/13/04.)

Razib of Gene Express is "mapping" the Global Competitiveness Report in an interesting way. If you are interested in more statistics, check out National Institute of Economic Research's summary of the Swedish economy. Note especially the unemployment figures, "sick-listning" days, and the negative central government budgeting margin. Take a look at the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in relation to the EU25 average.

If you haven't had enough of economics and finance yet, please read my post, TAX FREE DAY AND GOLD STANDARD.