Industry Scuttlebutt – EMO, Moneyball, Tax Breaks, and Oil Prices

In talking to my correspondent who attended last week’s EMO show in Hanover, Germany, the mood in Europe is profoundly bullish. The aisles were packed and the frauleins in the booths were smiling. Every day the financial casino trembles with each whisper from Athens and Bonn, but at EMO people were quoting and selling stuff – lots of stuff.

Bill Cox of Cox Manufacturing in San Antonio was really excited by the new Tornos multi, which is basically six sliding headstock machines in one unit. It’s called the Tornos 514 and has a built-in integrated short barloader. Very elegant design with no Hirth Coupling or Geneva mechanism.

They have sold a few beta units in Europe and expect to be delivering in America early next year. Bill thought it could be a “game changer.”

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In the oil trading pits at the Nymex Exchange, crude oil in the U.S. is trading for around $80 per barrel, but Brent crude is around $30 a barrel higher. The pump price we pay seems tied to the European price, which is supposedly affected by the curtailment of shipments from Libya. To me this smacks of collusion on consumer pump prices with producers pocketing a windfall here.

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Very little is being written about the potential expiration of the liberal write-offs for capital equipment. For folks in the machining world this is a very big deal. If there is no extension – and with the standoff in Congress it looks like President Obama’s jobs infrastructure proposal is Dead On Arrival – the tax goodies will end December 31. If business holds up I foresee a rush to buy equipment in the fourth quarter.

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I saw “Moneyball,” the movie. Terrific performance by Brad Pitt as Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane, the former #1 draft pick who never really made it in the Major Leagues. The narrative nicely weaves Beane’s personal story and his search for a more effective way to evaluate what makes successful players and teams. As a baseball junkie I would have preferred more emphasis on the use of statistical metrics in the choice of players rather than the focus on the emotional and charismatic Beane, but with Brad Pitt as Executive Producer of the flick and the desire to make another blockbuster like “The Blindside” I can understand the choices. The movie is good and worth seeing – it just wasn’t the movie of the book I loved so much.

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For those who are interested, I’ve lost 15 pounds in six weeks. No bread, very few sweets. I’m a little worried about Thanksgiving.

Question: Who do you this will win this year’s World Series?

 Brad Pitt promoting his new film “Moneyball”

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2 thoughts on “Industry Scuttlebutt – EMO, Moneyball, Tax Breaks, and Oil Prices

  1. AvatarScott

    I had the opportunity to attend EMO this year and I agree about the overall impact of it. It was super busy and the buyers in general attendance were very positive. I think it made the last few domestic shows I worked feel like Kindergarten show-and-tell.

     

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