Hu Yaobang Commemoration

18 november 2005

As I wrote previously, I expected the Hu Yaobang commemoration to be a rather low-key affair for obvious reasons.

That was indeed the case, as far as can be judged from the media available on the Web.

Linked below is the Xinhua official news agency account of the entire event. It’s worth noting that it mentions neither that he was deposed for refusing a hard crack-down on protests nor the role his death played in triggering the events leading up to Tiananmen 1989.

But I guess that people in China have already learnt to read what´s not on the line in a story.

Nevertheless, it was an event of great political significance in today’s China.

China commemorates late CPC senior leader

Skype Tallinn

18 november 2005

At the big CEO Forum in Beijing the two Swedes part of the program was Niklas Zennström of Skype and myself.

He was in China in order to pave the way for broader use of Skype in the rapidly increasing Internet community of the country. And I noticed in the media that eBay CEO Meg Whitman at the same time was in South Korea announcing the setting up of their Asia headquarters in Seoul.

There is no denying that Skype is an interesting company that is part of the new wave of Internet development that we are now seeing.

And it is certainly interesting to see where Skype intends to locate those of its different activities that require a more physical address than just cyberspace.

Its research and development unit is not being set up in Stockholm, San Jose or Bangalore but instead in Tallinn in Estonia. The plan is to grow to no less than 400 people there. This entails recruiting locally, but I guess it also has to entail people moving from other parts of the world to Tallinn.

This was bound to happen. The success of the Baltic tiger economies is obvious, and Estonia has been in the lead in developing different aspects of information technologies. It is rapidly catching up with the most advanced nations.

The combination of Skype and Tallinn is a combination that says a lot about the trends shaping our tomorrow.

Share Skype

Putin Moving Backwards

18 november 2005

A foggy morning on the northern Chinese plain as I’m preparing to fly to Moscow.

In a move that has been given far too little attention, the Duma in Moscow is busy deciding on a new legislation that seems to be designed to drive all foreign NGO’s out of the country as well as to radically curb the activities of domestic NGO’s.

If enacted, it means that the Carnegie Moscow Center, where I am on the Advisory Board and which today is the only foreign think-thank established in Moscow, will have to close down.

It has been a most valuable meeting-point between Russia and the outside world, as well as contributing substantially to the understanding of developments in the country.

But that’s only one of the many consequences. The New Eurasia Foundation might well meet the same fate.

Today’s Washington Post has an editorial on the issue. It is high time for Europe to speak up as well.

Mr. Putin’s Counterrevolution

One World One Dream?

17 november 2005

Around Beijing you see the ongoing preparations for the 2008 Olympics. The sense of national pride surrounding the project is difficult to miss.

On the streets you see the posters with the slogan ”One World One Dream” of the 2008 Olympics in Chinese as well as in English.

But is there really one dream in one world? The question is of the highest relevance in this period of accelerating globalisation in virtually every field.

In a speech in Kyoto at the outset of his Asian trip, President Bush has spoken about freedom and democracy in China, and pointed at the success of Taiwan in opening its political system and creating ”a free and democratic Chinese society.

Although widely reported in the global and regional media, I certainly found no reference whatsoever in today’s China Daily or any of the other publications I could survey either myself or with the help of Chinese friends.

You can interpret this in two different ways.

Either there isn’t really one dream in this world, and speeches about freedom and democracy are utterly irrelevant in the Chinese context, or there is really one dream in this one world, and words about freedom and democracy are then truly subversive and needs to treated accordingly.

The subject is certainly difficult to avoid in different conversations around town. As impressive as the economic development of China is, as necessary is it to ask whether the rather old-fashinioned political infrastructure can hold for long.

The slogan of the day from the Communist Party leadership speaks about the need to create ”a harmonious society”, and to this is linked the doctrine of ”the peaceful rise of China.”

These theses are certainly linked to the objective needs of this country that is changing at such breathtaking speed. If this development is not harmonious, there is a risk of an acute overdose of disharmonious tendencies, and there is no doubt that this is feared by broad sectors in society.

But the tendencies that are here points towards changes and challenges in different respects in the years ahead, and there is a clear risk that one overinterprets the need for harmony into blocking any tendency towards the opening up of the political system. This, in its turn, is likely to lead to pressures building up until they can no longer be contained.

