Monday, September 16, 2019

Ethics of Marketing to Schools in America Essay

Public schools across America are struggling with their budgets and looking to outside corporations for help. Conveniently, private corporations realize the potential buying power of students and have decided that elementary schools are the best channel to reach them. It has become routine for corporations to market there products in schools, and in exchange these schools receive various financial benefits. This new partnership has become the focus of much controversy as 80% of Americans feel that corporations should have no place in schools (). The two most cited concerns are the health of children and the growing commercialization of schools. This paper looks at this issue in detail by answering the following two questions. Is it ethical for corporations to market products in schools? What is the most socially responsible course of action for corporations to take? This paper will use a utilitarian and distributive justice framework to prove that marketing in schools is unethical and propose that the most ethical arrangement is to make schools commercial-free zones. This paper will also discuss the issue of corporate social responsibility through shareholder and stakeholder lenses to prove that there is a strong business case for corporations to? Children in schools are marketed to in a variety of ways. Schools can participate in incentive programs where a school receives funds to take part in a specific activity such as collecting box tops (). Some corporations offer free educational materials to schools that promote their corporate message. Pepsi encourages a â€Å"thirst for knowledge† on a popular textbook cover(). Each year over half of the students in schools in the United States receive free textbook covers(). McDonalds, Burger King and Dominos sponsor reading projects in schools with free meals(). Other schools receive free electronic equipment like computers and satellites for participating in programs like channel one. This is an arrangement where school receive free electronic equipment for having their students watch a 10 minute broadcast of which 2 minutes are corporate sponsored commercials (). All of these marketing techniques pose there own unique ethical dilemmas, however the most controversial type of marketing in schools today is the use of exclusive agreements. This is when corporations give schools a percentage of their profits in exchange for the right to be the sole provider of a product or a service(). The most prominent example of this is the soft drink company, Coca-Cola and their exclusive distribution rights with schools. As a result, Coca-Cola advertisements have become the most visible types of advertisements in schools today (). A US National School Health Policies study found that students could purchase soft drinks in 60% of elementary schools and 83% of middle schools (). Of these schools over 85% were under an exclusive contract with the Coca-Cola company (). For the aforementioned reasons the remainder of this paper will use the soft drink giant Coca Cola as a symbol to make it easier to understand the larger debate of marketing in elementary schools. A deontological framework can not determine whether this issue is ethical or unethical. In 1990 under $100 million was spent on advertising targeted at kids, just a decade later that number was up more than twenty times to over $2 billion (). This large increase in spending indicates that there is a strong motivation for corporations to market to youth. One way to determine if marketing in schools is ethical is to deconstruct these motivations through a deontological framework. The motivation for companies to market in schools could be a philanthropic opportunity to contribute to education. However, I do not believe this because companies like Coca-Cola make schools sign exclusive agreements, which means that they block competition and are profitable. I believe the main motive for companies to market to youth is to make money. Marketing to students in schools is an effective strategy as it reaps both short and long term rewards. Children in elementary schools have a lot of spending power. Kids ages 4-12 spend $40 billion each year (). Furthermore, these same kids influence $600 billion of household spending (). It is wise for companies to try to earn a share of this large market. Surprisingly, the sales of sodas in schools account for a miniscule slice of soda sales worldwide, less than 1 percent of soda’s 66billion dollar industry (). Clearly profit in the short run is not the main motivating factor for companies like Coca-Cola. Marketing in public elementary school promises long run benefits. Soft drink companies can create brand loyalty with their consumers at an early age. In other words, they foster and retain a captive audience for its products. If you consider the cutthroat competition among soft drink makers for customers, this brand loyalty becomes a vital business pursuit. A deontological framework can better help us deconstruct the ehics of marketing to youth purely for financial reasons. Specifically, this paper will employ some of W. D. Ross’ duties. It can be argued that marketing in schools violates the duty of non-malefiicence (to do no harm). Some children will substitute a nutritious meal for a sugar laden soda. That is harmful to their health. Marketing in schools also violates the duty of gratitude. It does not thank customers for their business by protecting their health. Instead, companies like Coca-Cola continue to aggressively market their unhealthy product to vulnerable youth. On the other hand, if one considers a corporation a person, then a corporation fulfils Ross’s duty of self-improvement by marketing in schools. It improves its own condition by increasing its profits in the short and the long run. Additionally, if a company honestly abides by the contract it signs with a school then it is upholding Ross’s duty of fidelity. The framework of deontology is inadequate to determine the ethics of marketing in schools because it presents us with conflicting duties and no hierarchy to put them into. There is an incompatible difference between the various duties. However, this situation did not become controversial simply because some believe that a corporation might have bad ethics, instead people are worried about the consequences of marketing in schools. A utilitarian framework shows us that marketing in schools is unethical. Marketing in elementary school is controversial because it offers many direct benefits to schools, but negatively impact