Blog

If you don’t want to know the future, look away now

Next week, I will publish my annual Budget Outlook, covering the 2021-2023 period. It will highlight how the pandemic is accelerating major paradigm shifts in society, politics and the global economy. I have been publishing these Outlooks since 2007, and they disprove the idea that forecasting is a waste of time.  They highlight instead most
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UK heads for a WTO Brexit on 1 January

On Friday, the UK premier confirmed what many of us have expected for a long time. There is unlikely to be a trade deal with the EU27 when the UK leaves at the end of December.
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Pandemic redraws the map

  Companies have entered a new landscape where the coronavirus has accelerated major paradigm shifts, as I discuss in my latest analysis for ICIS Chemical Business. 2020 is proving to be one of those years when time seems to speed up. The pandemic has been the catalyst for a range of paradigm shifts, which are … Pandemic redraws the map Read More »
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What will happen if President Trump loses the election?

I spent from September 2015 onwards, during the last US Presidential election, trying to explain why Donald Trump was likely to win.  As I noted after the event in November 2016: “It really wasn’t very difficult to see that Donald Trump could win the White House, and that the Republicans could control Congress, for the … What will happen if President Trump loses the election? Read More »
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Covid fears risk a Great Depression and major social unrest

Governments spent most of February/March ignoring my warnings here on the dangers posed by the Covid pandemic. Now many are moving in the opposite direction. Unintentionally, they are helping to create fear and panic, which could well lead to another Great Depression and major social unrest. HOW DID WE GET HERE? I began warning of
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Chemical industry has key role in helping to create a more sustainable world

The chemical industry has a critical role to play in enabling the world to “build back better” after the pandemic. That is the conclusion of the World Economic Forum’s Chemical and Advanced Materials Industry Action Group, for which I had the privilege of acting as an Expert Adviser. Its conclusions are as follows: “Where next?
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The state of the global economy in 2020

Last Wednesday, I gave the opening presentation for the ICIS PET Conference and looked at whether the global economy is seeing a Rebound or a full Recovery after the lockdowns? It covered a wide range of topics: Chemicals’ Capacity Utilisation is the best leading indicator for the global economy, and it continues to weaken Central
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Reality dawns for business as No Deal Brexit approaches

I warned before the June 2016 Brexit referendum that Brexit was all about politics, and Boris Johnson’s bid to become prime minister: “All the evidence suggests that his real motive for deciding to lead the Leave campaign was that – win or lose – this would make him the likely successor to David Cameron as
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Local circular plastics solutions to replace mega projects business model

NEW YORK (ICIS)–There will be a paradigm shift away from mega crackers producing massive volumes of plastics for export, and toward local recycling of plastic waste for local finished goods production. Joe Chang, editor of ICIS Chemical Business, summarises my presentation earlier this month to the Societe de Chimie Industrielle in New York. “The industry
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Oil prices signal potential end to the V-shaped recovery myth

Oil prices have moved into another ‘flag shape’ – which previously provided critical warning of the March collapse, and of those in 2014 and 2008. The shape is important as it means the bulls and bears have been battling each other to exhaustion, making it likely one or the other will give up. This time,
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