Tata Steel, which employs 15,000 workers at various sites in Britain, is considering the closure of its Port Talbot plant in Wales, and they are also hoping for the sale of all their plants in the U.K. This seems to have been the grim conclusion of the Tata board's meeting in Mumbai, attended by delegates from the United Kingdom.
This was grim news to the workers in Port Talbot. Some are hoping that the business may be bought over by some new owners, or perhaps the government could step in as saviours.
In today's climate, where steel prices have plummeted, with huge supply available from China at slim prices, there are unlikely to be any takers. This leaves it to the government to step in, if they may so consider, lest it spell demise for the British steel industry.
Amid falling prices due to cheap imports of steel from China, all steel mills in Britain have suffered heavy losses over the last five years. ISS closed, Tata cut its factories, now the situation looks bleak.
However, there may be a bright lining to this cloud. There is a perception that a lot of infrastructure projects are being held up in many countries, pending clarity on who will be in charge on the political scene. If the business cycles are intact and normal, I perceive a start of an uptrend within about seven months.
In the U.K., they would need to vote to stay on In the European Union. After all, Prime Minister David Cameron said he got a satisfactory deal from the E.U., in that Britain can keep their sovereign integrity intact, continue using the Pound Sterling, and its law-making processes would not be subject to European Union influence on those matters; and, of course, Britain would be paying somewhat reduced contributions to the E.U. budget. 'The best of both worlds' was how David Cameron characterised it, and he was fully confident the British public would vote to stay In at the referendum. If indeed the U.K. votes In on 23rd June, then all shall be well, both for the British economy as well as for the Euro Area and the European Union. All these economies are at the moment experiencing some hesitation in their growth projections, due to the uncertainty until the Referendum. (Were they to vote out, the projections seem grim : the U.K. may experience a recessionary environment for the foreseeable future, up till about 2030.)
In the U.S., hopefully Mrs Hillary Clinton will be the President at November. All the other candidates seem to offer extravagant unrealistic budgets, which really would mean unproductive and un-agreeable government, a fate the great and smart public should not foist upon itself.
China is the 'transition' mode, where its burgeoning economy is now decelerating, so a 'hard landing' is not to be feared; a continuous soft landing should always be expected. For 2016, China expects to fully produce 39 percent of global production. That is an enviable figure, and now China is exporting its capital, buying up commercial projects and properties overseas, to add to their impressive GNP figures.
Money manager Bill Gross is of the opinion that the world will be in trouble if it doesn't pick up in its production and growth in 2017. Surely, if money is available (and Mr Gross manages several Trillion dollars), governments and corporations should not see shortage of funds as a reason not to embark on new projects. With huge pent up demand in the Emerging Markets and the developing nations (vast potentials in Africa), there is huge scope Mr Gross won't be disappointed. All the world leaders just have to step up and unleash the huge growth potential that lies dormant.
All the peacemakers and the captains of industry can still make 2016 a great year for everybody.
I pray for Peace and Prosperity upon all nations and all people.