Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

svinayak
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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby svinayak » 11 Apr 2009 03:38


Roubini Says Bank Takeovers Deepened Financial Market Crisis


By Lynn Thomasson and Thomas R. Keene

April 8 (Bloomberg) -- Bank takeovers worsened the financial crisis by making firms that were already too big even bigger, said Nouriel Roubini, the New York University professor who predicted the financial crisis.

“The institutions are insolvent,” Roubini said in a Bloomberg Radio interview. “You have to take them over and you have to split them up into three or four national banks, rather than having a humongous monster that is too big to fail.”

JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to buy Bear Stearns Cos. in March 2008, with help from the Federal Reserve, while Bank of America Corp. purchased Merrill Lynch & Co. Wells Fargo & Co. took control of Wachovia Corp. and PNC Financial Services Group Inc. got National City Corp.

Banks around the world have reported $1.29 trillion in credit losses tied to the housing market collapse since 2007. The deficits, which spurred the first simultaneous recessions in the U.S., Europe and Japan since World War II, pushed the American government to pledge $12.8 trillion to stabilize the banking system and revive economic growth. That figure amounts to $42,105 for every man, woman and child in the country.

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby ss_roy » 11 Apr 2009 04:23

An interesting author. I do not agree with everything he says, especially about resource constraints and long term patterns (because prophecies about poorly understood systems tend to be wrong).

But his views on the middle class and their problems is quite good. I feel that he can see the problem, but cannot see the solution because it goes against almost everything he believes.

http://www.oftwominds.com/blogapr09/sur ... 04-09.html

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby Ameet » 12 Apr 2009 02:44

In Silicon Valley, recruiting clashes with immigration limits - A google whiz searches for his place on earth.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/12/busin ... lobal-home

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby Raja Bose » 12 Apr 2009 04:07

Nice find Ameet. Please X-post it in ITvity thread also.

svinayak
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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby svinayak » 12 Apr 2009 04:53

Ameet wrote:In Silicon Valley, recruiting clashes with immigration limits - A google whiz searches for his place on earth.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/12/busin ... lobal-home


“If a foreign-born engineer doesn’t come to Google, there is a very good chance that individual will return to India to compete against us.”

By making sure top talent does not go back to India they are trying to new innovation in other countries.

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby vsudhir » 12 Apr 2009 06:38

Goldman Sachs hires law firm to shut blogger's site

Goldman Sachs is attempting to shut down a dissident blogger who is extremely critical of the investment bank, its board members and its practices.


Et tu, Goldman?

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby vsudhir » 12 Apr 2009 08:45

Brad Setser analyzing PRC's March trade data

Setser is usually a PRC optimist. Intriguing that he's turning cautious now.

vsudhir
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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby vsudhir » 13 Apr 2009 00:56

Beautifully written perspective, interspersed with hajaar hyperlinks and stuff. Recomemnded read.

The imminent schism

Some masala excerpts:

With articles like this coming out of Time magazine, proclaiming "the great banking crisis of 2008 is over", it is inevitable that in the immediate future, the United States will be split into two partisan camps. However, this will not be the traditional schism of republicans vs. democrats, contrary to Mr. Barney Frank's attempt to start ideological partisan warfare.

The real split will be of naive, easily-manipulated, small-time mom and pop investors, who only care about looking at their daily yahoo finance screens and 401(k) statements, seeing more black than red, and only focusing on what happened in the immediate past, and the forward looking taxpayers, who see the upcoming budget deficit fiasco, the social security ponzi scheme, the Medicare/Medicaid debacle, the ridiculous underfunding in public and corporate pension funds, the rising city and state taxes, the shuttering factories, the rising unemployment, the plummeting American production base, the "seasonally" upward-adjusted economic data coupled with consistently downward revised prior economic releases, the increasing savings rate and the multi trillion discrepancy in consumer purchasing power. The taxpayers are becoming angrier and angrier at the net present value destruction of future opportunities of being a U.S. citizen, while investors cheer every piece of information (whether or not supported by facts) that provides a push to their current net worth, ignorant of what this may mean for the future. There will come a point where this schism reaches a boiling point, in the meantime, the paradox is that so many of the taxpayers are also investors, who are caught in a tug of war with themselves on what the proper response to the crisis should be: happy as a result of bear market rallies, or sad when they put the facts into perspective.


Read it all!

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby vsudhir » 14 Apr 2009 03:24

Japan Producer Prices Fall at Fastest Pace Since 2002

Japan’s wholesale prices fell at the fastest pace in almost seven years, adding to signs the world’s second-largest economy may return to deflation.


Japan is in deflation. Much of the G7 is headed that way or is already there.

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby vsudhir » 14 Apr 2009 06:40

Ireland is ECB's sacrificial lamb

Fascinating read. Read it all. Some excerpts:

Above all, Ireland would not be the lone member of the OECD club to compound its disaster by slashing child benefit and youth unemployment along with everything else in last week's "budget from Hell".
Depression buffs will note the parallel with Britain's infamous budget in September 1931, when Phillip Snowden cut the dole and child allowance to uphold the deflation orthodoxies of the Gold Standard – though in that case the flinty Pennine rather liked hair-shirts for their own sake.
Though few had any inkling at the time, Snowden's austerity drive would soon push British society over the edge. It set off a mutiny – a Royal Navy mutiny at Invergordon over pay cuts, in turn triggering a run on sterling. The pound was forced off Gold within days. Irish deliverance from EMU will not be so easy.


Spain is already tipping into deflation. Unemployment has reached 3.5m or 15.5pc, and is rising very fast. Finance minister Pedro Solbes – ex-Mr Euro and lately the Torquemada of Madrid life – was toppled last week in a bitter dispute over spending plans. He said the kitty is empty. Quite. But is his fall a sign that Spain is no longer willing to follow the Frankfurt deflation script?
France too is fraying. The over-valued euro – fruit of ECB doctrine – is hollowing-out core industry. This week ArcelorMittal mothballed its historic foundries in Lorraine in what looks like the final demise of French steel. Workers are taking matters into their own hands everywhere, holding managers hostage in what amounts to low-level terror tactics.


AEP is an alarmist, so take his output with salt. But he could yet prove to be Europe's media Roubini.

