Archive | December, 2010

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The blog in 2010

The blog’s readership continues to grow. It is now read in 133 countries and 4362 cities, compared to 121 countries and 1244 cities a year ago. Readers also remain very loyal, with 24% reading it twice a week, and spending an average of 1.5 minutes on each visit. As the map above shows, readership continues […]

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US foreclosure period doubles, as house prices fall

The US foreclosure process used to take around 36 weeks, once the homeowner stopped making payments. But as the chart shows, based on information provided by LPS Applied Analytics, this period has doubled since the housing crisis began in 2008. In November, it was taking nearly 72 weeks, or 16 months. Meanwhile, the number of […]

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China’s women believe housing essential for marriage

70% of China’s women regard “housing, a stable income and some savings” as vital for any man wanting to get married. And they probably don’t regard architect Dai Haifei’s $300 Beijing ‘egg house’ (pictured) as their ideal. The data comes from the “2010 China Marital Status Report“, which adds that the man’s personality and morals […]

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To wait, or not to wait

If the blog offered you a choice between taking $3400 today, or waiting a month to receive $3800, what would you choose? This was the question posed to 5900 economics students from 45 different countries in a novel experiment by the Swiss Finance Institute. And they got significantly different answers. As the chart shows, only […]

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Petrobras moves forward on green polymers

The blog was very pleased to talk recently to Business News Americas about developments in Latin America. Please click here if you would like to read the full interview. It highlights the key role being played by Brazil’s Petrobras, particularly in the development of ‘green polymers’. These are still very small in volume, compared to […]

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3 major risks for 2011

There seems to be gathering concern in Germany about the outlook for 2011. This is very significant, as the economy has done well this year, and business confidence is at record levels. Bosch CEO, Franz Fehrenbach, who runs the world’s largest auto parts supplier, has warned that “the rebound in commodity prices will put intense […]

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China’s Li calls for “reasonable” GDP growth in 2011

The blog is awarding itself a pat on the back today, for its decision to focus on electricity consumption and bank lending as key indicators for China’s economy. According to the Wall Street Journal, these are 2 of the only 3 statistics used by China’s Vice Premier, Li Keqiang (the other is rail cargo). Li’s […]

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New White Paper for New Year

The blog’s 2 White Papers have proved enormously popular this year. More than 10000 copies have been downloaded around the world. They focused on the New Normal. This reflected the blog’s belief that the current recovery is not taking us back to the 2003-7 Boom period. Instead, it is taking us forward to a world […]

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Oil prices create European polyethylene “shortage”

Oil price rises reduce chemical demand. Initially, as we saw in 2007 – H1 2008, and in 1979 – 80, everything seems fine. Consumers continue to buy, and we all reassure ourselves that demand is still robust. But, in fact, end-use demand starts to fall when prices rise, as individuals cut back on discretionary spending […]

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France, Germany, discuss EU fiscal union, as loan problems increase

The EU loans crisis began 6 months ago, when it became likely that Greece was never going to be able to repay its debts in full. Since then, Ireland has moved into a similar position. And there are expectations that Portugal and Spain will follow during 2011. Unsurprisingly, however, given the general lack of transparency […]

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