Alan Greenspan's comments (below), led the blog to investigate how the world's major stock markets had moved since their recent peaks. All, as shown in the chart, are now in bear markets. Stock markets often forecast economic developments 6 - 12 months ahead, and so this represents a negative indicator for future chemical demand.
Also significant is the globalised nature of the decline. Germany and Japan peaked first in July 2007, followed by the US, UK and China in October. They were followed by India in January 2008, then Russia and Brazil in May. This pattern seems to confirm the blog's long-standing concern that we may now be facing a multi-year global slowdown, as the financial excesses of the 2003-7 boom are unwound.