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Captain Hybrid

Are Automakers' Managers Hurting Engineering?

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Rob Spiegel
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Re: Failed free market
Rob Spiegel   4/3/2012 3:16:19 PM
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I guess you're right, Old Curmudgeon. Yet it does seem odd that the price of gasoline is moving at a different trajectory than the price of oil. By simple logic, at some point there would be some equalization.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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Re: Failed free market
OLD_CURMUDGEON   4/2/2012 2:52:02 PM
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Rob:  I'm NOT a stock market maven myself.  That's what I pay a financial whiz kid to do it for me, BUT it is my undestanding that there ARE speculators that will (hedge a) "bet" on just about anything that one can dream up, including where a fly will land at the airport in Singapore.  So, it would seem to me that there also ARE speculators that can cause the price of gasoline & other direct petroleum distillates to fluctuate at will.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Failed free market
Rob Spiegel   4/2/2012 1:58:17 PM
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I agree, Old Curmudgeon. I'm confused by the :speculation" agruement. I can understnad speculating on crude and thus driving up the price. But can you speculation as refined gasoline? The price of crude is not the problem. The price of crude has only gone up about 5%, while the price of gas has gone up nearly 30%. And that's in Europe as well, not just in North America.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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Re: Failed free market
OLD_CURMUDGEON   4/2/2012 11:59:39 AM
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Rob:  And that's another reason why there is so much dissent in the discussion about crude prices vs. gasoline prices.  The price of crude for the past several months has hovered around the $105/bbl. figure, yet the price of gasoline continues to rise at a rate of at least a nickel a week, sometimes more.  There doesn't seem to be a coherent explanation for this; one could make an argument that this flies in the face of the "Law of Supply & Demand" of classic Economics 101.  It almost seems that it is more beholden to the Law of Expedient Political Rhetoric".

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Failed free market
Rob Spiegel   4/2/2012 10:22:13 AM
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I didn't realize that, Old Curmudgeon, Just over the weekend, oil went down again, now to $102, while gas prices rose again. I understand there is also speculation going on. 

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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Re: Failed free market
OLD_CURMUDGEON   4/2/2012 8:03:09 AM
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Rob:  Supposedly the "reason" why gasoline is so highly priced currently is because they're in the midst of the winter to summer changeover mode @ the refineries, AND because there are plans in place to PERMANENTLY close at least one (or more) domestic refineries, including one on the East Coast (NJ or PA?) facility.

However, we've also heard the news reports, etal. in which it has been shown that the industry is EXPORTING domestically-produced gasoline to foreign depots.

Is this a contrivance?  Is it a conspiracy?  Is it collusion?  Who knows!  But, we're all paying the price, NO pun intended!

 

William K.
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Are the managers hurting engineering?
William K.   4/1/2012 5:03:31 PM
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Miller has it right about stockholders and the almighty quarterly profits drive. Monthly and quarterly short term profits are the main driver of about all upper management decisions made.IT is the greed thing, the same greed thast bought us the mortgage company bust and the toxic assets problems. Probably grred will destroy this great nation, unless it destroys one of the EU nations and we learn by watching. The problem is that greed and moral corruption are opposite sides of the same coin, and so it is not a large step from greedy decisions that may be legal to greedy decisions that are not legal. It sure sounds gloomy, doesn't it.

Tim
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Re: Japanese system
Tim   3/31/2012 2:50:53 PM
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It is agreed that not all Asian cultures have the same philosophy.  Companies 5000 miles away are hard to hold accountable for quality issues and sometimes the companies have actually folded before the container arrives at its final destination.

jmiller
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Re: 42 mpg not as good as >45 mpg
jmiller   3/31/2012 12:00:00 PM
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In the end it will be decided by the almighty dollar.  Even as gas prices rise people will still by larger vehicles because that is what they choose to spend their money on.  Even as gas prices rose last year, there was no great call to change what people were buying.  And I don't see people changing what they drive because the industry tells them too.  Dollars and cents will drive where we go.  No pun intended...okay yes I did intend to put that pun there.

jmiller
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Re: Are managers hurting engineering?
jmiller   3/31/2012 11:55:41 AM
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One of the big weaknesses of having a company managed by accounting types is it comes down completely to measureable by dollars and cents.  How can one eqquate the value of customer perception of a brand name?  It cannot be quantified.  But it is in my opinion more valuable than dollars and cents.

The other part about this is management must reward those that find and address issues rather than punish them by having them fix their mistakes while working on the other stuff they should be doing.  From the top down bringing issues to the table have to be viewed as a call for help not a reason to punish

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