All Moms are Working Moms

    All moms are working moms, and all moms face the challenge of prioritizing how they spend their time. Time management becomes absolutely critical. Often mothers must devote 40 to 50 precious hours a week to a job and still have to get many things accomplished: clean the house; do laundry; shop for groceries; take care of errands; help kids with homework; be present at kids’ activities; spend time with their partner; spend time with friends and family members; pursue personal interests of any kind; and “maybe — just maybe — sneak in an hour to go to the gym. No wonder so many women I know are so tired! Here are some tips from the “expert” Michelle LaRowe (author) on career, children and home to aid time –management challenges.1. Smooth out the kinks in your mornings. It can be hard enough to get yourself ready, out the door and off to work on time, right? Well, that whole process becomes harder when you have to wake, feed, clothe, pack for and transport your child in addition to yourself. So, do as much as you possibly can the night before. Set out clothes for the next day — both for yourself ...

    Thursday, 3 September 2009

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    Breaking the Silence

    Wake Up Yuan

    There is a nice tune by ‘The Platters’: Oh Yes I’m the great Pretender / Oh Yes I am a great Manipulator.  So who manipulates who: is it Mr. Yuan or Mr. Green?  Realistically, to be fair to all, every country in the globe, at some point in time manipulates its currency.  There is hardly any Central Bank who doesn’t intervene either directly or indirectly when its currency starts to skyrocket or skydive beyond a certain ceiling or floor.  That’s just the way it is.  A country like China has a mighty wand on its hand though.  Since the country runs a huge Trade Surplus, it can most likely afford to buy dollars in the open market to keep the demand for dollars high, and push the dollar price upwards relative to the Yuan.  This thus keeps the Yuan undervalued.  And this is of maximum benefit to them since China’s engine of growth is exports.  Thus the lower the value of the Yuan, the more profitable it is for China’s exporters on all ends.  For example, if $1 buys 10 Yuans, and an exporter sells a Chinese shirt for $10, he pockets 100 Yuans.  But if $1 was worth only 5 Yuans, the exporter would only pocket 50 Yuans.  Thus this is the main reason why it is in the best interest for China to act as the “great manipulator” of its currency if she so likes, and since she can, then she simply does.  And is there really anything wrong with this, should this not be “free market” competition?  A country seeks its comparative and competitive advantage and maximizes on it.  On the other hand though, one of the direct consequences of keeping the local currency undervalued is “inflation”, and China has already in 2008 faced ‘super high’ inflation rates.  But it seems the lesson has not been learnt.  It thus simply operates on ‘short term’ greed rather than long term sustainability, perhaps Japan would come as a good reminder and example for China to examine.  Now on the other side of the globe, the US is the most impacted.  Some may propose that China’s undervalued currency is actually beneficial since it boosts US investment and goods would be cheaper for domestic production.  But this is small minded and short sighted: small change and small fry to the “big fish” that China is having a big chunk of.  While the US languishes and suffices with a little piece of crumbs on the side, China continues to build a fortress of its most single major money earner: ‘trade’.  And they ensure they maximize on it on all points.  In fact, it may even be rational to argue that the US is not flooded with China’s cheap, under quality exports because they are ‘cheap’, but rather because China has the upper hand by artificially keeping its currency undervalued.  If this was not the case, obviously China would not be in a position to compete with American produced goods on the level ...

    Thursday, 18 March 2010

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