also: List of Economic Topics

– macroeconomics

term Reaganomics, a portmanteau of Reagan and economics, was used to describe,
and decry, the economic policies of U.S. President Ronald Reagan during the 1980s.
Reagan assumed office during a period of high inflation and unemployment, and
his economic theories are claimed by his supporters to have eventually led to
a strong recovery. The term is also used in comparison with Rubinomics

Explanation of Reaganomics

or supply-side economics is a highly politicized term, which can be interpreted
many different ways. In brief, Reaganomics has two key ideas: lower taxes and
smaller government. Or in Reagan’s words “government is the problem.”

economists such as Adam Smith stress the importance of specialization and trade.
For example, if a farmer trades wheat for horseshoes from the blacksmith — the
farmer is more productive and society is better off — than the farmer attempting
to manufacture horseshoes himself. However, classical economists have struggled
mightily to explain and offer solutions to the periodic business cycles of boom
and bust.

the Great Depression, Keynesian economists saw the vast numbers of unemployed
workers and suggested that the government should “prime the pump” through
government borrowing to creat job programs. During the New Deal, the WPA and other
job creation programs put this theory into action. Keynesian economists justified
this government spending, by claiming through the multiplier effect — one employed
worker’s salary will benefit 5 other workers etc. Critics argued that government,
being a political entity, is an inept distributor of economic resources.

school of critics, the monetarists, argued that government can better stimulate
the economy by manipulating the money supply. When the economy is weak, the monetarists
argued that the government should lower interests rates and increase the money
supply. This additional money will seek businesses and start-ups to invest in,
via banks and other non-governmental means. The negative effect of an increased
money supply is inflation.

the Oil Shocks of the 1970s, a new economic phenomena took hold Stagflation. Stagflation
combined high unemployment with runaway inflation. Previously, the economy experienced
either high unemployment and low inflation, or low unemployment and high inflation.
The economy had not experienced both high unemployment and high inflation at the
same time. Stagflation meant, if one followed the Keynesian model to stimulate
the economy, the government must intervene via new spending programs. The new
spending to be financed either by new taxes or borrowing. On the other hand, if
one followed the monetarists, the government had to choose either to raise interest
rates to tame inflation and cause further unemployment; or lower interest rates
to stimulate the economy and cause further inflation.

new school of thought gradually arose. It argued that the competitive nature of
free markets (free of government regulation) made markets, the best means to distribute
economic resources. That businesses have to innovate and create wealth to survive.
This anti-government view saw businesses as the “goose that lays the golden
eggs” and government regulation and taxes as “strangling the goose”.
Reagan partially agreed with this anti-government view and sought to stimulate
the economy by lowering taxes, financed by borrowing. He argued that lowering
taxes will revive the economy. When the economy revived, the increased tax revenues
will be used to pay off the debt. Excluding military spending, he argued for broad
cuts in government spending, which he viewed as a drain on the economy. However,
Reagan raised military spending, as he saw defense as an integral government function,
especially in regards to the Cold War.

disagreement between “Reagonomics” and New classical economics (a modern
economic theory which emphasizes that free markets self-regulate most efficiently
and optimally) becomes clear with understanding Reagan’s exceptional military
spending. While Reagan did slash taxes and thus endorse that element of neoclassical
theory, Reagan’s massive military spending resulted in a massive budget deficit.
The 1983 deficit reached $207.8 billion, equivalent to 6 percent of the economy,
the highest level since the World War II era. This emphatic deficit spending violates
neoclassical economic theory emphasis on a balanced budget. Absent this, private
actors will rationally expect, as explained by the Ricardian equivalence, for
taxes to increase sometime in the future to offset this deficit, and will end
up saving enough to offset any increase in consumption resulting from government
spending. Furthermore, deficit spending is problematic under neoclassical theory
because even if the Federal Reserve lowers the fed funds rate to keep interest
rates low and combat this “crowding out (economics)” effect, the rational
public will see the lack of credibility with this merely fiscal-policy-reactionary
monetary policy.

ultimately exists in two forms, theory and the actual historical experience. While
most Americans know of Reagenomics as increased defense spending and large federal
deficits, the true Reagenomic theory of controlled spending by Congress was never
implement largely due to a lack of politcal will by the American people who continuously
elected an obstructionist House of Representatives who resisted spending reductions.


large, across the board tax cuts initiated by Reagan at the start of his administration
were based on principles from supply side economics or the trickle down effect.
This was contrary to the demand side economics of traditional Keynesianism, which
tries to bring the economy to its existing full capacity by means of increasing
demand, primarily through fiscal policy. In the 1970s, many on the right became
critical of Keynesianism, which they claimed brought higher inflation without
any gains in employment. However, true Keynesianism, which called for deficit
spending during recessions and surplus saving during periods of prosperity, was
rarely implemented in its totality in American politics, usually because political
considerations overshadowed fiscal policy.

early Reagan tax cuts of August 1981 embodied Reagan’s supply-side economics.
Economist Robert J. Gordon writes in his textbook Macroeconomics (9th ed. 2003,
p. 392) that this was “the most dramatic shift in fiscal policy of the postwar
era not related to the financing of wars.”

Tax Reform Act of 1986, which had broad bipartisan support, partly implemented
the principles of supply-side economics in a more moderate way. It simplified
the tax code and eliminated tax loopholes.

of what Reagan implemented was in fact not supply side economics, but rather his
own version of Keynesianism. Reagan advocated initiating deep tax cuts and simultaneous
increases in military spending, while at the same time claiming that the Federal
deficit would be erased. Critics argued that while Keynesian economics promoted
the idea of consumers (including the poorest) creating jobs by increasing the
demand for goods and services, Reaganomics relied on giving more money to producers
by giving tax cuts especially to the wealthiest citizens, who would then create
jobs that would somehow find a demand. This type of economic theory has also been
referred to derisively as “trickle-down economics.”

belief of Reaganomics that the tax cuts would more than pay for themselves was
influenced by the Laffer curve, a theoretical taxation model that was particularly
in vogue among some American conservatives during the 1970s. Laffer’s model predicts
that excessive tax rates actually reduce potential tax revenues, by lowering the
incentive to produce. The rise, rather than fall, in government deficits during
the Reagan era caused many to question the validity of the Laffer curve. In addition,
although the Laffer curve was used to justify tax cuts, its main emphasis was
on showing how to maximize government revenues through fiscal policy; because
this conflicted with the aim of conservatives to reduce spending as well as revenues,
the Laffer curve has more recently been deemphasized by conservatives in recent
years. Nonetheless, Federal Government tax revenues did increase significantly
following the tax cuts of the Reagan years; it was the dramatic increase in spending
that produced the budget deficits of that era.

Reagan’s election, Reaganomics was considered extreme by the liberal wing of the
Republican Party. While running against Reagan for the Presidential nomination
in 1980, George Bush had derided Reaganomics as “voodoo economics”,
a term that held currency long after the recession ended. Similarly, in 1976,
Gerald Ford had severely criticized Reagan’s proposal to turn back a large part
of the Federal budget to the states. After the Reagan election, however, most
Republicans endorsed Reaganomics, including Bush, who became Reagan’s Vice President.

recent years Democrats like Governor Bill Richardson have adopted both Reaganomic
theory and rhetoric to justify tax cuts to spur growth and incentive (

for Reaganomics

study from the Cato Institute (a Libertarian think tank, which supports many of
the premises that lie behind Reaganomics) said: – PROFIT MAXIMIZATION – MICROECONOMICS

also: List of Economic Topics

– microeconomics

economics, profit maximization is the process by which a firm determines the price
and output level that returns the greatest profit. There are several approaches
to this problem. The total revenue — total cost method relies on the fact that
profit equals revenue minus cost, and the marginal revenue — marginal cost method
is based on the fact that total profit in a perfect market reaches its maximum
point where marginal revenue equals marginal cost.


costs incurred by a firm may be classed into two groups: fixed cost and variable
cost. Fixed costs are incurred by the business at any level of output, including
none. These may include equipment maintenance, rent, wages, and general upkeep.
Variable costs change with the level of output, increasing as more product is
generated. Materials consumed during production often have the largest impact
on this category. Fixed cost and variable cost, combined, equal total cost.

is the total amount of money that flows into the firm. This can be from any source,
including product sales, government subsidies, venture capital and personal funds.

cost and revenue are defined as the total cost or revenue divided by the amount
of units output. For instance, if a firm produced 400 units at a cost of 20000
USD, the average cost would be 50 USD.

cost and revenue, depending on whether the calculus approach is taken or not,
are defined as either the change in cost or revenue as each additional unit is
produced, or the derivative of cost or revenue with respect to quantity output.
For instance, taking the first definition, if it costs a firm 400 USD to produce
5 units and 480 USD to produce 6, the marginal cost of the sixth unit is approximately
80 dollars, although this is more accurately stated as the marginal cost of the
5.5th unit due to linear interpolation. Calculus is capable of providing more
accurate answers if regression equations can be provided.

Cost-Total Revenue Method

obtain the profit maximizing output quantity, we start by recognizing that profit
is equal to total revenue minus total cost. Given a table of costs and revenues
at each quantity, we can either compute equations or plot the data directly on
a graph. Finding the profit-maximizing output is as simple as finding the output
at which profit reaches its maximum. That is represented by output Q in the diagram.

Maximization –
Totals Approach

are two graphical ways of determining that Q is optimal. Firstly, we see that
the profit curve is at its maximum at this point (A). Secondly, we see that at
the point (B) that the tangent on the total cost curve (TC) is parallel to the
total revenue curve (TR), the surplus of revenue net of costs (B,C) is the greatest.
Because total revenue minus total costs is equal to profit, the line segment C,B
is equal in length to the line segment A,Q.

the price at which to sell the product requires knowledge of the firm’s demand
curve. The price at which quantity demanded equals profit-maximizing output is
the optimum price to sell the product.

Cost-Marginal Revenue Method

total revenue and total cost figures are difficult to procure, this method may
also be used. For each unit sold, marginal profit equals marginal revenue minus
marginal cost. Then, if marginal revenue is greater than marginal cost, marginal
profit is positive, and if marginal revenue is less than marginal cost, marginal
profit is negative. When marginal revenue equals marginal cost, marginal profit
is zero. Since total profit increases when marginal profit is positive and total
profit decreases when marginal profit is negative, it must reach a maximum where
marginal profit is zero – or where marginal cost equals marginal revenue. This
intersection of marginal revenue (MR) with marginal costs (MC) is shown in the
next diagram as point A. If the industry is competitive (as is assumed in the
diagram), the firm faces a demand curve (D) that is identical to its Marginal
revenue curve (MR), and this is a horizontal line at a price determined by industry
supply and demand. Average total costs are reprsented by curve ATC. Total economic
profits are represented by area P,A,B,C. The optimum quantity (Q) is the same
as the optimum quantity (Q) in the first diagram.

