Sunday, June 5, 2011

Weekly Bilingual News

Dear Friends:

Hello! Welcome to a new issue of the Weekly Bilingual News! This is the first communication of June 2011 with a brief analysis and comments about the news of the last few days.

May ended with a lot of concerns about the economy of the country: manufacturing production, inflation, jobs and the bad performance of the Wall Street market across the last five weeks.

After the trip of President Obama through Europe where he talked with world leaders about how to help Egypt, Tunisia and the countries involved in the Arab Spring, his next step was to visit Joplin, Missouri, where a tornado hit complete families of Americans who also need help and assistance. With this frame, the first days of June began full of skepticism. Economists, investors, and jobless people showed worries for the negative conditions the United States are living through.


On June 1st, Wall Street Journal posted a story titled: "May Data Indicate Slowdown" where the author explained the slowdown of the manufacturing sector and how industry again shows symptoms of less demand of cars and other products.
Our comment: "The US economy cannot improve if the manufacturing sector doesn't generate jobs. The growth of industrial production is one of the most important factors for job creation".

A day later, on June 2, also Wall Street Journal posted another story but about the performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average index titled: "DJIA Drops 279.65 on Economy Worry".
Our Comment: "The economy worry is real. Since 2008, we were pessimist about the trends of the economy in the US. Meanwhile, in 2010, others celebrated the apparent economic recovery of the nation. Our thesis is: the productive and R&D sectors are the main engines of modern economies. How many US manufacturing plants were opened in the last three years? How many old factories were re-opened? How many R&D labs were moved abroad? Additionally, how many American companies are assembling products with 99% of supplies made China, Vietnam or other countries?"

On Friday, June 3, the US Labor Department published the May's job figures that include a net of 54000 new jobs and the climb of the unemployment rate from 9 percent to 9.1 percent. Private employers hired 80000 new workers, but the manufacturing sector and the government eliminate positions. According to different sources, the expectations of the economic analysts were higher than the numbers published by the government.

On the same day, the TV program NewsHour of PBS, analyzed the U.S. unemployment report for May with the participation of Lisa Lynch of Brandeis University and Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors and the coordination of the journalist Judy Woodruff. The analysis was titled: "'Utterly Disappointing' May Jobs Report: Why Aren't Businesses Hiring?"
Our Comment: "During the past decade, American companies moved complete production lines abroad, looking for cheap manpower. Then a high percentage of the productive infrastructure was dilapidated. Since that moment, the domestic manufacturing industry assembles from computers to cars with a high level of imported parts. Additionally, the software makers went to India, East Europe, Russia and other places to hire professionals with excellent background but less expensive. Meanwhile the services sector grew with numbers of fantasy: more salesmen for houses, cars and papers for the past times of richness. In 2008, all the curves of growth for the services sector fell abruptly. Now, also the government is cutting positions of teachers and others. With this panorama, the potential margins for improving the employment indexes are small. The phenomenon cannot reverse itself in a short time. The disappointments will continue."

On Saturday, June 4, Wall Street Journal made a new evaluation of the fall of the economy in May and the impact in the stock market: "Economy Point Down, Takes Market With It". Our Comment: "The investors of Wall Street are realizing that the optimistic economic forecasts and speeches of the politicians and economists were not true. The "engines" of the American economy are exhausted."


CHINESE HUMAN RIGHTS: On June 4, Wall Street Journal posted a story titled: "Thousands Rally in Hong Kong for Human Rights" about the protest through the streets of Hong Kong against the oppression of the Chinese regime.
Our Comment: "We cannot expect the human-rights-movements to advance fast across China. The Communist Party worked for decades to procreate androids that only follow the orders of their leaders. Of course, like any dictatorship regime, there are people who have their own minds and fight to express their ideas of freedom and human rights. But the western countries will not help these people because nobody wants to damage their pocketbooks. Today everybody has businesses with the Chinese without caring a lot about what happens in the jails of China."

CUCUMBERS, TOMATOES, LETTUCE...: On June 3, Wall Street Journal published a story titled "E. coli Crisis Intensifies". Its subject: the food problems across Europe and the people who died in Germany due to bacterial infections till to be determined. In the beginning, medical institutions said the cucumbers and tomatoes imported from Spain have bacteria that produce sickness in the people who eat these farm products. After the complaint of Spanish agricultural authorities, the German labs denied the first news.
Our Comment: "Everybody talks about the bacterial infections but nobody knows from where the sickness comes and how many products are contaminated. In the middle of this chaos, a new European war began against cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce. A new factor of discord for the EU!"

