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Short-term gain could equal long-term pain

In the depths of the Asian financial crisis an American industry executive said, “I don’t know why Korea has a petrochemical industry. It should be just shut down.”

There were also widespread complaints over “soft” government-directed loans that supported Asian …

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I don’t want to gloat but I told you so….

It looks like olefins and aromatics prices are on the retreat in Asia as I predicted earlier this month.

I only feel slightly smug because it seems obvious that naphtha was a big driver – and that markets were being …

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Go to the bottom of the class and stay there

A recent briefing by The Economist Intelligence Unit warned that because of the mess the West has made of the world economy, managers in Asia might face unrealistic targets.

Does this sound familiar? All answers will be treated in the …

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How to make money in a downturn Part 1

Herein begins an occasional series where I offer advice on how to make a little cash.

By the way, is it me or do I get the sense that a lot companies haven’t woken up to the severity of the …

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It’s tough at the top…….

It’s easy to take pot shots at the boss, and everyone of course feels they have been underpromoted and could do the job better themselves. Andrew Liveris is just the latest in a long line of CEOs to experience both …

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Chem engineers back with avengeance

At the moment, a shell-shocked chemicals industry is still recovering from the impact of destocking following the huge inventory write downs in Q4.

The next step will be to measure the state of genuine, end-user demand and how this compares …

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The dead cat has bounced. Now what?

OK, this blog is supposed to focus on the long term, but in line with just about everybody else, all I can think about is the immediate and my collapsing share portfolio and the value of my home.

As a …

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The demise of private equity

I am reading Charles R Morris’s The Triillion Dollar Meltdown at the moment, having also recently cheered myself up with Paul Krugman’s update of his classic, The Return Of Depression Economics.

As the private equity model implodes, Morris’s following words …

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Any spare change, Mister?

It’s all about hoarding cash over the next few years, but survival might not even be possible for even the best managed of companies if Martin Wolf’s worst-case scenario comes true. The Financial Times columnist writes of the unravelling of …

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It’s fun to be miserable….

To quote Woody Allen, “More than any time in history mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”

It’s refreshing …

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