Archive for the ‘International’ Category

Now on Bloomberg: PMI Data

Looking to chart the economic health of the manufacturing sector, today or over time?  Bloomberg has partnered with Markit to provide their complete set of PMI data (more than 3500 tickers covering multiple countries, including Emerging Markets, EU, BRIC, Japan, United Arab Emirates, UK, & US). Data include most headlines and three years of history, chartable against other economic indicators and securities. In the PMI Index, >50 = growth, <50 = contraction. Each country survey also covers changes in price, orders, inventory, and employment.  Type PMI <GO> to see a variety of PMI links, or ECWB <GO> to create charts. Note: Our Bloomberg license restricts use to current Stanford students, faculty, and staff for academic use only.

Financial database table

Doing financial research using empirical data? Need runs of prices for commodities or stocks, fixed income data, or historic national indicators? Check out our financial databases comparison chart. This table is a quick way to compare the content of some of our major financial / economic data sets:  Bloomberg, Datastream, FactSet, CRSP and Global Financial Data. And if you have any questions, please contact our Library staff, either at the front desk or via the Ask Us interface, and we’ll be happy to help.

The Pope and Poverty

Pope Francis has issued Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), particularly notable for its strong opinions about capitalism. Standing in the tradition of Rerum Novarum of Leo XIII and Pacem in Terris of John XXIII, the Pope has offered a vigorous critique of capitalism, peppering the document with calls to conscience. “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?” he asks, as the 84-page letter denounces the ‘idolatry of money’ and calls for financial reform by world leaders. “Money must serve, not rule!” The Pope goes on to urge governments to guarantee all citizens “dignified work, education and healthcare.” Of course the document also addresses other eccelesial matters as well, setting the tone for his papacy  – “I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.”  This is the latest foray of the Pope into world thought, and will no doubt cement his image in the popular imagination as a force to be reckoned with. Should we expect anything less from a Pope who took his name from Francis of Assisi?

Crowd sourced price data

I ran across an interesting blog published by the World Bank called Open Data. The blog’s focus is “This blog is a forum for discussing development data issues and open access to data. Open access to data is a key part of the World Bank’s commitment to sharing our knowledge to improve people’s lives.”

The most recent blog entry is talking about how some of the World Bank staff decided on a pilot project to collect and present more timely price data. They realized one important fact: our parents, neighbors, friends and the rest of the crowd can collect price data! However, would this price data be reliable and timely? We set out to examine the feasibility of this approach.


Trouble on the Island

Interesting article in the NY Times about new challenges facing Taiwan. Home to major technology suppliers, Taiwan is finding itself confronting serious problems, such as a lack of innovation, that derive in part from its educational system and culture. The world is changing; mobile phone technology, for example, is giving computers a run for their money, and Taiwan must adapt. The island is facing pressure from two sides: the US and mainland China. I have personally been to Taiwan several times, and my wife’s family lives there — so I’m rootin’ for ‘em!

Battle of Wits

Apple notoriously ran afoul of public monitors of labor conditions in China. Other firms have also been called on the carpet of international opinion over the years for debatable working conditions in suppliers’ factories, including Disney and Samsung. One group with claims to ferreting out such dubious corporate behavior, for example, is China Labor Watch. All this is illustrative of the fact that a worldwide social consciousness in business is gradually emerging. But will it be able to keep pace with the ingenuity and cleverness of those trying to conceal unwholesome factory practices?

Free data? Free data!

Looking for websites on a business topic or industry?  Consider the Library’s Business Web Sites  –  nearly 140 different sites on a fantastic range of topics. Coverage includes accounting, baseball, biotech, commodities, housing, international statistics, marketing, mutual funds, patents, private equity, real estate, supermarkets, video games and much more. All of these sites should have free information but, since Stanford is not paying for access, at some point you might run up against some restricted material. Of course at that point you might choose to purchase the data, if it suits you. But there is so much free information on industries and financial topics that you may be satisfied with what is readily available. And as always, if you are not finding what you need, just ask a librarian for help.

Passport GMID: Euromonitor’s Global Market Information Database

Looking for overviews of industries, companies or brands and how well they perform in select market segments?  Seeking consumer, economic, or demographic data for a specific country or geographic region across the globe?  Take a look at the wealth of data available from Passport GMID.  Check consumption rates to find current top consumers and where the market for a product is growing fast.  Build custom searches to analyze macroeconomic indicators, compare market sizes and/or brand shares, observe trends, and more.  As always, just ask a librarian for more details.

Mobile Tech: Act local, think global

Interesting article in the March/April 2012 issue of Technology Review on how locals in Kenya are creating mobile apps and using mobile phones to improve how health care is managed in destitute communities.  This work is in keeping with the mobile tech presentations at the GSB’s recent USRio+2.0 conference and the efforts of the’s pioneering class on Designing Liberation Technologies, and is catching on across the globe. As Martin Enriquez (MBA/M.Ed ’92), CEO of CIT Global in Cairo, puts it: “You don’t need to move to a big city, or quit your day job… even a developer in a small village in any country can create something that can be used around the world.”

Innovation in China

With labor costs rising drastically in China, will companies close their factories there to seek less expensive labor in other countries?  A recent article in The Economist says no, for a number of reasons.  It also explores the state of innovation in China, as the government unveils a five year plan for “indigenous innovation.”


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