volkswagen opens factory in rwanda. first vehicle set to appear in may of this year. according to der spiegel, vw views rwanda as it did china when it started assembling cars their–as a stable country with low government corruption. as we have written recently, rwanda and its capital kigali aims to replicate the success of singapore. the new york times recently published a travel guide to rwanda.
Archive for the ‘business’ Category
after trump made sh@itty comments about el savador, haiti and the continent of africa, the 55 member africa union (initially founded in the 1960s includes 54 countries on the continent plus the island of madagascar) has challenged trump to clarify exactly which of the countries on the continent are sh@t holes. in the bbc article we link to, illinois senator dick durbin confirms in an on camera interview that the US president made the sh@tty comments. the continent has many challenges. but trump is living in the wrong century. an opposition leader in the ghana government is calling on the countries in emerging markets to boycott the US while donald trump is in office. given that the continent has 1.2B people and is a reliable trading partner doing 400B USD per year of trade with china, americans should be made aware that this so-called sh@t place has trading partners in the US. seriously. some countries on the continent such as rwanda have already slapped high tariffs on clothing coming from the US causing a projected loss of more than 40K jobs in the USA. we believe this happened following trump’s nigerians live in huts comments. last we heard the USA is still an oil dependent country filled with petro-guzzling autos nobody outside the US wants. yes we said oil. oil–most of which is located in africa. thinking of the north as being seperate from the southern part of the continent is straight out of the 19th century. also, the majority of minerals elon musk needs to power his tesla mobiles is located in the undemocratic republic of congo. in the 1970s OPEC caused an international energy crisis that affected the US quite harshly and that along with the crisis, at that time, in iran, helped push jimmy carter out of office. libertarians (known as economic liberals outside north america) believe international trade and the free flow of people is a win-win situation. it is a winner for deutschland. it is why germany, despite having a population about 25% the size of the US is the 2nd largest importer in the world. also people like to trade with countries with friendly leaders, not tyrants.
it looks like elon musk’s tesla motors is having a bit of a problem in germany. tesla motors acquired an engineering company based in germany last november. fast forward 6 months and reportedly musk, aka corporate welfare queen, pushed out the CEO. this acquired apparently counted bosch, bmw and daimler amongst its clients. now it looks like maybe bmw and daimler have been given the boot. you can read the account in a lovely swiss paper here. and about the troubles musk is having with geman unions herehere. and use google translator. although we think google is evil. you can also use babbel fish.
after announcing the intention of increasing tariffs on wood imported to the US from canada, the trump administration followed this with an announcement that his administration was laying the groundwork for pulling out of the north american free trade agreement (NAFTA). today the wall street journal reports that the trump administration has announced that it is not pulling out of nafta. since wilbur ross is commerce secretary we are wondering whether he can take credit for the announcement of the pullout or the reversal?
we at a blog about whatever are very much free trade. in the classical liberal (with a small “l”) sense. and we are big fans of adam smith, the father of capitalism who embraced free trade. we believe the term fair trade is a nothing word. laissez-faire capitalism has been a success. it is one reason that when the berlin wall fell in 1989, people from the then west germany did not make a mad dash to the then east germany (GDR).
getting back to nafta. we think that canada did a good thing by allowing visa free travel to canada for mexicans. we would like to see the usa move in a more friendly direction with its south american neighbors. the announcement of the intention to shutdown nafta, drove the pesos down and prompted mexico to announce it would re-think how it dealt jointly with international security issues with the united states. as statistics have proven, the number of mexican citizens emigrating to the usa has dramatically fell between 2009 and 2014. so obviously this reversal pre-dates trump. and the people crossing the mexican boarder are mostly from south american and central america.
just started reading the book i feel lucky which chronicles life at google from 1999 – 2005ish. yeah this book came out last year. but since it’s packed with stuff on marissa mayer–new ceo of the trainwreck that is yahoo, we thought it might be worth a read. why? because the book was published in 2011 so it’s probably a bit more honest about who marissa mayer really is and could provide insight into her leadership capabilities and sort out whether or not being the ex-girlfriend of larry page helped or hindered her ascent at google.
