|A compilation of this board's financial/economic posts From 43941 to 43984
Post 43941 by ttalknet2 Reply
Jimmy Carter to Monitor Florida Elections Next Month
Got your attention, eh? It's a joke. ;-) Sorry if you
spewed a beverage on your monitor and keyboard. Nahhh.
Actually I hope you spewed!
At first I wondered if the following libertarian action
was serious or a joke. It seems they've been working on
this plan for at least a year. First I'd heard of it...
The Free State Project
is a plan in which 20,000 or more liberty-oriented people will move to a single state of the U.S. to secure there a free society. We will accomplish this by first reforming state law, opting out of federal mandates, and finally negotiating directly with the federal government for appropriate political autonomy. We will be a community of freedom-loving individuals and families, and create a shining example of liberty for the rest of the nation and the world.
The Free State Project is a new strategy for liberty in our lifetime.
We don't want to wait decades for most citizens in the U.S. to realize that the nanny state is an insult to their dignity. For those of us who already understand the debilitating effects of a government bent on reducing liberty rather than increasing it, the Free State Project aims at liberty in a single state.
What do we mean by liberty? We believe that being free and independent is a great way to live, and that government's only role should be to help individuals defend themselves from force and fraud. To quote author L. Neil Smith, we believe that "no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation."
What can be done in a single state? A great deal. We will repeal state taxes and wasteful state government programs. We will end the collaboration between state and federal law enforcement officials in enforcing unconstitutional laws. We will repeal laws regulating drugs and guns. We will end asset forfeiture and abuses of eminent domain. We will privatize utilities and end inefficient regulations and monopolies. Then we will negotiate directly with the federal government for more autonomy.
The state where we will move will be decided once membership has reached 5,000. We are doing extensive research on all the candidate states. The vote will be conducted according to the method of Cumulative Count, which more closely approximates the ideal of individual choice than simple majority rule.
Before joining, please be sure also to check out our FAQs section, which contains more detailed information about the Free State Project, including answers to common questions like, "What can 20000 activists do in one state?," "What is cumulative count?," and "Do you think the federal government will oppose your efforts?," along with many others.
Consider getting on the FSP Announcement List
Join the Free State Project and take part in a rapidly growing movement aimed at securing liberty in our lifetime.
We don't want your money, just your signature - and when the time comes, your willingness to carry through on your word of honor.
If you would like to participate in this exciting new venture, please carefully read our Participation Guidelines and sign the Statement of Intent. To view these documents and to join, click here.
PS. I admit that I don't take the time to read every
bloody message on this board. Nevertheless, I must say
thanks to maniati for being supportive of my recent rant
on multiculturalism. I did not respond in a timely
manner, so I'm doing it now.
Because I don't read every message, I was very concerned
that my weekend post might be received quite badly.
I'm pleased that it was received well by some and not
attacked by others. Maybe there's hope that like-minded
citizens can stem the tide.
Maniati: Saying that I was "talking to myself" was my way
of saying this is my rant. I need to do it. And I don't
care if everybody disagrees. Thanks to you and all for
being the patriotic Americans you are.
OT: Missouri and Carnahan again
Post 43943 by uponroof Reply
JPMC now a takeover target
Amazing developements as JPMC flirts with tiny rivals as a takeover target. I wonder if the FED would allow such a transaction given the closeness of the bank with their actions....as essentially the FED becomes their partner. Would there be confidentiality issues to overcome as the merged gets 'up to speed' with FED interactions?
JP Morgan market value
dwarfed by smaller rivals'
By Mary Kelleher
NEW YORK, Oct. 21 (Reuters) -- J.P. Morgan
Chase & Co. Inc. is one of the biggest banks
in the United States, but you wouldn't
necessarily know that by its stock market
Shares of J.P. Morgan Chase, which ranks only
behind Citigroup Inc. by assets, have fallen
so much as the bank wrestles with loan and
trading losses that J.P. Morgan now is worth
about $5 billion less than smaller rival Bank
One Corp. in terms of market capitalization.
The weakness in J.P. Morgan Chase's stock and
drop in its market price tag have helped fuel
rumors once unthinkable -- that Chicago-based
Bank One, No. 6 in terms of assets, might buy
J.P. Morgan Chase instead of the reverse.
