Whilst it is written from the point of view of an investment analyst, it makes interesting reading for anyone in our industry on likely future development.
One hundred years ago, steel was the IT industry of its day -- a cutting edge sector that was a symbol of a country's economic might. Andrew Carnegie, U.S. Steel, and Pittsburgh were what Bill Gates, Microsoft and Silicon Valley are today. The U.S., Britain and Germany made the bulk of the world's steel until the 1970s, when competition from Japan and South Korea sent these traditional Western steelmaker-behemoths reeling. By the late 1990s, the steel business had one foot in the grave. Two trends reversed this over the past five years. First, a series of recent mergers and takeovers among steel companies put the sector back on a more profitable and sustainable path. Second, a jump in demand for steel from China -- coupled with a tripling of steel prices -- brought the whole industry back from the brink of extinction.