students. Through a utilitarian framework this paper will deconstruct the pros and cons of the scenario to determine whether marketing in schools is ethical. This paper will conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine what results in the greatest good for the greatest number of people. The main players that benefit in this scenario are schools, shareholders of the Coca-Cola company, and employees. All of these players benefit in financial terms. Vending machines are a valuable source of revenue for schools. They support programs that might otherwise go unfunded. Elementary schools have reason to be concerned about their finances, the state of California cut the elementary school budget by $10 billion dollars in 2003 (). If a school district signs an exclusive contract with a soft-drink company it can generate an additional $3 million per year (). School districts receive all of this money for virtually no additional work on there part. This is why the cliche that: â€Å"one day our schools will have all the money they need, and the Air Force will have to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber† could become true (). Company shareholders benefit in the long run if we assume that marketing in schools create brand loyalty among consumers. Company employees also benefit from the sales of sodas in schools, simply because their company is continuing to be competitive in the marketplace and provide work for them. However, the positive impact of selling sodas in schools impacts company employees considerably less than other players in this scenario, because these employees will not be receiving a pay raise as a result of this practice. While there are some positive effects of marketing in schools, I feel that the cons greatly outweigh the benefits. Students bear the burden of the negative effects of marketing in schools. Marketing to youth perpetrates problems of childhood obesity, materialism, eating disorders, violence, and family stress (). This is especially problematic because children are more cognitively immature and prone to believe that products marketed in school carry their school’s endorsement. For instance, if a school sells soda it signifies that it is acceptable to consume drinks that are high in sugar and have poor nutritional quality. A child’s health is not an acceptable trade-off for increased revenues. Childhood obesity is an epidemic in America. One-quarter of children in the United States are overweight which means they are at risk for lifelong health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cavities (). Competitors also suffer in this scenario because ? exclusive agreements’ create a monopoly on a school and therefore promote unfair competition and can charge whatever price they want. The difficulty of examining ethics from a utilitarian perspective is that is impossible to predict the future. It is not clear how much the financial revenue schools gain from executive agreements helps them to fulfill their purpose of teaching. It is also not clear how high the correlation is between marketing in schools and negative outcomes like obesity. What is known is that most of the negative consequences (and there are a lot of them) fall on the shoulders of the students. Having the burden of this issue fall on the shoulders of millions of students nationwide is bad for society as a whole. Children need to be educated in a healthy atmosphere so that they can become productive members of society one day. It is detrimental to the future if children are not provided with the best learning environment possible. The best learning environment possible is one that is free from commercial influences. The Distributive Justice framework shows that monopolies are unethical. According to John Rawls we should determine ethical dilemmas like whether marketing in schools is ethical by making the decision from behind a â€Å"veil of ignorance. † The distributive justice framework tries to ensure that the interests of the worst off in society are considered. According to this theory, students well-being should be put before business interests because students are the most vulnerable group in this scenario. However, there is an inherent conflict of interest within this framework. Corporations believe that marketing in schools is ethical because they are exercising their 1st amendment right to free speech. Everybody has this right, thus they are utilizing the equal liberty principle: equal rights to liberties as long as all may be provided such liberties. The problem is that not even all corporations are being provided the liberty of free speech. As previously mentioned Coca Cola has an exclusive agreement with 85% of elementary schools in America, this is just a nice way to say that Coca Cola has a monopoly on the elementary school market (). Companies that engage in exclusive distributive contracts are trying to block competitors. They can not justify this action on the ground that they need to do this to spur innovation, they want a monopoly so they can control the school market. Thus the difference principle comes into play because the inequality that these companies are creating in the market place needs to be addressed. The most ethical thing to do is to make schools commercial free zones. Marketing in schools is unethical. The most ethical thing to do is to make elementary schools commercial-free zones. Students should be able to pursue learning free of commercial influences and pressures. Eighty percent of adults in the United States agree that schools should be commercial-free zones as well (). While this may be the most ethical course of action, it seems highly unlikely as marketing in schools has become entrenched. Schools continually need more money and the government is unable to provide it. If marketing in schools must continue at the very least it should be regulated. It does not seem probable that the industry will regulate itself, so it should be subject to more government oversight. Right now there is very little the government has done to restrict marketing in schools. Laws forbidding it are perceived to be a breach of the 1st amendment. A study found that only nineteen states currently have statues or regulations that address school-related commercial activities (). This number includes states that have statues that encourage commercial activities. The government should establish an independent commission to regulate marketing in public schools. This agency should make regulations that encourage schools to provide a healthy learning environment for students. The agency could regulate