"It's shocking," Fred Cummings, an analyst at
McDonald Investments, said of the disparity
between the banks' market capitalizations.
"But that just shows you the market has lost
confidence in (J.P. Morgan's) management team
and they don't know how true that book value
is at J.P. Morgan."
Meanwhile, Bank One has prospered, though
analysts do not think it is strong enough to
digest a bank of J.P. Morgan's size. Under
the steadying hand of Chief Executive Jamie
Dimon, Bank One recovered from customer
service woes at its First USA credit card arm
and just posted a 9 percent rise in third
quarter profits to $823 million, or 70 cents
a share. Higher credit card balances, deposit
growth and cost controls helped.
"Jamie's perceived as a good turnaround
player," Cummings said, though he noted Bank
One's price-to-earnings ratio of about 12
times earnings was about in line with others.
Bank One "has gone through a major
turnaround. They don't have these same
balance sheet issues at this point in the
J.P. Morgan Chase's market worth now is about
$40 billion, compared with Bank One's roughly
$45 billion capitalization. J.P. Morgan
Chase's value also lags Wachovia Corp.'s at a
bout $48 billion; Wells Fargo & Co. at about
$86 billion; and Bank of America Corp. at
"It's been there for a while -- a few
months," UBS Warburg analyst Diane Glossman
said of J.P. Morgan Chase's market
capitalization. "But it is pretty astonishing
on the face of it if you just dial the clock
back a year ago."
When Chase Manhattan bought J.P. Morgan at
the end of December 2000, the deal was
heralded as the creation of a financial
services powerhouse rivaling Citigroup. But
since then J.P. Morgan Chase has seen its
profits slump in the market downturn because
of investment losses, bad loans to
telecommunications and cable companies, and
misplaced trading bets.
Part of the blame goes to moribund capital
markets in a flagging U.S. economy, analysts
"Most of J.P. Morgan's problems are just the
bad market environment," Reilly Tierney, an
analyst at Fox-Pitt, Kelton said. "Even if
you brought in (former U.S. Treasury
Secretary) Bob Rubin and (Citigroup CEO)
Sandy Weill to be co-CEOs of J.P. Morgan,
they're not going to turn around the capital
Still, J.P. Morgan's stock tumbled 48 percent
in the first three quarters this year,
underperforming the Standard & Poor's
financial stock index, which fell about 22
The bank's profits sank 91 percent in the
third quarter to $40 million, or a penny a
share, and it said it would cut about 2,200
investment banking jobs. J.P. Morgan already
let Wall Street down last month when it
warned third-quarter results would be well
below second-quarter levels.
The bank also has faced fire for off-balance
sheet transactions it set up for bankrupt
energy trader Enron Corp., further damaging
its stock price. J.P. Morgan Chase Chief
Executive William Harrison, one of the
merger's architects, is under pressure to
reverse the slide or risk losing his job,
analysts have said.
* * *
Morgan Stock Up on Rumor
By Mary Kelleher
NEW YORK (Reuters) -- J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
Inc.'s stock surged on Monday on speculation
that Bank One Corp. would buy the bank, which
is struggling in a weak market. But analysts
doubted the deal would happen.
"There is this takeover rumor on the stock,"
analyst Reilly Tierney of Fox-Pitt, Kelton
said. "I think it's improbable ... Whoever
buys J.P. Morgan is going to have to have a
lot of capital to recapitalize J.P. Morgan,
to address the balance sheet issues that
clearly hang over the stock."
J.P. Morgan shares gained 6.9 percent, or
$1.30, to $20.27, while Bank One's shares
were up 20 cents to close at $39.08 in on the
New York Stock Exchange.
A J.P. Morgan spokeswoman declined to comment
on rumors. A Bank One spokeswoman also said
it was against the bank's policy to comment
Chicago-based Bank One is smaller than J.P.
Morgan, which is the No. 2 U.S. banking
company by assets, but its market
capitalization is larger at about $45
billion. J.P. Morgan Chase's market
capitalization is about $40 billion, after
concerns about unpaid corporate loans and its
involvement with bankrupt energy trader Enron
Corp. hit its stock price.
