18 octubre 2017

Paralelismo...

El Dow Jones ganó un 250% entre el mínimo del año 1982 y el máximo del año 1987 (un 337% si se incluyen dividendos):
Y el Dow Jones ha ganado el mismo 250% entre el mínimo de 2009 y hoy (un 337% si se incluyen dividendos):
¿Pura coincidencia? No lo sé. Ha sido una locura de década:
Y me da mucho miedo lo que pueda pasar ahora.
Abrazos,
PD1: Recordatorio de hace 30 años, de cuando fue el CRASH, el lunes 19/10/1987. Me pilló recién licenciado, me acababa de colocar unos meses antes, estaba trabajando en la Bolsa de Madrid, en el parqué, con un agente de cambio y bolsa, haciendo asesoramiento a clientes y escribiendo informes de economía (ambas cosas no se hacían y fui de los pioneros).
Puedes verlo aquí en el Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/f371a3c0-b00b-11e7-beba-5521c713abf4 ¿Se repetirá alguna vez más caer un 22% en un solo día?
Fue un castigo muy severo, con una bajada de más del 22% en un día. Aunque tardó pocos meses en remontar, gracias a las ganancias de productividad de los años 1990 y 2000, con la entrada de los ordenadores y de Internet.
Visto hoy fue una gota de agua en un océano de ganancias posteriores. Pero fueron tres meses de mucho miedo…, de no saber si remontaría o no.
Las caídas fueron similares en 1929 y en 1987:
Y las valoraciones actuales, tanto de acciones como de bonos, son ahora muy complicadas:
Ha sido de locos:
Y los bonos peor y más distorsionados por los bancos centrales…
¿Se repetirá un crash este año?
Si se repitiese, dudo que bajara tanto ahora ya que saldría mucho dinero antes, muchos inversores querrían comprar a otros precios mejores… Además, el mercado no cede y la volatilidad está en mínimos. No le afecta el posible conflicto nuclear con Corea del Norte, ni nada de nada… Sube y sigue subiendo.
Por si te interesa:
Y recordarte que los bancos centrales tuvieron mucho que ver en estas fuertes subidas, aunque ahora no habrá más apoyos…, han empezado ya a recortar los estímulos monetarios.
Salvo Europa que sigue erre que erre, quemando dinero creado de la nada:
Pobres de los europeos cuando tengan que dar marcha atrás…
PD2: Hay que insistir por las cosas que rezamos… El beato fray Gil de Asís, compañero de san Francisco, dijo: “Reza con fidelidad y devoción, porque una gracia que Dios no te ha dado una vez, te la puede dar en otra ocasión. De tu cuenta pon humildemente toda la mente en Dios, y Dios pondrá en ti su gracia, según le plazca”.

17 octubre 2017

¿Qué pasaría si llega una recesión?

El ciclo de bonanza económica es cada vez más largo y se terminará por terminar. Después nos tocará una nueva crisis, que espero tarde unos meses más, pero que terminará por llegar…