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby cdbatra » 14 Apr 2009 18:01

I'm currently in auckland, New Zealand coming here for the second time after gap of 1. years.
I have noticed omnious signs of deep recession at the street level.
During my evening walks not even single day has passed without someone or other
asking me if you can spare couple of dollars, though most of them were
Maoris.

The flatmates whom I spoke to some of them are students tell me that these days no easy pickings are available in city whereas earlier they could earn some side money to carry over expenses and part of tuition fees. Many Indian students are contemplating going home.

In CBD so many shops have sign available on lease that it is unbelievable.

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby vsudhir » 14 Apr 2009 19:32

China's unreal estate

Chan Akya in asia times. Decent read.


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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby svinayak » 15 Apr 2009 05:42

Report warns of rise of right-wing extremists
USA Today - ‎42 minutes ago‎
In a report made public today, the Department of Homeland Security warns that the recession and the election of President Obama are "fueling resurgence" of right-wing extremist groups that are seeking new recruits, especially returning veterans. ...

Recession fueling right-wing extremism, US says

Reuters - ‎4 hours ago‎
By Jane Sutton MIAMI (Reuters) - Right-wing extremists in the United States are gaining new recruits by exploiting fears about the economy and the election of the first black US president, the Department of Homeland Security warned in a report to law ...

Homeland Security Warns of Rise in Right-Wing Extremism

FOXNews - ‎10 hours ago‎
An intelligence assessment released to law enforcement last week claims news of recession, the election of an African American president, rumors of new gun restrictions and the inability of veterans to reintegrate create fertile ground for radicalizing ...


Homeland Security: Foreclosures, credit crunch, returning vets may ...
Bizjournals.com - ‎37 minutes ago‎

The US Department of Homeland Security warns that the rise in foreclosures, credit crunch and election of President Barack Obama could spur threats from “right-wing extremists.” The Department's report also says returning Iraq War veterans facing ...

http://news.google.com/news?pz=1&ned=us ... 55&topic=n

http://michellemalkin.cachefly.net/mich ... -04-07.pdf

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby adityaS » 15 Apr 2009 20:35

from Reuters:

Yahoo to cut hundreds of jobs: source

Yahoo Inc is preparing to lay off several hundred workers in the first round of cuts since Carol Bartz became chief executive in January, a source with knowledge of the situation told Reuters.

The layoffs could be announced next Tuesday, when Yahoo reports its first-quarter financial results, according to the source, who wished to remain anonymous because of the issue's sensitivity.


Rumour onlee, but it could be possible.

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby Singha » 15 Apr 2009 22:08

http://www.thestreet.com/story/10485760 ... en=GOOGLEN

Tech Rumor of the Day: Cisco Layoffs

04/14/09 - 01:21 PM EDT
CSCO , JNPR , FFIV
Scott Morit

With sales still in steep decline and no sign of recovery on the horizon, Cisco (CSCO Quote) is expected to make a massive staff cut.

An avid optimist, CEO John Chambers has resisted the idea of a severe cut, but the darkening sales picture may force the company to take more drastic action.

"We expect Cisco to guide fiscal fourth quarter revenue down 17%-22% year-over-year, as demand continues to deteriorate," JPMorgan analyst Ehud Gelblum wrote in a research report Tuesday. Cisco didn't provided guidance for its the fiscal fourth quarter ending in July, but analysts expect a 20% decline from year-ago levels, according to Yahoo! Finance.

"We believe Cisco could also announce a 10% headcount reduction, which we calculate could save $900M annually," Gelblum added.

Tech watchers will not see this as anything but bad news for the sector. Networking gear rivals Juniper (JNPR Quote) and F5 (FFIV Quote) both recently slashed sales projections as telcos and businesses trim budgets.

A Cisco representative said the company doesn't comment on market rumors. Cisco had about 66,000 employees at the end of 2008.

Throughout the tech spending downturn, Cisco, and particularly Chambers, had been stubbornly holding out hope that a recovery was just around the corner. Despite near-term forecasts calling for quarterly sales declines, Cisco until recently had maintained a long-range revenue growth target range of between 12% to 17%.

But in February, Chambers called the still-accelerating economic downturn "the biggest challenge of our lifetime." Cisco already had started down the cost-cutting path, with a prior target to reduce about $1 billion in expenses this year.

On a conference call with analysts in February, Chambers said the company's cost management was "in pretty good shape." He summarized by saying: ""In very direct terms we are not going to consider a layoff at this point in time."

However, the pace of cuts isn't keeping up with sales declines. And now Cisco may have to do the unthinkable.

"The buzz is getting stronger, so it's anyone's guess when it's announced," says another analyst who asked not to be named. "But probably not before they report earnings in early May.

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby John Snow » 15 Apr 2009 22:47

Mullahs and moulanas

I am doing un sceintific survey of malls, strip malls, Best Buys and wallmarts. There is no traffic in the stores except for groceries people seem to have stopped any spending on whit goods, consumer durables, the Home Depot looks deserted, usually brimming with people doing spring projects etc. looks like things are really bad. :((

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby vsudhir » 16 Apr 2009 00:01

Snow garu,

You are right about that. In my corner of USA, I can see that in the 5+ yrs I've lived here, Mains Street has slowly emptied, decades old small businesses are dying, and nobody is renting the prime commercial rel estate thus vacated.

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby Ameet » 16 Apr 2009 02:18

US planning to reveal data on health of top banks

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/15/busin ... ut.html?em

Highlights:

The administration has decided to reveal some sensitive details of the stress tests now being completed after concluding that keeping many of the findings secret could send investors fleeing from financial institutions rumored to be weakest.

While all of the banks are expected to pass the tests, some are expected to be graded more highly than others. Officials have deliberately left murky just how much they intend to reveal — or to encourage the banks to reveal — about how well they would weather difficult economic conditions over the next two years.

The administration’s hand may have been forced in part by the investment firm Goldman Sachs, which successfully sold $5 billion in new stock on Tuesday and declared that it would use the proceeds and other private capital to repay the $10 billion it accepted from the government in October.

That money came from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, and Goldman’s action was seen as a way of predisclosing to the markets the company’s confidence that it would pass its stress test with flying colors.

