Wednesday Links 7-24-13

It's been a while, huh? I have been doing quite a bit of good reading here lately, but much of it is textbook-related which is a little harder to share. However, I'm ready to come back to Wednesday Links! This week is all about tips for getting your business up and running on the net and how to take it global!

Actually, I had to watch this video below for a class. Granted, it's a bit dry, but I didn't know the U.S. Commercial Service even existed, let alone what they did. I thought this was some great information to pass on if you are thinking of going global because this is a great resource. Make sure to check it out and let me know what you thought!

3 Reasons Why Talking a Good Game is Hurting Your Business

No one likes a bullshit artists. Now, a healthy amount of self-confidence is a good thing. It's something we all strive for and encourage in others. However, we all know that one guy, or that one business, that just takes it to a whole new level. If you talk the talk, then you've got to walk the walk. Here's the top three things than can happen if you turn into that guy.

3 Reasons Why Talking a Good Game is Hurting Your Business

Customer's Tune You Out, or Worse, Call You Out

"We pride ourselves on customer service..." Oh yeah? How about the fact that it takes me 15 minutes every phone call to get to a real person and they still can't answer my questions? Been there? I bet a lot of us have. So when I see that same company tout their fantastic customer experience, I get mad. Red hot, tell all my friends mad. And so do other people. When you are already sub-par at something and your customers know it, you don't throw gas on that fire. Put up or shut up.

You Offend Your Employees

You can't kid a kidder, son. So preaching to the choir is a move that makes us scratch our heads. In good companies, perfection is a goal that we're all working toward. In bad companies, having the top dogs praise themselves to the skies is infuriating. We talk to other people in our industry and we see all the chinks in your armor. Don't tell us how great we are as a company when we're taking yet another pay freeze or fluffing our stats again, thanks.

You Become An Easy Target for Skeptics

If your employees don't call your shit, your skeptics will - especially if they're your competition. Remember all those customers and employees who talk about you behind your back or in the forums, yep. So does your competition. You just served yourself up on a plate and now all they have to do is prove it to everyone else. This puts you on the defensive, which is never a good place to be when you've only got one leg to stand on. Remember the difference between confidence and overconfidence? Yeah, we bet you don't have the numbers to actually back up all those claims you made. And now is the time you actually need them.

Friends don't let friends become the butt of jokes (if they can't get an endorsement deal from it). If you recognize any of the above signs in a company that you love or coworker you don't want fired, find a hotline to call. Has anyone else had to deal with this, because I know if can't just be me! Tell me below in the comments. 

Economics Buffet: Currency Exchange in 5 Minutes

So lately I have been buried in grad school and learning a lot of new things, most of which hurt my head. However, I'm lucky that what I chose to study is also something I find fascinating so I'm excited about all the new opportunities to share information. I also recently bought "30 Second Economics" that I think is a fantastic idea. The book itself is cheap, but the Kindle version is even cheaper so make sure to snag that one if you've got the technology. If not, don't worry you can still buy the hardcopy.

I've got so much additional reading and research done that I think would be really valuable for you all, so I'm going to start breaking it down into pieces that can help you make smarter decisions when investing, traveling, planning for your future, and just generally understanding all the mumbo jumbo in the business papers.

So let's start with the last century, eh?

A brief history of global currency trade in the last 100+ years

The Gold Standard

Gold has long been a perceived source of value. Precious metals, bartering, and other agreements work well in systems with little outside trade. However, the increase of global trade necessitated a more formal system. The Gold Standard provided a simple solution to this. Each country would set the level that their currency could be converted into a weight of gold. This allowed more fluid movement of currency for trade due to each country buying and selling the appropriate amount of gold in reserve to back their currency. This system lasted from 1876 to 1913.


This simple system was interrupted by World War I which greatly restricted the movement of both commodity and currency trade. Trading countries tried to work on a modified gold standard in its stead, however the exchange rates tended to fluctuate more widely. This caused many people to start currency speculating. As the US currency started to devalue, they tried to adopt a stricter modified gold standard. While the USD was still convertible after World War II, many currencies were not.

Post WWII to Nixon

This led to the Allied Powers to meet at Bretton Woods in 1944. On the agenda was how to create an international system for currency and trade as well as how to rebuild after the devastation of the World Wars. The result was the creation of the International Monetary Fund, aiding countries with balance of payments and exchange rate problems, and the World Bank, which drove reconstruction and economic development. All member countries would fix their currencies in terms of gold, but were not required to fully back it with reserves. Some fluctuation was allowed, but large fluctuations would need to be made formally.

After WWII, global economies shifted greatly in levels of recovery, with many growing rapidly. As countries quickly grew and fell in power, so did their currencies, causing the Bretton Woods system to prove ineffective. With the US continually running at a deficit in the balance of payments, confidence in the US dollar fell. In 1971, President Nixon suspended the purchase or sale of gold. After a second devaluation in 1973, it was clear that a fixed-rate system would also not work.

Floating Currency Exchange

Starting in 1973, currencies were allowed to float in relation to each other. This caused wide fluctuations in value between currencies, largely affected by current political and ecological events. Currently, there are a number of systems at work within the world, with many countries at least partially "floating" their currency in relation to the market.


Well, that's the questions isn't it? Some countries are freely floating currencies, some are partly floating/partly managed, and some are still pegged in some way. So what do you call it? Can we try the Funky Chicken?

Hear me out. It's like at a wedding when this stupid song comes on. Half our relatives will trudge onto the floor because everyone else is and they don't want to be the party pooper, so they manage to funk their way through it with varying levels of enthusiasm. However, there's always to opposite ends: the insane cousins, drunk uncles, and uninvited exes. These are the ones that refuse to set foot on the floor and the ones who OWN the floor. That's what it's like now.

Funky Chicken. I called it.

So what do you think? 

Have any strong ideas on which system was best? What do you think about where we're headed now? Let me know if the comments below.