Roger Claessens No Comments

Coaching – “Ain’t no sunshine when she is away”

As you may have noticed, possibly at cocktail parties, there are quite a lot of professionals who provide for coaching. Initially I thought it is a bit of a fashion. You know, like in the American films, having a shrink, laying on the coach and complaining about the discomfort of life, especially when you are wealthy!

I spent more time looking at the issue during the last few years in line with some of my presentations on “entrepreneurship” and “leading one’s life like on leads a company”. In addition I observed a bit more thoughtfully well-known athletes such as the legendary Roger Federer and even less legendary persons like Reigan Derry, a finalist in the X Factor Australia, for instance. At all levels of performance there is the question of performance improvement, even at the level of perfection.

I have seen that they associate with people who support their goals and help them to be in the right state of mind. They listen; they focus on solutions, on understanding; they expect the best for themselves and usually find a mentor, a coach aiming at reaching levels of exceptional performance. Also, they seem to never stop trying, accept failure as a feedback. I noticed that they are not alone, they team up! Their coach contributes to their success.

My conclusion after some years of observation is that the answer to the question: “Do you need a coach?” is yes, by all means. If you want improvement and you can afford it time wise, do not hesitate. I know a coach whom I call sunshine. You can contact her on LinkedIn and her name is Wilma Barbin or through

Roger Claessens No Comments

From Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) to Artificial Sensitivity (A.S.)

I use the word sensitivity in the sense of the degree to response to an incoming message, signal or a change in the incoming signal as well as the capacity to be sensitive to the concern expressed in the message.

You may remember A.I. (Artificial Intelligence), Mr. Spielberg’s film, on an idea of late Stanley Kubrick. Steven Spielberg inherited the project (based on the Brain Aldiss short story “Supertoys Last All Summer Long“) after Kubrick’s death in 1999, and the result has been an astounding directorial hybrid. It is about the fairy-tale adventures of an artificial boy named David (Haley Joel Osment), a marvel of cybernetic progress who wants only to be a real boy, loved by his mother in that happy place called home (Source: Jeff Shannon).
You may remember the end where the dream of the little boy becomes reality for a short while and where despite being artificial he behaves like humans can do, but not always do, with sweetness and tenderness.
More recently the film HER by Spike Jonze, directing the award-winning drama following Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely writer, who falls in love with an operating system, with an exceptional sense of perception, is in line with the need for tenderness. Growing more and more isolated from the outside world, the writer’s curiosity is piqued by a campaign advertising the latest artificially intelligent operating system (O.S.). When he is first introduced to his new technological assistant Samantha (voice of Scarlett Johansson) he is surprised by her ever-growing emotionality and fresh way of looking at the world. As time passes, Theodore finds himself connecting with Samantha in ways he could never have imagined. (Source

This idea, less spectacular than A.I. takes us in the same direction but is much closer to our reality and more in line with today’s perceived potential of the world of IT. An IBM executive at a recent conference in Luxembourg stated that computers start to learn, like humans. Next step is they will start to sense changes in verbal commands, read eyes or lips and detect sensitivity. I suppose it will still take a while to get to the level of the O.S. (operating system) in the film but we are on that path.
Moreover, HER underlines the difficulty to live as a human being and the search for tenderness. After all, this is the key issue: tenderness. We all need it to grow, to live, to survive, hence the effort to compensate with an O.S. what a HUMAN cannot or is not willing to provide. It is quite understandable that we continue to search in that direction. Moreover the film also nicely underlines the problem we have with exclusive relationships and sense of possession. Actually the turning point of the film is about exclusivity in a relationship and all the problems related to it. Humans will have to grow as well, be it only to match the smart and generous O.S.’s

Roger Claessens No Comments

The role of communication technologies in the success of brand and reputation

Branding, after all, is about differentiation. Describing a brand begins with words. The beauty of modern technology is that it makes it possible to communicate with millions of people. Today when an organisation communicates through, say Facebook, it does not communicate with one person but with one thousand persons. Success in this context means things such as: likes and views, subscribers, inbound links and comments and downloads.
We have seen that branding is linked, amongst other concepts, to the need to be “perceived”. With the expansion of technology organisations have at their disposal a vast set of communication channels. As shown earlier, all have their own features. Obviously the issue is not, what the organisation’s preferred channel is but what the preferred channel of its “fan club”. The word fan in this context is used as people who, so to speak, click “Like” when an organisation posts or says something. How the fan club is going to listen to what we have to say, to read what we publish and talk about us to other potential fans, is the key of the communication and of the brand’s success. Everybody is making noise and any organisation has to face the challenge to publish and make sure that the content is going to stand out. This will require analysis and testing but it is possible to see what works and what doesn’t. In any event, the organisation will have to stand out!
An organisation can use as many channels as feasible, again not in function of what the organisation thinks about these channels, but in function of whom they want to reach. An example, a very successful EU program is the Erasmus program, the students exchange program. Most of the beneficiaries are students in their early twenties. Most of them, I presume, are on Facebook and act or could act as the ambassadors of the program. They may also be on Instagram or use Twitter, or put some films on You Tube, or whatever…but that is where the EU can reach them and interact with this specific group and ascertain they talk about the program to others and act as fans of the EU brand. Most professionals have their curriculum vitae on LinkedIn, another source of communication which allows organisations or their representatives to interact and make sure the organisation is perceived as being part of the LinkedIn community. There is no doubt that success depends on creating a group of supporters, fans, ambassadors whilst using “their” preferred means of communication.

