Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Welcome to the 2009 Reuters Paper and Packaging Summit

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The global paper industry has struggled for more than six years to claw its way out of a slump, as soft demand and overcapacity have kept prices down, leading to poor earnings, production curtailments and layoffs.

The current global downturn has further eroded demand for basic materials, including paper, as print advertising has dropped steeply in the crisis. Companies have been forced to run just to stand still, temporarily or permanently shutting mills and axing staff.

The sector is now at a crossroads. Will businesses after the recession look roughly the same, only smaller? Will demand ever return when electronic books and newspapers are surging? With many forestry companies big producers of biomass, what role will green energy play in the future?

Diller to profitable companies: Lay off the layoffs

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IAC Chief Executive Barry Diller took several groups to task at the Reuters Media Summit, but he reserved special disgust for CEOs at profitable companies who add to the country’s rising unemployment rate.

Also targeted by the former Hollywood executive were “incredibly, shockingly stupid” Big 3 auto executives, the Internet’s strange and growing dictionary, and Hollywood’s lack of creativity.

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