Showing posts with label WSJ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WSJ. Show all posts

Sunday, February 28, 2016


Short for British Exit From EU. The Brits have set 23 June as the date for a nationwide referendum on pulling out of the EU.  British bookies are offering 2:1 odds that Brexit will happen. The Conservative party prime minister will campaign to keep Britain in.  He cannot get all the senior conservatives to support him. Heavy duty Conservatives like the mayor of London and the justice minister are in favor of getting out and have said so publicly.
   Prime Minister Cameron went to Brussels, dickered, and came back with some concessions from the EU. Britain will be able to refuse to pay welfare to new immigrants until they have been in Britain for four years.  There will be some poorly understood restrictions on immigration to Britain.  It probably ain't enough.  The Brits fear being overrun by foreigners and resent EU regulations on just about everything.
   Problem for Her Majesty's Government.  About one third of British exports go to the EU.  Right now they go duty free since Britain is currently an EU member.  If Britain pulls out, that stops and British exports to the EU will face full EU tariffs.  Which means the end of that huge export market.  The EU has 10% unemployment, which means plenty of EU suppliers who would be so pleased to pick up all the Brit's business after EU tariffs made the Brits noncompetitive.
   I did see one clueless letter to the editor in the WSJ claiming that it ain't so, Britain could pull out and still enjoy EU tariff preferences.  I don't believe that.
   The Economist is clearly concerned, they see economic disaster, of the lights go out and everybody starves to death sort.  They also checked with the bookies for odds.  I think the Economist is onto something.  Where do you go to replace one third of your export business?   Canada?  Australia?  the US?  Would we let them join NAFTA?
   Britain is the second largest economy in the EU.  If they pull out it will make the job of keeping the EU from falling apart harder.  Actually, the EU has come a long way since 1945, they have passport-and-customs free travel between most EU countries, they have a single currency, they have EU wide regulations of things like food purity and labeling, electrical safety standards,building codes.  They have a ways to go to become a United States of Europe, they have no EU wide foreign policy or armed forces, and the EU government in Brussels lacks a lot of powers that the US constitution gives to Washington.
   I wish the Brits every kind of luck.  They are gonna need it. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

" The US Economy is in Good Shape"?

Oh Really?  Thus sayeth a Wall St Journal Op-Ed.  By Martin Feldstein.  I've heard of him, although I cannot place him just sitting there.  The WSJ  calls  him Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Reagan.  That sounds good, he has been around for a good long while and he worked in a rational Republican administration.  It goes on to call him a professor at Harvard University.  Uh-oh, downcheck, he hangs out with Harvard lefties. 
   Martin starts off by cherry picking the good economic stats, and doesn't say anything about GNP growth of a measly 0.7% last quarter.  He gives a glass half full summary. 
   If this economy is in such good shape why did youngest son have to go all the way to North Dakota to find work?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Extraordinarily ugly fashion ad.

The Saturday WSJ comes in extra thick, due to a huge slick paper fashion magazine tucked inside.  It's 3/8 inch thick and weighs about a pound.  Hefty it is.  Back cover has a really truly ugly ad.  The model is one of those rail thin stick figures.  She is modeling a skirt suit, jacket plus mini skirt, made from a "super tweed" synthetic fabric in brown and black, extra nubbly.  Her face is OK but her expression  is off putting.  Her stance is weird, and awkward.  She has her legs spread wide, and her hands are clasped in front of her crotch. And she is wearing black combat boots.  And her handbag is a cartoon.   Louis Vuitton "Series 3"
   What sort of woman would buy that outfit, let alone appear in public wearing it?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Filling Steve Jobs' shoes at Apple

Wall St Journal ran a nice long piece about Apple's new president, Tim Cook.  Needless to say, Mr. Cook is having a spot of bother filling in for Steve Jobs.  According to the Journal, Tim is cutting the mustard, but it's hard work.  They go on to talk about management styles, clothing styles, hair styles, and other fluff 'n stuff.
It is a full page piece, with photographs. 
   Not once does the Journal talk about how Jobs built Apple into what it is today.  Jobs could envision a new product, get it designed, get it into production, get it out to market.  And Jobs' products sold, like hot cakes.  Apple II, Macintosh, Ipod, Iphone, Ipad,  every one of them was new, nothing like it on the market, priced right, low enough to sell, high enough to turn a profit.  Good styling.  The right functions.  Not since Thomas Edison has one man  put out so many brand new products. 
    The real question us readers have, is "Can Tim Cook bring another successful new Apple product to market?"  This Journal piece didn't even attempt to answer that question.