The Great Deceleration: The most dramatic, and disruptive, period of emerging-market growth the world has ever seen is coming to its close

The Great Deceleration

The emerging-market slowdown is not the beginning of a bust. But it is a turning-point for the world economy

Jul 27th 2013 |From the print edition

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WHEN a champion sprinter falls short of his best speeds, it takes a while to determine whether he is temporarily on poor form or has permanently lost his edge. The same is true with emerging markets, the world economy’s 21st-century sprinters. After a decade of surging growth, in which they led a global boom and then helped pull the world economy forwards in the face of the financial crisis, the emerging giants have slowed sharply. Read more of this post

9 Easy-To-Steal Habits Of The Super Successful

9 EASY-TO-STEAL HABITS OF THE SUPER SUCCESSFUL

WE WISH THERE WAS A HANDBOOK FOR SUCCESS, BUT THERE ISN’T. HERE’S THE NEXT BEST THING: A LIST OF WAYS YOU CAN REALIZE YOUR DREAMS–AND BE A MORE PRODUCTIVE PERSON IN THE PROCESS.

BY: MILES KOHRMAN

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Wouldn’t it be great if success was simple? But it isn’t. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for success in work and life, but we will do our best to steer you in the right direction. Here’s a list of helpful habits of some highly successful–and wildly productive–people to get your started. On your mark, get set, and… Read more of this post

Tile creates tiny, Bluetooth-connected devices you can affix to anything you don’t want to lose–like your keys, laptop, or luggage

DUDE, WHERE’S MY STUFF? HOW TILE APP COULD CREATE A NATIONAL LOST-AND-FOUND

TILE CREATES TINY, BLUETOOTH-CONNECTED DEVICES YOU CAN AFFIX TO ANYTHING YOU DON’T WANT TO LOSE–LIKE YOUR KEYS, LAPTOP, OR LUGGAGE.

BY: CHRISTINA CHAEY

When Fast Company‘s assistant news editor Jessica Hullinger became the victim of a recent bike theft–shortly after she was gifted a brand-new bicycle–she had few options in terms of looking for it. Hullinger hadn’t registered the bike with the New York Police Department, so it had no identification number to track. She halfheartedly called some local bike shops and checked Craigslist for new “For Sale” listings in search of bicycles with descriptions that matched hers. But the bike had vanished. Read more of this post

Tower Crane Industry Awaits a Big Lift; Five Years After Commercial Construction Market’s Collapse, Utilization Rates and Sales Remain Soft

Updated July 25, 2013, 8:13 p.m. ET

Crane Industry Awaits a Big Lift

Five Years After Commercial Construction Market’s Collapse, Utilization Rates and Sales Remain Soft

BOB TITA

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For a glimpse of how the U.S. commercial construction market is faring, Morrow Equipment Co. is worth a good look. Five years after the construction market collapsed, about 250 cranes—or half of Morrow’s fleet—remain idle. The market “is improving this year, but is still at a very low rate compared with where it used to be in the boom time,” said Christian Chalupny, president of Morrow, which is the nation’s largest supplier of rented tower cranes based on fleet size. Read more of this post

10 Recipes for Better Thinking; How action-focused business leaders can sharpen their thinking skills

10 Recipes for Better Thinking

Jul 24, 2013

How action-focused business leaders can sharpen their thinking skills

The fact is, when you teach business, you have to know business. So it’s no surprise that some of the best professors are those with significant experience from the world of business. Yet, I’ve found some significant distinctions between academia and practitioners. For example, while a professor relies heavily on concepts and theories and prefers to maintain neutrality, a businessperson favors taking action, relying on “what worked before,” and is unafraid to take a stance. Additionally, a professor focuses on a single discipline and appreciates diversity of thought, but a businessperson is required to respond to a variety of stimuli and is pressured to make quick decisions. In other words, a professor is required to think more than he or she acts, while a businessperson is expected to act far more than he or she thinks. Though the expectations and methods of reasoning may differ between these two worlds, their styles of thinking are not contrary to one another. In fact, combining elements of both styles of thinking actually prove quite beneficial for a businessperson. As such, I’ve discovered through my experience in both academics and business, ten strategies that can sharpen the thinking of business leaders, equipping them to make smarter, more informed decisions in their fast-paced environment.  Read more of this post

