The solar-panel industry, once fattened by taxpayer subsidies and false hopes, has been in a death spiral around the world. In the US, a slew of photovoltaic standouts like Solyndra went under, taking billions of subsidies and investor capital with them. In Germany, it has been just as brutal. Even large companies are licking their wounds.
Entries in China (50)
American manufacturing renaissance? Maybe not. But China is losing the low-wage edge. With manufacturing already in the doldrums, dizzying wage increases, long a reality on the factory floor, have become government policy. Now there are consequences: offshoring and automation.
Aircraft maintenance was a highly paid blue-collar job that required education, training, manual skills, and brains. It was one of the perfect American middle-class jobs with generous healthcare, retirement, and vacation benefits; and free flights! They were working for icons like Delta, American Airlines, Continental, TWA, or Pan Am. Icons indeed!
Where German industrial companies plan to invest: a slew of losers out there, including Germany. But one country stands out ... and the reasons why!
There could not possibly be any clouds on the horizon with the Dow and the S&P 500 setting all-time highs, while the German DAX is marching relentlessly towards 8,000 and the Japanese Nikkei is soaring. But just then, a deeply connected representative of the world’s real economy spoils the rosy scenario.
Putzmeister was a paragon of the German Mittelstand—family-owned firms with innovative technologies and high-quality manufacturing that dominate their niches worldwide. But in 2012, it was acquired by a Chinese giant. Now its German CEO reveals just how impossible integration is and how dire not only Europe but the world look to him, particularly China.
CEOs of the largest US corporations, without aiming at it, shot barn-door-size holes through the rosy jobs picture. Rosy on the surface: unemployment down to 7.7% with 236,000 new jobs created last month. A picture the White House held up as proof of its success. But these CEOs didn’t see it. Not in the US. Though prospects were rosy in cheap countries.
China has tried over the years to come to grips with its pandemic pollution, yet in Beijing, through a combination of factors, it reached catastrophic levels in mid-January and set another record. Result of the white-hot pace of economic growth. And of coal consumption: this year, China is set to burn more coal than the rest of the world combined!
European talking heads are reassuring us on an hourly basis, lest we forget, that the worst of the debt crisis is over. The Japanese trade deficit, a measure of reality, not words, tells a different story about the crisis in Europe. And about troubles coming to a boil in China. But neither can be cured by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to decapitate the yen.
Much digital ink has been spilled about the US oil & gas boom, and whether or not it will lead to energy independence, or even turn the US into an oil exporter. Now a “confidential” report by the German version of the CIA, the Bundesnachrichtendienst, seeped to the surface. It sketched out the boom’s geopolitical consequences. Biggest loser? China.
Known under the official misnomer Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea is an inscrutable, unpredictable, armed-to-the-teeth thorn in everyone’s side, a pariah ready to lob nukes, starve its own people, or hold out an olive branch, only to yank it back. But now something is going on that reeks of the dreaded phrase, “this time, it’s different”: secret discussions in Germany.
Contributed by Jen Alic of Oilprice.com. African exports to China have increased six-fold since 2000, mostly oil. In 2012, China surpassed the US and Europe as Africa’s largest trading partner while Washington can't figure out how to structure a broader relationship.
Technology transfers, whether on a contractual basis or through theft, have long bedeviled companies that want to benefit from China’s cheap labor and 1.3 billion consumers. Automakers, aerospace companies, technology outfits.... it’s the price they have to pay. But when it seeped out that the largely state-owned nuclear industry in France was trying to sell its secrets to China to make a deal, oh là là!
It started on September 19. In several East German states, a lot of children and adolescents fell ill with vomiting and diarrhea. A week later, it was officially acknowledged as a foodborne illness. And now is has become the largest wave of food poisoning ever recorded in Germany.
Contributed by Chriss Street. In thirty years, historians will mark the assassination of America’s Ambassador to Libya on September 11, 2012 as a more important event than the terrorist attacks in 2001. On “9-11,” the United States’ self-appointed role to provide peace in the Western World as the only military super-power was challenged for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Eleven years later, on “9-11 Squared”, that role was terminated.
Contributed by Chriss Street. Chinese manufacturing and construction activities are plummeting. Desperate to stave off a spectacular increase in unemployment, China just announced another massive public works stimulus program. Although shoveling cash at the problem might have delayed a recession after 2008, new stimulus cash will ignite a vicious round of inflation and fail to drive sustained economic growth.
Contributed by Casey Research. “The Chinese are developing resources in countries, particularly in Africa, where no “listed US company could ever make a legitimate deal,” says Don Coxe, a strategic advisor to the BMO Financial Group. And it adds to the challenges in “navigating the politicized economy.” This is the second part of the exclusive interview with The Energy Report, where Coxe explains how investors should position themselves as China and India rise to superpower status.
Contributed by Casey Research. The US is no longer the safest place in the world to invest, says Don Coxe, a strategic advisor to the BMO Financial Group. While US-based companies have to wade through red tape and legal challenges, lax regulation in emerging economies created stiff competition. In this exclusive interview with The Energy Report, Coxe explains how investors should position themselves as China and India rise to superpower status.
Bring home the bacon, or the speck, as it were, was the guiding principle for German Chancellor Angela Merkel when she frolicked in China last week. But her pleas to get the Chinese to buy the crappy bonds of debt-sinner countries in the Eurozone fell on deaf ears. This week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hobnobbing with the Chinese elite. It turned into a clash fest, and instead of bringing home the bacon, she argued with the Chinese over everything and the South China Sea.