Maximization – The Marginal Approach

the firm is operating in a non-competitive market, minor changes would have to
be made to the diagrams.

of Operation

is assumed that all firms are following rational decision-making, and will produce
at the profit-maximizing output. Given this assumption, there are four categories
in which a firm’s profit may be considered.

firm is said to be making an economic profit when its average total cost is greater
than the price of the product at the profit-maximizing output. The economic profit
is equal to the quantity output multiplied by the difference between the average
total cost and the price.

firm is said to be making a normal profit when its economic profit equals zero.
This occurs where average total cost equals price at the profit-maximizing output.

the price is between average total cost and average variable cost at the profit-maximizing
output, then the firm is said to be in a loss-minimizing condition. The firm should
still continue to produce, however, since its loss would be larger if it was to
stop producing. By continuing production, the firm can offset its variable cost
and at least part of its fixed cost, but by stopping completely it would lose
equivalent of its entire fixed cost.

the price is below average variable cost at the profit-maximizing output, the
firm is said to be in shutdown. Losses are minimized by not producing at all,
since any production would not generate returns significant enough to offset any
fixed cost and part of the variable cost. By not producing, the firm loses only
its fixed cost.


and demand
Market forms, Microeconomics
production, costs, and

vida del ingeniero LUIS CARLOS SARMIENTO ANGULO se confunde con la de la Organización
que lleva su nombre y de la cuál es su creador e impulsor principal: la
más grande firma urbanizadora y constructora de Colombia.

Bachiller a los 15 años de edad e ingeniero civil de la Universidad Nacional
a los 21, sus calificaciones le brindaban la oportunidad de una beca para proseguir
sus estudios en los Estados Unidos. Pero llevaba varios meses trabajando para
Santiago Berrío González, ingeniero antioqueño y se había
casado con la señorita Fanny Gutiérrez en enero de 1955. Su grado
reciente le permitía el ascenso a una subgerencia, por lo cuál decidió
quedarse y desde su cargo supervisó obras como la construcción de
carreteras, entre ellas la de Bogotá a Choachí y la de Cúcuta
al Catatumbo, así como de los tramos del Ferrocarril del Atlántico
entre Gamarra y San Alberto, y entre La Dorada y Puerto Nare.

13 de junio de 1956 fue una fecha clave en la fijación del destino de este
joven ingeniero bogotano, el penúltimo de nueve hermanos, que ya había
ganado experiencia profesional en múltiples frentes, trabajando en firmas
constructoras desde sus épocas de estudiante, para ayudarse económicamente.

día, una pandilla de bandoleros armados, que decían tener móviles
políticos, secuestraron y dieron muerte a Santiago Berrío González.
Ese asesinato se produjo en el sector donde Berrío inspeccionaba personalmente
la marcha de las obras que hicieron posible la conexión ferroviaria entre
el litoral Atlántico y la capital de la República; y llevó
a la liquidación de la empresa contratista. Sarmiento fue encargado, a
pedido de los socios y herederos familiares, de la liquidación correspondiente.
Con el dinero de las prestaciones sociales como capital, por un monto de diez
mil pesos, tomó la determinación de trabajar por cuenta propia.

fines de 1956, Sarmiento Angulo abrió su primera oficina en el edificio
Henry Faux de la Avenida Jiménez, frente al templo de San Francisco y a
la Gobernación e Cundinamarca. El arriendo costaba cien pesos mensuales,
y ello hacía tolerable que fuese solamente de 15 metros cuadrados y no
tuviese vista a la calle. Para obtener trabajo, analizó las licitaciones
abiertas y eligió algunas orientadas a la construcción de obras
públicas, que por ser pequeñas o estar localizadas en sitios en
donde imperaba la violencia política, no alentaban la presentación
de ofertas por parte de los grandes contratistas. Esta táctica le funcionó
y obtuvo su primer contrato: la construcción del Colegio María Auxiliadora,
en Villapinzón, Cundinamarca. A medida que llegaban mas contratos, Sarmiento
necesitaba mayor capital y decidió gestionar un primer préstamo
bancario en el hoy desaparecido Banco de los Andes por la suma de $4.000.oo, el
cual le fue negado.

tres años, y habiéndose enfrentado a 18 contratos de toda clase
de obras, como alcantarillados, acueductos, redes telefónicas y de energía,
construcción y pavimentación de calles en Bogotá, construcción
de escuelas, plantas industriales y vivienda en serie por contratos con la Caja
de Vivienda Militar y la Caja de Vivienda Popular, Sarmiento juzgó aconsejable
crear una Organización para ensanchar el radio de sus labores y para ello
invitó a sus amigos y compañeros de carrera René Salazar
y Enrique Santamaría a participar como socios de su naciente empresa. Tenía
para entonces 2 oficinas con vista en el edificio Henry Faux.


experiencia de la Organización fue enriqueciéndose en materia de
obras públicas y de vivienda y comenzó a pensarse en una urbanización
por cuenta propia, lo que imponía contar con recursos más amplios
de capital. Sarmiento había invertido parte de sus primeros ahorros, por
consejo de su hermano Arturo, pionero del cultivo del algodón nacional,
en comprar una finca en la región de Codazzi, cuyo desarrollo se iniciaba;
tenía 350 hectáreas pero apenas 50 desmontadas. Viajaba todos los
fines de semana que podía, e invertía en ella lo que producían
las cosechas. Ya se había trocado la proporción inicial, y la finca
tenía 300 hectáreas en cultivos cuando decidió venderla en
1961. La Organización había elegido un terreno de diez fanegadas
y procedió a negociarlo. El propietario propuso que le comprasen el 40
por ciento del lote, con opción de un año sobre el resto. Aceptó
las condiciones, y en las cuatro fanegadas que así obtuvo había
que proceder a construir lo m ás pronto posible.

entonces la idea de utilizar el sistema, recientemente establecido por el Gobierno,
de financiación compartida de vivienda, llamado Plan P-3. Consistía
en que el valor de una casa se costeara por partes iguales entre tres, el Instituto
de Crédito Territorial, la firma urbanizadora cuya intervención
aprobara esa entidad oficial, y el comprador, concediéndole a éste
último un plazo de diez años para pagar su saldo por mensualidades.
La Organización había adelantado ya estudios para urbanizar el lote,
y Sarmiento solicitó a ICT ser considerado para la primera concesión
de contratos P-3, la cuál le fue adjudicada para la construcción
de 100 casas. Eran casas de dos pisos, con sala-comedor y cocina en la primera
planta, tres alcobas y baño en el segundo piso. Aquellas casas se vendieron
a $33.000, con cuota inicial de $11.000.

año Sarmiento compró las seis fanegadas restantes, utilizándolas
para 200 viviendas más. La urbanización recibió el nombre
de El Paseo.


Organización acometió urbanizaciones que abrieron al desarrollo
diversos sectores capitalinos. Cuando se inició, en 1966 la Urbanización
Las Villas, en terrenos sobre la antigua carretera a Suba, parecía muy
retirada del centro. El proyecto se financió con los recursos obtenidos
como fruto de las urbanizaciones anteriores y de otros contratos, pues seguían
aceptándolos en frentes muy variados. Era su obra No. 55.

1968 se aplicó por segunda vez el sistema P-3 en la Urbanización
San Andrés, con financiación parcial del ICT y de otras soluciones
de crédito. Hasta 1969, la Organización ejecutó, además
de sus propios proyectos, obras por cuenta de terceros, tanto en el ramo de las
obras públicas como en el de la vivienda. Los últimos contratos
públicos fueron entre otros, la construcción de un sector de la
avenida 68, desde la Avenida 1° de Mayo hasta la Carretera del Sur, la construcción
de la Avenida Ciudad de Quito, desde la calle 63 hasta la calle 68, con la canalización
del río Salitre en ese mismo sector.


1969, la Organización Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo Ltda, ya instalada en
su sede del Edificio Internacional, concentró su capacidad económica
y de trabajo en actividades autofinanciadas, y mas tarde como accionista de otras
empresas. Es así como en 1970, la OLCSAL fue socia fundadora de la Compañía
de Seguros Alfa, en 1973 de la Corporación de Ahorro y Vivienda Las Villas,
y en 1974 de la Corporación Financiera de los Andes. Asimismo contribuyó
al desarrollo y progreso del Banco de Occidente y de los Almacenes de Depósito
Al-Occidente, desde 1972.

segunda década de labores, la firma había multiplicado el número
de urbanizaciones que hoy integran barrios muy populosos de Bogotá: Villa
Adriana, Villa Sonia, Villa Luz, Villa del Rosario, Villa Claudia, Villa del Prado,
Villa del Río, Villa de Magdala y muchas otras más.

actividad urbanizadora de la firma se intensificó desde septiembre de 1972,
cuando fue establecido el sistema de Unidades de Poder Adquisitivo Constante,
UPAC. Para entonces, en el país se crearon diez grandes entidades crediticias
para estudiar solicitudes con destino a la vivienda familiar. La OLCSAL fue la
primera en vender una urbanización por el sistema UPAC, Villa Sonia, y
aunque se expresaron en su momento y se continua criticando mucho la figura, sin
duda se debe reconocer que las UPACs dieron una importante solución a una
necesidad social del momento.

1978, las estadísticas disponibles, publicadas por el Centro Nacional de
Estudios de la Construcción, CENAC, mostraban como el Instituto de Crédito
Territorial y la Caja de Vivienda Popular, adelantaban alrededor de 13.000 unidades
de vivienda en Bogotá. El sector privado, por su parte, estaba construyendo
para la misma época 12.500 soluciones de vivienda. De las viviendas dirigidas
a las clases medias, 2.200, o sea cerca del 60% correspondía a programas
de la OLCSAL.

los años ochenta y parte de los noventa, la Organización continuó
su labor en el sector, con la construcción de dos desarrollos de interés
social: Villa de los Sauces y Villa de los Alpes, dirigidas a satisfacer la demanda
de vivienda de los sectores mas populares de la capital. Luego vino la construcción
de 8 complejos mas de vivienda, incursionando en el concepto de vivienda multifamiliar.
En esos años se edificaron las urbanizaciones: Villa de Aranjuez, Villas
del Mediterráneo, Villa Mayor, Villa del Pilar, Villas del Madrigal, Villa
del Río, Villas de Granada y Bulevar Las Villas.


construcción era, hasta la mitad de los noventa uno de los motores de la
economía colombiana, pero en 1996 comenzó a debilitarse y se redujo
el número de licencias otorgadas para construir. Los tipos de interés
subieron hasta un 50% en 1998, dificultando la financiación de la actividad.
El número de desempleados se disparó alcanzando el 20,1% en 1999
y la cartera de créditos del sistema financiero comenzó a deteriorarse,
especialmente las de las Corporaciones de Ahorro y Vivienda.

1999 el terreno construido disminuyó a 5,7 millones de metros cuadrados
frente a los 14 millones construidos en 1995, lo que supuso un descenso del 59,2%
con respecto a 1995 y un 40,4% menos que lo edificado durante todo 1998 (Departamento
Administrativo Nacional de Estadística – Dane).

de las empresas de construcción entraron en concordato y la gran mayoría
quebraron y debieron ser liquidadas. La construcción se paralizó,
pero la OLCSAL le hizo frente a la crisis gracias al respaldo que tenía
en el sector financiero y redireccionó su camino dedicándose a las
obras de urbanismo de conjuntos residenciales y comerciales construidos y a la
construcción y adecuación de las oficinas de Bancos y Corporaciones,
actividad que continúa desarrollando hasta hoy.


