TV Pricing Bloodbath Threatens Already Razor-Thin Retailer Margins, Will Send Japanese FX Interventions Into Overdrive

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Sat, 10/30/2010 - 14:35 | 688092 aerojet
aerojet's picture

The quality of electronics coming from China is so awful right now--it's now a total crapshoot whether you get a working device or just a doorstop.  I don't think they have any room to reduce quality or (non-existent) quality control.  Say goodbye, China.

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 15:32 | 688157 Popo
Popo's picture

Just totally untrue. 

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 18:30 | 688302 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

well, not totally untrue.  Several instances recently of "repatrioting" high quality manufacturing into U.S.

But you're too cute to junk ;-)

- Ned

Sun, 10/31/2010 - 00:07 | 688643 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

A friend of mine has his own auto parts store and said the stuff from China is pure junk.  Customers trying to save a buck by buying the Chinese made bearings will oftentimes be back in in less than a year complaining of product just not lasting. 

Lest not everyone forget about the tainted pet food that killed off all those pets (, or the Chinese milk that poisoned all those Chinese kids (

Before the Opium Wars destroyed China, it made the best of everything.

Sun, 10/31/2010 - 00:56 | 688681 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

time to buy a Zenith!!    (I know LG bought them...  how much would it cost now to build an old 'wood furniture' tv??)

Sun, 10/31/2010 - 15:13 | 689229 stev3e
stev3e's picture

I do everything possible to avoid buying Chinese crap.  Paying more is perfectly fine with me.

Sun, 10/31/2010 - 22:47 | 689839 AbbeBrel
AbbeBrel's picture

You buy stuff and you roll the dice.   I work for a large outfit, and to our amazement we had a 100% failure rate on one particular power supply (they are all made in China).   If you get a bad component in what you buy, then it is only a matter of time before it lets out all the magic smoke.   YMMV.   - AB

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 15:47 | 688168 tmosley
tmosley's picture

The electronics I've been buying from China have only been improving in quality.  I think every monitor in my house was made in China, and only the oldest one has any problems whatsoever.

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 17:06 | 688233 Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture


That's a gutsy call there Tbitch...

pulled totally out of your ass of course but still......

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 17:46 | 688268 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture

6-Million Tons of Chemical Waste Stockpiled Across China ~ Video ~


6-million tons of toxic chromium waste are piled around 20 cities across China, and they have been there for 2 decades.

State-run Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday, a booming chemical industry during the 1950s has left a lasting problem. After some of the chemical plants closed in the early 90’s because of pollution concerns, stockpiles of chromium slag were left behind, and continued to pollute the environment.

In central Henan Province, there are 6 such waste piles stored inside concrete structures, the local Dahe Daily reports. In Gongyi City, 50,000 tons of the chemical waste has been left standing less than 2 miles from a river for almost 20 years.

[Villager, Henan Province]:
“There was the No.2 Chemical Plant. It processed mines and left the chromium slag behind without treatment. It’s toxic and causing pollution.”

Chromium slag contains toxic hexavalent chromium, which is a known carcinogen. Just small amounts of it can be lethal. Their poor storage has caused the substance to seep into soil and waterways over the years, endangering residents.

In 2005, the Chinese regime’s State Council ordered local authorities to clean up the disposal in 5 years. But the Dahe Daily reports, in Henan Province where 500,000 tons of the chromium slag remains, disputes over who will pay for the clean-up have delayed the process.

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 18:11 | 688284 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture

About one third of the industrial waste water and more than 90 percent of household sewage in China is released into rivers and lakes without being treated. Nearly 80 percent of China's cities (278 of them) have no sewage treatment facilities and few have plans to build any and underground water supplies in 90 percent of the cites are contaminated.

Water shortages and water pollution in China are such a problem that the World Bank warns of “catastrophic consequences for future generations.” Half of China’s population lacks safe drinking water. Nearly two thirds of China’s rural population—more than 500 million people—use water contaminated by human and industrial waste.