Change is the giant spotlight that can illuminate a corporation’s blemishes and betray its secrets, but the friction of which is also kinetic, its heat ready to ignite a magnificent oeuvre and to liberate talent

Departures, and what they mean

BY FRITZ NELSON 
ON JULY 25, 2013

I don’t believe much in soul mates, at least where corporations and executive leadership are concerned. I believe in calculated choices and fortuitous timing, in harmonious teams, in achievable but auspicious goals, articulated with inspirational verve and backed by unmitigated, obstinate will. New leaders emerge. Old ones leave to pursue the next dream, or get kicked out, sometimes for no good reason at all. Read more of this post

Would a family business by any other name be as profitable?

WOULD A FAMILY BUSINESS BY ANY OTHER NAME BE AS PROFITABLE?

ARTICLE | 25 JULY, 2013 03:42 PM | BY RHYMER RIGBY

Earlier this year the French luxury group Pinault-Printemps-Redoute changed its name to Kering. In doing so, it took big step – it shed the family name. The decision to do so was taken by the chairman and CEO, Francois-Henri Pinault, who is the son of the business’s founder (the Printemps and Redoute are from various takeovers). Pinault cited perfectly sound business reasons for the rebranding – chief among them that only 5% of the group’s sales now come from France. Nonetheless, this is a Rubicon many family businesses would struggle to cross. Read more of this post

TSMC: A fab success; The smartphone boom has been a boon for a pioneer in semiconductors. TSMC has thrived on a mixture of serendipity and anticipation

TSMC: A fab success; The smartphone boom has been a boon for a pioneer in semiconductors

Jul 27th 2013 | TAIPEI |From the print edition

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WHEN he founded Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) in 1987, Morris Chang recalls, “Nobody thought we were going anywhere.” Back then the rule was that semiconductor companies both designed and made chips. TSMC was the first pure “foundry”, making chips for designers with no factories, or “fabs”, of their own. The doubts of others suited TSMC nicely. Mr Chang, at 82 still chairman and in his second stint as chief executive, says that meant it suffered no competition in its first eight years. Read more of this post

An open letter to Jeff Bezos: A contract worker’s take on Amazon.com

Brutal Letter To Jeff Bezos Says Way To Get Ahead At Amazon Is ‘Be A Pretty Girl Or A Dude Who Used Liberal Amounts Of Axe’

JIM EDWARDS JUL. 25, 2013, 5:24 PM 9,887 24

A former Amazon contract worker has written an open letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that brutally dissects his temp hiring policies: “the revolving door of new hires encourages low quality work, inconsistent productivity and wastes useful resources on training,” Steven Barker wrote, after a stint as a contract worker developing Amazon’s X-Ray for TV and Movies.  Barker alleges that Amazon has a policy of hiring temporary contract workers who are let go when they’ve served 11 months, preventing them from becoming permanent employees. The result is that important projects at Amazon such as X-Ray (which allows Kindle users to tap the screen for more info on characters in movies) end up being run by poorly motivated temps, and those temps end up training the new temps, in an endless cycle of increasingly inexperienced, demotivated employees who have no incentive to do quality work because Amazon is “a dead end.” (We’ve reached out to Amazon for a rebuttal; we’ll update this if we hear back.)

