Opportunities Abound in Developing Markets

Earlier this week Louis Chenevert, CEO of United Technologies (UTX), was interviewed at the Paris Air Show. UTX is the manufacturer of the Pratt and Whitney airplane engines as well as the Sikorsky Helicopter. Chenevert was very bullish on the airline industry for the next one to two decades! When pressed on the reasons for … Continued

Your Vantage Point Matters

In order to enhance my grasp of global economic issues, I subscribe to a newsletter service called Stratfor. Many large corporations and government agencies are also subscribers because the company’s analysts are former military or intelligence personnel and their perspectives are often unique and valuable. I consider the owner of Stratfor, George Friedman, to be … Continued

Rise in China’s Aging Population Prompts a Rethink for the US

A recent Wall Street Journal article reported one of many challenges China is facing: fast-growing numbers of elderly people. By 2015 there will be 220 million people older than 60 years old in China, compared with about 180 million today. According to the projections from the National Bureau of Statistics, within 40 years China will … Continued

Freedom of the Seas

Having just returned from a voyage that included a stop at Gibraltar, I was reminded of just how dependent the world is on ocean traffic and the existence of several major, potential choke points, such as Gibraltar, Suez and the Straits of Hormuz. The US, accounting for more than 20% of the world’s goods and … Continued

”Don’t Let Perfect Be the Enemy of Good”

While it is unlikely that Voltaire had fossil fuels in mind when he wrote those words, several hundred years ago, the fit, for the US, is quite compelling. We use and need a lot of energy. We account for approximately 5% of the world’s population but contribute more than 20% of the world’s goods and … Continued

A Friendly Reminder

In view of the recent and well-publicized financial situation in Cyprus, investors may want to recall and consider that well known quotation, “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything you have.” All comments and suggestions are welcome. Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA

Thoughts About Energy – Part II

Last July we blogged about the outlook for energy in general and natural gas more specifically, particularly with regard to the potential for significant exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Now we have Japan’s Prime Minister meeting with our President to seek his support for shale gas imports to Japan. This is going to be … Continued

Pessimistic on Short-term, Optimistic on Long-term

Recently released data showing that the growth in China has slowed is raising concern for its once fast-growing economy. China has long relied on exportsto fuel their growth. Exports generated 31% of GDP in 2011, according to World Bank data, and support an estimated 200 million jobs – around a quarter of the country’s workforce. … Continued

A Barking Dog Won’t Bite

The territorial disputes between China and Japan over a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea have sparked protests in China since last month. The intensity of the dispute increased last week after the Japanese government bought some of the islands from a private Japanese owner. On Sunday, the biggest anti-Japanese protests in … Continued

You Don’t Get Hit By the Bus You See

With the Europeans returning from summer vacation this week, it is likely the problems in Europe will return to the forefront. Sunday’s New York Timesfeatured the following article that discussed various plans American companies are putting into place in the event that Greece is to exit the Euro Zone. Some of these companies have stated … Continued

Evidence from the Field – India’s Power Outage

April 23, 2012: Wall Street Journal headline – “Scandal Spurs Indian Coal Auction” “India is the world’s third-largest producer of coal, after China and the U.S. But it has become increasingly reliant on imports from countries such as Indonesia because of slumping domestic production. This year, demand is expected to outstrip production by about 100 … Continued

Let This Serve as a Reminder

Sadly the early hope for an Arab Spring that would fuel the populous to societies with greater freedoms, including the right to free elections, freedom of speech, freedom of religionand equal rights for women, which would ultimately lead the region to job growth and economic prosperity, now appears to have failed the people and the … Continued