Tag Archives | economy

David Byrne leaves Shell

I was shocked to hear that my old friend David Byrne had been made redundant from Shell. I knew him as Shell’s styrene business manager when I used to report on the European styrene market, but the job which has been cut is that of Manager, Operations Excellence, based in Houston.   Canadian national David becomes […]

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Dubai jokes

Dubai is a popular destination for western petrochemical people who want to visit the Middle East but stay within their comfort zone.   It is often referred to as Middle East-lite, in the same way that Singapore is Asia-lite, Capetown is Africa-lite and Buenos Aires is South America-lite.   The Dubai debt crisis is unlikely […]

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Late night Chemicals and the Economy

Economic guru Paul Hodges would never be so vain as to put a photo of himself on his esteemed blog. So for readers who occasionally flip across to Chemicals and the Economy and were concerned that they were taking economic advice from a cartoon character, here he is at the EPCA opening reception, deep in discussion about […]

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Hundreds of ships idling in the misty Strait of Malacca

The Blog’s eye is drawn this morning to a very atmospheric photo on the front page of today’s International Herald Tribune showing some of the hundreds of ships – “more than the 130-ship Spanish Armada” - in the Strait of Malacca between Indonesia and Singapore, where they are waiting for jobs during the slowdown.  

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Corporate life: How to Tie a Tie

How comforting it is to read that in these days of economic crisis, the most frequently asked question on Google’s “How to” is “How to tie a tie?”   Not “How do I find a new job?” or “How do I get rid of these worthless shares?”   The question of tie-tieing leads to this informative […]

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Global financial crisis jokes

As the crisis deepens and chemical markets tumble, the jokes are circulating on yahoo messenger to get the industry through a Friday afternoon.   1 Japanese joke   You think things are bad in the USA, but have you heard about the crisis in Japan? Apparently Origami Bank has folded, Sumo Bank has gone belly up and Bonsai […]

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Made in China

My recent week’s holiday gave me the chance to sit on the sofa and watch the Olympic Games in Beijing and enjoy all those sports we watch only once every four years: judo, archery, canoeing, Greco-Roman wrestling to name but a few. What occurred to me during the media coverage was the naivety towards China and how it’s viewed as a developing, much-to-learn nation.

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To chemical conferences via Cambodia

Arch-blogger and long-time conference chairman, Paul Hodges, tells this Blog today that he and his lovely wife Oonagh will be doing a little private travelling in Cambodia in the next couple of weeks on the way to the ICIS Asian Aromatics Conference. In taking this less-travelled path to a major petrochemicals conference, he is following in the Blog’s own intrepid footsteps. Also in the footsteps of other chemical industry folk, like Ashok, Ben and Michelle, who somehow managed to take in Angkor Wat on the way to a business event. I’m not sure that five people constitute a trend, but where we have led, others are sure to follow.

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Hemlines bring good and bad news for the economy

tortuous connections between pictures of gorgeous girls and economic trends. The FT’s demographic can’t switch off from business even while reading about designer fashion, so against shots of catwalk models you can read about hemlines being linked to the health of markets. One designer’s fondness for separates and jumpsuits indicated a desire to “buckle up, batten down and hibernate for the duration (of a recession)”. Elsewhere, “as the Dow Jones industrial average dropped … Chanel’s skirt lengths dropped – all the way to the ankles.”

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