Monday, July 26, 2010

Fascinating stuff about the gold price

This is a fun little article talking about how the price of gold is set. It's really rather archaic and dates all the way back to 1919. OK, they've moved a little bit with the times now and they use a telephone rather than actually all meeting in the same room but the old ways still do seem to persist.

Perhaps we shouldn't say gold price, but one of the gold prices is fixed in this funny old manner. The five main dealer banks all meet up (telephonically now of course) and essentially barter about the price at which they're willing to buy or sell gold. Under the old system if they wanted to take a little break in the bartering (to talk to someone else, just to think for a moment) they would raise a little union jack flag they had on their desk.

When they lower it then it all starts again. When the bartering was finished then all the flags would stay down. Now, of course, over the phone, no one can see the flags: so, instead, they say "flag" when they want that break. Funny how these things go really, old traditions hanging on.

But do understand, this is how the gold spot price is fixed: futures and options prices change all the time. And it's only the London spot gold price that is fixed this way: everyone else just does it on the internet.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Finding those women's t-shirts

Yes, yes, we've all heard what globalisation has done for the costs of clothing. You can nip down to the shopping centre and get a t-shirt for less than the cost of a beer and wear it straight home. However, the problem is with the quality: the t-shirt is unlikely to last as long as an open beer at a student party. And that's not the only problem. Given that everyone will have seen the same t-shirts for sale everyone will equally know that you're wearing some really very cheap and tatty t-shirt. Not really what you want to be flaunting.

On the other hand we all also know that really good quality designer clothes cost a fortune. What we'd really like, if only we could find it, is some way of getting the good quality gear for a more reasonable price. Not the easiest of things to do that. But it would be good if we could, yes? For then we'd be able to show that we've the good sense and good taste to buy and wear that good quality designer gear without having had to pay the full price for it. We're smart and well clothed and yet even smarter than those who simply buy it from the stores, right?

Which is why you might want to look at this site and their women's t-shirts. They've got the brands you want, French Connection, Henley's, Goi Goi, but at prices which could save you as much as 50% of the recommended retail. Look good, look smart and save money: what could possibly go wrong?

Leaving, of course, more money for those other necessities of a life well lived: no, it doesn't have to be beer, there are plenty of other things which can add to such. For example, the savings on a Goi Goi t-shirt can be enough to purchase a Motel one: designer clothes at two for one prices!

Where can I find a job in the Middle East?

In these hard times for all of us, it's worth thinking outside the box if you're looking for a job. We all know that it's not all that easy (and in some parts of the country, darn near impossible) to find any job at all let alone a good one.

So, rather than shlepping from one classified ad to yet another interview for a call sales centre, why not seriously think about how you're going to get your career back on track, about how to break out of the sterile confines of simply UK based jobs?

For the recession, the slump in good jobs, isn't true all around the world. There are economies out there which are still booming, indeed some which are growing faster than before. And they're, many of them, just a short hop away on a plane. You should, or at least could, be thinking of jobs in the UAE for example.

Any why not? The United Arab Emirates are booming, there's construction and new business all over the place: driven by the still insatiable hunger for the oil and gas of the region. And the authorities are actively looking for foreigners, expats, to come in and do the jobs that the locals aren't trained to do as yet. These jobs aren't just in the oil and gas sectors either.

They're actively looking for people to work in the financial industry (they've identified finance as one of those sectors which they want and need to grow), banking....and of course the inevitable IT and telecoms as they build the foundations and structures of a modern economy.

Why not check it out by clicking through the link?

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Passing on my experience

As someone who has actually been running a business that operates internationally for many years now allow me to pass on one of the most vital points to you.

You really do need to use professional tranlsation services. No, you cannot get by just hiring a combination girlfriend/bilingual secretary. It really is important that you get major and important documents properly checked over, have a proper professional translation done.

This is obviously important for contracts: if you're not absolutely certain of what is in a contract then you shouldn't be signing it. And if the translation isn't perfect then you won't be catching the nuance of what is in the contract.

You also need a translation service when you're looking at offers: so much of the problem that we all have with other languages is over tenses. It makes really a rather large difference if you've got to pay people before they do anything or whether you have to pay them after they've done something.

So, if you're going to be doing business internationally then really, take my word for it, a lesson that I've learned very expensively. You really do want to use language translation services. Yes, you really do want to pay for them.