the sale of foods high in fat, sodium, and sugars. For example, it could decide that vending machines can not be stocked with sodas; however juices (100%) and water could still be sold. There would be greater social acceptance of this issue if it were implemented more appropriately. The business case for CSR prevails. This paper has established that the most ethical thing for corporations to do is to stop marketing to students in schools, or at the very least to regulate what they market to children. If a company were to stop marketing to children for the aforementioned ethical considerations it would be following a normative line of reasoning. The company would be interested in doing the right thing for society with little regard for how the proposition would effect its own bottom line. While I would applaud its efforts on a moral basis, this would be a very poor reason to engage in Corporate Social Responsibility. There needs to be a business incentive for corporations to engage in Corporate Social Responsibility. A company has to be successful financially if it is going to survive in the long run. However, there is always a business case for corporate social responsibility with respect to companies that sell consumer products. In the long run the closer a company aligns with the values of society the more successful it will be. Good ethics and good business are mutually reinforcing. In this case 80% of society wants commercial-free schools or at least commercialism that is regulated. It is socially responsible for a company to accommodate the wishes of society because it is in their long run interest to build a good reputation. A company like Coca-cola may be more successful at recruiting, retaining, and engaging with its employees and customers if it demonstrates that it is socially responsible. Critics might argue that this is just mere â€Å"window dressing. † However, a good reputation leads to higher sales in the long run. Both shareholder and stakeholder frameworks would support the business case for corporate social responsibility in this scenario. Milton Freidman is an advocate of the shareholder theory which maintains that a companies corporate social responsibility is to maximize profits without breaking the law or violating basic rules of society. Coca-Cola is not breaking any laws by marketing in schools, it is merely exercising its first amendment right to free speech. It is also not violating any social norms, children get to choose whether they want to buy unhealthy products. On one hand it may seem that Freidman would say that corporations should continue to market in schools because they are making a profit and therefore helping society. However Freidman would agree that companies need to balance there short term gains against their long-term interest. In this case, Freidman would advocate for the restriction of marketing in schools because it is in the long run self-interest of the company because companies like Coca-Cola needs to reassure their customers that they care about them. . An alternative approach to corporate social responsibility is the stakeholder theory. This theory maintains that companies should balance the interests of all stakeholders involved. In this scenario the stakeholders would be the students (customers), parents, teachers, corporations, suppliers, employees, shareholders, and society. Students are harmed by marketing in schools because marketing is correlated with problems like obesity and materialism. On the other hand these same students benefit because their schools are receiving additional funding for programs. Parents suffer because they have less control over what their children are exposed to, and it could undermine their values. Shareholders may benefit in the short run from marketing in schools, but in the long run the values of the company must be aligned with society if it is going to succeed. Therefore, the stakeholder theory would advocate a business case for Corporate Social Responsibility as well: to limit marketing in schools. Marketing in schools is a complex issue with many players. In this case, students are the most important players because schools are public institutions and schools are supposed to make students a top priority. Marketing in schools can not stop on its own, it needs to be either strictly prohibited or at the very least limited by the government.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Byzantine Art Essay

Early Christian art was highly influenced by religious, political, and cultural changes. In contrast to the classical, idealistic portrayal of man, Early Christian art took a much more stylized approach to the depiction of man, with a neglected attention to human anatomy. The subject matter of much of the art turned from secular to religious; Christianity to be more specific. Constantine was the last emperor of the Roman Empire to hold undivided power. Under his rule, Constantine created the Edict of Milan, granting religious tolerance to all religions. This was of particular importance to Christians, who had been previously persecuted due to their spiritual beliefs. Because of the Edict of Milan, many Christian buildings were erected in addition to the many secular buildings that were transformed into Christian buildings. These buildings housed countless numbers of priceless religious artworks. One such example is the Transfiguration of Christ mosaic located in Saint Catherineâ€⠄¢s Monastery in Sinai, Egypt. When Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople (modern day Istanbul), the Empire separated. Upon the division of the Roman Empire, Justinian, The Last Roman Emperor, held power over the Eastern Roman Empire from 527 to 565. Justinian was both a political and religious leader. Under his reign, many Christian buildings were constructed. Justinian often associated himself with Jesus Christ in the Byzantine artworks that these Christian buildings housed as a form of propaganda. The Orthodox Church now recognizes Justinian as a saint. Byzantine is a term used to describe eastern Mediterranean art from 330 to 1453, when the Turks conquered Constantinople (Strickland, 1992, p. 24). Mosaics were one of the most common forms of art during this period. They were intended to publicize the Christian creed through their religious subject matter (Strickland, 1992, p. 25). Byzantine mosaics are composed of small, colorful glass or stone squares and rectangles, called tesserae, embedded in wet cement or plaster. These tesserae were arranged in a manner through which they formed images. Typically, Byzantine mosaics are located