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Wilbur Ross brings art of restructuring to Team Trump
JANUARY 21, 2017 | FT| by: Philip Delves Broughton.

“When you start out with your adversary understanding that he or she is going to have to make concessions, that’s a pretty good background to begin.”

So all this stuff about tariffs and walls and protectionism turns out to be pure gamesmanship.......In his career as an investment banker at NM Rothschild and then running his own business, WL Ross & Co, he has shown repeatedly how he can dive into an industrial dung heap and emerge with a fistful of dollars and not a speck on his silk tie......... Working on his own account, Mr Ross’s most famous deal was his purchase of an ailing group of US steelmakers in 2002, shortly before President George W Bush imposed tariffs on imports of steel. Mr Ross used the protection to fix the operations, cut debt and draft new contracts with workers. He was able to take the company public in 2003 and sell it two years later to the Indian steel mogul Lakshmi Mittal.

He has pulled off similar tricks, mostly successfully in coal mining, textiles and banking, immersing himself again and again in new industries and the minutiae of the laws, trade rules and contracts that govern them.

As a student at Harvard Business School, Mr Ross was mentored by Georges Doriot, a pioneering advocate for venture capital, who said: “People who do well in life understand things that other people don’t understand.”
For bothering to understand things that most people don’t, Mr Ross deserves more credit than he gets. He is often easily dismissed as a vulture or someone who buys low and sells high. But what he has done is hard. The devil in restructuring is in the grinding detail of voluminous contracts and difficult, often highly emotional negotiations.
arcane_knowledge  bankruptcy  contracts  detail_oriented  dispassion  emotions  gamesmanship  Georges_Doriot  hard_work  imports  HBS  inequality_of_information  Lakshmi_Mittal  leverage  messiness  minutiae  moguls  negotiations  new_industries  Philip_Delves_Broughton  preparation  protectionism  restructurings  sophisticated  steel  tariffs  thinking_tragically  unsentimental  vulture_investing  Wilbur_Ross 
january 2017 by jerryking
Today’s Titans Can Learn From Fall of U.S. Steel -

it was the run-up to that strike, as well as the eventual terms of the settlement, that paved the way for the decline of the company and the industry it led. The episode opened the door for surging imports and eventually for wage increases that the companies could ill afford...The United States economy is no longer so dependent on heavy manufacturing, a development that would have taken place even if the men running U.S. Steel had far more foresight than they did. But they might have coped with it far better than they did. They might have found a way to better use newer technology that enabled companies like Nucor, which remains in the S.&P. 500 and whose market value is four times that of U.S. Steel, to prosper making steel.

More broadly, the descent of U.S. Steel from all powerful to also-ran might be worth contemplating by those who now seem to be astride the world economy, a list that could include companies in Wall Street, Silicon Valley and China.

Michelle Applebaum, a now-retired steel analyst whom I have relied upon for insights since the 1980s, when she was at Salomon Brothers, says that one reason the 1959 strike proved disastrous for the big steel companies was that it showed customers they had choices...When the strike did end, workers received minimal wage increases, but they also obtained a cost-of-living provision to ensure that wages and benefits kept up with inflation. That would prove to be valuable for them in later years. Steel users had learned how to deal with imported steel, a lesson they did not forget.
steel  lessons_learned  '60s  unions  labour  S&P  JFK  strikes  history  Salomon_Brothers  U.S._Steel  cost-of-living  Nucor  imports  research_analysts  foresight  decline 
july 2014 by jerryking
Consumer Trends for Fruit and Vegetable Products
Consumer Trends for Fruit and Vegetable Products looks at the STEEP model to analyze factors that affect the marketplace. It explores consumer trends in Canada, using the statistics on food consumption, how Canadians are spending their food dollar, demographics and growth in produce sales. Retail trends are explored, which include specialty foods, packaging, branding, organics, convenience foods and the ethnic market in their relation to fruit and vegetables. Finally, this information is applied to the Alberta situation, suggesting market research activities that producers and processors may consider....Statistics Canada in their report, Food Statistics - 2002 (2003), indicates that the average Canadian in 2002 consumed approximately 93 kilograms (205 lbs) of fruit and 110 kilograms (243 lbs) of vegetables (including potatoes)1. ... The greatest difference in spending between the $80+k group and the <$20k group, is found in the meat and fish category; the next largest gap is in the area of fruits and vegetables. Higher income people would spend more money on more expensive cuts of meat and more exotic fruits and vegetables, or purchase imported produce during the off-season, which tends to be more expensive.

There are now a wide variety of fruit and vegetables available (e.g., plum tomatoes, cocktail tomatoes, and grape tomatoes) (Green, 2003). Higher income households would tend to buy the more expensive varieties versus the lower income groups, who are looking for sales. The restaurant section of the chart, shows the greatest contrast between income groups, demonstrating that the difference in restaurant spending between the highest and lowest group is over $55/week.
fresh_produce  Alberta  trends  fruits  vegetables  statistics  imports 
february 2013 by jerryking
The Nation of Futurity
November 16, 2009 | New York Times | By DAVID BROOKS.
" in the future has motivated generations of Americans..". "The
faith is the molten core of the country’s dynamism. There are also
periodic crises of faith. "Today, the rise of China is producing such a
crisis." "The Chinese now have lavish faith in their scientific and
technological potential." "The anxiety in America is caused by the vague
sense that they [China] has what we’re supposed to have.... faith in
the future...." "The U.S. now has an economy shifted too much toward
consumption, debt and imports and too little toward production,
innovation and exports." "It would be nice if some leader could induce
the country to salivate for the future again...connecting discrete
policies — education, technological innovation, funding for basic
research — into a single long-term narrative." "It would mean creating
regional strategies, because innovation happens in geographic clusters,
not at the national level."
David_Brooks  China  future  faith  innovation  regional  America_in_Decline?  consumption  debt  imports  clusters 
november 2009 by jerryking

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