Record $10 billion annual loss for Panasonic.


I know guys, it’s not really the best news to start the weekend. But here it is. After Olympus also Panasonic announced a “record $10 billion annual loss” (Source: Reuters). The problem is the shrinking TV market. Also Sony and Sharp are having huge troubles within that segment. There is no word about the digital camera business and I don’t think their (major) problems have to do with that. The global crisis, the strong YEN and maybe the now (too) conservative handling of Japanese companies are the main cause. Almost all Japanese companies are facing tuff times.

A personal addition: The crisis affects the life around me too. It’s not just a perception, I see that around me prices of houses are falling, companies not paying bills and friends losing jobs. It’s hard to think how we should act and what we need to change. My girlfriends best friend lives in Greece and I get so many bad news form there. I will be there in September for a very personal short documentary about those friends. I want too understand more!


  • caver3d

    When a company loses $10 billion that is not just due to an economic downturn, it’s bad management. Heads will roll at Pany.

    • Vivek


      I do not give a toss about their TVs or batteries.

      Bring out useful, competitive and innovative products instead of churning out the same with a new battery.

      • Jorginho

        Their TVs are actually very very good and they use the Plasma technology of PIoneer I believe (bought it). I have one, the TV is exceptional.

        If it is all bad news and it is typical Japanese one wonders how bad Nikon and Canon are doing. If I am correc, they are doing just fine. Nikon at least.

        When it comes to camera’s in my view a good rangefinder was what would have showed an innovative design. The current m43 from Panny are nothing special, even though I like my GH2 very much.

  • It’s not all companies in Japan. However, it is the majority of companies that do any trade on a global scale. This is happening to all markets worldwide at the moment. A lot of these Japanese technology companies need to start focusing on how they present themselves to the greater Asian community. With the Chinese language becoming more and more popular at high schools and universities in Japan and the love affair of Korean pop culture, Japan needs to focus on those markets, because that is where the youth and pop culture are moving.

    Either way, I am sure too, that it is the Television (media) arms of most companies that are failing hard. The camera market at this stage is probably fine, but long term?

    • Dave

      Do you really want a camera that appeals to the Asian market, particularly the Chinese market?

      Chinese consumers tend to incline toward advertising. So we may end up having a camera that is full of marketing hypes, e.g useless features. Not to mention the funny taste there, e.g. gold color camera.

      PS. I’m a Chinese frequently visiting China.

      • 007

        are you implying all the consumers in the west are impervious to marketing gimmicks and we all sport a pro grade dslr with a fast prime?

        spare me your sterotype. The chinese consumers you are referring to are the laymen, and they are all over the globe. You will be surprise to learn that the are very sophisticated pros and hobbyist groups in china.

        • Dave

          I’m referring to the consumers, not the pros and hobbyists. Laymen in the West have lived with modern media for decades. Laymen in China have just been exposed to modern advertising and marketing and therefore are prone to their influence relatively easier.

          Just look at how direct most advertising are in China.

        • Dave

          By the way, huge billboards of the E-M5 are everywhere in the shopping districts in Hong Kong where most mainland Chinese visitors do their shopping. I haven’t even seen one in London.

  • George

    You don’t need to go to Greece to understand why they are in crisis and why they will be in one. It is very simple. They do NOT work. They don’t produce anything, they don’t construct anything.

    They only thing they make money is tourism. Greek people are the laziest one i have ever see. Even shops are closed during midday.

    They are in a big financial crisis now and it will get bigger and bigger every single year.

    • Et la lumière fut…

      This is a blog about photography, not about clichés and men rest-room economic science…
      If you want to talk productivity, ask yourself if your contribution (last comment) is better than silence? I’m not shure, my friend.

      • @ George
        “You don’t need to go to Greece to understand why they are in crisis and why they will be in one. It is very simple. They do NOT work. They don’t produce anything, they don’t construct anything.”

        Before joining EU and eurozone they did not work better, still did not have all this mess.

    • admin

      I do not agree George. At least the people I know works damn hard as any other in Europe. And that for 450 or 600 Euro per month.

    • river5

      You know nothing about Greece and you better stop this kind of comments.You can see Eurostat numbers about working hours in Greece and other European countries.

      • admin

        I say it as a non expert: I hope my greek readers can correct me if I am wrong. But to me it looks also like the “Normal” people has to suffer a lot while the rich people usually don’t pay taxes. Please notice that I don’t have the vision that wich people is bad and poor people is good. It’s just easier for rich people to avoid paying taxes.
        But again, this is something we see in SUA and Germany too. Big companies have so many ways to pay less and less tax. See Apple :)

        • > the “Normal” people has to suffer a lot

          My impression from reading the German press was that Greeks really are lazy bunch.

          What they suffer now is the potential(!) loss of social welfare, unmatched by the rest of the Europe, and loss of the 13th and 14th(!) salaries.

          Politicians are also bunch of assholes. Everybody knows that state can’t afford the rich, abundant and uncontrolled welfare, yet nobody wants to sign the law to shrink it. Thus no gov’t was formed there yet.

          Worse, the idiots have impudence to blame Germany since it refused to pay their bills.

          • blueget

            As you said, “from reading the german press”. This says everything about your comment.

        • Bob B.

          Are you two talking about the USA or Greece????