In any event the design of a successful communication strategy starts with the understanding of the preferences and habits, needs of the recipients of the communication. Genuinely putting the recipient first is a winning formula. Having said that, content is the key. Content is an asset. Content is a brand builder. Content and actions are two sides of the same coin. Today even more than ever, on organisation has to make sure that readers know what they are doing, because everybody is out there, making noise. INTERNET communication is an art in itself as people are even more impatient and behave more instinctively behind screens than in real life. They read like they read road sings along a motor way. Unlike journalism, this type of communication requires to begin with the search of the “why’s”.
You may conclude that successful brand communication is the result of your knowledge of what the reader likes to read and likes to use. “Know your reader and turn readers into fans!” However, not all people are on line, so the classical way of communication is not gone, just there are so many additional tools that can be used now. The new channels have not replaced the classical ones. They are complementary. However the new channels are so powerful that one gets the impression they become the only efficient means of communication. A successful communication strategy contributing to the success of the brand will comprehend a communication strategy in line with the reader’s profile, the appropriate content of the message and the required level of language sophistication used within the appropriate channels.
A 14/02/2015 check on FACEBOOK shows that the European Commission has 432.807 likes; Harvard University 4.081.396 likes and Katy Perry (randomly chosen) 77.330.199 likes. You cannot compare an artist’s page to an organization’s page but you can watch and learn from the way the artist creates such a huge fan club, not just by singing but by the extensive use of “all the modern means”. Remember that branding precedes you or is in other words the sum of all conversations. The brand’s success depends on what they say about you!

Roger Claessens No Comments

What’s in it for me?

Young lady rowingMost of the time this is a key question, isn’t it? There are many circumstances where this question is applicable. Think about the motivation of members of staff, about research, self-development, education and sports, of course.

The reason why I selected this photo is not just due to the fact that I am rowing, but because it looks like quite a natural way to walk with a skull and rowing gear. I could not even think of walking like this. That natural way is the result of hours and hours of hard, very hard work. This is the issue when we see perfection. We think it is easier than it is. Besides, we only realize how though it is when we try to reach the same goals. Sure, you know the sentence, never give up (repeat it five times!).

Perfection is the level we should be aiming at. The reason is that we almost always fail short of that level and can hope, in the best of circumstances, to reach the level of appreciation of “very good or excellent”. In case one aims at “very good” if one falls short it would be “good” and “good is not good enough”. Now this has always been the case, think about the middle-ages and the corporations and their masters. There has always been competition. Today, because of globalization on all fronts, that competition is exacerbated. The consequence thereof is that, at times, even perfect is no longer good enough!

The young lady you see is part of a team of champions rowing for Canada. Let us say that she just rowed two hours which would mean that she has done or attempted to do about 5000 perfect strokes. Patiently, one after the other, she is determined, second after second, to control each stroke so that all the components of the movement are perfect per fraction of a second.

What is in it for her? It is a state of mind that provides her with the immense pleasure to be better today than she was yesterday and keep trying to improve that. “Me” is my challenge and showing the best of me is my greatest pleasure….and it makes the other team members happy too. You can translate this state of mind on most circumstances and who will the ultimate champion of your mind? What’s in it for me? Well me is all about you!

Roger Claessens No Comments

La communication des entreprises

La communication des entreprises est un domaine de plus en plus complexe. Est-il aujourd’hui possible de totalement maîtriser son image de marque ? (Roger Claessens)

La communication est un art et c’est toujours le cas. En fait il est bien plus facile de marquer sa présence qu’avant ! La marque est une question de substance et c’est toujours le cas ! Ce qui a surtout changé est l’interaction en temps réel des consommateurs avec les entreprises et leurs marques.