Debt Keeps Rising and Nothing Bad Happens

As the Republicans prepare for their big tax reform push, the issue of deficits and debt is once more coming to the fore. Many economists realize that tax cuts, especially income tax cuts, tend to increase deficits, which over time lead to increases in the national debt. The GOP plan, if adopted, probably would pump up both deficits and debt. This isn’t the first time that’s happened, of course -- Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush also cut taxes and deficits swelled:
So the question is: Is more debt good, bad or does it even matter? But if it’s bad, how serious a problem is it?
The answer is that no one really knows. Like so many things in macroeconomics, there is no reliable, well-confirmed theory that tells us the effect of government deficits or debt.
In the short term, the big question is whether deficits raise aggregate demand. Aggregate demand isn't a particularly well-defined concept, but it essentially means how much people want to spend money on all the goods and services in the economy. Government spending puts money in people’s pockets, while taxes take money out, so if people spend some of the net amount that government puts in their pockets, deficits should give consumption -- and therefore the economy -- a boost. This is the basic Keynesian theory that gets taught in most introductory economics courses. Many have dryly noted that Reagan’s tax cuts in the 1980s looked an awful lot like Keynesian stimulus.
On the other hand, if people save most of what they get from the government, aggregate demand won’t rise much at all. If people think that a deficit today has to be paid back tomorrow, they will expect their taxes to go up in the future, and this will make them spend less -- a theoretical possibility known as Ricardian Equivalence.
So how much do deficits prompt people to actually go out and spend? It might depend on the type of deficit. There’s evidence that the tax rebates in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- the stimulus package under President Barack Obama -- didn’t boost spending a lot (direct spending on things like roads had a bigger effect, but was a small part of the stimulus overall). Perhaps that’s because people anticipated that Obama’s deficits were temporary, and that taxes were going to go back up:
That doesn’t mean the debt incurred by the stimulus was paid back, but any consumer who correctly predicted Obama’s fairly rapid turn back toward fiscal austerity would have realized that their increased income was transitory.
That doesn’t mean stimulus is useless. Direct government spending on things like roads, and transfers to cash-strapped states, seem to have had a sizable effect. That’s consistent with basic Keynesian theory, and with other more general evidence. But the dubious value of tax rebates shows that deficits created by temporary tax cuts don’t do much good.
But will the deficits from the Republican tax plan be temporary, or permanent? If recent past experience is any guide, the debt incurred won’t be paid back anytime soon. The last time the federal debt shrank was during President Bill Clinton's administration, and that period of austerity was short-lived -- as soon as Bush came to power, the surpluses were eliminated in favor of a big tax cut.
Lots of economists think that debt can’t keep increasing forever, as a percent of gross domestic product. Most mainstream econ models include a long-term budget constraint, meaning that the ratio of debt to output has to shrink to zero in the long run. But outside the world of academia, people are starting to wonder whether this is actually true. After all, advanced nations around the world have been running big debts for decades, and for most of these countries there have been no obvious negative consequences that can be blamed on that debt:
Is there any limit to how high these debt levels can go? If central banks keep interest rates at or near zero forever, governments will never run out of cash, since debt service costs will be minimal. Of course, interest rates could rise if bond buyers stop buying government bonds, causing a solvency crisis and forcing a government default.
But that would only happen if the central bank refuses to step in. If the central bank prints money to buy newly issued government debt at a zero interest rate, the government can borrow infinite amounts while paying nothing.
Many think this would result in hyperinflation -- if you print enough money, basic intuition says that its value would drop. Yet countries around the world never experienced even moderate inflation, despite central banks’ huge asset-purchasing programs, causing some economists and policy makers to question this conventional wisdom. If inflation never materializes, central banks can keep printing money and using it to finance government deficits forever. This idea is the centerpiece of a theory called modern monetary theory, once relegated to the intellectual fringes but now gaining currency outside academia.
If Republican administrations continue to believe that deficits don’t matter, and if Democrats prove politically incapable of stopping their insistence on tax cuts, there will eventually be no alternative but to test this theory. At some point, if debt increases enough, the Federal Reserve will have to start financing the government with printed money. That would be a fascinating macroeconomic experiment, though maybe not one we should eagerly anticipate.
Abrazos,
PD1: Tantos que alertan sobre una caída de los mercados y estos que ni se enteran… Los bonos andan por un lado y las acciones por otro. ¿Quién tendrá razón? El aplanamiento de la curva de tipos se suele ver en vísperas de una recesión, mientras que las bolsas siguen sin dar ninguna tregua, volatilidad mínima y sin corregir nada de nada:
En una semana se logra el récord de subida sin corrección de al menos un 3% de muchos años:
Esta vez es distinto:
Lo dudo… Vendrá una corrección…
Y la curva de tipos cada vez más plana:
Probably nothing...
The last two times the spread between 30Y and 5Y Treasury bonds was below 90bps, the US economy entered recession...
And the 2s10s curve is tumbling too - to its flattest since the crisis...
But, but, but, how can a recession be coming with stocks are record highs?
PD2: Son preciosos:

4 salmos que todo el mundo debería saber de memoria

Los salmos son poderosas oraciones que expresan los deseos más profundos de nuestro corazón

