2011年1月31日 星期一

The Role Model: What Obama Sees in Reagan

In May 2010, Barack Obama invited a small group of presidential historians to the White House for a working supper in the Family Dining Room. It was the second time he'd had the group in since taking office, and as he sat down across the table from his wife Michelle, the President pressed his guests for lessons from his predecessors. But as the conversation progressed, it became clear to several in the room that Obama seemed less interested in talking about Lincoln's team of rivals or Kennedy's Camelot than the accomplishments of an amiable conservative named Ronald Reagan, who had sparked a revolution three decades earlier when he arrived in the Oval Office. Obama and Reagan share a number of gifts but virtually no priorities. And yet Obama was clearly impressed by the way Reagan had transformed Americans' attitude about government. The 44th President regarded the 40th, said one participant, as a vital "point of reference." Douglas Brinkley, who edited Reagan's diaries and attended the May dinner, left with a clear impression that Obama had found a role model. "There are policies, and there is persona, and a lot can be told by persona," he says. "Obama is approaching the job in a Reaganesque fashion."

When Obama stood before Congress, the Cabinet and the American people to deliver his second State of the Union address, both the Reagan persona and policies put in appearances. He proposed a freeze in discretionary spending and federal salaries, a push to simplify the tax code and billions in cuts to the defense budget, and he made new calls for a bipartisan effort to repair Social Security. Each of these had been proposed before by another third-year President coming off a midterm defeat in a period of high unemployment. "Let us, in these next two years — men and women of both parties, every political shade — concentrate on the long-range, bipartisan responsibilities of government," Reagan said in his 1983 State of the Union, "not the short-range or short-term temptations of partisan politics." (See Reagan in TIME's list of the top 10 memorable debate moments.)

At a glance, it's hard to imagine a President who had less in common with Reagan than the Ivy League lawyer from Hawaii who seeks larger federal investments, a bigger social safety net and new regulations for Wall Street and Big Oil. But under the surface, there is no mistaking Obama's increasing reliance on his predecessor's career as a helpful template for his own. Since the November elections, Obama has brought corporate executives into the White House, reached out to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and made compromise his new watchword. He signed a surprise $858 billion tax cut that would have made Reagan weep with joy and huddled with Reagan's former White House chief of staff Ken Duberstein for lessons learned when the Gipper governed amid economic troubles. Over the Christmas break, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs tweeted that Obama was reading a Reagan biography, and just to confirm the bond, Obama recently wrote an homage to Reagan for USA Today. "Reagan recognized the American people's hunger for accountability and change," Obama wrote, conferring on Reagan two of his most cherished political slogans. (See "From Actor to Politician: 1966, Ronald Reagan's Pivotal Year.")

Every man who occupies the Oval Office discovers that the place is haunted — by both the achievements and the failures of his predecessors. It is only natural for them to ask, How will I stack up? Where will history rank me? And do I really belong here with the likes of Washington, Jefferson and all the rest? LBJ worried constantly about Eisenhower's opinion. Reagan often modeled himself in style on Franklin Delano Roosevelt, for whom he cast his first vote for President, in 1932. George H.W. Bush asked himself, Can I be another Teddy Roosevelt? When George W. Bush was asked after his first term whether he thought more or less highly of any of his predecessors, he replied that having sat in the chair himself, he thought more highly of all of them.

Obama's affection for Reagan's political style carries with it a clear self-interest. White House aides gaze fondly at the arc of the Reagan presidency in part because they pray Obama's will mirror it. Both men entered office in wave elections in which the political center made a historic shift. Both faced deep economic downturns with spiking unemployment in their first term. Both relied heavily on the power of oratory. "Our hope," admits Gibbs, "is the story ends the same way." (See "The Reagan Revelation.")

What Reagan Taught Obama
In many ways, the Gipper gave Obama his start. Obama's first public political act occurred on Feb. 18, 1981, just 29 days after Reagan took the oath of office in Washington. The 19-year-old sophomore, who had just abandoned the nickname Barry for his birth name Barack, climbed onto an outdoor stage at Occidental College to urge his school to divest from companies doing business in apartheid South Africa. "There's a struggle going on," he called out. "I say, there's a struggle going on." As he spoke, Reagan was already laying the groundwork to shift U.S. policy on South Africa in the opposite direction, giving cover to the all-white government under a policy called constructive engagement. (Comment on this story.)

In the years that followed, Reagan would come to epitomize all that Obama opposed. Reagan cut social spending in America's cities, backed what Obama called "death squads" in El Salvador and began to build what Obama regarded as an "ill conceived" missile-defense shield. "I personally came of age during the Reagan presidency," Obama wrote later, recalling the classroom debates in his courses on international affairs. When he graduated from Columbia in 1983, Obama decided to become a community organizer. "I'd pronounce the need for change," Obama wrote in his memoir. "Change in the White House, where Reagan and his minions were carrying on their dirty deeds." A decade later, he was still at it, leading a 1992 Illinois voter-registration effort aimed at breaking the Reagan coalition's hold on his state's electoral votes.

But in Obama's story line, Reagan has been more than just the antagonist. As the 1980s rolled on and Obama matured, Reagan became a model for leadership. The attraction was less substantive than stylistic and instinctive. Both had strong mothers and dysfunctional fathers. Both prided themselves on bringing people together. Obama even conceded that he sometimes felt the emotional pull of Reagan's vision. "I understood his appeal," Obama recalled in his second book, The Audacity of Hope. "Reagan spoke to America's longing for order, our need to believe that we are not simply subject to blind, impersonal forces but that we can shape our individual and collective destinies." The Great Communicator, it seems, had struck a chord.

This admiration stayed with Obama after he rose to the U.S. Senate and as he weighed a run at the White House. In late 2006, his top strategist, David Axelrod, laid out an Obama-as-Reagan theory of the race. "I remember talking about the fact that this had the potential to be one of those big-change elections like 1980," Axelrod says now. "The Republican project seemed to have run out of gas." Axelrod believed the political pendulum, which had swung left with the New Deal and had been reversed by Reagan, was once again reaching the end of its arc. (See Patti Davis on her father Ronald Reagan's best qualities.)

Among Obama loyalists, the Reagan theory was received wisdom, and for political reasons it was closely held. In January 2008, Obama broke cover. "I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that, you know, Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not," Obama told a newspaper editorial board in Nevada. "He tapped into what people were already feeling, which is, We want clarity, we want optimism." Obama's comments inflamed the Democratic left (not to mention the Clinton operation), but his aides thought little of it at the time. "I basically told headquarters, 'Sorry I didn't call this in,'" remembers Gibbs, who was traveling with Obama at the time. "I had just heard him say this so many times."

In the 2008 general election, Obama's aides saw their challenge as the same one Reagan faced against Jimmy Carter: a need to demonstrate authority and credibility to the American people, many of whom thought Reagan might not be suitable as Commander in Chief. While Reagan solidified his support in a televised debate with Carter, Obama did it by outmaneuvering John McCain with his far steadier handling of the financial collapse. Obama's campaign team even sought for a time to stage an event at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, where Reagan made history.

Theory into Practice
Shortly after the election, reporters Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson asked Obama if he thought his victory marked the end of the Reagan era. "What Reagan ushered in was a skepticism toward government solutions to every problem," Obama said. "I don't think that has changed." But then he went on to say he believed his election would spell "an end to the knee-jerk reaction toward the New Deal and Big Government." In Obama's mind, his election was not an endorsement of the outsize government role that Reagan battled — bureaucratic, ever expanding, self-interested — but a cry for government that could carry out its basic missions more effectively. "I think what you're seeing is a correction to the correction," Obama explained. (See Reagan in TIME's list of the top 10 political defections.)

That's not the sort of slogan that fits easily on a bumper sticker. One reason was that, unlike Reagan's, Obama's central theme remains somewhat mysterious. No one was unclear about Reagan's guiding philosophy: "Government is the problem," he declared on his Inauguration Day, and by then he had been saying it for nearly 20 years. Obama's is more complex. He wants to reset the public's attitude toward government, reverse 30 years of skepticism and mistrust and usher in a new era in which government solutions are again seen as part of the answer to the nation's ills. But the yearlong health care debate only reminded Americans of government's tendency to slow things down, muddle the choices and perhaps make them more expensive. A September Gallup poll found that 7 in 10 Americans had a negative impression of the federal government; they used words like too big, confused and corrupt to describe it. Obama's signature initiative, a vast expansion of the federal role in health care, has mostly polled under 50% since mid-2009.