Goldman’s action has put pressure on other financial institutions to do the same or risk being judged in far worse shape by investors.

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby Ameet » 16 Apr 2009 02:19

UBS to cut 7,500 jobs after $1.8B loss

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/16/busin ... bs.html?em

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby ramana » 16 Apr 2009 03:15

Umarao jaan, Same in Bay Area. I have been seeing this from December 08. Friday eve the towns are dead.

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby vina » 16 Apr 2009 07:03

Yawn.. Back to bikes and H&D covered nicely under a fashion veneer. Stinks of putting lipstick on a pig ism. Oh yeah, and what is this fancy schmanzy "Dutch " Bicycle , read on and get a look. You Yindoos will get a massive sense of deja vu. You see them everywhere in Yindia and of course, it was the only wordly possession poor moi had in college beyond my personal stuff and books!.



The New York Times
April 16, 2009
Dress Codes
Riding the It Factor
By DAVID COLMAN

THE Great Downturn may have its first real status symbol.

It has plenty in common with recent extravagances. Like the Range Rover or the Sub-Zero fridge, it has a solid frame designed for function. Like a Louis Vuitton trunk, it has a chic design and a patina of history stretching back to the 19th century. And like a bottle of San Pellegrino, it evokes that genteel way of life that Europeans are always going on about.

This new It object is the glossy black Dutch bicycle, its design unchanged since World War II. Increasingly imported to the United States and starting to be seen on the streets of New York (and in the windows of at least one clothing store), it appears to have everything a good craze needs. That includes a hefty price tag — usually between $1,000 and $2,000 — and a charming back story about how the bikes have been an indispensable part of the picturesque Dutch cityscape for decades.

But can New York revert to New Amsterdam? Can the bicycle, the urban answer to the wild mustang, slow down and put fenders on? Can the urban cyclist, he of the ragtag renegade clothes or shiny spandex, grow up and put on a tie?

Serious obstacles stand in the way. Even as bicycle sales and ridership are up, even as the city becomes more bike friendly than ever, the extreme poles of bike culture are still in many ways hostile to biking as it is done in the Netherlands. There, where riding a bicycle to work in a suit and tie is as notable an act as drinking a cup of coffee, there is no bike culture — all culture includes the bike.

The civilized pedigree of the Dutch bike is matched by its old-fashioned design: it comes with fenders, chain guard, generator and rack — standard, as they say in Detroit. With a bike kitted out like that, a man can wear almost anything he likes to work and not worry about getting grimy — no kamikaze messenger-wear required. Luckily, the new look of men’s wear, with its slimmed-down, sporty shapes (even in suits), is tailor-made for a bicycle commute. And since Dutch bikes are ridden upright, not hunched over, and you move at a safe, slow gait, sweating is not the issue it is when you’re careening on a road bike.

So, with 170 miles of new bike lanes in New York, it makes sense that the Dutch Bike Co. in Seattle should be opening a branch in the city this summer, its third in the United States. Already, traditional bicycles with upright seats, fenders and chain guards — so-called city bikes — are the biggest growth area at stores like Bicycle Habitat in SoHo.

Yet even with bicycle commuting up in New York by 35 percent from 2007 to 2008, according to the New York City Department of Transportation, there are still impediments to its being widely embraced by the city. These range from the obvious — like, how do you lock your bike so it won’t be stolen 30 seconds later? — to more slippery issues of style. How should you dress to bike to work? Which bike has an acceptable level of manliness? These are tricky questions. As the parade of 10-speeds, mountain bikes and, more recently, fixed-gear designs knocked the upright, old-school bicycle off the road, accouterments like fenders and chain guards came to be seen — by men, at least — as eccentric. If a guy is going to get on a bike, he wants to imagine he’s Lance Armstrong, not Pee-wee Herman.

James Vicente, a court attorney at the Kings County Criminal Court in Brooklyn, knows the quandary. After a trip to Amsterdam five years ago, Mr. Vicente was inspired to ride to work in his suit and tie. (He converted his road bike to a fixed-gear bike, with detachable fenders.)

“I liked the perversity of it,” he said. “I liked saying: ‘Anyone can do this. It’s normal.’ I never ride with a helmet either, even when people are telling me I’m an idiot. Riding a bike should be normal, and you shouldn’t have to wear a funny Styrofoam hat.”

One day he collided with another rider, tearing a gash in his suit sleeve and another in his pride. Today his suits reside in an office closet, and he cycles to work in jeans and a polo shirt.

Would he have gotten in the accident on a Dutch bike? He laughed. “Probably not,” he said. “I was riding with no hands, and the guy came out of the bike lane. If I’d been on one of those, I would probably have been going in more of a straight line.”

THE city government is addressing bikers’ practical concerns as fast as it can. The Department of Transportation has installed bike shelters, and is reviewing ideas for a bike-share program like the one introduced in Paris two years ago. A 2007 study by the Department of City Planning found that the foremost obstacles people cited for not commuting by bicycle was the fear of theft and lack of secure parking, a problem that is being addressed through two proposals now before the City Council. One, scheduled to come to a vote this month, mandates that all new commercial and residential buildings provide dedicated bike storage. The second aims to open up bicycle access in older buildings, many of which have been historically unfriendly to it.

It must be said that the style world has hardly been a friend to the bicycle either. In a century of attempting to appear sportif, fashion has filched ideas from every sport: riding, hunting, sailing, polo, rugby, even motorcycling. Bicycling? Nothing but punch lines.

So it’s nice to see bicycling get a nod of sorts, courtesy of Club Monaco. This month, as an unusual accessory to its line of stark urban clothes, Club Monaco is showing and selling bicycles from the century-old Royal Dutch Gazelle brand in seven of its stores (though it can be ordered in any of them).

On vacation in England last summer, James Mills, a Club Monaco executive, spotted a cool-looking Londoner riding a Gazelle. Back home, he ordered one from the Netherlands. A few weeks later, he was proudly riding it to work. At a photo shoot, his ride was so popular it ended up in the shoot with models aboard. Enthused by the images, Mr. Mills and his colleagues found the Dutch Bicycle Company in Somerville, Mass., which imports the bicycles, and made a deal to distribute Gazelles at its shops.

