Archive | January, 2013

Consols Jan13.png

UK bond yields return to historical levels

Are you worried about the future direction of interest rates, and what they may mean for your pension, your family and your company? Then the chart above, showing 300 years of UK government bond yields, may just be helpful. It will probably also surprise you, as it contradicts the opinions of most ‘expert commentators’. These […]

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US autosa Jan13.png

“Cheap, convenient mobility” the new trend for US auto markets

The US auto market seems to be at the start of a 3rd period of major change since 1950. As the chart above shows, sales have still not recovered to 1995-2007 levels. Equally, the key drivers behind the earlier two phases of development seem to be unwinding: • Post-war boom. Annual sales rose steadily until […]

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iPhone Jan13.png

Chinese buy $100 smartphones, not iPhones

One of the great myths of recent years has been that China – whose population mainly earns less than $10/day – has somehow become ‘middle class’. It is certainly true that some of China’s 1.3bn population have done well since the economy reopened to the world after Mao. And equally true that the house price […]

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Policy makers reach the fork in the road, again

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both” These lines by famous American poet Robert Frost provide a good description of the critical cross-roads now being approached for the 3rd time since June 2008, as the impact of the QE3 stimulus reduces. Each time previously, policy makers have simply […]

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Japan aims for major devaluation

Some trends play out tactically in days or weeks. Others move more slowly over months and years. These tend to get ignored in the modern world of twitter and 24-hour news cycles. But then, as with the sub-prime collapse in 2008, the future suddenly meets the present. We can see the same pattern underway with […]

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Shanghai Jan13.png

China’s new leadership face house price dilemma

Ms Kay Sun is a 32 year-old administrative assistant in Shanghai, earning $29k/year (Rmb180k). Last month, like many 30-somethings around the world, she put down a deposit on an apartment. But the cost of Ms Sun’s ordinary one-bed apartment was in a different league. It was priced at $460,000 (Rmb2.85m). And as the Wall Street […]

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Shanghai Jan13.png

China’s new leadership face house price dilemma

Ms Kay Sun is a 32 year-old administrative assistant in Shanghai, earning $29k/year (Rmb180k). Last month, like many 30-somethings around the world, she put down a deposit on an apartment. But the cost of Ms Sun’s ordinary one-bed apartment was in a different league. It was priced at $460,000 (Rmb2.85m). And as the Wall Street […]

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Harley Jan13.png

US BabyBoomers buy motorbikes with heated seats

What do you do if your core customers disappear? Go bankrupt, or find new ones? That’s the issue facing many companies as the West heads over the ‘demographic cliff’. As the Financial Times reports, iconic motorbike manufacturer Harley Davidson has faced this problem and found new ways to sustain profitable growth: • US Boomers were […]

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Global autos Jan13.png

Combined EU, US, China auto sales edge up 4% in 2012

Autos are now the largest single global market for chemical and polymer sales, after the slowdown in US and European housing. Each US auto is worth $3636 to the industry, according to American Chemistry Council data. Thus the US market was worth a record $52.7bn in 2012, with auto sales totalling nearly 14.5m. Overall, as […]

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Global autos Jan13.png

Combined EU, US, China auto sales edge up 4% in 2012

Autos are now the largest single global market for chemical and polymer sales, after the slowdown in US and European housing. Each US auto is worth $3636 to the industry, according to American Chemistry Council data. Thus the US market was worth a record $52.7bn in 2012, with auto sales totalling nearly 14.5m. Overall, as […]

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