More Industrial Weakness

Three reports from industrial giants today underscored the gravity of the recession.

LyondellBasel Industries sought bankruptcy protection for its U.S. subsidiary. Lyondell is the third largest independent chemical company in the World. It is headquartered in Holland.

Alcoaannounced the elimination of 15,000 jobs and said it plans to cut capital expenditures by 50%. The job cuts represent about 15% of its workforce. Alcoa is also shutting down 135,000 tons of smelting capacity in addition to the 615,000 tons of capacity it shut down in October. All told that amounts to about 18% of total capacity.

Toyota announced it would shut down all of its Japanese plants for 11 days in February and March. This is on top of an already planned shut down of 3days planned for January. The aim of course is to work off the glut of automobiles that are sitting at docks all over the world.

All of this just reinforces the downward spiral of the global economy. Sadly, a lot more is likely.

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