Blog

Bankruptcies now the key risk as hopes for V-shaped recovery disappear

Governments, financial markets and central banks all originally assumed the Covid-19 pandemic would be over in a few days or weeks. But it is now clear they were wrong. And unfortunately, there is little sign of a Plan B emerging. The idea was that consumers would have plenty of money in their pockets after the
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Merkel warns of need to prepare for No Deal Brexit

Most people missed the fact that last Tuesday was the last possible date to delay the UK’s exit from the EU at the end of the year.  Yet as Germany’s leader, Angela Merkel warned on Wednesday: “To put it mildly, progress in the negotiations has been very limited. I will continue to press for a good
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The Top 5 pandemic paradigm shifts

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the fundamental changes which were already underway in global markets, as I discuss in a new interview with Will Beacham of I.C.I.S. Companies and investors need to focus on the challenges and opportunities created by 5 major paradigm shifts as we move into the New Normal. These will impact individual
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Oil prices start to reconnect with coal and gas

Oil prices are finally starting to reconnect with other fossil fuel prices, as the chart shows.  It compares US WTI prices in terms of $/MMBtu value (WTI/5.8), versus US natural gas and coal prices: In January 1990, WTI was $3.94 versus natgas at $2.30 and coal at $1.45 (all $/MMBtu) In January 2000, WTI was
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Economic risks rise as the lockdowns end

It is now 13 years since I wrote the first post here, in June 2007. A lot has happened since then: There was the 2008 subprime crisis, forecast here and in the Financial Times – although sadly, few took advantage of the warning This led to the publication of ‘Boom, Gloom and the New Normal: How
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The New Normal for global industry

The global chemical industry is the third largest sector in the world behind agriculture and energy, and its outputs find their way into everything we consume. Paul Hodges, chairman of the pH Report, analyzes the chemical industry to give a unique perspective on the global economy to investors and corporations. In this timely discussion, he
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Hertz goes bankrupt as non-essential consumer demand disappears

The US Federal Reserve has now spent $7tn bailing out Wall Street. But it couldn’t save the 102-year old Hertz rental company from filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for its US business on Friday night. Sadly, Hertz won’t be the only casualty. Its collapse instead marks the moment when the problems created by two
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Smartphone sales head into decline as affordability becomes key

The smartphone sales decline accelerated in Q1, as Strategy Analytics report: “Global smartphone shipments fell 17% to reach 275m in Q1. This is the smartphone industry’s worst quarterly performance of all time. On an annualised basis, as the chart shows, global volume was down 12% to 1.36bn from the Q3 2017 peak. And, of course,
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The bill for two decades of doomed stimulus measures is due

The Financial Times kindly made my letter on the risks now associated with central bank stimulus their Lead Letter One has to agree with your editorial that deflation is now probably inevitable (“Deflation is a bigger fear than hyperinflation”, FT View, April 28). But it is still disappointing to see that the role of central
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