2011 Breakout or Breakdown?

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?

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5 thoughts on “2011 Breakout or Breakdown?

  1. AvatarKevin Meehan

    Lloyd, I am with you. It’s time to put up points–time to throw the ball down field and make some money. If we don’t, the global economy will punish us. Publications like the NYT aren’t nearly as relevant as they once were, so who cares what they say.

  2. AvatarJerry Johnson

    Businesses will head back in a positive direction when and only when our elected officials in Washington understand that they work for the people, not the other way around. It seems as though the majority of them (particularly Pelosi and Reid) still don’t get it even after the November election. Are they really that stupid, or is this simply a continuation of their elitist arrogance ??

    Everything Obama has rammed down our throats is counterproductive to our Country’s fiscal health. (Let me know if there is something that I have missed to the contrary, please.) Hence, businesses won’t invest, hire or build components ahead in any significant way when the Country’s future is bleak.

    Lloyd, suggest you take the money you spend on the irrelevant NY Times and buy and read Investors Business Daily. At least you will get a chance to understand two viewpoints instead of just one.

  3. AvatarTom Peters

    I agree, this NY Times article could not be farther from the truth. We at Symbol Job Training, Inc. are a CNC training shop that services the manufacturing community in the Chicagoland area and from many of the companies that I speak with on a daily basis, business appears to be up across the board and the cautious optimism we experienced in 2010 is being replaced with real optimism for an economic recovery in 2011.

  4. AvatarEliezer

    Like all costs in these lean times, the cost vs value received in atetnding physical trade shows is being scrutinized by an manufacturing industry that has been hit hard with cost reduction propositions. Add to that the technology factor: Technology has given us many tools to gather information quickly, cheaply and more completely. Even without physical shows, we are better informed than ever. Perhaps the future of the big machine tool shows will be similar to the fate of COMDEX (the IT industry’s trade show) where shows a


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