Uno de los libros más apreciados y usados para rezar de toda la Biblia es el Salterio (el Libro de los Salmos), tradicionalmente entendido como las oraciones personales del Rey David.
Se admite generalmente que David muy probablemente escribió muchos (pero probablamente no todos) los salmos, y estas oraciones poéticas revelan una vida interior llena de dolor, dudas, esperanzas, tristezas y alegría, con tal riqueza que, miles de años después, siguen siendo un perfecto reflejo de la condición humana. No importa qué es lo que necesites expresar con la oración: hay un salmo adecuado para ello.
Los salmos son la base de la Liturgia de las Horas (u Oficio Divino), que la Iglesia anima a todos los cristianos a rezar todo lo que sea posible, para enriquecer la relación personal con Dios.
Durante siglos, monjes y monjas acostumbraban a memorizar los salmos, pues los rollos y libros no eran fáciles de utilizar. En particular, los salmos nocturnos, que se rezaban en Maitines y Completas, tenían que aprenderse para evitar el uso de cirios y fuego.
La Iglesia aún recomienda memorizar algunos salmos para rezar con ellos, especialmente en tiempos de dificultad o alegría. Estas oraciones son medios particularmente poderosos para expresar lo profundo del corazón y los deseos y emociones mucho más allá de las palabras.
Aquí cuatro salmos especialmente recomendados:
Empezamos con el salmo más breve, el 117 (Laudate Dominum)
¡Aleluya! ¡Alaben al Señor, todas las naciones,
glorifíquenlo, todos los pueblos!
Porque es inquebrantable su amor por nosotros,
y su fidelidad permanece para siempre.
¡Aleluya!
Salmo 130 (De Profundis)
Desde lo más profundo te invoco, Señor.
¡Señor, oye mi voz!
Estén tus oídos atentos
al clamor de mi plegaria.
Si tienes en cuenta las culpas, Señor,
¿quién podrá subsistir?
Pero en ti se encuentra el perdón,
para que seas temido.
Mi alma espera en el Señor,
y yo confío en su palabra.
Mi alma espera al Señor,
más que el centinela la aurora.
Como el centinela espera la aurora,
espere Israel al Señor,
porque en él se encuentra la misericordia
y la redención en abundancia:
él redimirá a Israel
de todos sus pecados
Salmo 51 (Miserere)
¡Ten piedad de mí, Señor, por tu bondad,
por tu gran compasión, borra mis faltas!
¡Lávame totalmente de mi culpa
y purifícame de mi pecado!
Porque yo reconozco mis faltas
y mi pecado está siempre ante mí.
Contra ti, contra ti solo pequé
e hice lo que es malo a tus ojos.
Por eso, será justa tu sentencia
y tu juicio será irreprochable;
yo soy culpable desde que nací;
pecador me concibió mi madre.
Tú amas la sinceridad del corazón
y me enseñas la sabiduría en mi interior.
Purifícame con el hisopo y quedaré limpio;
lávame, y quedaré más blanco que la nieve.
Anúnciame el gozo y la alegría:
que se alegren los huesos quebrantados.
Aparta tu vista de mis pecados
y borra todas mis culpas.
Crea en mí, Dios mío, un corazón puro,
y renueva la firmeza de mi espíritu.
No me arrojes lejos de tu presencia
ni retires de mí tu santo espíritu.
Devuélveme la alegría de tu salvación,
que tu espíritu generoso me sostenga:
yo enseñaré tu camino a los impíos
y los pecadores volverán a ti.
¡Líbrame de la muerte, Dios, salvador mío,
y mi lengua anunciará tu justicia!
Abre mis labios, Señor,
y mi boca proclamará tu alabanza.
Los sacrificios no te satisfacen;
si ofrezco un holocausto, no lo aceptas:
mi sacrificio es un espíritu contrito,
tú no desprecias el corazón contrito y humillado.
Salmo 23 Dominus regit me
El Señor es mi pastor,
nada me puede faltar.
Él me hace descansar en verdes praderas,
me conduce a las aguas tranquilas
y repara mis fuerzas;
me guía por el recto sendero,
por amor de su Nombre.
Aunque cruce por oscuras quebradas,
no temeré ningún mal,
porque tú estás conmigo:
tu vara y tu bastón me infunden confianza.
Tú preparas ante mí una mesa,
frente a mis enemigos;
unges con óleo mi cabeza
y mi copa rebosa.
Tu bondad y tu gracia me acompañan
a lo largo de mi vida;
y habitaré en la Casa del Señor,
por muy largo tiempo.

16 octubre 2017

la banca española se tensiona...

Sobre todo son los dos bancos catalanes, que no sólo cambien de sede social, sino de sede fiscal… La retirada de dinero de sus cuentas debe ser muy preocupante para que hayan actuado así de rápido. No dan cifras, pero les debe estar costando un huevo ya que hablas con quién hables, todo el mundo les está sacando el dinero, desde los de fuera de Cataluña, hasta los propios catalanes, que el miedo es ciego y contagioso… (que se lo pregunten al Popular)
Los grandes números son aterradores:

