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 […]
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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 […]
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 […]
The summer is over, and the UK government now has the job of deciding its objectives for the Brexit negotiations. These, like all major negotiations, will no doubt be long and difficult. They will also inevitably create major uncertainty for companies, investors and individuals as they progress. I have personally led major negotiations in a […]
Companies and investors now need to prepare for the Great Reckoning, as I describe in my latest post for the Financial Times, published on the BeyondBrics blog We have reached the second anniversary of the Great Unwinding of policymaker stimulus. Almost inevitably, this now seems likely to be followed by a Great Reckoning, a consequence […]
“The Federal Reserve Needs New Thinking. Its models are unreliable, its policies erratic and its guidance confusing. It is also politically vulnerable.” Former Fed Governor, Kevin Warsh. “The Great Unraveling. Years of Fed Missteps Fueled Disillusion With the Economy and Washington.” Main headline, Wall Street Journal. There comes a point, as in 2008, when the […]
China used to be the world’s largest importer of PTA (the raw material for polyester). But not any more. Instead it has become a net exporter for the first time in history: □ Its imports ramped up from 400kt in 1995 to 7 million tonnes in 2006, as Western textile manufacturing moved East □ They […]
The Western BabyBoomers (born between 1946-70), have been one of the luckiest generations in history. By and large, they have escaped the major wars that have plagued society down the ages. They have also lived in a world where living standards and material wealth have made astonishing gains. Equally priceless has been the rise in […]
Many commentators were shocked by China’s weak trade data on Monday – with imports falling 12.5% versus July 2015, and January – July imports down 10.5%. But they were no surprise to anyone focused on developments in the chemical industry, which has once again confirmed its status as the most reliable leading indicator for 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.