Voestalpine, an Austrian steelmaker with 46,000 employees, saw its revenues decline by 4% last year. It blamed the “cooling down of the global economy,” and “dwindling momentum in Asia (especially China).” Now it’s under pressure to cut costs. Hence offshoring to cheap countries! China or Indonesia? Nope.
Contributed by Christina Macpherson: According to the nuclear industry, the real hurdle to developing nuclear power isn’t cancer, birth defects, genetic instability, risks of nuclear accidents…. It’s simply overcoming the fear of radiation.
Abenomics has its detractors – in peculiar places – and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe must be experiencing some interesting pillow talk. His wife has attacked one of the major components of his economic policies, the nuclear power industry.
“Yes, the industry is in collapse mode, but it is not all bad, it is just a healthy shakeup needed in a maturing industry,” an insider wrote in an email. Then he offered what he called “a slightly less gloomy take on the industry and with 50% more silver lining as well.”
The solar-panel price war waged by state-subsidized Chinese companies killed a slew of manufacturers worldwide. Now, much of solar-panel manufacturing takes place in China. To stay alive, they cut costs – and corners. Defects are ballooning. And “cheap” solar panels suddenly get very expensive. A cruel twist for an already threatened industry.
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.
It was announced Friday afternoon, when no one was supposed to pay attention: after years of controversy, heated rhetoric, intense lobbying, and stiff opposition from some unlikely bedfellows, the Obama Administration decided in favor of the US oil and gas industry. With major geopolitical impact.
Contributed by Casey Research: The last time Vladimir Putin was president, he laid the foundation to pull Mother Russia from the wreck of economic chaos to a world power once again. This time, he’s ready to extend that influence to counter the West. His tools: Russia’s abundant resources of energy, including uranium.
Where German industrial companies plan to invest: a slew of losers out there, including Germany. But one country stands out … and the reasons why!
Bubbles are a funny thing. Participants don’t see them. Outsiders shake their heads, then get sucked in themselves. Central banks create them but deny their existence. Money piles in on top of money. Risks no longer exist. Result: mayhem, capital destruction, devastation of the industry…. and a new beginning for the lucky ones. Take natural gas.