Spend Matters Afternoon Coffee

And they're back!
Honda's automobile unit resumes operations in Thailand -- Honda Automobile Thailand (HATC) has resumed production at its plant in Ayutthaya after severe floods halted operations in early October. HATC, a subsidiary of Honda Motor, is the last of the Japanese automobile companies to resume production in Thailand after the floods. Toyota Motor and Nissan Motor resumed production at the end of 2011.

European outlooks...
Procurement Protectionism -- When it comes to public procurement, the European Union has one of the most open policies in the world--and European governments and taxpayers alike are the better for it. Free trade in public procurement, even if it's unilateral, allows governments to purchase goods and services based on who offers taxpayers the best deal, ultimately saving money. The European Commission, in its wisdom, has decided that this openness is "naive." So it's seeking the power to retaliate tit-for-tat against countries that keep their government-procurement markets closed to foreign firms. The Commission maintains that this isn't protectionism and won't lead to trade wars, but that's a prediction likely to embarrass them a few years hence.

A house made of money.
Not Worth the Paper It's Built On -- As an emblem of the modern Irish condition, Frank Buckley is almost too apt. Dead broke, he lives in a house made of money. Euros here, euros there. Euros in the fireplace. Euros on the floor, on the chairs, in the windows. Worthless euros, taken out of circulation and shredded by Ireland's Central Bank, forming the interior walls of an apartment that Mr. Buckley does not own in a building left vacant by the country's economic ruin.

Porsche is the new Pinto??
Porsche Recalls 911s On Fire Risk -- Fuel lines in certain Porsche 911 Carrera S vehicles could be accidentally disconnected, causing a risk of a crash or fire, auto safety officials warn. Porsche 911 Carrera S models manufactured between Oct. 26, 2011 and Jan. 24, 2012 may experience a fuel line disconnection caused by a nearby coolant line, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If the fuel line disconnects, the engine could stall and cause a crash, or a fuel leak could cause the nearly $100,000 car to catch fire.

- Sheena Moore

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