African Notes

If you were asked to select the world’s fastest growing economies, maybe you would place China at the top of your list.  This Economist Daily Chart sums it all up. 6 of the world’s fastest growing economies, 2001-2010, are located…

Should We Buy American?

How to diminish unemployment? The NY Times tells us about a Montana general contractor who plans to use only American-made goods for building his homes. Explaining, he said,  “I think we could solve this recession if everyone shifted just 5%…

Emerging Economies

The world is shifting. More than one-half of the world’s car sales, mobile phone subscriptions and oil, copper and steel purchases came from emerging markets during 2010. Here you can see the same story through these export and import, global…

Made in the USA

According to USA Today, “The two ‘most American’ cars are Japanese.” Cars.com has an American-Made Index. Ranking vehicles by sales, where they are made, and the origin of their parts, they concluded that the Toyota Camry is the most American…

Where Did Your Tuna Fish Come From?

The tuna you had for lunch might have been caught in the Pacific, processed and canned in Thailand, and flown to a Wal-Mart warehouse in the U.S. Concerned about monitoring quality, a recent report from the Food and Drug Administration…

“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 they are using to publicize the campaign were made in Bangladesh and the…

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 robust a number takes us to a question. If production…

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 August 1914…

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 been told to take out the trash. Texas, as a…

Common Markets

Kenyan coffee exporters have a problem at the Tanzanian border. “On the Kenyan side they operate 24 hours a day, but on the Tanzanian side it’s 12 …We have had drivers standing at the border for 4 days. These things…