The brave new world of modern finance continues to amaze the blog. It still has problems with the idea that the answer to having too much debt is to borrow some more. But last week’s Eurozone summit not only did this (as noted by the German central bank), but added a new element. Its new […]
Archive | October, 2011
Stock markets soared after the eurozone meeting this week. But the head of the German central bank warned “The envisaged leverage instruments are similar to those which were among the origins of the crisis, because they temporarily masked the risks.” It is clearly far too early to assume that EU leaders have really decided to […]
A year ago, Petromatrix highlighted the short-term ‘triangle’ that was being drawn by oil prices. This describes a period when sellers and buyers are evenly balanced, and neither side can gain momentum to take prices in their favoured direction. It usually leads to a sharp move, either up or down, when one side wins. At […]
The 2012-14 Budget period offers great opportunities, as well as great challenges. Will companies continue to focus on short-term developments in financial markets? Michael Porter’s Shared Value concept instead offers us a powerful model for creating future growth. Will policymakers stop focusing on the 24 hour news cycle and instead begin to set out the […]
The 2012-14 Budget period offers great opportunities, as well as great challenges. In the short-term, the challenges may well seem more important. But they should not blind companies to the fact that the opportunities have probably never been greater. Of course, it is hard to be very optimistic about the shorter-term outlook for the global […]
Blog readers can choose their favourite leading indicator this week. In financial markets, the US S&P 500 index continued its recent rally. If you believe the bullish analysts; a Greek default, lengthy arguments between Germany and France, and the need to expand the Eurozone bailout fund into the €1-2trn range ($1.4-2.8trn), are all good news. […]
SUMMARY The global economy does not seem to be in good shape. Policymakers seem to fail to grasp the importance of the demographic changes that are underway in both the Western and emerging economies. Yet demographics drive demand. The result of this failure by policymakers is that the world seems to be heading towards a […]
Its the ‘big picture’ issues that we need to watch these days, no longer detailed forecasts of individual product growth rates. They are driving chemical product sales in every major region. The chart above from the Financial Times highlights Europe’s drive towards austerity. Long gone are the days of the 2009 G20 meeting, when everyone […]
Auto sales in the key global markets of China, USA and Europe present a mixed picture as we look towards year-end (red square): • China had a strong September, and sales are now up 6% versus 2010 • But the Auto Association claimed this was due to a last minute rush of orders caused by […]
Wall Street analysts have their bonuses to consider at this time of year. So it is no surprise that they are talking up the prospects for the Christmas season – the peak shopping period of the year in the West. But those involved in shipping goods don’t see the same rosy picture: • In August, […]
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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.