“We’ve sold a dozen,” Mr. Mills said, “and they’ve only been in the windows a week.”

Hard-core cyclists might scoff at seeing a bike in a clothing boutique. But, as Mr. Vicente pointed out, the kiss of fashion may help people embrace the idea of a more practical bike.

“Juxtapose that with the most fashionable bikes in New York now, the fixed-gear bikes, which are really impractical,” he said.

Still, he concedes that the machismo of bike culture is hard to fight, adding: “The only person I know who has a Dutch bike is a girl.”

George Bliss, who teaches at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and is the owner of Hub Station, a vintage bike shop in the West Village, believes the best P.R. for everyday biking comes from people outside the biking world, not inside.

“I use to think that car culture was the problem, but now I think it’s bike culture,” he said. By that he meant that the discourse about city biking is dominated by cycling zealots who don’t have the desire, or the skill, to attract people who don’t see themselves as cyclists, just as people who ride a bike to work.

That’s certainly how the Dutch-bikers think of themselves. Peter Moore, a contractor and developer, has ridden a Dutch WorkCycles bike in the city for years. He even takes his kids to school on it (one on the back, one on the seat, and he stands — so very Dutch). At the same time, he is aware of how important style is to New Yorkers.

A onetime model and son of the late Nonnie Moore, a longtime fashion editor, Mr. Moore favors clothes that fit the look of the bicycle: preppy Steven Alan shirts, a necktie, a Ralph Lauren tweed sport coat, vintage army pants and a pair of sturdy lace-ups. “It’s all an ensemble,” he said. “I try and put it together with some style to honor the quality of the bike.”

As good as it sounds, a Dutch bike is in some ways not perfect for New York. Large and heavy, it is not ideal for small spaces, tight corners and cramped elevators. Even if it isn’t San Francisco, the city has enough hills to make a lighter bike desirable. And given the price, a folding bicycle you can take inside, or a vintage model that won’t cost as much, may be a better choice, given the still-high incidence of theft.

Even so, riding one is an unusual treat, and a fascinating lesson in bicycle geometry. The low seat and curved handlebars force you to sit up straight. The heavy frame and the angle of your legs to the pedals make it hard to get up much speed, and the wide handlebars make it a more stately, less agile ride — like driving a 1967 Lincoln Continental. You feel safer, more composed and, well, more grown-up. The rambunctious 8-year-old inside so many bikers doesn’t get traction. In short, you quickly understand why the Dutch don’t wear helmets — just one more style perk to top it all off.
Last edited by vina on 16 Apr 2009 09:30, edited 1 time in total.

svinayak
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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby svinayak » 16 Apr 2009 07:49

vina wrote: "Dutch " Bicycle , read on and get a look. You Yindoos will get a massive sense of deja vu. You see them everywhere in Yindia and of course, it was the only wordly possession poor moi had in college beyond my personal stuff and books!.

I did not have the bicycle when growing up.

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby manju » 16 Apr 2009 07:59

In Salt Lake City I see a handful of small motor-bikes- like the desi scooty, honda activa, Kinetic Honda- already (it still has not stopped snowing here) on the streets. Since I am fairly new to the city, I am not sure if this is normal or a result of people tightening their purse strings. I even saw one fellow today on a bike in the rain. That was so strange- I have never seen any one in USA on a bike on a day that is not sunny..

I have been thiniking of getting one of these bikes for my self in Amrika, as I am a bit addicted to it; the Honda Activa (150 cc) scooter was my main mode of transport for the last three years in Benglauru back to USA a few months back until I came. Wondering how I am still alive and kicking after riding the bike in Bengaluru for the last 3 yrs. I spent half my time on the bike in college and feel very comfy and confident on it..

The last time I checked the price of similar calibre (cc) bike was in Key west, FLorida in 2000 (they rent them to tourists like in Goa). At that time I remember hearing 5000 dollars, which I think will be around 6000 as of today (guessing the current price). The Honda active in India costs just a little less than 50,000 rs = US$ 1000.

I am wondering why the desi companies are not flooding the US market with those mopeds. With such a price difference they can sell them- buy one get one free...!!

If I plan to get the bike from India any idea how much I would excise I would have to pay. Any links? I am assuming that the desi gaadi will meet all US environmental requirements.

Can some one with gyan thro some deep (light)!

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby svinayak » 16 Apr 2009 07:59

ramana wrote:Umarao jaan, Same in Bay Area. I have been seeing this from December 08. Friday eve the towns are dead.


http://unemploymentality.com/2009/04/am ... oys_freak/
http://mall-hall-of-fame.blogspot.com/2 ... chive.html
http://retailtrafficmag.com/retailing/trends/
http://blog.retailtrafficmag.com/retail ... ping-mall/

More than 400 of the 2,000 largest malls in the U.S. have closed in the past two years. The last new major mall in the U.S. opened in 2006, and only one big mall is scheduled to open this year—the troubled Xanadu mega-mall in Rutherford, N.J. (See below.) With some 150,000 retail stores projected to fail in the U.S. this year, more mall closings are imminent. Mall mainstays such as Mervyn’s department stores, Linens ’n Things, and KB Toys have already disappeared into bankruptcy, and mall vacancy rates topped 7 percent last year, the highest level since 2001. “It’s an absolute disaster,” says Howard Davidowitz, an investment banker specializing in retailers. “What a mall represents is discretionary spending, and discretionary spending is in a depression.”

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby Singha » 16 Apr 2009 21:43

BW:-

Made in the USA Still Means Something
Despite the recession the U.S. remains the world's leading manufacturer—and much of what is made here can't be done elsewhere

By Harold L. Sirkin
Managing

A few weeks ago, my wife asked me why the U.S. doesn't make anything of value anymore. Everything, she said, is made in China or Mexico or other faraway points on the compass.

Welcome to one of the destructive side effects of the "woe is me" times we live in: Along with the legitimate and serious problems that face our economy, we seem to have convinced ourselves that we're powerless to do much about the downturn because we've already become a second-rate economic power.

In fact, as I told my wife, the U.S. is still the world's leading manufacturer and in most of the world, "Made in the USA" is still synonymous with quality and high value.