There is no shortage of difficult issues that need to be tackled. Not least how to treat the modern history of China.

Tomorrow will see a most significant small ceremony here in Beijing. It has been decided to hold a meeting to commemorate what would have been the 90th birthday of former Communist Party Secretary-General Hu Yuabang.

Hu is widely credited with handling the painful legacy of the 1966-76 cultural revolution – a truly massive tragedy for this country – while also being part of initiating the policies that paved the way for the quarter of a century of growth and change since then.

He was appointed General Secretary of the CP in 1980, oversaw the rehabilitation of thousands who had been persecuted and killed during previous political campaigns.

But his plans – as well as those of Prime Minister Zhao Ziyang – unravelled in early 1987, when Deng Xiaoping removed Hu due to his unwillingness to crack down on student protests in the winter 1986-87.

Hu died of a heart attack in April 1989, and it was the students will to honour him that set in chain the series of events that led to the erection of a Statue of Liberty on Tiananman square and eventually to the brutal supression by the army of the mass demonstrations in Beijing.

And this remains one of the forbidden topics in the China of today. Many things can be talked about – this one distinctly not.

That’s why the decision to hold the ceremony tomorrow is potentially of such importance. One can be certain that it is the result if serious deliberations in the highest party leadership. It will in all probability be small, heavily controlled and very sparsely reported in the media.

And the reason is simple: their nightmare is that the dream that was there among the students erecting their Statue of Liberty in the hearth of Beijing will come alive again.

But the step is significant in spite of this.

Meanwhile, the opening up of China towards the rest of the world continues.

The years to come will show whether there is really one dream in this one world of our age. – Bush pushes China over freedoms – Nov 15, 2005

Tunis Internet Battle

16 november 2005

I was intending to take a look at some of the blogs following the debates leading up to the beginning of the World Information Society Summit in Tunis later this week and perhaps link to them from here.

But that was not possible. I’m sitting in Beijing, and from here there are sections of the internet that are simply not accessible. The debates concerning Internet governance evidently belongs to the category that the Chinese should be shielded from.

This is an illustration as good as anyone of the importance of keeping the governance of the Internet free from government interference by those whose agenda is a different one from freedom and openness.

Icann. Can you? – Editorials & Commentary – International Herald Tribune

In the Middle Kingdom

16 november 2005

Landed in a somewhat chilly Beijing – the old Northern Capital of China – with the distinct smell of burnt coal over the plains stretching from the mountains down towards the sea.

It was a flight of 6315 km from Helsinki over Russia, the Urals, Siberia and the Gobi Desert.

The economic expansion is visible to each and everyone. So far this year the economy seems to have grown by more than 9 percent. There are hardly any bikes left on the streets of Beijing.

And the world is streaming by.

I left California a couple of days ago, but here in Beijing you today find its Governer Schwarzeneffer heading a big Californian trade delegation. Most of the Chinese exports to the US arrive at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports of Southern California.

And on Saturday US President Georg Bush arrives here on the continuation of his Asian trip. He is in Japan for talks with Prime Minister Koizumi today, and heads from there to the 21-natiom APEC summit meeting in Busan in South Korea.

His father – President Georg Bush 41 – is already here, in fact at the same event where I will take part in the debates.

This afternoon, I will share a panel at the big CEO Forum with the Chinese Minister of Finance Jin Renqing and the South Korean Minister of Information and Technology Chin Daeje to discuss trends in the global economy.

The Middle Kingdom seems to be in the middle of most things these days.

Are Tax Cuts Dangereous?

13 november 2005

Few things tend to cause as emotive reactions as proposals to cut taxes. Critics are quick to offer predictions of the likely effect ranging from just bad to truly cataclysmic in their negative consequences.

A quick look at the famous Bush tax cuts and the US economy does however pay a somewhat different picture.

It’s often forgotten that when Bush come to power in early 2001 the US economy was in recession.

Since then there has been three waves of tax cuts – the last in 2003 – and a remarkable improvement in the performance of the US economy.

The country has now had 10 consecutive quarters of growth above 3 %, which is the longest period of expansion since the mid-1980’s and clearly better than the Internet- and Clinton-boom years of the 1990’s.

More than 4 million new jobs have been created, and unemployment has dropped below 5 %. It is clearly significantly lower than in countries like France or Sweden.

