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So what is the state of the economy worldwide?
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This is always an important question to the pulp and paper industry, one of the first truly international industries.

So what is the answer?  Turmoil.

Turmoil such as I have never seen in my career.  It is a testimony to all industries, not just our own, that we can operate quite nicely, thank you, in such a time of uncertainty.  

China is pushing to make their currency the currency of choice in international transactions (they will succeed, it will just take a few more years).  

Russia has returned to the 19th century and become a newly minted colonizer as those of old were, much like the Brits, French, Spanish and Portuguese of days gone by.

Europe cannot decide whether to stay together, fall apart and whether or not to keep the Euro.  European unemployment, especially among the young, is atrocious.

The United States is in total chaos as GDP was reported down a revised 2.9% in the first quarter.  The Executive Branch of the Federal government wants to blame this on winter while conservatives want to blame it on Obamacare.

Everyone south of the US in the Northern Hemisphere wants to move to the US, legally or illegally, makes no difference.

Did I mention the Middle East?  Did you ever think you would long for the return of the Ottoman Empire?

South America, save the insanity over Futbol, is looking pretty good.  Yes, there is a little financial crisis in Argentina, but there is always a financial crisis in Argentina.  It is not without notice in this column that much of the pulp used by our industry worldwide comes from South America.  

Perhaps eucalyptus pulp should be the new world currency.  It seems to be about the most stable thing around these days.

Jim Thompson is Executive Editor of Paperitalo Publications. He can be reached by email at jthompson@taii.com.

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