But while Bank One Chief Executive James
"Jamie" Dimon, a protege of Citigroup CEO
Sanford "Sandy" Weill, has expressed an
interest in expanding credit card, money
management, retail and possibly investment
banking units, analysts said J.P. Morgan
Chase's loan books would be too risky for
Bank One. Bank One has been reducing the size
of its corporate loan book, after deciding
the business was too risky and unprofitable.
"Historically, Jamie Dimon, along with Sandy
Weill, they've been bottom fishers, and J.P.
Morgan's clearly attractively valued," said
Fred Cummings, an analyst at McDonald
Investments. "But I would bet against it
because of the risk profile of J.P. Morgan's
balance sheet in large corporate.
"J.P. Morgan is wrestling with weak trading
results and losses on soured loans to
telecommunications and cable companies. Its
third-quarter profits fell 91 percent to $40
million, or a penny a share, and it said it
would cut about 2,200 additional jobs
following previous staff reductions.
"Whenever a company is as challenged as J.P.
Morgan is right now with respect to its
financial performance, that's when stories
like this surface," said Brock Vandervliet,
an analyst at Lehman Brothers. "So from that
perspective, it's not surprising."Bank One
has fared better in the slow economy and
stock market slump. It posted a 9 percent
rise in third-quarter profits to $823
million, or 70 cents a share, helped by
higher balances in its vast credit card
business, deposit growth and cost controls.
Still, many of J.P. Morgan Chase's troubles
stem from a stock market slump that has hurt
most banks and made many leery of expanding
capital market operations, as a purchase of
J.P. Morgan would do, Tierney said.
OT: maniati, SEC etc. This morning Krugman has his
OT: Decomposed: Well, the Peace Prize has been tur
OT: clo: My R friends tend to react the same way P
OT: maniati, I tend to agree with you & pace.
Post 43948 by Warstud Reply
Motherboard makers reporting shortage of Intersil P4 controller ICs - Digitimes (ISIL) 16.67 -1.43:
OT: Table ON TOPIC SUMMARY Oct 21, 2002
Post 43950 by PhiltLstnr Reply
WARSTUD: ISIL ICs Shortage...
What does this mean? Good news or bad?
(Voluntary Disclosure: Position- Long; ST Rating- Buy; LT Rating- Strong Buy)
OT: For my Table friends:
Post 43952 by lkorrow Reply
Maniati, My nickel. :-) I’m not clear how cutting rates would produce inflation. Wouldn’t that only be the case if the rate cut produced demand for money in the form of new debt? If so, I have my doubts on that happening to any great extent. Inflationary, yes, in that it would put more money in consumers and company’s pockets. Presumably, to reduce debt, although the consumer marches on. That’s not completely bad.
I am not looking for any excuse to drop rates, per my statement, “the psychological impact of having some powder dry probably outweighs any further lightening of corporate debt.” While I did advocate it to reduce the debt burden, we’re pretty close to the bottom, as you pointed out, so maybe the benefit loses its punch..
Hear you that some consolidation is necessary, but there is quite a ripple effect on financials. It’s a matter of how much default can they take. So far, so good, apparently? Maybe that’s why it’s good to draw out some failures. Drawing out the failures helps the system reabsorb people who have been laid off, also. I disagree that it would have been better to raise rates to get the downturn over with sooner. This is only perception, but it seems like that would have been too much of a blow to the system and sent us into a real downward spiral with more unemployment and banks and insurance company and pension fund woes. We do seem to need more failures to strengthen various industries like airlines, though. I understand your point.
Ok, not worrying about interest rates anymore. Tax credits, how about a flat tax?
You’re so right on the “something must come along to stimulate demand again,” the “I gotta have this” sense. What’s on the horizon? Digital cameras are taking off and HDTV, slowly. Cellular is growing, but no great shakes. PDA phones could be something, someday. Movies on demand? Of course there’s foreign markets. Nothing on the scale of PCs and the Internet build-out. We do have our first commercial company in the space sector. That frontier’s down the road!
Yes, extraordinary times, a new polarization of the World. Unfortuante, to say the least.
OT: Jeff, thanks for Ad-Aware, I'm scanning away a
Post 43954 by Warstud Reply
Sounds like there may be a shortage of supply.
Post 43955 by jeffbas Reply
lkorrow, I think there is also probably a high growth rate in LCD computer monitors (which will be followed in a year or so by LCD TV's). However, total sales of LCD plus CRT computer monitors and TVs may not be growing much, so the impact here may be small.