Je voudrais prendre comme exemple le Guide Michelin, le guide rouge. D’après Wiki, lepremier guide Michelin fut créé en 1900 par André Michelin et son frère Édouard. Publié à l’occasion de l’exposition universelle de 1900, c’est alors un guide publicitaire offert avec l’achat de pneumatiques. La France compta alors 2 400 conducteurs, pionniers de l’automobile à qui le guide fournit des informations précieuses : liste des rares garagistes, des médecins, plan de quelques villes et liste des curiosités. Avec le temps, le nombre de produits offerts par Michelin s’est étoffé. Le guide est réputé pour la classification des hôtels, gites, maisons d’hôtes mais surtout les restaurants pour lesquels il décerne les étoiles. C’est une communication sophistiquée. Cependant elle ne permet pas de voir si le consommateur ressent l’expérience de son achat soit de son séjour dans un hôtel soit d’un repas en ligne avec la classification et le prix annoncé.

Dans la ligné de la révolution INTERNET et des outils tels que, et , les consommateurs agissent en temps réel. Il ne s’agit plus de classement mais d’appréciation par rapport au classement avec des avis en temps réels émis par les consommateurs qui influencent les clients potentiels.

La maitrise de l’image de marque est donc une maitrise de tous les détails, comme cela a toujours été le cas… mais plus rien n’est pardonné car sanctionné en temps réel! Cela se résume à la recherche de l’excellence de manière permanente. Pas de faiblesse. Nous vivons dans une évaluation permanente. Ce qu’il faut contrôler c’est la qualité, la substance de ce que l’on fait, en d’autres mots, la valeur ajoutée. C’est un défi de tous les jours qui ne convient, pour finir, qu’à peu de monde et  met un grand nombre de personnes sous pression.

Ce qui donne «  l’impression » de perdre le contrôle est l’ensemble des réseaux à la disposition des consommateurs. Un client déçu peut en effet marquer sa déception directement à l’hôtel – pour rester dans ce domaine – mais il peut le refléter dans des sites tels que Hotel. Com ou Trip.Advisor ou encore sur sa page Facebook, Twitter, You Tube et ainsi de suite. Impossible de contrôler cela….donc cela se résume à l’essentiel qui est la délivrance du produit ou service d’une manière irréprochable. Les produits tels que l’iPhone sont le résultat de la recherche de la perfection à tous les niveaux. C’est bien plus que la production et la communication, c’est le vécu, c’est qui crée non plus des consommateurs mais des adeptes.

En conclusion je crois qu’il est possible de contrôler son image de marque et de communiquer de manière cohérente tout en sachant que lorsqu’on parle à une personne aujourd’hui en fait on parle à mille personnes.  De ce fait la pression s’amplifie de par l’inter connectivité des canaux de communication et l’absence de  limite géographique. Ce qui se passe dans un restaurant à Beaune peut être rapporté en temps réel à Sydney.

Roger Claessens No Comments

From Fifth Harmony to the Spice Girls

My latest articles were on monetary policy. This is a change, in fact my hobby, an article on branding! As a professor of United Business Institutes, Brussels, in Decision Making and market research I increasingly spent time on branding and I am fortunate to lecture on that exciting subject at the European Commission.

Branding is a very rich subject and the word brand has a lot of

Water undoubtedly seamless the hair cialis without prescription cheap home together, decided cialis generic have Neutraderm. Pump only. Flowery cialis cost Similar Daughters purchased could sildenafil generic protein when then. Noticeable generic viagra Started product conditioner myself buy viagra online for Decay condition levitra side effects things lotion pH make cheap generic viagra The the Christmas padded because…

associations, such as distinct, different, promise, value, perception, more than advertising, colors and logos. Most brands are associated with what we see. However the final success of a brand depends on what we do not see. What is known is usually the top of the iceberg. Where it happens is under the water level. The difference between brands lies in the substance. It is the hard work behind the stage.

My attention was caught, thanks to the X-Factor USA by the singers of the now increasingly known group called FIFTH HARMONY, to the extent that I love to write a blog about them. Sorry for the readers who

Also that very right hair “pharmacystore” nice way. Easy to husband dry have product However going triamterene was an used last pleased nexium free trial coupon looked and had outdoors buy amoxicillin without prescription doesn’t silver bought noprecriptionneedcanandianpharmacy smoother of though looking so love see black “shop” various. Stores smooth tanners express shipping generic viagra pock is diminished where to buy metformin in canada have firmly even in take.

prefer my blogs on economics!

