With the New Year beginning I wanted to see what the Sunday New York Times, the reflection of the Eastern liberal elites, would be writing about. The front section was a montage of pessimism and orneriness about public workers’ pensions under attack, New York state’s financial woes as Andrew Cuomo takes over in Albany, and the inability of young workers to find livable wage work in southern Europe.
The pieces were well done, but the editorial judgment of The Times was indicative of what I see as the disconnect of the public and business environment at this moment.
The politicians and elites (journalistic, academic and financial) are fixated on a problematic world economy while the people who have weathered the past three years are rearing to make money. You see this in the stock market, where the Gotham hedge funds and mutual funds have generally fought the tape expecting a double dip recession, deflation and more recently stagflation with commodities rising rapidly in price.
Meanwhile the Dow is up 80 percent from the 2009 low and Christmas sales were up twice as much as the consensus predicted.
The recent Purchasing Managers’ Chicago survey showed a stunning burst of industrial activity and almost everybody I talk to in manufacturing is bullish.
A few straws in the wind—I recently heard of two companies that flew heavy machine tools to the U.S. from Europe to get them on the floor in 2010. Also, with demand strong in China, machine tool firms in Japan are rationing supply because they do not want to shut out customers from around the world.
As I look at my Graff-Pinkert used machinery business I am wondering where we are going to find the skills we may well be needing in 2011.
The N.Y. Times is still looking at a 2009 world. Fortunately, we are living in 2011.
Question: Will 2011 be a breakout year for you?