Fareed Zakaria GPS – CNN 08-31-14

Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said:

  • Defeating ISIS would require a large and sustained strategic effort from the US but without significant numbers of US ground troops.
  • ISIS videos of executions are designed to sow terror in the minds of opponents who when facing ISIS fighters now reportedly flee rather than fight.

Zbigniew Brzezinski at the Center for Strategic and International Studies said:

  • What is happening in Ukraine is a Russian invasion but also a major blow to Putin’s personal and international ambitions, namely to recreate something like the Soviet Union.
  • The West has been very slow in convincing Putin that he cannot go all the way.
  • Increasingly all the major partners in NATO and the EU.
  • Putin clearly has indicated that if he succeeds in Ukraine, he’ll do the same to the Baltic states.
  • Nato members are very glad to have American protection in NATO but not all of them are prepared to carry their burden, to stand together.
  • China is worried that if Putin’s adventurism produces a major conflict, that would be a very serious threat to global well-being and a fundamental disaster to China.
  • China must tell Putin that using force to change borders nowadays is not the way to deal with international problems.
  • ISIS is not a state but a bunch of decentralized brigands united by extremist views managed from a single leadership but not very effectively. It will have to be dealt with in different ways in different areas but cannot be led by America.

Americans take much less vacation and work longer work weeks than most of their counterparts in advanced industrial countries. The US is the only advanced economy where workers are not guaranteed paid vacation time. European workers are guaranteed at least 20 paid vacation days a year.

South Koreans worked nearly the longest hours of any OECD country but were less productive than the average OECD worker. Asian workers have historically been less productive than Americans though the gap is narrowing. Germans work 600 hours less every year than Greeks but their productivity is 70 percent higher.

Ernst and Young found that for every additional 10 hours of vacation an employee took, the company saw an 8% improvement in performance ratings.

The US Travel Association said that if Americans used all of their allotted time off, there would be an additional $160 billion in sales across several sectors, generating an additional $52 billion in earned income and 1.2 million additional jobs.

By 2025, 58% of the world’s population will be living in cities.

China has the most financially literate teens, followed by Belgium and Estonia. The US was on a par with the OECD average.

Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/ or read the full transcript

at http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1408/31/fzgps.01.html

The Best Way to Find a Cheap Airplane Ticket, According to Two Guys Who Set Fares – BloombergBusinessweek 09-24-13

Salient to Investors:

Bill Brunger at PODS Research and Scott Nason at SDN TT&H Consulting said:

  • A single flight often has 20 or more fares with purchase deadlines of 1 to 90 days. Fares booked 21 days in advance generally cost less than fares bought a week or less before travel.
  • Airlines overbook most flights as the amount of no-shows has been remarkably stable over the years and it is financially lucrative as overbooking accounts for 2 percent to 4 percent of the industry’s entire revenue.
  • Buying vacation flights nearly a year in advance will not help you get the best ticket price because revenue management people don’t know too much a year out so are nervous and pick a default level that’s conservative.
  • For Thanksgiving and Christmas travel, book early-ish as an airline having too many empty seats three to four weeks before departure and being desperate to sell them is exceedingly rare – closer to departure, the seats that are left cost far more.
  • If the price feels like a fairly good fare, take the plunge.
  • Stop looking and keep shopping a flight you’ve purchased. Airlines are much less likely to refund you the savings than they used to be.

Read the full article at  http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-24/the-best-way-to-find-a-cheap-airplane-ticket-according-to-two-guys-who-set-fares#r=rss

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Fleeced by Fees When You Travel? – New York Times 09-21-12

Salient to Investors:

Bjorn Hanson at NYU said $1.85 billion in fees and surcharges was collected in 2011 for hotels alone versus $1.2 billion in 2000, expects $1.95 billion in 2012.

Airlines collected over $3.3 billion in baggage fees and over $2.3 billion in reservation cancellation and change fees in 2011.

Carlson Wagonlit Travel say fuel surcharges have risen nearly twice as fast as oil prices since April 2011.

Read the full article at http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/travel/fleeced-by-fees-when-you-travel.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120922