La tensión multiplica por seis la petición de liquidez de los bancos al BCE

El Banco Central recibió solicitudes de efectivo por 21.300 millones

La situación política sigue impactando de lleno en los bancos, sobre todo los que, como CaixaBank y Sabadell, hasta hace unos días tenían la sede en Cataluña. La prueba de esta tensión se reflejó este martes pasado en la subasta semanal del Banco Central Europeo (BCE), que recibió peticiones por parte de los bancos de la Zona euro por valor de 21.343 millones de euros. La cifra supone 5,6 veces más que la semana anterior, cuando se solicitó efectivo por valor de 3.240 millones de euros.
No se puede saber qué bancos han pedido tanto dinero porque las peticiones son ciegas, “pero todo parece indicar que son los dos bancos catalanes”, afirman expertos españoles del mercado. “El resto de entidades no están pidiendo dinero porque sobra con lo que entra de los depósitos, y en Europa no debería haber cambios frente a la tendencia de las últimas semanas”, añaden. Según datos oficiales, hubo 33 bancos que realizaron petición de dinero aunque se desconoce en qué cuantía.
Estos datos supondrían que los responsables bancarios creen que podrían continuar las retiradas de efectivo pese al traslado de las sedes de ambas entidades fuera de Cataluña por la incertidumbre ante el desafío independentista. “El dato de la subasta refleja una forma de acopiar liquidez por adelantado por lo que está pasando y para lo que pueda pasar en los próximos 15 días”, apuntan los expertos del mercado monetario.
Abrazos,
PD1: Encima, van y aplazan la creación del Fondo de Garantías Europeo. Como sabes, se optó por dar la supervisión bancaria al BCE y se empezó a crear un Fondo de Garantías para problemas de sus bancos… No hay saldo, ni en el FGD español, ni apenas en el europeo…

La CE aplaza 'sine die' el fondo europeo de garantía de depósitos

Se había fijado su puesta en marcha en 2024, pero Berlín mantiene bloqueado el proyecto

Bruselas plantea como alternativa un sistema de reaseguro sin mutualización de riesgos

La Comisión Europea renuncia a su objetivo de poner en marcha en 2024un sistema europeo de garantía de depósitos bancarios (hasta 100.000 euros por cliente), un proyecto bloqueado desde hace dos años por la resistencia de varios países encabezados por Alemania.
Bruselas ha planteado este miércoles como alternativa un sistema de reaseguro, que se limitaría a garantizar con préstamos la liquidez de los fondos nacionales de garantía de depósitos. A posteriori, en una fecha que se deja abierta, se podría iniciar la mutualización de riesgos, pero solo una vez que se haya avanzado en la armonización de los fondos nacionales y cuando se haya resuelto el lastre de la morosidad acumulada durante una década de crisis en la zona euro.
El vicepresidente económico de la CE, Valdis Dombrovskis, confía en que este primer paso, que define como "pragmático" sirva para despejar la inquietud de los países reacios y facilitar la instauración de un fondo europeo de garantía de depósitos. Pero Bruselas ya no se atreve a poner fecha para ese objetivo final.
El plan de la Comisión llega tras dos años de parálisis en las negociaciones del proyecto inicial, que aspiraba a una primera fase de reaseguro (hasta 2020) y una mutualización progresiva del riesgo hasta llegar al 100% en 2024.
La propuesta inicial de la Comisión, que data de noviembre de 2015, no ha avanzado ni un ápice, bloqueada por el ministro alemán de Finanzas, Wolfgang Schäuble, que exigía a cambio varias medidas para reducir el riesgo de las entidades financieras, como la limitación en la compra de deuda soberana o la obligación de provisionar la compra de bonos de los países de la zona euro más vulnerables.
La inminente salida de Schäuble del ministerio y el clima de concordia entre la canciller alemana, Angela Merkel, y el presidente francés, Emmanuel Macron, abren un resquicio para el acuerdo que la Comisión va a intentar aprovechar aunque a costa de rebajar sensiblemente su primer proyecto.