Post 43956 by lkorrow Reply
Jeff, There are certainly a lot of people still on 15" CRTs that could use an eye-saving upgrade! Perhaps some TV-PC integration down the line as well. . . .
OT: OT: Jeff
OT: jk, I believe is is .de rather than .com. Reg
OT: No, dummy-me. I was hasty. The site is www.lav
OT: Thanks Pmcw and Jeff, I used the .de as paul s
Post 43961 by pacemakernj Reply
Wilful, RE: China, I am happy to see your optimism. Call me a skeptic though for now. While all your points are true what concerns me is all that production capacity in one place. Those concerns range on a variety of fronts. Not the least are human rights, open markets, free democratic elections, free press, free religion. China's human rights issues are at best dubious. They force women to have abortions, child labor, slave labor. You name it these guys are not as clean as we would like. But the pursuit of profit by multinationals is at best hypocritical. Especially in light of the aforementioned. But even I buy many things made in China. In addition, I am concerned about the deflation China is spreading around the world. This might be good for the consumer but bad for everything else. I will always worry wrt to China. I think they truly are the sleeping giant. Mostly because they are NOT a democracy. Furthermore, I realize we have to do business with these guys but I'll be damned if I'll trust 'em! Let me say that I am a pro business guy. But I am a just suspicious that these people will be "westernized". As for the impact on the US worker. Well I guess the chasm will grow wider between the haves' and have nots'. Is that good? I don't think so. Geez, I actually sound like a liberal here. My thoughts are evolving on this issue. I suppose I see the glass as half empty and you see it as half full. I am sure this is not the last we'll hear on this subject. Pace.
OT: pace, China:
Post 43963 by maniati Reply
lk: In answer to your question, the basic idea is this: The discount rate is the rate at which banks can borrow from the Fed. The lower the rates, the cheaper it is for banks to finance their reserve deficiencies. That encourages banks to loan out their reserves, and that results in a multiplicative increase in the money supply. Then, an increase in the money supply results in lower interest rates in the financial markets. That, in turn, stimulates demand by lowering the cost of business investment and consumer credit. If you do that when the economy is near full employment, then the excess demand translates into higher prices - a.k.a. "inflation."
That might seem like a long causal chain, but, despite all that economists fail to agree on, you won't find many who disagree with that. Whether those effects are long-term or short-term, how the Fed should make use of them, and whether the Fed should do anything at all are issues that are subject to intense debate. But the basic underlying causality is pretty-widely agreed upon. Also, I think that causal chain explains why simply increasing the money supply through open market sales/purchases is more direct, as I mentioned in my last post; discount rates have no effect unless and until the banks choose to use the discount window, but nothing forces them to do that, whereas open market operations have a clear, direct effect on the money supply.
Now, if you think that there's more room to cut because there's idle capacity and slightly elevated unemployment, you will get some people to agree with you and some will disagree. But, that's not my point. My point is: if you believe that, then that is a reason to cut rates regardless of what happens to the price of oil. If you believe rates should be cut, based on my explanation above, then it would make sense to cut rates right now, even if there is no change in the price of oil later. Remember how this started: you brought up the possibility of an oil price increase as a justification for the Fed's cutting rates, and my point was that that, by itself, is not a very good reason to cut rates.
If your point was simply that we should cut rates now because the economy needs it now, and you left oil and war out of it, then I would probably not take issue with you. I might disagree, but probably not enough to want to debate the issue at length. That would simply be a difference of opinion between you and the Fed, and I would have no particular interest in getting in the middle of it. :-) The Fed is perfectly capable of making mistakes, and it's not as though I'm predisposed to defending them.
I'm only taking issue with you because I think your analysis is failing to distinguish between demand-pull and exogenous cost-push inflation, so I'm trying to address that. But, you won't typically see me debating simply whether a particular rate should be 1/4 point higher or lower. That, to me, is just not worth arguing about. But, as for knowing how the mechanism works, that, to me, is important.
BTW, getting back to the Fed making mistakes, I should point out that there was a second part to my predictions back in August. I predicted that, after holding rates steady in November, we would see more bad news, and the Fed would eventually cut rates, and then they would be crucified for not having cut them sooner! Now, is that funny, or what? I laugh as I write this, because it all seems so silly at times. You gotta have a sense of humor about it. :-)
Post 43964 by goboyone60 Reply
Coming to a nasdaq near you.....Have a great day.
