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Electronics Production | June 13, 2009

Insights into the world of global electronics manufacturing

I don’t know about you but I keep hearing about “green-shoots”. Not on the Home & Gardening channel but rather on the nightly news, in the financial press and during day-to-day conversation with electronics industry insiders whom I’m pretty sure have never actually seen a real green-shoot.
So what the heck is the deal with this green-shoots thing? My take: A pretty word picture for when you really don’t have anything of substance to contribute but want (feel the need?) to say something …encouraging (I like that word but sometimes substitute Pollyanna). “While the global economy continues to contract we’re now seeing green-shoots… ” Sounds impressive but really doesn’t say much.

Maybe the green-shoots things is a metaphor for the changing of the seasons and the coming of spring? Yes, that must be it… the optimism of new growth and the hope of a future bounty. We only need to be patient and let the green-shoots grow and all things will return to normal. Happy days are here again, just around the corner… I can see the green-shoots!

But what if the green-shoots are a noxious weed about to destroy what little remains of our already seriously distressed garden. How can we know for sure? They’re just shoots and unless we can find a “shootologist” (the last of which I think died of a massive cerebral hemorrhage during the baby-shower celebrating the birth of the credit-default swap) it’s going to be really, really difficult, if not impossible, to tell one shoot from another.

Maybe to be safe we should start killing the green-shoots. What leads us to believe the compromised soil of our garden is going to yield anything but weeds? Have we done anything to improve its growing capacity? Sure there’s those billions of pounds of manure we’ve started plowing under but wasn’t it the uncontrolled application of manure that got us into this predicament in the first place (yes, the manure was from China but we got it on the cheap)?

What’s the alternative? I guess there’s that whole slow, stupid thing about rotating crops and tilling the soil and all that other stuff about hard work, etcetera, etcetera. But everyone knows you can’t produce 10X as much year-on-year by following that type of old-school, antiquated thinking.

Besides, if the green-shoots are a noxious weed we could try smoking them!

Author: Charlie Barnhart (Charlie Barnhart & Associates LLC)

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