on the walls and ceilings within a church apse and dome (Strickland, 1992, p. 25). The artists of these mosaics left the tesserae with jagged surfaces to create the sparkling, illuminated effect that distinguishes these mosaics  from those of other periods and places (Strickland, 1992, p. 25). The exteriors of Byzantine Christian structures were very plain in contrast to the elaborately decorated interiors. The awe-inspiring mosaics and icons brought the focus of the buildings to the interiors. Perhaps this was a method to spread the word of God by attracting people to come inside the buildings. Byzantine Emperor, Justinian, ordered the construction of he Monastery of the Transfiguration, more commonly known as Saint Catherine’s Monastery because the relics of Saint Catherine of Alexandria are said to have been inexplicably transported there, at the foot of Mount Moses (Wikipedia, 2006). The monastery houses the Chapel of the Burning Bush, which was ordered built by Constantine’s mother, Helena (Wikipedia, 2006). The Chapel of the Burning Bush is located at the site where Moses purportedly saw the burning bush (Wikipedia, 2006). Saint Catherine’s Monastery is now one of the oldest active monasteries in existence. The monastery survived Islamic dominance over the region due to a document that Mohammed supposedly signed himself, granting his protection over the monastery (Wikipedia, 2006). Saint Catherine’s Monastery allegedly gave Mohammed political asylum from his enemies (Wikipedia, 2006). In addition, a Fatimid mosque was built within the fortifications of Saint Catherine’s Monastery, thus creating further protection of the monastery from Islamic invasion (Wikipedia, 2006). Without the protection of Mohammed and the mosque, Saint Catherine’s Monastery would have been destroyed, and all of the irreplaceable artworks within its walls would have been lost. Byzantine mosaics contain many characteristics that distinguish them from the rest. The typical gold background of a Byzantine mosaic creates a sense of weightlessness within the figures, as if they are floating. Byzantine artists depicted sacred figures with halos, separating them from the other figures. With nude images having been forbidden, one can hardly make out the anatomy of the fully clothed figures. Though it is evident that symmetry was greatly appreciated, it is also evident that the mosaics lack perspective.  The figures depicted in the mosaics are flat and frontal facing with linear details. They are often slim with almond shaped faces and large eyes. The images depict little to no movement, creating a sense of stillness. These highly stylized Byzantine mosaics show disregard for Greco-Roman ideals. On an expedition set out by the University of Michigan in search of sites to excavate in the Near East, the staff spent five days at Saint Catherine’s Monastery (Forsyth, 1997). They discovered that the mosaics within the monastery had undergone little restoration since the time of Justinian (Forsyth, 1997). As a result, most of the works were in bad condition and on the verge of collapsing (Forsyth, 1997). Mosaic restorers came in to save the mosaics, which could have been lost forever (Forsyth, 1997). After they secured the mosaics, the restorers cleaned them (Forsyth, 1997). The mosaics now appear in their original state (Forsyth, 1997). One of the most known mosaics restored was the Transfiguration of Christ (Forsyth, 1997). The Transfiguration of Christ is located in the main church, Katholikon, in the apse over the high altar. The subject of this mosaic was an appropriate selection to portray in Saint Catherine’s Monastery because of its location at the foot of Mount Moses (Watson, 1999). In Christianity, the story claims that Jesus led three of his apostles, Peter, John, and James, to pray atop a mountain. It was here that Jesus transfigured, with his face shining like the sun and wearing bright white clothing. On both sides of Christ, Moses and Elijah appeared. Overhead, a brilliant cloud appeared, and God’s voice emerged from the cloud proclaiming, â€Å"This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.† It was then that Jesus spoke with Moses and Elijah about his upcoming death. The artist of this mosaic is unknown because artists went unrecognized until much later. This mosaic is in the form of a triumphal arch, bordered by medallions occupying the busts of the twelve apostles, fifteen prophets, Longinus the Abbot, John the Deacon, two angels, and a Greek cross in the top, center (Watson, 1999). Jesus Christ is depicted in the center of the mosaic with black hair and beard. He was placed in an oval mandorla with a cross and a bright yellow circle depicting his illumination behind his head.  Rays of light are shown coming from Christ’s body. In addition to the mandorla depicting Christ’s holiness, this was done to make Christ the emphasis of the mosaic as well as to distinguish him from the other figures. Elijah is shown on one side of Christ, while Moses is shown on the other. Beneath Christ, Peter, John, and James are portrayed with awe (Watson, 1999). The Transfiguration of Christ contains all the elements of Byzantine mosaics. It has a bright gold background. The figures are dematerialized and one cannot tell which figures were intended to be floating and which are not. One can hardly make out the figures beneath the clothing and the only skin shown is on the figures’ faces, hands, and feet. All the figures were placed symmetrically around Christ, making him the focus of the mosaic. The halo and mandorla around Christ show his holiness. Only slight movement is shown through the figures’ poses. The figures are very flat, despite the attempts of the artist to show shadow and overlapping. All of the figures are slender with almond shaped heads and large eyes. One can hardly see perspective when observing this mosaic. In conclusion, religion, politics, and culture had a significant influence on The Transfiguration of Christ, and all Early Christian art for that matter. With the Edict of Milan legalizing Christianity, the focus of art turned from secular to religious, changing the course of art forever. The Edict of Milan made it possible for Christians to practice their spiritual beliefs openly, leading to Early Christian art. Early Christian art can be credited with the spread of Christianity. One might wonder if Christianity would be as prominent as it is today had it not been for these artworks, or would it have died off a long time ago. Without Early Christian art, one might wonder when or how today’s modern day art would have evolved.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Correlation between Oil and Gold Prices and the US Dollar