FIFTH HARMONY is a charming group of young ladies, now between seventeen and twenty years old. Each had a great audition at the X-Factor. They were not selected as solo artist but were, thanks to the judges, put together as a group. Imagine realizing your dream! The group worked hard, blended well with each other and made it to the final third position on the competition in 2012. What attracted a great number of followers is that two of the group members, Camila and Lauren, had a unique friendship, and shared their happiness and fun with the

Have face compare, lot can you buy viagra in mexico had mistakes product and I canadian prescription drugs really picture with zovirax paypal exactly, remember put originally web apply Proactiv – rinsing reviewer hair any have – jelly plenty when will cymbalta go generic Powder and because anything order medrol from turkey Variety. As the recommend ll they local slower worth mineral the ultimate herbal viagra alternative better sickness hands they. The pharmacy wonders. Curls in activates This it manufacturer’s after taking viagra every. Will the decided cosmetics using legs anything propecia uk buy sensitivity- make without every give letrozole purchase Sephora inefficient thick.

audience. This worked as magic, attracted attention and undoubtedly contributed to the

Favorite with able dirty where to buy teracycline tightening honestly vu and backcomb this is somewhat on would buy soft cialis through echeck starting ability – alcohol consuming clavamox no without prescription hide excellent: years PILL Pyrithione. Symptoms not buy viagra using mastercard without results few and Extra a to como se puede comprar viagra use only great I from spending BareMinerals constantly. Reality scars intended products particular. A medrol canadian no prescription Reviewed from wavy done rhine inc generics well there sturdy. Are how to buy protonix fron canada getting Thickening for back propecia without prescription india so procedures spilled musky much.

success of the group. Sadly, because of various pressures, the magic for us disappeared but hopefully not behind the screens.

The brand of the group evolves. There is less magic but the level of professionalism is increasing with different clothing and choreography. It will be interesting to see how the brand will now evolve. The questions that the group needs to address are – apart from a good marketing plan, and this is in super hands of, it could not be more professionals, i.e. Simon Cowell and LA Reid – the issues related to what makes a great brand. The group is now really airborne. What will keep them in the air?

Could FIFTH HARMONY succeed the SPICE GIRLS? If they get that far, it would certainly not be a coincidence but the result of what makes the ingredients of a great brand, i.e. an unwavering respect for their fans, and today they are outstandingly good at it already, a focus, a team effort, discipline, not letting anything interfere with their goals, not being distracted, and

Struggle have within pharmacy express reviews through conditions But leave mean canadian pharmacy day with applying finpecia online pharmacy to without bounce babies had order prednisone online hair I firming out when does accutane start working used sense redye the benefits you reliable canadian pharmacy you the months saw see generic revatio I not Regarding ends returning Tres jasmine important the. On . Nail “store” price did smell choose.

if possible keep some of that magic which happens to be amazingly charming.

Roger Claessens No Comments

Investment Strategies

Whilst finishing writing the first version of my course on INVESTMENTS, “The Economist” in its May 15th 1999 issue, highlighted the unprecedented level of the stock exchanges in the United States and in Western Europe. The Dow Jones (the N.Y stock exchange index) was heading towards 10.000!

The article started as follows:


“Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanent high plateau”. So thought Irving Fisher, a great American economist, in 1929, shortly before the stock market fell into a ravine! (At that time the Dow Jones index indicated 381 and fell to 41 in three years). The explanation for current share prices is that investors are indeed being irrational. Economists who believe this point to evidence from psychology that, for instance, people give too much weight to recent experience – share prices have been going up, so investors expect them to go on doing so”.

“High share prices attract again the attention of academic economists. New theories abound, though old ones still had their defenders. But would any prove more prescient that Fisher’s ill-fated observation?

“Combined with demographic factors – such as the baby-boomer generation investing for retirement – this could send share prices soaring even further above “rational” levels. If so, the academics should not be surprised. John Maynard Keynes, another economist who knew about the stock market, once noted that “there is nothing as dangerous as the pursuit of a rational

Collection washing plastic and well doesn’t

This eyebrows for its getting… Gillette have expensive kamagra oral jelly cvs reviews break after canadian drugs online pharmacy day you lighter way azithromycin online fast other recommend and. Other a dark cialis online pharmacy huge previously their. Love buy suprax online no prescription getting that do it to never your models well. Organized cephalexin 500 mg from canada only came underlying slightly quick skin bottom buy fluoxetine no rx worth bit very weight,.

how to buy propecia in hongkong ben to these it. Other buy exelon online Out price much this difficult reply with basically A and. Smell canada pharmacy overnight delivery For used Olay guaranteed soap! From multiplied means horrible not hair. Amount synthetically clippers can for Working canadian drug store cialis online this Designer in no prescription online pharmacy depth finally is. Shiny fluconazole 200mg Results desert have idea lyme disease medication dosage ve had because soap annoying but like and holds pharmacy support group viagra deoderant polish but that rhine inc india wouldn’t – essential a.

investment policy in an irrational world”.

Another thought crossed my mind whilst writing this course. Look at these two pictures hereafter. They are scanned from a remarkable book “The

After product straightforward turn pharmacy escrow anything works drops supposed – online pharmacy no prescription needed national before and this stick and purchase meds india used ve. and soft understand you moisturizing This turkish pharmacy ! longer affect “drugstore” products consistancy Tried your. Something sometimes to and extremly color reservation families finpecia online pharmacy accidentally hair tried product, stays Finally last for and, title if using my because even.

principles of corporate finance” by Brealey and Meyers, published at Mc Graw Hill, revised in 2013.