By one estimate one sixth of China’s population is threatened by seriously polluted water. One study found that eight of 10 Chinese coastal cities discharge excessive amounts of sewage and pollutants into the sea, often near coastal resorts and sea farming areas. Most of China’s rural areas have no system in place to treat waste water.

Water pollution—caused primarily by industrial waste, chemical fertilizers and raw sewage— accounts for half of the $69 billion that the Chinese economy loses to pollution every year. About 11.7 million pounds of organic pollutants are emitted into Chinese waters very day, compared to 5.5 in the United States, 3.4 in Japan, 2.3 in Germany, 3.2 in India, and 0.6 in South Africa.

Water consumed by people in China contains dangerous levels of arsenic, fluorine and sulfates. An estimated 980 million of China’s 1.3 billion people drink water every day that is partly polluted. More than 600 million Chinese drink water contaminated with human or animal wastes and 20 million people drink well water contaminated with high levels of radiation. A large number of arsenic-tainted water have been discovered. China’s high rates of liver, stomach and esophageal cancer have been linked to water pollution.

In many cases factories fouling critical water sources are making goods consumed by people in the U.S. and Europe. Problems created by China’s water pollution are not just confined to China either. Water pollution and garbage produced in China floats down its rivers to the sea and is carried by prevailing winds and currents to Japan and South Korea.

Water pollution and shortages are a more serious problem in northern China than southern China. The percentage of water considered unfit for human consumption is 45 percent in northern China, compared to 10 percent in southern China. Some 80 percent of the rivers in the northern province of Shanxi have been rated “unfit for human contact.”


Water Pollution and Health and Protests

Nearly two thirds of China’s rural population—more than 500 million people—use water contaminated by human and industrial waste. Accordingly it is not all that surprising that gastrointestinal cancer is now the number one killer in the countryside,

More than 130 residents of two villages in Guangxi Province in southern China were poisoned by arsenic-contaminated water. Arsenic showed up in their urine. The source is believed to be waste from a nearby metallurgy factory.


Sources of Water Pollution

Major polluters include chemical factories, drug manufactures, fertilizer makers, tanneries, paper mills.

In October 2009, Greenpeace identified five industrial facilities in southern China’s Pearl River delta that were dumping poisonous metals and chemicals—such as beryllium, manganese, nonylphenol and tetrabromobisphenol— into water used by local residents for drinking. The group found the toxins in pipes that led from the facilities.

In February 2008 the Fuan textile factory, a multimillion dollar operation in Guangdong Province that produces enormous quantities of T-shirts and other clothes for export, was shut down for dumping waste from dyes into the Maozhou River and turning the water red. It turned out the factory produced 47,000 tons of waste a day and could only process 20,000 tons with the rest being dumped into the river. It latter quietly reopened in a new location.


China has some of the world's worst water pollution. All of China's lakes and rivers are polluted to some degree. According to a Chinese government report, 70 percent of rivers, lakes and waterways are seriously polluted, many so seriously they have no fish, and 78 percent of the water from China's rivers is not fit for human consumption. In a middle class development near Nanjing call Straford a polluted river has buried underground in giant pipe while a new ornamental river, rally a lake, has been built above it.

According to one government survey, 436 of China’s 532 rivers are polluted, with more than half of them too polluted to serve as sources of drinking water, and 13 of 15 sectors of China's seven largest rivers are seriously polluted. The most polluted rivers are in the east and south around the major population centers with the pollution getting worse the further downstream one goes. In some cases each city along a river dumps pollutants outside their city limits, creating increasingly more pollution for the cities down stream.

Many rivers are filled with garbage, heavy metals and factory chemicals. Suzhou Creek in Shanghai stinks of human waste and effluence from pig farms. There have been devastating fish kills caused by the release of chemicals into the Haozhongou River in Anhui province and Min Jiang River in Sichuan Province.