This isn't what many people want to hear. Daily headlines about big companies in big trouble and monthly job-loss figures coming from the Bureau of Labor Statistics provide plenty of ammunition for those who see U.S. industry in decline. And yes, there are big companies in trouble. But recessions eventually end. If the conversation I had with my wife is any indicator, the real difficulty U.S. business and political leaders may face in the months ahead is restoring America's confidence. And that's where some healthy honesty would help.
False Claims

Many of those who talk economic Armageddon intentionally paint an overly pessimistic picture. They claim U.S. factories are outdated. They complain U.S. products are overpriced. They claim that U.S. workers are lackadaisical and overpaid. They warn U.S. companies are unsuited for 21st-century competition in a global marketplace where everyone from everywhere is competing for everything. They claim a lot of things. And much of what they claim isn't true.

As Stephen Manning of the Associated Press acknowledged in a rare "just the facts" story in mid-February, the U.S. "by far remains the world's leading manufacturer," producing goods valued at a record $1.6 trillion in 2007—nearly double the $811 billion produced a decade earlier. Indeed, the AP writer noted, "For every $1 of value produced in China's factories [in 2007], America generated $2.50." Not bad for a country that doesn't produce anything anymore.

Not only is the U.S. still the world's leading manufacturer, but there are many good reasons that companies will continue to manufacture here and invest in new plants and equipment. According to the Census Bureau's 2007 Annual Capital Expenditures Survey, released on Jan. 22 of this year, U.S. nonfarm businesses invested $1.36 trillion in new and used structures and equipment in 2007, a 3.9% increase over 2006. More than $484 billion was spent on new structures alone.

Yes, the recession and credit crunch have derailed this engine of economic growth, just as the recession has put the brakes on consumer spending. The NAM/IndustryWeek Manufacturing Index for the fourth quarter of 2008, for example, reported that large manufacturers were anticipating a 4.2% decline in capital expenditures during the next 12 months; small respondents were anticipating a 2% decrease.

But these are hardly the kinds of numbers that should make us want to jump off a cliff.
The High-Value Goods Leader

So why is our country, admired worldwide for its optimism, now enveloped in self-doubt and defeatism? One explanation is politics: Politicians and interest groups find it much easier to move their agendas forward during times of angst. Many of them therefore deliberately fuel the public's anxiety.

Another reason is the fact that there is a kernel of truth in some of the naysayers' claims. Some of our factories are outdated; but many are among the most modern in the world. Wage and legacy costs—retiree health benefits, for example—have made some companies less competitive. By the same token, U.S. multinationals are generally among the most productive and innovative in the world. And, yes, U.S. companies have ceded production of men's dress shirts that retail for $12, microwave ovens that retail for $69, and boom boxes that retail for less than half that price to low-cost developing countries.

But the U.S. leads the world in many high-value fields, producing more than half of the $175 billion in health-care technology products purchased worldwide each year, for example. The U.S. also ranks as the world's largest producer of chemicals, selling 11% of the global total. And, as the AP reported, we "sold more than $200 billion worth of aircraft, missiles, and space-related equipment in 2007."

In fact, even in the midst of a global recession, the U.S. exported an estimated $1.377 trillion worth of goods last year, according to the authoritative CIA World Factbook. Nearly half of the exports were capital goods: aircraft, computers, electric power machinery, office machines, telecommunications equipment, and the like. Industrial supplies, such as organic chemicals, accounted for another nearly 27%. And consumer goods, including pharmaceuticals, and agricultural products accounted for 15% and 9%, respectively.

A third reason for our collective funk (and there are certainly other reasons) may be the nostalgia factor, particularly prevalent among the baby boomers: the fact that much of what was "Made in America" in the past—think clothing, radios, televisions, telephones, sewing machines, toys, tools, housewares, small appliances, baby furniture, bicycles, even the legendary Oldsmobile "Rocket 88" that was so much a part of the America in which many baby boomers came of age—isn't made here anymore. (The Rocket 88, in fact, isn't made at all.) Seeing so many iconic Made in America brands disappear seemingly overnight has caused pain and anxiety for many Americans.
A Normal Course of Events

But none of this is especially new. Production jobs started to abandon America's industrial heartland years before Japan edged into the picture and decades before China and other rapidly developing economies (RDEs) took their place on the global economic stage. Vibrant economies are constantly undergoing change. Joseph Schumpeter, in the 1942 book Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, described the process as "creative destruction." But other factors being equal, it makes sense in a competitive marketplace to make products where they can be made at the lowest cost. Economist David Ricardo described this phenomenon, known as "comparative advantage," nearly 200 years ago.

So what's different today?

In fact, little is different. Manufacturing companies should still seek low cost. But as we also know, costs aren't everything. In deciding where to manufacture, companies also need to consider other factors, including R&D and engineering capabilities, the availability of raw materials, the accessibility of markets, quality control, intellectual resources and intellectual property-rights protections, management talent, and infrastructure capacity, among others. These are all areas where U.S. companies often have an advantage. And these are all reasons Made in the USA will continue.

So what should be done?

1. Policymakers need to address the right problem.
For many years now, Washington has been attempting legislatively to discourage U.S. plant closings. But the closing of certain production facilities is often a sign of renewal: a naturally occurring phenomenon in which the old and outdated is replaced by something new. As Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI Chief Economist Daniel Meckstroth has noted, the "death rate in manufacturing" really isn't significantly higher than in the past. What has changed, Meckstroth says, "is that the creation of new factories has dropped so dramatically."

If Meckstroth is right and the problem is that too few new factories are opening, Washington should encourage companies to invest in new plants and equipment. It also needs to identify and change existing policies that discourage the building of new factories.

A recurring theme in my conversations with U.S. CEOs is that the effort it takes to build a new plant is barely worth it anymore. There's just too much red tape, too many hoops to jump through, too much bureaucracy, too many special interests fighting you tooth and nail, too many unnecessary, if not nonsensical rules to contend with, too many permits and legal roadblocks.

