The Failure Of Abenomics Should Be No Surprise

By John Richardson

The steepest  decline in Japanese industrial production since March 2011 has shocked some commentators. We cannot understand why.

“Industrial output dropped 3.3% in June from May, the trade ministry said today in Tokyo, more than twice the …

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China: Value For Money Replaces Luxury

By John Richardson

IF you answer a knock on the door and a travelling salesman is offering you a deal that seems as if it is good to be true  – e.g. a top-of-the-range flat screen TV for just $100 …

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What A “Low Growth World” Really Looks Like

By John Richardson

ONLY six new  US crackers would be built over the next five years because of rising construction and labour costs, said Dow Chemical’s CEO, Andrew Liveris, in an earnings conference call last week. This would be out …

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China Commodities: Fool’s Gold

By John Richardson

GILLIAN Tett’s splendid book about the root causes of the global financial crisis, Fool’s Gold, talks about “silo thinking”. Regulators, politicians and supposed financial experts had deep expert knowledge in their chosen fields, but lacked the ability …

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European Energy Sovereign Wealth Fund Needed

By John Richardson

THE blog met with an old friend on its recent trip to the UK, a scientist, who moaned about her local MP’s  ignorance about why energy self-sufficiency was vital for any economy.

“He is opposed to shale …

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Indonesia’s Jokowi: Poverty Alleviation The Key

By John Richardson

INDONESIA’S new president seems like a breath of fresh air because he is outside the establishment and has portrayed himself as a man of the people.

But one of Joko Widodo’s problems is that the establishment isn’t …

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China’s “Whack-A-Mole” To Accelerate

By John Richardson

Mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) is the latest petrochemicals product to be caught up in real estate-linked collateral trading, an industry observer recently told the blog.

“To some extent, MEG has been bought not for real demand, but instead …

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China Going To Plan: Credit Up Just 4%

By John Richardson

TOTAL social financing (TSF) in China increased by just 4% in H1 of this year over the same period in 2013, according to official government figures (TSF is the measure of total new credit issued in China, …

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China Still A Long Way From Solving Its Demographic Crisis

SO much for a new demographic dividend, as we warned last November when China announced that it had relaxed its one-child policy.

If you recall, Beijing decided that couples would be allowed to have two children if just one of …

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China Peak Manufacturing Season Disappoints

By John Richardson

THE chemicals industry, because it supplies so many downstream manufacturing industries, is an excellent early indicator when something is going right or wrong with an economy.

Take note, therefore, of the July Volume Proxy, which was published …

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