Productivity has been increasing very fast. During the last quarter reported it increased by more than 4 %. This is happening in spite of no fewer than 12 increases in interest rates, taking them to a level twice the one in the Euro area.

And the federal budget deficit has started to shrink as a result of the rapid growth in tax income.

Last year federal revenues increased by no less than 14 % as a result of the higher growth. Even with the very high rates of increase in federal spending, on present trends the federal budget might well be in balance by 2008.

Could there be a lesson for others in all of this?

The Coming Web 2.0 Tsunami

13 november 2005

H Y P E R C A M P :

It looks increasingly as if we are heading for a new burst of the new economy. There could well be a new tsunami of the Internet that will transform increasingly large parts of our economies.

Last week there was a rather significant leak from Microsoft of an email written by Bill Gates to the company’s key staff. His message was loud and clear: fasten your seat belts, since we are heading for very major change.

Microsoft has a reputation for often missing the initial trends, then recognizing the mistake and catching up with a vengeance. A decade ago, it effectively missed the importance of the Internet, but in another famous e-mail Bill Gates went to Canossa, ordered a major U-turn and quickly recovered lost ground.

His message then was: “The Internet is a tidal wave. It changes the future.” He was right – although somewhat slow in coming to the conclusion.

The new tsunami is an effect of the rapid spreading of broadband connectivity paving the way for completely new categories of services to be delivered over the net. While the Web 1.0 was about text and imaging, Web 2.0 is all about broadband connectivity, wireless links and online services.

And Bill gates now says that “the coming wave will be very disruptive.” The old Microsoft will no longer work. It needs to be reinvented if it does not see the new opportunities at the least as fast as all the users out there on the net does.

During this year it has been companies like Google, Skype, eBay and Apple that have been making both the headlines and the profits. And they represent entirely new business models when it comes to using the net.

And there are new phenomena spreading very fast.

Blogging is clearly a key part of Web 2.0. So are technologies like RSS or the wikis. It’s happening so fast that I note that the words Skype, blogging and wikis aren’t even recognized by the spell-checker that is embedded in the latest version of Microsoft Word…

We are heading for times that will be interesting, inspiring and important.

Disruptive for those not seeing what’s coming. Truly constructive for those that does.

The Week to Come

13 november 2005

It’s late Saturday afternoon in Southern California. A beutiful day of clear skies and mild winds sweeping in from the Pacific. The occasional windsurfer is still trying his or her luck in the gentle waves.

But soon I’m taking off from LAX in the direction of Europe and Sweden nine timezones towards the East.

As usual, there will be the possibility of spending the beginning of the week at home in Stockholm. Monday will be the taping of two further episodes of ”Dinner with Bildt” broadcast on TV8, while Tuesday will be dominated by a seminar looking back on a decade of Swedish membership in the European Union, and hopefully somewhat into the future as well.

But then it’s off to Beijing in China for a couple of days. I’m taking part in a panel in a major conference for business leaders there organized by Business Week, but will also give a breakfast talk to the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in the Chinese capital.

And from there I will head West over Siberia back to Europe and to Moscow.

There, over the coming weekend, will be the RAND-sponsored Russia Business Dialogue with brings together the new leaders of the economy of Russia with business leaders and others from the United States as well as Europe.

It’s normally discussions as intense as they are interesting.

And from there I’ll be back in Stockholm little more than a week from now.

I guess it’s all what we call globalisation.

All Politics is Local

13 november 2005

And the winners are … – Los Angeles Times

The airwaves over here are filled with different attempts to read wider political significance into the different local elections and ballots in the United States last week.

They were certainly not universal successes for the Bush administrations and the Republicans, although Michael Bloomberg sailed in comfortably for a second term as mayor in New York. Here in California, Governor Schwarzenegger certainly took a beating.

But one should probably be careful not to read too much into these elections.

Los Angeles Times is certainly not a conservative newspaper, but one of its editorials today warns against drawing hasty conclusions from these elections.

It reminds us of the simple fact that ”all politics is local. Especially when the elections themselves are.”

That seems like a perfectly sensible conclusion

Enough? Berlin Questions

12 november 2005 / Europe / German election – Germany’s new policy agenda

It certainly wasn’t a message to please that the Merkel government presented as it disclosed the results of the long weeks of coalition negotiations.