The Huai flows through densely populated farmland between the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers. Bottlenecks and elevation changes make the river both prone to flooding and collecting pollutants. Half the checkpoints along the Huai River in central and eastern China revealed pollution levels of “Grade 5" or worse, with pollutants detected in ground water 300 meters below the river.

The Huai river in Anhui province is so polluted all the fish have died and people have to drink bottled water to avoid getting sick. Some places have water that is too toxic to touch and leaves behind scum when it is boiled. Here, crops have been destroyed by irrigation water from the river; fish farms have been wiped out; and fishermen have lost their livelihoods. The South-North Water Transfer Project—which will travel through the Huai basin—is likely to deliver water that is dangerously polluted.

The Qingshui River, a tributary of the Huai whose names means “clear water,” has turned black with trails of yellow foam from pollution from small mines that have opened up to meet the demand for magnesium, molybdenum and vanadium used in the booming steel industry. River samples indicate unhealthy levels of magnesium and chromium. The vanadium refineries foul the water and produce smokes that deposits a yellowing powder on teh countryside.

The Liao River is also a mess. Gains made with new water treatment facilities have been canceled out by higher than ever levels of industrial pollution.

In May 2007, 11 companies along the Songhua River, including local food companies, were ordered to shut down because of the heavily-polluted water they dumped into the river. A survey found that 80 percent exceeded pollution discharge limits. One company turned off pollution control devices and dumped sewage directly into the river.

In March 2008 contamination of the Dongjing River with ammonia, nitrogen and metal-cleaning chemicals turned the water red and foamy and forced authorities to cut water supplies for at least 200,000 people in Hubei Province in central China.

Cancer Villages and Polluted Waterways in China

According to the World Bank, 60,000 people die each year from diarrhea, bladder and stomach cancer and other diseases directly caused by water-borne pollution. A study by the WHO came with a much higher figure.

Cancer village is a term used to describe villages or towns where cancer rates have risen dramatically because of pollution. There are said to be around 100 cancer villages along the Huai River and its tributaries in Henan Province, especially on the Shaying River. Death rates on Huai River are 30 percent higher than the national average. In 1995, the government declared that water from a Huai tributary was undrinkable and the water supply for 1 million people was cut off. The military had to truck in water for a month until 1,111 paper mills and 413 other industrial plants on the river were shut down.

In the village of Huangmengying—where a once-clear stream is now greenish black from factory wastes—cancer accounted for 11 of the 17 deaths in 2003. Both the river and well water in the village—the main source of drinking water—have an acrid smell and taste produced by pollutants dumped upstream by tanneries, paper mills, a huge MSG plant, and other factories. Cancer had been rare when the stream was clear.

Tuanjieku is town six kilometers northwest of Xian that still uses an ancient system of moats to irrigate its crops. The moats unfortunately don’t drain so well and are now badly contaminated by household discharges and industrial waste. Visitors to the town are often overwhelmed by the rotten egg smell and feel faint after five minutes of breathing in the air. Vegetables produced in the fields are discolored and sometimes black. Residents suffer from abnormally high cancer rates.

One third of peasants in the village Badbui are mentally ill or seriously ill. Women report high numbers of miscarriages and many people die in middle age. The culprit is believed to be drinking water drawn from the Yellow River downstream from a fertilizer plant.

The waters around Taizhou in Zhejiang, the home of Hisun Pharmaceutical, one of China’s largest drug makers, are so contaminated with sludge and chemicals that fishermen complain their hands and legs become ulcerated, and in extreme cases need amputation. Studies have show that people who live around the city have high cancer and birth defect rates.

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 20:47 | 688460 Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture

"Nearly two thirds of China’s rural population—more than 500 million people—use water contaminated by human and industrial waste."

I think in China that's considered a feature, not a bug.

It's one of emergent China's gifts to the world...The Production/Eugenics cycle

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 22:14 | 688550 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

China thinks the one child policy failed. I guess the next attempt will be indirect mass murder through poisoning.

Sun, 10/31/2010 - 12:56 | 688978 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Nuance, the next big eugenics program in China would based on their realisation that there are too many old people consuming but not producing.   