      • ‘Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics’

    • lorenzinonkatu

      Dear George,
      it could even be that you have been visiting or living in Greece.
      Nevertheless, you have understood nothing of what is currently happening there, in Europe, and in the rest of the world.
      People in Greece work as much as in other countries. Current problems arose from the excessive spending and “number” manipulations of the corrupted governments that were on charge since 2001.
      Fact is that the current crisis was fully avoidable, IF there had not been the world recession (announced by the crack of the three main banks of Iceland, and the subsequent default of the country… I don’t know if you ever heard about it… And I may mention here the Dubai almost-default, etc., but let’s forget it, too complicated),and IF German leaders were not too occupied by the incoming elections for approving an immediate plan of help to Greece-Ireland-Portugal, and at the same time to (maybe?) advance in the process of unifying the financial and economical leaderships of the countries in the Eurozone.
      Poor Greece (and poor greek people) found a hole in public balance in the wrong moment. Had it been few years before it would not have been such a dramatic event.
      Now, thanks to German stubborness, and the collapse of all European economies (not only Greece), there is really not much to do for Greece, which will probably exit the Euro, drastically devaluate the Drakma, and (maybe?) recuperate some of its old assets in 10-15 years. Unless the entire Union collapses, which is what may happen if this “taxes taxes taxes” German dogma keeps on being applied to all Europe (as it happened in last 15-20 years, with the results we are all witnessing).

      • admin


        • Bob B.

          One of the problems across the board is that politicians want and need to get reelected…so, its just human nature…they do not make the tough decisions that need to be done (like anyone would make in say, a small business, obvious hard choices that have to be made so that the business could be profitable). Politicians can’t do that because it is unpopular and they will not be reelected….so the whole shebang eventually goes off a cliff. That is what is happening in the USA, right now. None of the things that need to happen for the good of the country are being implemented and government is being controlled by big business and the average person has no representation. The future is going to be ugly when it all hits the wall.

      • Gabi

        Yeah, blame the Germans for it… At least they are the ones that have shown that saving can be an appropriate way to overcome economic trouble. Germany has been in big trouble during the last 12-15 years – most of it was due to the reunion. Unfortunately, the other European countries did not even think about helping Germany in this trouble – on the contrary, Germany (i. e. the German citizens) had to pay the fine in addition. Now they have to pay the fine for other countries. That is no fun. The biggest mistake was to integrate too many countries too early into the EC (including Greece), especially countries the economical basis of which was significantly different from that of the “core” countries (meaning those which were EC members much earlier). We also have the big problem with the unethical behavior of bankers and “top” managers. Recently, when all things started to break apart, there was a big chance for a big change, but unfortunately this chance was missed. I feel sincerely sorry for all the people who have become victims of an uncapable economical and political system.

        • lorenzinonkatu

          I cannot blame Germany for the world crisis, as it started elsewhere and then it moved Eastwards. But it is very easy to see how German leaders made many mistakes in not stopping any attempt to improve the situation without humiliating Greece (and other countries).
          Let’s not be blinded by the current propaganda: nothing Germany did in recent past was done for benefitting anyone, including the reunification. German banks took advantage of the reunification by actually buying the entire Eastern economy (or, better, the poor remains of that economy). Through the former DDR then many of these banks spread their interests all over Eastern Europe.
          Question: why so many countries (esp. Eastern countries) where rushed into the EU although the political and economical conditions were not there yet?
          Second question: what is the most important business language at the moment in Easter Europe? Nope, it’s not English (nor Russian, thanks God).
          All expansive political decisions of the EU were taken with this idea: bank system had to be integrated. And bank system means what? Who controls the Eurotower and the Eurotheum in Frankfurt, at the moment?
          Sure people make good business if they are allow to by this international tricks. Germans did make good business this way.
          My take is that since German banks and German people took advantage of the situation, yes, they also have to pay a fee for that. Mind: they do not work more of the other EU citizens, so the common propaganda of the healthy Germans vs the PIGS is just… propaganda. Nationalistic propaganda. Actually a racist one.

          • fan_guo_lai_xiang_xiang

            … you really got some nerve. First faking numbers to get into the club, and then blaming the others when the situation is going down the drain. You should get a serious fact check about what was/is happening in Greece. Their complete politicial system is rotten to the core.
            And regarding Germany… e.g. wages have been really low in the last decade, whereas the southern countries had a nice plus in wages. Taxes are actually paid, unlike in Greece. Have a nice weekend.

            • lorenzinonkatu

              I don’t know where you are from, but I am not from Greece. So, it is not a matter of having nerves or not. So, first check the facts before making statements.
              Then: salaries in southern countries were and are much lower to salaries in central-northern Europe. One of the points of introducing Euro was exactly to euqualise prices and salaries all over Europe. Prices actually rose in the south (e.g. for houses), salaries rose much less.
              Again: check the facts please.
              It is not about blaming Germany. It is just that recently the German govt took some very wrong decision, undermine the entire European construction.
              What happened before is by no means German’s fault: corruption inside Greek govt. and finance was a reality. But it is not the Greek population that was corrupted, and “took the money”, but a bunchful of persons that nobody will ever attack for what they did. I can fully understand why a Greek worker may not want to pay for what few Greek bankers or politicians stole. And, huh, that situation was very well known years ago, before it “exploded”. I was talking about this with a friend working in the Eurotower in 2006-2007, if I remember correctly. So, then again, the real problem was the lack of a common leadership that could stop that trend in time. After all, if the currency is in common, and the economy is supposed to be directed in common, how come the actual economical info is secretated, and accessible only to local leaders? While, sure the consequences of bad managing are shared by the entire continent… So: either you unify the economy, or you don’t. If you want the profits for unifying the economy, then you have to partially loose some of your independence. France and Germany refused the second, and wanted the first. And now we are in this mess…

              • PlingPlong

                Who is responsible for Greece’s budget other than Greece?

        • admin

          While I complete understand the frustration that we Germans have to pay for the mistakes others we also have to admit that we gained a lot with the introduction of the Euro. We have to fear less competition from other European countries. Honeslty we gained a lot from the Euro (P.S:: I am half German, that’s why I say “We”).

        • Et la lumière fut….

