Thursday, July 31, 2008

Brazil: The anti-globalist?

NYTimes has a profile on Brazil today. Probably the most interesting part of the story is about Brazil's self-sufficiency.

Here's the money quote:
“What makes Brazil more resilient is that the rest of the world matters less,” said Don Hanna, the head of emerging market economics at Citibank.

As I've looked at Brazil that has been the one thing that has impressed me the most. The country really has been able to build and grow domestic industries and feed its own growth through internal consumption.

Of course, Brazil hasn't had the GDP growth numbers that other large, more "globalized" emerging markets have demonstrated; Brazil's GDP growth has been in the 4-5% range vs. India's 7% range and China's +9-10% range.

But what it lacks in GDP growth, it makes up in resiliency. It is still a tough story to tell because despite the great social advances as of late in Brazil, it is hard to see how 5% growth will really make a dent in the huge social inequalities in the country.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Barefisted development

Great story on Digicel, a company that has a very barefisted approach to development and market creation. They (apparently) go into a country, develop their infrastructure and sell mobile phones to the masses, all before the government knows what is going on. The gamble is that when people get their mobiles, they are not willing to give them up without a fight.

Fun business model, but it is perhaps not for the faint at heart.

Babble Rouser -

Monday, July 28, 2008

Telecoms in Mexico

More competition is needed in the telecoms market in Mexico.

Telecoms in Mexico | Slim’s pickings |

Adding the "World" in worldwide web

It is clich├ęd by now to say that as soon as your company is on the web, it is global. But that is not so as witnessed by the experiences of some major web companies.

The globalization paradox that I love talking about is that in order to be global, you really need to be intensely local. Big web companies are realizing this are starting to localize their offering and event their trademarked look and feel.

Here's a great money quote:
"Creating a national company is like rocket science," said John Strand of Strand Consulting in Denmark. "But creating an international company is like proton physics."

An un-American feel aids expanding US Web firms - Yahoo! News

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Forget growth, forget inflation. The main concern...???

...plain old stability!

I remember the days of "don't worry, it'll be a mild recession" talk of a few months back. Now we're looking down the wrong end of a full on financial crisis.

I'm glad some people still have a "don't worry be happy now is the time to buy attitude" but I remain unconvinced. I thought that a few weeks ago and now feel duly chastened.

I'm not panicking or doing anything rash.

But I'm not happy either.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Quietly, Brazil Eclipses an Ally -

Interesting look at Brazil's rise to become a regional (and global) power.

Quietly, Brazil Eclipses an Ally -

Why the US auto industry is sinking....

... in a word "innovation" or lack thereof.

Great article in today's NYTimes "Asleep at the spigot" on how US automakers and unions blustered and lobbied politicians and did anything but the right thing, innovate and make cars for the future. Now they are paying the price and are a great cautionary tale for other industries that may become complacent and lazy.

That’s the great thing about economics and markets, eventually it'll trump any sort of backward ideology. For some reason, US carmakers and their supporters thought it was a right to make and sell backward-thinking behemoths, regardless of what was happening in global oil markets. They didn't pay attention to where the auto and fuel markets were going and are now far behind more intelligent competitors that understood the market for how it really is, not for how they can manipulate politicians to say it should be.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

"As the auto industry goes...

... so goes the US economy."

At least according to the old saying.

Geez, I hope not!