Manufacturing Monday: Price fixing, the big grain crash of '08 and speculators for hire?

Greetings ladies and gentlemen to the latest episode of Manufacturing Monday. Couple of interesting things to discus today, and some interesting numbers to watch this week. First we have what appears to be a new take on price fixing by manufacturers. Next we explore the recent collapse in the price of grains. Our last piece is a story from the Financial Times where companies and groups are hiring the very element that help drive up their costs, speculators, to well...sorta fight speculators. Kinda reminds me of those old westerns where they hire a gunfighter to take on the baddie. Finally, as mentioned, there are numbers we're watching, the Producer Price Index being released tomorrow, Jobless claims and the Philadelphia Fed Survey on Thursday.

Woe be the retailer who wants to mark down a product!

NEWSFLASH: Inflation Hits 17-year High!

To most on this site, this isn't exactly news, as many have been claiming that the price of goods and such have been rising. But now the dead tree press is, in a sense, making it official.

US consumer prices rose by 0.8 per cent in July, twice as fast as expected, damping hopes that falling crude oil prices and the slowing consumer demand would rapidly ease inflationary pressures.

The surprise jump in the consumer price index on a monthly basis was accompanied by an annual increase of 5.6 per cent, which was more than forecast and the largest jump since 1991.

Meanwhile, core prices – excluding food and energy costs – rose by 0.3 per cent, which was also higher than expected, amid sharp increases in the prices of apparel, tobacco and public transportation.

- excerpt from "US inflation at highest since 1991", Financial Times, 2008

Manufacturing Monday: Numbers, Tesla, world trade reversal, and China overtakes US.

(Please note, this blog has been updated due to a recent story in the Financial Times)

Greetings folks, welcome to another edition of Manufacturing Monday. Sorry about last week, it's normally my goal to have a new edition out on the first day of the week, but sometimes life can be unpredictable and throw you a curve ball. Well, several interesting things this week ranging from manufacturing activity to California looking to gain Tesla's plants.

US Manufacturing feeling kinda "meh"

Manufacturing Monday: Tax bill to spur jobs, and a costs eat into Dow

It seems Congress is looking into getting the tax code to work in bringing jobs here. Also, on the inflation front, Dow Chemical is reporting that material costs have become a financial tumor. Folks, welcome to another edition of Manufacturing Monday!

You bring the jobs, and we'll lower your taxes!

Back in 2004, then-presidential candidate, John Kerry, proposed a tax plan to promote manufacturing jobs. Essentially if you hired a certain number of American workers, that you as an employer, would receive a tax credit. There was a graduated system, depending on how many you employed.

Why the push to failure?

Failure in war can be a bad thing. Failure in business can be a personal loss, and in some instances a detriment to the economy. With the recent calamity hitting the two largest mortgage lenders, not to mention other large American business concerns, it seems to a select few that failure is indeed a viable and good option.

A gamble with very high stakes is being openly promoted by adherents to a free-market orthodoxy. These individuals, gaming on anger and the perceived loss of utility of these given enterprises, are pushing the public onto this wager.

Manufacturing Monday: Guess whose making the Prius now? Oh and VWs too!

Call it a positive effect on the falling US Dollar. Along with an increase activity by domestic manufacturers, foreign companies are now expanding their operations here in the US. Now, yes I understand that ultimately the money goes back overseas, but they are hiring folks who needed jobs. To me, that last part is what counts.

It's official, Toyota will make the Prius in the US!

Investing in the Nation - China that is

You've probably never heard of the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission, or USCC. Created in 2000, they research and review economic and security ties with China. Yes, someone, somewhere is trying to monitor the situation.

Today this commission held a hearing, " Research and Development, Technological Advances in Key Industries, and Changing Trade Flows with China".

Guess what folks! China doesn't want those low end jobs or even manufacturing as a long term economic strategy. Nope, they are going for high end research and development in key technical areas!

Walsh open statement:

Manufacturing Monday: Belgium drinks up Budweiser

Now you may be asking, Budweiser? What's all this then? I thought you handled manufacturing stuff, you know gears, plastics and metal thingies? Yes we do, but here is something to keep in mind as to why food is also covered. When they (being the mainstream media) has a manufacturing story, sometimes they include that little nugget "yet America is still the largest manufacturer." Sounds crazy, I mean look around in stores, it seems like everything is made in China. Yet, this often-used tidbit is used because when this country calculates manufacturing, processed foods gets included. Yes..that's right, those chicken nuggets and mac 'n' cheese microwavable meals are considered "domestic manufacturing." And you know what else is also? Beer!

Treasury Trouble: Is the government giving bad TIPS?

A little story passed by the radar of most folks this past week. A piece of news that really shows the US reaching a watershed moment. What is this oh so awesome thing? Well it isn't awesome, in fact, it isn't good at all. Investors are starting to reject government securities.

Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) has been a staple investment for a long time, finding a home in portfolios big and small. So what are TIPS, and why should I care?

So what's the deal on TIPS?