          Nobody want your pityness, keep it to your dog, great wet-eyes pictures for scrapbooking.
          German have worked hard, but they have responsabilities too, do not forget that the economic model they want is competition and pityless, but their main economic partners/competitors are other european countries… I do not know the end of the story, but what I know, it’s not going to be happily ever after. By the way how is the growth doing last quarter in Germany?

          • Marco

            @ ADMIN
            ” Honeslty we gained a lot from the Euro”

            I am always laughing about German’s collectivistic habit to say “We [gained from EU]”. Who are “WE”?
            German corporations and banks it is one thing, German middle class it is another. The banks and corporations perhaps won a bit from EU, but the German middle class just lost and have been loosing after joining EU. You just contradict yourself by saying that tax are rising, unemployment (and there is also hidden unemployment) and spendings are growing and corporations pay less taxes. If “YOU” Germans gained from EU it would mean that the life standard for the MIDDLE CLASS is growing but what we see it is degrading at rocket speed. I do not want to illustrate it by examples – you know them perfectly.

            • Cheese knuckle

              Haha Dum Europeans, your all as bad as each other

      • Gabriel

        It’s not German, greek, french, japanese, or any other country, it’s the mankind hunger for more power and money. Making profit at all cost, even by to people they known they can barely redemption the , and construct very complicated stock market tools to hide this.
        And for Panasonic, they lost money in tv market simply because, like other, they over produce. I have a full hd led tv, it’s work well and i don’t need to change it, maybe in some years, when oled tv are cheaper. Market and profits can’t growth endlessly at 10% a year.

        • as bad as everyone on Earth.

      • -100.

        Yeah, right. Germany people has to come and fix it for you.

        And all Greeks has to do is relax and go on electing spending-happy gov’t which writes them checks left and right.

        • blueget

          Say, have you had your brains surgically removed? If not, I highly recommend talking to some people with greek relatives about what’s ACTUALLY going on in Greece…

    • most countries are approaching similar debt crises… it’s because the pseudo science of Economics is mostly bunk, a front for the massive con pulled by the banking sector over the latter half of the 20th century, successfully supplanting money with credit.

      blaming it on greek ‘laziness’ is just racism

  • river5

    I will tell you what is going on in Greece. It’s like you own so much money to a bank that makes the bank to you more money so you will be able to pay. This money does not come to you but remains in the bank for future payments.Additionaly the bank takes all the money you happen to make from your work. The bank also tells everybody that there is no other way to solve this problem and because this is a good bank they cut a portion of your . Meanwhile you don’t even have one Euro in your pocket.You can’t expand your bussiness, you don’t have air to breath…

  • Agrivar

    I live in asia, so i think it qualifies me to perhaps pinpoint the problem. In 2 words. Japanese culture. Its killing their businesses in a globalised economy. During the 60s-80s, they were the darlings of industry. From the walkman to the LCD tv, to cameras, the leaders were from Japan. Problem is that their culture breeds “inward looking”. Something like inbreeding in animals. It will ultimately lead to problems.

    • lorenzinonkatu

      I think I did not understand your point.
      When I go to China I see that everybody there has Japanese cameras (ok, Samsung as well).
      Japan is really targeting the Chinese and Korean markets at the moment, much more than the Western markets.
      And with this Kara and other Corean young singers delirium going on here I perceive Japanese people as being as open to other Asian cultures as they have ever been…

      • Agrivar

        you didnt get what i’m saying. For pop culture etc yes.. they are opening up. I’m talking about corporate culture. Why Sony, panny, toyota, olympus all show very lousy results.

        • lorenzinonkatu

          In fact this is what I said: I did not get your point.
          Now I see it better. But I am not sure there is a relationship between corporate uses here in Japan and expansion / contraction of sales / profits.
          Last years were difficult years for the world economy. Without considering earthwakes, tsunamis, nuclear crisises, and floods.
          If something is to be said against these giants, is that they misunderstood and overestimated important markets, such as the 3d tv market, which was not there to be exploited, while they all invested a lot in it.
          Companies that did not make mistakes like that didn’t loose anything: e.g. Nikon.

    • When you are a conglomerate, there would be pieces of bad parts in the system from time to time. That is why Companies restructure all the time. Chop away the bad parts and reorganise and push ahead again. Its part and parcel of business.

      Its not a matter of culture and Japanese Culture itself is a topic too wide for discussion. I dont think culture is the root cause for Company to make losses. Any corporate cultures can suffer losses. American, European, Asian , whatever.

  • Beautemps

    @ admin: It is a brilliant idea to make documentation on the looser and winners of unlimited financial speculations.
    Fundamental things are going wrong. Obviously established politics is part of the system and unable to change. Changes might happen by painful revolutions, probably the future of Greece.
    I saw a video documentation about the slums in Greece and another one about the booming market for luxury houses in London, caused by a huge number of greek investors in the past four years. Two sides of the same medal. The latter want to rescue “their” finances. Greece billions go to the free financial market in London. Fine for a photo documentation.

  • Yun

    Can we back to Cameras & Lenses business ?

  • I am in England, and I think you can pin point the source of the current problems as greed, corruption, selfishness and ignorance. The rich have most definitely got richer, and not on the merit of hard work, but by exploiting other people. The media portrays people without jobs as the enemy, rather then the lack of opportunity for work, people claiming benefits are labeled as “scum”, but if we lived in a fairer society their wouldn’t be the need for so many people to claim them. House prices and rents have rissen to ridiculous levels compared to the average wage, food prices keep going up, people get by, but only just. To top this, we have the worst possible government to deal with this situation. As they continue to look after their own, and seem to have given up even the pretence of caring for anyone else.
    To bring it vaguely back to photography, material prices keep rising, equipment prices have gone up, (compare the price of a lcd tv 10 years ago, to the much cheaper price now, then compare the price of a lens 10 years ago to the price of the same lens now!)
    Another thing I have noticed in selling old cameras on ebay is that a lot of stuff is going to China and Asian countries, this seems to be where to collectors are now, but don’t know if that says anything about their economy.

