7 thoughts on “Aluminum: Canary in the Tech Mine”

  1. My family is in the automotive retail and motor sports leasing business, while I have been a small ‘s’ product strategy analyst (think product manager under a closed-end contract) for 15 years. I knew that we were in big trouble in the CE sector when core mfr metals (copper, palladium, gold, platinum, and aluminum) started to boom and bust.

    That boom was a flight from the equities market, and into commodities. This will be Americas new episode of the ‘Grapes of Wrath), i.e. a new era dust bowl that will inundate Silicon Valley, and what is left of America’s specialist manufacturing capacity.

    Too many social bookmarking apps, too many geo-location apps to perform the mission critical task of telling you (wait for it now) where your friends are at the bar. 5 million here, 7 million here for another social network for doggies and their childless Moms.

    Much of the VC cake going to ‘Silicon Valley Undertakers’, who have serially taken 5 or 7 rounds, never making a cent, sometimes making exits that created no net value for the American economy.

  2. I agree.

    Rising commodities prices (gold just spiked to $900 an ounce) and decreasing demand (oil has fallen to $86 a barrel) mean a slowdown unlike anything we’ve seen in a long time.

    Back in July, I wrote:
    “It is my uninformed opinion that we are about to plumb into the depths of an economic depression the likes of which may rival the Great Depression.”

    I wish to hell I was wrong. But the credit crunch is destroying entire supply chains as well as low-margin industries (ask any restaurateur) and the Bay Area is not immune from the financial contagion. Aluminum is the first of many blocks in a Periodic Table that will be checkered in deficit red this time next year.

    The Silicon Valley optimist in me hopes I’m mistaken. But now, after reading your analysis, Om, the pessimist in me is rising.

  3. By 2050 or so, the world population is expected to reach nine billion, essentially adding two Chinas to the number of people alive today. Those billions will be seeking food, water and other resources on a planet. And to think, that people’s ability to manage themselves and their resources on the planet today is now highly in ??


    I know that people (let’s just use the U.S. for this example) think they need a new car every few years, like they need a new iPod every 6 months.

    Let’s get real Americans, you don’t need any new cars at all now. There are enough good USED cars for people to SHARE for god knows how many years to come.

    Maybe this will help that reality become a little more clear for them http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aUMsMdzmXd_o&refer=home

    Sure, a hell of a lot of people are gonna be out of work cause of this. The U.S. needs to start putting these people to work on things that matter. Buying new cars, does not matter really now or probably for a long time.

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