Covid-19

It’s our 16th birthday – and the chemical industry remains the best leading indicator for the global economy

The Ukraine war highlights how the real world can often be a very messy place. Issues such as geopolitics and demographics aren’t easy to understand. It can be hard to understand the detail of how key industries and markets are operating.

So it’s no surprise that most policymakers have preferred to stay in the world of theory.

It’s our 16th birthday – and the chemical industry remains the best leading indicator for the global economy Read More

China has locked down again. Yet World Cup TV shows that normal life has resumed outside China. And the real estate bubble (29% of GDP) continues to burst

The World Cup runs till December 18. That’s a long time for Chinese viewers to ask themselves “Why am I still locked down, when the rest of the world is living a normal life again”? And in the background, the real estate bubble continues to burst.

China has locked down again. Yet World Cup TV shows that normal life has resumed outside China. And the real estate bubble (29% of GDP) continues to burst Read More

The blog’s 15th birthday – and the chemical industry remains the best leading indicator for the global economy

The US is moving into recession as the Atlanta Fed chart confirms. Chemicals have been warning of this for some time. But policymakers and commentators remain in Denial about the economy. They prefer to focus on their computer models, and ignore the real world outside their window.

The blog’s 15th birthday – and the chemical industry remains the best leading indicator for the global economy Read More

“We now understand better how little we understand about inflation”, Jay Powell, US Federal Reserve Chairman

We are facing a perfect storm of global food, energy and financial crises set off by the war in Ukraine.  Analysts need to stop focusing on monetary policy and the inversion of the yield curve. They need to look out of the window and start dealing with the geopolitical reality of Putinflation. 

“We now understand better how little we understand about inflation”, Jay Powell, US Federal Reserve Chairman Read More

Markets will see plenty of rallies, but history suggests the real bottom will be at least 2 years away

The history of the 1929 and 2000 downturns suggests the real pain is yet to come. Housing markets look terribly over-valued around the world, as I noted last month. And US consumer sentiment is at all-time lows. So most company earnings seem set to fall, with more than 60% of US CEOs now expecting to see a recession.

Markets will see plenty of rallies, but history suggests the real bottom will be at least 2 years away Read More

The chemicals industry continues to be the best leading indicator for the global economy

Central banks and investors believed stimulus programs had created a “New Paradigm” where asset prices would always increase. Now they are starting to realise that stimulus is irrelevant against the 3 Horsemen of the Apocalypse – China’s continuing battle with the pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and potential famine as rising gas/fertilizer prices mean farmers can’t afford to grow their crops or feed their animals.   

The chemicals industry continues to be the best leading indicator for the global economy Read More

Ukraine, pandemic, herald major market shifts

Energy and financial markets are exacerbating the risks ahead. Oil prices at current levels – as the chart confirms, they now account for more than 3% of global GDP – have historically led to recession as the chart shows. The reason is that consumers have to cut back on their discretionary spending, which drives economic growth, in order to heat their homes and travel to work and school. Today’s high levels of natural gas prices add to this risk.

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2021 unlikely to see a quick return to ‘business as usual’

Investors have been spoilt in recent years by the absence of risk. 2020 confirmed the ‘risk off’ mode as central banks ramped up their support. But will Wall Street continue in party mood, despite the growing problems on Main Street?

 

2021 unlikely to see a quick return to ‘business as usual’ Read More

What would another 4 years of President Trump’s policies mean?

50 million Americans have already voted in the Presidential election. Turnout is on course to be the highest percentage since 1908. This week we analyse President Trump’s agenda if he is re-elected. Next week, we will look at Joe Biden’s alternative for the country.

 

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Central banks try to ‘print babies’ to boost consumption

Supply/demand balances are weakening in oil markets, whilst a Fed Governor has highlighted the serious problem that developed in Treasury markets during the March collapse. We also focus on the economic impact of the Perennials – who will provide the majority of US/Western and Global population growth over the next decade.

 

Central banks try to ‘print babies’ to boost consumption Read More