An open letter to Jeff Bezos: A contract worker’s take on Amazon.com

July 25, 2013 at 11:59 am by Steve Barker 30 Comments

Dear Jeff Bezos,

In your position, I imagine that you rarely have an opportunity to receive feedback from one of your temporary-contract employees. I thought you should have some input. I hope you find this useful. Read more of this post

Retirement benefits: Who pays the bill? Pensioners are pushing many cities and states towards financial crisis

Retirement benefits: Who pays the bill? Pensioners are pushing many cities and states towards financial crisis

Jul 27th 2013 | CHICAGO AND LOS ANGELES |From the print edition

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DETROIT may be an extreme case of fiscal incontinence. But its bankruptcy highlights a long-term problem faced by many American cities and states; how to fund generous pension and health-care promises that are no longer affordable. The problem has been decades in the making. It has always been easier for politicians to promise generous retirement benefits to public servants than to raise their wages. The bill for jam today falls due immediately; the bill for jam tomorrow can be delayed for decades. Read more of this post

Lo Hsing Han, heroin king and business tycoon, died on July 6th, aged about 80

Lo Hsing Han, heroin king and business tycoon, died on July 6th, aged about 80

Jul 27th 2013 |From the print edition

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MEN in his line of work rarely reach old age. They die in a hail of bullets from police sharpshooters or a rival gang, and are buried fast in shallow jungle graves. Not Lo Hsing Han. At his funeral a cavalcade of cars, some carrying his portrait garlanded with flowers, processed through the streets of Yangon, Myanmar’s capital, to his high-walled villa, right by the 16th tee of the city golf club. Crowds of villagers attended from his native region, in the Golden Triangle of Myanmar’s north-east. They rubbed shoulders with former generals, two cabinet ministers and the cream of Yangon society. Read more of this post

Shanghai cake factory is using drones to deliver cakes in Shanghai

Local company takes delivery of cakes to new heights – literally

Created: 2013-7-24 2:14:51, Updated: 2013-7-24 14:10:37

Author:Yang Jian

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Three women look up in amazement as a drone carries a cake along the Huangpu River.

HAVE the cake and eat it too. And get it delivered in style as well. In a crazy story that would make even spy master James Bond sit up and take notice, a local cake factory is using drones to deliver cakes in Shanghai! And China’s civil aviation authorities are not too happy about it. Read more of this post

Great Wall Motor, China’s No. 1 SUV maker, has operating margins of 16 percent. That’s the highest of any carmaker

China’s Great Wall Motor Is Built on SUVs

By Tian Ying on July 25, 2013

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Wang Jiangwei spent last summer sweating through a month of military drills—everything from marathon runs to rigorous calisthenics—conducted by Chinese People’s Liberation Army instructors. But Wang isn’t a soldier; he’s a researcher at Great Wall Motor (2333:HK). The training program is a creation of Great Wall’s quirky founder, Chairman Wei Jianjun, who has built China’s biggest maker of SUVs with a leadership style that stands out for its emphasis on discipline and frugality usually more common to the military. Read more of this post

Alibaba, e-concierge, soon at your service

Alibaba, e-concierge, soon at your service

English.news.cn   2013-07-26

BEIJING, July 26 (Xinhuanet) — Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd plans to boost its presence in China’s online market, and is adding services to ease consumers’ daily lives, from ordering food to booking movie tickets. The company expects the new business area to become a major revenue source in the future. Online shopping has become a new way of life for many Chinese consumers, said Zhang Jianfeng, vice-president of Alibaba Group. And the company has realized that customers are not satisfied with merely buying items on Internet. Read more of this post

Why Aren’t Many Going For the Billion-Dollar Ideas in Singapore

Why Aren’t Many Going For the Billion-Dollar Ideas in Singapore

July 25, 2013

by John Fearon

John Fearon is a lifelong serial entrepreneur. His 35 years have taken him from selling sweets as a child, to global digital marketing, to founding Dropmysite.com, one of the fastest growing cloud companies today.

