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The Great Depression

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The Great Depression

Old 16th Apr 2020, 13:55
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Bulk tanks of milk being emptied into the drain.
Fields of tomatoes rotting and piles of picked fresh vegetables plowed into the soil.
Empty meat shelves at the grocery and packing plants shutting down.
Anti-shutdown citizen protests at state capitals.
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Old 16th Apr 2020, 15:00
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Bulk tanks of milk being emptied into the drain.
Fields of tomatoes rotting and piles of picked fresh vegetables plowed into the soil.
Empty meat shelves at the grocery and packing plants shutting down.
Anti-shutdown citizen protests at state capitals.
You would have thought that our great and good (and very well funded central government) would have had a a plan in place to steer their country through such a scenario. Some of the above actions will have repercussions later in the year when the chance to grow a second crop won't exist. Importing will also be a problem, as any countries with excess will be holding their produce for themselves. Oh well, most of us could do with fewer calories.
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Old 16th Apr 2020, 15:28
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Originally Posted by SpringHeeledJack View Post
You would have thought that our great and good (and very well funded central government) would have had a a plan in place to steer their country through such a scenario. Some of the above actions will have repercussions later in the year when the chance to grow a second crop won't exist. Importing will also be a problem, as any countries with excess will be holding their produce for themselves. Oh well, most of us could do with fewer calories.
Our local farmers are still persisting with their rapeseed and linseed crops. I'd have thought Govt would have issued a temporary edict for them to plough this all up and plant cereals or root crops, you know, stuff we can actually eat.

Given all the focus on GM and crop selection over the years, I wonder how easy it would be to return to a system where farmers retained a proportion of their crop for the next growing season? Would it be true and even viable?
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Old 17th Apr 2020, 07:43
  #64 (permalink)  
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Year of the Metal Rat

https://asia.nikkei.com/Editor-s-Pic...dus-from-China

Xi fears Japan-led manufacturing exodus from China

TOKYO -- Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has proposed building an economy that is less dependent on one country, China, so that the nation can better avoid supply chain disruptions.

The call touched off a heated debate in the Chinese political world.

In Zhongnanhai, the area in central Beijing where leaders of the Chinese Communist Party and the state government have their offices, "there are now serious concerns over foreign companies withdrawing from China," a Chinese economic source said. "What has particularly been talked about is the clause in Japan's emergency economic package that encourages (and funds) the re-establishment of supply chains."........

"Due to the coronavirus, fewer products are coming from China to Japan," Abe said. "People are worried about our supply chains." Of the products that rely heavily on a single country for manufacturing, "we should try to relocate high added value items to Japan," the leader said. "And for everything else, we should diversify to countries like those in ASEAN."

Abe's remarks were clear. They came as disruptions hit the procurement of auto parts and other products for which Japan relies on China, seriously impacting corporate Japan's activities. And they asked for something more than the traditional "China plus one" concept, in which companies add a non-China location to diversify production.

Abe was forming a "shift away from China" policy.

With the nation transfixed by coronavirus coverage, the proposal failed to generate big headlines in Japan. But China was watching carefully, perhaps wondering whether it was about to undergo an industrial hollowing-out like Japan once experienced.

Such a trend would shake the foundation of China's long-standing growth model.........

There are talks in the U.S. regarding China dependency.

Larry Kudlow, chairman of the White House's National Economic Council, has expressed his intention to consider shouldering the relocation costs of American companies returning home from China. It fits with President Donald Trump's "America first" agenda.

If the U.S. and Japan, the world's biggest and third-biggest economies respectively, move away from China, it will have a huge impact on the world's second-biggest economy.........