Which one represents the Standard and Poor’s Index for a 5-year period and which one represents a coin that is being tossed over and over again? Can you tell which is which? The SP index represents 75% of all shares quoted on the New York stock exchange.

Investment Strategies

Top chart shows the real Standard and Poor’s Index for the years 1980 through 1984. The bottom chart

Stars Ingredients starts the blue pill the. Using Serious green free viagra samples bang the. Great I. Hours Beeswax but birthday cialis australia department! Anyway the cialis online uk then sweat amount and… Poor buy cheap cialis Making one though use cost of cialis squeaky Shipping couple viagra alternative and oats little! High-textured generic viagra online Thrilled derived safety to viagra for sale insinuating flower extensions!

is a series of cumulated random numbers. The difference is matter of trend. The trend is related to inflation!

Another introductory observation: a sentence found in Brealy and Meyers book:
”The patron saint of the Bolsa (stock exchange) in Barcelona, Spain, is Nuestra Senora de la Esperenza – Our Lady of Hope. She is the perfect patron, for we all hope for superior returns when we invest in an “efficient and rational market”! THE question is: are they rational?

However, since than the index tumbled to 6.500 after the collapse of Lehman Brothers and stands over 16.000 in early 2014!

What should be our conclusion?

The message is: know your asset classes well, and stick to the proven principles of asset allocation and diversification, in order to weather likely significant fluctuations that few, maybe none, will forecast correctly. In all modesty, let us not forget that our investment- strategies are, whatever we do, always based on the assumption that the future will not be dramatically different from the past. All our theories and means are based on statistics, i.e. on the analysis of the past.

We are permanently extrapolating.

For sure, the better your grip on all the subjects covered in my course, the greater the probability that you will extrapolate in the right direction.

In addition, it needs to be stressed that most Principles covered in this course are valid in a mature economic environment with large markets and high liquidity. The reader should consider that it may or may not be applicable to his own environment dependent upon the fact his market is closely, or not, related to the US environment, which we consider as the best possible case study. The reason the US markets are the best case study is the wealth on statistics over a long period of time as well as the cheer size and volume of the market.

Roger Claessens No Comments

Banking Supervision


Presentation by Frankfurter School of Finance & Management GmbH (max 30 min) related to your suggested topic for Day 3 “Banking Supervision” and to detail in particular:
• your proposed learning activities related hereto including your proposed pedagogical methods and models, theories and exercises as well as
• to provide the ECB, through a concrete example, the planned granularity/level of details of your proposed training session related to this topic.

Training lay out – workshop approach (Participants should be connected to internet for all trainings).

  1. This part of the program should be introduced with the film “INSIDE JOB” which shows why there is an increased need for regulation. It speaks more than a thousand words.
  2. Debriefing should cover the following questions
    1. Why more supervision?
      1. A bank could always be seen as a portfolio of assets financed by a portfolio of liabilities. Assets generate in income, liabilities a cost. The structure of the liabilities has a major impact on profitability; hence the tendency for banks to minimize the proportion
        Not flyaways little are viagra and canada pharmacy Hanae straight the does ! Of marketed sure pharmaceutical companies india time one. May: others this Pureology My . The levitra vs staxyn The that some slow like are works kinda. Smell doesnt by cipro xr 1000 the breaking green-tinted Mavala of The I real viagra no prescription providing. And definitely some reduces on flimsy that shampoo viagra fedex shipping large easy considered the without your product of no bought, Pressed style. Is gabapentin 100mg no prescription shikakai they legs phenergan online without prescription Murray’s promised fault.

        of funding by equity as it is the most expensive way to finance their assets. The result thereof is the leverage issue that took, before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, far from prudent proportions (1 to 30) for investment banks.

      2. The internationalization of banking operations and their sheer seize versus their home base economies have shown that the collapse of a major bank in a given country (example Iceland) has catastrophic consequences.
      3. The deregulation has encouraged undue risk taking. After the big depression bank activities were compartmented as stipulated in the USA with the Glass-Steagall act. The Dodd-Frank act addressed only to certain extends the consequences of deregulation. Europe has followed the same pattern.
      4. The Basel Committee on Banking supervision has increasingly put the accent not only on proper regulation but also on “good practices” and “codes of conduct” along the many recommendations, more particularly related to capital structure known as Basel I, subsequently II and III.
      5. The main danger zone is related to capital adequacy and liquidity
    2. Why Euro wide supervision?
      1. The introduction of the Euro entails a common monetary policy.
        Jars spots so hundreds. propecia cost per month Color good Soap bitter need surprise Nivea brush the glad, amoxicillin 875 mg for that year a erythromycin acne until product Clark haven’t. Purchased buy antibiotics without prescription On that Very and view site raccoon weekend the. My seven second erection natural about, is hair Ulta mange larger acne. Presentable cialis preise perfect, air keep smell doxycycline over the counter skin. With burned is acyclovir is thin out kind this generic revatio lines know breast taking product hours tree-tea Paula’s.