1994 la OLCSAL fue sometida a un proceso de reconversión para separar sus
diferentes actividades: construcción, finanzas y telecomunicaciones: La
construcción siguió en cabeza de la OLCSAL a través de la
Empresa Viviendas Planificadas S.A.; creó un holding encargado del manejo
de su negocio financiero, Grupo Aval Acciones y Valores S.A., una sociedad de
carácter comercial, y en cuanto a las comunicaciones, fundó en 1994
una compañía de telefonía celular “Cocelco ” la
cuál vendió seis años después, en el año 2000,
a la firma estadounidense BellSouth Corp.

incursión en el sector financiero de Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo se remonta
a 1972, cuando la OLCSAL adquiere el Banco de Occidente y los Almacenes de Depósito
Al-Occidente. Hoy en día cuenta con Fiduciaria de Occidente, Leasing de
Occidente, Valores de Occidente, Banco de Occidente Panamá S.A. and Occidental
Bank and Trust International, Nassau y Corficolombiana.

13 de octubre de 1972, la OLCSAL se constituye en socia fundadora de la Corporación
de Ahorro y Vivienda Las Villas (desde el año 2000 Banco AV VILLAS), y
en 1974 de la Corporación Financiera de los Andes. Desde su creación,
AV VILLAS se especializa en la financiación del sector de la construcción
y participa de manera integral como fuente de capital tanto para el constructor
como para el comprador final de inmuebles. A principios del año 2.000 se
fusiona, absorbiendo a la Corporación de Ahorro y Vivienda Ahorramas, entidad
que había sido creada en diciembre de 1.972.

1987 el Banco de Bogotá entra a formar parte de las empresas de propiedad
de la OLCSAL consolidando su desarrollo y proyección dentro del sistema
financiero. En 1990, a la luz de la reforma financiera (Ley 45 de 1990), el Banco
de Bogotá establece nuevas filiales en Colombia como son: Fiduciaria Bogotá,
Leasing Porvenir y Fondo de Pensiones y Cesantías Porvenir. Posteriormente
adquiere el 76% del Banco del Comercio, el cuál se fusiona con el Banco
de Bogotá, incorporando así con este proceso a la Compañía
de Bolsa del Comercio (actualmente Valores Bogotá S.A) y al Banco del Comercio
Panamá. Este último más adelante se convertiría en
Leasing Porvenir Panamá.

1996, el Gobierno Nacional coloca en venta sus acciones del Banco Popular. Así,
el 21 de noviembre de 1996, la OLCSAL, a través de la Sociedad Popular
Investment Ltda. adquiere el banco. Desde ese momento, comienza su etapa de privatización,
de cambio de esquemas para adaptarse a nuevas políticas administrativas
y comerciales.

finales de 1998 el Banco de Bogotá compra el 24.95% de las acciones en
circulación en la Corporación Financiera de los Andes (CORFIANDES)
y la Corporación Financiera Colombiana adquiere el 98.98% de la Corporación
Financiera Santander (CORFISANTANDER); posteriormente en febrero la Corporación
Financiera Colombiana se fusiona respectivamente con INDUFINANCIERA y en marzo


7 de enero de 1994, se constituyó la sociedad “Administraciones Bancarias
S.A.”, la cuál, después de varios cambios, recibió,
en enero de 1998, el nombre de “Grupo Aval Acciones y Valores S.A.”,
el cuál conserva hasta hoy.

Grupo controla, entre otras, cinco de las entidades: Banco de Bogotá, Banco
de Occidente, Banco Comercial AV Villas, Administradora de Fondos de Pensiones
y Cesantías Porvenir y Leasing de Occidente.

crisis económica, que alcanzó su punto álgido en 1999 cuando
la economía se contrajo en un histórico 4,29 por ciento, provocó
la liquidación y fusión de unas 70 financieras y un salvamento gubernamental
de hasta 6.000 millones de dólares, desde que empezó en 1998.

al camino seguido por banqueros colombianos de entregar el control de sus firmas
a grandes jugadores mundiales o abrazar el salvamento del gobierno, Sarmiento
nunca optó por vender alguna de sus financieras, ni siquiera en la ola
de compras desatada por los dos mayores bancos de España.

resultados de esa política no podían ser mejores. Las entidades
que conforman el portafolio de inversiones de Grupo Aval, han estado siempre ligados
a una política sana de reinversión de dividendos y administraciones
conservadoras y ortodoxas. Aún en las circunstancias adversas por la que
atraviesa la economía colombiana, el consolidado de las instituciones financieras
subordinadas del Grupo Aval, arroja uno de los mejores resultados del sistema
financiero colombiano.


1993, Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo decide fundar una entidad sin ánimo
de lucro que lleva su nombre y cuyo objetivo era canalizar las múltiples
donaciones que Sarmiento y su familia hacían en diferentes frentes, en
apoyo a las comunidades menos favorecidas.

así como, en su Consejo de Administración, tienen asiento el propio
Sarmiento, quien lo preside, su señora y sus hijos, vinculándolos
de esta manera al aporte social que, en el entendido de su fundador, debe hacer
al país todo colombiano. Cabe anotar, que a diferencia de muchas entidades
de objeto similar, que perciben un porcentaje de las utilidades de las empresas
de los grupos económicos, Sarmiento decidió que todos los recursos
para ejecutar los programas de la Fundación provinieran de su propio peculio
y del de su familia; lo anterior, sin perjuicio de los programas de inversión
social que adelanta por separado, cada una de las entidades de Grupo Aval, y de
aquellos que hace de manera personal el Doctor Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo. – JULIO SANCHEZ CRISTO – BIOGRAFIA

Innovando en la Radio FM

palabra revolución se utiliza tanto que ya es una especie de cliché. Pero volvamos
a su concepto fundamental: Una revolución es un cambio en la esencia o marcha
habitual de las cosas. Es un momento de la historia en que lo que venía sucediendo
y lo que empieza a pasar se hacen realidades desconectadas. Y en efecto eso fuè
lo que Sanchez Cristo logrò con la visiòn que abriga a los pioneros,
a los que se atreven, a los que fracturan los esquemas tradicionales.

Ofreciò a muchos un nuevo respiro, un aire mentolado dentro de la espesa
avalancha informativa. El como ninguno supo interpretar donde se hallaba el nicho
perdido. Identificò y propuso un modelo periodistico ligero y audaz evitando
la engorrosidad y la pesadez del boletin informativo sin pausa, de la noticia
por metro cùbico que termina por atragantarnos.

Propuso un esquema de facil
digestiòn, en un minuto es arrinconado un alcalde por corrupto y al minuto
siguiente se conversa sobre el aniversario de Neruda, o bien dos funcionarios
se despellejan a improperios y acto seguido Julio Iglesias nos habla media hora
sobre su amor por Cartagena y ni menciona su ultimo disco. Realidades inconexas
que por alguna razòn extraña parece ser… nos fascinan.

Muchos aùn se preguntan que es lo que Julito hace para ser invencible en
su franja? Como logra cautivar dìa tras dìa a semejante audiencia
y aplastar de que manera a su competencia? Serà suerte? Serà Magia? Umm…
realmente no lo creo!

meticuloso cuidado en el manejo de cada tema y su agudo olfato peridistico lo
han hecho un maestro para dejar en evidencia el oro o el cobre de cada uno de
sus entrevistados. Ligado a semejante talento se encuentra un equipo periodistico
de primera lìnea. Personajes de la politica como el Dr. Alberto Casas Santamarìa
y periodistas de alto reconocimiento y gran credibilidad como Felix de Bedout
le han aportado al programa un lenguaje singular y unas tematicas que refrescan
y cautivan diariamente a cientos de nuevos oyentes.

famosisimas trompetas aclamadas al unisono por miles de oyentes, la puesta en
evidencia del despilfarro desbordado de multiples funcionarios publicos, la cazeria
de corruptos y el destape de tanta olla podrida hacen de este equipo investigativo
un referente excepcional desde donde su gran audiencia se apoya con certeza a
la hora de las grandes decisiones. No en vano han ayudado en gran medida a definir
alcaldes, ministros y hasta pudiesemos decir… presidentes.

Sanchez Cristo es catalogado como uno de los grandes periodistas del país y hoy
en dìa recoge con creces los frutos de su innovador estilo que no admite
copias ni imitaciones.
lo tanto no es magia… es trabajo, muuuucho trabajo! Bien por Julito! Bien por
La Wfm! – Por Federico Duran

La consagración de Julio Sánchez

A Julio Sánchez Cristo, director de La W y ganador del premio Simón Bolívar a toda una trayectoria periodística, la pasión por la información le llegó casi por genética.

“Desde muy joven tenía ideales muy claros de hacer un trabajo novedoso en radio y televisión. A los 20 años, ya quería hacer muchas cosas”, recuerda su padre, Julio Sánchez Vanegas, veterano hombre de la pantalla chica.

Esa inquietud ya se notaba cuando a finales de los setenta estaba haciendo labores periodísticas en Producciones JES, la programadora familiar en la que demostró su vocación desde el principio.

“Le encantaba la investigación en profundidad”, comenta su padre, quien tuvo que dejarlo ir cuando la radio se convirtió en su meta profesional.

Con una sensibilidad muy marcada por la música y la orientación de Yamid Amat, descubrió los secretos del periodismo radial en el programa 6 a.m-9 a.m., de Caracol. Luego vendrían Viva FM, La FM de RCN y La W

En 1998, probó de nuevo en la televisión con El cielo, espacio de entrevistas y notas que grababa desde el helipuerto del edificio Colpatria, de Bogotá, pero su obsesión con la radio lo devolvió al frente del micrófono.

Ahora, con La W, del Grupo Prisa, ha logrado cimentar un estilo que revolucionó el medio y lo convirtió en uno de los mejores periodistas del país.

Ya son históricas sus entrevistas con personajes como la actriz Sofía Loren, el fallecido dirigente palestino Yasser Arafat, los directores de cine Pedro Almodóvar y Francis Ford Coppola, el cantante Mick Jagger, el ex presidente estadounidense Bill Clinton, el cantante Tony Bennett, el líder surafricano Nelson Mandela y el ex Beatle Paul McCartney. También lo es su capacidad para tener al aire a los personajes del momento.

Ama lo que hace

Los que han trabajado con Sánchez reconocen su pasión por las noticias y la velocidad con la que devora revistas y periódicos de todo el mundo para tener una visión de lo que está pasando a su alrededor.

Algunos confiesan que es muy estricto con su trabajo, que sigue la rutina de estar despierto a las 4 a.m., aunque -como dijo en la entrega de los Premios Simón Bolívar – eso le haya hecho perderse la experiencia de desayunar en familia.

Pero le abonan que cuando está al aire logra un reflejo verdadero de lo que es su personalidad.

Otros lo critican, porque dispara emociones con sus invitados a los que confronta con un estilo directo a incisivo, pero él sigue manteniendo el esquema, abriendo los micrófonos a todo el mundo y descubriendo historias con sus oyentes.

Esa capacidad de mantenerse y ser ameno comentando las noticias del momento, lo han llevado al éxito profesional, representado en una trayectoria de más de 25 años en el medio y muchos premios nacionales a internacionales.

Él sigue madrugando y aun que lo suyo sea una cabina de radio ahora también aboga porque se le dé un mayor espacio a los programas periodísticos en los horarios más vistos de la televisión.

