Eric Justin

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On December 1, 2017, Eric Justin commented on Closing Borders May Create a Wall That Boeing Can’t Fly Over :

From one Eric to another, congratulations on a fine post. I disagree that Boeing should return more of its manufacturing for the 787 and future planes back to the United States. The global cost dynamics that pushed Boeing to take more of its manufacturing overseas have fundamentally not changed in the past decade. If Boeing abandoned this initiative they would find themselves in the same place a decade from now that they were in a decade ago – desperate to cut costs with a domestic unionized workforce.

I worry that these value-destroying tariffs between the US and Europe over Boeing and Airbus are only going to create a window for China or another country to develop a competitor and eat their lunch. China launched its first passenger plan earlier this year. [1]


On December 1, 2017, Eric Justin commented on AK Steel: Casualty of a Protectionist War with No Winner in Sight :

Hello “vlookup90,” thank you for this thoroughly-researched article. We often have the impression in America that China’s protectionist policies have been only a boon to the economy, and I appreciate that your article demonstrates some of the drawbacks of protectionism in China.

I disagree that AKS should abandon BOF. BOF steelmaking still accounts for 71% of all global production and the barrier to entry for EAFs is much lower diminishing AKS’s long-term competitive edge. Furthermore, 75% of costs for EAF are raw materials versus 50% of costs for BOF, and I’m concerned about volatility in raw material prices [1].

I also found myself wondering why your exhibits stopped at October 2016 – what’s happened in inventories since then?


On December 1, 2017, Eric Justin commented on Optimizing the Health Care Supply Chain :

HJ, thanks for the interesting article, I’m ready to buy some Cardinal stock 😉

While I agree with you that digitization could improve the supply chains for hospitals, I think you’re looking for solutions in the wrong places. I don’t understand why Cardinal Health would want more efficient supply chains for hospitals. The current mess that is hospital purchasing benefits pharma and device manufacturers at the expense of us the taxpayers. Perhaps this is a little cynical of me to suggest but, based on my experience in the medical device world, I would not be surprised if Cardinal Health and other medical manufacturing companies are researching digital solutions to hospital supply chains in order to acquire and shut them down before they gain traction.

On December 1, 2017, Eric Justin commented on Pie in the Sky: can Africa help UPS in the Game of Drones? :

Thank you “angieslist” for the fascinating post and I think DR and Ben have kicked off some great analysis. In my post, I want to add another reason to DR’s for why drones may never reach mass scale, and then I also want to suggest a different target region.

First, due to the concerns that DR raised, many public spaces are beginning to invest in drone defense technology (typically involving the jamming of any drones that fly within a certain radius) and those public spaces are generally in cities and so would complicate the use of drones for deliveries.

Second, even if drones are deployed, I don’t know why a company would test them in Africa instead of more developed economies. For instance, the drone regulations in Southeast Asia are generally lax like those in Africa, but the e-commerce markets in Southeast Asia are significantly more developed than those in Africa [1].


On December 1, 2017, Eric Justin commented on No more Champagne? :

Jonathan, thank you for this thought-provoking and thirst-inducing article.

One desperate solution for the champagne-producers of France would be to negotiate to change the European Commission’s definition of champagne to only include the processing of grapes within the region. This would allow growing the grapes in other regions, but preserve at least those manufacturing jobs in the Champagne region.

Another idea I had is to figure out a new branding for sparkling wine grown in England. The Italians have prosecco, and the Spaniards have cava, so perhaps the English can create a name too. Though, for heaven’s sake, please don’t let the name sound like the product is from England.

I appreciate that your post suggests that climate change will not be all doom-and-gloom. There will be losers and winners in agriculture, though probably more of the former as the increased variability of the climate will make planting everything more difficult. Suddenly, I need a drink, though Champagne feels inappropriate.. maybe I’ll find some British sparkling wine.. goes well with all of those famous British dishes..

On December 1, 2017, Eric Justin commented on Can Egypt Weather the Next Round of High Wheat Prices? :

My goodness, what a phenomenal post! Thank you for that thoughtful response to both of my questions. I was unaware of the examples in Sub-Saharan Africa that you mentioned – I’ll have to do more research there.

On December 1, 2017, Eric Justin commented on Can Egypt Weather the Next Round of High Wheat Prices? :

Thank you, Jonathan, for that additional analysis. I read that review, but couldn’t fit in the word count, so I’m glad you’ve added it here! The past 15 years of Egyptian history have demonstrated that cronies in the government can limit the benefits of privatization by ensuring their buddies control the newly “private” businesses. So, I’m skeptical of how handing things over the “private sector” would immediately improve results. Despite that skepticism, privatization would be a step in the right direction.

On December 1, 2017, Eric Justin commented on Can Egypt Weather the Next Round of High Wheat Prices? :

Thanks, Ben. That is really great analysis and you’ve posed a couple great questions. On the first question of why subsidies are problematic, part of the answer is that subsidies discourage exploration of alternative food staples, but there are many other reasons too. One other major reason is that the way the subsidies are managed are ripe for fraud, so only a portion of the benefit of the subsidies flows down to the people actually eating the bread. I don’t know the answer to your second question – I expect that water shortages may be a greater cause of concern as you’ve suggested. Egyptians are very concerned about Ethiopia building a Nile dam that would reduce the water flow to Egypt.

On December 1, 2017, Eric Justin commented on Can Egypt Weather the Next Round of High Wheat Prices? :

Christina, I agree completely with your analysis. In my experience though, after meeting with various ministers of the Egyptian government back in 2012, the current policies are more an accident of history and a reflection of low political willpower than a piece of a nefarious plan.

On November 21, 2017, Eric Justin commented on Harvard’s Role in Boosting the Innovation Supply Chain :

Hi Dave, thank you for the interesting post. I like the suggestion to think of innovation as a supply chain because the thought illuminates how complicated and disjointed the process of innovation often is in practice.

I am skeptical of the plan to improve Harvard’s OTD through converting their website into a Product Hunt-like interactive website. I think most people hunting for IP are unwilling to search on any university’s website because of the massive number of universities that hold IP. I would rather just use or some other database even if they’re unwieldy. In my opinion, the opportunity for improving the supply chain of innovation would be to aggregate the efforts of universities’ offices for tech transfer. In other words, a Product Hunt-like website that universities would pay to be featured on and that IP buyers would know they can find the highest-quality IP.

Let’s talk about this sometime soon!