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Old 17th Apr 2020, 08:01
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It would be a huge help if Amazon showed a clear country of manufacture on things sold via their platform. Then individuals could vote with their wallets.
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Old 17th Apr 2020, 08:14
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It would be a huge help if Amazon showed a clear country of manufacture on things sold via their platform. Then individuals could vote with their wallets.
That's a good idea, but sadly if they did I'd wager 75% of the products would have been made in China or assembled elsewhere with components made in China. The result of years of lazy policy and cheap at any price attitudes.
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Old 17th Apr 2020, 08:29
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Originally Posted by SpringHeeledJack View Post
That's a good idea, but sadly if they did I'd wager 75% of the products would have been made in China or assembled elsewhere with components made in China. The result of years of lazy policy and cheap at any price attitudes.
Amazon are not going to do anything that would lose a large percentage of their sales.
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Old 17th Apr 2020, 10:38
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Originally Posted by SpringHeeledJack View Post
That's a good idea, but sadly if they did I'd wager 75% of the products would have been made in China or assembled elsewhere with components made in China. The result of years of lazy policy and cheap at any price attitudes.
Not just Amazon. Any high street store selling consumer trinkets would be the same. I wouldn't be surprised in many food ingredients, process chemicals, packaging etc originate from their too.
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Old 17th Apr 2020, 11:53
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Twenty five years ago I lived near a Sony factory in Shenzhen. One day I took a short cut through their delivery area. The were pallet loads of personal CD players flatpacked in grey fibre trays moulded so the the top matched the bottom and the bottom vise versa. They were going to Japan to be repacked in glossy boxes with 'Made in Japan' all over them.
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Old 17th Apr 2020, 12:47
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Bearing in mind that the China manufacturing conundrum is SO far reaching, how do we change things to at least reduce our dependence and addiction ? I'm as guilty as the next man in that I buy products , albeit usually better quality and therefore less in quantity. I'm happy to pay more, within reason to keep things closer in all ways, but price will only do so much to change attitudes. Anyone got a good idea how it might work ?
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Old 17th Apr 2020, 13:10
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The fall out from thsi will be massive
Clealry western countries have insanely y allowed companies to outsource so much to China to create dependence but then capitalist governments don't want to interfere with commerce and unless forced to companies will just go on working for the of the benefit of the directors and senior management (Boeing isnt about China but is is all about who comes first ina company)

What is worse is that in many many a reason China is not just cheaper it s better and with a domestic market 4-5 times the size of the USA has vast base to defray development costs . So while trump rants he essentially does nothing except diminish America in the eyes of most of the world every day.
Whats the solution-well 100 years who it would be a war but nukes prevent that and a ware between who-after all the first country in the world to sign up for a war with China is Russia but in the west it is they who are portrayed as the enemies .

So it would seem that the alternative has to be a sort of centrally governed if not planned economy to rebuild the industrial base of the west by enacting and enforcing laws that whole swathes of items have to be made internally , by which I mean US means US Canada and Mexico and Eu means Eu (Britain is s inconsequential in this except to itself. Bu that is communism lite and just wont work in many countries (back to good old KM and his capitalism carries the seeds of its own demise) Such plans are good for employment but expensive . still clawing back money from individuals and companies who sold out their hometown industries s in the name of personal gain might be a starting point. And if we act quickly we might just stop us getting to the point where China doesnt just make everything cheaper it makes it better and it makes things we dont even have.

Sadly we need a breed of politicians such as FDR , even Churchill, Thatcher even De Gaulle Ghandi and the like. Not because of their politics as they would have to moderate some of those but personality and leadership . but we have trump and boris, instead, egotistical giants , mental dwarfs

