The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Day: November 5, 2008

Fed Reserve Survey: Smaller Companies May Have More Luck Securing Credit

A recent survey by the Federal Reserve System confirms what most of us have already felt: The credit markets continue to tighten as this financial crisis continues. The survey, sent to domestic banks and foreign banks with U.S. branches, asked banks to evaluate how their credit lending standards -both consumer and commercial -compared with three months ago.
Not surprisingly, none of the 76 responding banks reported an easing of credit terms for Commercial and Investment lending. Most indicated that standards were tightening somewhat,"regardless of the size of the borrowing company or the lending institution.
What is interesting to note, however, is that the banks seem to have a bit more confidence in the smaller firms when it comes to lending, excluding financing ...

3M and ITW Reach Settlement Over Patents

3M, St. Paul, MN, and Illinois Tool Works Inc., Glenview, IL, reached a mutual settlement concerning issues in patent infringement litigation brought by 3M in June 2006 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. The case involved 3M's patent covering its paint preparation system products.
Under the terms of the agreement, ITW acknowledged the validity and enforceability of 3M's patent rights and has taken a license under 3M patents. In addition, the parties have entered into a supply agreement under which 3M will supply a portion of ITW's DeKups system. Other specifics of the agreement are confidential. ...

To Invest or Not Invest: That is the Question During Down Times

Pembroke Consulting's Adam Fein recently led a panel of professors at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The conversation touched on a number of timely topics, including the U.S. dollar, exports, China, customer relationships, pricing and the credit and housing bubbles. (Here's the full article.)  
Perhaps one of the more interesting parts of the discussion came closer to the beginning. The question: Should firms increase spending during a recession? The answer, provided by Penn State Professor Gary Lilien, was that it depends. He says that those companies with the marketing expertise, a culture that can go against a tough trend and the resources to invest should ...

SKF Buys Argentinean Lubrication Systems Manufacturer

SKF has acquired Cirval S.A., a manufacturer of centralized lubrication systems. Cirval has annual sales of about $2.5 million and 60 employees.
The company has a strong position in engineering, product development and customized solutions, particularly for the steel industry. Its headquarters and manufacturing operation are in Rosario, Argentina.
SKF says the Cirval product line will strengthen its market position in Latin America in lubrications systems, complementing SKF's current lubrication portfolio.
A regional application center for lubrication systems will be established to support the market as a complement to the existing local center in ...

Milacron Sales Down 4% in 3Q

Milacron Inc., Cincinnati, OH, global supplier of plastics-processing technologies and industrial fluids, reported a net loss for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008, of $2.6 million, compared with a net loss of $4.5 million in the prior-year period.
Sales in the most recent quarter were $195 million, down 4%. New orders of $191 million declined 6%, reflecting lower demand for plastics processing equipment in the automotive and construction industries in North America.
Machinery Technologies-North America sales in the quarter were essentially flat versus the same period last year at $92 million, as depressed U.S. automotive and construction markets dampened sales of injection and extrusion equipment. Sales of blow molding systems improved, as did injection ...

PTDA’s Focus on the Next Generation

At the recent Power Transmission Distributors Association annual Industry Summit last week in Miami, I, a member of the next generation," participated in the association's first-ever reception for attendees under the age of 40. The event was part of an overall effort by the association to "assist the next generation of leaders in the power transmission/motion control industry as they begin to take over the reins at their companies."
The reception I attended -"Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes," after the traditional welcome reception the first night -featured a game in the spirit of Halloween to break the ice and facilitate more effective networking. The association split us into groups (which congregated around numbered tables) and challenged us to create the best ...