Thursday, 17 December 2009
Sunday, 13 December 2009
We appear to have arrived at a demographic turning point. Maybe that's why so many contrarians are starting to voice concern.
The complete version of this post, together with charts, was published by Cykepartners
Thursday, 3 December 2009
No one could be that stupid though, could they? They can in a tragicomedy. In an essay written in 2007 he estimated that the probability of America becoming more formally protectionist was 60%. He then warned that there was a disconnect between the financial markets, which seem oblivious to the risks and the direction of debate both in the Senate and Congress.
Fuld attends a black tie do and encounters Hank Paulson.
Paulson and Fuld were in regular contact at the time. Paulson
had repeatedly suggested to Fuld that he needed to find a buyer
for Lehman. It was an open secret that Lehman was on the ropes
and would be the next firm, after Bear Stearns to fail.
In the late 1970s Herman Kahn, the polymath who is widely believed to have been the model for Stanley Kubrick’s Dr No, wrote an influential book called, The Emerging Japanese Superstate. Kahn was a master in the art of intellectual S&M, he both titillated and aroused American fears and dreams of Asian submission and domination. The script was simple and effective, Japan was on the way up and by implication, America was on the way down. In the early 1980s, with the dollar in a slump, Kahn’s interpretation was widely believed by a nation in self hate mode.
One of the few areas that America was doing well was in tech but even that was under threat. Japanese giants like Toshiba and NEC were beginning to give the US chip industry a good lashing. Then, when Japan threw its weight behind a new operating system called MSX, it looked like sayonara Silicon Valley, the PC industry would now fall. It never happened, the PC industry is still dominated by American names.
The reason that all this is now interesting is that the same script is being reprised today. Clients phone me up to say they have seen the future and the future is Chinese made smartphones selling for less than a hundred dollars. Apple is toast, and so is Samsung, Nokia and LG. Chinese white box handset makers, armed with Mediatek chips are on the march. Continued
Nokia’s top management are in rutting reindeer mode at the firm’s annual capital markets day today and tomorrow. As I write this the stock is up 1.6%, grab the gain while its lasts because the long boat is sinking.
Just as we predicted in last week’s Mash (No 47, 25th November 2009), Nokia is bellowing that it is “The World’s biggest platform for mobile.”
Outside of Helsinki, does anyone care? In terms of profits, both RIM and Apple earn close to 70% of what is available in the smartphones sector. But let’s talk about the future, not today, not the past. The omens for Nokia aren’t great, in fact they are awful.
The first piece of bad news comes from India, where the authorities recently blocked Chinese phones. Check out the link, it will take you to a fascinating piece on an Indian website called Techtree. The ban related to those same white box Chinese phones we talked about in last week’s piece on Mediatek. More than 25m of them have already been sold and Indian mobile operators succeeded in having them blocked in their county. However, for 199 rupees (£3), the Chinese handsets can now be unblocked. Nokia was circling the wagons and planning to make its last stand in both India and China, the world’s most populous mobile markets. As Apple, RIM and Android devices took the developed markets Nokia at least had the emerging world. To Continue go to the Cykepartners website.