The world’s 4 main central bankers love being in the media spotlight. After decades climbing the academic ladder, or earning millions with investment banks, they have the opportunity to rule the world’s economy – or so they think. But their background is rather strange preparation to take on this role – even if it was […]
China’s housing market has always been about marriage since it began in 1998, until recently that is. The reason, as I noted a while ago, is that: “70% of China’s women regard “housing, a stable income and some savings” as vital for any man wanting to get married.” Women have the upper hand when it […]
The global auto market is currently dominated by China, where sales have more than trebled over the past 10 years. But the other 6 major markets have not always done so well. Their total sales are up just 4.3% since they peaked before the Crisis began in 2007. As the chart, showing January – August sales since […]
”History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes“, Mark Twain Bob Farrell of Merrill Lynch was rightly considered one of the leading Wall Street analysts in his day. His 10 Rules are still an excellent guide for any investor. Equally helpful is the simple checklist he developed, echoing Mark Twain’s insight, to help investors avoid […]
2015 data is now available for births in the G7 countries, responsible for almost 50% of global GDP. It confirms the picture of a steadily aging population. This has enormous implications for the economy, as older people already own most of what they need, and their incomes decline as they move into retirement. As the […]
, It is 15 years since Goldman Sachs coined the word BRIC to highlight their argument that growth in the global economy would, in future, be led by the major emerging economies rather than the developed world. The core concept was that China and India would become the dominant suppliers of manufactured goods and services, whilst Brazil […]
”Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Oil traders know how the Queen felt in Lewis Carroll’s famous book, Alice Through the Looking-Glass. The list of impossible things that they are being asked to believe grows almost by the day: Last week, prices jumped 4% on the basis that strong […]
The average smartphone now has “more computing power than the computers used during the Apollo era to put the first men on the moon.“ The question facing all of us, is “How will this power be used to disrupt our current business? We can already see some of the early impacts from the transformation taking place: □ Most […]
Its been a great few months for financial markets. All the major markets have seen gains, as the chart shows – something that has happened only once before, since my half-yearly reviews began in March 2009: □ Long-term US Treasury bonds have gained, as long-term interest rates have been falling □ The 30-year bond […]
Aging Boomers to play key role in US Presidential election, as policy failures lead to a Great Reckoning
Today is the Labor Day holiday in the USA, and the traditional start of the Presidential election campaign. For 2 years, the candidates have been rushing around the country in pursuit of money, endorsements and primary election wins. Now they enter the final stage, when they can finally focus on winning the Presidency itself. The […]
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Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry.
The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such as oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts.
Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.