Yet even the midterm wipeout has become part of the borrowed Reagan script. For months, aides like Axelrod warned Obama to expect a drop in the polls like the one Reagan suffered during the 1982 recession. Reagan "wasn't the Great Communicator then," notes one senior Obama aide. Just as Reagan's revolutionary agenda coincided with a historic recession, massive unemployment and a humbling defeat in the 1982 midterms, the story went, Obama's new spending programs coincided with a historic recession, deep unemployment and midterms that cost the Democrats control of Congress. As the 2010 elections approached, White House aides struggled to recast press expectations in the mold of Reagan's early struggles. "The most analogous election to the midterms probably isn't the environment Clinton faced in 1994," argued communications director Dan Pfeiffer. "It's the one Reagan faced in 1982."

This is where the Obama-Reagan comparison begins to break down. Lou Cannon, who wrote the Reagan biography that Obama read on vacation, points out that economic growth in the U.S. in the four quarters following the 1982 elections averaged a steroidal 7%. Most economists expect the U.S. economy to grow no more than half as fast this year. "If you were to say to anyone now that the U.S. would have a 7% growth rate in 2011, they would be writing the second Inaugural speech already," says Cannon.

Duberstein, Reagan's chief of staff, believes that Obama and Reagan share some traits: both loners more than backslappers, both heavily reliant on their spouses, both more trusting of their instincts than their advisers. But the 44th President has some ways to go before matching the 40th in the communications department. "Obama for the first two years has tried to forge a consensus in Washington," Duberstein says. "He needs to take a page from Reagan and forge a consensus in America. Let his aides worry about the back and forth in D.C. He needs to be communicating with the American people." (See TIME's 2004 Appreciation on Reagan.)

When Obama's Jan. 25 speech soared highest, it streaked far above Washington's often pointless political skirmishes and spoke directly to the nation's pride. "As contentious and frustrating and messy as our democracy can sometimes be," the President said, "I know there isn't a person here who would trade places with any other nation on earth."

Right guard: Reagan fashioned a revolution that was positive and optimistic and found approval among both Republicans and Democrats

New centrist: Chastened by voters in November, Obama is leading his team back toward the middle

Blessed by Weakened Rivals
Historians have noticed that Obama's current situation shares one other similarity with the dark days of the Reagan era: the eroding unity of their opponents. Democrats were splitting in two in the early 1980s, into a labor-backed left and a new group of moderates who wanted to move the party to the center. Today, Obama faces a Republican Party that is struggling to reconcile its traditional, business-friendly wing and the upstart, impatient Tea Party faction. The split is starting to be distracting for the GOP. After Obama's speech, Republicans came back with two responses — one from the party's leadership and one from a junior Congresswoman from Minnesota, Michele Bachmann, under the Tea Party banner. Bachmann said she did not intend "to compete with the official Republican remarks," but that was exactly the effect. "It was problematic and confusing for the Republican Party," says Mark McKinnon, a former strategist for John McCain. When reporters asked McCain about the Bachmann rebuttal, he said with a wink, "It's a free country."

Reagan's fiercest defenders naturally are suspicious about Obama's bromance with Reagan. "He's been trying to unspool everything Reagan stood for," says one old hand. Nor is the Reagan role model something the President can really boast about to his nervous allies on the left. Obama will not take part in the 100th birthday celebration for Reagan at Simi Valley, Calif., in early March, though he may have something to contribute when a black-tie gala is held in Washington later this spring. (See TIME's photo-essay "Ronald Reagan's Fulcrum Year: 1966.")

Obama invited Nancy Reagan to the White House 19 months ago, when he signed legislation creating a commission to plan for her husband's centennial. The meeting was cordial and generous on both sides. Nancy and Michelle Obama had lunch. Nancy, who in her ninth decade retains a healthy sense of humor, didn't miss a chance to point out one difference between Obama and her late husband. "You're a lefty," she said as Obama inked the Reagan commission into law.

"I am a lefty," Obama replied. A lefty who wants to be remembered just like Ronnie.

— With additional reporting by Jay Newton-Small, Katy Steinmetz and Mavis Baah



Powerchip To Phase Out Own PC DRAM Sales; To Make Chips For Elpida
Wall Street Journal
By Lorraine Luk and Kazuhiro Shimamura TAIPEI (Dow Jones)--Taiwan's Powerchip Technology Corp. (5346.OT) struck a preliminary deal with Japan's Elpida ...

  • 2011-02-01
  • 工商時報
  • 【記者李淑惠/台北報導】




 黃崇仁指出,去年第4季價格崩盤的速度連三星都受到波及,三星、海力士市佔率合計達60%,這樣的市占結構難以撼動,爾必達陣營也有一定 市占率,足以存活,但是力晶不想再把資源100%壓在標準型DRAM景氣風險中,價格雖然大漲,但是能持續多久?幾經思考,加上力晶在非PC DRAM已耕耘有成,因此決定順勢轉型。



 黃崇仁也對力晶未來的記憶體代工充滿信心。他說,力晶的8吋廠、12吋廠折舊均進入尾聲,不僅單廠有競爭力,力晶12吋廠代工的產品都是 8吋廠量產難度相當高的東西,加上國際大廠三星、海力士、美光、華邦電都不做代工,不管是DRAM或是Flash代工,力晶都是全球唯一。


2011年1月30日 星期日

So who’s top of the class now?

So who’s top of the class now?

A few weeks ago, I visited New York’s Columbia University to take part in a debate about the global economy. Since the evening was chaired by Hugh Patrick, a professor of Japanese studies, I was not surprised to see some Japanese faces there.

几周前,我前往纽约哥伦比亚大学(Columbia University),参加一个有关全球经济的辩论。由于当晚担任主持的是日本研究教授休•帕特里克(Hugh Patrick),因此,在会场里看到一些日本面孔并不令我感到意外。

What was striking, though, was the behaviour of the Chinese students in the audience. When the speeches were over a clutch of them introduced themselves very articulately, and continued the debate in impressively fluent English. The Japanese students, by contrast, hovered silently on the margins, half-unseen.


Perhaps that was a coincidence. Or maybe not. This week, following the visit by Chinese president Hu Jintao to Washington, the US has been convulsed by debate about the changing role of China on the world stage. But away from those visible, macro-economic changes in east Asia, a rather fascinating little power shift has been quietly developing in the grassroots of some American business schools and universities.


The issue revolves around the behaviour of Chinese and Japanese students. A couple of decades ago, when Japan was riding high in the global economy, Japanese companies and institutions were keen to send their brightest students to study in US (or British) universities, to teach them western technology and skills.


Once those students arrived, they were often a rather polite, quiet bunch; typically they kept their heads down while working phenomenally hard. But nobody at the universities dared ignore them: Japan was associated with money and power. (Just read Michael Lewis’s book Liar’s Poker for an entertaining description of how this played out in the Salomon Brothers 1980s training programme.) And Japanese students were usually enthusiastic about the opportunity; going to Harvard or Columbia was considered useful for their career.

这些学生到达国外后,往往表现得相当有教养和文静;他们一般都保持低调,埋头苦干。但 大学里没人敢小瞧他们:日本这两个字当时是与财富和实力联系在一起的。(只消读一读迈克尔•刘易斯(Michael Lewis)的《骗术扑克》(Liar’s Poker)就知道了。该书对上世纪80年代所罗门兄弟(Salomon Brothers)培训项目如何体现出这一点做了有趣的描述。)而且,日本学生通常对机会非常热诚,在他们看来,进入哈佛(Harvard)或哥伦比亚大 学有利于自己的职业发展。

But in the past five years the number of Japanese students at six of the most elite American universities, such as Harvard and Stanford, has tumbled by 36 per cent to 477, according to the Nikkei newspaper. Last year alone, Japanese enrolments at all US institutions fell by 15 per cent to 24,000, according to the Institute of International Education. That pushed Japan into sixth place in the foreign students’ league table, below Taiwan and South Korea.

但据报纸《日本经济新闻》(Nikkei)称,过去5年里,在哈佛和斯坦福 (Stanford)等6所美国最杰出的大学中,日本留学生人数骤减了36%,仅剩477人。根据美国国际教育协会(Institute of International Education)的数据,仅去年一年,美国所有机构招收的日本留学生总数就减少了15%,至2.4万人。这使得日本滑落至外籍留学生人数排行榜的第6 位,位居台湾和韩国之后。

Kathy Matsui, a Harvard alumna who is now one of the most senior economists in Japan, confirms: “The number of Japanese students studying abroad has plummeted. If you look at what Chinese or Korean students are doing, there is a real contrast. It is worrying, because Japan needs more people who are global and international.”

毕业于哈佛的松井凯蒂(Kathy Matsui)如今已经是日本最资深的经济学家之一。她证实:“日本留学海外的人数已大幅减少。反观中国或韩国学生的表现,的确对比鲜明。这令人感到不安,因为日本需要更多具有国际视野的全球化人才。”

Why is this happening? One factor is Japan’s stagnant economy. “Japanese corporations don’t have the money to send people over here in the numbers they used to, nor does the government,” observes Alicia Ogawa, adjunct associate professor at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. But the problem goes beyond finance: even when Japanese students can find the money to come, their English is often too poor – and they often fail to properly engage. “In Japan there now seems to be a ‘What’s the point?’ attitude,” Ogawa suggests. “Even when Japanese are let in, they often won’t engage in the class debate – they keep to themselves.”

为何会出现这种情况?一个原因就是日本经济的停滞。“日本企业的财力不足以像以前那样 把那么多的人送到这儿来,政府也没钱,”哥伦比亚大学国际关系与公共事务学院(School of International and Public Affairs)兼职副教授艾丽西亚•小川(Alicia Ogawa)说道。但问题不仅出在资金上:即便日本学生找得到资助,他们的英语也往往太糟糕了——往往没办法与美国人展开正常沟通。“在日本,现在似乎出 现了一种‘这有什么意义?’的观点,”小川表示。“即使是日本学生被录取后,他们往往也不愿参与课堂辩论——表现得很自闭。”

. . .


The trend in China could hardly be more different. Last year, the number of Chinese students at US institutions rose by 30 per cent to 128,000, pushing China for the first time into the top slot. And the Chinese who are now arriving at Columbia, Harvard – or anywhere else – not only tend to speak good (self-taught) English, but they are becoming increasingly assertive too. “The Chinese are really engaging in the class,” says one Harvard academic. “So are the Koreans.”

而中国学生的情况可谓是大相径庭。去年,美国各机构中中国留学生的人数增长了30%, 至12.8万人,使得中国首次成为留美学生人数最多的国家。而目前就读于哥伦比亚和哈佛(或其它任何一所大学)的中国学生,不单单是英语流利(自学成 材),而且正变得越来越自信。“中国学生真的正参与到课堂中来,”一位哈佛学者表示。“韩国学生也是。”

Perhaps this is inevitable: China, after all, is a vast, rapidly growing country, while Japan is a mature economy. Young Chinese consequently seem convinced that there is plenty to learn – and copy – in America. Many young Japanese, however, feel that learning foreign skills, ideas or technology is more effort than it is worth; a new sense of isolationism is taking hold.

也许这是一个不可避免的趋势:毕竟,中国是一个快速发展中的庞然大国,而日本已经是一 个成熟经济体。因此,中国年轻人似乎坚信,美国有很多东西可学——和模仿。但许多日本年轻人感觉,学习外国技能、思想或科技,回报还抵不上付出的努力;日 本正渐渐为一种新的孤立主义情绪所笼罩。

To me, this seems to be a tragedy for Japan; particularly since it reflects and fuels subtle cultural perceptions inside the US too. Twenty years ago, Japan was perceived in America as a powerful presence on the world stage; these days, the country has slipped into the margins of public consciousness and debate.


China, by contrast, is visible and centre-stage – partly because America cannot decide whether it poses an opportunity or threat. Perhaps the presence of those Chinese students at US universities will be a force for good; after all, it should promote more engagement and global growth. Or perhaps this trend will simply enable Chinese students to beat Americans at their own game, and thus ultimately create more tension. Either way, the one thing that is clear is that nobody can afford to ignore the Chinese; the country, like its students in that Columbia hall, has presence – and an air of purpose.

相比之下,中国赫然可见,处在舞台的中央——这在一定程度上是因为,美国还不能断定中 国带来的是机遇还是威胁。美国大学里中国留学生这么多,也许是一股好的趋势;毕竟,这应该会推动更多的交流和全球增长。抑或,这种潮流只会让中国学生效仿 并反超美国人,最终加剧紧张关系。不管怎样,有一点很明确:没人能小瞧中国人。就像哥伦比亚大学会场里的那些中国学生一样,中国已展现出自己的存在——以 及抱负。

The only question that really hangs in the air, at Columbia and other campuses, is whether this pattern will still be in place in 20 years time. Will those Chinese students still be flocking to the US? Or will they have decamped to Shanghai, or been replaced again by another group of “newcomers”? Any predictions or ideas would be gratefully received; particularly if they emanate from China – or Japan.



2011年1月29日 星期六

'A.I.G. Shouldn't Exist'

'A.I.G. Shouldn't Exist': Some critics of the government's rescue have expressed that view. What's unusual is that a former chairman of the company is saying it. Harvey Golub told Bloomberg Television that there is no strategic fit between American International Group's two main businesses, and as a result, "longer-term, A.I.G. shouldn't exist."

Taiwan Reduces Solar Power Feed-In Tariffs 30% for 2011 as Costs Decline

Taiwan reduced the feed-in tariffs for solar power for 2011 contracts by about 30 percent from last year’s level because of the falling cost of installing equipment that converts sunlight into energy.

State-run Taiwan Power Co. will pay NT$7.33 (25 cents) a kilowatt-hour for power generated from ground solar panels, compared with NT$11.12 for 2010, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said in a statement today. The 2011 price for roof-top solar power is as high as NT$10.32.

Solar cell prices may decline 10 percent to 15 percent this year, said Chang Ping-heng, chief executive officer of Motech Industries Inc., Taiwan’s biggest solar cell maker by market value. Global annual capacity to produce solar cells may climb to as much as 30 gigawatts in 2011, Chang said Dec. 1. The estimate exceeds 2011 global demand projection from technology researcher Isuppli by about 35 percent.

“Solar power costs may fall further,” Hwang Jung-chiou, vice minister of economic affairs, said in a press conference in Taipei today.

The new floor price is NT$2.61 for electricity generated by wind, the ministry said. The government aims to have 100 megawatts of onshore wind power capacity and 70 megawatts of photovoltaic panels installed this year, it said.

Prices Paid

Feed-in tariffs, or the prices paid to generators by Taiwan Power, the island’s monopoly grid operator, are at least NT$11.12 per kilowatt-hour for photovoltaic solar panels installed in 2010 and NT$2.38 for wind farms, the Bureau of Energy said in a statement on its website in December 2009. That compared with an average cost of NT$2.06 per kilowatt-hour for fossil fuels such as coal and oil.

Taiwan’s government set feed-in tariffs for electricity generated by solar panels and wind turbines at higher levels than for those for power from fossil fuels to spur production of renewable energy. President Ma Ying-jeou, who took office in May 2008, has pledged to cut emissions to 2000 levels by 2025. Lawmakers approved the island’s Renewable Energy Development Act in 2009.

How motorsport drives innovation

Some historians say the first car race took place in France in 1887, just a year after Carl's Benz's automobile was patented. But only one car drove in that event, so it's probably fairer to say the first real competition was the Paris-to-Rouen race of 1894. Since then, motor racing has evolved into a multi-billion euro sport. It's also crucial to carmakers' marketing and development units.

