The Economist – Page 6

  • News

    A conference by any other name


    The shipping industry is a strange thing: it struggles to compete with itself. This is true of both the liner and the bulk sectors where, generally, pricing is an open field for jousting and often leads to bloodshed when prices drop below sustainable levels as we have witnessed on a ...

  • The IMF has downgraded the global economy growth forecasts for the second time

    Economic realities continue to bite


    The concept of active government support during economic downturns (Keynesian economics) versus Milton Friedman’s Chicago School favouring monetarism - whereby government did not expand money supply nor support easy credit and tax and spend policies - remain at loggerheads.

  • The sceptical American consumer is still not spending. Credit: Chris Brown

    A three speed world


    The global economy has entered an interesting phase of development where there are no locomotives pulling the rest of the world into prosperity and where we have a mixed bag of economic development not supporting common expansion.

  • The European strategy of austerity needs a rethink

    Pain of austerity gets personal


    The global economy is trying to recover from the Great Recession with varying medicines being applied. The United States, sequestration aside, continues with an expansionary policy supported by the Federal Reserve. Japan’s new Prime Minister, Abe is going all out for government-led expansion and many of the Asian countries are ...

  • Will investment funds move to Asia and Africa at the expense of Europe?

    Tariff war stirs up European tension


    The economics of austerity are impacting the ports and terminals of Europe. Cargo volumes are declining, both in the container and bulk trades. As with the rest of the shipping industry, we are seeing increased price competition as capacity goes up.

  • The world didn't end, it just entered a recession

    End of the world is nigh


    The world did not end on December 21st as the believers in the Mayan calendar believed that it would. So, now the focus should be on economic development and the expectation that growth is inevitable. Consumption is always on an upward path barring a few hiccups aptly named recessions.

  • Rotterdam shipping discounts - panic or market strategy?

    Austerity's long reach


    Travelling through Asia makes one realise how small the world really is. The economic crisis in Europe and the slow recovery in the US are impacting the Asian economies to an extent that the Great Recession did not manage to do.

  • Is there ever a right time to invest?

    The right time to invest


    The market is full of news reports of investments and potential investments being made by terminal operators, ship owners and operators. Can this be true when we are in an environment of declining growth in Europe, slowing economic activity in Asia and flat lining in the US?

  • The economic cornerstones have crumbled. Credit: European Parliament

    Europe is not alone in its economic despair


    Reading the economic press brings no joy; it makes for depressing reading. I am struggling to find signs of growth or optimism as they are both few and far between. It used to be so much simpler.

  • Leaving work behind... Photo K Kapoutsis

    Falling well short of disaster


    The height of the summer vacations are taking their toll across European production and consumption as factories shut down and workers headed for the beaches or mountains.

  • Batten down the hatches - it's going to be a tough 12 months

    Time to batten down the hatches


    The good news is that Greece is not dropping out of the Eurozone immediately as the conservatives have managed to create a government, the first in over 200 days.

  • The global focus of wealth is moving east

    Shifting the centre of gravity


    It can be said that the centre of gravity for shipping has been in Europe for at least the last two centuries. All the great fleets came out of Europe to conquer the world. This extended to the commercial world as well with the liner and bulk carrier fleets primarily ...

  • Defining capacity for ports and carriers

    How long is a piece of string?


    One of the challenges of ports and carriers is how to define their capacity. For container ships we have been introduced to the terms ''nominal'' and ''effective'' capacity as well as ''weighting out'', and on the landside we have all sorts of measures.

  • The industry seems to be more than a little forgetful

    Memory loss the bane of the industry


    If someone suffers from memory loss or senility, then the shipping industry is where to be. The industry bounces from crisis to euphoria and then appears to forget how it got there, but as the events will be repeated every two to four years we do not need much of ...

  • How do Eilat authorities imagine handling in excess of 8,000 teu and more per ship?

    Red-Med railway pipe dream


    The Israeli government has approved the construction of a railway line from the Port of Eilat to the national railway grid, linking it to the Mediterranean ports of Ashdod and Haifa.

  • The economic malaise of the European Union could drag down ports further in 2012. Credit - Xavier Häpe

    A bad dose of post-holiday blues


    Never let it be said that economists are an optimistic bunch; we have a tendency to look for the downside in statistics, looking for reasons to scale things back to suggest that there is worse to come.

  • Why should the East suffer from Western 'illness'?

    Western malaise only mildly infectious


    The West consumes, the East produces, the population split is 1 billion vs 6 billion, and yet it seems strange that when the former catches a cold we expect the latter to sicken as well. The reality is quite different.

  • Securing cash in Europe has become a bit of a gamble. Credit: Conor Ogle

    Financial roulette: the new game in town


    It seems to me, as an interested observer, that the western hemisphere is in a gambling mood. There is a lot of hedging and slight of hand going on in the supposed rescue of the European banking system and Greece.

  • News

    The medicine that damages the patient


    It can be argued that too much belt tightening may not be a good thing: we can see a parallel with the fiscal measures used to fight excess debt at the sovereign levels.

  • Seagate Wuxi China Factory Tour Photo: Robert Scoble

    The fiscal crisis has landed


    The global economy is entering a difficult period, the outcome of which we cannot guess at this stage.