Today is our first birthday here on 9thousandfeet. Well, not precisely, because we were running for a few months on the earlier iWeb platform, but it was a year ago today that we unleashed this WordPress version, and the world has been going to hell in a handcart ever since. Happily, correlation is not causation, but still.
I did little nostalgic trawling back through the archives, just to get some sense of what the hell I was thinking about back then. There was more stuff about photography and cooking, which I seem to have slipped away from somewhat. Still working on the perfect baguette. It’s close, honest. I was setting cinder blocks for the foundation of the greenhouse there too, I see. I suspect the fresh produce therefrom will inspire some more food posts.
It was back in November last year that I put up some articles about the state of the Eurozone, back when Greece was on the front burner with all their problems, and Italy had just been taken over (bye-bye Berlusconi) by unelected technocrats to “manage” their economy. Some of you will remember this tasty little quote from those days, back when the crisis was in its infancy compared to today
“We need reforms, not elections.” – Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council.
Lovely. It reminded me of something in the British press during WW2 (I was not alive then, I recall it from an installment of “The World at War”), when some conservatives were tossed out of office and replaced with their dreaded Labour opponents. “Filthy Democracy at its Worst” was the headline.
Spain, I said, keep an eye on Spain. Now it has its very own neologism—”Spailout”—for the latest application of duct tape, and which has by many accounts already failed to stem the tide, as here from CNBC;
Stocks accelerated their selloff in the final minutes of trading to close down more than 1 percent across the board Monday, as initial euphoria over Spain’s bank bailout fizzled and amid ongoing fears over a global economic slowdown.
There was the epic series on Dominionism back then too. Good grief, even Al Jazeera was out in front of the US press on that whole Rushdoony/New Apostolic Restoration thing. Still relevant, without a doubt, but this was before anyone imagined that Rick Perry would be such a muppet as a candidate. Almost nobody saw that one coming.
There was a piece on the looming Chinese real estate bubble, which has been getting more coverage of late, especially since their rate of growth is slowing markedly. And it may not just be real estate that might give economies fits either—the auto industry is about to get bitten in the ass by tooling up for projected Chinese consumption that is now not happening. Here’s a piece on that from Wolf Richter;
In January 2011 at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, Dazong Wang, president of Beijing Automotive, threw a number into a room: 40 million. That’s how many new vehicles would be sold in China by 2020, he said, roughly 30 million passenger vehicles and 10 million commercial vehicles…..
…..Alas, in 2011, sales inched up only 2.5% to 18.5 million vehicles—though foreign brands still did well. 2012 may turn out to be even tougher. And now, the problem is production….
…..Automakers have ramped up at a torrid pace. In May, wholesale deliveries to distributors jumped23% from prior year to 1.28 million units, higher than analysts had expected. Toyota and Honda, recovering from last year’s supply problems following the earthquake and tsunami, nearly doubled their sales to distributors. Ford pushed 23% more units into the pipeline, GM 21%…..
Stunning as they may be, they’re wholesales to distributors, not to consumers. At dealerships, however, the scenario is turning from less rosy to gruesome—final sales in May were not robust enough to digest the flood of production. Inventories on lots across the country ballooned from 45 days’ supply at the end of April to 60 days’ supply by the end of May—a dizzying 33% increase in just 30 days.
And the ballyhooed 23% increase in wholesale deliveries that got analysts drooling all over themselves? Unsold. Added to inventory. Channel stuffing. Testimony of rampant overproduction. And it has turned into an inventory glut.
September brought one of the best rants about our current economic woes from Ilargi over at the Automatic Earth. It’s worth another visit in a spare moment. Then there were those wonderful “Bad Lip Reading” videos, featuring the usual political suspects. I still miss those, they were great. And so it goes.
Looking through the comment threads I realize again there are a few missing “faces”. Haven’t seen Gryff, whose input I always enjoyed enormously, here or anywhere for ages.
So it’s been a year. Just like that.
Writing about whatever catches my eye has been enjoyable for me, very much so, but that enjoyment is increased enormously by you—the hardy and delightful band of contributors and commenters here.
Truly, many thanks, and here’s hoping we can all stay healthy and do it all over again. It’s gonna be quite a year, methinks.
Happy Birthday to Us!