Correlation between Oil & Gold prices and US dollar The History The forex exchange market is one of the largest and most liquid securities exchanges in the world with over $3. 2 trillion in average daily turnover. This equates to 10 times the average daily turnover of global equity markets and 35 times the average daily turnover of the New York Stock Exchange. The forex market is open 24 hours a day, 6 days a week, with the EUR/USD accounting for 27% of total turnover. There is plenty of opportunity to make and lose money in currency exchange. The gold standard era in the U. S. officially began with the passing of the Gold Standard Act in 1900. But it was not until World War II that brought about the need for a worldwide standard for currency values and exchange rates. The Bretton Woods Agreement in 1944 established two very important international institutions: the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (now the World Bank). What came from this agreement was that all the world’s currencies would be pegged against the value of gold, and with the U. S. dollar on the gold standard, the U. S. dollar effectively became the world’s reserve currency. The value of gold was fixed at $35 per ounce until the gold standard was effectively withdrawn in 1971 as President Nixon ordered an end to the out-dated system and the price of gold was allowed to â€Å"float†. Now, every major currency is no longer on the gold standard but rather is referred to as â€Å"fiat† currency. This basically means that a country’s own currency is intrinsically worthless because it is not backed by any type of reserve, such as gold. The value each currency is therefore based citizen’s perception of their economy, supply and demand for money in general, and how their currency is compared to other country’s currency. Something to think about though is 40 years ago, the world’s currencies used to be pegged against the price of gold and ultimately the Dollar. Now it would not be a stretch to say that global currency is on an Oil Standard. From 1944 until 1971, US dollars were convertible into gold by central banks in order to adjust for any trade imbalances between countries. Up to that point, the price of gold was fixed at US$35 per ounce, and the price of oil was relatively stable at about US$3. 00 per barrel. Once the US ceased gold convertibility in 1971, OPEC producers were forced to convert their excess US dollars by purchasing gold in the marketplace. This resulted in price increases for both oil and gold, until eventually oil reached US$40 per barrel and gold reached US$850 per ounce. In 1975 when the U. S. Government made a deal with Saudi Arabia and OPEC to only trade oil in U. S. Dollars, their â€Å"partnership† effectively gave the USD a monopoly over all other currencies when it comes to oil trading. The US has enjoyed inexpensive oil-based energy for nearly a century, and this is one of the prime factors behind the unprecedented prosperity of its economy in the 20th century. While the US accounts for only 5 percent of the world's population, it consumes 25 percent of the world's fossil fuel-based energy. It imports about 75 percent of its oil, but owns only 2 percent of world reserves. Because of this dependency on both oil and foreign suppliers, any increases in price or supply disruptions will negatively impact the US economy to a greater degree than any other nation. The majority of oil reserves are located in politically unstable regions, with tensions in the Middle East, Venezuela and Nigeria likely to intensify rather than to abate. Because of frequent terrorist attacks, Iraqi oil production is subject to disruption, while the risk of political problems in Saudi Arabia grows. The timing for these risks is uncertain and hard to quantify, but the implications of Peak Oil are predictable and quantifiable, and the effects will be more far-reaching than simply a rising oil price. In the early 1950s, M. King Hubbert, one of the leading geophysicists of the time, developed a predictive model showing that all oil reserves follow a pattern called Hubbert's Curve, which runs from discovery through to depletion. In any given oil field, as more wells are drilled and as newer and better technology is installed, production initially increases. Eventually, however, regardless of new wells and new technology, a peak output is reached. After this peak is reached, oil production not only begins to decline, but also becomes less cost effective. In fact, at some point in this decline, the energy it takes to extract, transport and refine barrel of oil exceeds the energy contained in that barrel of oil. When that point is reached, extraction of oil is no longer feasible and the reserve is abandoned. In the early years of the 20th century, in the largest oil fields, it was possible to recover 50 barrels of oil for each barrel used in the extraction, transportation and refining process. Today that 50 -to-1 ratio has declined to 5-to-1 or less. And it continues to decline. The Correlation between Oil & Gold Is there a strong correlation between the prices of gold and oil? It depends on which data are  used to measure. Many price movement studies suggest that the correlation between the two commodity prices over time is quite strong. Typically, these studies rely on data covering extensive periods of time and show that when oil increases in price, gold will inevitably follow. On the other hand, there are correlations calculated from data that show a weak relationship between the two prices. The data in these cases usually cover periods as short as years or months. â€Å"From 1965 to 1994, the monthly correlation between gold and oil weighed in at a  very  impressive +0. 879. From 1995 to 2000, however, this correlation seemingly vanished with a negative 0. 133 reading,† according to a May 2004 article by Zeal LLC. â€Å"Since 2000 though, the historical oil and gold correlation has been restored, now again running positive at +0. 