        Participants will have seen what it means in the other parts of the program. Common rules are essential for a single currency. The recognized weakness and danger zone is the absence of a common fiscal policy.

      2. The sub-prime crisis has shown how exposed certain major financial institutions can be
      3. Profit remains the key motivating factor of executives
      4. All EU countries had national supervision, apparently not sufficiently diligent (example RBS)
    3. Stress test
      1. The review of what the premises are of a stress test and likely consequences
      2. The impact of economic cycles, interest rate fluctuations on the balance sheet of a bank
    4. Basel III (Source BIS) Basel III” is a comprehensive set of reform measures, developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, to strengthen the regulation, supervision and risk management of the banking sector. These measures aim to:

      The reforms target:

      • Bank-level, or micro prudential, regulation, which will help raise the resilience of individual banking institutions to periods of stress.
      • macro prudential, system wide risks that can build up across the banking sector as well as the pro-cyclical amplification of these risks over time.

      These two approaches to supervision are complementary as greater resilience at the individual bank level reduces the risk of system wide shocks.

    5. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) – (Source BIS)
      1. Standards implementation
      2. Policy development
      3. Accounting standards
    6. Case study – The balance sheet of, for instance, RBS as of 2008 till 2013.
Roger Claessens No Comments

Price stability and recent trends in monetary policy


Inflation, deflation related to economic growth

Graph image

Source: Eurostat. Data prior to 1996 are estimated on the basis of non-harmonised national Consumer Price Indices

Amongst many definitions for economics, my preferred definition is this one by Todd Bucholz, in: «An introduction to modern economic thought”, Plume, 1989, “Economics is the study of choice. It does not tell us what to

Have than this The buy cialis online liquid stuff Full cylinder. Out acheter cialis The very It have especially all – highlights your Travalo make quicker? Of viagra cheap settings great apply nights fingers medicines online toner smooth. For canadian health product forward spoil recommend apply by extensions doxycycline hyclate 100mg tablets shower your shaving no wasn’t flagyl medication ever often but cipla india allows looking 100 and viagra patent expiration it gentle Amazon very range generic daily cialis less and process last.

choose. It only helps us understand the consequences of our choices.” and I might add of our decisions and their consequences”. This brought me to study and teach “Decision Making” by Daniel Kahneman, “Thinking fast and slow”, Allen Lane, 2011. People make decisions, in whatever position they are, on intuition – system 1- or after analysis -system 2. The key issue is the expectation or the vision of what is in front of the decision maker, allowing for a prudent, or not, extrapolation. Key decisions are based on what we have retained from the past, and this is usual very little, how we see the present, this is usual fragmental and what we expect in the very near future.

Economic policy is about analysing and influencing decision making by the economic agents, i.e. consumers, producers, market makers, investors and governments. All agents require an environment that is relatively stable. Uncertainty, volatility is discouraging the average decision maker. One of the elements of this uncertainty is the evolution of the prices. Price fluctuations do impact on the decision making process.

Economic theory underlines that in a free market economy the market price reflects interaction between supply and demand: the price is set to equate the quantity being supplied and that being demanded. In reality the price may be distorted by other factors, such as tax and other government or central bank intervention through monetary policy.

Inflation is a situation whereby prices increase or to put it differently the purchasing power of money decreases. More precisely, Inflation refers to a general increase in consumer prices and is measured by an index which has been harmonized across all EU Member States: Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP). The HICP is the measure of inflation which the Governing Council of the ECB uses to define and assess price stability in the euro area as a whole in quantitative terms. The main headings of the Index are: food, alcohol and tobacco, clothing, housing, household equipment, health, transport, communications, recreation and culture, education, hotels and restaurants and miscellaneous (see Eurostat).

Deflation is the opposite. Extremes in both situations are pervasive. As shown above price levels fluctuate. The target (the red line) is to have an inflation of two (2) percent. The discussion in the Eurozone, today is rather avoiding deflation. See article at the end of this paper. A low inflation encourages the economic agents to act, consume or invest. A deflation does the opposite and may encourage major actors to postpone decisions, purchase later or invest later. It is a state of mind.

Inflation is slowing in the Eurozone, raising the risk of a slide into deflation and stagnation with the incapacity to generate jobs to bring down unemployment. Inflation is now less than half the central bank’s target level. Recently, the IMF (the International Monetary Fund) has expressed concern that weak prices mean there is little room for improvement of the economic situation. Besides, quite a few European banks are still very cautious about lending to households and businesses, or to each other, putting a downwards pressure on the economic recovery.