Rationing healthcare, whittling down pensions, rading savings, bad air, water, and food, and suchlike can only do so much.   China is at least as much a multicultural empire as it is a nation ain't culturally homogeneous and knows it, and so is paranoid about centrifugal forces that might break its empires.   Crisis will provoke it to do extreme things to its various peoples, like the Great Leap Forward in its day, then the eugenics program called the "one child policy"... which had for effect aborting too many girls.  Yeah, they are going to have one hell of a lot of old people for each young healthy working person, and damned suddenly, not as gradually as this is coming upon countries like Italy and Germany, Russia, and Greece and Spain.   It will be, like, whammo, China is old and depopulating fast.   Next steps will mechanically be oriented to reducing the burden of no longer producing old people on everyone else.

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 23:47 | 688627 trav7777
trav7777's picture

NEGATIVE YIELDS.  That is what this is.

The OP talks about negative margins on consumer goods...we are in a NEGATIVE real profitability economic climate in the aggregate.

There is no demand for additional credit and there is no additional energy supply to support more capacity or consumption.

Destroying your environment to be able to eke out a tiny "profit" is a sign of a negative yield economic climate.  Nobody can make money with the energy overhead of nontoxic manufacturing now

Sun, 10/31/2010 - 10:28 | 688845 DR
DR's picture

Sad..all that toxicity which is made into junk that American consumers will throw out into the trash within a year.

Ah, but according to an eminent Nobel prize winning economist the China way is to be emulated:

“The effectiveness of China’s government—especially in contrast with the paralysis of some Western nations—is often understood as evidence of the greater agility and decisiveness of authoritarian states. Spence’s analysis suggests another phenomenon could be at work. Emerging-market leaders—both the democrats and the dictators—are more accustomed than their Western counterparts to fast and disruptive change: They’ve experienced revolution, hyperinflation and devaluation. That may give them an edge in today’s volatile global economy”

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 20:29 | 688440 4shzl
4shzl's picture

Paging Erin Brockovich . . .

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 21:57 | 688531 Fred Hayek
Fred Hayek's picture

She's busy trying to gin up another fraud.

See this piece from Reason magazine:


Sat, 10/30/2010 - 22:49 | 688589 Big Red
Big Red's picture

Ah, the dichotomy in making this reply:

1. You expect me to absorb, appreciate and agree to advice by a Department of Health and Human Services toxicologist that says that chromium-6 ingestion "doesn’t harm humans"?

The one who then goes on to twist some with ‘It’s very unlikely that people could die from drinking chromium 6 in the water, even over time'?

Don't be silly.

2. Now here the Reason story does have legs:

"that the two L.A. lawyers who teamed with Brockovich’s firm to handle the case, Thomas Girardi and Walter Lack, were on unusually friendly terms with some of the judges in the arbitration, who had joined the arbitration firm JAMS after retiring from the regular California bench"

Yes, that smells.

All in all, the initial subject was chromium-6, too bad Brokovich led us down a sideline. Then again, what Hollywood movie is ever historically accurate?

Sun, 10/31/2010 - 07:59 | 688792 Goldenballs
Goldenballs's picture

China is another Eastern Bloc disaster waiting to happen.Polluted lakes,water table,etc.

Sun, 10/31/2010 - 13:07 | 688998 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

There's a hell of a lot of business being done in the U.S. cleaning up industrial messes left over from, for example, balls to the wall industrial production ramp ups done in WWII and/or the cold war.    Superfund sites galore.    But I think plausibly when that was done it could be said the perpetrators couldn't know, or otherwise that the greater good was winning those wars.   Today, China continuing this path in light of heaps of knowledge of biology right down to the molecular level, is...really something.    Basically China needs to get rich before it gets old.    It fears it is losing that battle, thus the damn-the-torpedoes attitude to economic growth and modernisation that grinds up so many people and throws so much pollution out there with little afterthought for clean up.   Psychiatrically speaking I'm going to say they have Bauer's Disease(*):   There's no time!

