Doha Deadlock

Can you convince a Lubbock, Texas cotton farmer (or his Congressman) to forgo his (maybe $150,000) cotton subsidy? Probably not. After all, these U.S. government payments let him profitably compete in…

"Buy Australian?"

In Australia, concerned about the impact of twin disasters in Queensland this summer, Australia is saying, “Buy Australian.”  But they just faced an unexpected problem. The T-shirts t…

The Missing Sensor

According to one estimate, worldwide auto production could slide by 30% because Hitachi Automotive’s Sawa Ibaraki Prefecture plant was debilitated by Japan’s earthquake and tsunami. Hitach…

When is 60 a Good Grade?

At 60.8 percent, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) measure of manufacturing activity was way up, far more than anyone expected. Reflecting expansion, any number above 50 is good. So ro…

Big Boxes

What we ship things in makes a difference. Take the banana, for example. In 1876, at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, the banana was a delicacy (and very black). Millions of bunches could only …

Supership Problems

When is a supership a problem? When the water is not deep enough or the Bayonne Bridge is not high enough. To understand the Bayonne Bridge problem (and care about the answer), we have to look back to…

Free Trade

KORUS has been in the news. The Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, negotiated in 2007 but not ratified by Congress, was in trouble. One reason was Ford. With a 1% share of the South Korean car market, U…

Cotton and Crocodiles

A Malaysian proverb tells us, “Don’t think there are no crocodiles because the water is calm.” Looking at cotton markets, perhaps we should remember the crocodiles. According to The …

Trash and Trade

A WSJ article tells us “Memo to All Staff: Dump Your Trash.” But should they?According to the article, Texas state workers, Phoenix city workers, and Dartmouth college professors have all …

More Than Chicken Feet

Chicken feet are back in the news. But the story is about much more. A delicacy in China, chicken feet are a perfect U.S. export. Except for animal feed, there is little demand for them in the U.S. By…

©2016 econlife. All rights reserved.