A negative interest rate to weaken Swiss franc; Social will be part of hiring trend in 2015; Enter the Lumbersexual

1 To save Swiss franc, a negative interest rate (Angela Monaghan in The Guardian) Switzerland is to charge its banks to park cash with its central bank in a bid to weaken its currency which has strengthened as a result of the crisis in Russia. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) surprised markets on Thursday morning as it announced it was to impose a negative interest rate of -0.25% on commercial bank deposits from 22 January, in order to stem the rise of the Swiss franc against the euro.

Investors have piled into the Swiss franc as a safe haven currency as the Russian rouble has plummeted in response to falling oil prices and a looming recession next year. The hope in Switzerland is that a negative deposit rate will discourage investors from buying Swiss franc investments, easing the rise of the currency.

Thomas Jordan, chairman of the SNB’s governing board, said the central bank was obliged to intervene to ensure its target of a minimum exchange rate of 1.20 Swiss francs per euro was met. A weaker currency will make Swiss exports cheaper abroad, and imports more expensive.

Francois Letondu, economist at HSBC, said the central bank’s decision should eventually help a rebound of inflation – currently -0.1% – into positive territory. The SNB’s move followed the European Central Bank’s decision in June to impose negative rates on banks for depositing cash, as part of a wider bid to boost activity and lending in the ailing eurozone economy.


2 Social will be part of hiring trend in 2015 (Belo Cipriani in San Francisco Chronicle) Thanks to the web and to social media, the world has become smaller and more transparent. And just like workers have to now be more mindful about what they put on the Internet, businesses must also be more conscious of what their workers are saying about them. After all, with Glassdoor, even people who are in the interview process are able to shine some light into an organization’s inner workings.

Jerome Ternynck, founder and CEO of SmartRecruiters, a recruiting software startup in San Francisco, says that applicant tracking systems are phasing out as a result of a need for a more candidate-friendly experience.

“The best companies,” Ternynck shares, “understand that recruiting is a sales and marketing function where the candidate is the Customer. The Customer! Not an anonymous applicant who needs to be tracked by a machine. As a result, we are seeing the emergence of a new breed of recruiting technology, more social, a lot more candidate-friendly and collaborative.”

Some Bay Area companies have already stepped away from the more conventional recruiting tactics and have begun to use more creative approaches to attracting candidates such as meetups, cocktail parties and creating more eye-catching posts on social media. Also, the way in which businesses promote their job openings has started to change in 2014 and will continue to do so through 2015.

Those who are looking for work or are planning to make a change in 2015, can expect a more social experience in your search. How you present yourself in social media will continue to carry a lot of weight and organizations will possibly take you out of the stuffy interview room and immerse you in a social scene to see how you work in a team. Lastly, tools like LinkedIn and Glassdoor will continue to be great allies in the hunt for your next job.


3 Enter the Lumbersexual (Katherine Feeney in The Age) He-Man manliness has been left behind. But is it altogether dead? Not quite. Enter: The Lumbersexual, the next step in the evolution of the He-Man. The step that comes after metrosexual, is a far cry from asexual, and might be interpreted as an attempt to redefine male sexuality as something that borrows from “before”, but is altogether “now”.

The Lumbersexual: he who sports a healthy beard, flannel, big boots, and looks like he might be able to wield both axe and woman over shoulder. He’s the hipster guy with muscles, the bloke who knows single-origin coffee but has calluses on his hands.. He would definitely know how to pitch a tent, even if the frame is made from fibreglass and not wood splintered from a tree this fella has felled. The Lumbersexual: he who harks back to a time when men were men, and women loved them for it.

Women still love him. But what is interesting about the Lumbersexual is he doesn’t need a woman to be okay. In fact, he might be perfectly happy not having women around – women who get in the way. Much like women have discovered they don’t need a man to survive, men have learned how to live perfectly lovely lives without women. The co-dependent, post-war, nuclear-duo model has moved into the realm of irrelevancy.

The joke used to be about women getting headaches, because they didn’t want, or enjoy, sex. Consent lay entirely with women, partly because it was assumed men would always consent, because men would always want sex. But this isn’t always the case. I know men, and I’ve heard from men, who sometimes just don’t feel like it. They are the classic “not tonight” darlings.

Sometimes they have partners who understand. More often, their partners don’t. Because so ingrained is the idea that real men want sex all the time, that when a woman encounters a fellow who doesn’t, she doesn’t know what to do. She feels it’s not him, it’s her. Is it? Not always. Sometimes he doesn’t feel like sex. And that should be OK. Shouldn’t it?



About joesnewspicks

This blog captures interesting news items from around the world for those strained by information overload and yet need to stay updated on global events of significance. The news items displayed are not in order of merit. (The blog takes a weekly off — normally on Sundays — and does not appear when I am on vacation or busy.) I am a journalist for nearly three decades.
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