April 14th, 2009
11:01 PM GMT
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Today President Obama gave an important speech that said nothing new but did it very elegantly. He reminded us where the crises had come from, what was being done and his vision for the future. It was refreshingly honest as he admitted, again, that this crises would not be over soon. So I asked you What changes have YOU made in your everday life – here are some of your responses – add more below)

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craigeyles@richardquest one change: have noticed the rise in take away foods in Aust. Cut down on conglomerate take outs.

Luzy_M@richardquest Im more conscious now when it comes to spend money,I think twice, Most of the times I end up by not spending

demetriusmartin@richardquest straight up coffee instead of a latte!

spartanmensrea@richardquest i would have put off graduate school. My dad won't retire so he can pay for me to get my Law Degree. Makes me feel selfish

MichaelDCC@richardquest when going out I also pack some food to go.

squawkbox@richardquest I'm finding that I'm spending mostly the same on daily purchases but I've put off larger purchases until things are better.

MsJG@richardquest One change: I'm still a coffee snob, but am making my own macchiatos & mochas at home instead of buying them @ the shop.

quantumobserver@richardquest – Hi Richard, definetly searching for bargain hotels online for my business trips and being creative on my cooking. Regard ...

imjustlooking@richardquest Changes made? No vacation during past two years ... need it though .. want to visit Ireland badly ...

nut_freemom@richardquest Focusing on sense not dollars, keeping family activities low key and close to home. Not so much "flim flammery!" :-)

spaceshippartic@richardquest buy less of everything and redesign old outfits instead of buying new ones

reddevil10_nj@richardquest for a young indian like me it has been a reminder about the cyclicality of the economy.

monalia@richardquest we are profiting from the crisis; the shop next door went under so we are renting the space because our business is expanding.

olevvaher@richardquest Does not work from 8:30AM to 5.00PM, I am a freelance

NJTonlineI'm resurrecting my old clothes, darning them as required and reintroducing the 'retro look' to my friends. It's catching on.



April 14th, 2009
12:28 PM GMT
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SEOUL, South Korea - I am in a van driving back to Seoul from LG Chem's car battery plant in Daejeon, south of the Korean capital, and I can't help thinking how the global auto industry might be transformed by 11 sheets of black paper wrapped in aluminum foil. At least that's what LG Chem's new car battery cell looked like to me.

The Korean company is making the cells for GM's new hybrid electric car - the Chevy Volt. The Volt is not yet in production, but the manufacturing lines are churning out cell after cell that LG Chem engineer Jeon Byong Hee says will go for rigorous testing at the company's labs and GM's facilities. If successful, the Volt could help breathe new life into the nearly defunct American automaker.

The LG Chem campus is huge and the car battery factory immaculate. Just to enter the building, you have to leave your shoes at the door - as if you're visiting a Korean home. To see the production lines, we had to put on protective clothing and a pair of clean slippers before our bodies were blasted with air to blow away any potentially polluting particles.

My favorite room was the cavernous "formation" room - what manager Ham Jae Gyung describes as "a mother's womb". Batteries, Ham explained to me, "breathe" and need to come to life - much like humans. In the "formation" room, fastidious engineers in pristine lab coats oversee rows of what look like towering floor-to-ceiling metal bookcases. These contraptions charge and discharge stacks of battery cells until the batteries begin to operate on their own. New car batteries are born here every day.

LG Chem's engineers are thrilled they are working on a project for GM. Volt project leader Shin Youngjoon said he was "happy" and "proud". Ham said winning the job validated his team's hard work. "We are a pioneer in this area," he told me. Developing batteries for cars is "new land" - land that can be conquered by anyone with the wherewithall to compete. "We are confident," Ham told me.

And the good engineers at LG Chem will need that confidence as their company invests in a shaken industry on the cusp of a new era.



April 14th, 2009
09:30 AM GMT
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