Tomado del periódico El Tiempo, 11 de octubre de 2007

La voz

La voz siempre fue su principal atractivo. Un don que le vino como anillo al dedo a él, al niño encantado por la magia de laradio, el medio que luego habría de conquistar.

Acostumbrado a tener muy cerca el palpitar de la actualidad, por pertenecer a una familia ligada a los medios de comunicación, desde joven tuvo el talante de un hombre interesante, hábil para desplegar temas de conversación que hechizaban con facilidad a cualquier dama. Con el tiempo, sus virtudes de soltero de mundo fueron creciendo.

Las tabernas de la carrera quince, la vía chic de Bogotá en los años mozos de Julito, los creams de la Caracas y el cine en Unicentro, entre otros, eran los lugares a donde se le podía encontrar disfrutando de sus 20 años.

La informalidad de la época, sin embargo, le dejaba espacio para ambientes más selectos, como el Polo Club, donde en medio de las partidas ya se mostraba inquieto por la política, la actualidad internacional y la farándula.

Melómano de tiempo completo, el heredero del clan Sánchez, estaba al tanto de ídolos como Aretha Franklyn, Tom Jones, Barbra Steissand y muchos otros.

Admirador de la cultura norteamericana. El joven realizador de Espectaculares JES, se aficionó mucho a Miami y Nueva York, donde no se ahorraba un centavo comprando lo último en revistas, discos y libros. Pero allí la rumba no era movida ni tan chispeante como la de Cartagena, la tierra de Letty Martelo, la mujer que lo ha acompañado en este mundo de micrófonos, viajes, personajes y noticias.

Tomado de la Revista Cromos – Solteros y solteras – 2006


Se mantuvo conectado a los protagonistas de la noticia en todo el mundo. Le pasó al teléfono desde el presidente de Ucrania, Viktor Yushchenko, hasta sir Anthony Hopkins. También la diva francesa Brigitte Bardot y el escritor indio Salman Rushdie. En la W estuvieron al aire los premios Nobel de Economía, Química y Medicina. Entrevistó a Antonio Banderas, a Robbie Williams, al esquivo Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), al goleador africano Samuel Eto’o. Habló con el presidente Uribe y su gabinete cada vez que quiso.

Por su estilo único mereció varias columnas de opinión. Él, su equipo de trabajo, su forma de hacer periodismo y su programa fueron inspiración para la Torre de D’Artagnan. Para Héctor Abad Faciolince, en la revista Semana, para Rudolf Hommes y Mauricio Pombo, en El Tíempo, y para Vladdo. Como si fuera poco, se convirtió en columnista del periódico Portafolio.

Sánchez Cristo tiene una química extraña con sus oyentes, que llaman a pesar de estar convencidos de que los van a cortar a mitad de la frase. Le dicen `Julito’, como si se tratara de un amigo entrañable. Y probablemente así lo sienten ya que pasan con él toda la mañana -en el dial o por internet- con la disciplina de estar cumpliendo una penitencia religiosa.

Para algunos es un héroe de opinión. Para otros un villano superficial. Pero para 400 soldados heridos en combate esta Navidad fue él quien les hizo olvidar por un rato sus tragedias. Un concierto de Carlos Vives y una exitosa campaña en distintas empresas para recolectar fondos demuestran, una vez más como si ya no estuviera lo suficientemente claro, su poder y su influencia en el país.

Julio Sánchez Cristo -convertido en genio de la radio- hace tiempo descifró la enmarañada fórmula de conservar y multiplicar la audiencia. Y la aplica con exactitud matemática. Todo parte de su voz embrujadora y se complementa con un cachaco culto, un paisa incisivo y una española sexy. Pasa por música que no se puede encasillar, por escalas vía satélite en las ciudades más cosmopolitas del mundo y por el inglés perfecto de su traductor. El resto del secreto se desconoce. Por eso nadie lo ha podido imitar.

Tomado de la Revista Cromos No.4583, 26 de diciembre de 2005 – Catalina Sandino Moreno – Maria Full of Grace – Maria Llena Eres de Gracia – Joshua Marston – Oscar Nominees – Oscar Winner

in Bogota, Colombia in 1981, Catalina Sandino Moreno became interested in theater
and stage at an early age. In 1997, while still in high school, she enrolled in
the Ruben Di Pietro theatre academy in Bogota. During her four years at the academy,
she acted in such productions as “Acuerdo para Cambiar de Casa” by Griselda Gambaro,
“The Dark Room” by Tennessee Wiliams, and “Laughing Wild” by Christopher Durand.
After making her film debut in MARIA FULL OF GRACE, Moreno relocated to New York
City, where she attended the Lee Starsberg Institute. She recently made her New
York stage debut in the Frog & Peach Tehare Company’s production of Shakespeare’s
“King John.”

the start, it’s impossible not to like seventeen year old Maria Avarez (Catalina
Sandino Moreno
.) The opening shots of Joshua Marston’s powerful first feature
“Maria Full of Grace” quickly establish character. We see Maria, mind-numbingly
bored, her fingers covered in Band-Aids, as she removes sharp thorns from flowers
at her job at a rose plantation, and later, Maria with her boyfriend, still bored,
as she breaks away to climb up to the roof of a two story abandoned house just
to see the view. Maria is tough, independent, and intelligent. She is also strikingly
pretty, and achingly, palpably, full of longing.

before Maria puts herself in the path of danger, she is someone we care and worry
for. She lives in an overcrowded apartment. Her mother doesn’t understand her.
Her boyfriend certainly isn’t worthy of her. After she quits at the flower factory,
she needs to find a new job – and chances are there isn’t anything better waiting
for her. Worse, she is pregnant. Maria clearly wants so much from life, and so
little seems possible. When Maria meets Franklin, who can get her a high paying
gig as a drug mule, trafficking heroin from Colombia to the United States, the
worry we feel for Maria positively skyrockets.

Maria’s story, we learn what it means to be a drug mule. Like Stephen Friar’s
terrific “Dirty Pretty Things” about illegal immigrants in London who
earn cash by giving up organs, Marston completely immerses us in a harrowing,
alternate universe where young women without hope ingest sixty-two heavy rubber
pellets filled with heroin and travel long distances to seedy unknown hotel rooms
just to make their way in life.

presentation of logistic details is never less than compelling; what once was
an obscure concept becomes real. The stereotypical image of a Colombian drug dealer,
a handsome Al Pacino type in a slick suit with a machine gun, has been replaced
with the terrified faces of women. Not only Maria, but three other women are on
her flight from Colombia to New York, her childlike friend Blanca, the seemingly
more worldly Diana who says she is making one last run, and yet another woman
whose name we never learn as she is taken from the custom’s office in handcuffs.

“Maria Full of Grace” is a successful film because it connects
on an emotional level. Wisely, Marston decided not to make an overt political
statement. Instead, he focuses on the intimate details of one woman’s story. Catalina
Sandino Moreno, making her film debut as Maria, gives a moving performance that
will stay with you.

Silver Bear for Best Actress at the 2004 Berline International Film Festival;
Mejor Actriz (Best Actress) at the 2004 Cartagena Film Festival in Colombia.

Catalina Sandino Moreno

did you practice the pellet swallowing?
I didn’t practice. Why should I? I
think it was more about [if I seemed like] a pro doing it, like okay, Josh, that’s
it, it was not real. I think, especially for Josh, it was important to be real.
And, for me, just coming in and seeing these pellets and trying to swallow them,
I was like, “I’m not going to swallow that.” It’s not easy. It was really
hard, and that’s the scene in the movie.”

you meet any drug mules in preparation?
My preparation was going to a flower
plantation, working for two weeks. I worked for two weeks there. Not dethorning
roses, just cutting them. And Maria was born there. Maria just appeared. I never
wanted to go and talk to mules because Maria doesn’t know how to be a mule.
And I didn’t either, so I was just relying on Josh how to do it. I didn’t
want to have another concept in my mind.

were the pellets made out of?
If Josh didn’t say, I’m not going
to say either. He will kill me if I say it.

was your acting training?
I was studying theater. When I was 13 years old,
I began studying theater. Then I was studying advertising, but I’ve always studied
theater. I was very shy and I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to just jump into
theater.” That was my background in acting. I’d never done anything professionally
in Colombia. To make this character was a challenge, because I’ve never done anything
like that. Maria was very different from who I am. I don’t live in a little
town. I was in college and I didn’t have to work because I needed money. I was
blessed because I had a different life than her. And for me, it was a challenge
to do it. Thanks to Josh and thanks to all of the actors, they made my work much

did you feel about getting in front of a camera?
The good thing with that,
in this movie, the camera was hand held. And Josh told me that whenever you feel
that Maria needs to walk, just walk. The camera’s going to follow you, because
he just wanted to feel what Maria was feeling. And it was much easier for me [to
say], “You know what, Maria should just stand up.” Whatever I wanted
and whatever Josh approved, I just did it. It was easier. It was like theater.

prompted you to audition for the film?
Curiosity. I was curious to meet this
American that was looking for a Colombian girl. I’d gone to a couple of auditions
in Colombia and they never chose me, so to hear there’s an American looking for
a Colombian, I really needed to see who he was and what this movie was about.
I read for Blanca the first time and the casting director saw me and said, “You
should just read for Maria, just to show the director.” And I read for Maria
and a couple of weeks later, they called me and said that Josh was coming to Colombia
to see a couple of girls and that I was in the three top girls.

you ever correct Josh on his perceptions about Colombia?
in terms of details, because as I told you, there were more details that Josh
knew that I didn’t. There were more words and for him being an American, he had
to really rely on us to change the script and to do a lot of improvisations from
the script. We never changed the structure of the film but we changed the script
I think 100 %. What did he nail just right? The pellet. I didn’t know how the
pellet was made. I didn’t know that they cut the fingers of the surgical glove.
You live in Colombia, you know about mules and you know that they are there, but
you don’t know the details. You don’t know why they do it. You just know that
they are there and bad people and they’re in jail and they deserve it.

now, you just see what it is like to be a mule. So, he was incredible. Did you
ever worry this reflected your country in a poor light?
I read the script
and I was so proud that an American was not stereotyping Colombia. He never showed
a gun. He never showed, like, bloody Maria’s face. He never did those types of
things, and for me it was incredible.

are the stereotypes we have about Colombia?
That we just kill each other.
That’s not just it. There’s more about Colombia and what Josh did was an
incredible, incredible job and I’m so proud that he did it. That’s why a lot of
Colombians are so grateful with him, because he just put his eyes on Colombia
and he just made this incredible movie. And everybody in Colombia liked it. And
they’re very proud that somebody really put Colombians as they are.

the film say the way to get out is to come to the U.S.?
Not just Colombians.
Like in America, there’s people from every part of the world. And not just
in my country that they think that the American dream is in America. Of course,
we heard about the American dream and if you go to America you’re going to
have a great life and you’re going to be a millionaire and you’re going
to just have a lot of kids and you’re going to be happy. But when you get
there and you go to Jackson Heights especially where all of the Colombian community
is, you’ll see their reality. And it’s very hard for them to just deal
with work every single day. If you don’t have papers, you have to work illegally
and if you’re caught, it’s very hard, and I don’t think [it’s]
just Colombians. If Colombians see the movie, it’s not “Oh my God, maybe
I’ll go to America.” I know that it’s not going to change people’s
life. Nothing can change people’s life. Just decisions. And if somebody sees
this movie, it just gets in the back of their mind how is this done? But they’re
people. They’re not just mules. I know they’re just good people and
this can happen to anybody. If you have an intestine, you can do it.