Dos fases

Bruselas considera imprescindible la creación de un sistema europeo de garantía de depósitos, que otorgue la misma seguridad a todos los clientes de la unión bancaria con independencia del país de origen de su entidad. El sistema europeo permitiría, además, romper el círculo vicioso entre banca y Estado que arrastró a la bancarrota a países como Irlanda o que obligó a España a solicitar un programa de ayuda para la banca al fondo de rescate de la zona euro (MEDE).
Pero dada la desconfianza reinante en el seno de la UE y la presencia de casi un billón de euros en préstamos morosos en los balances de las entidades financieras, la Comisión aplaza sine die la cobertura europea total. Sugiere avanzar en dos fases, pero sin el automatismo para pasar de una a otra que preveía el proyecto de 2015.
La CE propone iniciar en 2019 una primera fase, con un sistema de reaseguro que podría cubrir hasta un 30% de las necesidades de liquidez de un fondo nacional de garantía. La cobertura se doblaría al año siguiente y llegaría a ser de hasta el 90% en 2021. En todo caso, se trataría de préstamos que deberían ser reembolsados por el sistema nacional.
Bruselas se compromete durante esa primera fase a impulsar medidas para reducir el riesgo bancario, con un plan para animar a las autoridades nacionales a resolver el problema de los préstamos fallidos o morosos. En 2022, como muy tarde, la CE llevaría a cabo una revisión sobre la calidad de los activos dudosos para verificar la condición de los balances y podría requerir medidas a los países o entidades más atrasadas en el saneamiento.
Al mismo tiempo, se avanzaría en la armonización de los sistemas nacionales de garantía de depósitos. Bruselas recuerda que todavía existen numerosas divergencias en conceptos tan esenciales como la definición de los depósitos cubiertos, la financiación de los fondos nacionales o la intervención de cada sistema de cobertura.
La Unión Bancaria tardará 20 años en completarse
Solo una vez que se hayan logrado esos dos objetivos (reducción del riesgo y armonización de los fondos), Bruselas propondría iniciar el tránsito hacia una segunda fase con la mutualización de riesgos.
En 2015, ese tránsito era automático a partir de 2020 y se llegaba a la mutualización del 100% en cuatro años. Ahora, se deja abierta la fecha inicial. Y se sugiere empezar con una cobertura europea de hasta el 30% pero sin fijar una meta para llegar al 100%.
Todo indica que el fondo europeo para completar la Unión bancaria no estará listo hasta finales de la próxima década, como pronto. Es decir, casi 20 años después de que los gobiernos aceptasen la transferencia de la supervisión financiera al BCE como primer paso hacia la Unión bancaria. Soberanía compartida, pero el riesgo para cada país.
PD2: Y desde Bloomberg dicen esta burrada:
Three years since their banking union began to take shape, European Union regulators are seeking fresh powers to deal with lenders in trouble. Their planwould let them stop withdrawals from a failing bank for a few days while they address the problem, with the aim of preventing a run. But this approach could easily have the opposite effect, spreading panic to the whole financial system. There's a better way.
Instead of freezing bank accounts, EU governments should enable regulators to keep a bank going while they restructure it and search for a new owner. This will require EU governments to commit additional resources for the task.
The European Central Bank and the euro zone's Single Resolution Board have been calling for the power to freeze bank accounts -- a so-called moratorium -- since the swift resolution of Banco Popular in June. They succeeded in winding down the troubled Spanish lender by selling it to rival Banco Santander, but had to do it on a weekday night with a run on deposits in progress. The regulators say that next time it might be impossible to find a buyer overnight. A moratorium would relieve that pressure and perhaps allow them to sell the bank at a better price.
This approach would mirror an arrangement which is currently in place in Germany, and it's superficially appealing: Closing a bank would certainly stop a run. But it could also have unintended consequences. Depositors may run from a bank in trouble sooner -- fearing that if they wait too long they may not be able to withdraw their money. It could also lead depositors to empty their accounts as soon as the bank re-opens. Most dangerous of all, freezing accounts in one bank could spread panic to the rest of the system, as other depositors fear the same will happen to them.
The idea also puts international cooperation on bank resolution at risk. The EU regulators' plan threatens to disrupt measures put in place after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in 2008. Bank of England economists recently warned in a working paper that adopting the new moratorium might prompt banks to back out of the existing arrangements for handling financial emergencies.
Strengthening Europe's Single Resolution Fund is the better approach. The fund's planned capacity of 55 billion euros is too small, and even that amount won't be fully available for years. The EU should agree to make it bigger, and quickly. An adequately financed SRF would give regulators the chance to resolve failing banks without putting the financial system at greater risk. If it helps to head off the next banking crisis, the additional upfront cost will be money well-spent. 
PD3 Ya llega, ya…, la banca digital de las grandes corporaciones estadounidenses…
While the financial media has been preoccupied with the idea that the banking business is at risk of being “Amazon’d” by the blockchain, the banks themselves are worried about being “Amazon’d” by…well…Amazon…
Or at least they should be, as American Banker’s Lalita Clozel explains in a piece tracing large tech companies’ attempts to forge ties with banking regulators in anticipation of someday leveraging the vast quantities of customer data to outmuscle the banks in their own industry. Meanwhile, even the most optimistic cryptocurrency enthusiasts concede that blockchain technology continues to grapple with issues of scalability that, for now at least, will make it incredibly difficult to compete with banks.
A group of companies that includes Google, Facebook and Amazon recently formed a lobbying group to help them explore the feasibility of entering businesses like lending and loan-intermediation.
Technology giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple are showing an increasing interest in engaging with federal banking regulators, a move that underscores Silicon Valley’s growing involvement in the financial services arena. In recent years, such firms have formed a lobbying group, Financial Innovation Now, that is staking out their view on various hot-button topics. But some firms are also meeting individually with government agencies.
Furthermore, both Amazon and Square have taken meetings with the OCC.
For example, Amazon lobbyists met with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency starting in the second quarter of 2016, and again this year to discuss “issues related to mobile payments and payment processing, financial innovation, and technology," according to publicly available lobbying disclosures.
PayPal, meanwhile, met with OCC officials in the second, third and fourth quarters of last year to discuss “mobile payment innovation” issues related to underserved customers and remittances and money transfers, according to its disclosures.
Even before this latest lobbying effort, both companies had already launched forays into small-business lending (Amazon’s SB lending businesses saw its revenue double over the past year). Apple, meanwhile, has for years been lending to customers hoping to purchase its products. But before deciding whether to expand their financial services offerings, tech companies must first understand what regulatory obstacles might exist.
“People are kicking the tires,” said Lawrence Kaplan, a bank lawyer of counsel at Paul Hastings. “People are asking questions: What does this entail? Can you get us up to speed if we want to pull the trigger?”
In the spirit of helping to shepard financial innovation, the OCC earlier this year created a national fintech charter that financial technology (and big tech) companies can use to circumvent certain restrictions, easing their transition into the financial-services business.
The charter, Clozel notes, was adopted after an aggressive lobbying campaign by large tech companies. One of the most logical applications for leveraging the vast troves of personal data routinely harvested by firms like Facebook and Amazon would be intermediation – or connecting customers with lenders for a small finder’s fee.
Large technology firms are “really interested in the intermediation piece, where you have access to all that data,” said Paul Nash, the former senior deputy comptroller and chief of staff under Comptroller Thomas Curry, who began discussing the possibility of a fintech charter early last year. “All of them are thinking about it.”
The next lobbying objective for big tech is to convince regulators to force banks to provide access to their financial data through an Application Programming Interface, or API, that would allow tech companies like Amazon to create almost instantaneous connections to banks’ transaction processing networks, allowing them to take over more consumer-facing businesses.
In summary, while many a think piece has been written about financial services companies and banks trying to become more like technology firms, the irony is that tech firms are also trying to be more like banks.
“There's been lots of interest by financial services firms in technology companies and fintech companies,” said Kevin Petrasic, a partner at White & Case. “Some tech firms are now looking in the other direction.”
In other words, it’s only a matter of time before Amazon Prime customers will be able to make purchases on Amazon’s marketplace using an Amazon credit card.
PD4: ¡Ni Jesús pudo convencerles...! ¡Qué misterio, el de la libertad humana! Podemos decir “no” a Dios...! El mensaje evangélico no se impone por la fuerza, tan sólo se ofrece y yo puedo cerrarme a él; puedo aceptarlo o rechazarlo. El Señor respeta totalmente mi libertad. ¡Qué responsabilidad para mí!

