The time has come for an arsenal

IE Focus - The time has come for an arsenalJanuary 2009 | By Gayle Allard, Professor at IE Business School

Exceptional times require exceptional measures, such as deploying an arsenal of fiscal measures. Itâ??s the only way to combat the current economic crisis.

The tax incentive of 1.1% of the GDP approved today by the Cabinet of Ministers might be considered irresponsible at any other time; however, in the unsettled waters of today´s global economy, it is an appropriate move. What are missing are measures for correcting the structural problems that will make this crisis such a serious one for Spain.

The government is facing domestic recession and the almost certain first global recession since 1982. The monetary policy has made its move and the response has not been encouraging. Given this scenario, the European Commission has requested tax incentive packages and Zapateroâ??s government has responded by announcing new expenditure totalling â?¬11,000 million in 2009: â?¬8000 on public works through local authorities and smaller amounts for the car industry, the environment, R&D, the Dependence Act, the refurbishment of buildings and tourism. According to the president, the move will create around 300,000 jobs.

First of all, this package is necessary. At the present time, we should not waste time discussing its effect on the deficit before we proceed. The recession looks to be worse than any known by most of us and normal solutions would be particularly shy.

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English and Spanish

IE Focus - English and SpanishJanuary 2009 | By Rafael Puyol, Professor at IE Business School and President of IE University

Pride in a language is not compromised by using English or Spanish, the worldâ??s two most important languages. Holland shows Galicia, Catalonia and the Basque Country how itâ??s done.

Last week, an academic commitment took me to Amsterdam, an attractive city with a human face and an excellent selection of cultural options. I had not been there for several years and as soon as I landed in Schipol, I was pleasantly surprised by two things.

The first was that, besides their own language, all the Dutch speak excellent English. It doesn´t matter whom you speak to, where you speak to them or why you speak to them. Most educated people speak English, but in a taxi, a restaurant, a museum or in the street, it is spoken by drivers, waiters, porters or the police, and that defines Holland as a modern, international country.

The second pleasant surprise was the large number of people who can or try to speak Spanish. They do not feel uncomfortable when they speak it. They like to speak to Spanish-speakers in Spanish, whether to talk about the place they know or the fact that Real Madrid has five Dutch players or to comment on the way the Spanish national side play and even how they are capable of beating the Dutch.

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An Indonesian in Madrid

This is a short interview with Owen Fernando from Indonesia who started his International MBA at IE in November 2008. What was the motivation to start your MBA at IE Business School? I am originally from Bandung, Indonesia, and have spent most of my life working in Jakarta and Bandung. For the past four years,…

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