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  • Recession May Slow But Won't Stop Smart Grid

    Jesse Berst of the Smart Grid Newsletter wonders whether the recession will kill the Smart Grid. In today's "Grid Automation" column , he details reasons why it might and reasons why it won't. He says a recession might kill Smart Grid because (1) utilities can't afford to pass the...
  • The North Platte Canteen – A Wonderful Gift

    Last summer, I was passing through North Platte, Nebraska. For those who do not know, North Platte, on the Union Pacific Railroad, has the largest and busiest railroad yard in the U.S., and witnesses the passage of over 100 trains a day. North Platte however is known for something else, something wonderful...
  • Going Global

    Globalization is a good thing, particularly when it comes to freeing up trade and capital flows. Unfortunately, it looks like the recession has infested all the world's largest economies, leaving some (wrongly) pushing for a little autarky . The euro zone has very likely fallen into a recession for...
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  • CBP Seems to Have Seen the Light

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an arm of the Department of Homeland Security, today indicated that it has not forgotten that there are two elements to "secure trade" - security and trade. Based on constructive comments from traders, importers and manufacturers, CBP announced significant...
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  • Some Post-Election Analysis

    Just came back from a US Chamber/Leading Authorities event featuring election analysts Charlie Cook and Stu Rothenberg . Both had interesting takes on the recent elections: Charlie said that, while the GOP needs to regroup and determine where it's heading in the future, he doesn't think any Republican...
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  • Labor Gears Up to Kill Secret Balloting

    A headline from a front-page Business Section article in today's WaPo : " Labor Seeks Election Rewards ." And what rewards are those? "Labor's top priority is passage of legislation that would make it easier to organize unions ...." That's the so-called "card check"...
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  • Hot Shower, Clean Dishes, Energy Star

    Now, while you are busy contemplating the financial and political markets, don't take for granted what's delivering your next cleanup session under the showerhead or in the tub. As many of us know firsthand, whether it's run by gas or electric, a water heater tank is a failure waiting to...
  • How to Buy an Ally

    During my first (of two) years working at the U.S. Embassy in Honduras in the ‘90s, electricity rationing was the norm. 12 regularly scheduled hours a day with and 12 without. I ate a lot of meals at the cafeteria in the Embassy – which had its own generators to keep the refrigerators running – and went...
  • Update on the Credit Crisis

    The majority of indicators are painting an increasingly dismal picture of the economy (see here , here and here for a few examples). With that in mind, we need to take a step back and check out the credit market to see if any improvements have been made since its near-meltdown last month, as that was...
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  • The Invisible Tax Cut

    It's hard to be optimistic about the economy, and with good reason given the spate of bad news coming out on an almost daily basis. Deteriorating labor market : check. A big slump in consumer spending : check. Lousy guidance from earnings reports: check. Throw in a credit market in flux (though slowly...
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