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Proud Texan
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Con vuestro permiso, abro un hilo en el que podamos ir pegando noticias de nuestra economía en lenguas francas de los bárbaros.

Nos da pie el especial de hoy en FT sobre el "crash" del modelo económico español en el que, paradoxicamente, se dedican a tratar de comprender el éxito y la buena marcha de la economía vasca:

http://www.ft.com/reports/spain2008

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0bd32162-343f-11dd-869b-0000779fd2ac.html


Idiosyncratic entrepreneurs

By Richard Milne

The verdant scenery of the Basque Country stands out from the rest of Spain and to some seems more akin to southern Germany. Comparisons between the two regions do not end there, as both depend on high-cost, high-tech industrial businesses driven by privately-owned companies.

Y como no, se habla de Mondragón:



Mondragon flies an unconventional flag for the Basque Country


The Basque region's best-known company is a conglomerate whose activities range from supermarkets and home appliances to lifts, electrical components, sporting goods and construction consultancy.

Mondragon Corporación Cooperativa is among the world's largest co-operative associations.


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Pamplona-Iruña
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^^ quizá habría que cambiar el título y poner Basque Economy vs Spanish Economy, porque da la impresión de que el tema da para comparaciones
 

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^^ quizá habría que cambiar el título y poner Basque Economy vs Spanish Economy, porque da la impresión de que el tema da para comparaciones
Comparaciones del estilo Territorio VS Territorio están totalmente prohibidas en el foro.
 

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Pamplona-Iruña
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Comparaciones del estilo Territorio VS Territorio están totalmente prohibidas en el foro.
lo decía porque al hablar de la economía de Euskadi -y por qué no también de Navarra- es inevitable la comparación con el resto del Estado (más aún en los tiempos que avecinan). no lo digo yo, sino la prensa extranjera y lo comprobarás en los artículos que se vayan poniendo en este hilo. :|

P.D: respecto a lo que dices Territorio vs Territorio, se hacen muchas comparaciones y en todos los temas. no hay más que ver scrapercity. Por lo demás no entiendo por qué está prohibido. El texto que ha colgado mabuse empieza así, "The verdant scenery of the Basque Country stands out from the rest of Spain and to some seems more akin to southern Germany", si esto no es comparación Territorio vs Territorio entonces no sé de qué estamos hablando.
 

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P.D: respecto a lo que dices Territorio vs Territorio, se hacen muchas comparaciones y en todos los temas. no hay más que ver scrapercity. Por lo demás no entiendo por qué está prohibido. El texto que ha colgado mabuse empieza así, "The verdant scenery of the Basque Country stands out from the rest of Spain and to some seems more akin to southern Germany", si esto no es comparación Territorio vs Territorio entonces no sé de qué estamos hablando.
Bueno, está prohibido porque este ha sido un foco innumerable de peleas en el foro y donde los moderadores se han exprimido a fondo. Hacer lo que ha hecho mabuse, poner un artículo referenciando a la economía vasca y compararla con la española , y comentarlo es correcto, pero no así llamar a un hilo Territorio VS Territorio, porque las normas del foro no lo permiten. Y si no que los moderadores me corrijan.
 

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Proud Texan
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
lo decía porque al hablar de la economía de Euskadi -y por qué no también de Navarra- es inevitable la comparación con el resto del Estado (más aún en los tiempos que avecinan). no lo digo yo, sino la prensa extranjera y lo comprobarás en los artículos que se vayan poniendo en este hilo. :|

P.D: respecto a lo que dices Territorio vs Territorio, se hacen muchas comparaciones y en todos los temas. no hay más que ver scrapercity. Por lo demás no entiendo por qué está prohibido. El texto que ha colgado mabuse empieza así, "The verdant scenery of the Basque Country stands out from the rest of Spain and to some seems more akin to southern Germany", si esto no es comparación Territorio vs Territorio entonces no sé de qué estamos hablando.
Evidentemente, el tema es candente en la medida en que son los propios analistas, fijándose en la economía española, se aperciben de la diferente marcha de la economía vasca. Por otra parte una VS sería absurdo ya que, ahora mismo, la segunda es parte integrante de la primera por mucho que diverga.

Por otra parte, me llama la atención que tras años de aguantar propaganda delirante sobre la supuesta "decadencia irresoluble" de euskadi, de su economía y de su sociedad, todos esos análisis de carton piedra penetrasen con tanta facilidad en las regiones de España en las que se han hecho muy mal los deberes económicos estos últimos años. Es un poco como la de la cigarra y la hormiga.