NOKIA'S MISFORTUNE: On June 2, Wall Street Journal posted a story titled: "Nokia's Latest Headache: Android" where the author comments the sales of Nokia are falling dramatically. The mobile phone leader thinks the devices of the Android platform from Google are damaging its business.
Our Comment: "From the throne of the king of the mobile phone market, Nokia didn't see the path of the evolution of the technology. After that, when it woke up, it refused to follow the route of the new software leaders and signed an agreement with Microsoft, another loser of the phone business. Now, it continues losing ground without taking any heroic action. The last IDC's reports show that in Western Europe, Samsung surpassed it in the segment of mobile phone and Apple in the niche of smart-phones. Android is not the problem, the problem is the sickness of Nokia."


Again the main indexes of Wall Street closed the week in the negative territory. Dow Jones Industrial Average went down 290.32 points or 2.33% to 12151.26, while Nasdaq Composite fell 64.08 points or 2.29% to end at 2732.78. This was the fifth consecutive week that Dow Jones fell.

In the week, Japan was news because the Prime Minister Naoto Kan has lost the confidence of the Parliament. During the last few years, due to corruption cases and other unclear issues, Japan was changing its prime ministers continuously. Now the earthquake and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster shook again the weak foundation of the political apparatus. We think the Japanese political institutions don't work properly due to different factors: corruption, shortage of political leaders, and maybe fatigue of the system.

Google accused China for a cyber-attack of important electronic accounts of Gmail. The Chinese government refused the accusations, while the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the hackers that are making the Internet unsafe. In separate note, the Pentagon affirmed that any cyber-attack against American government institutions will be consider from now an act of war and it will repel aggressively.

In the Arab world, the bombing of the Presidential Palace of Yemen and the trip of the President Ali Abdullah Salen to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment produced big commotion and important interrogations about the future of country. The Yemeni President was injured in the attack but nobody knows about his health and the level of his wounds.

In the frame of the political campaign for the U.S. 2012 presidential elections, the former Mass governor Mitt Romney announced he is running for the GOP presidential nomination. Till now it is not clear if Sarah Palin will join the list of Republican candidates.

In the technology arena, the Chinese PC maker Lenovo announced the acquisition of German PC maker Medion with the intention to extend its presence across the European region. In 2005, Lenovo bought the PC unit of IBM and its famous notebook ThinkPad plus all the technology developed by IBM for mobile computers. According to the IDC report, in the first quarter 2011 quarter, the Chinese maker grew 16.3% worldwide compared with a year ago and shipping 8,172,000 computers.

In other news, Apple anticipated details of the 2011 Worldwide Developer Conference from June 6, where Steve Jobs and his team are introducing new hardware and software: the new operating system Lion, iCloud – cloud computing services - and software for Macintosh, iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

Best regards,


Domingo A. Trassens
Spanish-English Club

Questions - Preguntas:

1) From your point of view, what was the worst news for the week?
1) Desde vuestro punto de vista, ¿cuál fue la peor noticia de la semana?

2) And what was the best news from the week?
2) ¿Y cuál fue la mejor noticia de la semana?

Vocabulary - Vocabulario:

- android, androids = androide, androides
- apparent = aparente
- assemble = armar, ensamblar, montar, fabricar
- assistance = asistencia
- cloud computing = computación nube
- cloud computing services = servicios de computación nube
- concern = preocupación
- cucumber, cucumbers = pepino, pepinos
- damage = dañar
- data = datos
- dilapidated = desmoronado, desmoronada, desvencijado, desvencijada
- economy = economía
- engine, engines = motor, motores
- exhausted = agotado, agotada
- frame = marco
- forecast = pronóstico
- former = anterior
- hit = golpe, golpear
- human rights = derechos humanos
- intensify, intensifies = intensificar, intensifica
- investor = inversor
- jail, jails = cárcel, cárceles
- job, jobs = trabajo, trabajos, empleo, empleos
- jobless = sin trabajo
- lettuce = lechuga, lechugas
- manpower = mano de obra
- misfortune = desgracia
- notebook = computador portátil
- operating system = sistema operativo, sistema operacional
- outcome = resultado
- parts = partes, piezas
- pessimist = pesimista
- pockets = bolsillos
- rally = mitin, manifestación
- realize = darse cuenta
- speeches = discursos
- skepticism = escepticismo
- supply, supplies = suministro, suministros
- symptom, symptoms = síntoma, síntomas
- system = sistema
- thesis = tesis
- tomato, tomatoes = tomate, tomates
- utterly = completamente, totalmente
 - war = guerra


DJIA: Dow Jones Industrial Average
IDC: International Data Corporation


Thanks to Ann, Bob, Gaby, Erika, Fred, Paul, and Susan your messages about the previous Weekly Bilingual News.

The manufacturing sector depends of imported parts.

Sources and references: Wall Street Journal, PBS, Barron's Online, New York Times, Think Tank of Comlab, others.

No comments: