Mr Bernanke, please take note
By John Richardson
The recovery is always six months away and so while most people have written-off the first half of next year, the hope is that by H2 everything will be back to normal.
*Oil prices have been at record-high levels in 2012 and threaten to cause demand destruction.
*Central bankers, who have helped drive oil prices up, have failed to turn the global economy aorund because they haven’t recognised that demographics drive demand.
Thus, in 2013 the chemicals industry will be lucky to hold on to average global operating rates of 80%. Low-cost producers will run harder, potentially driving the higher-cost players into bankruptcy. The world is heading for an L-shaped recovery.
It doesn’t have to be like this. The two huge opportunities for chemicals companies remain the record number of over-55s and the hundreds of millions of people emerging from poverty in the developing world.
Making products ands services for these two key groups can generate fantastic revenues, but merely waiting for central bankers to return the world to normal will ultimately end in disaster.