at the moment we are on page 104. and can see that marissa mayer analyzes stuff from multiple angles and tries to anticipate what angles others might proffer. while larry page and sergey (whose last name i can never remember) are able to make snap decisions based on gut instincts. and say things like ‘that sucks’ or ‘i think you need to go back to the drawing board.’ or something along those lines. so our question is does mayer suffer from the female gene which john kerry also has? you know, the one whereby one has to overthink stuff and asks for loads of input out of fear of making the wrong decision?
we took the time to gaze deeply at the official occupy wall street website. and we’ve decided that the dude or dudette who authored the homepage neither works in financial services nor studied economics. but he or she was seemingly a social sciences major from some leafy liberal arts college on the east coast.
first, we’d like to know how the organization was able to finagle a .org address. and since they are supposedly anti-capitalists, why are they asking for donations? or is that a sign of anti-capitalists and socialists, that everyone else is expected to work and pay taxes? all cynicism aside let’s pick one of their arguments apart. that neoliberalism has destroyed the economies of spain and greece.
the spanish economy (like that of california) is built on real estate and tourism. tourism took a bit of a hit in 2008 because everyone in europe felt less well off. but that’s bounced back a bit. but tourism only makes owners rich. –like hotel owners or shop owners. but it only creates low level service jobs like cashier and tour guide, which tend to pay poorly.
like ireland, the spanish people bought a lot of property they couldn’t afford. but unlike ireland, for a while this was OK because people around the world were keen on buying houses and apartments in the warm country.
but this lead to a property boom which benefited construction companies, construction workers (hired by construction companies), concrete makers, and persumably all the way down to the local cabinet maker. and when the property boom went bust, everything caved in with it.
the problems in the u.s. are somewhat more complex. yes there are mortgages and real estate involved. but the u.s. economy (minus california’s) has never completely revolved around real estate. it’s actually more diverse.
the u.s.’s non-recovery has more to do with small business owners being spooked about the future. the future that is the healthcare law that u.s. president obama signed into law last year.
cash righ brazilian company jbs is set to take over sara lee and follow in the footsteps of the partially owned brazilian company, inbev, that took over the ‘iconic ‘beer’ company anheuser busch in 2008.
it’s unfortunate that with the exception of the economist, the u.s. media has failed to finger the real culprit that is keeping the u.s. unemployment rate high. the conservative media outlets repeatedly finger barack obama and nancy pelosi. while the liberal outlets keep tossing up question marks and suggest that corporate schmoes are sitting on vast wads of cash and refusing to hire new workers.
let’s do a quick recap of 2010. in january, scott brown, a republican, was elected to the senate in the very blue state of MA (we use the abbreviation because we couldn’t be bothered to check the spelling on this unwiedly name), filling the cold seat occupied for 40 years by the recently deceased ted kennedy. brown got that seat by swearing his would be the vote that would stop obamacare in the senate.
well, pelosi and obama figured out a go around against a potential senae fillerbuster and passed obamacare at the end of march. up until the end of march, the u.s economy was adding jobs at breakneck speed. real clear markets, from the dudes that brings us real clear politics, in may 2010 made the connection. noting that ‘But, come 2014, the new health care bill will make it harder for employers to hire low-skill workers. And, as workplaces around the country prepare to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, employers are considering how best to comply. For some companies, that means that low-wage and part-time jobs will start to go, not in 2014, but now.’
in march 2010, the small business section of the foxbusiness channel reported that the u.s. chamber of commerce, which is against obamacare–which is not analagous to being against all americans having access to affordable healthcare, mind you, is quoted as saying, ‘A mandate that employers provide health insurance or pay a fee will devastate many small businesses that operate at a loss or with low profit margins. These businesses will have to lay off workers and lower head counts,’
according to anonymous sources, google won’t even look at a resume by anyone who doesn’t have a computer science degree. yes, the elephant in the room is that women and minorities in the u.s. end to study computer science in smaller numbers than guys. –and that goes for women worldwide. so is this just another way to prop up the old boys club?