715. †Ã‚  It would seem that gold may be well correlated with oil in the long term, but it is not necessarily so in the short term. While oil prices have exploded and gold prices have shown marked appreciation, protagonists of a tight long-term correlation between the two evoke previous historical price movements such as those in last half of the 1970s. From the mid-1970s to 1980, oil prices rose from around $20 USD per barrel to  more than  $100 USD per barrel in 2008 dollars. Gold followed along and roughly quadrupled in price during that same time period. [pic] The long-term chart above is also very valuable to help visualize just how closely gold and oil prices tend to correlate over strategic time frames. If one looks at major secular trends measured in years, gold and oil pretty much move in lockstep. Yes, they deviate tactically over shorter periods of time as their respective supply-and-demand influences dictate, but over the long run they travel the same path. Their prices tend to oscillate around each other and periodically cross on this chart. Over the entire four-decade span of time charted on this graph, these monthly gold and oil prices have a correlation coefficient of 0. 835 and an R-Square value of 69. 7%. These are very impressive numbers over such a long period of time and really drive home just how closely gold and oil are intertwined. If one focuses his attention on the far right side of this graph, however, a glaring anomaly becomes instantly apparent. Since oil bottomed near $11 in December 1998 ($13 in 2004 dollars) it has surged up dramatically in several subsequent uplegs achieving a mammoth 312% bull-to-date gain. But over the same period of time gold has lagged dramatically, only rallying by 39% or so in nominal terms. So far the gold price has not been able to even attempt to retain parity with oil in recent years. Now the only other similar time in history when oil was strong and gold lagged was in the late 1970s. As this chart reveals, for years gold lagged oil but when it finally did decide to catch up it powered higher with a vengeance. Gold, Oil and Dollar Relationship The answer to this question begins with the historical desire of Arab producers to receive gold in exchange for their oil. This dates back to 1933 when King Ibn Saud demanded payment in gold for the original oil concession in Saudi Arabia. In addition, Islamic law forbids the use of a promise of payment, such as the US dollar, as a medium of exchange. There is growing dissention among religious fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia regarding the exchange of oil for US dollars. Oil, gold and commodities have all been priced in US dollars since 1975 when OPEC officially agreed to sell its oil exclusively for US dollars. Today, apart from geopolitical threats in oil-producing regions, supply/demand imbalances from Peak Oil and increasing demand from developing countries, the price of both gold and oil can be expected to increase as the US dollar declines. With an ever-increasing US money supply, growing triple deficits and mounting debt at all levels, the US dollar is likely to continue the decline that began in 2001. Long term trend analysis shows negative correlation between gold prices and the value of dollar but gold price does not increase proportionately to the diminishing dollar. Market is not so simple that every down-day for the dollar corresponds to an up-day for gold and every up-day for dollar correspond to down day for gold. The effect may not be immediate and the lagging can sometime be attributed to the information gap and time lag which an individual wastes in doldrums not being able how to react to the changes. Daily and weekly fluctuations are not important at all as they don’t give analyst any idea of clear cut trend and interrelationship between them. Inflationary 1970’s saw soaring of gold above $800 while dollar fell. Dollar bounced back in 1980 and rallied before peaking in 1985, while concurrently gold peaked in 1980 and dropped all the way down to $300 during the same 5 years that dollar rallied. The Future of Gold, Oil and Dollar The word â€Å"recession† has been hurled around the biggest financial capitals in the world from New York to London to Tokyo, and no one really wants to be the one to drop the bomb. While all the experts and economists around the world want to debate who is or is not in a recession right now, it is pointless and frankly useless information. The incessant chaos and obvious current state of the global economy is clear cut enough that the world is facing major hurdles in moving forward with our economies. The fact of the matter is, all the major economies are hurting badly and answers are becoming more infrequent and costly as time continues. Amongst a multitude of important topics to discuss in relation to a worldwide recession, the currency markets are a great source of risk and sometimes guaranteed investing opportunities no matter how unpredictable the world’s stock markets are trading. It’s quite clear that over the past six months, the Euro was the place to be if one wanted to lose a lot of money. Sure it was trading at all-time highs versus the Dollar back in May, but with the U. S. slashing interest rates, the Euro has given all of those wonderful gains back and then some, to the tune of 2 year lows. It seemed that an even one-to-one exchange rate was the next stop for the EUR/USD, until the past 10 days when bad went to worse. As bellwether, blue-chip companies continue to fold across the U. S. the only solution the world can come up with is to give them all the money they need to stay alive and skip out on the much publicized Chapter 11. The average U. S. consumer simply cannot handle reality in times of massive financial distress and force the government to hold their hand through this horror movie that is the year 2008. With government money flooding the economy and interest rates on their way to 0% and beyond in the U. S. , inflation is on the brink of exploding and no one is going to want to be anywhere close to a U. S. Dollar. [pic] Oil Relief Rising crude oil prices over the last two years and the general rush to commodities has been a major roadblock for the U. S. Dollar. As discussed above, there has generally been a negative relationship between crude oil prices and the value of the U. S. Dollar. It is no coincidence that as oil prices peaked in May, the Dollar was at all-time lows versus the Euro, and conversely as oil prices have shed over 60% in value since then, the Dollar has rallied against most major currencies. Something that has been a very debatable topic is how crude oil prices have fluctuated so wildly in the past 12 months and the role of speculators in the commodities market. With oil prices falling this year primarily on falling consumption and increasing reserves, how countries like the U. S. and China react to the recent economic turmoil will determine the fate of crude oil prices going through 2009. The recession affecting all the major economies will remain dire without substantial relief in sight in the near future. Provided speculators do not drive the prices