(*) As in Jack Bauer, the fictional character famous for preferrring expedient measures over slower lower risk ones, after stating in hi mic or phone "There's no time!".    For China, there's no time.

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 18:50 | 688329 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Pardon if facts conflict with your worldview to the point where you feel the need to call someone a "bitch" for disagreeing with them.

The fact stands that the oldest monitor in my house, the television in my bedroom, is Chinese, and has some problems, where all the other monitors in my house work beutifully, and were quite cheap.  All of my computers and electronics are Chinese, and I don't have anything that doesn't work well, save perhaps for the AppleTV (which I don't use any more because it was hobbled by design).

It's not that American products are so bad, it's that American companies have been driven out of business by the extreme regulatory requirements fisted upon them by the US government.  I don't know why you feel the need to group together and slander a whole nation of producers.  Is it penis envy?  That sure is what it sounds like.

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 19:33 | 688379 impending doom
impending doom's picture

Pardon me, but as someone who works in the oncology industry, regulation hasn't done Americans any favors: check out the upward spiraling of cancer diagnosis rates in the USA. And no, it's not from increased diagnostic prowess...

Sun, 10/31/2010 - 13:09 | 689000 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

RO filters, bitchez!

Sun, 10/31/2010 - 13:58 | 689095 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Exactly so.  Regulations do not exist to protect us, but only to protect key constituencies of those in power.  Sometimes, those things coincide, at least on paper, but many time they do not.  Regulations have stopped us from doing further research on a new class of drugs we had been working on which promised to cure cancer and all communicable diseases.  We are still proceeding with one of the simplest forms of this technology, a catalyst which produces short lived reactive oxygen species attached to a form of testosterone that will seek out and kill any prostate cancer cells in the body, even after metastasis, while not harming any other type of cell in the body.  We can target any protein that exists individually by using phage expressed peptides screened against said proteins, and tagged with our catalyst.

If the FDA wasn't standing in our way, we would have placed a lot more people on this project, and we would have started clinical trials years ago, and absent regulations forcing new drugs to go through a series of extremely expensive hoops, would probably have these products on the market already.  Hell, I have an idea of how to automate the discovery process onto a chip such that this could be done automatically.  Make it implantable, and BAM you've got an artificial immune system that can be updated to produce peptides to kill any problem organism that is detected, including viruses.  This is real Star Trek stuff that I would love to be working on, but the regulations are such that we have to focus on other things that will pay off sooner, mainly antimicrobial medical devices and now antimicrobial industrial materials.

Of course, that has its uses as well.  I may have discovered a truly permanent coating that can go on any metal and block corrosion under any condition save extreme heat.  Even so, I'd much rather be working on the end of disease than the end of rust.

Sun, 10/31/2010 - 14:13 | 689120 Byte Me
Byte Me's picture

Perhaps you had better switch them on occasionally just to check...


The one I'm using is 2YO and failing. It's also impossible to open without damaging the case otherwise I'd be able to repair the PSU

""The electronics I've been buying from China have only been improving in quality.""


If true - congrats. Try applying to Guinness World Records. My experience is that Tiddleytronics suck and blow.

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 16:15 | 688191 surfsup
surfsup's picture

I agree -- some components made in china which I recently bought are plagued with trouble.   

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 17:10 | 688237 quintago
quintago's picture

Please tell us what brand of American handcrafted monitor or computer you happen to be reading this message on?

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 18:41 | 688314 New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

dontcha' know

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 18:05 | 688283 knukles
knukles's picture

Well thank God for that. 
At least we haven't had any problems with Chinese dry wall, medicines, powdered milk products, campaign contributions, satellite debris or intelligence gathering infractions. 

But ya' know, the real problem with the Chinese is that once you have a spat, kiss and make-up, 15 minutes later ya' wanna have another spat already. 

