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Metal manufacturers on bailouts

September 17, 2008

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The September Fabricating Update e-newsletter discussed recent U.S. government bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Since the newsletter went out, AIG also has been the beneficiary of a government-backed bailout. Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch weren't as lucky.This newsletter also...

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A Ross way of thinking

September 16, 2008

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What a troubled week. Automotive industry execs spent it in front of Congress saying they need a loan. And of course there are those big weekend stories, with Lehman Brothers declaring bankruptcy and Bank of America acquiring brokerage giant Merrill Lynch.Hearing and reading all the pundits pine...

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Get burned up after reading

September 11, 2008

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I heard this company president say one time that one of his hobbies was reading business books. I thought to myself that hobby ranks right up there with sword swallowing and power walking in malls as things that make me scratch my head.I"ve got my own management theory. If a company is run by...

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Where the jobs are and aren't

September 10, 2008

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Texas made the national news today when thousands of Texans in Brazoria County were urged to evacuate, and officials contemplated ordering a mandatory evacuation of one million people in a second county, as Hurricane Ike gathered strength in the Gulf of Mexico on its way toward the state. If the...

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Weathering the storm on Cape Ann

September 9, 2008

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The economy is looking like an intricate patchwork that"s still holding together, though with some seriously thread-bare areas. The housing and financial service sectors make up the brunt of those bare threads, while manufacturing continues to hold surprisingly strong, if you don"t include sectors...

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The right to protect your sourcing

September 4, 2008

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We have an outstanding resource center here at the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association. If you are an FMA member, you probably already know that after having taken advantage of some of our research or information-gathering capabilities.We also have access to many industry magazines. I picked up...

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Tough choices

September 3, 2008

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It's been a rough couple of weeks in the Bell household. While we normally have difficulty finding anything we care to watch among the gazillion stations available on satellite TV, for the past two weeks, we've found ourselves having to choose between watching the political conventions or...

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The people who made the levees hold

September 2, 2008

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The levees held.At least at this writing. Absorbing the news stories last night and this morning, I saw that most people held cautious optimism. We"re not out of the woods yet, but Gustav was no Katrina, and New Orleans did not turn into a giant, murky cesspool as it did three years ago. As...

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Don't judge that book so quickly

August 28, 2008

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Colleagues and I were out to lunch this week with some welding educators from Rock Valley Community College in Rockford, Ill. We were discussing their recent activities and goals for the program; we were mining them for story ideas and ways we could better serve our welding readers.The educators...

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More than a dollar sign

August 27, 2008

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Listen up, fabricators. Looking for a new product to fabricate? One that capitalizes on the "green" movement and, therefore, stands a decent chance of finding a market? Then look to the sidewalks of New York City.Ignore any pigeon droppings and trash bags awaiting pickup. Focus instead on some...

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If it can"t be measured, it's not real

August 25, 2008

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There"s nothing like the Olympics to spark dreams of human potential. Something about the event brings out romantic optimism in me. I know that"s what the producers at NBC were aiming for and, with me at least, they"ve succeeded. For instance, I must have replayed Usian Bolt"s races 10...

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'Die-ing' for respect

August 21, 2008

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In my editorial coming up in the September 2008 issue of The FABRICATOR, I write about Die Tech Services Inc., basically an agency that sends out tool and die experts, machine builders, and CNC machinists on a temporary basis.Like most entrepreneur stories, the company"s genesis is some other...

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What price gold?

August 20, 2008

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As I write this, the U.S. leads in total medals (82) in the 2008 Summer Olympics. However, China has won more gold medals (45) than the U.S. (26) and Russia (13) combined, and more than the U.S. and Great Britain (26) combined.The U.S. is expected to gain ground in the gold medal race in...

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Made in America, sold to BRIC

August 18, 2008

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Several events this month have made me feel a tad on edge, at least at first.First, it was the Olympics. I"m sure many of you saw the opening ceremonies, and like me you probably thought it was quite a spectacle. You probably also remember commentator Matt Lauer"s comment as 2,008 drummers played...

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A U.S. national buffoon's European vacation

August 15, 2008

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I just came back from a 10-day vacation. My wife and I visited England and Ireland for four days each. The trip was fun, but it"s hard to just put your life on hold for an extended period nowadays.As we slept in our tiny hotel room built for none on the fourth day, I tried not to think about work,...

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