  • I personally feel that some of these loses are due to technology plateauing. Cameras from a few years ago are still good enough and same goes for most computers, tvs… Of course people want the newest, but with the world economy already so bad and no breaking technological developments it is hard for a company to sell a mass of something. We’ve seen a lot of gimmicks lately (3-D, Nex cameras, tablets) and rightfully so, and that won’t get people to open their pocket books.

    • DonTom

      Evan, I agree with you. It comes down to a greed for growth. Every population has to peak and trough, whether it be people, animals or TV’s!
      But world economic data is always focused on and measured by growth. Individuals tend to understand that they need to save in times of plenty, in order to get through times of need. But companies and governments don’t tend to “get” that concept.
      If you don’t sell so many cameras, TV’s, etc; cut back on production and staff. It really is that simple.
      If we keep growing indefinitely, we eventually explode (or implode). It really is that simple.

    • Marco

      We shall kill the matrix of the STATE created by the same standards of Roman Empire everywhere – this is the root of the problem. Before we did it we (the middle class) will always suck…
      PS By “state” I mean unrepresentative self-serving power power and direct taxation.

  • rajmundo

    I personally call it “the global crysis of socialism”. And I think, that we are just at its beginning, I’m afraid…

    Best regards from Poland and thank you for a fantastic job that you do with 43rumors! Thumbs up! :)

  • DonTom

    Admin, I was in Greece last October. Both in Athens and on an Island (Sifnos). Very different attitudes. The islanders were picking up from the lack of “Eurocash”. Starting to harvest olives again, re-establish bee hives that had been abandoned. Some returning from Athens to start productive family family businesses.
    In Athens, everyone I spoke too was wailing about the crisis, while asking to be paid in cash, with no receipt offered….
    That said, I have Greek acquaintances reaching out to me in Qatar, looking for export opportunities.
    The contrast between island and city attitudes would make an interesting study.

    • ArKersaint

      Very interestig : one idea : Greek islands do exist where … Greek state (rotten) does not exist. Incapacity to leverage right taxes among right people (the ones who hide thir assets in frankfurt and London), incapacity to know real estate values, guilty familiarity with church and ship owners and so on…
      Yes there are hard workers in Greece like anywhere but Greek state has been the worst Europe wide for hundred years and cataclism happen suddenly but are being prepared long time ahead !

    • roberto iuri

      Sorry Rajmundo, that his statement shows how much you’re out. This is not a forum on economics and politics, but allow me to contradict him by saying that the main cause of losses in the European Union is exactly the opposite of socialism. Leave the markets to their own devices is what it preaches neo-liberalism. Only democracy and education can bring a state of social welfare.
      The Europe should turn our eyes to the economic policy that is developing in Latin America and Asia. Here we all know that cutting production incentives to pay bank interest is the way to the unemployment and economic stagnation.

  • Farrukh

    Hmm, to say that Greeks are lazy en-masse, to me, shows how lazy the criticizers observational skills are.

    In any case, given that Panasonic just lost $10bn, at least they are losing money with style – look what they did for the annual hotaru (firefly) festival:

  • Olympius

    The problems in Japan, Europe, and even the USA all stem from one basic, fundamental issue: they are running out of other’s people’s money.

    In Europe and Japan especially, the demographics of those countries is horrible. You have huge populations that came about after WW2, and they demanded gigantic social safety nets in the realms of education, healthcare, and various other services. That’s fine when a majority of the population is working, but now that huge mass of of people in the 50-65 age bracket are retiring, living off of social services, and not contributing a darn thing.

    Worst, they didn’t bother to have many, if any children. So you have fewer people working, and more people not working, taking up a lot of expensive services, and now, all-of-a-sudden, there is no longer the income stream to pay for all this.

    The Japanese, European and American governments have all racked up enormous debt trying to provide these services, and the debt is increasing substantially, because any time a cut is even TALKED about, let alone possibly enacted, there is literal rioting in the streets. So the debt levels increase even more, and there is no way out of the situation. Eventually, all the governments will go broke, except for those very few who have practiced fiscal discipline all along, like the Swedes, Danes, Germans and Swiss…but not too many more.

    It’s not that the rich don’t pay “their fair share” — that’s a bunch of political clap-trap. The truth is, no matter who is in power, the rich will get their tax breaks in return for the financial support they gave the politicians. But it’s not rich people who are benefiting per se, but rich corporations.

    Here in the USA, one of our largest corporations is General Electric, which pays ZERO dollars in taxes to the US Treasury. Why is that? Jeff Imelt, the CEO, is a HUGE financial backer of the Obama administration, and because of his financial support he gives the candidate, the IRS looks the other way when it comes to GE.

    Of course GE is just one example of thousands here in the USA. Those companies and people who show up to those $40K a plate dinners for Obama, of which there have been 132 such dinners to date–more than any other president has had in the history of the USA–they all get lovely little “favors” in terms of big fat govt. contracts, special legislation that benefits their business interests, special treatment from the IRS, and so on.

    Meanwhile, those of us who don’t make 40K in an entire year, let alone can spend that kind of money eating dinner with the President, face declining real estate values, a shrinking job market, higher prices on all goods and services, and no end to all this in sight.

    Almost everyone I know is worst off, if not much worst off, during these past four years of corrupt Chicago-style politics at the national level. And yet we elect the same stupid people who do this, and flaunt it openly.

    Obama’s trips to all these fundraisers are almost always aboard Air Force 1, a gigantic 747 that is far larger than any corporate plane owned by the rich, and that plane, it’s fuel, and all the security and services are 100% supplied by the American taxpayer. So we are, very much, paying Obama to go to $40K dinners with his buddies, and he gets to keep every dollar that he gets, without having to pay any taxes or fees at all on that money.