up and the recent terrorist attacks in India fail to spread panic in the Middle East, crude prices will remain modest and will not have a major effect on the U. S. Dollar. Nonetheless, if there happens to be a large run-up in oil prices back towards the $100 mark, the Dollar will be back on the defensive. As far as gold is concerned, with such a huge demand for gold coming from around the world, it is no wonder that the price is projected to reach an almost unbelievable $1000 per ounce. One of the biggest importers of gold is China, constituting a large chunk of the price hike. Most of the gold usage is jewellery related. Supply is also a factor. With such a high demand, gold is becoming scarcer. Miners are searching for new sources to combat the possible shortage. The Federal Reserve has a lot of control over the value of the dollar. When it raises interest rates, usually the value of the dollar goes up. Now, with the Fed lowering interest rates in hopes of promoting trade between banks, the value of the dollar is going down and so, the value of gold is going up.

Friday, September 13, 2019

MHE512 Disaster Relief Module 3 SLP Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

MHE512 Disaster Relief Module 3 SLP - Essay Example To provide immediate answer to the basic needs of the victims regardless of the calamity or tragedy that has occurred: it is very important that relief providers know the basic needs and have the proper resources they need to be able to give to the victims of calamity and tragedies. To find the best providers of resources that could assist the relief and recover officials that allow the chance to give provisions that are needed by the victims: where to find the resources to be given for the needs of the victims of calamities and tragedies This is a practical question that is aimed to be answered through this system of relief and recovery process being suggested. It could be noted that through this particular consideration, the relief providers would have a better chance of pursuing the relief services directly without hindrance of having no source for the needed relief goods for distribution. To find a more effective process of servicing the victims of the tragedies and calamities with a more effective chain of command that would involve all the institutions that are enjoined within the process of assisting people who were made vulnerable because of the tragedies and calamities that occurred in their lives. Utilizing the different institutions and organizations present in the society for the benefits of the greater number of people who need help. To create a partnership among institutions that could help towa... Goals: The main goal of this proposal is to set a reasonable process that would be workable for many concerned administrators when it comes to providing aid to the victims of tragedies and calamite as well as other unfortunate events that occur every now and then. To create the said reasonable process, establishing partnerships among institutions that are present in the communities in concern is given practical attention to. 2Likely, the idea is to make every organization concerned in helping people survive the recovery that they need to move on from the different misfortunes that they have experienced in the past because of tragedies and calamities that they have surpassed. Communication: To establish a fine process of communicating between the partners that are supposed to work together for a single cause, the need to find better ways to link the institutions together is essential. It could not be denied that the ample provision of help and guidance for these partnered institutions is indeed a huge consideration to be given proper attention to by the concerned administrators of the system. 3The communication, to be effective, need to be technologically aided with accuracy and guidance which would give chances to the perpetrators of relief operations have a practical sense of urgency once the communication notices reaches them. Command Structure: The success of the entire procedure is dependent on how much the people involved are able to cooperate with each other. With the different institutional partners involved, it is essential that the process of overseeing the relief operations should flow within a practical sense of command. Agreement between the

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Pricing Research Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 words - 1

Pricing - Research Paper Example This discussion stresses that pricing features are manufacturing cost, place, current market situation, and value of manufactured goods. Pricing is considered as a significant factor in the economic pricing allotment theory. Pricing is an elementary factor for generating finance besides the troll to help optimization of profit. It is also considered as the essential Ps of the marketing mix, alone with the other three characteristics of product, promotion, and place. Price is the single â€Å"income creating† component along with the four Ps which are only the sources of cost.According to the report findings  pricing is a repeated physical process which has a direct bearing or sale orders. Aspects such as a predetermined amount, mass break, backing or sales movement, precise dealer quote, price existing on entry, consignment or charge date, mixture of numerous instructions or lines etc will also influence pricing decisions. Computerized system necessitate extra complex and pe rpetuation but may avoid pricing errors. The requirements of customers can be transformed into demand only if the consumer has the readiness and capability to acquire the product and it comes with a reasonable price. Thus price is extremely significant in marketing.  There are various methods to price the goods manufactured. Launching a pricing policy is an action that must be finished before established merchandise expansion.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Media Law Report on Reynolds Privelage Defence Essay