has your life changed since making this movie?
Well, I’m making this
press thing. I’ve never done it, so it’s changed a lot. Now I’m
living in New York. I have an agent. It changed a lot. I’m alone in New York
and living by myself. So everything has changed. I have to be independent and
I feel like Maria. In Colombia, it’s a slower process to grow up, just live
with your family for 20-something years. Then you finish college. Then you get
to work, then you get married and then you go. But here, I’m growing up faster
and that’s good. I’m learning a lot of things that I should have learned
[when I was younger].

you continue doing films?
I’m not going to jump in another project so fast.
I think I’m going to finish Maria’s cycle of being in the editing, of being in
the sound room. I think it is so incredible how they do movies. I think, when
I do another movie, I won’t be next to the director in the sound room, to see
how they mix the sound, or to be in the editing room. So, I think being so involved
in this movie, it’s so personal, that I just want to end this cycle. I just want
my head in one place. I don’t want to think about another project, but I’m reading.
I’m reading a lot. I’m reading what’s out there, what’s waiting
for me. But I’m just taking it really easy.

your family still in Colombia?
Do they plan to come over, or do
you send money home to help them? I don’t send money to my family, but what
Carla says in the movie, it’s real. She just took the phone and she heard
the grandma in the back of the room and like they’re asking how is life there?
It happened to me. My mother had been to New York with my brother and when I talk
to my father, it’s like, “Oh, I don’t want to talk to you because
tears come in my eyes.” To be here alone, it’s very hard. Especially
for Colombians. I don’t know for Latin America, but Colombians, we’re very
close. That’s why Jackson Heights is full of Colombians because they’re
all there and they really like being near them. It’s true.

there temptation to go back, or get them to come here?
no one wants to come her because to build a new life is very hard. My mother’s
a doctor, so she’s there and my brother has finished school, so he’s
fine. They’re all fine. They’re happy there. And of course the temptation
to go back home is always in my mind, but right now I’m married to Maria
for a couple of months. I’m sure before this year ends I’ll be back
home definitely.

you ever been stopped by customs like Maria is in the film?
was studying in New York. I had to go back to Colombia to get my student visa
and so, I was coming back to New York, and they stopped me. And it is a very weird
feeling when you just put your feet in America coming from a Colombian flight.
They’re waiting for you, they’re there. Their eyes are wide open, and you feel
like you did something bad, even though you haven’t done anything, but you’re
there with your bag, just waiting for them to stop you. And when they stopped
me, I’m like, “Okay, I know I have to be calm.” But of course I wasn’t
calm, I was crazy. My heart rate was 1,000 and my hands were shaking. Of course,
they saw, I was so nervous that they stopped me more and they were keeping me
asking questions. I remember, at a point, I was thinking, “Okay, I have to
be calm,” because I know they might put me in a little room. But it was so
weird. I was, like, acting to be calm and I was not calm. And of course they knew

they believe you were doing a movie?
I didn’t tell them. I was so crazy.
I just wanted to get out of there. It was a horrible experience. They padded me,
they took my wallet. They were, like, “How much money do you have?”
I was, like, “Oh, my God, hopefully I didn’t spend ten dollars.” I was
trying to get the amount really close to the amount that was in my wallet. “So,
like $200?” And they counted it. It was very crazy. At a point I was very
mad, I was like, “I’m just a student” And I cried. It was a horrible,
horrible scene.

they ask you these suspicious questions?
Yeah. I have a work visa, I have
a student visa, I have a visiting permit. So I have three visas in my passport.
They’re like, “Now, you’re a student? Hmm.” And I’m like,
“Oh my God, I’m just going to die here. I’m just going to die.”
And they keep saying, “Have you visited New York before on the work visa?”
They tried to make me fail. And of course I failed I think 1000 times, asking
those questions, responding to those questions. At the last part, I was really
mad. I cried. I’m like, “You know what? I shouldn’t be here. I’m
a guest in your country. I’m a student making a movie.” Of course I
sound like a crazy person. So of course they didn’t believe me, but they
were so sick that I was crying and they made people look at me, I don’t know why
they let me go.

did the director say when you told him about that?
He just laughed. He was
like, “Oh my God, that’s so funny.” Of course, Maria would have
been caught. Thank God she was more brave. He was laughing. “Oh, so you experienced
that.” It was not funny at all. It was not funny for me.

did you learn such good English?
Oh, thank you. In school. I went to a British
school in Colombia. I studied for 14 years there. Not English, just high school.
You’re lucky that I’m speaking good English. Sometimes I just get out
of my bed and I just need to speak Spanish.

you do a role in English?
I really want to do my next role in Spanish. I’m
just waiting for the role. I don’t want to jump so fast. I’m very proud to
be Latin, I’m very proud to be Colombian and, to me, it’s very important to just
keep with that.

World Independent Film

Full of Grace

away in a Colombian flower sweatshop, 17 year-old Maria (Catalina Sandino Moreno)
is tired of her work, her family, and the unresponsiveness of her boyfriend. When
she learns that she’s pregnant, Maria discovers a quick, but dangerous, way to
make big bucks: to volunteer herself as a drug mule. Asked to ingest small heroin
pellets and fly to New York for retrieval, Maria agrees, but soon realizes just
how hazardous the mission can be.

year, Lukas Moodysson’s `Lilya 4-Ever’ was a powerful portrait of the potential
hell found when a teenage girl starts to blindly trust. It was a stark, horrific,
and riveting film. The same can be said of Joshua Marston’s `Maria Full of Grace.’
While it doesn’t follow the sexual exploitation route of `Lilya,’ it moves on
to another experience that is shared by many unfortunate souls across the world:
that of an intestinal drug courier.

doesn’t fool around with `Maria.’ There’s little unnecessary dramatic padding
to the story, very little preaching, and he’s wise enough to allow the natural
horror of the circumstances these characters find themselves in to command the
way. It’s a cautious, yet unforced, directing job by Marston, but he doesn’t need
to do much. Not only is the film a harrowing portrait of lamentable decisions,
it also appeals to that `Fear Factor’ urge to stare at disbelief at what some
people do to their bodies. Those with touchy gag reflexes should consider a bathroom
break during the scene where Maria attempts to ingest her heroin pellets, ending
up with over 60 capsules of death in her belly, right before she boards an endless,
traumatic fight to New York City. It’s a tremendous sequence that supplies enough
tension and mouth-agape amazement for two movies.

the tale switches over to New York, `Maria’ slips away from horror mode and begins
to dig into the cold reality of what Colombian immigrants face in America. Selling
the role with sublime control is actress Catalina Sandino Moreno, who makes her
film debut with `Maria.’ The character requires a burning interior monologue that
the audience is never privy to, and Moreno communicates that frustration and dread
with frightening accuracy, never succumbing to self-pity, for Maria is not an
innocent character. Maria is head strong, and she’s chosen this life, not forced
into it. Moreno and Marston are wise to keep the material away from uncomplicated
sympathy grabs. It’s a wonderful performance and an outstanding film. —— 9/10



María, llena eres de gracia

Duración: 101 min
País: Colombia
Director: Joshua
Guión: Joshua Marston
Música: Jacobo Lieberman
& Leonardo Heiblum
Fotografía: Jim Denault
Reparto: Catalina
Sandino Moreno, Yenny Paola Vega, Guilied López
Productora: Coproducción

Crítica 2003
Mejor actriz (ex-aequo): Catalina Sandino Moreno. 2004: Deauville: Gran
Premio, Premio del Público, Premio de la Crítica Internacional. Berlín:Silver
Bear for Best Actress at the 2004 Berline International Film Festival; Cartagena:
Mejor Actriz (Best Actress) at the 2004 Cartagena Film Festival in Colombia;
Los Angeles
: nominada al Premio Oscar de la Academia el pasado martes 25 de
Enero como mejor actríz femenina en un papel protagónico.

La joven de 17 años María vive en una pequeña población
al norte de Bogotá. Comparte casa con su madre, su abuela, su hermana y
el pequeño hijo de ésta. María trabaja en una gran plantación
de rosas, donde preparan y empaquetan las flores. María y Blanca, su mejor
amiga, son las encargadas de retirar las espinas de los tallos y preparar las
flores para la exportación. Es una tarea dura y deben seguir reglas muy
estrictas. La única distracción de María son los bailes en
la plaza del mercado a los que va los fines de semana con su novio Juan. María
es muy impulsiva. Un día, después de discutir con uno de sus jefes,
se despide del trabajo. Su familia no entiende por qué ha dejado el trabajo,
nadie sospecha que María está embarazada.

probar suerte en la ciudad. Durante el viaje, se topa con Franklin, al que ya
conocía. Es un joven acostumbrado al mundo y cuya seguridad impresiona
mucho a María. Le habla de un empleo como correo. María entiende
enseguida que se trata de pasar drogas a Estados Unidos, tragando paquetitos de
heroína. Ganará 5.000 dólares en un viaje. Eso basta para
convencerla. Lucy ya ha hecho el viaje dos veces con éxito y enseña
a María cómo prepararse físicamente y también lo que
debe hacer si las cosas salen mal. Blanca no tarda en ser reclutada por los vendedores.
Unos días más tarde, las dos amigas suben a un avión con
destino a Estados Unidos, María lleva 62 paquetitos de heroína en
el estómago. (FILMAFFINITY)

historia durísima, hecha a pie de precipicio (…) Se ve y se oye magníficamente,
tiene verosimilitud y al tiempo calidad técnica, tiene fragor narrativo
y va directamente al grano supurante de la historia (…) la gran sorpresa: su
protagonista femenina” (E. Rogríguez Marchante: Diario ABC)

“Muy buena. (…) Una película contada con toda la sencillez imaginable,
pero también con toda la eficacia y minuciosidad posibles (…) perfecto
equilibrio entre los resortes melodramáticos y la autoexigencia realista
que impregna el relato de principio a fin.” (Alberto Bermejo: Diario El Mundo) – PRODUCTION FUNCTION – MICROECONOMICS

also: List of Economic Topics

– microeconomics

microeconomics, a production function expresses the relationship between an organization’s
inputs and its outputs. It indicates, in mathematical or graphical form, what
outputs can be obtained from various amounts and combinations of factor inputs.
In particular it shows the maximum possible amount of output that can be produced
per unit of time with all combinations of factor inputs, given current factor
endowments and the state of available technology. Unique production functions
can be constructed for every production technology.

a production function can be defined as the specification of the minimum input
requirements needed to produce designated quantities of output, given available
technology. This is just a reformulation of the definition above.

relationship is non-monetary, that is, a production function relates physical
inputs to physical outputs. Prices and costs are not considered. (For a primer
on the fundamental elements of physical production theory, see production
theory basics).

production function as an equation

its most general mathematical form, a production function is expressed as:

Q= quantity of output
X1, X2, X3, etc.= factor
inputs (such as capital, labour, raw materials, land, technology, or management)

There are several ways of specifying this function. One is as an additive
production function:

a + b X1 + c X2 + d X3
where a, b, c, and d are parameters that are determined
Another is as a Cobb-Douglas production function (multiplicative):

aX1b X2c
Other forms include the constant elasticity of substitution production
function (CES) which is a generalized form of the Cobb-Douglas function, and the
quadratic production function which is a specific type of additive function. The
best form of the equation to use and the values of the parameters (a, b, c, and
d) vary from company to company and industry to industry. In a short run production
function at least one of the Xs (inputs) is fixed. In the long run all factor
inputs are variable at the discresion of management.

production function as a graph

of these equations can be plotted on a graph. A typical (quadratic) production
function is shown in the following diagram. All points above the production function
are unobtainable with current technology, all points below are technically feasible,
and all points on the function show the maximum quantity of output obtainable
at the specified levels of inputs. From the origin, through points A, B, and C,
the production function is rising, indicating that as additional units of inputs
are used, the quantity of outputs also increases. Beyond point C, the employment
of additional units of inputs produces no additional outputs, in fact, total output
starts to decline. The variable inputs are being used too intensively (or to put
it another way, the fixed inputs are under utilized). With too much variable input
use relative to the available fixed inputs, the company is experiencing negative
returns to variable inputs, and diminishing total returns. In the diagram this
is illustrated by the negative marginal physical product curve (MPP) beyond point
Z, and the declining production function beyond point C.