    And unless you think I’m picking on him unfairly, there are numerous others who do the same things at all levels of American government.

    And we wonder why things are so bad….they’ll get much worst, I assure you.

    – Olympius

    • Esa Tuunanen

      Blaming Obama for your mess is hypocrisy.
      Whole system is corrupt and it was Bush with his rich and corporate cronies who turned budget surplus into record deficit and also through deregulation of whole financial sector had major part in severity (in system which can’t grow indefinitely there are always downturns) of economic chrash of few yars ago.
      And those same also use their control of media to control who is allowed to become president.

      Same things are going also elsewhere. How about Ireland?
      Everyone kept telling how gloriously that country had things going with many major multinational corporations having their Europe’s headquarters and production in there… Except those corporations weren’t paying taxes and lived at the expense of society.

      Or how about Finland: The way Finland rose from poorish agrarian country of WW2 era in squeeze between east and west to modern industrialized country is anything else than what financial sector and rich push as solution to problems of poor countries:
      It was through state investing strongly to education and healthcare, building and maintaining basic infrastructure and key industrial areas and setting strong limits for what otherwise free economy/markets could do.
      When Soviet Union started weakening (and politicians started worshipping economy) deregulation of economy and everything came into fashion in here along with all the privatizing etc. Then came collapse of Soviet Union and global economic downturn of early 90s which caused huge problems for Finland because of loss of exports.
      After getting over that hole economical and political elite kept glorifying how economy grew at record rate for almost decade but the thing they didn’t tell was that just like in Ireland society/state didn’t really get any of that money which was going to private pockets of corporations, financial sector and rich.

      Current situation is really much like that of late medieval time when elite of the time, royals and aristoracy, lived luxuriously, ordering everyone around and basically starting wars to spend time while ordinary people and workers paid everything and suffered consequencies.

      Curiously about only industrialised country which has things going well economically and also good budget surplus is China.
      Maybe it has something to do with that if some bank/corporation tries to tell state that it should serve them answer comes from the business end of firing squad’s rifles.

      But that solution working isn’t really surprising when whole global economy and financial system is fully rotten from ground up and below…
      How about Jersey Island “producing” most bananas coming to EU:

      • Joe

        Esa, Olympius is being intellectually dishonest.

        Here we have a sacnadal brewing with JP Morgan which just lost $2 billion dollars on a risky investment. JP Morgan of course was very vocal and against the banking regulations trying to be put in place to prevent what caused the crisis under our former President. Kind of ironic considering the cost of these regulations (by JP’s own estimates) would have cost them 5 times less than they lost in their latest gamble.

        • “It was through state investing strongly to education and healthcare, building and maintaining basic infrastructure and key industrial areas and setting strong limits for what otherwise free economy/markets could do.”

          Government cannot “invest” in anything since it does not earn anything.

          • Shit! That means that all the taxes I pay is sent to a parallel universe void!!

    • anon

      LOL@the Obama thing. I’m a bit confused as to how slightly frivilous use of Air Force 1 (which is not a new concept at all, nor is it one of Obama’s creation,nor has he even been the most serious offender), and use of insignificant amounts of taxpayer dollars on these little trips, is in any way, shape, or form related to our economic troubles. Though I was rejected from the Fox News school of Economics, so what do I know.

    • Joe

      Again Olympius nice rant about Obama and his use of Air Force 1, unfortunately your rant doesn’t have a shred of truth. Campaign laws state that the costs of Fundraising has to be paid by the campaign which would include Air Force 1.

      I guess your next post will include rants about his use of a TelePrompter and that he is not a US citizen.

    • it’s not that they’re “running out of other peoples’ money” …the money doesn’t exist, these days it’s all debt because the real problem is that countries have been conned out of role of creating money – virtually all money is created by private banks in the form of credit.

      if countries want an economy with money in it they (*think* they) have to go into debt

      the banks don’t really have the money either, as we know because when they “lost faith” in each other the house of cards started to collapse

      the solution is obviously for countries to print their own money again instead of renting it from the banks, which is why I think Greece should leave the Euro asap

  • I live in Norway, luckily we don’t have any financial crisis ;-) Now … GH3 hard facts please! :-)

    • BLI

      No economical crisis doesn’t help you much if Panasonic goes down the drain: in that case there will not be any GH3 for you. (Not that I expect it to happen.)

  • Nick

    I am Greek and also a huge M43 supporter. Had the G1,GH1,GH2,GF2,E-PL1,E-P3 and soon the E-M5. Don’t even ask me about the lenses…
    It’s really bad to see people trolling about Greece when they have no idea what is going on there. If you look at statistics people do two and three jobs to be able to make a living. We are very hard working but we also have a balance in our life as nobody lives for ever.
    Greece is being controlled by investment corporations who take money from the ECB with 1% interest and give to Greece with 6%+ therefore making big money as most of the ed money pay for the interest rates of the previous s!
    We will eventually brake free from this as this is nothing compared to what we’ve been through in the past!!!
    Greece is a beautiful country with amazing weather and does excel in many things, e.g. has the biggest shipping industry in the world. Please do your research to see for yourself. Countries and people need to stick to what they are good at and not try to be something they are not.

    • One plus that Norway does not depend on the very fiat EU currency. But you still have dictatorship of cultural marxism in everyday life and pay huge taxes to your masonic elite…

      • BLI

        He, he. My god, what level of insight we are observing in this thread today. (And I’m not only referring to this statement.) I do wish ourselves more insight into human conditions when we go out and take pictures. That way, our pictures at least have a chance of becoming interesting. :-)

      • Very unsensitive -1 … Anyway, at the end of the day someone backs the rest of the worlds spending spree, no one can really just print money.