Report: Mark Hallam, Nürburgring

思考問題 為什麼日本一些廠商多年前決定退出F 1

Cooperation and competition in the auto industry

European Business Week | 28.01.2011 | 16:30

Cooperation and competition in the auto industry

The car industry is a sprawling web of interlocking partnerships. But not all strategic alliances succeed. Back in the 1970s, Volkswagen and Porsche built a car together. It sold fairly well in the US, but German consumers rejected the "Volkswagen Porsche" as a mongrel. It's a lesson today's executives should remember as they negotiate alliances to access new markets and share development costs.

Report: Natalia Dannenberg



以淨白纖維面膜一炮而紅的醫學美容(簡稱醫美)保養品寵愛之名,二○○九年才剛進入大陸八七家Sephora美妝保養通路,才一年多的時間,二○一 ○年大陸市場營收就突破五.七億台幣,超過台灣區銷售額約一九%。寵愛之名在Sephora門市更是打敗國際知名品牌,成為保養品類銷售第一名。 

「以前沒有人敢買台灣自創的化妝品牌,近幾年掀起買台灣產品的風潮,醫美產品功不可沒,」美容網站Fashion Guide總經理張倫維觀察。 


在台灣,只要掛上「醫美」的保養品,在藥妝通路開放架上較容易獲得青睞。台灣最大的藥妝通路屈臣氏二○一○年截至十一月的統計,醫美產品銷售額年增 率近兩成,是屈臣氏成長幅度最高的品類,超越保健食品的一四%。成長迅速的醫美新市場,甚至吸引國際品牌OLAY在一個多月前推出醫美副線品牌。






台灣銷售量第一的醫美品牌Dr. Wu打著皮膚科名醫吳英俊實驗室研發的背景,在台灣迅速竄紅。一開始只是吳英俊自調給病人做完手術後的塗抹藥膏,最後變成不少民眾,不做微整型,也跑到診 所來買。原本在金融業工作的吳英俊大兒子吳奕叡看到了商機,辭職成立了Dr.Wu醫美品牌,把過去只能在診所取得的保養品,拿到藥妝通路賣。













2011年1月25日 星期二

Li Ning 李宁和耐克差在哪?

2011年01月25日 07:06 AM

Li Ning

“China’s Nike”? Not exactly. If Li Ning continues on its current trajectory, the similarities will start and end with the swoosh-alike logo.

“中国的耐克(Nike)”?不尽然。如果李宁(Li Ning)因循当前的发展轨迹,它与耐克的相似点就将止于那个与耐克相似的商标。

Named after its gymnast founder, the Beijing-based sports manufacturer/retailer increased revenues by nine times, and earnings-per-share by ten, between 2002 and 2009. By January last year, though, as Li Ning opened its first US store in Portland, Oregon – Nike’s backyard – the flaws in the routine were becoming obvious.


Li Ning had built the biggest sports brand sales network in China, with 7,748 outlets. Just 474 were managed directly, though; 60 per cent of the remainder were run by about 2000 inexperienced retailers who were reluctant to cut prices to shift old inventory, leaving little room for new, higher-priced products. In June, confronting persistently weak order books, Li Ning gave itself a slightly different logo and a new slogan, “Make the change”.

李宁打造了中国最大的运动品牌销售网络,拥有7748家零售店铺,但其中只有474家 由李宁公司直接管理,其余的店铺中有60%由约2000家缺乏经验的零售商运营,他们不愿意降价清空过季存货,因此留给新款高价产品的空间很少。去年6 月,订单疲软问题始终未能解决的李宁对商标进行了轻微改动,并推出了新口号:“Make the change”(让改变发生)。

Investors did just that, selling not just Li Ning (down 42 per cent since then) but rival manufacturer/retailers with similar distribution problems like Anta, Xtep and 361 Degrees. The only Chinese sportswear stock in positive territory over that period is pure retailer Pou Sheng (+37 per cent), a big outlet for Nike, Adidas, Reebok and Puma.

投资者正是这样做的。他们不只抛售李宁(自那以来股价已下跌42%),也抛售存在类似 分销问题的其他制造商和零售商,如安踏(Anta)、特步(Xtep)和361度(361 Degrees)等。在此期间唯一上涨的中国运动服装类股票是宝胜(Pou Sheng),其股价上涨了37%。宝胜是一家纯零售商,经销耐克、阿迪达斯(Adidas)、锐步(Reebok)和彪马(Puma)等品牌的大型零售 店。

Handing favoured franchisees another few percentage points of wholesale discounts could protect Li Ning’s market share while it rationalises domestic distribution over the next two years. But Nike will also be spending heavily in what is easily its most profitable territory. Meanwhile, Credit Suisse data on Chinese sportswear consumption shows the scale of Li Ning’s challenge. Preferences switch from domestic brands to foreign as monthly household income exceeds Rmb7000 ($1000). In sneakers and vests, as in bigger-ticket items, China’s would-be global champions seem a long way from conquering their own turf, let alone anyone else’s.

如果能向偏爱的特许经销商再出让几个百分点的批发折扣,李宁或许能在未来两年对国内分 销网络进行合理化改革的同时保住市场份额。但耐克也会在轻松成为其最盈利市场的中国大举投资。与此同时,瑞信(Credit Suisse)有关中国运动服装消费的数据显示了李宁面临的挑战难度。当家庭月收入超过7000元人民币(合1000美元)时,中国消费者的偏好便会从国 内品牌转向国外品牌。和其它大额消费品一样,在运动鞋和运动背心市场,中国那些想要成为全球冠军的企业似乎还远未征服本土市场,更不用说其它国家了。



2011年1月24日 星期一

“中國歷史上之名將 ”/William Westmoreland 越戰「敗軍之將」魏摩蘭


William Westmoreland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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William Childs Westmoreland (March 26, 1914 – July 18, 2005) was a United States Army General, who commanded American military operations in the Vietnam War ...


  • 2011-01-25
  • 中國時報
  • 【林博文】

 魏摩蘭(William Childs Westmoreland)是近代美國受抨擊最多的將領,也是繼他的西點前輩卡斯特(George Armstrong Custer,一八七六年被印地安人打死)之後最被嘲諷的「敗軍之將」。做過西點校長的魏摩蘭,一九六四年至一九六八年擔任駐越美軍最高指揮官,一度統率 五十多萬部隊,兵員之多僅次二戰歐洲最高指揮官艾森豪統率過的百萬大軍。但美軍最後卻在越南吃了敗仗,師老兵疲,下旗歸國,南越終遭赤化。一九七五年四 月,西貢淪陷時,魏摩蘭雖早已解甲還鄉,但其軍旅生涯蒙上難以洗刷的污點。

 魏摩蘭(二○○五年辭世,終年九十一歲)生於南卡羅萊納州,家境很好,就讀西點時表現傑出被選為學生隊 「首席隊長」並獲「潘興之劍」,只有最優秀的學生才能獲得以美國陸軍名將潘興(John J. Pershing,一次大戰美國駐歐遠征軍指揮官,五星上將,一九四八年去世)為名的寶劍。魏摩蘭出身炮科,二戰時擔任炮兵營長,支援第八十二空降師(師 長李奇威),一九四四年十月升任第九步兵師參謀長,韓戰時出任傘兵團長,一九五六年四十二歲時晉升少將,成為美軍最年輕的將領,兩年後升任第一○一空降師 師長。魏摩蘭曾到哈佛商學院進修,亦做過陸軍參謀長泰勒的秘書。

 魏摩蘭做事有板有眼、為人循規蹈矩,有野心亦有目標。喜歡數字和圖表,這點癖好與越戰時代的國防部長麥納瑪拉相同,因此他們相處愉快。一九六○年,魏摩蘭出任西點校長,做了三年,大大改善西 點校務。一九六二年,甘迺迪訪問西點,魏氏發現他和總統相處的時間很短,刻意囑咐幕僚和白宮接洽將時間延長一倍,甘迺迪對魏氏印象頗佳,一度考慮提名他為 陸軍參謀長,軍方高層告訴總統:「你不能拔擢一個嫩幼的兩星少將當四星上將編制的陸軍參謀長。」一九六四年六月,魏摩蘭被派至越南擔任美軍副指揮官,不久 即接替保羅.哈金斯升任指揮官;從此,越戰即與魏摩蘭結緣,而他也成為美國持續升高越戰的象徵符號,六○年代越戰期間最常聽到的一個字眼就是:「升高 (escalate)越戰」。


