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China’s lending bubble could now lead to zero GDP growth

China has been primarily responsible for driving global growth since the Crisis began in 2008.  Auto sales, for example, would have seen negative growth world-wide without China.  And auto manufacturing is the world’s largest manufacturing industry.  The chemical industry has been in a similar position.  Whilst China is also now responsible for nearly 50% of global […]

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“The dog ate my homework”: excuses for economic slowdown

There were never any excuses from policymakers during the BabyBoomer-led SuperCycle from 1983 – 2007.  The Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, came to be styled ‘The Maestro’.  Whilst the Governor of the Bank of England argued that his efforts had created the NICE decade of Non-Inflationary Constant Expansion. Central bankers came to be seen as wise […]

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Adapting to the ageing baby boomers

The blog’s latest post for the Financial Times FT Data blog is below. February 13, 2014 2:22 pm by FT Two remarkable global demographic developments have occurred since 1950. Yet only recently have their impact on companies and the economy begun to be properly understood. Life expectancy has risen by 50 per cent since 1950 […]

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JP Morgan says ‘Buy China’, as coal stocks show economy slowing

China seems to be trying to tell the outside world something quite important about the impact of its economic policy changes.  But to judge by most expert commentary, the outside world is convinced they are bluffing.  Thus JP Morgan issued a Buy recommendation yesterday on the Shanghai market: “Chinese stocks will probably rally as much […]

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US incomes decline as job participation rate drops

There are two ways to approach last Friday’s monthly release of the US jobs figures: One is the Wall Street way, which is to bet on whether the numbers will be bad enough to persuade the Federal Reserve to boost its money printing operations The other is to look for clues as to what is […]

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Deflation Jul13

Protectionism edges closer as US holds back on Fast Track Authority

The mainstream media rather ignored a key event last week, namely that the Democrat leader of the US Senate signalled he would not try to pass Fast Track Authority to allow the President to conclude new trade deals with the EU and Pacific countries.   Nobody seems to want to face the unpalatable truth, that this […]

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Seven global implications of China’s new policies

Everyone remembers the old joke, “Why did the elephant wear dark glasses?”, and the answer, “So that she wouldn’t be recognised”.  A new version popped into the blog’s mind this week, when finishing its new Research Note on the impact of China’s new policies on the global economy: “Why did nobody notice that China was the ‘elephant […]

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European ethylene production at 1996 low

Nobody was expecting very much from Q4 ethylene production in Europe, as several plants had been taken offline in December due to lack of demand.  And yet it is still possible to be disappointed by the actual outcome as reported by APPE.  As the chart above shows: Q4 production at 4.4MT was the lowest since the […]

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And now the stumble?

Last week the US Federal Reserve announced the second move in its so-called tapering process, and reduced its bond buying by another $10bn/month.  But there was only a temporary repeat in stock markets of the enthusiastic response to its first reduction in December.  We are thus about to test whether the blog’s theory of ‘two steps and a […]

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The Deng, Jiang model for China’s economic growth under Xi

Major change is already underway in China, with potentially enormous implications for all of us. Corruption is being stamped out via a policy of ‘shock and awe’ Similarly, wasteful lending is under attack in both the official and the so-called ‘shadow banking’ sectors Thirdly, pollution is being tackled by literally ‘sending in the bulldozers‘ to […]

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