Friday, August 29, 2008

Shop Talk

I advertised in Portugal this week.A special greeting to you,dear NATO allies.I have added a new link to my list.It is Since,a merchant of fine diamonds and diamond jewelry,listed as Diamonds and diamond jewelry.In the U.S. and Canada,it is Labor Day weekend.Have an informative holiday.Monday will be a good chance to study the overseas markets.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Where Europe Is Today

We're still in the middle of a substantial financial turmoil,according to Axel Weber of the European Central Bank's Governing Council,and it's very hard to say there's light at the end of the tunnel.Firms have to be competitive in any environment.They have to live with exchange rates.The ECB focuses on price stability,the rapidly-speaking central banker stated.

The Toll of Oil

Energy prices have taken a toll,in the view of Axel Weber,Deutsche Bundesbank President.There's little monetary policy can do about the price rises.The medium term is clouded by inflation risks that we simply have to take care of,said Mr.Weber,relaxing in a royal blue shirt.We really don't see a credit crunch,but weaker credit growth,he added.

Into the Euro-zone

Axel Weber,President of the Deutsche Bundesbank,the German central bank,and a member of the European Central Bank's Governing Council,has been reflecting on the ECB's July .25 increase in its key interest rate.Our argument was,we saw a substantial rise in the risk of inflation,Mr.Weber said.The move we did has to be seen against the substantial inflation risk.We've largely predicted a weaker second quarter in Europe,because the first was so strong.We see a weak spot in the summer-somewhat of a dry spell,but growth will be reasonable.Things will change maybe not until next year,Mr.Weber speculated.

A Stark Inflation Picture

The U.S. Producer Price Index was up 9.8 year over year for July.That is the highest increase since 1981.The core number was up 3.5 year over year-the highest rise since 1991.The July PPI was up 1.2,and the July core number was up 0.7.The German PPI also saw the biggest increase since 1981.Not only are consumer prices high;the businesses consumers buy from are confronting steep inflation as well.Havens from inflation include gold stocks such as Kinross Gold(KGC),a Canadian mining firm with international operations,and the iShares Lehman Brothers TIPS fund(TIP),which contains U.S. Treasury inflation-protected securities.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Shop Talk

This week I advertised in Saudi Arabia.To you of the Kingdom,my wishes for God's favor-blessed be His name.The Beijing Olympics are almost over.What will Olympics fans do then?I suppose we will dream of the Vancouver winter games in 2010.At least we won't have to wait four years for the next Olympics like we used to.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Moment of Pride

NBC Entertainment is obviously the one piece we need to improve on,CEO Jeff Zucker continued.We're paying the people of NBC Entertainment to go with their gut.NBC has been a part of GE for 21 years.They've been a fantastic parent.I hope it continues for at least another 21 years.The fact that we're tracking ahead of the 2004 Athens Olympics,given what's happened to network television,is a tremendous accomplishment.The Chinese have a lot to be proud of.The Olympics hold a special place in my life.It's just an honor to be part of the Olympics,Mr.Zucker exclaimed.

NBC and GE

We need to embrace one another,Jeff Zucker,CEO of NBC Universal,said of his network and its parent company, General Electric(GE).We've had a very active 16 months in trying to reshape NBC Universal.The fact is,Jeff Immelt,CEO of GE,has been very clear that NBC is a very important part of GE.When the pipes work,there's nothing like it.Nobody has spent more on the media space than GE has on NBC Universal the past 16 months,Mr.Zucker revealed.Telemundo,the Spanish language network,remains an incredibly important part of NBC-U.It's been harder than we thought it would be to develop it.We need to continue to improve there,but I'm confident that will happen,Mr.Zucker asserted.

The Digital Moment

Record numbers of fans have been turning to NBC,CEO Jeff Zucker noted.It is a watershed moment for NBC.One of the great things is the tremendous use of our digital properties.We're going to come out of this Olympics with great digital knowledge.There's no question we still have to learn how to monetize the digital page views,Mr.Zucker admitted.

Inside Media:The Power of a Network

Jeff Zucker,CEO of NBC Universal,has been reviewing the first week of his network's Olympics coverage.It's been a great week for NBC Universal,Mr.Zucker concluded.The ratings have been terrific.Advertisers have asked to be let into the party.The great story is,this shows the power of network television.The pipes work.If you put on programs people want to watch,they'll show up.NBC paid 900 million dollars U.S. for exclusive access to the games.We've been able to bottle that excitement since the opening ceremony.NBC-U is providing 3600 hours of coverage,75% of it live,over its seven networks.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Shop Talk

I advertised in Switzerland this week.My best regards to the Swiss and all my readers.Congratulations to all the Olympic athletes and the Chinese hosts.So far,everyone in the games has won a gold for good behavior.Late summer needs this bit of color.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

China's Growth to Continue

China's growth will not slow further after the Olympics.The slowdown this year has been on account of exports dropping and government policies,says Tom Quinn of The Jordan Company,a private equity firm.Growth for 2007 was 11.4%.The forecast for 2008 is 8-10%.The Shanghai Composite Index is down 48% this year.The Chinese government needs to continue improving the standard of living.China has 350 years worth of coal in the ground.There is tremendous investment in infrastructure such as railroads and highways.China must develop the central and northern parts of the country,Mr.Quinn indicated.