        • “And I’m not only referring to this statement.”
          What exactly do not you refer to in this statement ?
          That Euro is a classical fiat money ?
          That cultural marxism dominates Norway’s (and other Western countries) everyday life?
          That most beneficiary of the direct taxation by corrupted gov-s are bank corporations related to secret societies?

          • 1.
            Are you joking ? Which part of the “wealth funds” belongs to a particular citizen e.g. from Russia? If it belongs to me please give me my share.

            I prefer these refs:


            – this is what you are really owing.

            2. “no one can really just print money.”

            The do not “just print”: they print and lend it to you:


            • Cultural Marxism is the “reason” given by Breivik for last years massacre at the youth camp at Utoya and the bomb in Norway last year. The trial is now ongoing. So it is a very sensitive thing in Norway and of course totally bullshit.
              The sovereign funds are where the others debt mostly come from. Printing money without actually have anything backing it will always end in galloping inflation so that is not really what is happening.

          • lorenzinonkatu

            Answering your question: all of these statements.

            • 1. I do not mind whether cultural marxism is sensitive for you or not – you cannot represent the whole country. There are many Normanns (or other Europeans) for whom cultural marxism itself is a real issue (and not the imagination of Breivik).

              2. “The sovereign funds are where the others debt mostly come from.”
              And so what ? I cannot take my share from the founds but I have to pay more and more taxes for the increasing state’s debt.

              3. There is a huge inflation over last decades since end of the gold standard in the USA and the large one in Eurozone, the only thing that governments count it in favorable ways. Just a small example: in 2004 a bus tickets bundle in Central Germany costed ~5 Euros – now ~10 Euros. The amount of saving per family decreases , the pensions are almost nullified etc, etc. The only reason inflation is not so obviuos is because of the subsidies for milk and bread (and their prices are also rising).

          • bli

            I refer e.g to this idea of “cultural marxism” (total BS), someone indicating Icelandic banks being guilty of starting the crisis, Greeks being lazy, Germans being guilty, etc, etc. Populistic ideas with very little insight, and totally uninteresting in a photography forum.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      > does excel in many things, e.g. has the biggest shipping industry in the world.
      No miracles behind that.
      Primary reason for majority of the world’s ships being under flags of only few countries is lower taxes and looser regulation (environment, safety, wages etc) in those countries which is something corporations like.

      • @ Bli

        “I refer e.g to this idea of “cultural marxism” (total BS)”

        Why then denial of cultural marxism is not BS ? It is not argumented.

        About the other rest you mentioned I have no relation to.

        • bli

          1. Define Marxism and Cultural Marxism — can you?
          2. Explain how cultural marxism works in Western Europe (you seem to claim some knowledge of Norway, so please give examples from that and other countries)..

          Note: I have zero sympathy for Marxism, I don’t know all details of Western Europe, but I have traveled quite a bit. From my own experience, “cultural marxism” is a slogan invented by populists with little or zero knowledge of what they are talking about, and mainly used as a technique to brand things they for some reason do not like.

          Denial of cultural marxism not BS? Because it is your claim, and it is you who have to give the arguments! If I claim some clueless BS such as that you in reality are Bigfoot, you are allowed to call it BS — it would be I who had to prove it a truth — not you who had to prove it untrue.

          So — definitions and examples, if you can :-).

  • errror

  • Viktor

    It actually started in USA…

  • About Panasonic losses: They and Sony have big problems with Samsung! They make the best TV:s, best cell phones and now say they will turn from compact cameras to prioritise mirrorless segment. They have done with TV and phones – will they make it with cameras too?

    Nikon that mainly makes cameras are doing well.

    • david

      I recall Samsung saying around the time of launching the NX system that they were going to be #1 in mirrorless by 2012.

  • Another issue of EU is paper money made out of nothing – this is just another suffocation for real sector economy. Unlike US small EU countries cannot print money and this is a bit part of their trouble.

    • Icelandic Bunny

      Indeed, if you control your currency the you can print your way out of anything. That is what UK is doing with massive quantitative easing. And you can let inflation rise for a while to reduce your debt. But the suffering eurozone countries can’t do any of that while their financial policies are effectively controlled by Germany. I hope for the Greeks’ sake, they leave the mess that is the euro.

  • Gisligun

    the happiest people don’t read the news!

    • @Bunny
      Finally, somebody got it ! Follow example of Iceland and write off the debts of the corrupted governments – we returned it them many times.

  • MichaelKJ

    Nikon, Canon, and Samsung were profitable, so I don’t think Admin is justified in blaming the problems of Pany, Oly and Sony on the global economy.

  • albee

    In a world where Korea and China can do what you can do much cheaper you have to make your products
    a) much much better
    b) or much much cheaper!
    c) Become protectionist and suffer the political/economic backlash.. (death by a thousand cuts)
    d) Join the global “redundancy/austerity/boom and bust/money speculation” program that we all “love” in the global economy! (EXPECTED RESULT)

    For Japan, the good times are over and they aint coming back..
    Whichever way you look at it, the central banks of europe/america will control every economy some way, or somehow. China next I suppose..

  • RSilva

    Has someone has said: “It´s better to kill the Euro, than to kill democracy.” – because that´s what´s happening.
    By the way there is no such thing as lazy countries, but there are a lot of corrupt governments all spread around Europe.

  • Mike Fix

    Pany and Oly need to focus on what is profitable and what is not and make some tough decisions. They had to have seen this coming, but just didn’t make the tough decisions. You don’t just lose $10 billion without knowing that’s what’s happening..

    • We need to understand the make up of the $10billion losses. In the Sony losses, half of it relates to tax credits which are merely accounting paper gains in the past that they decided to write off as losses now. These paper pains are non cash items.

      For the Panny losses, there would be similar items.