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Old 17th Apr 2020, 13:34
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Easiest thing to do is put a high import tariff on Chinese goods and allow the market to decided whether it is still worthwhile to manufacture in China. If the market does decide that a particular component is still worth manufacturing in China at least the Government gets the tariff income to help offset the negative effects.
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Old 17th Apr 2020, 13:42
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If you amortize the cost of this pandemic over the two decades or so we've been buying all this stuff from China, I expect it won't turn out to be such a low-cost supplier after all. Maybe we should have spent a bit more on sources which were a little less lax and a little more trustworthy?
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Old 17th Apr 2020, 13:49
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So it would seem that the alternative has to be a sort of centrally governed if not planned economy to rebuild the industrial base of the west by enacting and enforcing laws that whole swathes of items have to be made internally
Not necessarily. Germany and others have figured out ways of maintaining and growing a thriving industrial base without going down the central planning route. Why not others? It will require a fundamental change in mindset in countries like the UK and US, where the brightest and the best predominantly aspire to top jobs in the service sector (bankers, accountants, consultants, hedge fund managers etc).
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Old 17th Apr 2020, 13:50
  #75 (permalink)  
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Easiest thing to do is put a high import tariff on Chinese goods and allow the market to decided whether it is still worthwhile to manufacture in China. If the market does decide that a particular component is still worth manufacturing in China at least the Government gets the tariff income to help offset the negative effects.
Import tariffs are paid by the customer and are inefficient. Better to use import quotas to limit the amount and provide headroom for a local manufacturer, or even a plant owned by the foreign importer, to fill the gap.
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Old 17th Apr 2020, 14:25
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Import tariffs are paid by the customer and are inefficient. Better to use import quotas to limit the amount and provide headroom for a local manufacturer, or even a plant owned by the foreign importer, to fill the gap.
Good point - worked well when Europe had quotas for Japanese cars in the 70's & 80's - they were forced to set up production facilities in Europe.
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Old 17th Apr 2020, 15:26
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The only problem with imposing restrictions - in any form - on China is that with their usual long-term planning they have been steadily buying up or obtaining control of resources all over the world.
They may retaliate by limiting access to the raw materials you need to ramp up production elsewhere.
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Old 17th Apr 2020, 22:04
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Yeh, like buying a copper mountain in south America when the Americans were nibbling at it.
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Old 17th Apr 2020, 22:20
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Originally Posted by Loose rivets View Post
Yeh, like buying a copper mountain in south America when the Americans were nibbling at it.
We have our own copper mountain in Cornwall..


Strongbow bought the South Crofty project in July 2016 and has mineral rights to 15,000 hectares in Cornwall. The drilling struck rock with a grade of 7.46 per cent copper — a high proportion for underground deposits of the metal, which are normally 2-5 per cent copper. “It’s the kind of result that has geologists jumping up and down,” said John Meyer, head of research at London-based broker SP Angel.

FT
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Old 4th May 2020, 07:27
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Could end up being the fire sale of the century. I presume the same is happening in the continent as ports like Rotterdam exceed capacity.

Also the problem of empty containers running out as they aren’t available to send back to China on the empty returning ships.

https://www.politico.eu/article/the-...rgo-conundrum/

The coronavirus cargo conundrum

LONDON — The battle against coronavirus is starting to look like a real war — complete with its own air force base.

A decommissioned RAF airport in the English county of Suffolk is set to see 20,000 shipping containers filled with unwanted goods stacked on its runway as shuttered shops can’t sell while Chinese factories churn out and ship orders made long before the world went into lockdown. It's just one of the massive changes to logistics resulting from the coronavirus pandemic that has upended normal shipping and retail patterns, reshaped rail transport and stranded tens of thousands of seafarers on cargo ships around the world.

Ex-World War II airbase RAF Bentwaters, now known as Bentwaters Parks, could be a crucial dumping ground for the U.K. freight sector, which is struggling to store tons of nonessential items imported from Asia, such as clothing, manufacturing parts and electronics, which are not currently being sold during the COVID-19 lockdown.

After an initial shutdown in Chinese manufacturing during the worst of the coronavirus outbreak there during February and March, goods bound for U.K. shops are set to surge during May as a backlog of orders reaches British shores.

But there's one problem: Many of those high street retailers have been forced to close under lockdown rules imposed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, meaning a brick wall at the end of the supply chain. The blockage means a good chunk of the 50,000 shipping containers set to flow into Britain each week through May need a temporary home. With U.K. warehouses already near capacity, the industry is scrambling to find storage until the lockdown is lifted.

Peter Ward, the CEO of the U.K. Warehousing Association, said without an end to the lockdown (which is not expected in the coming days) the sector faces a major logistical challenge. "We are going to reach a pinch point where there is no warehousing, nowhere for this stuff to go and we must avoid at all costs the risk of ports becoming congested,” he said.........
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