 魏摩蘭獲詹森總統批准,開始轟炸北越,他以為北越會在B-52重轟炸機下蛋似的大舉轟炸下伏首稱臣,北越不屈。魏氏希望與北越和越共游擊 隊進行大部隊正面交鋒,結果對手像地鼠一樣鑽進地下,使美軍找不到敵人,越戰變成一個沒有前線與後方的戰爭。魏氏採取「搜索與摧毀」戰術,但收效甚微。魏 氏被調至越南時有一萬六千美軍,到了一九六八年已激增至五十三萬五千人。

 一九六七年四月二十八日,魏摩蘭向國會參眾兩院聯席會議發表二十九分鐘演說,對越戰信心滿滿,認為必能擊敗越共,獲得十九次熱烈掌聲。但是,全美國和全世界都知道美國很難打贏,海內外反戰浪潮越來越猛。一九六八年初越共游擊隊和北越軍隊發動「春節攻勢」(Tet Offensive),騷擾越南各地,越共死傷雖重,但已達到瓦解美軍士氣、扭轉戰局的目的。美國人民反戰趨烈,迫使詹森放棄競選連任。魏氏升任陸軍參謀長,一九七二年退役,兩年後角逐南卡州州長失敗,一九八二年與CBS打誹謗官司,和解收場。



William C. Westmoreland Is Dead at 91; General Led U.S. Troops in Vietnam

Published: July 20, 2005

Gen. William C. Westmoreland, the Army artilleryman and paratrooper who failed to lead United States forces to victory in Vietnam from 1964 to 1968 and then made himself the most prominent advocate for recognition of their sacrifices, spending the rest of his life paying tribute to his soldiers, died Monday night in a retirement home in Charleston, S.C., his son, James Ripley Westmoreland, announced.

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Associated Press

William C. Westmoreland at an outpost in Vietnam in May 1964.

Associated Press

Gen. William Westmoreland in Saigon in June of 1964.

Associated Press

Gen. William C. Westmoreland in Da Nang, Vietnam, in 1965.

The general was 91.

Westy, as he became known while a West Point cadet, led fast-moving artillery battalions in World War II and became a paratrooper as the Army prepared in the 1950's for the new kind of war he would face in Vietnam.

There, he presided over a vast buildup from 16,000 troops when he arrived to more than 500,000 in 1968, when a devastating Communist offensive caused President Lyndon B. Johnson to lose confidence in the strategy and replace the general.

Though he was dogged by antiwar protestors and denounced as a war criminal when, as Army chief of staff from 1968 to 1972, he tried to speak on college campuses, after passions cooled General Westmoreland led a march of Vietnam veterans to their memorial in Washington in 1982 and, tearfully, a gathering of 200,000 veterans in Chicago in June 1986.

He never understood the war as a Vietnamese nationalist struggle against French and later American domination. Ho Chi Minh and his Communist successors believed they could out-suffer and outlast those they saw as foreign invaders supporting a "puppet" South Vietnamese regime; General Westmoreland believed that hundreds of thousands of American troops could root out the Communist insurgents and enable freedom and democracy to grow in Vietnam, but that Washington lost its nerve, and lost the war.

"Had President Johnson changed our strategy and taken advantage of the enemy's weakness to enable me to carry out the operations we had prepared over the preceding two years in Laos and Cambodia and north of the demilitarized zone, along with intensified bombing and the mining of Haiphong harbor, the North Vietnamese doubtlessly would have broken," he wrote in his memoirs.

Instead, as he saw it, "The United States in the end abandoned South Vietnam."

President Richard M. Nixon did not take decisive steps to win, and after most United States troops withdrew in 1973 after a cease-fire, Communist tanks rolled into Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) in 1975. "Despite the final failure of the South Vietnamese, the record of the American military services of never having lost a war is still intact," General Westmoreland wrote.

His firm jaw, bushy eyebrows and ramrod military bearing made the six-foot-tall William Childs Westmoreland the very image of a general, though he said he learned from an early encounter with a soft-spoken major named Omar Bradley that there was more than one way to command.

In later years, he often spoke to veterans' groups, his son said, getting to all 50 states. "That became, in effect, his raison d'être," Mr. Westmoreland said in a comment quoted by The Associated Press. "He did have a point of view on Vietnam, but he did not speak about that. He was not trying to justify anything."

A Bright Early Career

General Westmoreland's rise to command in Saigon came after an early career that caught the eye of senior officers who later became influential during the Kennedy administration, notably Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, who was commanding the 82nd Airborne Division in Sicily when they first met in 1943 and later influenced President John F. Kennedy's thinking on counterinsurgency warfare.

The general was born on March 26, 1914, near Spartanburg, S.C., where his father was a cotton-mill manager who later became an investment banker. His paternal ancestors included soldiers who had served during the Revolutionary War and with the Confederate Army, but after graduating from high school in Pacolet, he went to The Citadel, the state military college, in 1931. His father wanted him to study law after graduation, General Westmoreland wrote in his memoir, "A Soldier Reports" (Doubleday, 1976).

But instead, James F. Byrnes, an influential family friend, secured for him an appointment to West Point, which he entered in 1932. Explaining to an uncle who had been with Lee at Appomattox that he was "going to that same school that Grant and Sherman went to," he felt better after his uncle replied, "That's all right, son, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson went there, too."

He graduated with the class of 1936 and at Fort Sill, Okla.; Schofield Barracks in Hawaii; and Fort Bragg, N.C., led a leisurely life of the field artillery officer: formal dinners and dances, horse shows and polo (at a time when artillery pieces were still horse drawn).

At Fort Sill, he first met the daughter of the post executive officer, Katherine ("Kitsy") Van Deusen, 9 years old at the time. They were married in 1947 and had three children: a daughter, Katherine Stevens Westmoreland; a son, James Ripley Westmoreland II; and another daughter, Margaret Childs Westmoreland. General Westmoreland's wife and children survive him.

He went to North Africa in 1942 as a lieutenant colonel in command of the 34th Field Artillery Battalion, part of the Ninth Division, which went to Sicily and later landed in Normandy, but not in the first wave on June 6, 1944. He was the division's chief of staff when the division entered Germany and was decorated for his actions in a battle at the Rhine crossing at Remagen, but suffered no injuries. "Somehow none of the enemy's shells had my number," he wrote.

Returning to Fort Bragg after the war, he commanded a parachute infantry regiment for a year and then, under another commander influential in his later career, Maj. Gen. James M. Gavin, became chief of staff of the 82d Airborne Division, remaining there for three years.

General Westmoreland went to Korea in 1952 as commander of the 187th Regimental Combat Team and later clashed with a division commander who ordered him to withdraw one of his battalions from a hill where it was engaged with Chinese Communist forces. The general complied only under protest.

Transferred to the Pentagon in late 1953, he ran the Army's manpower office, a perch from which he observed the Eisenhower administration's struggle with a decision whether to rescue stranded French paratroopers in Vietnam at Dien Bien Phu with troops or even nuclear weapons.

The French were left to their defeat, and Vietnam was split in two in 1954, with Ho Chi Minh's Communists in charge of an independent state north of the demilitarized zone at the 17th parallel and their adversaries struggling to reorganize south of it, with American help.

"The difference in the later American commitment was that the stigma of French colonialism was removed," General Westmoreland wrote later, though the North Vietnamese Communists and their followers would not agree.

General Taylor made him secretary of the Army General Staff in 1955, and three years later, he took command of the 101st Airborne Division in Fort Campbell, Ky., moving to West Point as superintendent in 1960. As vice president, Johnson went there in 1961 to deliver the commencement address, telling the cadets he was confident that their class would "nail the coonskins to the wall." The following year, Gen. Douglas MacArthur told them, "Your mission remains fixed, determined, inviolable - it is to win our wars."

That was General Westmoreland's mission when he was chosen by the Johnson administration a few months after President Kennedy's assassination to go to Vietnam as deputy to the United States military commander there, Gen. Paul Harkins, and replace him in June 1964 as a full four-star general.

