If you—or your mutual fund—own shares in large American corporations, you’re a winner in the weak-dollar sweepstakes. Based on data culled from 238 constituents of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, S&P analyst Howard Silverblatt concludes that the typical member of the index garnered 44.2% of its sales outside the United States in 2006. Translating cash received from those sales into weaker dollars puts some fizz into earnings. Last week Coca-Cola’s stock bubbled to a 5-year high after it reported a fantastic quarter. Foreign sales accounted for 65% of Coke’s beverage business. Other American companies profiting from this trend include McDonald’s (65% of sales overseas) and IBM (56%).
From “The Sinking Dollar Has An Upside” from Danial Gross at Slate.com
MP: Other advantages of a weak dollar for U.S. investors:
1. The weak dollar has made U.S. stocks (and real estate) more attractive to foreigners, resulting in especially strong foreign purchases of U.S. securities, helping support higher U.S. stock prices (and real estate prices in some markets).
2. U.S. investors holding foreign foreign stocks or international mutual funds have benefited from the appreciation of most major foreign currencies against the U.S. dollar, which has raised the dollar value of U.S.-owned assets abroad.
Check out “A Primer on Singin’ The Blues,” including:
Blues cars: Chevys, Fords, Cadillacs and broken-down trucks. Blues don’t travel in Volvos, BMWs, or SUVs. Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Jet aircraft an’ state-sponsored motor pools ain’t even in the running. Walkin’ plays a major part in the blues lifestyle. So does fixin’ to die.
Blues can take place in New York City but not in Hawaii or any place in Canada. Hard times in Minneapolis or Seattle is probably just clinical depression. Chicago, St. Louis, and Kansas City are still the best places to have the Blues.
Breaking your leg cause you skiing is not the blues. Breaking your leg ’cause a alligator be chomping on it is.
Acceptable Blues beverages are: a) Cheap wine; b) Whiskey or bourbon; c) Muddy water; d) Nasty black coffee. The following are NOT Blues beverages: a) Perrier; b) Chardonnay; c) Snapple; d) Slim Fast; e) Mocha Latte.
Persons with names like Michelle, Amber, Debbie, and Heather can’t sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.
To: Local UAW #659 in Flint, Michigan
From: Carpe Diem Blog
RE: Parking Policy Clarification
From your Consumer Buying Guide for 2007 Cars and Trucks on the UAW website, these 11 vehicles are built by UAW workers in the U.S. for foreign car companies:
Mazda Mazda 6
Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder
Isuzu i-Series Truck
Mazda B-series Truck
Mitsubishi Raider Truck
Toyota Tacoma Truck
Mazda Tribute SUV
Mitsubishi Endeavor SUV
Q: Do these 11 vehicles qualify as “foreign made autos” that would be towed from your lot?
From your website, these 18 vehicle are produced by UAW workers in Canada:
Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Ford Crown Victoria
Mercury Grand Marquis
Pontiac Grand Prix
Chevrolet Equinox SUV
Chrysler Pacifica SUV
Dodge Magnum SUV
Ford Edge SUV
Lincoln MKX SUV
Pontiac Torrent SUV
Suzuki XL7 SUV
Chevrolet Silverado Truck
GMC Sierra Truck
Ford Freestar Van
Q: Since Canada is a foreign country, do these 18 vehicles qualify as “foreign made autos” that would be towed from your lot?
Just wondering if you could help clarify this confusing situation of vehicle production in a global economy and parking policies that ban “foreign made autos.”
A new book “A Year Without “Made in China”: One Family’s True Life Adventure in the Global Economy” chronicles how writer Sara Bongiorni and her family tried to live for a whole year without buying anything produced in China. You can listen to an NPR review of the book here.
As one could easily predict, the Bongiornis spent a lot of money and a lot of time intentionally trying to avoid products made in China for a year, and were relieved when their self-imposed protectionist embargo ended. And that was just a one country embargo, imagine if their self-imposed embargo included all foreign countries!
“From an economic point of view, outsourcing work overseas is exactly the same thing as discovering a new technology; there is no fundamental difference between having your MRI data analyzed by an Indian over the Internet and having your MRI data analyzed by clever new software that runs directly on your laptop. If technology makes us richer, than so must trade. If you cheer for progress, then you must cheer for trade.”
~Steven E. Landsburg in his new book “More Sex is Safer Sex: The Unconventional Wisdom of Economics”
MP: To carry Landsburg’s analysis one step further: If you support protectionist trade policies, then logically you must also be against progress and technology in general, and should also support legislation that would inhibit progress and retard technology.
1. Republican/libertarian Ron Paul, Texas Congressman and candidate for president, is featured in today’s NY Times Magazine article “The Antiwar, Anti-Abortion, Anti-Drug-Enforcement-Administration, Anti-Medicare Candidacy of Dr. Ron Paul.”
2. UC-Berkeley economist and now Chief Economist at Google (where he will build a team of economists, statisticians, and analysts to assist the company in “marketing, in human resources, in strategy, in policy related stuff”) Hal Varian is featured in an interview in the WSJ titled “Economics According to Google.”
“Both major political parties (and most of the minor ones) are infested with protectionist fellow travelers, who would discriminate on the basis of national origin no less virulently that David Duke or any other overt racist would discriminate on the basis of skin color. But if racism is morally repugnant – and it is – then so is xenophobia (fear or dislike of foreigners), and for exactly the same reasons.”
~Steven E. Landsbug, from the chapter “The New Racism” in his new book “More Sex is Safer Sex: The Unconventional Wisdom of Economics”
MP: The xenophobic sign above is posted in the parking lot of the UAW Local #659 in Flint, Michigan. As I queried in a comment on a previous post on this topic (and about this sign) last September, is there really any difference between a sign that says “No Mexicans allowed on this property,” and “No cars built by Mexicans allowed on this property?” From a moral standpoint, I really don’t think there is any difference. If you object morally to blatant discrimination and racism against people of Mexican or Chinese origin, then you can’t logically support protectionism or discrimination against products made by Mexicans or Chinese.
(Corrected) As Landsburg points out, “If it’s OK to enrich ourselves by denying foreigners the right to earn a living, why shouldn’t we enrich ourselves by invading peaceful countries and seizing their assets? Most of us don’t believe that’s a good idea because we believe human beings have human rights, whatever their color and wherever they live. Stealing assets is wrong, and so is stealing the right to earn a living (with protectionism), no matter where the victim was born.”
Michigan’s June unemployment rate of 7.2% is the highest of any state in the country, according to the BLS, and is more than a full percentage point higher than the next highest joblesss rate of 6.1% in Ohio. Mississippi has the third highest rate at 6.0%. Read more here.
State unemployment rates for June were released today by the BLS, showing that 18 states have set historical record-low jobless rates in the last year, and 12 of those record lows were set this year (see 18 states in red in the map above). The states of Arizona (3.4%), New Mexico (3.2%), and Texas (4.1%) all recorded historical record low unemployment rates in June 2007. Here are the 18 states that have set historical record-low jobless rates in the last year:
Alabama: 3.3% in April 2007
Alaska: 5.8% in April 2007
Arizona: 3.4% in June 2007
California: 4.7% in November 2006
Florida: 3.2% in October 2006
Hawaii: 2.0% in December 2006
Idaho: 2.3% in May 2007
Illinois: 4.0% in November 2006
Louisiana: 3.3% in July 2006
Montana: 2.0% in March 2007
Nevada: 4.1% in May 2006
New Mexico: 3.2% in June 2007
New York: 4.0% in March 2007
Pennsylvania: 3.8% in March 2007
Texas: 4.1% in June 2007
Utah: 2.3% in February 2007
Washington: 4.4% in April 2007
W. Virginia: 4.0% in January 2007
Media backoffice specialist “Express KCS,” with offices in India, the U.K. and the U.S., provides world-class offshore display ad production to newspapers and magazines, including the Fresno Bee, San Jose Mercury News, and Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune (soon).