Friday, April 24, 2009

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

We will have a nice summer 2009

Yesterday the Zurich Sechselaeuten took place. A big parade in historic costumes along the Bahnhofstrasse and the Limmatquai. The many Zunfte (guilds) come all in different costumes and are greeted by big crowds of people. Most of the guilds invite Swiss politicians, members of public authorities or company executives to join their group. Women and children (and sometimes men) bring their favourites flowers.

Then, and that is the most impressive part, a huge snowman called Böögg (Boogg) sitting on a large pile of wood gets set to fire starting at 6pm. The guilds horsemen ride around the scene. Everyone sees how the snowman starts to catch fire. Explosives hidden in it's inside detonate until finally the snowman's head crashes. The time until the head explodes indicates what the summer will be like. This year it took 12 minutes and 55 seconds, quite an average time. This should result in quite good summer wheather.

See pictures of the Sechselaeuten (some statistics on the duration of the snowman's fire in the German version Wiki) and visit in one of the coming years.

Monday, April 20, 2009

US house prices approaching fair values

Should the US house prices now find realistic, fair levels? The Business Insider thinks so in it's news post. Should this really be the case, this signal would be most important as it would mean that banks can model realistic values again. Based on this there would be much more trust into their balance sheets. This is of greatest importance for the economies and for valuation of banks, too. At the same time house prices could in the medium term develop again from this new baseline. Let's keep fingers crossed that the authors are right.

Alltop is on top of things

Have you already come across Alltop? It's a very interesting way for looking at the top stories in many different areas. Have a look at my selection of Alltop stories focused on HR matters. You can build your own selection of interests and individualize your content very quickly. Just follow these three steps:
- open an account on Alltop at the top of the website,
- select your areas of interest and add them to your Alltop account by clicking on the plus (+) sign
- go to the Manage tab and rearrange the areas your following

After this you will always see the most recent stories in your MyAlltop area.

GM disposing of Opel

GM has to get rid of Opel as quickly as possible. And this will also be the best option for Opel as it's parent company is struggling and might go into Chapter 11. This could also clear the road for investments or support by the German government, industrial investors or private banking turnaround financing. It will be very interesting to see what's going to happen. See today's post by Financial Times.

My public profiles

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Language of my blogs

My blogs will be in a mix of languages depending on sources. Generally I will use English for my comments, but links can lead to sources in German, French, Italian or Spanish language, as these are languages I speak or understand. This broadens the scope of media I'm following, at the same time a cross cultural content will be created.

My Tweets

Please also have a look at my miniblogs on Twitter

Largest companies

Here it is the 2009 list of the largest companies published by Forbes. The biggest three are
- GE
- Royal Dutch Shell
- Toyota Motor

The biggest Swiss company is Nestlé in position 32.
In terms of market valu the top dogs are
- Exxon
- Petro China
- Wal Mart
with Nestlé in rank 16.

The top companies in Switzerland are
- Nestlé
- Roche
- Novartis.

Full list at