Over the weekend, a probe called Huygens, landed a moon of Saturn called Titan. It has sent back some fascinating pictures. You can check out a few here.
The coordination required to pull this off is extraordinary. I am continuously awed by humanity's technical abilities. Science is cool!
The turning of the new year means the end of the 40 year old Multifibre Agreement (MFA). The MFA limited the amount of textiles that well to do countries could import from developing countries. This ended to distribute textile manufacturing into countries all over the developed world. In all probability, the end of the MFA will lead to textile manufacturers rushing to countries with the lowest cost manufacturing.
In "The End Of Quotas" Aaman Lamba quotes a cost breakdown in the international textile industry. I've extracted the numbers into the following tables:
Labor costs as a proportion of the total cost of textiles:
51% South Korea
The proportion of capital costs to gross output:
6.7% in India in the textile industry
7.8% in India in garment making
12.2% in China in the textile industry
12% in China in garment making
Given these numbers, I expect that we will be seeing a huge increase in the amount of textiles that we import from India. It should help hold US inflation down since Indian textiles should be cheaper than equivalent textiles from China or most other places listed. However it will probably hurt the textile industries of developing countires that can't compete on volume or price.