Tuesday, October 22, 2002
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal
Wynn changes offering
Move calls for more shares, lower prices
By JEFF SIMPSON
In a last-minute move, Strip developer Steve Wynn has changed his IPO's terms, a move insiders see as a concession to ensure the planned public sale of $450 million in Wynn Resorts stock.
Instead of an initial public offering of 20.45 million shares at $21 to $23 a share, the company is now prepared to sell 23.68 million shares at $18 to $20 apiece, Deutsche Bank Securities told Dow Jones on Monday.
"You only reduce the price if you have to, so there was obviously resistance at $22," said a Wall Street source who spoke on condition of anonymity. "But even at $18, this is a triumph for Wynn in this crummy IPO market."
The change would increase the equity stake of IPO buyers and reduce the equity stake of Wynn and his Japanese investor, Kazuo Okada.
Wynn, Okada and other Wynn Resorts insiders collectively own all 40 million shares of the company, with Wynn and Okada each owning just less than 19 million each.
The IPO was originally structured so that the Wynn and Okada would each end up with 31.4 percent of Wynn Resorts stock. After adding the extra shares to be sold in the IPO, the duo would each control only 29.8 percent.
The IPO would sell 37.2 percent of the company's shares, up from 33.8 percent.
Underwriters are hoping to bring the offering after the close of trading today, with initial trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market expected Wednesday under the symbol "WYNN."
Wall Street sources have said Wynn's received a good response from institutional investors who have heard his pitch during the company's IPO road show, but also say there is a lot of skepticism about the value of the stock.
"A lot of people can say whatever they want, but he's going to sell the stock and there will be plenty of people willing to take a chance on Steve Wynn," said a knowledgable casino-industry executive who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Anyone who's bet against Steve Wynn isn't worth a nickel."
About $374 million of the $450 million raised by the public offering would be spent to build the $1.85 billion Le Reve; another $40 million would go toward development of a casino resort in Macau.
The $374 million would be augmented by a $340 million second mortgage on Le Reve's Desert Inn site, and would provide a significant part of the money Wynn Resorts would use to build Le Reve. The company also plans to borrow $1 billion from a financing consortium that includes: Deutsche Bank Securities; Bear, Stearns & Co.; Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and Banc of America Securities.
The $1 billion includes a $750 million revolving loan and a $250 million secondary revolving loan, money Wynn Resorts doesn't expect to begin borrowing until late 2003.
Dow Jones contributed to this report.
Post 43965 by lkorrow Reply
Pace, jbennet, re: China
You pegged it, Pace, Business Week 10/28 is a MUST read. Cover Story, China. The story illustrates my concern that their economy is rising, while ours is slowing or flattening out. They are handling their relative poverty and raising the standard of living through rapid development and a one-child per family policy. At some point, they will not need any external markets or many imports. They're playing ball now only to get expertise. I know one company that had talks and bailed because they just wanted to learn their business.
High Tech in China: Is it a threat to Silicon Valley?
Sidebar: Why China is spooking Silicon Valley:
- Precedents. Chinese manufacturers have successfully made the leap from electronics toys to chips, telecom, and software.
- Silicon. Their progress has been especially rapid in semiconductors, which are the building blocks for all other tech products.
- Partnerships. To play in China's huge domestic market, Western companies must partner with Chinese players, speeding their advance up the tech ladder
- Human Capital. China boasts a huge pool of bright techies who work at a fraction of what their counterparts in Silicon Valley are paid.
- Spirit. Shanghai, in particularm boasts entrepreneurial energy, fine universities, and increasingly, an international climate -- just like the Valley.
Some bullets on China's milestones in science and technology:
- Chinese universities granted 465,000 science and engineering degrees last year--approaching the total for the U.S.
- There are plans to crank out chips from seven new semiconductor plants by 2004, putting China on track to be the world's second-largest chip producer.
- A team at the Beijing Genomics Institute was among the first of several scientific teams to decode the rice genome, landing on the cover of the journal Science.
- Two homegrown vendors of network switches, Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp., have opened offices in the U.S. and Europe and snatched contracts from the likes of Cisco Systems (CSCO ) and Nortel Networks (NT ).