      In fact , this is a brilliant year to show record losses, lots of external factors to blame. This is the kind of period where Company starts to make large provisions for future losses, and show bigger gains subsequently. Come next year, they will paint the comeback kid story in the stock market and management can earn their fat bonuses.

      • Vitaly

        Based on your suggestions Oly should stop the digital camera production, in this case OM5 and many nice lenses will never appear. But we will probably see more colonoscopic devices :)

        • Mike Fix

          Unfortunately, if Oly is losing money it will eventually run out. Then there would be an absolute end of their business and lenses. They need to do an analysis of what is working and not working within their company. What makes money, what loses money, and how to either fix the losing divisions or cut them. This is the unfortunate reality, they need to make money to survive.

          • flash

            Olympus is making an operating profit from current operations, the losses are from past wrong during.

            Panasonic and Sony is due to consumer products not selling, in the current market. The weather in Japan made everything much worst.

            This is very sad as it translates to good people having hard times.

            Canon also has some real problems. See the changes in their CEO, their stock price in the last two months.

  • Mart
  • Joe

    Nice rant about Obama, Olympius! You even managed to hit all the talking points of the far right wing extremist of our country. Except you forgot to get in your rants about New York and San Francisco. You blame all the problems in our country for the last three years Obama has been in office. Meanwhile Obama is cleaning up the huge mess left by our previous President. Who btw can’t even leave the country for fear of being arrested and convicted of war crimes.

    The problem is that for 8 years we had two wars we couldn’t pay for, and tax cuts that benefited the wealthy more than the middle class which added trillions to our national debt. Karl Rove, who you probably admire, since obviously you aren’t a democrat, always says that deficits don’t matter. We spend more than half of the money we take in on defese. Austerity will only make the economy worse, not better… not to mention the immense suffering it will produce.

    If you really are as poor as you claim you are, how are you going to live when you can’t work anymore due to an unforeseen illness or old age?

    I’m afraid you are buying into the lies of the wealthy who are funding your movement.

    It is true that politicians like to spend our money, but to blame it all on our President is being intellectually dishonest. Your movement has totally pretended that the 8 years under Bush didn’t exist. And worse yet, you are proposing the same policies that have been disastrous for our country. More of the same: tax cuts for the wealthy, more cuts to social programs, more cuts to health care, and more horrific wars.

    I am much better off now than I was 4 years ago. Sure I have to work more hours and harder at my job, but at least I am paying my fair share. Unlike the people you represent.

    • tmrgrs

      +1 Joe. I must admit that I voted for McCain 3 years ago but I’m absolutely going to vote for Obama this year. The conservatives here in the US have drifted so far to the right that they’re no longer able to represent anyone but the rich. AFAIK, Olympius is typical of the mentally impaired nut-jobs who get their ‘knowledge’ of the world from Murdock’s Fox News.

      • Only one little thing: my earned money belong to me and if the government thinks differently it is my bloody enemy…

        • Why not Ran Paul ?

          • Vivek

            Your typo makes a nice pun! LOL!

        • bli

          Of course, your earned money is yours. And you shouldn’t pay tax. But as soon as your car enters a public road, you are trespassing. And should be treated accordingly.

          • Joe

            @bli these same people who want the government to stay out of their lives want the government to regulate what goes on in citizens bedroom. they are so fiercely anti-abortionists but yet have no regard for someone who lost their job or needs health insurance or who Needs food

          • Ron shall Run and Win !

    • Olympius

      Joe, you are the perfect dictionary definition of a reactionary, clinging to your belief in a man who has failed every single economic challenge set before him. George Bush has been out of office for four years now, it’s extremely lame and incredibly ignorant to be blaming him for all of Obama’s failed policies.

      FACT: More Americans are out of work now than in any time since the Great Depression, Obama’s policies have done absolutely nothing to reverse this.

      FACT: The real estate market continues to contract, with home and commercial real estate prices continuing to plummet. Obama’s policies have done absolutely nothing to reverse this.

      FACT: Energy prices are continuing to rise, and in FACT Obama’s policies are making energy more expensive for everyone across the board. Since you can’t run a business without energy, their costs have been increasing, while people’s ability to pay for those increases have been decreasing. Hence we have a situation where many business are failing to this day. Obama’s polices have been, in fact, making that whole situation worse.

      FACT: Businesses do not want to hire anyone, because of the increased liability and healthcare costs imposed by the Obama administration, they mostly prefer to do more with less people, as the healthcare boondoggle has done more to spread employment than anything else. Hence your long hours…

      FACT: The ObamaCare boondoggle was passed with only Democrats voting in favor of it, and many had to be bribed for their votes, including the notorious “Cornhusker Kickback” — which was only repealed in a different piece of legislation, which all the Nebraska representatives understandably voted against. So even those who were bribed to vote for the act were double-crossed!

      FACT: 80% of those on unemployment have been on unemployment for 39 weeks or longer….they chances of them ever getting a job are close to zero.

      FACT: The “official” unemployment rate is only as low as it is, because many millions of Americans, have lost all hope of every finding employment, and are not longer being counted as unemployed.

      FACT: Under the Obama administration, this has been the slowest and worst “recovery” from a recession on record, and may yet lead to a second recession.

      FACT: The Obama administration has run a very real, very anti-business campaign since Day One. Except for those businesses run by his financial donors, like Elon Musk, who has received over a billion dollars in tax payer’s money for his collection of businesses, along with being rewarded with an exclusive contract for manned spaced flights, which resulted in NASA shutting down their own manned space flight program, the first time in history that has ever been done.

      FACT: I’m politically independent, and am neither a Democrat or Replican, but having grown up in an area 100% controlled by the Democratic party, I know very well how they shake down corporations and the rich for donations, in return for exclusive government contracts and other favors. The Republicans are not nearly as bad on that score, not by half, though they have their own issues.