Production FunctionFrom the origin to point A, the firm is experiencing increasing
returns to variable inputs. As additional inputs are employed, output increases
at an increasing rate. Both marginal physical product (MPP) and average physical
product (APP) is rising. The inflection point A, defines the point of diminishing
marginal returns, as can be seen from the declining MPP curve beyond point X.
From point A to point C, the firm is experiencing positive but decreasing returns
to variable inputs. As
additional inputs are employed, output increases but at a decreasing rate. Point
B is the point of diminishing average returns, as shown by the declining slope
of the average physical product curve (APP) beyond point Y. Point B is just tangent
to the steepest ray from the origin hence the average physical product is at a
maximum. Beyond point B, mathematical necessity requires that the marginal curve
must be below the average curve (See production theory
basics for an explanation.).

stages of production

simplify the interpretation of a production function, it is common to divide its
range into 3 stages. In Stage 1 (from the origin to point B) the variable input
is being used with increasing efficiency, reaching a maximum at point B (since
the average physical product is at its maximum at that point). The average physical
product of fixed inputs will also be rising in this stage (not shown in the diagram).
Because the efficiency of both fixed and variable inputs is improving throughout
stage 1, a firm will always try to operate beyond this stage. In stage 1, fixed
inputs are underutilized.

Stage 2, output increases at a decreasing rate, and the average and marginal physical
product is declining. However the average product of fixed inputs (not shown)
is still rising. In this stage, the employment of additional variable inputs increase
the efficiency of fixed inputs but decrease the efficiency of variable inputs.
The optimum input/output combination will be in stage 2. Maximum production efficiency
must fall somewhere in this stage. Note that this does not define the profit maximizing
point. It takes no account of prices or demand. If demand for a product is low,
the profit maximizing output could be in stage 1 even though the point of optimum
efficiency is in stage 2.

Stage 3, too much variable input is being used relative to the available fixed
inputs: variable inputs are overutilized. Both the efficiency of variable inputs
and the efficiency of fixed inputs decline through out this stage. At the boundary
between stage 2 and stage 3, fixed input is being utilized most efficiently and
short-run output is maximum.

a production function

noted above, it is possible for the profit maximizing output level to occur in
any of the three stages. If profit maximization occurs in either stage 1 or stage
3, the firm will be operating at a technically inefficient point on its production
function. In the short run it can try to alter demand by changing the price of
the output or adjusting the level of promotional expenditure. In the long run
the firm has more options available to it, most notably, adjusting its production
processes so they better match the characteristics of demand. This usually involves
changing the scale of operations by adjusting the level of fixed inputs. If fixed
inputs are lumpy, adjustments to the scale of operations may be more significant
than what is required to merely balance production capacity with demand. For example,
you may only need to increase production by a million units per year to keep up
with demand, but the production equipment upgrades that are available may involve
increasing production by 2 million units per year.

a firm is operating (inefficiently) at a profit maximizing level in stage one,
it might, in the long run, choose to reduce its scale of operations (by selling
capital equipment). By reducing the amount of fixed capital inputs, the production
function will shift down and to the left. The beginning of stage 2 shifts from
B1 to B2. The (unchanged) profit maximizing output level will now be in stage
2 and the firm will be operating more efficiently.

a firm is operating (inefficiently) at a profit maximizing level in stage three,
it might, in the long run, choose to increase its scale of operations (by investing
in new capital equipment). By increasing the amount of fixed capital inputs, the
production function will shift up and to the right.

and homothetic production functions

are two special classes of production functions that are frequently mentioned
in textbooks but are seldom seen in reality. The production function Q=f(X1,X2)
is said to be homogeneous of degree n, if given any positive constant k, f(kX1,kX2)=knf(X1,X2).
When n>1, the function exhibits increasing returns, and decreasing returns
when n<1. When it is homogeneous of degree 1, it exhibits constant returns.

functions are a special class of homogeneous function in which the marginal rate
of technical substitution is constant along the function.

production functions

macroeconomics, production functions for whole nations are sometimes constructed.
In theory they are the summation of all the production functions of individual
producers, however this is an impractical way of constructing them. There are
also methodological problems associated with aggregate production functions.

of production functions

the 1950s, 60s, and 70s there was a lively debate about the theoretical soundness
of production functions. (See the Capital controversy.) Although most of the criticism
was directed primarily at aggregate production functions, microeconomic production
functions were also put under scrutiny. The debate began in 1953 when Joan Robinson
complained about the way the factor input, capital, was measured and how the notion
of factor proportions had distracted economists.

to the argument, it is impossible to conceive of an abstract quantity of capital
which is independent of the rates of interest and wages. The problem is that this
independence is a precondition of constructing an iso-product curve. Further,
the slope of the iso-product curve helps determine relative factor prices, but
the curve cannot be constructed (and its slope measured) unless the prices are
known beforehand.


theory basics
Production, costs,
and pricing
possibility frontier


further description of production functions (

Heathfield, D. F. (1971) Production Functions, Macmillan studies in economics,
Macmillan Press, New York.
Moroney, J. R. (1967) Cobb-Douglass production
functions and returns to scale in US manufacturing industry, Western Economic
Journal, vol 6, no 1, December 1967, pp 39-51.
Pearl, D. and Enos, J. (1975)
Engineering production functions and technological progress, The Journal of Industrial
Economics, vol 24, September 1975, pp 55-72.
Robinson, J. (1953) The production
function and the theory of capital, Review of Economic Studies, vol XXI, 1953,
pp. 81-106
Shephard, R (1970) Theory of cost and production functions, Princeton
University Press, Princeton NJ.
Thompson, A. (1981) Economics of the firm,
Theory and practice, 3rd edition, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs. ISBN 0-13-231423-1 – SUPPPLY AND DEMAND

also: List of Economic Topics

– microeconomics

supply and demand model describes how prices vary as a result of a balance between
product availability at each price (supply) and the desires of those with purchasing
power at each price (demand). The graph depicts an increase in demand from D1
to D2 along with the consequent increase in price and quantity required to reach
a new market-clearing equilibrium point on the supply curve (S).

microeconomic theory, the partial equilibrium supply and demand economic model
originally developed by Alfred Marshall attempts to describe, explain, and predict
changes in the price and quantity of goods sold in competitive markets. The model
represents a first approximation for describing a market that is not perfectly
competitive. It formalizes the theories used by some economists before Marshall
and is one of the most fundamental models of some modern economic schools, widely
used as a basic building block in a wide range of more detailed economic models
and theories. The theory of supply and demand is important for some economic schools
understanding of a market economy in that it is an explanation of the mechanism
by which many resource allocation decisions are made. However, unlike general
equilibrium models, supply schedules in this partial equilbrium model are fixed
by unexplained forces.

general, the theory claims that when goods are traded in a market at a price where
consumers demand more goods than firms are prepared to supply, this shortage (or
excess demand) will tend to lead to increases in the price of the goods. Those
consumers who are prepared to pay more will bid up the market price. Conversely,
prices will tend to fall when the quantity supplied exceeds the quantity demanded
(i.e., when there is a glut, market surplus, or excess supply). This price/quantity
adjustment mechanism causes the market to approach an equilibrium point, at which
the market clears and there is no longer any impetus to change. This theoretical
point of stability is defined as the point where producers are prepared to sell
exactly the same quantity of goods as consumers want to buy, so there is no endogenous
force causing prices to change.

and definitions

theory of supply and demand usually assumes that markets are perfectly competitive.
This means that there are many small buyers and sellers, each of which is unable
to influence the price of the good in each market on his own. This assumption
is central to the simple form of supply and demand theory that is taught in introductory
economics. In many actual economic transactions, the assumption fails because
some individual buyers or sellers have enough market power to influence prices.
In this situation, the simple microeconomic theory of supply and demand is incomplete
and more sophisticated analysis is needed. However the simple theory presented
here does apply, and accurately describes many real life market interactions.
In many other cases it is a good first order approximation to some of the major
effects in the market.

economics does not assume a priori that markets are preferable to other forms
of social organization. In fact, much analysis is devoted to cases where so-called
market failures lead to resource allocation that is suboptimal by some standard.
In such cases, economists may attempt to find policies that will avoid waste;
directly by government control, indirectly by regulation that induces market participants
to act in a manner consistent with optimal welfare, or by creating ‘missing’ markets
to enable efficient trading where none had previously existed. This is studied
in the field of collective action.


is the quantity that consumers are willing and able to buy at a given price over
a period of time. For example, a consumer may be willing to purchase 30 bags of
potato chips in the next year if the price is $1 per bag, and may be willing to
purchase only 10 bags if the price is $2 per bag. A demand schedule can be constructed
that shows the quantity demanded at each given price. It can be represented on
a graph as a line or curve by plotting the quantity demanded at each price. It
can also be described mathematically by a demand equation. The main determinants
of the quantity one is willing to purchase will typically be the price of the
good, one’s level of income, personal tastes, the price of substitute goods, and
the price of complementary goods.


is the quantity that producers are willing to sell at a given price. For example,
the chip manufacturer may be willing to produce 1 million bags of chips if the
price is $1 and substantially more if the market price is $2. The main determinants
of the amount of chips a company is willing to produce will typically be the market
price of the good and the cost of producing it. In fact, supply curves are constructed
from the firm’s long-run cost schedule.

supply and demand curves

economic theory centers on creating a series of supply and demand relationships,
describing them as equations, and then adjusting for factors which produce “stickiness”
between supply and demand. Analysis is then done to see what “trade offs”
are made in the “market” which is the negotiation between sellers and
buyers. Analysis is done as to what point the ability of sellers to sell becomes
less useful than other opportunities. This is related to “marginal”
costs – or the price to produce the last unit that can be sold profitably, versus
the chance of using the same effort to engage in some other activity.