Belief in the Olympics

According to CEO Neville Isdell,Coca-Cola is the number one brand in Olympic sponsorship.There is no immediate return in sales,but eventually there will be an uptick.We really believe the Olympics is beneficial to the world and the Chinese people.We're so proud to be a part of it.China is moving in the right direction,Mr.Isdell feels.There's always a downside to everything,he admitted,addressing China's human rights record.Nothing works absolutely perfectly,the CEO acknowledged.Besides the Olympics,Coca-Cola is benefiting from China's rapid urbanization.The company is extremely multinational,with 80% of its business being outside of the United States,which may protect it from U.S. economic problems.

Focus on China:The Coca-Cola Connection

Coca-Cola CEO Neville Isdell sees the Beijing Olympics as a long term branding opportunity.China is our fourth largest market,he said.We're using this to communicate with the Chinese people.Coca-Cola(KO) sponsored the torch relay,which was a huge success in China.The Chinese drink 24 Cokes a year,but they will eventually drink 150 a year.We see greater growth from teas and coffee,as well as Minute Maid juice,the CEO predicted.

Dubai Invests in Canada

Two Dubai enterprises have bought a 20% stake in Canada's Cirque du Soleil.Cirque founder Guy Laliberte will retain control over the circus,which is based in Montreal.The terms of the deal were not disclosed.The state-owned enterprises,Nakheel PJSC and Istithmar World Capital PJSC,are units of the Dubai World holding company.Nakheel is a property developer,and Istithmar is an investment enterprise.Dubai is one of the United Arab Emirates.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Shop Talk

I advertised in the United Arab Emirates this week.I extend a special greeting to you,Arab friends and allies.Your country becomes more important in the business world every year.It's great to host you today.I would also like to remember Michael Metz of Oppenheimer,who died yesterday.A distinguished analyst,Mr.Metz was a frequent guest on business television.He began his career in 1959,but remained active through old age.We shall miss him very much.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Domestic Weakness,Global Strength

The global infrastructure growth continues,GE CEO Jeff Immelt believes.There are tough times ahead vis-a-vis the U.S. consumer.Housing has to stabilize in order to feel like we have a consumer that wants to buy again.We don't see a slowdown in the global economy.These environments continue to be robust.We see in Mubadala a company like ourselves,the spirit of learning that still exists,Jeff Immelt explained.

The Full Power of GE

We shouldn't overdo partnerships,GE CEO Jeff Immelt continued,but when we do them,we put the full power of the company behind them.We are attractive to the best of the best because we have this unique structure as a country and a company.We want to bet on a multitude of energy technologies.Renewables have to be in the lead.We're investing that way.Abu Dhabi is building a renewable energy enterprise,thinking 10-20 years ahead.I agree with almost everything Boone Pickens says,Mr.Immelt added.Khaldoon al Mubarak,CEO of Mubadala,said that his firm is a GE in the making.This is a wonderful start today.

Capitalizing on Strength

The alliance of GE and The Mubadala Company gives GE more capacity for its great originators,says GE CEO Jeff Immelt.The intention is for a full-fledged joint venture.This allows us to strengthen the company where it is already strong.The deal gives us a better opportunity to minimize risk and maximize return.The joint venture capitalizes on the strengths of both companies,Mr.Immelt observed.

Inside the Deal:GE and Abu Dhabi

General Electric(GE) and The Mubadala Company,a state-owned enterprise of Abu Dhabi,have formed an eight billion dollar U.S. partnership.The companies will cooperate in commercial finance,research on clean energy and water,and expanding aircraft engine service and repair in the Middle East.They already have a strong partnership.Their aim is high growth opportunities in the Middle East and worldwide,making shared capital commitments to new joint ventures and investment funds.

Decision Week

This week several central banks are making interest rate decisions.Today at 2:15 PM Eastern,the Federal Reserve issues its decision.On Thursday,the European Central Bank and the Bank of England report their decisions.Markets could be moved by these events.Raising rates tends to control inflation,yet dampen growth.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Shop Talk

People are reading this in Sterling,Virginia and Plainview,New York.My readers are true workers.Even in July,they are busy checking into everything.That is appreciated.Have a relaxing weekend.