Por supuesto, el objetivo de este hilo no es otro que el que podamos ir colocando artículos sobre nuestra economía en otras lenguas mayoritarias diferentes al castellano, suficientemente presente en el resto de hilos de economía. Esto puede ser util tanto a visitantes foraneos interesados como a los habituales que puedan disfrutar de la lectura en estos idiomas. Espero que otros foreros interesados en estos temas colaboren colgando aquellas noticias de interés que encuentren ;)
 

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Agur eta ohore
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:crazy: :crazy:

"The Basques' capital city, Bilbao, is about the size of Wellington and has become world- renowned for its new, fabulous, elegant, jaw-dropping, avant-guard, titanium-clad museum, and then, in September, there's their popular mixed-sex annual 5000-metre foot race along the beach at low tide, in the nude. First prize a holiday in the Canary Islands."
 

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Este articulo del Financial Times de hoy sobre empresas familiares utiliza mucho ejemplos vascos:

Extended families

By Richard Milne and Daniel Schäfer

Ask Eduardo Giménez why there are so many successful privately owned companies in the Basque region of Spain and he embarks on a history lesson. "We started in the late 18th century with the British extracting iron ore and that created the first development. People thought: why don't we make the machines here ourselves instead of in Manchester? That in turn created a huge network of companies, which created a network of universities and highly skilled -people," says the managing director of Ingeteam, an electrical components company that competes with the likes of Siemens and ABB.

Hermann Simon, an expert on privately and family-owned companies throughout Europe, gives a similarly historical explanation for Germany and northern Italy having so many such groups and France and the UK relatively fewer: "I think it has to do with Italy and Germany not existing as states until the late 1800s and still being decentralised, so people and companies didn't drift towards the capital like in Paris and London."

Whether or not it can be credited to their deep roots, Europe's privately owned companies are proving to be some of the most resilient around in the face of the current credit crunch and ensuing global economic slowdown. Years of focusing on the long term, hoarding cash and ignoring the dictates of the capital markets are paying off. Even Warren Buffett, the world's richest man, is a fan, recently visiting Switzerland, Spain, Italy and Germany to look for large family companies to buy. "Often they have a long-term approach in terms of their planning and their strategy. They don't have to be responsive to Wall Street demands and quarterly reporting."

The latest sign of the robustness of family companies came with Schaeffler's hostile bid for Continental, one of the world's largest car parts suppliers. Schaeffler, a hitherto little-known bearings maker from a small town near Nuremberg, was able to pounce on a darling of the German stock market - and a company three times its size - at a time when many listed companies and private equity firms are virtually immobile. In doing so, they are giving their more celebrated counterparts a lesson in anti-cyclicality.

"The strength of these companies is completely underestimated, because they don't have the visibility that we have. But they are very successful and they are even adopting the tactics of private equity groups," says the chief executive of one of Europe's largest listed industrial groups.

Schaeffler surprised Conti with the aggressiveness of its tactics, taking a secret 36 per cent stake using derivatives in much the same way that Porsche, another company owned by billionaire families, outmanoeuvred markets in its power grab at Volkswagen. Carl-Peter Forster, head of GM Europe, says Schaeffler simply acted opportunistically: "The capital market is taking an overly depressed view of certain industries. The private equity market can't respond. It is almost perfect timing."

Schaeffler had also hoarded cash. It is estimated to have raked in annual profits averaging almost €1bn ($1.6bn, £790m) over the past seven years. By contrast, Conti was saddled with lots of debt after doing an expensive deal at the top of the market. Similarly, Haniel, a family-owned conglomerate, has sold assets and become the controlling shareholder of listed retailer Metro. Bertelsmann, Europe's largest media group, survived a threat to its private status after its family owner bought out a minority shareholder who wanted to float the company.

Harald Schedl, a partner at consultants Simon-Kucher, says that more and more privately owned companies are looking for takeover opportunities: "Now the time is right for family businesses."

Bosch is another example of a privately owned company sniffing around for opportunities. The German industrial group, owned by a foundation set up by its founder, has embarked on a spree of acquisitions after sitting on the sidelines for several years. It has struck five deals over the past three months, including a €1bn offer for Ersol, the solar power company, and a €600m buyout of minorities in its Japanese subsidiary. "In the last two years we held back because many of our targets were overvalued. But through the financial crisis - and this is one of the few advantages of it - the valuations have normalised. We are giving more money to acquisition," says Franz Fehrenbach, chief -executive.

