One by one, the fault-lines are opening in the debt-fuelled ‘Ring of Fire’ created by the central banks. First published in June, the map above highlights where I believe these fault-lines run: China is the epicentre of the approaching earthquake – its manufacturing industry is now contracting Russia is in financial crisis, with interest rates at […]
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Believing conventional wisdom can destroy your profits. One example is playing out in the oil market before our eyes. Another example is the myth that China was about to become middle class. Yet income levels always made this impossible: More than 9 out of 10 Chinese earn less than $20/day By comparison, the basic state pension in the UK is 25% higher, at over […]
Can you imagine your government publishing a report that showed $6.8tn has been wasted in “ineffective investment” in the past 4 years? That is $6.8tn, by the way, not a typo. And it is more than Japan’s total annual GDP, or the combined annual GDP of Germany and France. No, I thought not. I certainly cannot remember […]
Oil prices have collapsed to the $70/bbl level, as I forecast in August. And the new Chinese government has just reported there was $6.8tn of “wasted investment” between 2009 – 2013, confirming my long-standing argument about China’s wasted stimulus efforts. Neither news item will be any surprise to blog readers, although they may be a complete shock to others. If you know […]
I am very much looking forward to presenting ‘The pH Report’ free webinar tomorrow, Tuesday 25 November. This will take place twice, at 08.00 GMT and 15.00 GMT, to enable everyone to take part from different regions. It will include a Q&A, to cover the critical questions for your business and investments. Please register here to join the […]
We have been extremely encouraged by the support we have received since launching the first issue of ‘The pH Report’ last month. The Financial Times and ICIS Chemical Business have also given detailed coverage of our views. I am now delighted to invite you to join our free webinar on Tuesday 25 November. This will take […]
“Conventional wisdom” never spotted the imminent arrival of the Great Unwinding. Sadly, therefore, the past 3 months have often been a repeat of 2008 for many businesses and investors. Many executives and investors clearly understood and accepted the logic of my August forecast that oil prices would collapse and the US$ strengthen. But sadly, once again, most found it impossible to act […]
Stock markets are floating ever higher on an ocean of central bank money printing. But something else is happening in the real world where we all live and work. Since August, I have been warning that the Great Unwinding of this policymaker stimulus is now underway. The chart above highlights how my 2 core forecasts have now been confirmed: Brent Oil […]
I am just back from my first World Economic Forum meeting, having been invited to join its global chemicals council. My first impression was astonishment - at the complete disconnect between the real knowledge of the experts at the Forum and today’s “consensus wisdom” . China is a great example. The external consensus still thinks the new leadership is focused […]
Sometime over the next year, the US is likely to set a new all-time record for oil production, reversing the pre-2008 trend. Natural gas production has already reached new all-time peaks. As the chart shows: US natural gas production peaked in 1973 at 62 Bcf/day, and then fell by a quarter to 46 Bcf/day in 1986 (blue) […]
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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 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.