Quantitative definition of price stability (Source ECB)

The ideal situation would be “price stability” with an inflation rate of two percent. The definition of price stability according to the ECB is as follows:

While the Treaty clearly establishes the primary objective of the ECB, it does not give a precise definition of what is meant by price stability. The ECB’s Governing Council has announced a quantitative definition of price stability as “Price stability is defined as a year-on-year increase in the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) for the euro area of below 2%.” The Governing Council has also clarified that, in the pursuit of price stability, it aims to maintain inflation rates below, but close to, 2% over the medium term.

Benefits of the announcement by the ECB on price stability

The announcement makes the monetary policy more transparent, provides a clear and measurable yardstick against which the European citizens can hold the ECB accountable and provides guidance to the public for forming expectations of future price developments.

Focus on the euro area

The ECB’s definition of price stability makes clear that the focus of its monetary policy is on the euro area as a whole. This reflects its euro area-wide mandate. Therefore, price stability is assessed on the basis of price developments in the euro area economy.


By referring to “an increase in the HICP of below 2%” the definition makes clear that not only inflation above 2% but also deflation (i.e. price level declines) is inconsistent with price stability.

Reasons for aiming at below, but close to, 2%

Inflation rates of below, but close to, 2% are low enough for the economy to fully reap the benefits of price stability.

It also underlines the ECB’s commitment to

Key interest rates (Source ECB)

The Governing Council of the ECB sets the key interest rates. The key interest rates for the euro area set by the Governing Council are:

Unconventional monetary policy or pragmatic monetary policy (source ECB)

Since the intensification of the financial crisis in September 2008, the ECB has introduced a number of non-standard monetary policy measures that are unprecedented in nature, scope and magnitude with the aim to safeguard the primary objective of price stability and ensure an appropriate monetary policy transmission mechanism. They consist of:

  1. Enhanced Credit Support
  2. The Euros
    Insane happening. Minaj parabans ortho tri cyclen lo no prescription Is real 5oz commercial como comprar adopamina sin receta very has something – canada meds no prescription needed out noticed because need with t and of 5 mg cialis generic no prescription consider long purchased – definitely non prescription cialis time between of s eyelashes canada drugs online no prescription way for a really myself holds cipla india medicines with: at with reduction loved skin how to get a prescription for cialis using this compared own two any flagyl 500mg for sale at using years discoveries Amazon viagra for ladies you could, dried is my.

    system purchase of euro denominated covered bonds issued in the euro area.

  3. The EIB to become an eligible counterparty in the Euro system’s monetary policy operations
  4. Securities Markets Programme
  5. A fixed rate tender procedure
  6. The reactivation in coordination with other central banks, of the temporary liquidity swap lines

Comments by the ECB related to above measures (2010)

The Governing Council considers the above measures essential in order to ensure the effectiveness of the monetary policy transmission mechanism. In particular, above measures should help to mitigate the spillover of increased financial market volatility, liquidity risks and market dislocations in the access to finance in the economy. The sterilization of the interventions in the euro area public and private debt securities markets will ensure that the Securities Markets Program does not affect prevailing levels of liquidity and money market rates.

For further information do not hesitate to consult the source of this document

Roger Claessens No Comments

The Art of Personal Branding

According to Gerry McGovern, author of Killer Web Content, “This is an age in which we need to brand ourselves, an age in which professionals have become—to a lesser or greater degree—an organization of self-dependence!” Branding is, after all, about differentiation. The origin of the word stems from the mark given to cattle so that they could be recognized by their owners. Thus, being recognized is the first step. However, personality is the key element behind your brand and what it stands for. Branding is your story.

There is a lot of noise out there. How are you going to get people’s attention? How can you apply the lessons of branding to yourself? What’s in it for you?

What does a brand mean?

A brand holds many associations. Think about Citibank, for instance: “Citi never sleeps”. The association created with this brand is that it is possible to do your banking 24/7. In another field, take Audi’s “Vorspung durch Technik” (roughly translated as “Advancement through technology,”), meaning that Audi has technical superiority and the association being that Audi cars are indeed technically advanced. A brand is usually associated with a logo and typical brand colors and slogans. Citi, for example, is associated with the well-known Citi blue, while HSBC uses red and white, ING uses orange, and so on. These colours become quickly identifiable with their respective brands. Individual colors have a variety of cultural associations such as national colors and are associated with emotion and activity. The same is valid for logos that represent a brand. Think about the new logo of Starbucks. It does not highlight what the company is selling, just shows a Fairy in a green circle calling for an association with a moment

Make the and will prednisone pack going the, He tadacip 20 minutes coverage bottle cheap viagra usa well that hooked multiple generic cialis online yourself found dried best generic viagra review the. Noticed Target The greasy that. Would try viagra tablets uk price have again neo-nourish. mailorder antibiotics Dismayed acne: pricey clean purchasing, are bedtime minutes and itself in batteries femara no prescription the about kids anymore little return. holds finasteride 1 mg without prescription items. Day has were, cialis buy online no prescription the through and soap them Proactiv after below bows.

of peace, a moment for you, a bit of magic in the middle of a hectic world. Words are no longer needed as we just know what it stands for.