2. Executives need to speak up with candor.
We all know that Washington is as much to blame for our economic woes as any company or industry. But most executives are reluctant to speak up, except through the trade groups they support and the lobbyists they hire. This may be the price companies pay when they seek favors from government. So let's declare a moratorium, wherever possible, on government handouts—and speak forthrightly about policies that are hurting your company and how they might be changed to accomplish the same goals without the destructive side effects.

3. Managers need to prepare for the rebound.
It's easy enough to sit around feeling sorry for yourself when all you hear is doom and gloom. The doom and gloom may be justified. These are not happy times. But this is when top managers should be making the plans that will enable them to spring back into action when the economy picks up.

Very little happens by accident. Somebody has to be first out of the gate: you or a competitor? Let it be you. When the Labor Dept. releases its next monthly job-loss report, let's not forget that the U.S. labor force has grown threefold since World War II. Before the recession started taking its toll, a record 135 million Americans were gainfully employed, the American Institute for Economic Research reminds us. These are not signs of a dying economy.

I'm not trying to minimize our current problems: These are very tough times. But tough times often produce the winners we celebrate in better times. That's what managing is all about.

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby vsudhir » 17 Apr 2009 08:52

When Did Your County's Jobs Disappear?

The economic crisis, which has claimed more than 5 million jobs since the recession began, did not strike the entire country at once. A map of employment gains or losses by county tells the story of how those job losses first struck in the most vulnerable regions and then spread rapidly to the rest of the country. As early as August 2007, for example—several months before the recession officially began—jobs were already on the decline in southwest Florida; Orange County, Calif.; much of New Jersey; and Detroit, while other areas of the country remained on the uptick.

Using the Labor Department's local area unemployment statistics, Slate presents the recession as told by unemployment numbers for each county in America.

Blue dots represent a net increase in jobs, while red dots indicate a decrease. The larger the dot, the greater the number of jobs gained or lost. Click the arrows or calendar at the bottom to see each month of data. Click the green play button to see an animation of the data.


Neat map. check it out.

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby amol.p » 17 Apr 2009 14:20

ramana wrote:Umarao jaan, Same in Bay Area. I have been seeing this from December 08. Friday eve the towns are dead.


The same case in India. pune Reliance fresh & More are on verge on closing down. people are just buying vegetables.

The other day I went to reliance fresh:
1] AC not working
2] No maintanence half the lights are not working.roof & wall colors going out.
3] out of three billing counters only one is open.
4] As per outlet incharge earlier 13 staff now only 5 people running it
5] Security has been removed
Looking at the trend seems will shut down all outlets in coming 6 months.

More(aditya birla):
1] have closed office and made temporary office in warehouse of pune.
2] most of the shelves are empty

Adlabs mall & multiplex(ADAG):
1] Most of shops are closed
2] AC off on weekdays, only blower is on in whole mall.
3] morning show (upto 3) rates down from 90/- to 60/-. Evening & night Rs 110/- from 150/-

Local kirana stores:
1] sales down by 50%, earlier daily 10000 now to 5000.
2] Many stocks are missing as demand is low
3] but still in profit as no additional expenses as of malls & retial chain

Mother care(Tata):
1] 5000sqft outlet just two staff.
2] In one hour between 7-8 in eveing I was only customer in outlet.
3] Only one billing counter open rest closed

will keep posting on other companies also............

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby Singha » 17 Apr 2009 16:12

yes I have noticed this trend of turning off lights, AC and fans very proactively. lights are turned on only
when customer goes to that part of the store.

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby ramana » 17 Apr 2009 22:21

The desi strip on El Camino Real is quite de-customerized.

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby Vikas » 17 Apr 2009 22:28

Even the Marriott hotel chain is half empty these days and daily rates are down in Bay Area!

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby Jayram » 17 Apr 2009 23:52

Posting this here since the only other thread was the Indian Real Estate Thread
Anyone here hearing about Loan Modification Schemes in Massa Land...
Situation for many friends/Fam who bought in 2005/2006 as follows
-(Home owner) HO Bought Home/Condo at Peak. Price drop 20-30% now.
-HO Personal situation has changed. Outgrew house/Lost Job/Moving whaterver... Want to dispose or sell
-HO Current on all payments and
-HO has no immedeate indication of financial stress except the heartburn of seeing the home price value now
-HO Equity in the house at 10% (max 15%) i.e. << Price Drop of 25%
-HO Cant/dont want to walk away and screw credit score..
Now the interesting part. Lawyers are approachign these HO's and saying they will find legal errors in Loan Documents and take Lender to court to force lender to reappraise the home to a lower market price..
Any takers for this scheme? Any insite into this? Caught a show on NPR last night where one of the Prof on it was recommendign banks do the sdame thing and reduce all home to market value to reduce the stress on the economy for people under water on thier loans . Fat chance that is going to happen for pople current on thier loans..
PS There is some justification for said HO(s) about feeling pissed about the Loan Modification schemes for people not able to pay thier Mortgage on time..
What about them - they feel - thier only mistake they bought a house.. only to see Wall St Fat Cats and Banks screw them over every month for the rest of the mortage lives...
--Jayram

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby Singha » 19 Apr 2009 12:14

another myth - that upper middle class or rich goras let their kids be "creative" and "do whatever they want in life" while only "third world parents" pressure their kids into doctor/engg.

gora or kala people will chase the most money and prestige 99%

NYT

Advertise on NYTimes.com
Business Grads Looking Beyond Wall Street

By STEVEN GREENHOUSE
Published: April 17, 2009

PHILADELPHIA — Riana Paige, an undergraduate senior at the Wharton School of Business, had a high-paying internship at JPMorgan Chase last summer and was disappointed when she did not receive an offer for a full-time job after graduation. Now she is pursuing a job teaching in Dubai, or working for a wine importer.

Daniel Miller, a Wharton senior who interned last summer at a boutique private equity firm in Manhattan, became so discouraged by his search for jobs in finance that he began thinking about becoming a rabbi.

Jessica Levy, also a senior at Wharton, the nation’s most prestigious undergraduate business program, was stunned when her supervisor at UBS told her that although she had done a terrific job as an intern, the bank could not offer her a job after graduation. Her dreams of investment banking quashed, she recently took the Foreign Service exam and is vying for a job at the State Department.

