Weekend Digest: The Economy Dips, But A Kickstarter Becomes Mainstream

by Roby Brock (roby@talkbusiness.net) 5 views 

ECONOMY MAY DIP AGAIN, BUT NO SWOON
That's the grim but not too grim analysis in a Bloomberg News report.

A former Federal Reserve researcher who is chief economist at RDQ Economics LLC in New York says,“I don’t think the slowdown will be any more consequential than the past two years.  John Ryding also predicts, “There are positives out there in the economy. We’ll avoid a recession.”

With stocks dramatically up and down, factory orders stalling, and poor job growth, forecasts for economic growth in the third quarter are declining.

Following the jobs report, Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York, lowered his forecast for third-quarter economic growth to 2 percent from 3 percent. He sees the economy expanding 2.5 percent this quarter.

Allen Sinai, chief executive officer of Decision Economics in New York, bumped up his odds of a recession next year to 15 percent from 10 percent.

Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee in November’s presidential election, seized on the jobs figures to attack Barack Obama. “It is now clear to everyone that President Obama’s policies have failed to achieve their goals,” he said in a statement.

You can read more about the Bloomberg analysis including commodity prices, chain-store sales and the Obama administration's moves in response to a decline in job growth at this link.

INDIA IS NOT THE NEXT CHINA – AND THAT'S A GOOD THING
Forbes magazine takes a deep look at the business climate in India, one of the planet's most populous nations.

Often, India and heavily-populated China are compared due to their rapid GDP growth rates and for other factors.

Forbes reporter Chris Barth writes:

Investors should stop thinking about India as China 2.0. There are good reasons to be bullish on India, precisely because it is different from China.

While China is all about exports, India is an economy that thrives on domestic consumption. With fears of European contagion and anemic worldwide growth affecting ­exporters like China and Brazil, fund managers have been looking more seriously at India.

The big story in India continues to be its demographics. It will overtake China as the largest population in the world by 2030 and has one of the youngest populations among emerging-market nations. Nearly half its citizens are under 25.

“Most developed markets are in ­decline, especially Japan. China and others are past their peak,” says Prashant Khemka, managing director and chief investment officer at Goldman Sachs Asset ­Management India.

Given its burgeoning population of working-age people, India’s biggest opportunity is also its biggest threat. Will its economy be able to provide enough jobs?

With much attention on the next moves from China — moving jobs back to the U.S. or seeking Chinese investment in America — it seems like India has almost been forgotten. This articleantique cigarette boxes

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KICKSTARTER GOES MAINSTREAM
If you're not familiar with the website and concept of Kickstarter, then you need to be.

The angel investor website is becoming a go-to resource for tech companies, artisans and creative entrepreneurs to find micro-financing.

In short, if you're accepted by Kickstarter, you can tap into a worldwide community of potential investors who can help you raise capital for your endeavor. CNN/Fortune/Money reports:

To date, more than 20,000 projects have been hosted on the site since the New York City-based company's 2008 launch. Kickstarter vets projects in advance (accepting about 75% of applicants) and hosts the campaigns, which can last up to 60 days, for free.

The company only makes money if the campaign reaches its funding goal — at that time, Kickstarter receives 5% of the campaign's take, and Amazon, which processes the credit card transactions also receives between 3 and 5% of each transaction.

Success has changed the site's character dramatically. Once a community where individual inventors and indie artists sought out small sums to fund creative projects, Kickstarter has been transformed into a platform where companies post campaigns and rake in large amounts of money.

Read more on the subject here.

HONESTY BEGINS AT THE TOP, BUT THEN WHERE DOES IT GO?
Harvard Business Review takes a scientific, data-driven approach to the corporate values of honesty and integrity.

Interestingly, these traits begin at the top. In the exhaustive data examined by HBR, honesty and ethics decline the lower you dive into leadership levels in an organization.  From HBR:

Generally speaking, in our long years of collecting 360 responses, we have found the top managers in an organization create a ceiling — that is, leaders the next level down tend to be rated lower than their managers on every leadership dimension — and that includes their honesty and integrity. In other words, levels of honesty are set at the top and can only go downhill from there.

Why is this? And what can be done to strengthen this deficiency in your organization?

A CONVERSATIONAL TWEAK TO MAKE YOU A BETTER NETWORKER
If you're in business, you know the value and power of networking. Business expert Tim Sanders offers an easy idea that requires conscious thought, but could boost your effectiveness.

“Stop asking people 'What do you do?' Instead, ask them, 'what are you doing these days that I might be able to help you with?',” he says.

Sanders provides a real-life illustration of the exercise and he provides a link to more information on networking. It's a quick, easy read.

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