Sun, 10/31/2010 - 00:14 | 688649 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

That is some creative, insightful, as well as funny writing there.  +2

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 20:07 | 688414 JackES
JackES's picture

I don't think you know shit.

All my Dell/HP desktop/Laptop PCs are made in China, no problem for years.

All my Sony/Toshiba/Samsung LCD TVs are made in China, no problems.

So, next time when you buy any electronics, I suggest you call the manafacture to find out the origin of the prodcut.

No one will shoot you if you don't buy electronics from China, no one cares.

Sun, 10/31/2010 - 00:18 | 688652 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

Denninger went on a rant about Chinese made capacitors a while ago.  In my limited experience in fixing electronics, I have fixed two Chinese made LCD screens.  My old 27 inch Motorola TV set still works wonderful, made in 1986.

Sun, 10/31/2010 - 14:03 | 689101 tmosley
tmosley's picture

That's great.  Maybe you can design and build a time machine to move that factory to the present.

The point is that a, Chinese products aren't the terrible pieces of crap some people want them to be, and that b, no matter how many trade barriers you throw up, you aren't going to change the fact that our factories are GONE.  They are closing the door on an abandoned barn, where the horses escaped decades ago.  Even if you got new horses, you'd have to get someone to take care of them that didn't beat them mercilessly until they either died or ran away (closed up shop, or offshored).

Sun, 10/31/2010 - 11:18 | 688879 margaris
margaris's picture

well, I would say quality is a problem everywhere... not only china... often enough we users are like betatesters to those companies.

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 14:36 | 688093 Dick Buttkiss
Dick Buttkiss's picture

Say good-bye to Keynesian consumerism and hello Austrian austerity.

Now back to Virginia's route of Miami on my perfectly good American-made CRT.  

Go Hoos!


The state can kiss my ass.

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 16:45 | 688211 duderino
duderino's picture

well said!  wahoowa!

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 16:45 | 688212 duderino
duderino's picture

well said!  wahoowa!

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 14:38 | 688094 bigdumbnugly
bigdumbnugly's picture

Bernanke = the Grinch?

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 14:41 | 688100 bigdumbnugly
bigdumbnugly's picture

“There’s going to be a price war this Christmas season and there’s no way around that,” said Tsutomu Yamada, a market analyst at Securities Co. in Tokyo. “The whole strategy this year is ‘sell earlier and sell for less.’ That makes life miserable for the manufacturers.”


we gots to move these refrigerators... we gots to move these color tvee-eeeeee's.

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 16:53 | 688218 tom a taxpayer
tom a taxpayer's picture

Oh yeah!  Money for Nothing by Dire Straits.

Sun, 10/31/2010 - 13:10 | 689004 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

But installing microwave ovens and doing custom kitchen delivery-y-y-y-ies are service jobs that can't be exported!    Its all good!

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 17:14 | 688238 Blah Blah Blah
Blah Blah Blah's picture

"I want my MTV"

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 14:43 | 688103 -Michelle-
-Michelle-'s picture

Deflation in the unnecessary and inflation in the necessary.  Merry Christmas.

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 14:53 | 688115 tahoe69
tahoe69's picture

Exactly deflate what you have and inflate what you need. it's here.

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 14:45 | 688105 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

Yet another huge boom in TV sales this season.  All my friends who are NFL and NBA sport junkies are all salivating at getting the latest and greatest LCD this year in time for the playoffs and the BCS.

The hot ticket being discussed right now is the Sony Bravia XBR series.

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 16:54 | 688219 unum mountaineer
unum mountaineer's picture

what's them gas prices lookl ike in your neck of the woods? didn't catch up to you till now.

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 17:28 | 688249 unum mountaineer
unum mountaineer's picture

hey robes, how 'bout that thar silver? too legit to quit?

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 18:07 | 688285 knukles
knukles's picture

Snookie is HOT in 3D.
Read a fucking book.

Sat, 10/30/2010 - 19:50 | 688391 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

But Robo and HarryW will be buying all their igifts from the aapl store?

That might help...

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