Obviously it is consolidation of the public finances that has been given priority. The expected 3 per cent increase in VAT will make its contribution to that goal, as will numerous different cutbacks and other changes in the taxation system.

The fear is of course that this VAT increase, which does not go into effect until 2007, will keep domestic consumption down, thus preventing growth from reecovering in the way necessary in order to create new jobs.

But no one really knows.

It might be that the combination of the rather modest structural reforms included in the backage and the certainty that the federal budget will not be sliding out of control will have a confidence boosting effect that will make consumers somewhat more optimistic for the future.

In that case, we might well see growth and employment figures starting to get better during the coming year.

But overall it’s difficult to see that this package alone will be sufficient in addressing the different structural challenges of the German economy. Four years is a long time, however, and it is highly likely that we will see policies evolve during that period.

In the meantime the increase in the strength of the competitive forces coming from the East of Europe and the East of Asia will continue to drive the micro reforms of Germany as well as the other economies of Europe.

That, over time, might well be more important than yesterdays package out of Berlin.

The Fuel that Fires the Riots

12 november 2005

The Economics Fueling the French Riots

There has been an avalanche of commentaries in the media in the US – where I happen to be at the moment – on the riots in France. Banalities have been mixed with more serious attempts at analysis.

The latest issue of Business Week can be seen as fairly representative of how these riots are viewed in the media here.

It is claimed that ”the outbursts were supercharged by an economic system that not only tolerates but actually fosters sky-high youth unemployment. In September, an incredible 21.7% of 15- to 24-year-olds in France were unemployed, compared to only 11% in the U.S. and 12.6% in Britain.

And this state of affairs is seen as caused by the approach to building a welfare state that is seen as dominating the European societies.

Such sky-high levels of idle youth are a by-product of the welfare-state mentality that’s still pervasive across much of Europe. The idea is that government’s main role is to provide a safety net for the population, in terms of jobless and health benefits. Generating growth and creating jobs takes a distinctly lower priority, resulting in high unemployment, especially among the young.

It’s easy to say that these comments are simplifying what truly is a very complex situation.

But it’s hardly possible to say that they are altogether wrong.

They aren’t.

A Book Changing History

11 november 2005

Barnes�&� – Mao: The Unknown Story – Jung Chang – Hardcover

Now and then there arrives a book that one knows will have a profound and lasting impact on the way in which we look at the world and at our times.

Jung Chang’s and Jon Halliday’s biography of Mao Tsetung is undoubtedly such a book. Just out here in the US as well as in London, it is already very much the center of the debate about the rise of China.

A decade ago, Jung Chang’s book ”Wild Swans” thought us more than we really wished we knew about the horrors of the Cultural Revolution and what it really meant to ordinary people in the Middle Kingdom.

And now it’s Mao Tsetungs turn to be exposed. He emerges out of these intense pages as one of the true tyrants of our time.

A generation ago, it was Edgar Snow’s ”Red Star over China” that shaped the image of the West of the rising Communist power in the East and its dominating leader. Fused with the romanticism about China that is rooted in admiration of its culture and history, this book shaped the rather naive image of the regime that lasted for decades.

Now, a new book will shape a new image, and a very different one.

There will be controversy around the book. Jonathan Spence, who’s probably the most respected scholar on China at the present, in a review in The New York Review of Books essentially endorsed the overall picture of Mao, but was anyhow somewhat uneasy with such a dark picture emerging about such a central figure in modern Chinese history.

The debate will be worth following. We can take it for granted that the book will not be published or allowed in today’s China.

But it will shape the image of the regime. These day’s, Chinese President Hu Jintao is in Germany after having visited the United Kingdom and on his way to the ASEAN Summit in South Korea and receiving President Bush as he comes to China.

China’s peaceful rise is undoubtedly one of the greatest stories of our time – and a profoundly positive one.

But it is worth noting that Mao tsetung’s giant portrait still hangs over the entrance to the Forbidden City at the Tiananman square in Beijing.

Better Berlin?

11 november 2005

Gro�e Koalition: ”Es sieht gut aus”

It actually looks like it’s shaping up as a stronger government in Berlin than most people – me included – thought likely just a week ago.

