Monday, 29 March 2010

I don’t get it...

1. I wouldn’t dare to declare this is any kind of breakthrough or milestone, it’s rather a folly and an outcome of too loose monetary policy and some other factors, but this happened today.
The WIG (index of Warsaw stock exchange which covers all companies listed) almost doubled its value from its low of 21,274.28 points on 17 February 2009 to 42,346.66 points today (but during the trading session the value was 200 points higher). How is it all going to end? – you’d ask. I suppose the stock prices will be rising in the next months, but in a rather moderate pace and the market will be quite volatile – we’ll see the a few corrections by five to fifteen per cent by the end of the year.

And the official version is that we are witnessing an unprecedented strong V-shaped recovery, profits of the companies will be skyrocketing, GDP figures will shoot up soon and generally stocks are undervalued and only a sucker or coward wouldn’t buy them now. Fortunately my grandma hasn’t called me to ask which stocks she should buy so the end of the folly is still far away, but the word “sucker” will sooner or later become a buzzword.

Some analysts are noticing something is afoot
– will this voice of common sense be drowned out? I have to say for many weeks I haven’t read such well-argued analysis as that from today NY Times.

UPDATE, 30 March - today WIG notched up and crossed the imaginary border of 100%

2. As a rule I can say I don’t like and don’t understand marketing. I consider myself a person not prone to the efforts of marketing specialist who try to promote products (sometimes brainwash customers) by telling them they have some distinguishing features which justify the higher price. Sometimes I discern a good campaign, but for me much of the money is quite often spent in vain. Probably according to famous Pareto principle 20% of marketing spending generate 80% of total sales revenues.

There were situations in my short life when I had to promote something, sometimes I even succeeded, but it was when I did think what I promoted was worth being bought and the drivel flowing from my mouth wasn’t just a second-rate sales pitch.

But in a way I admire the people who have the gift and guts to persuade other to buy something what is generally unsightly and costs much more than it’s really worth. One of the examples are wellingtons, very popular among young women these days. The shoes usually to walk in the water are now an all-the-rage type of footwear and a pair of such rubber boots (to flatter users of AmE) costs as my friend told me 100 to 300 PLN. Great, you just need to be a fashion designer to come up with something kitschy, tell fashion-followers they’re in fashion this season and put a price label which has nothing in common with the intrinsic value of the product. This craze will be gone next year, but a new one is bound to come. I don’t think anything worse than wearing sneakers with a suit might happen, but my thinking has been proved wrong so many times.

3. And the new campaign launched by ZTM. Pan Mietek, who’s meant to be a main figure of a campaign is a retired actor who 25 years ago played a taxi driver in one of TV series. He is a driver – the ZTM authorities say and so he should talk other drivers into leaving their cars in garages and commute to work by buses. The bus-lane campaign should promote privileges for public transport as regulations which make moving around Warsaw quick and convenient. But as I noticed young people say Pan Mietek is a typical stary jełop (EN: old clunk). Whom will he address, the likes of him – Pani Stasia, Pan Kazik? The ones who already ride buses? To make this campaign more successful they should hire middle-aged CEOs and young yuppies who don’t stoop so low to use public transport and despite good service from home to work they prefer to get stuck in their cars in traffic jams. As long as people don’t see traveling by bus or tram is not a benchmark of lower social status they won’t be convinced to change their vehicles for public transport.


PolishMeKnob said...

I think the new Polish bourgeoisie have fallen too far in love with their BMWs and Audis to go back to public transportation. Honestly, the traffic in Warsaw isn't half as bad as some other cities (Boston, New York, LA) to really give people a reason to take public transportation. Oh, yeah, and there's currently only one subway line and that runs north-south (no one gives up a car to take a bus, but people will take the subway.)

student SGH said...

which BMWs and Audis. Those 15-year-old pieces of scrap brought from Germany where nobody wants to drive them any more or those brand-new bought to be sold after two years for a half of their value to the less affluent new-rich? Just kidding, seriously traffic in Warsaw's not that bad. The real pain can is finding a parking lot!

People will take the subway and underground trains carry thousands of passengers every day, but I hardly ever see there white-collars, I see hundreds and thousands of ordinary people.