"Replacing General Harkins with Westy," Robert S. McNamara, then secretary of defense, wrote in his book "In Retrospect" (Times Books/Random House, 1995), helped to signal President Johnson's "determination to increase the effectiveness of U.S. policy and operations in Indochina."

As head of the United States Military Assistance Command in Vietnam, General Westmoreland decided that far more American combat involvement was necessary to enable the struggling South Vietnamese military to resist the more disciplined and organized Communists.

At the beginning of 1964, there were only 16,000 American military advisers in South Vietnam. Political instability in Saigon, the general wrote in his memoirs, made escalation vital.

'A Pandora's Box'

The overthrow and killing of President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam in a coup by officers in November 1963, the general wrote, had "opened a Pandora's box of political turmoil seriously deterring effective prosecution of the war and leading directly to the necessity of introducing American troops" to fight "if South Vietnam was not to fall."

After the announcement that American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin were attacked by North Vietnamese gunboats in August 1964, the American buildup followed, with the number of ground troops climbing to 470,000 in 1967.

The general had gained approval for the buildup because American troops seemed to be winning most of their battles with the North Vietnamese and the Communist guerrillas in South Vietnam.

The idea was to use superior American force, supported by overwhelming air bombardment and artillery fire, not to seize or hold territory but to kill enemy soldiers in their jungle redoubts. American forces often went into these battles in helicopters, withdrawing the way they had come but leaving many to wonder why ground won with such difficulty could be surrendered with such ease.

Driven by requests from Mr. McNamara and the White House, "body counts" seemed to show that the strategy was working, that more Communist troops were being killed than Americans.

But American casualties rapidly mounted into the thousands, at a time when the military draft meant that not only volunteers but young men off the streets could be sent to risk their lives in the jungles.

As protests against deepening American involvement mounted, General Westmoreland warned that encouraging the enemy in this way could cost American lives.

Yet, he said in a speech in New York City in April 1967, "The end is not in sight," and he added, "In effect, we are fighting a war of attrition."

Then he flew to Washington to ask for still more reinforcements to bring United States forces up to 550,500, the "minimal essential force," or 670,000, the "optimum."

The request shocked Johnson, who asked, "Where does it all end?" Mr. McNamara asked how long it would take to win. As General Westmoreland recalled his answer, it was "With the optimum force, about three years; with the minimum force, at least five."

No decision had been made when the Communists launched an offensive during the Tet lunar new year festival on Jan. 31, 1968. They blasted into more than 100 cities and towns, occupied Hue for 25 days, and even fought their way into the grounds of the American Embassy in Saigon. Washington's optimism about progress shattered.

Clark M. Clifford, whom Johnson had put in charge of examining the troop requests and who later succeeded Mr. McNamara as secretary of defense, "had turned dove and defeatist," General Westmoreland later wrote, and the president had lost his stomach for the battle.

Johnson announced he would not run again for office in 1968, and told the general he was appointing him Army chief of staff. He should ignore press speculation that he had been "kicked upstairs," the president told him, but it was true.

The men met in the White House in the midst of riots that had started after the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and afterward flew over the embattled capital while fires were still burning. "It looked considerably more distressing than Saigon during the Tet offensive," General Westmoreland observed.

President Richard M. Nixon pursued a different strategy after he took office in 1969.

"While Washington spared the bombs and the enemy talked but said nothing and agreed to nothing except the shape of the conference table, the war went on for four more years of American involvement," General Westmoreland later wrote. "That is hardly anything to claim credit for."

When General Westmoreland was promoted to Army chief of staff, he was succeeded in the Vietnam command by Gen. Creighton W. Abrams Jr., a fellow member of the West Point class of 1936.

General Abrams departed from General Westmoreland's way of operating. He emphasized measures to strengthen the South Vietnamese military's capability to do battle, and deployed American forces around cities and in other populous areas.

Back in Washington as the Army chief, General Westmoreland oversaw efforts to adjust the Army to the post-Vietnam period.

Gen. Bruce Palmer Jr., who served with General Westmoreland in Vietnam and Washington, wrote in his book, "The 25-Year War" (The University Press of Kentucky, 1984) that the Army benefited greatly from General Westmoreland's leadership in the Pentagon, but that the general "was deeply hurt by the slights accorded him" by Nixon administration officials, "who rarely consulted him on Vietnam affairs."

When General Westmoreland was not chosen as chairman of the Joint Chiefs in mid-1972, he retired and moved to Charleston.

He made a foray into South Carolina politics in 1974, running for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, but was defeated in the primary by State Senator James B. Edwards, a conservative veteran of many years of Republican politics.

After the campaign, the general told supporters: "I was an inept candidate. I'm used to a structured organization, and this civilian process is so doggone nebulous."

An Inconclusive Libel Suit

In 1982, General Westmoreland filed a $120-million suit against CBS over a documentary, "The Uncounted Enemy," which he claimed accused him of misleading Johnson and the public about the war while he was in command in Vietnam.

The suit came to trial in 1984 in Federal District Court in Manhattan. Eighteen weeks of testimony ensued, in which some senior American officers who had served under General Westmoreland in Vietnam contended that he had been influenced by political rather than purely military concerns in reports about enemy strength that were sent to Washington.

When he dropped the suit early in 1985, he said he had come to believe that the trial, involving complex legal issues, was "a no-win situation" for him.

In a statement at the time, CBS declared that it did not believe "that General Westmoreland was unpatriotic or disloyal in performing his duties as he saw them."

The general said that he interpreted that statement as a victory and that it constituted an apology for what the program had charged. But CBS called that interpretation invalid and continued to contend that its documentary was accurate.

"As the soldier prays for peace, he must be prepared to cope with the hardships of war and to bear its scars," the general wrote in his autobiography. The quotation was a paraphrase from a speech by General MacArthur.

In a striking coincidence, it was also in 1982 that the Vietnam Memorial was dedicated on the Mall in Washington, one of the first events at which thousands of Vietnam veterans felt they could openly claim a salute from the American people.

Though the crowds were smaller than organizers had hoped, General Westmoreland, characteristically, was there.

This is an expanded version of the obituary published in some copies yesterday.

2011年1月21日 星期五

Google's new CEO

Google's Page brings change and questions


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An employee answers phone calls at the Google office in Zurich, August 18, 2009. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK | Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:41pm EST

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - One day after Google's surprise announcement that Larry Page would once again run the company, investors and industry insiders were wondering if he is up to a now very different job.

The 38-year-old co-founder of the world's No. 1 Internet search company will replace Eric Schmidt as chief executive officer in April, at a time when Google Inc is facing tough competition from Facebook and Twitter.

It seems straight out of a well-worn Silicon Valley script -- but with which ending?

"Founder becoming CEO ... Is this like a Steve Jobs returning or a Jerry Yang returning?" Chris Dixon, a technology veteran who has invested in Skype and Foursquare, mused on Twitter, alluding to the two extremes of the tech industry storyline.

Steve Jobs returned to Apple Inc in the 1990s to save the company he founded from near insolvency. Since his return, Apple has set the agenda in technology and culture with the iPhone and iPad.

Yahoo Inc's Jerry Yang made a similar comeback, returning to his Internet company during a troubled stretch, but failed to restore its fortunes.

For Google, which dominates the search market and generated roughly $29 billion in revenue last year, the need for a change lacks the urgency that accompanied Jobs' return to Apple.

But analysts say the popularity of social networking services like Facebook, Twitter, as well as online coupon service Groupon, pose a growing threat to Google's business.

Google, whose stock underperformed the market in 2010, has struggled to develop its own social networking products and has seen many of its engineers and executives decamp to Facebook.

Meanwhile, new, smaller competitors in the Web search market are pecking away at its reputation. They say Google search result qualities, a hallmark of the search giant, has been deteriorate.

The attacks prompted Google, in a post on its official blog on Friday, to defend its record and promise to improve quality.

Page, who co-founded Google with Sergey Brin 13 years ago, will try to steer the company back to the forefront of Web innovation but must also run day-to-day operations of a 24,000-person organization -- a far cry from his last time at the helm.

"My fear would be you don't have a guy like Eric who keeps the trains running on time," said one former Google employee, who declined to be named for fear of reprisal.