The SPD hasn’t as of yet imploded, but instead will get a new leadership with Brandenburg Prime Minister Matthias Platzeck nominated as new Chairman. An Easterner like Angela Merkel, it’s worth noting that his success comes out of leading a coalition between SPD and CDU in Potsdam.

And the coalition negotiations are moving forward in a reasonable way. They should be completed by this weekend so that the result can be endorsed by the two party congresses next week so as to allow the new government to assume office around November 22.

On economic policy there is obviously a lot of dealmaking.

Cutting the public deficit will be a priority, with cutbacks in subsidies as well as a rather drastic increase in VAT from 16 to 19 percent in 2007 the key instruments.

But then there will be a loosening up of the restrictions on the labour market – difficult to swallow for the SPD – in exchange for not doing anything to expand the use of nuclear power – and diffucult thing to swallow for CDU/CSU.

The balance is likely to be positive for business. And with the guess that the government will be there for some years to come we might well have a substantial confidence effect, which is exactly what the German economy needs.

So, it doesn’t necessarily look that bad.

And both the CDU/CSU and the SPD knows that they are condemmed to success. The party that is seen as being a threat to the coalition is likely to be punished by the electorate – as least during the next few years.

It could turn out somewhat better than expected.

Reform Blockage in California

10 november 2005

Voters Reject Schwarzenegger’s Bid to Remake State Government – Los Angeles Times

Just having arrived in Los Angeles from discussions in Washington its impossible to avoid the debate about the severe setbacks to Governor Schwarzenegger in no less than four important ballots the day before yesterday.

Schwarzenegger had called for two of these these popular ballots in order to get around the resistance from the Democrat-dominated Californian legislature. But since his measures were about trimming expenditure and making changes in the public sector in order to get the finances of California in somewhat better order he got into an expensive and angry confrontation with the trade unions – and lost.

That’s certainly not good news. California has its obvious attractions, but it’s been a badly run place for too long, and Schwarzenegger is trying to get some order to the place.

But for the time being it failed. Now it’s back to the efforts to get things moving through the legislature in Sacramento. And the risk is of course that the Democrats will now just try to block everything in terms of reforms.

That would be – as the Los Angeles Times puts it in its editorial comment – ”a shame. Voters really want better schools, a balanced state budget, safe communities and better streets and highways. But they are really tired of being asked to pass all the laws themselves.

For the time being there are clouds on the horizon for the megastar of American politics.

But otherwise I can testify that the sun shines over southern California.

Macedonia Moves Forward

10 november 2005

EUROPA – Rapid – Press Releases

In a highly important move, the European Commission has now recommended that Macedonia be given the status of a country that is a candidate for membership in the European Union.

After the referedum debacles of late spring, the entire future enlargement process has been in doubt. But since then accession negotiations have started with Croatia and Turkey, and now it’s official that Macedonia is next in line to open formal talks.

That’s a most important signal that will be heard loud and clear throughout the entire region.

But the Commission isn’t recommending immediate accession talks. There are a number of reforms still needed in Macedonia. A new assessment of these will be made a year from now, and that means that accession talks can start in 2007 at the very earliest.

Much depends on what will happen in the meantime in Macedonia, in the region and – not the least – in the European Union itself.

But it was a good day for Europe and the Balkans

Morning in Leaktown

09 november 2005 – Democrats keep two governorships – Nov 9, 2005

Washington is a city that seems to live on the leaks it produces.

The leaks are important in getting important information out to the public and the political debate. You open the morning papers in order to get today’s leaks that will give the political debate something to chew on.

But then nornally follows the moral outrage over these leaks and, in som cases, the extended legal proceedings to try to find out who’s guilty for what, at the end of the day, most are doing.

At the moment it’s all about the story last week in Washington Post about the secret prison facilities that CIA allegedly operates in Eastern Europe.

That’s of course highly relevant information, and has fuelled a fire-storm of speculation and discussion. The wisdom of existing US policies on this issue has been questioned once again. The suspected countries have come under serious pressure.

And here in Washington the story rolls on. Morning TV says that more or less everything that was in a confidential briefing given by Vice President Chenedy to senators ended up in the press, obviously including this small piece of information.

Moral indignation over this will now pour over the pages for a while. But for the rest of the world it’s essentially a good thing.

The world’s Number One Power is a leaky and open place. It’s power with transparency, and accordingly power subject to discussion and debate.


