About John

Author Archive | John

Demographics And “The Internet Of Things”

A DECADE from now, you might wake up in the morning and:…

Step on scales that quickly shoot data to a service provider that helps you decide how long and hard to exercise on the treadmill that day.
Brush your

Continue Reading

The Philippines: What A Fantastic Opportunity

By John Richardson

The Philippines is in a demographic sweet spot, according to the CIA factbook. In 2013, for instance, 34% of the population was aged between 0-14 and 19.1 was aged between 15-24.

This is potentially fantastic news if …

Continue Reading

China’s Polyethylene Data: Credible Answers Required

By John Richardson

THE extraordinary data on China’s polyethylene (PE)  market will not go away. We need credible answers.

To begin with:…

Imports were up by 20% in H1 2014 compared with the same period last year, according to Global

Continue Reading

China Polyester: Failure To Ask The Right Questions

By John Richardson

HERE is a historical account of what has gone wrong with China’s polyester industry:…

Apparel and non-apparel manufacturers were first encouraged to back-integrate to polyester fibres production and then to purified terephthalic (PTA) as the central government

Continue Reading

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 …

Continue Reading

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 …

Continue Reading

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 …

Continue Reading

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 …

Continue Reading

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 …

Continue Reading

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 …

Continue Reading