Singapore is starting to look like the Silicon Valley of Asia – startups popping up everywhere, chock full of wealth being invested, and now they’re even drawing talent from MNCs around the world. However, one big difference is that on Sand Hill Road, everyone is looking to be a billion-dollar business but it seems only a few in the Lion City are. You need a ton of capital and sufficient length of time to go after the billion-dollar idea. Next, you need a world-changing idea, like indexing the entire internet in a search engine i.e. Google. Sometimes there just isn’t adequate cash or time or ideas on Singapore’s shores to propel a business into orbit. Read more of this post

Mobile Payments Service iBoxPay is the first company that has passed security accreditation of China UnionPay and Banking Card Test Center; More than 1 million deals have been sealed on iBoxPay platform with a turnover of RMB 1 billion

Mobile Payments Service iBoxPay Secured $10 Million Series B Financing

By Emma Lee on July 25, 2013

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iBoxPay, a Square-like mobile payment solution and platform provider, announced $10 million of Series B financing from SMITGSR Ventures and Atomic (announcement in Chinese). The company received 14 million yuan financing (about $2.3 mn) from GSR Ventures in 2011. iBoxPay features RFID reader, barcode scanner, the Square-function, USBKey for secure, e-signature etc, as described on the company’s official website. It stands out in the competitive domestic market as the first company that has passed security accreditation of China UnionPay and Banking Card Test Center. Acquiring accreditation from China UnionPay means that the POS devices of iBoxPay have reached the national financial security standards. It is so far the only company that won a China UnionPay accreditation for handset POS machines. More than 1 million deals have been sealed on iBoxPay platform with a turnover of 1 billion yuan.

Tech firms and their founders: Monarchs versus managers; The battle over Dell raises the question of whether tech firms’ founders make the best long-term leaders of their creations

Tech firms and their founders: Monarchs versus managers; The battle over Dell raises the question of whether tech firms’ founders make the best long-term leaders of their creations

Jul 27th 2013 | SAN FRANCISCO |From the print edition

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THE epic struggle between two billionaires over the future of Dell has gone to another round. Michael Dell, the ailing computer-maker’s founder and biggest shareholder, has now been forced twice to postpone a vote on his proposal to buy out the firm and take it off the stockmarket, for fear that the deal’s critics, led by Carl Icahn, a veteran shareholder activist, may have enough support to scupper the plan. Read more of this post

Warby-As-A-Service? Backed By Reddit, Posterous Founders, Eponym Helps Brands Build And Distribute Their Own Eyewear

Warby-As-A-Service? Backed By Reddit, Posterous Founders, Eponym Helps Brands Build And Distribute Their Own Eyewear

RIP EMPSON

posted 4 hours ago

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Over the last few years, a new wave of startups has emerged to tackle a range of inefficient, ignored or offline segments within the massive world of fashion and retail. The maturation of the Web and digital commerce has allowed these startups to not only target specific niche groups of consumers and build communities and intimate relationships around these verticals, but to bypass brick-and-mortar gatekeepers and connect with customers directly through digital storefronts. Read more of this post

Facebook offers the dummy’s guide to mobile advertising? What advertisers like about news feed are the ads, with colorful photos, are hard to miss, right in the middle of the scroll of updates

July 25, 2013, 8:19 p.m. ET

Why Advertisers Are Warming to Facebook

Shares Soar 30% After Social Network Posts Better-Than-Expected Results

SUZANNE VRANICA and EVELYN RUSLI

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Facebook Inc. is winning more friends on Madison Avenue. The social-media giant’s better-than-expected second-quarter results, driven in part by a big increase in mobile advertising revenue, signaled that after a rough start, the company has made marketers feel more comfortable with spending money on the social network. “The service has improved and the company is a more attentive to advertisers now,” said Adam Shlachter, senior vice president of media for DigitasLBI, a digital ad agency owned by Publicis Groupe  SA. “A year or two ago, the company was a little difficult to work with because they were growing so fast and there was inconsistencies with its service.” Read more of this post

DuPont Sees Niche in Curing China’s Indigestion with state-of-the-art probiotics

DuPont Sees Niche in Curing China’s Indigestion

By Christina Larson on July 24, 2013

Just reading recent headlines about food-safety scandals in China might be enough to give a polite person indigestion. This week CCTV reported that ice cubes found in some KFC (YUM) and McDonald’s (MCD) Beijing branches contained more bacteria than toilet water. Other recent media investigations have exposed gutter oil “recycled” as cooking oil; rat meatsold as “lamb”; and growth-chemical-laced exploding watermelons. But where there’s a problem, there’s often a business opportunity: Companies selling digestive aids, dietary supplements, are nutrition products are now finding a hungry market in China. Read more of this post

