Historic polyolefin market collapse

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For the first time, quite probably, since the Chinese economy opened some producers are predicting that polyolefin demand growth could be flat or even negative this year. In the case of PE, reports are emerging of sales declines above 20% …

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Did Paulson’s wife have to get up early?

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I can just picture the scene in the Paulson household, poor old Hank’s wife having to get up early to prepare his “snap tin” so he could off to work shifts at the weekend.

He would then take his lunch, …

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Changing nature of demand

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As oil prices keep on falling, it might be tempting to forget the big picture. I had another frustrating conversation yesterday with a contact who believes that there’s nothing to worry about on crude (it was all downs to speculators, …

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Eggheads are annoying

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The smarty pants at BASF seem to have got it right again with their $6.1bn bid for Ciba Specialty Chemicals and rumours that they might also be after Clariant.

Talking about counter-cyclical investment is one thing, but doing it is …

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History will repeat itself

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It is September 2025 and the financial system has imploded due to the collapse in value of collaterised green obligations (CGOs).

So how did we end up in this sorry state? Here is a guide to how the crisis developed:…

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The world is round after all

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Back in the heady days of 2006, I asked a group of five like-minded nerds what their favourite business book was.

They unanimously voted for The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century by Thomas Friedman.

I …

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Go on, stick your head in deeper

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Apparently it’s a fallacy – ostriches don’t stick their heads in the sand.

Investment bankers frequently do, though, especially all the greedy ones who only cared about their end-of-year bonuses when they knew perfectly well that the credit crisis was …

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A drowning man will clutch onto anything

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A drowning man will grab hold of any floating debris – even a plastic bag made from standard-grade Chinese polyethylene (PE).

Hence, last Friday a statement by Wang Tianpu led to a few days of excited speculation about the cancellation …

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Uncle Sam back from the dead?

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A very interesting report by McKinsey (you can sign up free for their online newsletter which only takes a minute) expands on the theme of reverse globalisation which I talked about last week.

The cost of shipping a standard 40-foot …

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Yes, I know – I was wrong!

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Anybody who has had the misfortune to have to listen to me ranting on about Peak Oil of late might have heard – if they managed to stay awake long enough – that I predicted crude could not fall below …

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