What is true for Germany is also true for other parts of Europe, from the Basque country and northern Italy to Austria and Switzerland, where privately owned companies have quietly become world leaders in their niches. They often compete with large and diversified industrial multinationals. Ingeteam, which expects double-digit revenue growth this year to take turnover to €600m, increased its workforce by 1,000 people last year to 3,600. Ormazabal, a neighbouring electrical components company that is ahead of Siemens but behind ABB in its niche, has grown from €20m in revenues in 1988 to €545m this year.

Echoing many of his peers at privately owned companies across Europe, Guillermo Amann, chief of staff for the head of Ormazabal, stresses the regional context of his company's growth. "The secret of the success of the Basque country and Ormazabal is the idiosyncrasy of the people. They have the mentality of an entrepreneur: they like to bet their money in industrial matters."

T o be sure, not all privately owned companies in Europe are doing well. The smallest, and particularly those dependent on bank financing or on struggling markets such as Spain and Italy, are suffering. In Germany, many of the privately owned small niche market leaders sometimes branded as "hidden champions", heavily depend heavily on deteriorating export markets. a sharp drop in the business climate index of the Munich-based Ifo institute, tumbling more than expected in June, partly reflects changing sentiment among family companies.

But well-run companies that have gone for international growth and become leaders in their fields find themselves in a strong position. Mr Schedl says: "A lot of people underestimate these companies, thinking they are frumpy and sedate. But in reality they are very much focused on earnings."

Family businesses have increased their revenues twice as fast as publicly owned groups since 2004, according to the Wittener Institute, a research group. Gregor Matthies, a partner at consulting firm Bain & Company, thinks more deals are likely in the future: "Most family businesses are solidly financed, have deep pockets [and] a good rating and they can act quickly."

Eberhard Veit, chief executive of Festo, a group based near Stuttgart that is one of the world's largest makers of automation products, underlines how the focus of private companies on quality continued to pay off: "People don't want cheap technology because a stop in production costs €10,000 a minute. So they are buying high-quality, highly reliable products from us - that come at a cost."

The success of these companies also underlines the fundamental strengths of the countries or regions they come from. The Mittelstand, the German name for the small and medium-sized companies that make up the backbone of the domestic economy, come from an extraordinary array of obscure places.

Herzogenaurach, a small Bavarian town of 30,000 people, is home to three multibillion-euro companies: the high-street sportswear brands of Adidas and Puma as well as the aggressive Schaeffler. Similarly Gütersloh, a sleepy town in north-western Germany, is home to both Bertelsmann and Miele, one of the continent's largest white goods producers, with Claas, Europe's largest maker of combine harvesters, next door.

Hermann Kormann, the former chief executive of Voith, a large private conglomerate, says it is unclear whether the company would choose the small southern town of Heidenheim were it founded today. But for him the advantages are plain to see, from highly skilled local workers to excellent transport links.

"The rational decision to invest would be to come to southern Germany," he says. "Within a 400km radius of here you have everything you need - nowhere else is such a good location."

Italian entrepreneurs say the same about the northern Italian areas of Lombardy and Veneto. Near Malpensa international airport in Villa Cortese, north of Milan, is a new development of one square mile housing 250 private companies, from pipemakers to textile companies. "We have to protect this area like a treasure - there is little like it anywhere else in the world," says Flavio Radice, chief executive of Pietro Carnaghi, a local machine tool maker.

Daniele Botti, the deputy director of the local branch of the Confindustria business organisation, says the secret of the area's success goes back 200 years but is ultimately founded on the hard work of entrepreneurs. "The entrepreneurs here are very open-minded and they always look for new things, especially in exporting to different countries." He jokes that northern Italian entrepreneurs are more Calvinist than Catholic in outlook.

In fact, Joachim Schwass, professor of family business at IMD, the Swiss business school, says religion plays an important role in the success of such businesses: "The approach to work that is driven ethically by doing the right thing is very important - culture and religion play a very strong role."

Prof Schwass points to Spain as an exception - a country that had little tradition of inter-national companies under the dictator Francisco Franco but that opened up quickly to new opportunities afterwards. He even notes with pride: "Spain now has the largest number of seats for family business in universities in Europe."

Other countries have important family dynasties - the Wallenbergs in Sweden, the Bamfords behind JCB in the UK and the Wendels in France - but none can rival Germany and northern Italy for the wealth in smaller family companies that are world leaders in their industries. Many countries have tried to foster a Mittelstand but experts such as Prof Schwass say such attempts are doomed if the right entrepreneurial spirit does not exist.

