Maybe it’s not as bleak as I’ve made out…

Consensus opinion tends to swing firmly in one direction and then the other.

For example, in the good old days of 2007 you would have been pretty hard-pressed to find many in the chemicals industry who saw anything but a …

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It’s about scaling down rather than up

One of the new skills being learnt in this current crisis is how to run plants efficiently at low operating rates.

“It’s funny that for years now, we’ve worried about how to scale up profitably. Now industry is faced with …

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Net lending declines by 70-80% in Q2 in China

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This very interesting note from Jun Ma, chief economist for Greater China at Deutsche Bank (see the end of this post) offers evidence to support what this blog has been worried about for some time – the quality of China’s …

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How long can bear-market rallies last?

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The current run-up in equities might go on and on – perhaps even for several years, according to economist Russell Napier.

But he warns, in this excellent video interview with FT journalist John Authers, that an extended boom in equities …

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Aussie on a losing wicket

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The timing of when to strike the ball is everything in the wonderful sport of cricket – and also, apparently, in the American pastime of baseball.

An Australian banker is fond of reminding the English how much better his country …

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Micro-management gone too far?

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“Nobody can see until the end of the month – never mind into the third quarter,” commented an olefins trader recently.

“The reason is that very senior managers are too busy micro-managing everything, from getting involved in trying to track …

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Reasons to be cheerful?

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Any excuse to make a reference to the late, great and wonderful Ian Dury.

I sent the following email to my friend in response to the stock market rallies and the green shoots of optimism seemingly turning into beautiful May …

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US-Asia Propylene arbitrage closes

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As flagged up on this blog last week, ICIS news has confirmed that the US-Asia propylene arbitrage has shut following a rise in US domestic refinery-grade C3 prices.

This could be good news if West-East arbitrage in general becomes more …

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It really is a Mad World

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As the potential swine flu pandemi threatens more lives – and even more damage to the global economy – it’s time to watch American Idol re-runs.

It would be great if we could all collectively retire to some paradise island …

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Is it better to be right for not quite……

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……all the right reasons than to be wrong altogether?

Sounds a dumb question, perhaps – unless you take particular pride in being one of those know-it-alls.

The point I am trying to make (and assuming that chemicals pricing doesn’t collapse …

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