- China has been launching satellites for years and intends to begin manned space missions next year.
The Well-Heeled Upstart on Cisco's Tail
The campus of Huawei Technologies Co. in Shenzhen, just over the border from Hong Kong . . .
Cisco has cause to worry. "In the current economic climate, many buyers are very constrained in their spending," says Chris Barnard, a networking analyst with IDC in Amsterdam. That already has opened doors in Europe, where Huawei's prices undercut Cisco's by as much as 40%. . . .
In Britain, Huawei has made converts of distributors such as Access Network Services (ANS). One draw: Huawei's low prices let distributors make 40% profit margins on a sale, compared with just 5% to 10% on equivalent Cisco gear. . . .
What's more, the Chinese devices look and function just like Cisco's. "We were impressed by the ability of a Cisco-trained engineer to take a Huawei product out of the box and use it," says ANS Marketing Manager Richard Eglon. . . .
Cisco is making rapid strides in the China market and can't afford to anger its hosts. In September, Shanghai Telecom picked Cisco to help with a big expansion of its citywide broadband services. And in October, China Telecom announced plans to use Cisco routers as it expands its northern ChinaNet Internet backbone. . . .
Indeed, innovation tops Huawei's agenda: It spent $342 million on research and development last year. That's just one-tenth what Cisco spent, but Huawei's budget will grow over time. . . .
On the political front, Huawei's murky heritage could hinder its overseas push. Analysts say Huawei maintains ties to the Chinese military. Huawei denies that, as it denies reports it has done work for the Taliban and Saddam Hussein.
Post 43966 by lkorrow Reply
Thanks, maniati. I don't believe oil prices will be that much of an issue with our reserves, new supply coming online, etc. Maybe some action, but nothing sustainable unless more is going on than Iraq. That does not change my view that we need to get to non-nuclear renewable energy going, asap, though. :-)
p. s. it was clo, not me, who inquired about the Fed possibly saving any future cuts to balance the rise in oil costs. I do not think this would be a strategy, but could be an effect.
Heh, I don't think your August prediction is funny, it could very well happen. Maybe that's why you're joking about it, but it's plausible, unfortnately.
OT: One of the consequences of sticking your head
Post 43968 by maniati Reply
lk: I DO think it's funny, however that IS what I'm predicting. Seriously. :-)
Post 43969 by jeffbas Reply
maniati, I did not want rates cut before the election. In my opinion, the stock market would have dropped sharply on a rate cut and possibly had its washout. The timing could not have been worse for the Republicans.
OT: decomp, pretty good day on VSE. (eom)
Post 43971 by Arkural Reply
Aside-IC chips bring digital quality to conventional radios
"...The Motorola system represents an early example of a new class of what the electronics industry calls software or software-defined radios, a technology that derives tremendous flexibility by using digital code in place of fixed hardware to accomplish functional tasks. This algorithmic approach to radio was originally applied to military communications systems.."
OT -OT Attack On Internet Called Largest Ever
Post 43973 by SummerOne Reply
So, the largest attack ever and the average user noticed nothing? What's your guess? Sounds more like hackers messing around than terrorists to me.
(Voluntary Disclosure: Position- Long)
ot: VSE, nacl01,
Post 43975 by SummerOne Reply
Sorry! wrong board! eom
ot: SummerOne, Internet Attack
Post 43977 by SummerOne Reply
It's what the "experts" said...
"Despite the scale of the attack, which lasted about an hour, Internet users worldwide were largely unaffected, experts said."
"There are various kinds of attacks all the time on all sorts of infrastructure, and the basic design of the Internet is such that it is designed to withstand those attacks," said ICANN Vice President Louis Touton. "We're not aware of any users that were in any way affected."
Were you aware?
OT: Decomposed - an aside...
Post 43979 by uponroof Reply
pace...China's microchip missionary?
pace- This reply dovetails with your points about Chinese societal concerns. BTW- excellent posts sir! If I have not complimented you of late, allow me to do so now. Short, sweet, to the point (opinionated) and loaded with information. I am soooooo busy I cannot get deep and appreciate condensed thoughts. Thanks.