11 octubre 2017

aprender nuevas habilidades

Y no te hablo de inglés, o del uso de Internet y de programas de ordenador básicos, que se supone que tenemos que tener maestría, sino de otras muchas habilidades que se deben ir aprendiendo durante la vida para estar mejor formado y trabajar mucho mejor. Así que deja de leer de Cataluña y prepárate ya:

These are the skills you should learn that will pay off forever

The further along you are in your career, the easier it is to fall back on the mistaken assumption that you’ve made it and have all the skills you need to succeed. The tendency is to focus all your energy on getting the job done, assuming that the rest will take care of itself. Big mistake.
New research from Stanford tells the story. Carol Dweck and her colleagues conducted a study with people who were struggling with their performance. One group was taught to perform better on a task that they performed poorly in. The other group received a completely different intervention: for the task that they performed badly in, they were taught that they weren’t stuck and that improving their performance was a choice. They discovered that learning produces physiological changes in the brain, just like exercise changes muscles. All they had to do was believe in themselves and make it happen.
When the groups’ performance was reassessed a few months later, the group that was taught to perform the task better did even worse. The group that was taught that they had the power to change their brains and improve their performance themselves improved dramatically.
The primary takeaway from Dweck’s research is that we should never stop learning. The moment we think that we are who we are is the moment we give away our unrealized potential.
The act of learning is every bit as important as what you learn. Believing that you can improve yourself and do things in the future that are beyond your current possibilities is exciting and fulfilling.
Still, your time is finite, and you should dedicate yourself to learning skills that will yield the greatest benefit. There are nine skills that I believe fit the bill because they never stop paying dividends. These are the skills that deliver the biggest payoff, both in terms of what they teach you and their tendency to keep the learning alive.
Emotional intelligence (EQ). EQ is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results. EQ is your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships. Decades of research now point to EQ as the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. It’s a powerful way to focus your energy in one direction, with tremendous results.
TalentSmart tested EQ alongside 33 other important workplace skills and found that EQ is the strongest predictor of performance, explaining a full 58% of success in all types of jobs. Of all the people we’ve studied at work, we've found that 90% of top performers are also high in EQ. On the flip side, just 20% of bottom performers are high in EQ. You can be a top performer without EQ, but the chances are slim. Naturally, people with a high degree of EQ make more money, an average of $29,000 more per year than people with a low degree of emotional intelligence. The link between EQ and earnings is so direct that every point increase in EQ adds $1,300 to an annual salary. Increasing your EQ won’t just pad your bank account, it’ll make you happier and less stressed as well.
Time management. One of the biggest things that gets in the way of effective time management is the “tyranny of the urgent.” This refers to the tendency of little things that have to be done right now to get in the way of what really matters. When you succumb to it, you spend so much time putting out fires that you never get any real work done. How many times have you left work at the end of the day, only to realize that you didn’t move the important things along even one inch? Learning to manage your time effectively frees you up to perform at your absolute highest level, and it does so every single day of your life.
Listening. This one should be easy. If we’re not talking, we’re listening, right? Well, not exactly. A lot of times, we think we’re listening, but we’re actually planning what we’re going to say next. True listening means focusing solely on what the other person is saying. It’s about understanding, not rebuttal or input. Learning how to suspend judgment and focus on understanding the other person’s input is one of the most important skills you can develop.
Listening is a bit like intelligence—most everyone thinks they’re above average (even though that’s impossible). A study at Wright State University surveyed more than 8,000 people from different verticals, and almost all rated themselves as listening as well as or better than their co-workers. We know intuitively that many of them were wrong.
There’s so much talking happening at work that opportunities to listen abound. We talk to provide feedback, explain instructions, and communicate deadlines. Beyond the spoken words, there’s invaluable information to be deciphered through tone of voice, body language, and what isn’t said. In other words, failing to keep your ears (and eyes) open could leave you out of the game.
Saying No. Research conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, showed that the more difficulty that you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression. Saying no is indeed a major challenge for many people. No is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to wield. When it’s time to say no, avoid phrases such as I don’t think I can or I’m not certain. Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them. When you learn to say no, you free yourself from unnecessary constraints and free up your time and energy for the important things in life.
