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The new frugal and greener consumer

Trendwatching.com, an Amsterdam-based consumer trends analysing service, has included something called Econcierge in its outlook for 2009.

This involves a new breed of less conspicuous consumers, straitened by the credit crisis or maybe feeling guilty for the wallops of cash …

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Will the US dinosaurs ever learn?

The dinosaurs are back……

The new “green team” appointed by president-elect Barack Obama might, after all, turn out to be a dream team for the US chemicals industry. This is despite what some of the old disonaurs within the industry …

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How hopeless is your company?

I was working with a chemicals consultant last month in India who gave me this priceless description of the true nature of a company:

“A company is a collection self-interested individuals who just occasionally — and purely randomly – carry …

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Waiting for the dead cat to bounce

Is my colleague in London a cat lover? I am, but did not take offence at the analogy.

If I knew when chemicals prices were going to rebound, I would tell you – but only for some hefty fees.

By …

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In search of corporate paradise

As business slows down everywhere and we have more time to brood, frustrations will build at imagined or real inefficiencies – and at the sometimes remote people at the top who hold our lives in their hands.

The grass will …

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He’s behind you…the evil banker


Yes, a great story in The Daily Telegraph describes how bankers are being written into Christmas pantomimes in the UK as villains. Their reputation has fallen almost as low as that of marketing executives.

But the few bankers that …

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The “Minsky moment” for petrochemicals

Paul Hodges, my good friend and colleague in his excellent Chemicals & The Economy blog describes the “Minsky moment” for the global economy, when deleveraging accelerates. Hyman Minsky, the famous old economist, described how long periods of stability were followed …

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Obama’s impact on Asian petchems

For many years, many an Asian country has wanted a petrochemical industry as much as car or a textile industry.

Some of those countries have pursued investment even though their competitive advantages in petrochemicals have been somewhat dubious.

Singapore can …

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Inspired leaders needed – apply here

We need great leaders in the current crisis.

Below is the kind of speech I’d like to hear from my CEO – delivered in person – if I worked for a chemicals company.

Everything that now follows is fiction and …

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I will wait for this Lego truck to hit S$100

Yes, that’s my target for the truck above, which is actually for 4-11 year olds and my son is only 22 months – but what the hell, don’t we all deserve a second or, in my case probably a tenth …

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