April 12, 2010 |
California has bled manufacturing jobs for decades as low-cost foreign labor has enticed U.S. companies to fatten their profits by making their products overseas. But the state is on sale amid a slow recovery from the deep economic downturn. Industrial space is available at bargain prices. The dollar's sharp decline since 2001 has made manufacturing here more attractive. Tens of thousands of blue-collar workers are idle and itching to get back to work. That's why cities in the Inland Empire are courting foreign companies to set up factories in their communities to help battle the region's unemployment rate of 14.7%.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 5, 2010 |
When the eight-minute promotional video wrapped up, Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris' review wasn't entirely flattering. The movie-making seemed amateurish in spots, and, in some shots, he and others would have benefited from a little makeup. Most important, the mayor told his staff, there weren't enough Asians in the video. "If we're going to try to attract members of the Asian business community, we need to have more Asians in there," Parris told staffers. The promotional video, which Parris requested be re-shot before being dubbed in Mandarin, is part of a larger strategy that Lancaster hopes will help it attract Chinese investment and create jobs in a region where unemployed is pegged at 17%. The city is sending business delegations to China, partnering with a Chinese sister city, and using a language tutor to teach bureaucrats Mandarin.
November 18, 2009 |
There may come a day when fears about foreigners wanting to dump their U.S. Treasury securities will amount to something. But we clearly aren't there yet, even as the dollar keeps sinking in value. Net foreign purchases of Treasury bonds and notes in September totaled $44.7 billion, up from $28 billion in August, according to the government's latest report on cross-border investment flows. Total net foreign purchases of U.S. long-term financial assets -- stocks, corporate bonds and government bonds -- in September came to $55.7 billion, up from $37.5 billion in August.
October 22, 2009 |
A Chinese company's gambit to drill for oil in U.S. territory demonstrates China's determination to lock up the raw materials it needs to sustain its rapid growth, wherever those resources lie. The state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp., or CNOOC, reportedly is negotiating the purchase of leases owned by the Norwegian StatoilHydro in U.S. waters in the Gulf of Mexico, the source of about a quarter of U.S. crude oil production. China's push to enter U.S. turf comes four years after CNOOC's $18.5-billion bid to buy Unocal Corp.
October 8, 2009 |
U.S. companies could save tens of billions of dollars by investing in efforts to combat deforestation in developing nations instead of cleaning up their own domestic carbon dioxide emissions, according to a report released Wednesday. The report, compiled by a high-powered bipartisan group, backs the use of "forest offsets" in the global effort to curb pollution that is heating up the atmosphere. It was released in advance of the upcoming Senate debate on climate legislation and an international meeting on the issue set for December in Copenhagen.
September 20, 2009 |
If you've been trying to find a place to invest your money and are feeling uneasy with U.S. stocks and bonds, consider looking overseas. You should know that an increasing number of experts are encouraging clients to boost their holdings in international currencies -- a once-rarefied market that's become more accessible to individual investors. The reason they're pushing foreign currencies is simple. Rising U.S. government debt levels suggest future inflation and continuing devaluation of the dollar.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 18, 2009 |
Officials for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority said Friday that they were concerned about the Iranian business connections of Siemens Corp., a potential contender for lucrative contracts to build light rail and subway cars for the agency. Siemens, which owns Siemens Transportation Systems Inc., partnered with Nokia last year to provide TCI, Iran's telecommunications company, the technology to monitor voice calls on the country's fixed and mobile telephone networks.
April 20, 2009 |
One of the more curious aspects of portfolio investment, I have always thought, is that its practitioners have no real way of coping with political risk. They can run projections on corporate earnings or economic growth. But political risk -- however material -- cannot be reduced to a number, so it tends to get left out. After reading "The Fat Tail: The Power of Political Knowledge for Strategic Investing," I feel nearer to understanding why.
April 11, 2009 |
Just a couple of years ago, this city was among the hottest investment zones in Asia. Multinationals as large as chip maker Intel Corp. and smaller firms such as Ampac Packaging, a Cincinnati-based maker of shopping bags for Gap and Target, flocked here and to other parts of Vietnam. They set up plants to complement or, in some cases, replace facilities in China that were becoming increasingly expensive to operate. "China plus one," they called it.
March 19, 2009 |
Coca-Cola Co.'s $2.4-billion bid to buy China Huiyuan Juice Group, rejected Wednesday by the Chinese government, is the biggest of a growing number of failed mergers and acquisitions in Asia. Analysts say the decision could hurt efforts by Chinese companies -- both state-owned firms and private ones -- to buy companies and assets around the globe.