One aspect of this Chinese business invasion is brought out in this last report by the LA Times. China is fertile ground for much more than labor. Not sure if I agree with mixing evangelism with exploitation (Ha!)...sort of reminds me of Cortez, and opens the door to accusations of hypocracy....but....BUT.....it is a golden opportunity as China's old guard extends the red carpet to western business. Why not piggy back reaching souls for Christ as part of the program? What a frontier! Human rights could only benefit. It will be very interesting to see how this all plays out, and to what extent our business dealings also usher in faith based pricncipals.
China's Next Challenge: Mastering the Microchip
Seeking to enter the top tier of industrial powers, the country is on a crash program to compete in semiconductor work.
By Evelyn Iritani, Times Staff Writer
Last of three parts
SHANGHAI -- Richard Chang, a devout Christian raised in Taiwan and educated in the United States, has opened a $1.6-billion semiconductor factory here and plans to build a church for his 3,000 employees.
Chinese officials have displayed a cool, some would say hostile, attitude toward foreign religions. But they have put out the welcome mat for Chang because they desperately need his expertise.
This communist nation has embraced capitalism and become a manufacturing power, exporting toys, appliances and other products to every corner of the globe. Now, government officials want China to compete in a far more challenging arena: the making of semiconductors, the silicon chips that power everything from cell phones to missile guidance systems.
The semiconductor is one of the sophisticated, high-value products that form the cornerstone of an advanced economy. Chinese officials believe that mastery of the 250-step production process for the chips will teach factory managers and engineers the skills needed to lift China into the top tier of industrial powers.
With the single-minded determination it once focused on ideological crusades, the government has embarked on a crash program to develop a world-class semiconductor industry, using tax breaks, free land and other incentives to attract foreign companies and know-how.
Though primitive by the standards of the United States, Japan or Taiwan, Chinese chip making has taken a big step in the last few years.
A recent report by the U.S. General Accounting Office said several of China's factories, using foreign capital and technology, are one "generation" or less behind the world's leading semiconductor makers. Chip technology undergoes a significant advance, entering a new generation, every two years.
Chinese leaders are counting on foreign technology experts such as Chang to help them make the next leap.
Under tight security in a cavernous building in Shanghai's Pudong district, employees of Chang's Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. work in sterile "clean rooms," producing silicon chips with circuits as narrow as 0.18 micron, barely one-thousandth the diameter of a human hair.
The factory, among the most advanced in China, makes semiconductors for companies in Japan, the U.S. and Europe. The chips are packaged and sold under those firms' brand names and delivered to customers in China, which put them in a variety of electronic products.
"Because of our proximity, it is easy for us to penetrate the China market," said Chang, a 53-year-old engineer who is the company's president and chief executive. "We are not the price leader, but we offer better services in China. And performance-wise, we are first-rate."
China produced $900 million worth of semiconductors in 2000, compared with $11 billion for Taiwan. But it is not only in volume that China lags behind the industry leaders. Sophisticated factories such as Chang's are rare. Nearly all the chips made here are of the rudimentary kind used in microwave ovens and televisions — "trailing-edge" technology, as it is known in the industry.
China does not make enough even of these comparatively primitive chips to meet the demands of its factories, whose consumption of semiconductors is growing 30% a year. The country imports 85% of its chips.
"Semiconductors are the key to the information technology industry," said Yu Zhongyu, president of the China Semiconductor Industry Assn. "If we want to develop further, we need to have this skill."
Just a few years ago, China's prospects in this high-tech realm seemed poor.
The United States restricted Chinese access to the most advanced American semiconductor technology out of concern that it might be put to military use. Air and water pollution made it hard to create the sterile environment needed for chip manufacturing. Skilled technicians and managers were in short supply, a legacy of the late-1960s Cultural Revolution and its purges of intellectuals.
China also lacked the necessary investment capital. Building a semiconductor factory, or "fab," involves huge start-up costs — more than $1 billion in equipment alone.
To develop a globally competitive industry, China needed foreign capital and talent. In 1995, the government set out to get both with Project 909, a five-year plan with ambitious goals for building chip plants and developing technical expertise.
China lowered barriers to foreign investment and set up high-tech zones offering free land and tax holidays. To encourage Chinese factories to use chips made in China, the government imposed a 17% tax on imported semiconductors and charged just 3% for those produced domestically.
Chip makers from Japan and later Taiwan began setting up production facilities in China. Initially, they had to export most of their output, so home-grown enterprises would be protected from competition. But the government gradually permitted foreign-invested factories to sell more of their semiconductors in China. That attracted more foreign firms.
