Friday, February 5, 2010

Don't call the PIIGS PIIGS, and "The Economist Test" for useless govt. jobs

Lordy, we've gone too PC.

Bloomberg is reporting that Barclays officials have ordered the sales force to stop using the acronym PIIGS, when referring to Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece & Spain. The swine-related name has gained fame in a negative way, unlike the BRIC acronym used to describe Brazil, Russia, India & China.

Whines one offended sissy:

“By denigrating a nation in the process of trying to describe a financial situation, it sort of puts the people in that country behind the eight ball,” saidPeter Sorrentino, a senior money manager at Cincinnati-based Huntington Asset Advisors who is visiting Italy in March. His firm oversees $12.8 billion. “It serves no one’s interest. We’re all in the same boat together.”

Oh shut up, Peter. No one is "denigrating" the great people of these nations, but rather the pathetic state of their finances. These countries are the NINJA borrowers of the mortgage market (NINJA= No Income, No Job or Assets stated, when applying for a mortgage). If that sounds harsh, just look to the recent report of the Greeks hiding a cool 35billion pounds in debt discussed here.

While it's the PIIGS in the spotlight at the moment, their overspending is likely not contained to just their (relatively) minor segment of the European Union. As my barometer of Europe's health, I look at the jobs advertised in The Economist, compared with the advertisements for "Executive" post-grad positions in the magazine, the latter of which now far outnumber the former.

It should surprise no one to see these countries' bloated government spending topple their economies, when you look at some of the jobs advertised, then include the direct "programmes" feeding into these useless positions. All funded by the ever-shrinking, always-maligned, private sector.

(Note - these positions are not all posted by PIIGS nations, but rather an example of the "Economist test," for useless bureaucrat jobs.)

For example, if you wan to be an "economist," or an "Assistant Administrator & Director at the United Nations Development Program".....

....or a "Senior Advisor" at the "Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe High Commissioner on National Minorities"....

....then you should skip to the stepping-stones, or useless degrees in the back of the magazine, such as the "Master of Public Affairs" with the sub headline "Promoting a New Vision of Global Public Policy."

Copyright 2010 AlphaNinja

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