Above all, family companies value their ability to plan for the long term as listed counterparts are punished by the markets for missing any target. Mr Fehrenbach says Bosch may have lower profit margins than Conti but that allows it to invest more in research and development: "Our absolute priority is not to have the highest profit margin. To finance our growth we need to have a certain pre-tax profit margin of 7-8 per cent. But we don't need to go above that in order to improve a share price. Anything above that level we invest into securing our future development."

The head of another private German industrial company concurs: "We will only see in 15 years if we had taken wise investment decisions. But the manager of a listed company would never look so far into the future, since his contract expires after five years and analysts are always behind his back demanding higher quarterly earnings."

Friedrich Metzler, the owner of Metzler, a Frankfurt-based bank founded 334 years ago, puts it back into historical context when he wryly remarks: "Financial crisis? Well, we had tough times under Napoleon."
 

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Proud Texan
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Interesante, al leerlo no dejaba de recordarme algunos detalles del articulo inicial que abría el hilo, el tal Mr. Milne es un entusiasta del tema. Es el mismo redactor, pero no deja de ser significativo que en este tipo de publicaciones especializadas se hable de la economía vasca poniendola en relación con ejemplos conocidos por su excelencia como Baviera o Lombardía-Veneto, supongo que no dice sino exactamente lo que quiere decir a quien se moleste en escucharlo.
 

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Europe braced for worse to come

By Richard Milne in London

Published: October 18 2008 03:00 | Last updated: October 18 2008 03:00

Guillermo Amann, the chief of staff at a Spanish electrical components manufacturer, is already preparing for far worse times. Ormazabal, based in Bilbao in the Basque country, will halve its production for the domestic market next year and worldwide the cuts will be 35 per cent, he says.

The banking rescues an-nounced this week by various European governments - and the separate package for industry proposed by Nicolas Sarkozy, French president - come too late to have any impact on Ormazabal or thousands of other industrial companies. "Although the decisions are to be welcomed, they will have no effect in the short-term," Mr Amann says.

The short-term prospect for the real economy in Europe appears clear: a prolonged slowdown or recession in much of the continent. Order books that were recently full are now looking not so healthy and reports of cancelled projects abound. Bank rescues or help for industry are highly unlikely to change that: "We are now probably doomed to have a recession," says Holger Schmieding, a London-based economist at Bank of America. "With a recession in major trading partners such as the US and now a domestic credit crunch, the real economy is facing up to a recession."

Mr Amann, who despite running a €500m ($672m, £389m) company sports a casual look with scruffy hair and pirate-like earring, is frank. "The problem is that we are facing the tip of the iceberg. The problem is that in the next six months it will come to the hidden part of the iceberg: the real economy. This is the big matter."

Hannes Hesse, head of the VDMA, the German engineering association, presents a similar picture. Before this summer, his member companies - which include large groups such as Siemens and Bosch and smaller, family-run machine toolmakers - were among the most optimistic in Europe, with booming order books. But the prognosis for next year is stagnation. He adds that the bank rescues were "absolutely correct" but agrees they could come too late to help the customers of some companies.

Still the picture is varied when you look at the different sectors represented at the VDMA. Textile machine-makers are hardest hit, with orders down 42 per cent for the year to date and spinning machines down by 51 per cent - the worst slump since the second world war.

In contrast, makers of energy-efficient products are still booming. "Many of them are booked up until 2010," Mr Hesse says. That leaves machine toolmakers somewhere in the middle, with Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller, chief executive of the world's largest such company, Trumpf, saying: "From July to September, our revenues dropped by 10 per cent. All our customers are very worried."

Although many managers have heaped criticism on the European Central Bank for what they see as ignoring the threat to growth for too long, few are willing to criticise governments for not acting soon enough. "It is very easy to say it is too late. But even three months ago nobody thought it would be so bad. We know we are going to suffer," says Mr Amann.

Companies are virtually in unison that, however difficult things are, the bigger test will come next year. The chief executive of a large German industrial company with annual sales of about €2bn says: "2009 will be a very difficult year."

But for all the gloom, some managers remain more optimistic than in previous downturns, as companies have done their homework by increasing flexibility and cutting debt. Mr Hesse says: "Manufacturers are used to ups and downs. There is no panic." Mr Amann adds: "Spanish industry is much better prepared than for the last crisis in 1993."

Additional reporting by Daniel Schäfer

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008
 
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