Media Law Report on Reynolds Privelage Defence - Essay Example Does Reynolds privilege apply in the case study and determination of whether it amounts to defamation with application of case law? A conclusion of the determination of the facts will be made after the facts have been made and recommendations to that effect made too. In the case of Reynolds .vs. The Times Newspaper,1 The Prime Minister Albert Reynolds was accused by the British press of deliberately misleading the Irish parliament. Reynolds sued for defamation and the defendants raised qualified privilege as a defence. At the trial, the jury gave a verdict that was in favour of Reynolds and he was awarded damages. The Court of Appeal rejected this decision and instead they ordered for a re-trial and held that the said publications had not been covered under the qualified privilege. The defendants went ahead and argued that there should be some form of privilege available to newspapers regarding political matters that they publish. The House of Lords rejected this argument stating tha t such an argument would fail to provide adequate protection for reputation and it would make it difficult for one to discern political discussions from other serious matters. Qualified privilege was held be in existence only when the common law test is satisfied. The common law test is seen whereby a person who makes a communication has a duty or interest to make the communication to the person with whom it is made, then the person to whom the communication is made has a corresponding duty or interest to receive the said communication. It was on this case that Lord Nicholls then came up with a list to determine whether qualified privilege exists. One should take into account how serious the allegation is, the nature of the information, the urgency of the matter, whether the comment was sought from the plaintiff, whether the article contained the plaintiff’s side of the story, the tone of the article and the circumstances of the publication should be considered. This case the refore came up with what is now called the Reynolds tests, which are the tests that someone should consider when raising qualified privilege as a defence. These tests signify how important it is for the source of information to be reliable before a defence on qualified privilege can be raised. The allegations that have been made to Billie are of a serious nature first because they touch on public interest. Anything that concerns the public should be treated with utmost concern and independent investigations should be done. Qualified privilege is raised when a matter touches on public interest. In Bonnick .vs. Morris2, qualified privilege was used as a defence. The House of Lords in this case stated that the law relating to qualified privilege was consistent with article 10 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and fundamental freedoms3. It also stated that though the wordings may not be the same, the law relating to the Reynolds principle is consistent with t heir constitution under section 224. If the newspaper was seeking to publish the defamatory statement, it should have a factual statement. The anonymous source provided no information. There should also have been an inclusion of the defendants own statement. It was observed in this case that Reynolds principle were meant to provide a degree of responsible journalism and this is where there is a proper balance is held between the reputation of individuals and freedom of expression on matters that touch on the public. In this case,

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Albatross anchors part 2 Case Study Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 words

Albatross anchors part 2 - Case Study Example Moreover, the plant which includes the functions of manufacturing, storage of raw materials and shipping fails to abide by the safety along with environmental standards in the United States (US) presently. Thus, in order to achieve an obvious as well as a sustainable competitive position, Albatross Anchor requires making certain long as well as short term direct and definite operational changes. In this discussion, definite long and short term operational alterations that Albatross Anchor should create in order to attain a sustainable as well as an apparent competitive advantage will be taken into concern. Moreover, a few of the operational issues which would support the company to improve the aspect of job retention, morale and dedication of its employees will also be highlighted in the discussion. Question One Long-term operational changes 01 Albatross Anchor needs to transform its administrative offices as a part of the long-term operational change for the purpose of attaining a c omprehensible as well as a sustainable competitive benefit. It has been observed that the company already has certain issues concerning its administrative offices which are considered to be somewhat disorganized and operated inefficiently. In order to run its administrative offices more efficiently as well as in an organized manner, the company should properly utilize its valuable resources such as the deployment of workers should be made in a manner so as to ensure efficiency in terms of performing different operational functions. Moreover, the company should build an effective form of communication with its other members which would ultimately support it to run its administrative offices in an organized way (Curristine, Lonti & Joumard, 2007). 02 Apart from making the operational changes relating to the administrative offices, the company should also make certain changes in its plant which involves functions related to manufacturing, storage of raw materials, shipping and storage of finished products. It has been viewed that the plant of the company lacks the inclusion of modern technology, is antiquated as well as dirty and most importantly it fails to comply with the US safety and environmental standards. In this similar context it can be mentioned that the company should apply innovative as well as new technologies which are supposed to comply with the safety as well as environmental standards. Moreover, in relation to the operational change, the company should also expand the limited space of the plant by building new blocks in order to run its business operations efficiently. By building new blocks, different innovative technological equipments can be stored and implemented which might support the company to attain a superior competitive position (Curristine, Lonti & Joumard, 2007). 03 Another operational change that Albatross Anchor should adopt in order to achieve a sustainable competitive benefit relates to the procedure of selling its products. The company usually sells its manufactured products to the distributors who act as middlemen. Moreover, the company also sells its products to the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) who purchases the products of the company in large batches. Apart from selling the products to the distributors and the OEM’s, the company can sell its valuable products online for the motive of accomplishing significant competitive advantage. In this regard it can be mention