Archive | Europe RSS feed for this section

China’s Soil Pollution: The $1,000 Trillion Problem

By John Richardson

THE ESTABLISHED approach to dealing with soil polluted by chemicals waste involves washing the soil and treating it with bacteria. These were the methods used ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games, reports The Economist. The cost …

Continue Reading

Soft Brexit, Hard Brexit, No Brexit, A Labour Govt – Take Your Pick

By John Richardson

IT was of course a gamble that backfired hugely. The UK’s General Election would, according to Prime Minister Theresa May, bring certainty and stability to politics during this very important period in British history.

Instead, though, the …

Continue Reading

US Polyethylene Industry: Scenarios For 2017-2020

By John Richardson

IT has been a remarkably strong few years for the US polyethylene (PE) business. The shale gas revolution has sent ethane costs plummeting, resulting in the kind of margins that you can see in the above chart. …

Continue Reading

Brexit: Automation Could Replace Many UK Jobs

As immigration declines, labour costs are set to rise. Companies could thus shut down, leave Britain or invest in more automation if they decide to stay in the UK

By John Richardson

THE BRITISH town of Slough has an unemployment …

Continue Reading

Global Economic Recovery To Weaken On End Of China Stimulus

By John Richardson

THE extent to which the global economic recovery has been dependent on China will become all-too apparent over the rest of this year, and into 2018, as China once again reduces lending. As UBS writes in a …

Continue Reading

Brexit, US-China Trade Talks: Time Is Running Out

By John Richardson

BY MARCH 2019, Britain needs to have successfully negotiated the terms of Brexit – and be certain that when the clock stops ticking the terms of the deal will work in practice.

And the task of hitting …

Continue Reading

US Economy Returns To Weak Growth On Demographics

By John Richardson

THE US is a deeply politically divided country to the point where the divisions are having a profound effect on consumer confidence. As the New York Times writes:

Among Republicans, the University of Michigan consumer expectations index …

Continue Reading

Global Deflation At Risk Of Returning On End Of China Commodities Bubble

By John Richardson

THIS time last year it was deflation that seemed to be the problem for the global economy. Despite many years of US Federal Reserve, European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of England (BOE) etc. economic stimulus, consumer …

Continue Reading

Brexit Article 50: Into The Unknown As Political Risks Increase

By John Richardson

BRITAIN enters the unknown today with the triggering of Article 50, the beginning of the formal procedure for quitting the EU. The clock will start ticking on two years of negotiations when British ambassador to the EU, …

Continue Reading

Oil Prices: Speculation Reaches New High, As Do Risks For Real Economy

By John Richardson

HEDGE funds and other speculators had amassed a record amount of futures contracts of 885m barrels by 31 January, according to the Financial Times. These contracts were equivalent to almost nine days of actual, physical demand. And …

Continue Reading