from Follow the Money

Memo to Mike Mandel: Wal-Mart doesn’t look like it is creating all that much dark matter …

August 1, 2006

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Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

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Wal-Mart recently sold itsmoney-losing  German operations:

Industry observers said Wal-Mart lost about €100m ($127.5m) on German sales of €2bn last year. Results failed to pick up in spite of the closure of 10 of its stores and management changes. 

It doesn’t seem like Wal-mart was exporting as much intangible knowledge as Micheal Mandel thought.   Apparently Wal-Mart is losing money in Japan too.   No dark matter there either.

I won’t gloat too much though.  Even if Wal-mart hasn’t been making much money outside the US, other US firms are.  At least that is part of the story in the Q1 data.

The real story, though, remains how little money foreign firms report making in the US, particularly at a time when profits are a record share of US GDP.    Either you believe the low rate of profits on foreign investment in the US that shows p in the US balance of payments is an accurate, or you don’t.  I still don’t.

p.s. Dr. Mandel, welcome back to blogging.  Hope your wife’s new knees work well.  

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