“A lot of my peers, we’re exploring things that we used to not even think of as an option,” Ms. Levy said. “A finance major who was minoring in music was suddenly looking into opening a jazz club. All of a sudden, I saw that a lot of Wharton people were interesting.”

For the last decade, a job at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley or another investment bank has been considered the most coveted prize for many of the nation’s best and brightest college students. But the implosion of Wall Street — the vaporization of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, the general humbling of investment banks — has not only shaken a generation’s ambitions, but also unleashed them.

“There was a real herd mentality to get into investment banking,” said Ms. Levy, noting that prestige, peer pressure and parents often channeled students to Wall Street. But because of the crisis, “there was suddenly permission to pursue something you were interested in that your parents three years ago would have said absolutely no to.”

For many students at Wharton, part of the University of Pennsylvania, the Wall Street crisis has fostered a sense of relief. Some students now acknowledge that they were pursuing investment banking jobs largely to placate parents who, having invested nearly $200,000 in their children’s educations, were eager for them to earn top dollar — and some prestige too.

Of course, many students who coveted Wall Street jobs have landed them: the prestige firms that remain are doing plenty of hiring, although substantially less than in years past. And some finance majors shut out of Wall Street jobs have accepted back-up options, often lesser banks in smaller cities. But many who thirsted for big investment banking bonuses are looking at decidedly down-market alternatives, everything from Teach for America to computer engineering.

“It’s always been about the brass ring and it’s always been about the brand recognition, and for a lot of students that meant jobs at Goldman Sachs,” said Emanuel Sturman, director of career services at Dartmouth College. “It’s premature to say the bloom is off the rose totally, but I think students are starting to look at a wider array of brass rings.”

College officials say that the sweeping changes on Wall Street will affect not only finance-minded members of the class of ’09 but also tens of thousands of juniors, sophomores and freshmen, as well as future students, leading them to rethink their majors and their career goals.

After doing an internship at Goldman Sachs last summer and not being offered a full-time job there, Katie Shea, a senior at the Stern School of Business at New York University, is instead pursuing her dreams of entrepreneurship. She has founded a shoe company that designs and imports collapsible shoes that women can wear while walking to work and then stuff into their pocketbooks.

“For me, the Wall Street crisis was a blessing in disguise,” said Ms. Shea.

Not everyone feels that way. For many undergraduates with their eyes on Wall Street, the financial sector crisis created panic — and confusion in their job searches. Ms. Levy says she interviewed at Lehman Brothers one day, and it filed for bankruptcy the next day.

“Over the past three years, you saw 10 to 12 kids from Wharton going to each of the top five banks,” said Jeremy Cohn, a Wharton senior. “This year there are probably zero to 2 or 3 students going to each of those banks.”

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and other banks declined to discuss how much they have reduced job offers. But college officials estimate the decline in financial sector job offers is 10 to 50 percent. And it is also affecting M.B.A. students.

Jana Kierstead, director of M.B.A. career services at Harvard Business School, said the number of job postings over all had declined 30 percent from last year, with a 40 percent drop among financial institutions.

“The number of firms coming to campus was relatively the same, but the number of positions they’re recruiting for has been reduced,” she said.

Ms. Kierstead said 78 percent of Harvard’s second-year M.B.A. students had job offers, down from 90 percent at this time last year.

At Wharton, the number of on-campus interviews for the school’s 600 undergraduates fell 20 percent, from 13,000 last year.

Last year, starting salaries for undergraduates going to top financial firms typically ran from $55,000 to $70,000, with an $8,000 signing bonus. And their annual bonus often equaled their starting salary. This year, starting salaries are roughly the same, with signing bonuses often falling to $4,000. As for expectations of fat bonuses, they have gone the way of Bear Stearns.

Some students have grown frustrated and suspended their job search. As a result, Patricia Rose, the University of Pennsylvania’s director of career services, recently sent out a message saying: “We are hearing from some students that they are discouraged, and have stopped applying for jobs because so many other candidates are competing with them, some undoubtedly more qualified. Resist this impulse! By not applying, you are rejecting yourself.”

She reminded them, “You are attending one of the world’s finest universities.”

“So hang in there,” she concluded. “And most importantly, believe in yourself.”

While some Wharton seniors are struggling, many have done well. Jeremy Cohn, for example, has been hired by Lazard Freres’ real estate group. Mickey Ashmore, a former Goldman Sachs intern, has accepted an offer with Microsoft’s finance division. Anthony Orlando and Nanxi Ling will work for Oliver Wyman, a Manhattan consulting firm that advises floundering banks.

But Oliver Wyman has asked them to push back their start date to January.

“We’re all young; we’ll all get a job,” Mr. Ashmore said. “This isn’t going to last forever.”

A job offer can, of course, make all the difference.

Daniel Miller, the student who was contemplating rabbinical school, had suspended his job search, intent on savoring his last few weeks before graduation.

“I have the next 60 years of my life to worry about work,” he said. “I’m fortunate I don’t have any college debt and have a very supportive family. I can’t imagine what it’s like for someone less fortunate than me.”

But last Thursday, a real estate investment firm outside Philadelphia offered him a job. Rabbinical school can wait.

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby Nandu » 19 Apr 2009 19:44

Jayram wrote:Now the interesting part. Lawyers are approachign these HO's and saying they will find legal errors in Loan Documents and take Lender to court to force lender to reappraise the home to a lower market price..


I smell scam and wouldn't advice going this route.

If banks would reset these loans, there will be a more legitimate way to approach them.

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby vsudhir » 19 Apr 2009 20:50

Generation debt is in for a rough ride

I can empathize with many of the gripes and :(( :(( raised in this piece.....

A few years ago, I interviewed University of Toronto demographer David Foot, author of the bestseller Boom, Bust & Echo. Over tea at a campus pub, he assured me that my generation - which included the youngest of what he dubbed the "busters" and the eldest of the "echos" - was in for a sweet ride. We were destined to be prosperous and "in demand," he said, as a result of being born in the mid-to-late 1970s, when the birth rate was at an all-time low.

What Foot didn't know was that an economic meltdown would conspire to all but scupper my generation's hopes and dreams, just as they seemed about to come to fruition. The lucky, plucky, anointed-for-greatness offspring of the first boomers, now in our late 20s and early 30s, have fared the worst in the current financial crisis, all things considered.

