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Fed Policies Increase Emerging Market Poverty

By John Richardson

THERE are 2.8bn people – 40% of the world’s population – who live on $2-10 a day.

These people are “the fragile middle”, according to the Financial Times, as they are constantly in danger of falling back …

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Malaysia: All That Glitters Is Not Gold

By John Richardson

ANYONE who visits Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city, might well come away with the impression that everything is well with the country.

The hotels are heaving as are the restaurants,  bars and shopping centres. So are the …

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China Reforms: The Global Implications

By John Richardson

IT can feel logical to assume that the fundamentals of the petrochemicals business in Asia haven’t really changed.

When you think about it, apart from a brief interruption in the region’s success story during the Asian Financial …

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Poverty Alleviation Matters More Than GDP

By John Richardson

RICH people, relatively speaking, don’t buy that many chemicals and polymers – hence, poverty reduction matters from a dollars and cents as well as a moral perspective.

Thus, a report released this week by the Asian Development …

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The Petronas Decision: What It Means

By John Richardson

LAST week’s decision by Petronas to go ahead with its $27bn refinery and petrochemicals complex at Pengerang in Johor, Malaysia, tells us that:…

Nation building remains important in the petrochemicals business. This project will create huge further

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China’s About Turn: The Seven Global Implications

By John Richardson

HISTORIANS will end up concluding that falling emerging market currencies and stock markets – the prelude to what could be a full-blown crisis –  is really about China and not about the US Federal Reserve. The Fed …

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“Fragile Five” Now “The Exposed Eight”

By John Richardson

IT used to be just the “Fragile Five” – Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Africa and Turkey.

But last week, the Financial Times, drawing on data and analysis from Schroders, added three more countries to the list of …

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Gas, Gas, And Perhaps Even More Gas

By John Richardson

THE global petrochemicals industry is stepping on the gas as it accelerates both capacity expansions and the restructuring of existing assets. Apologies for the pun.

In the US, of course, some 25m tonnes/year of ethylene capacity is …

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The US Growth Conundrum

By John Richardson

WHERE is the growth in the US economy going to come from to consume the big increase in the country’s ethylene and derivatives production due to take place from 2017 onwards?

This is a question that continues …

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The WTO “Bali” Deal Versus ASEAN Priorities

By John Richardson

WHY sacrifice national or regional growth for the sake of freer global trade?

This is a question the blog has been asking itself since the breakthrough last week at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks in Bali. …

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