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Robin Harding
Tokyo bureau chief for the Financial Times. Recovering Fed-watcher. Blathering here about Japan and the global economy.
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Robin Harding Feb 18
Replying to @RobinBHarding
It’s a tragedy really. Swindon was a huge investment, attracted with much difficulty, and started with high hopes. Once it’s gone it’ll never come back. I also wonder when we’ll hear the first UK voices calling for Trump-style protectionism. 8/8
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Robin Harding Feb 18
Replying to @RobinBHarding
The next question is Toyota in Burnaston. That is an equally subscale plant. Business logic says Toyota should close it, but like Honda, they’ll try everything to make it work. I’m afraid the mood music from Toyota these days is not encouraging. 7/
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Robin Harding Feb 18
Replying to @RobinBHarding
German and French manufacturers always thought Japan would just move assembly home. With the UK outside the EU, the trade deal makes that easy. Past UK policy comes back to bite us. 6/
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Robin Harding Feb 18
Replying to @RobinBHarding
The role of the EU-Japan trade deal is interesting. Britain pushed for the earliest possible reduction in EU auto tariffs, believing it would help Japanese assembly plants in the UK. There was some logic to this – if they had access to the EU market. 5/
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Robin Harding Feb 18
Replying to @RobinBHarding
Why now? Brexit promises to raise costs for parts and reduce access to the EU - fatal for an already marginal plant. More importantly, it gives a company that hates to close factories or sack people a license to act. 4/
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Robin Harding Feb 18
Replying to @RobinBHarding
However, Honda has avoided that obvious business decision for many years. Instead, they've tried everything possible to keep Swindon open, such as exporting to the US. 3/
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Robin Harding Feb 18
Replying to @RobinBHarding
Why? Frankly, Swindon *never* made an adequate return for Honda. There's too much capacity in Europe and the situation got worse and worse as Honda’s market share fell. Output at 160k last year is sub-scale. It’s an obvious business decision to close it. 2/
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Robin Harding Feb 18
A few thoughts from Japan on Honda's sad decision to close Swindon. (Honda will hold a press conference in Tokyo at 8am UK time.) There are two questions: why and why now? I think the answers are different. 1/
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Robin Harding Feb 18
Honda to shut UK plant by 2022 in another Brexit retreat
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Robin Harding Feb 9
Replying to @literaryeric
I’m very sorry for your loss.
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Robin Harding Jan 30
Exclusive interview: Ghosn 'plot and treason' led to arrest
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Robin Harding Dec 21
Replying to @Neil1606 @fryan
Ha! Found them. Quite a party going on there.
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Robin Harding Dec 20
Replying to @Neil1606 @fryan
Some image analysis expert needs to look at the shadows and rescue me. I've work to finish before Xmas...
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💯Fergus Ryan Dec 20
This is pretty amazing. A photo taken with a ~ 24.9 billion pixel ~ camera from Shanghai's Oriental Pearl Tower. You can literally zoom in on anything - people's faces, car regos etc. Check it out.
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Lionel Barber Dec 18
George Soros, billionaire philanthropist and standard bearer of liberal democracy, is the FT’s Person of the Year via
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Vinay Prasad MD MPH Dec 13
Cute & funny paper in the But unfortunately it furthers a narrative that is detrimental to medicine and scientific progress. Many may not see why. Allow me to explain.. [THREAD]
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Felix Salmon Dec 13
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Nicolas Petit Nov 23
Fantastic coverage of Friston's free energy principle. Highly recommended weekend read:
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Robin Harding Nov 5
Replying to @Brad_Setser
Interested to know the answer. Anecdotally on (a), recent Japanese flows haven't gone into Treasuries because yields are too low after a currency swap. But I don't think that explains your chart.
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Robin Harding Oct 25
Replying to @TimDuy
I'm wondering exactly the same in Japan. We may be able to go below 2% unemployment over here.
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