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Tea Leaf: The ABCs of the global economy

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 18 2012 1:59 p.m. MST

Socialism — Margaret Thatcher said it best … and it applies to Europe. ... “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

Travel — Spending on global tourism remains solid, even as visitors largely avoid political “hot spots.” Those visiting the U.S. are big spenders.

U.S.A. — Nearly three times the size of China’s $5.5 trillion annual economy … with one-fourth as many people. In my book, that says American workers are roughly 10-12 times more productive.

Volatility — Pick any descriptor … economic … financial market … political.

WWW — The World Wide Web continues to be both amazing and cluttered with junk. Still, estimates suggest we have tapped only 10 to 20 percent of the Internet’s potential. Global companies using it are expected to save in excess of $1 trillion in operating costs during the next three years.

eXports — Heaven forbid you gather a room full of economists! The only thing we will largely agree on is that steps to build bridges to trade are positive … steps to build barriers to trade are not.

Young people (around the world) — Facing a rising tax burden in coming decades to finance the retirement years of baby boomers (and boomers’ parents) if minor changes are not soon made.

Zones (trading) — As before, Asian, European, and North American trade zones will dominate trade flows.

Jeff Thredgold is the only economist in the world to have earned the CSP (certified speaking professional) international designation, the highest earned designation in professional speaking. He is also economic consultant to Zions Bank.

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