      So there Joe, why not argue the facts, instead of blaming Bush, who’s economic numbers where light years beyond what Obama has done.

      – Olympius

      • Joe

        Olympius your facts are in fact not facts at all, but instead right wing facist lies. For example you say only democrats voted for the health care law, when in fact Republicans voted for it as well. I know you will probably say since they didn’t vote for your right wing Ideology, they aren’t really Republicans, but whatever.

        It took more than a decade to recover from the Great Depression.

        Bush left office in January of 2009, so do the math.

        Obama made it clear from the moment he took office that it was going to take more than 4 years to get out of the mess the Republican party created. This whole mantra about the deficit is BS when Republicans throughout history have spent more than the Democrats.

        Your rant about business not hiring because of Obama’s policies are only theories without any proof of any actual data.

        You implied in your post you made less than $40,000 and were crying poor, again lies on your part. Highly doubtful there was any truth to what you said. Also, anybody can say they are an Independent, but your talking points probably came off Glen Beck, Rysh Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity’s website.

        Thats what the far right nutjobs do, rant and rave and lie.

  • Marcelo

    Panasonic also acquired Sanyo which cost a fair bit.
    This news is almost 8 months old why is it only being posted now?

    Pricing in AV also eroded by some 50%, thats a huge chunk of money gone from the coffers when a product costs $x to bring into a country and you have to sell it for well below what you intended.

    • “But as soon as your car enters a public road, you are trespassing. And should be treated accordingly”
      You mix green and square. The problem is solved many years ago either by introducing indirect tax for example in the gasoline costs in the area which goes for the roads in the area, or by using private roads. But I cannot justify paying tax by non-owners of the cars for the roads of the owners, or paying tax just for having the car.

      “I’m politically independent, and am neither a Democrat or Replican, but having grown up in an area 100% controlled by the Democratic party”

      Dems vs reps is a good cope – bad cop game. I do not see the system can be changed without very change of the US constitutions, but still, Ron Paul can help manies to change their minds – to remove the virus of the state from the heads…

      • BLI

        Marco + Olimpius: the Laurel and Hardy of political analysis — no, wait: the “analysis” is not even entertaining. I have no particular involvement in US politics, and it is not a topic for this forum. Please find another forum for your ideas.

  • Daemonius

    That guys, is called market saturation. :)

    It will come quite soon to photographic market aswell. Since those good old cameras are not going to disappear into thin air. :)

    • Vivek

      It is already here and is a reality.

      Just look at the “deals” that the Admin posts every other day on EPL1 GF3 and the like.

    • @ BLI
      Say sanx to gloabalists – we cannot avoid politics even in a M43 forum. And, please, find another forum to sensor smb. …

  • Victor

    There are some whom said. If you can learn from history, you’re going to repeat. On the radio station that plays 50’s,60’s, and 70’s rock n roll music, in California. The song was called A Garden Party, large, famous people, rich people etc. And the one line made me think “Well is all right now. I learn my lesson well. You see you can’t please everyone, so you got to please yourself”. Maybe these lyrics are a statment towhich, middle class quit pleasing those in the garden party. We middle class should please our selfs. But How?

  • Mice

    Move to Canada.
    Serious suggestion.

    We might be close to a struggling USA, but as long the world doesn’t end up in a Great Depression – Canada will still be chugging one way or another.

  • Miroslav

    Interesting comments: “Photographers’ thoughts on politics” ;)

    • To the hands of Monsanto and the Queen :).

  • Jim H.

    I’m impressed by the breadth of opinion an this one forum, that people with differing views are still speaking civilly to one another. Here in North America the discussion is much less mature, with little tolerance for contrary views (not quite as bad here in Canada, but it’s getting worse). Or perhaps the reason is because this is NOT a political forum, which quickly tends to get highly unbalanced. I suppose that here our primary interest is divorced from politics (in our case photography, but it could be anything else) and so draws views from a wider spectrum. An amount of respect and appreciation for our shared interest spills over when we listen to photographers with differing views, even on non-photographic subjects.

  • Rob

    All those companies need to get their shit together really. If the TV market isn’t working, pull out of it. It’s surprising they are making such a loss.

    Panasonic is one of the better TV manufacturers too, I think the push towards 3D has failed the TV market somewhat though, consumers haven’t taken it up and R&D costs were lost. Samsung don’t have the strong yen problem and 50% (huge huge) of their business is the mobile phone market, and they make everything electronic wise.

    They’ve all got to deal with Apple entering the market over the next few years too which will hit them all sales wise.

    Sony are more diverse too making phones, blu-rays and computers, and have a big grip on home consoles and cinema displays. Lost their grip on the record industry though since Apple did iTunes. They need to be careful about developing a new product which isn’t well received with losses like that.

  • Sqweezy

    I enjoy this place for four thirds rumor comments, not politics…
    That said, can’t wait for more details on the GH3!

  • bibicul

    Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, Fuji(soon), Toyota and all other companies have lost money becouse of the problems from last 2 years(tsunami, flooding), all this coraborate with world economy crisis.
    For Panasonic and Sony the big loss was the tv market, where Samsung and LG sell more this days.

  • The only problem in the world economy know is that we want to make people believe its broken….. How can a country economics fail. The economics of a country ar is people and workforce those are values that worth more than anything. Sad thing is we surrounded those valuea by big banks lending money to governements and raising interests when countries cannot repay which makes them even worse. The politics of austerity led by france and germany is a shame. Germany is far from being a model… Ease to fire people, low wage high taxes, lot of crappy jobs given to unemployed people to cheat the unemployment stats….. Cant you people just wake up and see that the only enemy are the banks. Countries should just fuck upthe banks and not repay the debts tell them to go fuck themselves and get out of this economic system that privilegiates only pjmorgan and other sharks. Even presidens and governement cannot do anything against them.

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