"I'm having a hard time imagining (Larry) going from the role I've seen him in, to going to a CEO role," he added. "He can't come in and lay on the couch as he used to do and sort of interject here and there. Someone's got to lead the meetings."

Google hopes the management change will speed up decision-making. Page will take charge of the company's day-to-day operations, while Schmidt will focus on deals and government outreach, among other things, as executive chairman.

The track record for entrepreneurs becoming CEOs is not so good, said Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, citing Michael Dell's return to the PC maker as another less-than-spectacular example of a founder jumping into the driver's seat.

"Managing an existing large business requires a different mindset and different set of skills, so a lot of entrepreneurs get quite bored and don't pay attention to details. And then things start slipping away," he said.

The key to Page's success as CEO, he said, will be to delegate a lot of the operational chores to a strong lieutenant while focusing on how to transform Google into a company that can adapt to the evolving Internet landscape.

"If Larry Page can do something different, get away from search, get away from email, try to explore some of these new platforms and bring in people to help him do that, then maybe Google can break this current reliance on Internet advertising and become a growth company again," said Cusumano.

Google shares -- which gained 2 percent following Thursday's better-than-expected quarterly results and the announcement of the CEO change -- finished Friday's regular trading session 2.4 percent down at $611.83.

Shares of Mountain View, California-based Google have risen 16 percent since Google reported third-quarter results in mid-October and are up almost 45 percent from their 52-week low of $433.63 touched in July 2010.

(Reporting by Paul Thomasch in New York, Alexei Oreskovic in San Francisco and Sayantani Ghosh and Mary Meyase in Bangalore; editing by Joyjeet Das, Phil Berlowitz and Andre Grenon)

2011年1月20日 星期四

Google Chief Gives Up Top Role

Eric Schmidt, right, and Larry Page, in July.
Nati Harnik/Associated Press

Google Chief Gives Up Top Role

Google said Larry Page, left, its co-founder and president of products, would take over as chief executive, replacing Eric E. Schmidt, right, the company’s longtime chief.

2011年1月19日 星期三

U.S. Factories Make a Comeback

U.S. Factories Buck Decline
U.S. manufacturing, viewed as a lost cause by many Americans, has begun creating more jobs than it eliminates for the first time in more than a decade.

U.S. manufacturing, viewed as a lost cause by many Americans, has begun creating more jobs than it eliminates for the first time in more than a decade.

As the economy recovered and big companies began upgrading old factories or building new ones, the number of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. last year grew 1.2%, or 136,000, the first increase since 1997, government data show. That total will grow again this year, according to economists at IHS Global Insight and Moody's Analytics.

James Hagerty has encouraging news from the U.S. manufacturing sector, which is adding more jobs than it's losing for the first time in more than a decade.

Among others, major auto makers—both domestic and transplants—are hiring. Ford Motor Co. announced last week it planned to add 7,000 workers over the next two years.

The economists' projections for this year—calling for a gain of about 2.5%, or 330,000 manufacturing jobs—won't come close to making up for the nearly six million lost since 1997. But manufacturing should be at least a modest contributor to total U.S. employment in the next couple of years, these economists say.

After a steep slump during the recession, manufacturing is "the shining star of this recovery," says Thomas Runiewicz, an economist at IHS. He expects total U.S. manufacturing jobs this year to rise to about 12 million. Currently, manufacturing jobs account for about 9% of all U.S. nonfarm jobs; the average pay for those jobs is roughly $22 an hour, or nearly twice the average for service jobs, according to government data.


Despite the upbeat forecasts, job growth may remain modest because many companies are finding ways to increase production through greater efficiency and automation, without adding many workers. In the third quarter, U.S. manufacturing productivity increased as output rose 7.1% from a year earlier and hours worked grew just 3%. Conrad Winkler, a vice president at the consulting firm Booz & Co. who focuses on manufacturing, says manufacturers are being very cautious in their hiring, partly to avoid the risk of having to lay off people later on.

"Manufacturing is going to be a significant source of job growth over the next decade," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics. He says U.S. manufacturers that survived the brutal 2008-09 recession are now very competitive, with much lower labor costs and debt burdens, and so can afford to expand. While they will keep building factories overseas to address demand in emerging markets, they also will invest in U.S. plants, Mr. Zandi says. He expects manufacturing job growth to average about 2% a year through 2015.

Factory Floor

Business investment may help bolster manufacturing.

The job growth is expected as companies replace aging equipment, take advantage of government incentives, seek energy savings and rediscover that it makes sense to produce some products, such as ovens and construction machinery, at home rather than shipping them long distances. A new tax break, approved by Congress in December, is expected to further stimulate investment by letting companies deduct from taxable income 100% of certain types of investments in 2011.

Whirlpool Corp., which has 39 factories world-wide, including nine in the U.S., had a tough decision to make last year. Parts of its oven and cooktop factory complex in Cleveland, Tenn., are more than 100 years old. The labyrinthine layout of the plant, built on a slope and cobbled together over the past century, requires a fleet of more than 100 forklifts to shuttle products along ramps connecting 13 different levels. Temperatures sometimes top 100 degrees inside the plant, which has no air conditioning. Alan Holaday, who heads North American manufacturing for Whirlpool, calls the plant "an industrial museum."

Alex McMahan for The Wall Street Journal

Melissa Hayes and Brandon Epperson assemble an oven at the Whirlpool plant in Cleveland, Tenn., Tuesday.

One obvious option was to move production of the cooking appliances to Mexico, where Whirlpool already has several factories and where its South Korean rivals make some of their cooking products. But, after months of study, Whirlpool decided in mid-2010 to spend $120 million on a new plant in Cleveland, a few miles from the old one, in what will be the company's first new U.S. factory since the mid-1990s. Whirlpool projects that its work force in Cleveland will grow to 1,630 within about two years from 1,500 now as production increases.

Although labor costs would be lower in Mexico, Whirlpool found lots of reasons to stay in the Cleveland area. It already had a trained work force there and wouldn't need to pay severance costs. Freight costs would be lower since most of the plant's products are sold in the U.S. Tennessee also looked safer than Mexico, which has been beset with drug-related violence. And state and local governments were willing to kick in about $30 million of incentives—including grants and property tax breaks—if Whirlpool stayed in the area. Most of the new jobs at the Whirlpool plant will be for assemblers, a spokeswoman said.

Caterpillar Inc. is building a $120 million plant to make excavator machines in Victoria, Texas. The plant will produce some machines that currently were being shipped from a Caterpillar plant in Japan to North American customers. That means the North American customers will get faster deliveries, and the Japan plant can devote more capacity to the booming Asian market. In return for creating 500 jobs in Texas, Caterpillar also got incentives from state and local authorities, including tax breaks and 320 acres of free land. Those jobs will include assemblers, engineers and logistics experts.

Dow Chemical Co. is building a 800,000-square-foot plant near its headquarters in Midland, Mich., to design and make batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles. In addition, Dow aims to expand a pilot project, also in Midland, in which it is making solar roof shingles that generate electricity. Such spending also creates jobs at suppliers. Dow cites estimates that every new job inside a chemical plant creates five jobs at suppliers and other related firms.

All of this doesn't herald a miracle recovery for manufacturing, which accounted for 11% of U.S. economic output in 2009, down from 27% in 1950. In a new book, Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris, argues that U.S. manufacturing faces continued decline unless the government comes up with a strategy to boost it, including bigger tax breaks and government support for R&D.

Another risk is that manufacturing jobs will start to vanish again if the U.S. economy can't sustain its current recovery and slips back into recession. Still, rising industrial production and capital investments are signs that manufacturing will remain a significant part of the U.S. economy at least in the near term.