Today, Motorola Inc. operates a giant semiconductor plant and a test and assembly facility in Tianjin, a port city southeast of Beijing. Even as it slashes jobs in other countries, Motorola has announced plans to spend $6.6 billion over the next five years in China, building at least 10 more semiconductor wafer fabrication plants.
"Everybody is making a b
Post 43980 by uponroof Reply
"...No, not Warren, his father, the honorable Howard Buffett. On the eve of our current international predicament, it could be appropriate to take a trip down memory lane:
"Because of our economic strength, the paper money disease here may take many years to run its course. But we can be approaching the critical stage. When that day arrives, our political rulers will probably find that foreign war and ruthless regimentation is the cunning alternative to domestic strife. That was the way out for the paper-money economy of Hitler and others. Those elements here and abroad who are getting rich from the continued American inflation will oppose a return to sound money. You must be prepared to meet their opposition intelligently and vigorously. They have had 15 years of unbroken victory. But, unless you are willing to surrender your children and your country to galloping inflation, war and slavery, then this cause demands your support. For if human liberty is to survive in America, we must win the battle to restore honest money" - Human Freedom Rests on Gold Redeemable Money, reprinted from the Commercial and Financial Chronicle May 6, 1948, by Congressman Howard Buffett
That was about a generation ago. We've already passed that critical stage once when it led to dollar devaluation and war in the seventies, 25 years later. What a forecast. Look how right Bush is making that (underlined) statement again today, another quarter of a century after the last dollar devaluation..."
From Ed Bugos / The Goldenbar Report
OT: maniati, I had no doubt that you were serious
Post 43982 by uponroof Reply
R. Russell 'Must reads' on gold:
Stocks and Gold
"...Russell has repeatedly said that gold is in the early stages of a historic bull market. But over the weekend he wrote this: "I doubt very much [that] gold is going to fare well if this rally in the stock market gets rolling..."
Richard Russell on the Markets / October 23, 2002:
"...GOLD - I'm going to start this Letter with two very important charts. The first is a Point & Figure chart of gold going back to 1999. What I want to point to is this huge "head-and-shoulders" bottom formation. This is not just any old formation; it's a HUGE formation. As I see it, this is a picture of accumulation. It's a picture of patience, of watchful waiting. At what point would this chart turn clearly bullish? It would turn bullish if or when gold breaks out above 330.
When might that happen? Frankly, I don't know nor does anyone else know. But the accumulation is there; the base formation is there. The chart is "telling us" that somewhere ahead gold is going to move up and break out above 330. In the meantime, it's accumulation time for gold and gold shares.
Gold and the S&P - Here's the secret that the anti-gold crowd doesn't want you to know about. It's a monthly chart showing gold divided by the S&P. In September 2000 this ratio turned up in favor of gold. In August 2001 the ratio broke up above its 50-month moving average. The chart is telling us that gold, the metal, has outperformed stocks (the S&P) for the last two years. And as you can see on the chart, this situation is accelerating.
Post 43983 by lkorrow Reply
TRADE GAP WIDENS 10 PCT. TO RECORD LEVEL
The U.S. trade gap jumped nearly 10 percent in August to a record $38.46 billion, as exports fell for the first time in six months and demand for foreign consumer goods pushed imports to their highest level since March 2001, the government said on Friday. . . The sharp increase in the deficit renewed analyst concerns that it could eventually
trigger a sharp drop in the dollar, although there was little initial reaction in currency markets as traders focused on stocks instead.
Post 43984 by lkorrow Reply
Pension funds back in the news. Maniati, is this what you were anticipating?
Company Pension Funds Hit by Shortfalls
A recent study by Credit Suisse First Boston estimates that of the 360 companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index that have pension plans, 325 will have shortfalls by year end. Only 33 will be overfunded. The airline and automobile industries will be hit hardest, said David Zion, the study's author.
Zion said the companies in the broad-based index will face a total pension shortfall of $240 billion by the end of the year -- about the gross domestic product of Hungary.
The pension fund troubles have also raised the specter of debt downgrades, which will put additional pressure on profits by raising borrowing costs.
Full story: http://news.corporate.findlaw.com/business/s/20021020/financialpensiondc.html