Chemical Companies Rush to the U.S. Thanks to Cheap Natural Gas, powering a $100 billion investment boom in the U.S. chemical industry

Chemical Companies Rush to the U.S. Thanks to Cheap Natural Gas

By Jack Kaskey on July 25, 2013

Ships sailing north from Chile are bringing an unusual cargo to the U.S.: chemical factories. Methanex (MEOH), the Canadian company that’s the world’s largest producer of methanol, is spending $1.1 billion to disassemble two of its Chilean factories and rebuild them in Geismar, La. The first plant is scheduled to open next year. A second will be relocated by early 2016.

Scores of other companies including ExxonMobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX), and Sasol (SSL) plan to spend about $100 billion to build or expand chemical plants in the U.S., according to a tally kept by Dow Chemical (DOW), the biggest U.S. chemical maker by sales. Dow is spending $4 billion to build factories in Freeport, Tex., and reopen a plant in Hahnville, La., creating 500 manufacturing and 5,000 construction jobs. Five years ago the company was closing U.S. plants and moving production to the Middle East to gain access to cheaper raw materials and be closer to Asian markets. Read more of this post

For India’s Inflation Crisis, See Onion Prices; The onion is the preferred gauge by which many Indians measure inflation and the competence of their politicians

For India’s Inflation Crisis, See Onion Prices

By Brendan Greeley and Kartik Goyal on July 25, 2013

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Apples are too expensive now, so Shilpa Gethe settles for bananas. She doesn’t have an easy substitute for onions. Gethe, 32, a housewife in the Mumbai suburb of Vashi, buys more than four pounds of onions a week. About two months ago a pound cost 10 rupees (17¢). Since then the price has doubled, she says. A 500-rupee note used to get her through a week of vegetables. Now it’s two days, sometimes less. To stick to her monthly budget, Gethe sends her husband to work with a packed lunch. “I have to put in more work,” she says. Read more of this post

OnStar, Garmin Try to Keep Pace With Waze, Other Free Navigation Apps

OnStar, Garmin Try to Keep Pace With Waze, Other Free Navigation Apps

By Keith Naughton on July 25, 2013

When Tim Nixon’s sons want to figure out how to get somewhere in their cars, they turn their iPhones sideways, attach them to their windshields with a suction cup, and turn on a free downloadable mapping app. For their father, that’s a sign that he has a problem. As chief technology officer of General Motors’ (GM) OnStar service, he sells dashboard navigational systems for $1,500 or more. “We’ve historically had these onboard, embedded nav systems,” he says. “That’s just not going to cut it anymore.” Read more of this post

Beijing takes on big beasts of global drugs industry

July 24, 2013 6:04 pm

Beijing takes on big beasts of global drugs industry

By David Pilling

Regulators are flexing their muscles with greater powers and long-dormant laws

Kill the chicken to scare the monkey is a well-known Chinese expression to describe the tactic of cracking down on the little guy in order to frighten the big beasts into stepping into line. In taking onGlaxoSmithKline, a gorilla of the global pharmaceuticals industry, Chinese authorities have gone straight for the monkey. The Anglo-American drugs company, which employs about 5,000 people in China, has become embroiled in a scandal over alleged payment of bribes to doctors in return for prescribing GSK medicines. According to the allegations, inducements to often lowly paid doctors, hospitals and government officials were funnelled through travel agencies for fictitious or overbilled travel and conference services. Read more of this post

Politics Is a Bitter Pill for Glaxo: How the Glaxo bribery scandal fits into China’s new narrative of re-crafting China’s economy as consumer driven