of simple supply and demand curves

slope of the demand curve (downward-to-the-right) indicates that a greater quantity
will be demanded when the price is lower. On the other hand, the slope of the
supply curve (upward-to-the-right) tells us that as the price goes up, producers
are willing to produce more goods. The point where these curves intersect is the
equilibrium point. At a price of P producers will be willing to supply Q units
per period of time and buyers will demand the same quantity. P in this example,
is the equilibriating price that equates supply with demand.

the figures, straight lines are drawn instead of the more general curves. This
is typical in analysis looking at the simplified relationships between supply
and demand because the shape of the curve does not change the general relationships
and lessons of the supply and demand theory. The shape of the curves far away
from the equilibrium point are less likely to be important because they do not
affect the market clearing price and will not affect it unless large shifts in
the supply or demand occur. So straight lines for supply and demand with the proper
slope will convey most of the information the model can offer. In any case, the
exact shape of the curve is not easy to determine for a given market. The general
shape of the curve, especially its slope near the equilibrium point, does however
have an impact on how a market will adjust to changes in demand or supply. See
the below section on elasticity.

should be noted that on supply and demand curves both are drawn as a function
of price. Neither is represented as a function of the other. Rather the two functions
interact in a manner that is representative of market outcomes. The curves also
imply a somewhat neutral means of measuring price. In practice any currency or
commodity used to measure price is also the subject of supply and demand.

of being away from the equilibrium point

consider how prices and quantities not at the equilibrium point tend to move towards
the equilibrium. Assume that some organization (say government or industry cartel)
has the ability to set prices. If the price is set too high, such as at P1 in
the diagram to the right, then the quantity produced will be Qs. The quantity
demanded will be Qd. Since the quantity demanded is less than the quantity supplied
there will be an oversupply (also called surplus or excess supply). On the other
hand, if the price is set too low, then too little will be produced to meet demand
at that price. This will cause an undersupply problem (also called a shortage).

assume that individual firms have the ability to alter the quantities supplied
and the price they are willing to accept, and consumers have the ability to alter
the quantities that they demand and the amount they are willing to pay. Businesses
and consumers will respond by adjusting their price (and quantity) levels and
this will eventually restore the quantity and the price to the equilibrium.

the case of too high a price and oversupply, (seen in the diagram at the left)
the profit maximizing businesses will soon have too much excess inventory, so
they will lower prices (from P1 to P) to reduce this. Quantity supplied will be
reduced from Qs to Q and the oversupply will be eliminated. In the case of too
low a price and undersupply, consumers will likely compete to obtain the good
at the low price, but since more consumers would like to buy the good at the price
that is too low, the profit maximizing firm would raise the price to the highest
they can, which is the equilibrium point. In each case, the actions of independent
market participants cause the quantity and price to move towards the equilibrium

curve shifts

more people want something, the quantity demanded at all prices will tend to increase.
This can be referred to as an increase in demand. The increase in demand could
also come from changing tastes, where the same consumers desire more of the same
good than they previously did. Increased demand can be represented on the graph
as the curve being shifted right, because at each price point, a greater quantity
is demanded. An example of this would be more people suddenly wanting more coffee.
This will cause the demand curve to shift from the initial curve D0 to the new
curve D1. This raises the equilibrium price from P0 to the higher P1. This raises
the equilibrium quantity from Q0 to the higher Q1. In this situation, we say that
there has been an increase in demand which has caused an extension in supply.

if the demand decreases, the opposite happens. If the demand starts at D1, and
then decreases to D0, the price will decrease and the quantity supplied will decrease
– a contraction in supply. Notice that this is purely an effect of demand changing.
The quantity supplied at each price is the same as before the demand shift (at
both Q0 and Q1). The reason that the equilibrium quantity and price are different
is the demand is different.

curve shifts

the suppliers’ costs change the supply curve will shift. For example, assume that
someone invents a better way of growing wheat so that the amount of wheat that
can be grown for a given cost will increase. Producers will be willing to supply
more wheat at every price and this shifts the supply curve S0 to the right, to
S1 – an increase in supply. This causes the equilibrium price to decrease from
P0 to P1. The equilibrium quantity increases from Q0 to Q1 as the quantity demanded
increases at the new lower prices. Notice that in the case of a supply curve shift,
the price and the quantity move in opposite directions.

if the quantity supplied decreases, the opposite happens. If the supply curve
starts at S1, and then shifts to S0, the equilibrium price will increase and the
quantity will decrease. Notice that this is purely an effect of supply changing.
The quantity demanded at each price is the same as before the supply shift (at
both Q0 and Q1). The reason that the equilibrium quantity and price are different
is the supply is different.

Induced demand


market ‘clears’ at the point where all the supply and demand at a given price
balance. That is, the amount of a commodity available at a given price equals
the amount that buyers are willing to purchase at that price. It is assumed that
there is a process that will result in the market reaching this point, but exactly
what the process is in a real situation is an ongoing subject of research. Markets
which do not clear will react in some way, either by a change in price, or in
the amount produced, or in the amount demanded. Graphically the situation can
be represented by two curves: one showing the price-quantity combinations buyers
will pay for, or the demand curve; and one showing the combinations sellers will
sell for, or the supply curve. The market clears where the two are in equilibrium,
that is where the curves intersect. In a general equilibrium model, all markets
in all goods clear simultaneously and the ‘price’ can be described entirely in
terms of tradeoffs with other goods. For a century most economists believed in
Say’s Law, which states that markets, as a whole, would always clear and thus
be in balance.


article: Elasticity (economics)

important concept in understanding supply and demand theory is elasticity. In
this context, it refers to how supply and demand change in response to various
stimuli. One way of defining elasticity is the percentage change in one variable
divided by the percentage change in another variable (known as arch elasticity
because it calculates the elasticity over a range of values – This can be contrasted
with point elasticity that uses differential calculus to determine the elasticity
at a specific point). Thus it is a measure of relative changes.

it is useful to know how the quantity supplied or demanded will change when the
price changes. This is known as the price elasticity of demand and the price elasticity
of supply. If a monopolist decides to increase the price of their product, how
will this affect their sales revenue? Will the increased unit price offset the
likely decrease in sales volume? If a government imposes a tax on a good, thereby
increasing the effecive price, how will this affect the quantity demanded?

you do not wish to calculate elasticity, a simpler technique is to look at the
slope of the curve. Unfortunately, this has units of measurement of quantity over
monetary unit (For example, liters per euro, or battleships per million yen),
which is not a convenient measure to use for most purposes. So, for example if
you wanted to compare the effect of a price change of gasoline in Europe versus
the United States, there is a complicated conversion between gallons per dollar
and liters per euro. This is one of the reasons why economists often use relative
changes in percentages, or elasticity. Another reason is that elasticity is more
than just the slope of the function: It is the slope of a function in a coordinate
space, that is, a line with a constant slope will have different elasticity at
various points.

do an example calculation. We have said that one way of calculating elasticity
is the percentage change in quantity over the percentage change in price. So,
if the price moves from $1.00 to $1.05, and the quantity supplied goes from 100
pens to 102 pens, the slope is 2/0.05 or 40 pens per dollar. Since the elasticity
depends on the percentages, the quantity of pens increased by 2%, and the price
increased by 5%, so the elasticity is 2/5 or 0.4.

the changes are in percentages, changing the unit of measurement or the currency
will not affect the elasticity. If the quantity demanded or supplied changes a
lot when the price changes a little, it is said to be elastic. If the quantity
changes little when the prices changes a lot, it is said to be inelastic. An example
of perfectly inelastic supply, or zero elasticity, is represented as a vertical
supply curve. (See that section below)

in relation to variables other than price can also be considered. One of the most
common to consider is income. How would the demand for a good change if income
increased or decreased? This is known as the income elasticity of demand. For
example how much would the demand for a luxury car increase if average income
increased by 10%? If it is positive, this increase in demand would be represented
on a graph by a positive shift in the demand curve, because at all price levels,
a greater quantity of luxury cars would be demanded.

elasticity that is sometimes considered is the cross elasticity of demand which
measures the responsiveness of the quantity demanded of a good to a change in
the price of another good. This is often considered when looking at the relative
changes in demand when studying complement and substitute goods. Complement goods
are goods that are typically utilized together, where if one is consumed, usually
the other is also. Substitute goods are those where one can be substituted for
the other and if the price of one good rises, one may purchase less of it and
instead purchase its substitute.

elasticity of demand is measured as the percentage change in demand for the first
good that occurs in response to a percentage change in price of the second good.
For an example with a complement good, if, in response to a 10% increase in the
price of fuel, the quantity of new cars demanded decreased by 20%, the cross elasticity
of demand would be -20%/10% or, -2.

supply curve

is sometimes the case that the supply curve is vertical: that is the quantity
supplied is fixed, no matter what the market price. For example, the amount of
land in the world can be considered fixed. In this case, no matter how much someone
would be willing to pay for a piece of land, the extra cannot be created. Also,
even if no one wanted all the land, it still would exist. These conditions create
a vertical supply curve, giving it zero elasticity (ie. – no matter how large
the change in price, the quantity supplied will not change).

the short run near vertical supply curves are even more common. For example, if
the Super Bowl is next week, increasing the number of seats in the stadium is
almost impossible. The supply of tickets for the game can be considered vertical
in this case. If the organizers of this event underestimated demand, then it may
very well be the case that the price that they set is below the equilibrium price.
In this case there will likely be people who paid the lower price who only value
the ticket at that price, and people who could not get tickets, even though they
would be willing to pay more. If some of the people who value the tickets less
sell them to people who are willing to pay more (i.e. scalp the tickets), then
the effective price will rise to the equilibrium price.

graph below illustrates a vertical supply curve. When the demand 1 is in effect,
the price will be p1. When demand 2 is occurring, the price will be p2. Notice
that at both values the quantity is Q. Since the supply is fixed, any shifts in
demand will only affect price.

market forms

a situation in which there are many buyers but a single monopoly supplier that
can adjust the supply or price of a good at will, the monopolist will adjust the
price so that his profit is maximised given the amount that is demanded at that
price. This price will be higher than in a competitive market. A similar analysis
using supply and demand can be applied when a good has a single buyer, a monopsony,
but many sellers.

there are both few buyers or few sellers, the theory of supply and demand cannot
be applied because both decisions of the buyers and sellers are interdependent
– changes in supply can affect demand and vice versa. Game theory can be used
to analyse this kind of situation. See also oligopoly.

supply curve does not have to be linear. However, if the supply is from a profit
maximizing firm, it can be proven that supply curves are not downward sloping
(i.e. if the price increases, the quantity supplied will not decrease). Supply
curves from profit maximizing firms can be vertical, horizontal or upward sloping.
While it is possible for industry supply curves to be downward sloping, supply
curves for individual firms are never downward sloping).

microeconomic assumptions cannot be used to prove that the demand curve is downward
sloping. However, despite years of searching, no generally agreed upon example
of a good that has an upward sloping demand curve has been found (also known as
a giffen good). Non-economists sometimes think that certain goods would have such
a curve. For example, some people will buy a luxury car because it is expensive.
In this case the good demanded is actually prestige, and not a car, so when the
price of the luxury car decreases, it is actually changing the amount of prestige
so the demand is not decreasing since it is a different good (see Veblen good).
Even with downward sloping demand curves, it is possible that an increase in income
may lead to a decrease in demand for a particular good, probably due to the existence
of more attractive alternatives which become affordable: a good with this property
is known as an inferior good.

example: Supply and demand in a 6-person economy

and demand can be thought of in terms of individual people interacting at a market.
Suppose the following six people participate in this simplified economy: – TRANSFER PRICING – MICROECONOMICS

also: List of Economic Topics

– microeconomics

pricing refers to the pricing of goods and services within a multi-divisional
organization. Goods from the production division may be sold to the marketing
division, or goods from a parent company may be sold to a foreign subsidiary.
The choice of the transfer prices affects the division of the total profit among
the parts of the company. It can be advantageous to choose them such that, in
terms of bookkeeping, most of the profit is made in a country with low taxes.

marginal price determination theory, we know that generally the optimum level
of output is that where marginal costs equals marginal revenue. That is to say,
a firm should expand its output as long as the marginal revenue from additional
sales is greater than their marginal costs. In the diagram that follows, this
intersection is represented by point A, which will yield a price of P*, given
the demand at point B.

a firm is selling some of its product to itself, and only to itself (ie.: there
is no external market for that particular transfer good), then the picture gets
more complicated, but the outcome remains the same. The demand curve remains the
same. The optimum price and quantity remain the same. But marginal cost of production
can be separated from the firms total marginal costs. Likewise, the marginal revenue
associated with the production division can be separated from the marginal revenue
for the total firm. This is referred to as the Net Marginal Revenue in production
(NMR), and is calculated as the marginal revenue from the firm minus the marginal
costs of distribution.

