Articles by Jens F. Laurson & George A. Pieler

Why Abusing Customer Service Representatives Makes Economic Sense

If you live in the western world and can breathe, you are a victim of "customer service hotline syndrome". Apostrophes are essential with this triple-misnomer: You are not treated like a customer, calling the response you get--if you get one--"service" is a supreme Read More

Trading Up...or Down

The U.S. and Brazil are battling over cotton: Brazil counters U.S. subsidies for its production with tariffs on a variety of imports from the States. Brazil has the sanction of the WTO, but that doesn't make the tariffs any better... Read More

Mysteries of the Air

On February 7, the Airport Security-2010 conference convenes in Dubai. Featured on the program are forums and workshops on technology, overuse of technology, and even "Middle East criminals." Nothing about Islamist extremism, though. The 2009 holiday season exposed Read More

"F" for Freedom

Pundits, always eager to find a crack and drive a wedge into it, predict tough and tense negotiations between Chancellor Angela Merkel and her new coalition partner, FDP leader Guido Westerwelle. After all, Germany doesn't like radical change, and the... Read More

The Battle of the Bulb

You can lead a horse to water, but not make it drink: except for politicians, especially in Brussels. Europe's Finest, ever busy fixing the world, stop at nothing to force happiness upon their citizens. Who knows better what's good for... Read More

Unfinished Business Can Stimulate, Too

The world waits breathlessly for a final stimulus plan from President Obama and Congress, but we need only look back a little to identify a few win-win initiatives that could help boost the economy. Last year the Bush administration came... Read More

The Promise of Gas

In his inaugural address, President Obama observed that, "Each day brings further evidence that the way we use energy strengthens our adversaries". Tell it to Europe, Mr. President. Russia has resumed delivering Gas to Europe—for now. The latest crisis, with... Read More

Germany's Cup Runneth Under

Even after its heart-stopping overtime loss to Italy in the semi-finals, Germany is riding the waves of World Cup Mania. The IFO business confidence index hit a 15-year high, the young German team showed top form and defied criticism in... Read More

Pirates of the Black Sea

Vladimir Putin claims to be a quid-pro-quo guy. At the Black Sea summit between Russia and the EU, he insisted on "reciprocity" for any European involvement in Russia's "holy of holies", its energy resources and associated state-run industries. Ever the... Read More

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