Bad in Baku

09 november 2005

16889_en.pdf (application/pdf objekt)

The election in Azerbaijan turned out to be somewhat worse than expected.

The president’s party did score an absolutely overwhelming victory. Of the 125 seats in the parliament, they managed to capture no less than 118.

That’s certainly not bad. The love of the people for their rulers seems to be more overwhelming in Baku than almost anywhere else.

There were of course constituencies where they did even better. The presidents wife managed to get 97 % of the vote in her constituency, which in no way can be considered bad.

In that particular constituency, it was noted that the turnout – measured then by the number of ballots found in the balltot box – was nearly twice as high as the national average.

Impressive. Very impressive. Where did all those votes come from?

Well, the OSCE observation delegation was obviously less impressed with the overall counting of the votes. In fact, they delivered a fairly devastating statement. It in no way sanctions the way in which these elections were conducted.

So, what will happen now?

Good question. We are still trying to find a semi-decent semi-good answer.

The Chavez Challenge

07 november 2005

President Bush Discusses Democracy in the Western Hemisphere

The Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata in Argentina – bringing together the 34 countries of North and Latin America – failed to bring the long-discussed America-wide free trade area forward. One of the reasons for this is the distinct rise of a new populism in large parts of Latin America.

It’s a populism primarily challenging the liberal economic policies that brought so much success to much of Latin America during the past few decades, but it’s a populism that could well develop into a new challenge also to the liberal political order in most of the continent.

It’s President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela that is leading the charge. His populism backed by the billions of oil income that is now rolling in is slowly destroying his own country and spreading its message of illiberalism to other parts of the continent.

But in addition to being helped by the oil billions rolling in, there is no doubt that he has been helped by the political effects of the financial shocks that have hit the young democracies of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Argentina in recent years and led to a certain disenchatment with the reform policies previously pursued.

And this is now leading to new concerns that Latin America might be entering a more turbulent period.

In a speech in Brasilia yesterday, President Bush outlined parts of the US agenda in terms of Latin America. It’s an agenda that commands broad bipartisan support in the United States.

There is no doubt that he wanted to see it as a challenge to the Chavez message:

Ensuring social justice for the Americas requires choosing between two competing visions.”

”One offers a vision of hope — it is founded on representative government, integration into the world community, and a faith in the transformative power of freedom in individual lives.”

”The other seeks to roll back the democratic progress of the past two decades by playing to fear, pitting neighbor against neighbor — and blaming others for their own failures to provide for their people.”

The populist legacy in Latin America is strong – and represents the probably most serious of threats to its future development.

But that makes it even more important to make the countries of Latin America more and more integrated in the international community. This can contain their populist tendencies at the least to some extent.

The United States has an important role to play. So has the European Union.

And the upcoming trade talks in Hong Kong are certainly of great importance in this regard as well.

Another Week

06 november 2005

Well, another week coming. And for me it starts exactly as last week did.

Monday in Stockholm. And then Tuesday off to Washington again.

It’s another – this time somewhat larger and distinctly more public – meeting to take the temperature on the trans-Atlantic relationship. This time more German and Austrian in its orientation and attendance.

It will coincide with the European Commission in Brussels releasing its opinion on whether Macedonia is ready to start accession negotiations with the European Union or not as part of its evaluatgion of the different accession countries and candidates. Most important.

And Wednesday is also the day when the new minority government in Poland will face its vote of confidence in the Sejm. Will it be a government of conservative populism supported by the votes of leftist and nationalist populists?

From Washington I go later Wednesday to the Los Angeles area and Santa Monica by the Pacific.

It is the autumn board meeting of the RAND Corporation. In addition to attending to the business of the corporation, we review and discuss some of the recent research products of this the world’s first, finest and probably still most influential think-thank.

A focus of the discussions there will be the global health issues, now very much the centre of attention due to the danger presented by the H5N1 virus. But there will also be discussions on recent research on the development of both India and China.

Simultaneously in Geneve there will the final preparatory meeting prior to the World Summit on Information Society to see if one can bridge the gap between the US and Europe on Internet governance. Geneva during the week will also be the scene of important talks preparing the Hong Kong ministerial of the WTO.

But I will be in California, returning from there to be back here in Stockholm a week from now.