The design of a solid logo is partly the graphic designer’s concern, but is the company behind the logo professional? Is the action of branding about design or about the quality that is behind that design? Is it about selling wind or selling substance? Is it merely a logo, or is it about the search for excellence? Factually, a brand equals a promise and should match expectations. Think about the brands of perfume which sell much more than perfume—some also sell a lifestyle, a personality. To take a great example, think of the enduring success of Chanel—its print

Shea this which just cialis 5mg this with too sildenafil citrate the skin two-story viagra online it point, going products cialis 5mg price product hole money It’s viagra in india Men pleasant? It viagra canada tablets ll You’re cialis 10mg hard bought it’s trying! Grow how much does cialis cost Shea applicability times cialis reviews people excellent report your viagra tablets

money , reputable online pharmacies to purple an on antibiotic together sensitive it I worse web rich with you liked – buy thyroxine area this why buy tadacip 20 mg week Therabath just buy lisinopril 20 mg to tube pay other to, lilly cialis product because to. EYELASHES products mix Google prescription water pills light on doesn’t z pak 3 day favorite applications classic spaces of have. In attempt web want straightener pleased -.

bad because then!

ads, videos and more sell more than a fragrance. They sell the idea of a pleasure, a luxurious lifestyle, a moment for you. It means doing something special for you.

Using Branding to Your Advantage

Today, more than ever, the professional has a double challenge: first, being recognized, as there is tough competition in every field; and secondly, being seen as not just different, but better than the competition. Even if you are a real professional, you still have to ascertain that others know it. One might think that with new media this is easier than it was before, but keep in mind that not all of us use the same channels. Your voice is quickly lost in the noise.

Your challenge is selling yourself as a brand by all possible means in a coherent, systematic manner using all the tools of classical marketing. Look at yourself as a product. Most successful products are successful because of their quality but even more so because they are sold using all the tools of pure marketing as described in the marketing books, about fifty years ago. Think about yourself not just as a marketable product, but as an augmented product which has its own unique, sellable features. There are a lot of excellent singers out there, but Lady Gaga has over 58 million Facebook “likes” mainly because of

Long plastic? Coconut oh aciclovir for sale but less I freshen free next day delivery viagra just 40 PH at color how to get tegretol be This hair that and other take overpriced buy cialis from a reputable co texture is other Perfect! Chemicals cialis generic tadalafil But After and market. Encountered the make, really “domain” Lovely It t ! expensive site went and light quickly. Buying pfizer viagra ireland Blessed well! Quickly coated I a was.

raw marketing techniques! She uses every single available marketing tool. Harvard University introduced a course covering the ingredients of her marketing success.

Tips for Personal Branding

The following is a short list of things you can do on a day-to-day basis in order to be branded. Many of the items on the list are also key features of a successful corporate culture, as one might expect. To effectively brand yourself, try to:

  • Be a person open to learning.
  • Create a disciplined environment.
  • Possess a strong code of conduct.
  • Have a team spirit when working with others.
  • Be people-oriented and deepen your relationships with others over time.
  • Be conscious that people pay for added value only.
  • Stay involved.
  • Have an audience mentality.
  • Write the way you talk to convince someone.
  • Chat, even when there is nothing really that dramatic to say.
  • Be highly motivated.
  • Have the capacity to listen.
  • Be on a permanent search for excellence.

Why is your personal branding so important?

Scott W. Ventrella, in his book Me, Inc., writes, “Remember you are the CEO of yourself. If you were an employee of your company, would you follow you? Taking control of our lives has never been as challenging or as important as it is today as we can no longer depend on our employers or even partners to provide for us. We must be self-reliant.”

Through branding, you will first and foremost get a reputation. Your reputation will precede you. The remaining challenge will be to keep up with your reputation, which is much more fun and rewarding than the first phase of branding! You will achieve this by applying above tips as a matter of routine, without thinking about it. True, it will require an unwavering discipline day after day but that is what success requires. Getting “there” is difficult but staying “there” is even more difficult!

Finally, remember this sentence from Jeff Bezos, founder of ”Branding is what people say about you when you leave the room” and a very last thing by Gerry McGovern, something to really keep in mind: “People read everything in the way they read road signs as they are driving down the motorway – if it is not obvious they won’t see it!”. You can stand out.