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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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Germany Needs To Follow The Example Of Its Footballers

By John Richardson

WHAT a fantastic World Cup and Germany were deserved winners. Their flair, dedication, organisation, attention to detail and team spirit were great to see.

But in Gideon Rachman’s very thoughtful piece in Tuesday’s Financial Times, he highlights …

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China’s Q2 GDP Number Is Irrelevant

By John Richardson

CHINA is due to release its second-quarter GDP growth number today (Wednesday) and so the analytical frenzy is already well under way.

For example,  AFP writes in this article: “Chinese growth failed to accelerate in the second …

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India’s Budget: The Toilet Test

By John Richardson

IT was fantastic news to hear that Narendra Modi, in his first budget as Prime Minister, has repeated his pledge of ensuring that every Indian has access to a toilet by 2019.

But will he follow through …

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China: How Conventional Wisdom Becomes Conventional Wisdom

By John Richardson

HOW does  conventional wisdom – i.e. the opinion of the majority – become conventional wisdom?

This is a subject that the blog pondered over the last few days as it wandered around Euro Disney. Unfortunately, Mickey, Donald …

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China: GDP And Forgetting What You Already Know

By John Richardson

THE blog has a terrible confession to make: We sometimes get it very badly wrong. How’s that for modesty?

A couple of months ago we got it very badly wrong when we kept waffling on and on, …

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China: Half Of All Loans Collateralised By Land, Real Estate

By John Richardson

BEN Bernanke, who as at that time chairman of the Fed, warned in July 2007 that the cost of the US sub-prime crisis would amount to $100bn.

To be honest, we struggled to find a final estimate …

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China Coal-To-Olefins: Water Not An Issue

By John Richardson

CONVENTIONAL wisdom has it that the water issue stands in the way of the growth of the coal-to-olefins (CTO) industry in China.

The process consumes a lot of water  – between 15-20 tonnes for every tonne of …

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China Commodities Fraud: The Global Implications

By John Richardson

An eerie calm has descended over financial and commodity markets with volatility at a record low.

The calm is eerie because it reminds us of the build-up to September 2008.

Back then, not one single mainstream economist …

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China Polyethylene Demand Up By 25%

By John Richardson

WHEN something appears to be good to be true, it usually is.

Back in 2009, China’s demand for polyethylene (PE) increased by more than 20% – way above the increase in GDP – because of just about …

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