Friday, July 23, 2010

Recap First Half 2010

I have been taking a break from writing this blog. It felt as if everyone was just "treading water", with things not really getting better, but not getting any worse.

And, it's still about the same. The ocean carriers are now making money, but many have burned through their cash reserves. There is speculation CMA CGM will be looking for new shareholders,although at the moment they are still trying to get someone to just loan them some money.

The Europeans just did the "test" to see what banks would be in trouble should there be another downturn. The news wasn't too bad, but some people are wondering what the tests really demonstrated.
From the BBC

"What seems to have occurred is a compromise amongst European banking regulators, with many questioning if the bar had been set way too low in testing the European banking sector," said Mark O'Sullivan of foreign exchange firm Currencies Direct.

"It seems the tests may have raised more questions than they have answered and in the coming weeks, it will be the interbank lending markets that will have the real answer as to whether real confidence has returned to the European banks."

And, with the explosion of the BP well in the Gulf of Mexico, it gives one pause as to how much some companies are involved in polluting the world. In particular, Trafigura made the news.

The BBC reports

A Dutch court has found multinational Trafigura guilty of illegally exporting toxic waste from Amsterdam and concealing the nature of the cargo.

In 2006, Trafigura transported waste alleged to have been involved in the injury of thousands of people in Ivory Coast. Trafigura denied any wrongdoing.

Ocean container space is tight coming out of Asia, as the carriers had been smart enough to not add too much capacity. This will last another year, then all the carriers will have short term memory loss, and add too much capacity.

Some things never change.

Like the weather. It's summertime in the U.S., and yet some people are shocked to see the temps in the triple digits.

Go figure.