Write to James R. Hagerty at bob.hagerty@wsj.comb



2011/01/19 00:00


  中國上海。2010年11月17日,在日資商場「伊勢丹」的舊址,歐洲大型家電商場「萬得城電器」(Media Markt)的第一家中國店舖開業了。這家店沒有採用各廠商分設專櫃的形式,這在中國極為罕見。顧客可以像在日本家電商場那樣輕鬆比較多家商品。而且商品 價格便宜,在消費者中人氣飆升(圖1)。




  富士康集團雖然知道消費產品廠商的擔憂,卻依然在擴大零售業務。因為通過直接獲得消費動向的反饋,有可能削減庫存和生產前置期,達到業內其他公司無法 企及的水準。富士康集團的優勢——「速度快、價格低、品質好」的服務將更加充實。這樣的話,「除了富士康集團以外,將不再有其他的選項」(消費產品廠商的 經營企劃負責人)。



(注1)大幅提薪的目的可能還有其他兩個。一個是防止因勞動者短缺出現延遲交貨期和跑單的現象。另一個是中國政府施加的壓力。提薪還可能成為富士康集團以 外的勞動者發起罷工的理由。不希望出現這種現象的中國政府「因此要求媒體不要進行過度報導並不奇怪」(消費產品廠商經營策劃負責人)。

  另一方面,該公司2010年的合併銷售額有望比上年增加40%以上,達到約2兆8000億元(圖2)。全集團員工數量突破百萬更令人關注。與 EMS/ODM行業亞軍的台灣廣達電腦(Quanta Computer)相比,富士康的銷售額約是其2.5倍,員工數量約是其10倍。

在日元不斷升值的情況下,富士康集團的銷售額換算成日元仍然有望達到8兆日元左右。(a)為威志市場研究,(c)為摩根士丹利(Morgan Stanley)的預測。索尼與偉創力(Flextronics)的結算截至3月,其他公司截至12月。


  公司發展到如此龐大的地步,最主要的直接理由是擁有蘋果公司這樣的優質客戶。除了筆記型電腦(由廣達代工)和2011年初上市的CDMA2000版 「iPhone」(由台灣和碩(Pegatron)代工)之外,蘋果的絕大多數硬體產品都是由富士康集團生產的。對於富士康來說,來自蘋果的銷售額不久即 將超越美國惠普(Hewlett Packard,HP)。甚至有報告稱超過了富士康全公司銷售額的20%(圖2(c ))。(未完待續,特約撰稿人:大槻 智洋,台灣威志市場研究,NE特約記者)


2011年1月17日 星期一

Don’t be fooled by illusory numbers

2011年01月18日 07:20 AM

Don’t be fooled by illusory numbers

So often investors and entrepreneurs look at the wrong financial numbers and ratios when analysing companies. They focus obsessively on the latest year’s pre-tax profits, or perhaps post-tax earnings. But these can often be manipulated, or temporary. What matters much more are underlying sales, strong gross margins and free cash flow. Study these numbers over several years to see if a business really owns a solid franchise.

在分析企业时,投资者和企业家往往把注意力放在“错误的”财务数据和比率上。他们过分 关注最近一年的税前利润或者税后利润。但这些数据可能经常受到操纵,或者只具短期意义。更重要的数据其实是潜在销售收入、较高的毛利率和自由现金流。我们 对若干年的这些数据进行研究,以判定一家企业是否真的拥有坚实的经营优势。

When an enterprise enjoys consistently solid sales as a percentage of capital employed, and high gross margins, then it should by rights make a decent bottom line and an attractive return on investment. And by high gross margins, I mean 60 per cent or more. Companies that enjoy this scale of margins – and keep their fixed costs within reasonable boundaries – should prosper.


Of course, companies with huge mark-ups over their raw costs are more vulnerable to being undercut by discounters. But it is always better to start with a lot of margin than a low gross margin. When I was involved with PizzaExpress and Strada, I learnt that the pizza business offers spectacular margins, better than anything else in the restaurant trade. Given the way menu prices have risen relentlessly, the major chains must enjoy gross margins of at least 80 per cent on their pizza, or a mark-up of 400 per cent over cost. Yet surprisingly, no one has come in to undercut them and offer a comparable product at half the price. 

当然,成本利润率高的企业更容易被折扣店抢走生意。但企业在起步阶段毛利高总是好过毛 利低。在我参与PizzaExpress和Strada的业务时,我了解到,比萨业的利润率高得惊人,在餐饮业中可谓独占鳌头。从菜单上餐品价格的无情上 涨来看,大型连锁店在比萨上的毛利率肯定至少达到80%,也就是400%的成本利润率。但令人意外的是,没有人加入这一行当、提供质量类似、售价只有其一 半的产品,来抢走它们的生意。

One of the more astonishing retail phenomena in Britain in recent years has been the sudden explosion of specialist shirt retailers. A large operator explained to me why: shirts wear out rather faster than say, suits; and shirts can achieve an 80 per cent gross margin – even if they are sold at only £30 or so.


By the same token, part of the reason electronics retailers are disappearing is that their gross margins are 20 per cent or even less. Even with big ticket unit prices, rents, property taxes, wages and other costs are killing the model. Similarly, most greetings card retailers have survived, despite the steady decline in their market, because their gross margins can be as high as 90 per cent. And part of the reason software companies have grown so rich, and software start-ups receive so much venture capital is their almost 100 per cent gross margins, if research and development are discounted.

同理,电子产品零售店之所以逐渐消失,一定程度上也是因为它们的毛利率只有20%甚至 更低。尽管单价很高,但租金、物业税、薪资和其它成本正在扼杀这种模式。同样,尽管市场不断萎缩,但大多数贺卡零售店却生存了下来,因为它们的毛利率可高 达90%。而软件企业之所以变得这么有钱,软件初创企业之所以获得这么多风险资本,部分原因也在于它们的毛利率近乎100%(如果不考虑研发成本的话)。

Decades ago, shares were valued on a multiple of post-tax earnings – a P/E ratio. More recently, acquirers have adopted the private equity model using the ratio of enterprise value to earnings before interest depreciation and amortisation (EV/ebitda). This suited the inflationary environment for asset prices. Even now the two yardsticks are often conflated – sometimes accidentally, sometimes not.

几十年前,人们用股价与税后利润的比(即市盈率)来对企业估值。最近,收购者采用了私 人股本的估值模式,使用EV/EBITDA。EV是指企业价值,EBITDA是指未计利息、税项、折旧及摊销前盈利。这与资产价格的通胀环境相适应,尽管 现在这两种估值标准经常被混为一谈——有时是无意的,有时则并非如此。

But the fundamental problem with using ebitda as a gauge of profitability is that deprecation is typically a real cost. A business might be able to take a brief holiday, but eventually there will be a lot of catch-up spending to do. A plant has to be replaced, equipment upgraded, worn out buildings renewed. A better method is to judge sustainable post-tax profits after maintenance, capital expenditure and working capital adjustments. This net figure might be called free cash flow. They are the liquid funds available for interest, dividends or acquisitions.

但使用EBITDA衡量盈利能力的根本问题在于,折旧通常而言属于真实成本。一家企业 短期之内日子或许过得比较舒服,但终有一天要进行大量的“补课性”支出。厂房必须重建,设备必须升级,破旧的大楼必须翻新。因此,更好的衡量方法是评判经 维护、资本支出和营运资本调整后的可持续税后利润。由此得到的这一“净”指标可被称为自由现金流,它们是可用于支付利息、股息或收购款项的流动资金。

A surprising proportion of companies never really shows a genuine free cash return – they are essentially a charity for their staff and customers. I used to feel that about the nightclub business: even though you could make juicy profits for a few years, there needed to be a complete reinvention every three years or so – new lighting, sound and so on – just to compete with newcomers. That investment typically represented three years’ profits. Effectively the whole undertaking just stood still. I fear the industry has become even tougher in recent times.

有相当比例的企业实际上从未给出真正的自由现金回报——对其员工和客户来说,它们实质 上是做慈善。我过去就曾这样看待夜总会业:尽管你可能大赚特赚了几年,但每隔三年左右的时间你就需要从头到尾重新装修(更新灯光、音响等设备)一遍,以与 新进者竞争。这笔投资通常相当于三年的利润——忙活了半天,实际上只是回到起点。我担心这一行最近变得更艰难了。

So my advice is to search out industries where you can capture at least a 60 per cent gross margin. And when examining a company’s accounts, focus on actual cash flow after cash costs, rather than illusory numbers such as earnings or ebitda.


The writer runs Risk Capital Partners, a private equity firm, and is chairman of the Royal Society of Arts

本文作者管理着私人股本公司Risk Capital Partners,同时担任英国皇家艺术学会(Royal Society of Arts)主席