Re-allocation of capital and resources in an economy is about shifting from the business failures of the old, tired and stagnating to the new and future-ready enterprises.

I had some interesting reactions when I posted “The key to a successful recovery from this crisis is how fast the economies can re-allocate both financial and human capital” – but I think I may not have made my point clear.

I mentioned in that post that business failures will occur. While this is a tragedy it is not all bad. Sometimes life is just like that. The circle of life involves death too. And while death is a tragedy it is neither good nor bad. It is what it is. To me, Steve Jobs expressed this extremely well in his 2005 Stanford commencement address, two years after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which proved fatal.

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.”

– Steve Jobs at the Stanford University commencement address in 2005

Continue reading “Re-allocation of capital and resources in an economy is about shifting from the business failures of the old, tired and stagnating to the new and future-ready enterprises.”

The key to a successful recovery from this crisis is how fast the economies can re-allocate both financial and human capital

What is certain from this crisis is that the global and national economies will be faced with serious downturns. The debate is how deep and for how long will the decline be. 

Tragically, this will mean widespread business failures and joblessness. The human toll will be very painful to bear. What will this do for our fragile societies, I do not know. Nobody knows except knowing that it will be painful. Many of us have never seen an economic crisis of this scale and impact so it will be difficult to imagine with this will be like. Hope will be a much-needed commodity during this time. Hope that the day after will be better and worth fighting for.

Therefore it is important that we focus our thinking on how can we get out of this bad situation fast and in a manner that doesn’t cause us to fall back into the crisis. Continue reading “The key to a successful recovery from this crisis is how fast the economies can re-allocate both financial and human capital”

COVID-19 and the global economic crisis. As we manage the crisis, plans and resources are needed for the inevitable challenging recovery.

COVID-19 and the economic slowdown is a global humanitarian crisis. We are seeing an unprecedented confluence of a global pandemic, economic crisis, and political crisis. Add to this, the social impact from the distrust being pandered by certain quarters.

This crisis affects all of us no matter what.

Our thoughts go to those fighting the pandemic on the frontlines, in particular the health workers and those in essential services. Spare a prayer to those who have been badly affected by the spread of the virus. And we are yet to see any signs of the end of the spread of COVID-19. However, we remain hopeful and confident that we will fight this pandemic as each of us does our part to contain it. We have to. Continue reading “COVID-19 and the global economic crisis. As we manage the crisis, plans and resources are needed for the inevitable challenging recovery.”

The issue is Quality of Life, not Cost of Living. Focusing on Cost alone is a dangerous exercise in minimization. We must shift the narrative and conversation.

We’ve heard often over the past few years that cost of living has been increasing and that the Government needs to do something quick to address this problem. 

However, the real issue is not the cost of living: it is an issue of the Quality of Life. In short, our Quality of Life has not kept pace or improved as compared to the cost of living. Why do I say this? Well, in simple terms what matters is whether our income exceeds our costs. In reality, costs will always increase, it is a fact driven by increasing demand for scarce resources. So the key is whether (a) we are earning more to cover these costs; and (b) whether the costs we’re paying for is something we value and improves our lives. Continue reading “The issue is Quality of Life, not Cost of Living. Focusing on Cost alone is a dangerous exercise in minimization. We must shift the narrative and conversation.”

Creating 21st century ready jobs and new wealth creation

We live at a time when the cost of living continues to increase. More importantly, increases in household income are falling short of the increasing costs. Yet, governments state that the economy is growing and improving. So why isn’t this growth felt by the ordinary people?

The economic benefits are disproportionately experienced by society. This is mainly due to the limited reallocation of wealth. Which means, the rich continue to get richer, and the poor continue to get poorer. Wealth remains with the same class of society as it has always been. If we look at the Forbes’ list of top 20 richest Malaysians, it is quite obvious that the richest people in Malaysia have been the richest people in Malaysia for quite a long time. There are very few new wealth, “new-economy” wealth. I’m not saying that this is bad or good, but if we want the economy to create new wealth, we need to create conditions for resource, capital and wealth to be re-allocated. 

Naturally, there is a short-term option and a long-term solution to solving the cost of living issue. The short-term term option such as subsidies, handouts etc is only temporary given that not much will change to raise household income. Continue reading “Creating 21st century ready jobs and new wealth creation”