Most of us have an interest in interest rates, one way or the other.
For example, the current record low rates, negative in some countries, mean that those with mortgages and other loans rejoice while those who live off their investments don’t fare as well.
Consequently, one question looms: when will interest rates rise, and by how much?
Many years ago an article was published in the UK lamenting the dismal state of primary education in Great Britain. The key premise of the article: half of the students had below average reading skills.
Apparently the article was promoted as highlighting a serious problem, conveniently ignoring an important fact in favour of selling more newspapers – in any typical statistical sample, the number of values below and above average will be similar.
When I studied engineering, one of the most embarrassing mistakes an aspiring engineer could make was to derive a dimension from the wrong ‘base’.
It appears inevitable that sooner or later the GST rate in Australia will increase, despite the current disjointed and highly politicised tax debate.
When this happens, who will be hit the hardest? Which social-economic group will lose the most when the GST rate gets hiked to 15 per cent?
For years now, industry experts and the media have debated the percentage of retail turnover that will ultimately end up online.
The growth of internet sales continues to exceed that of brick and mortar sales. Today, retailers derive somewhere between 1 and 5 per cent of their turnover from online sales.
On 15 July 1410, the Polish-Lithuanian coalition scored a decisive victory over the Teutonic Order in the battle of Grunwald. Many factors contributed to this outcome, which set the wheels in motion for the ultimate demise of the Order.
However, one element stands out: the Polish king controlled his army from a command post on a hill. In contrast, the Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights fought with his troops on the battlefield – the Order gained a great and committed soldier, but they lost a general.
Retailers often use the term ‘technological debt’ when their systems become increasingly misaligned with their business. The term implies that their IT foundation suffers from missing functionality, poor speed, low data accuracy, and inability to access information in real-time. Retailers then start thinking that they need to introduce a new system, or add more parts to the existing one.
In the early 1990s I worked at McEwans, which later morphed into Bunnings. To learn more about the business and how it operates, I would help out every Saturday on the shop floor at a branch located near where I lived.
One Saturday, I noticed dirt on the shelves in the paint department. My initial reaction was to clean them myself, but then it occurred to me: what if other stores have the same problem?