After finally managing to land decent jobs, we are the first ones being laid off, because of lack of seniority. Bad news, since we're also mortgaged to the hilt, having bought our first houses on credit just as the market peaked (in the United States, it was the same generation of first-time home buyers who were swindled into subprime mortgages).

As for future generations? That's our problem too. In recent months, many of us have found ourselves not only homeless and jobless but pregnant to boot - the recession having struck smack in our childbearing years.

In the midst of all this carnage, who's crying the blues? Why it's the baby boomers, of course! The generation in charge - the one that created and perpetuated the unsustainable financial model that led to the current collapse in the first place. Haven't you heard the bad news? Their investment portfolios are down. They're not sure they can afford to retire the way they had planned to. They might have to sell the cottage to pay for the divorce!

And as for their jobs - you know the high-paying, secure ones at the very top of the pay scale? Well, they're going to have to hang onto those for a while longer than they had thought. At least until they get old and sick enough to max out the health-care system and the national pension fund.

It's a wonder my generation isn't demonstrating in the streets. Instead, we're doing the opposite. We've formulated a strategy to get through this: We're going to close our eyes and plug our ears and hum Mary Had a Little Lamb till it's over.

In the cover story in the latest issue of Toronto Life, Katrina Onstad writes about the boundless enthusiasm the younger generation is showing in the face of an economic meltdown. Her over-educated, under-employed interview subjects are so relentlessly positive about the future that Onstad at one point blurts, "What if it's not okay? What if it's breadlines for everyone? What if it's Grapes of Wrath?" To which her 25-year-old subject responds with a puzzled, "I just don't go there. I just don't think that way."

As someone just a few years older, I do. The rest of my generation may not know it yet, but we have been robbed. Our famous self-esteem and sense of entitlement - instilled in us by over-indulgent boomer parents - can only shield us from the truth for so long: The demographers were wrong. We are in for a very rough ride. Much rougher than our parents.

My grandmother grew up during the Depression. As her family's fortunes fell, she remembers hobos at the back door begging for table scraps. For my mother, growing up in the fifties, it was all pony club and tennis lessons. There were no ponies for me as a child, but things were comfortable. Just comfortable enough that I always assumed that, with a little hard work and perseverance, better things were coming my way.

Turns out this was a naive assumption.


Gives me the beejees......Read it all.

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby shynee » 20 Apr 2009 00:39


vsudhir
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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby vsudhir » 20 Apr 2009 04:29


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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby vsudhir » 20 Apr 2009 04:38

Made In India Pipe Sparks Union Outrage

Mish is on a roll here. Quoting verbatim:

Here's the deal. Like it or not, and union workers clearly don't, this is a global economy.

Companies cannot afford to pay high prices steel or they will not have any profits to share. Union wages and benefits are simply higher than the market can bear and there is no good solution other than what unions do not want to hear.

The choice is not between high priced US steel and imported steel, the choice is between building anything at all and not building it.

Moreover it is highly doubtful imported steel costs any jobs. For every steelworker job lost, there are doc unloading jobs gained, trucking jobs gained, and more restaurants that benefit from increased trucking and shipping along the way.

Of course there is a balance of trade issue that needs to be addressed but that is separate and distinct from a jobs related issue.


The issue is not even wages. The issue is how far those wages go in conjunction with unrealistic expectations about standards of living.

Policy decisions by the Fed, by the Treasury, by Congress, and even by unions are to blame. Unions have priced themselves out of the global economy. But the real problem is the massive amount of wasteful spending in Congress and the loose policies at the Fed that have created this crisis.

At every crisis, the Fed stepped on the gas inflating the economy. Unions benefited as wages rose along with the price of everything. However, eventually there comes a time when no one is willing to pay those wages. That has obviously happened. Yet because of the Fed's expansionary policy, prices of houses and goods and services continued to rise, outstripping wages.

The only people who really benefited from the Fed's expansionary policies were the bank executives, the fat cats on Wall Street, and government bodies who taxed rising property values and took a chunk out of everything people made via sales taxes, income taxes, and property taxes.

The entire mess has now crashed with consumers deep in debt on their houses, SUVs, and credit cards. And union expectations are left out of whack with what those jobs are worth.

No Sugar Coating

No one wants to hear this but here it is without sugar coating: A long painful recovery process is in order. It may take a decade to play out. Lower home prices, lower prices on goods and services, and lower wages and benefits will all be a part of the recovery process.

In aggregate, the current generation now in high school is likely going to be the first generation in America's history with a lower standard of living than their parents for quite some time to come.


Knockout punchlines. Read it all.
Last edited by Suraj on 20 Apr 2009 11:24, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed URL

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby Chinmayanand » 20 Apr 2009 17:13

Quotes from Famous People

1. In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a Congress. -- John Adams

2. If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. -- Mark Twain

3. Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself. -- Mark Twain

4. I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. -- Winston Churchill

5. A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. -- George Bernard Shaw

6. A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money. -- G. Gordon Liddy

7. Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. -- James Bovard

8. Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries. -- Douglas Casey

9. Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. -- P.J. O'Rourke

10. Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. -- Frederic Bastiat

11. Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. -- Ronald Reagan

12. I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. -- Will Rogers

13. If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free. -- P.J. O'Rourke

14. In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other. -- Voltaire

15. Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you. -- Pericles (430 B.C.)

16. No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session. -- Mark Twain

17. Talk is cheap... except when Congress does it. -- Anonymous

18. The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. -- Ronald Reagan

19. The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery. -- Winston Churchill

20. The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. -- Mark Twain

21. The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. -- Herbert Spencer

22. There is no distinctly native American criminal class... save Congress. -- Mark Twain

23. A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. -- Gerald Ford

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Re: Perspectives on the global economic meltdown

Postby vsudhir » 20 Apr 2009 21:40

In China, white man loses mojo

Matchmaking surveys have shown that since the financial crisis, Chinese women have begun seeing white men in a new, less-alluring light. In Hong Kong, dates for Western men have grown scarcer as incomes of urban women rise. And it's no boon for local men, as the Chinese penchant for sons may create a lonely hearts club some 32-million strong.


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