Asking for help. It might seem counterintuitive to suggest that asking for help is a skill, but it is. It takes a tremendous amount of confidence and humility to admit that you need assistance. This skill is critical because the last thing a leader wants are employees who keep on trucking down the wrong path because they are too embarrassed or proud to admit that they don’t know what they’re doing. The ability to recognize when you need help, summon up the courage to ask for it, and follow through on that help is an extremely valuable skill.
Getting high-quality sleep. We've always known that quality sleep is good for your brain, but recent research from the University of Rochester demonstrated exactly how so. The study found that when you sleep, your brain removes toxic proteins, which are by-products of neural activity when you're awake, from its neurons. The catch here is that your brain can only adequately remove these toxic proteins when you have sufficient quality sleep. When you don’t get high-quality deep sleep, the toxic proteins remain in your brain cells, wreaking havoc and ultimately impairing your ability to think—something no amount of caffeine can fix. This slows your ability to process information and solve problems, kills your creativity, and increases your emotional reactivity. Learning to get high-quality sleep on a regular basis is a difficult skill to master, but it pays massive dividends the next day.
Knowing when to shut up. Sure, it can feel so good to unload on somebody and let them know what you really think, but that good feeling is temporary. What happens the next day, the next week, or the next year? It’s human nature to want to prove that you’re right, but it’s rarely effective. In conflict, unchecked emotion makes you dig your heels in and fight the kind of battle that can leave you and the relationship severely damaged. When you read and respond to your emotions, you’re able to choose your battles wisely and only stand your ground when the time is right. The vast majority of the time, that means biting your tongue.
Taking initiative. Initiative is a skill that will take you far in life. In theory, initiative is easy—the desire to take action is always there—but in the real world, other things get in the way. There’s a big difference between knowing what to do and being too scared or lazy to actually do it. That requires initiative. You have to take risks and push yourself out of your comfort zone, until taking initiative is second nature.
Staying positive. We've all received the well-meaning advice to "stay positive." The greater the challenge, the more this glass-half-full wisdom can come across as Pollyannaish and unrealistic. It's hard to find the motivation to focus on the positive when positivity seems like nothing more than wishful thinking. The real obstacle to positivity is that our brains are hard-wired to look for and focus on threats. This survival mechanism served humankind well, back when we were hunters and gatherers and living each day with the very real threat of being killed by someone or something in our immediate surroundings.
That was eons ago. Today, this mechanism breeds pessimism and negativity through the mind's tendency to wander until it finds a threat. These "threats" magnify the perceived likelihood that things are going—and/or are going to go—poorly. When the threat is real and lurking in the bushes down the path, this mechanism serves you well. When the threat is imagined and you spend two months convinced that the project you're working on is going to flop, this mechanism leaves you with a soured view of reality that wreaks havoc in your life. Maintaining positivity is a daily challenge that requires focus and attention. You must be intentional about staying positive if you're going to overcome the brain's tendency to focus on threats.
Bringing It All Together
Research shows that lifelong learning pays dividends beyond the skills you acquire. Never stop learning.
Abrazos,
PD1: Al final los golpistas se acojonaron. Y mi opinión particular es que deben irse al trullo. Ahora le toca mover ficha a Rajoy. Se lo han dejado complicado ya que tiene que intervenir justo ahora cuando lo que se pide es dialogo, y esto tiene mucha enjundia. Le ha temblado tantas veces la mano, que tiene dos opciones, rematar y cortar la rama tronchada, o esperar a ver y dejarla que se regenere. Ojalá acierte…, y termine con la secesión. Si les deja rehacerse ganando tiempo, será mucho peor.
A corto plazo no nos vienen tiempos buenos ya que se van a cabrear las masas enfurecidas. Se pensaron que ganaron la batalla del “referéndum” y la perdieron… Ahora habrá lío en la calle, con unas fuerzas de seguridad maltratadas. Habrá revanchismo… ¿Tomarán las armas, habrá guerra civil? Mucho me temo que sí, que habrá mucha sangre. Lo que no han conseguido con ilegalidades, puede que traten de lograrlo a tortas. ¿Acabará Puigdemont en la cárcel, y los otros 72 firmantes? Solo necesitan héroes o mártires para mosquearse más…
PD2: En Japón le llaman IKIGAI. En la cultura Occidental cristiana, este IKIGAI se complementa con una visión sobrenatural del mundo: sabernos Hijos de Dios, ver su mano en todas las cosas, tenerlo presente en todos los momentos. Si supieras cuanto IKIGAI tiene tanta gente que conozco, sin necesidad de hacer yoga, sino dedicándole un rato cada día a las cosas de Dios, a ayudar a los otros…