Pricing with No External Market

can be shown algebraically that the intersection of the firms marginal cost curve
and marginal revenue curve (point A) must occur at the same quantity as the intersection
of the production divisions marginal cost curve with the net marginal revenue
from production (point C).

the production division is able to sell the transfer good in a competitive market
(as well as internally), then again both must operate where their marginal costs
equal their marginal revenue, for profit maximization. Because the external market
is competitive, the firm is a price taker and must accept the transfer price determined
by market forces (their marginal revenue from transfer and demand for transfer
products becomes the transfer price). If the market price is relatively high (as
in Ptr1 in the next diagram), then the firm will experience an internal surplus
(excess internal supply) equal to the amount Qt1 minus Qf1. The actual marginal
cost curve is defined by points A,C,D.

Pricing with a Competitive External Marke

the market price is relatively low (as in Ptr2), then the firm will experience
an internal shortages (insufficient internal supply) equal to the amount Qf2 minus
Qt2. The actual marginal cost curve is defined by points A,B,E.

the firm is able to sell its transfer goods in an imperfect market, then it need
not be a price taker. There are two markets each with its own price (Pf and Pt
in the next diagram). The aggregate market is constructed from the first two.
That is, point C is a horizontal summation of points A and B (and likewise for
all other points on the Net Marginal Revenue curve (NMRa)). The total optimum
quantity (Q) is the sum of Qf plus Qt.

Pricing with an Imperfect External Market



costs, and pricing – RECESSION – MACROECONOMICS

also: List of Economic Topics

– macroeconomics

recession is usually defined in macroeconomics
as a fall of a country’s Gross National Product in two successive quarters. (This
is a simplified version of that of the business-cycle dating committee of the
National Bureau for Economic Research, a U.S.-based think tank.) Combined with
inflation this process is known as stagflation.

sustained recession is known as an economic depression. (Alternatively, a depression
is a situation where the economy “has fallen and can’t get up.”) A short-lived
recession is often called an economic correction. However, many theorists including
John Kenneth Galbraith believe that there is no reasonable distinction between
the three types of recesssion, other than a desire to downplay risk of a panic.
In the nineteenth century, such theorists point out, business cycle events of
the same magnitude were typically called “crises” or “panics”.

avoid all these politically loaded terms, the more neutral term ‘recession’ is
to be preferred, despite the overly-specific technical economics definition. The
politics implied by the current definition, including the assumption of relevance
of Gross National Product to human well-being, or the desirability/necessity of
reporting by quarter-years, are challenged in some theories of a larger political
economy consisting of voting, market, and other activities.

said, there is little challenge to the idea that GNP (or GDP) are related to job
availability in a wage-employment economy, nor to the idea that business confidence
and consumer spending tend to decrease during a recession, which is usually a
crisis of trust.

are mostly caused by economic shocks. The greatest, worldwide recession that humanity
has ever experienced was the beginning of the Great Depression (late 1920s and
1930s); other notable recessions include the two Oil Crises in the 1970s and the
Long Depression of the late nineteenth century. The sharpest recession on record
is that following the First World War when hyperinflation hit much of Europe;
this recession did not last very long, however.

can be difficult to understand the seeming decrease in available money during
a recession when no money is physically destroyed. Suppose you have 250 million
people living in a huge hall and there is a recession in the hall, no money went
into or left the hall. Where did all the money go? In fact money actually can
be destroyed, but it’s hard to see where and when.

to the Great Depression a huge wave of investing in the stock market had taken
place which created artificially high prices of stock. This process was driven
by the fact that shares were being used as a collateral for loans in order to
buy more stocks. When the economy showed signs of slowing and share prices plummeted,
this caused an extensive domino effect. The investments lost their face value
and the loans on them “went bad”, which, among other things, triggered
a crisis of the banking system. In consequence, there was the famous rush on banks,
with people not being able to access their deposits. They had disappeared. After
this, people grew extremely wary of investment which resulted in extreme deflation.

the amount of “hard” money (also referred to as Central Bank Money)
can only be changed within certain restrictions, this is not the total amount
of money that an economy relies on. The latter is a multiple of the former, determined
by factors like the speed of exchange and the reserve policy of a central bank,
or of other banks who borrow from that central bank.

is some debate as to whether or not a recession is a normal part of the business
cycle. The definition is set where it is (reduction in GNP for two successive
quarters) because this is supposed to be an unusual event, outside the normally-expected
cycles in which no more than one quarter should go by without some kind of growth.
An alternative view of this is that of Karl Marx for whom economic “crisis”
is symptomatic of a dysfunctional society, capitalism, forcing valuable social
resources to be destroyed in order to return the system to profitability. Another
alternative view is that the GNP and GDP are relevant only to waged jobs, and
that the expansion of money supply to support certain activities, e.g. chronic
hospital care, political lobbying, advertising, can encourage those activities
even though they actually represent declines in quality of life. So it all depends
on what you mean by ‘normal’, and whether you think the definition is relevant
to it.

fact that parties and theories compete to set policies, and have the power to
set definitions on such terms as ‘recession’ or ‘depression’, and explain their
meaning to the public as authority figures, leads to larger questions in political
economy, specifically those explored in political choice theory.

example of the importance of this is the Great Depression itself. When President
Franklin D. Roosevelt entered office in 1933, he was intending to continue a relatively
conservative fiscal policy to placate his business critics (Herbert Hoover in
particular had warned him that any controversial early action would affect business
confidence very adversely). However, after Black Monday Roosevelt was forced to
change his mind, and instituted the “New Deal” economic reforms to stave
off any future depressions. Contrary to myth, Roosevelt did not engage in sustained
deficit spending until World War II neared, so that the Depression continued.

date no repetitions of the Great Depression have happened in the United States.
At least, none politicians and the media call “depressions”, regardless
of their impact on actual human lives. However, Japan suffered from a depression
during the 1990s, while this word may be used to describe the situation of many
poorer countries.

is an open question whether a “depression” can even be noticed at all
under the terminology in use among technical economists today. Galbraith among
others thought it could not, and that the terminology was merely exercise in concealment
– a potent criticism from an economist who was a central part of that Administration
during the war years.


of recessions
Business cycle
Central bank
Job cut
Job exportation
Measuring well-being
Money supply

also: List of Economic Topics


is a central concept in economics. In fact, neoclassical economics, the dominant
school of economics today, defines its field as involving scarcity: following
Lionel Robbins’ definition, it is the study of the allocation of scarce goods
among competing ends. Scarcity means not having sufficient resources to produce
enough to fulfill unlimited subjective wants. Alternatively, scarcity implies
that not all of society’s goals can be attained at the same time, so that we must
trade off one good against others.

scarcity” is defined as there being a difference between the desire and the
demand for a good. What this means is that a good is scarce if people would consume
more of it if it were free. Scarcity (S) can also be viewed as the difference
between a person’s desires (D) and his possessions (P). Mathematically, this can
be expressed as S = D – P. If P > D, a state of negative scarcity exists which
is abundance. For most people desire exceeds possession and this provides the
spur to material success.

and services are scarce because of the limited availability of resources (the
factors of production) along with the
limits on our technology and our management skills. These determine the location
of society’s production possibilities
frontier or curve (PPF). Inefficiencies in the use of resources (less than
full employment or inappropriate employment of inputs) may limit the amount produced
so the economy operates below its PPF. If it difficult to abolish them, these
inefficiencies imply institutional artificial scarcity.

goods are scarce it is necessary for society to make choices as to how they are
allocated and used. Economists study (among other things) how societies perform
the optimal allocation of these resources — along with how societies often fail
to attain this optimality and are instead inefficient and how to solve this problem.

example, we may all want to own gold jewelry. However, the amount of gold available
is limited, so it is necessary to make choices as to how it is allocated. In a
market economy, this is achieved by trade. (Other ways to make this decision involve
tradition, community democracy, and government top-down or centralized command.)
In the market, individuals and organizations (such as corporations) trade resources
amongst themselves, reallocating resources to where they are most wanted by those
with purchasing power. In a smoothly operating market system, the rate of exchange
between different resources, or price will adjust so that demand is equal to supply.
One of the roles of the economist is to discover the relationship between demand
and supply and to develop mechanisms (such as pricing, incentives, or penalties)
to achieve an optimal outcome (in terms of consumer welfare).

see the above definition of scarcity as invalid, on the grounds that it assumes
both human wants are unlimited. “Unlimited wants” seems a product of
indoctrination (say, by advertisers). Alternatively, the “unlimited wants”
may be the result of the unsatisfying nature of work in a capitalist economy.
In alienated labor, the needs resulting from a worker doing noncreative work under
some manager’s command to produce something that is of no interest (except to
earn a wage) can be “solved” by buying unnecessary product. Thus in
News from Nowhere, a somewhat Marxian utopian novel by William Morris, the existence
of creative work for all helps to abolish the scarcity of products. However, most
economists disagree with these critiques.

intangible goods are likely to remain scarce by definition or by design; examples
include awards generated by honours systems, fame, and membership of elites. These
things are said to derive all or most of their value from their scarcity. But
these are examples of artificial scarcity, reflecting societal institutions. That
is, the resource cost of giving someone the title of “knight of the realm”
is much less than the value that individuals attach to that title.

informational goods can be copied at negligible cost, they do not need to be scarce.
This is why copies of free software such as GNU/Linux are typically available
for very little cost. However, proprietary software and many other products are
kept artificially scarce by copyright and patent law.


Bataille’s The Accursed Share
Trade and Market in the Early Empires, edited
by K. Polanyi, C. Arensberg, and H. Pearson
Marshall Sahlins Stone Age Economics