July 25, 2013, 8:20 p.m. ET

Politics Is a Bitter Pill for Glaxo

How the Glaxo Bribery Scandal Fits Into China’s New Economic Narrative

JOHN BUSSEY

Here’s one takeaway from the bribery scandal GlaxoSmithKline GSK.LN +0.24% is weathering in China: In Glaxo’s anguish, there’s solace for the Chinese consumer, and Beijing is glad about that. China this month accused Glaxo of bribing doctors and officials to sell the company’s drugs at higher prices. Glaxo apologized, saying it appears a small group of wayward managers was at fault, not company policy. It also said it will drop prices in China. Read more of this post

Indonesia’s Working Women Struggle to Succeed; “You have to manage everything well. But that’s why God created women — we can handle it.”

Indonesia’s Working Women Struggle to Succeed

Growing equality means a better economy for Indonesia: World Bank

By Angela Buensuceso on 12:23 pm July 25, 2013.
Ask the chief executive of one of the country’s largest banks what it takes for a woman to excel in the workplace and the answer is clear. “You have to manage everything well,” says Parwati Surjaudaja, the president director of Bank OCBC NISP. While countries in the West continue to aim for reductions in yawning pay gaps and a gradual dismantling of the glass ceiling, the developing world is, for the most part, a long way behind in building the foundations for greater female participation in the workforce. Not so in Indonesia. Read more of this post

Chinese maritime freight companies on brink of bankruptcy

Chinese maritime freight companies on brink of bankruptcy

Staff Reporter

2013-07-26

China’s Ministry of Transport is expected to introduce temporary measures to help container ship operators tide over a possible bankruptcy. The move was made public after a planned national stimulus program announced for the shipping industry last year was aborted and the National Development and Reform Commission reneged on its stance to help the industry, according to the Economic Information Daily, a newspaper published by the state-run Xinhua news agency. Read more of this post

Viagra patent expiry in July 2014 arouses interest from Chinese pharmas to target US$81.4 billion market

Viagra patent expiry arouses interest from Chinese pharmas

Staff Reporter

2013-07-26

Pfizer’s Viagra patent will expire in July 2014 and Chinese corporations such as Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings and Lianhuan Pharmaceutical are getting ready to flood the market with generic versions of the erectile dysfunction drug. In fact, the expiry of Viagra’s patent is just one instance from the over 600 patented drugs whose patents started expiring after 2012, according to the Chinese Medical Report. Read more of this post

The move out of bonds, a trickle so far, could intensify as investors hit the reset button on their portfolios.

July 25, 2013, 3:22 p.m. ET

Bonds Could Get Swept Away by the Flow

Move Out of Bonds Could Intensify as Investors Hit Reset Button on Their Portfolios

JUSTIN LAHART

Investors’ love affair with bonds is going through a rough patch. If they don’t make up soon, things could get really rocky. With the Federal Reserve signaling that it will begin reining in its Treasury and mortgage-bond purchases later this year, the fixed-income arena has become a less-than-happy place. Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s index of U.S. corporate and government bonds fallen 3.8% since the start of May. Investors have noticed, pulling a net $78 billion from bond mutual funds in the seven weeks ended July 17, according to Investment Company Institute estimates. Read more of this post

Reality Bites for Siemens and ABB: Two of Europe’s Largest Industrial Companies Are Signaling All’s Not Well With the Global Economy

July 25, 2013, 12:09 p.m. ET

Reality Bites for Siemens and ABB

Two of Europe’s Largest Industrial Companies Are Signaling All’s Not Well With the Global Economy

ANDREW PEAPLE

If optimism about the global economy is steadily building, some of Europe’s largest industrial companies didn’t get the memo.

Siemens SIE.XE -5.98% shocked investors Thursday afternoon by revealing it won’t meet its target of a 12% margin on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by the end of its fiscal-year 2014, a key management aim. The German engineer’s shares slumped 6%. Swiss peer ABB‘s ABBN.VX -3.08% shares dropped 3.1% after a downbeat first-half earnings statement showed its order book declining across the globe. The message is clear: The economic climate for such companies is still very challenging. The question is which one is better placed to cope. Read more of this post

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