Is this Japanese concept the secret to a long, happy, meaningful life?

What’s your reason for getting up in the morning? Just trying to answer such a big question might make you want to crawl back into bed. If it does, the Japanese concept of ikigai could help.
Originating from a country with one of the world's oldest populations, the idea is becoming popular outside of Japan as a way to live longer and better.
While there is no direct English translation, ikigai is thought to combine the Japanese words ikiru, meaning “to live”, and kai, meaning “the realization of what one hopes for”. Together these definitions create the concept of “a reason to live” or the idea of having a purpose in life.
Image: Toronto Star
Ikigai also has historic links: gai originates from the word kai, which means shell. These were considered very valuable during the Heian period (794 to 1185), according to Akihiro Hasegawa, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at Toyo Eiwa University, adding a sense of "value in living".
To find this reason or purpose, experts recommend starting with four questions:
What do you love?
What are you good at?
What does the world need from you?
What can you get paid for?
Finding the answers and a balance between these four areas could be a route to ikigai for Westerners looking for a quick interpretation of this philosophy. But in Japan, ikigai is a slower process and often has nothing to do with work or income.
In a 2010 survey of 2,000 Japanese men and women, just 31% of participants cited work as their ikigai.
Gordon Matthews, professor of anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and author of What Makes Life Worth Living?: How Japanese and Americans Make Sense of Their Worlds, told the Telegraph that how people understand ikigai can, in fact, often be mapped to two other Japanese ideas – ittaikan and jiko jitsugen. Itaikkan refers to “a sense of oneness with, or commitment to, a group or role”, while jiko jitsugen relates more to self-realization.
Matthews says that ikigai will likely lead to a better life “because you will have something to live for”, but warns against viewing ikigai as a lifestyle choice: “Ikigai is not something grand or extraordinary. It’s something pretty matter-of-fact.”
Okinawa, a remote island to the south west of Japan, has an unusually large population of centenarians and is often referred to in examinations of ikigai - though not by Gordon.
According to Dan Buettner, an expert on Blue Zones, the areas of the world where people live longest, the concept of ikigai pervades the life of these islanders. Combined with a particular diet and support network of friends or “moai”, ikigai is helping people live longer on Okinawa as it gives them purpose, he says, who provides a karate master, fisherman and great-great-great-grandmother, all of whom are more than 100 years old, as examples.
Just knowing what your ikigai is is not enough – all of these people put their purpose into action, Buettner explains in a BBC interview. Researchers stress that ikigai can change with age. For anyone whose work is their reason for living, this will come as a relief as they approach retirement and begin the search for a new ikigai.