Fed’s loss of credibility risks causing investor stampede

Credibility is hard to gain.  And once gone, it is very hard to regain.  That is the challenge facing the US Federal Reserve today.  The New York Times is just one of the mainstream media now starting to highlight the issue, as last week’s Feb meeting led to a further deferral of the promised rise […]

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10 forecasts for the New Normal world in 2020

We seem to be approaching Stage 2 of the Great Unwinding of policymaker stimulus, as the economic implications of demographic change become ever stronger. The combination of today’s ageing populations with the collapse in fertility rates means it is totally unrealistic to expect growth rates to continue at the SuperCycle levels of the past.  They were turbo-charged by […]

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London follows Paris with city-wide electric vehicles and car sharing

Greek auto sales have been racing ahead in recent weeks.  They are up 16% so far this year, as people seek ways to protect their money in the event of Greece leaving the euro.  April saw the strongest rise, with sales up an astonishing 47% versus 2014.  As The Telegraph noted: “People living in a […]

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US futures market rally boosts US and OPEC oil output

Whisper it quietly to your friends in the futures markets, who are convinced oil prices will soon surge higher.  We don’t want to upset them as they work at their spreadsheets, and send their electronic trades down specially constructed lines at near the speed of light. But global oil demand growth has already more than […]

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China’s lending, electricity consumption continues to slow

‘Bad news’ seems to have become ‘good news’ as far as China’s economy is concerned.  In the past, most analysts simply ignored the possibility of a major slowdown.  Now that the slowdown is underway, they still ignore it  - this time, because they are sure further stimulus is just around the corner. But time passes, […]

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German markets stumble as “Sell in May” theme continues

My 4 May post was titled “‘Sell in May and go away?’ as US, German bond yields jump“.  Since then, US interest rates have continued to soar and the US stock market is starting to wobble, as I discussed last week.  Now emerging markets are in the line of fire.  $9.3bn was withdrawn last week – […]

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ICIS Innovation Awards could be key to your future success

Innovation is the life-blood of the chemical industry. It is also a critical success factor as we transition to the New Normal. Many of today’s plants and processes are simply too old and inefficient to remain competitive in a world of slow and volatile economic growth. Equally important is that changing demand patterns will demand […]

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China auto Jun15

China auto sales rise just 1% as New Normal slowdown bites

The above chart was my Chart of the Year last December, under the title “China’s auto sales bubble begins to burst‘.  So it seems only sensible to update developments 6 months later. The key question, of course, is whether my headline was right?  Could it be that China was not going to deliver endless growth […]

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‘Slow motion’ Greek train wreck gets ready to hit another buffer

The key issue in the Greek debt crisis is easy to understand,.  It is that Greece’s GDP last year was just $238bn, whilst its debts are estimated at €322bn ($365bn).   So Greece is clearly going to default at some point.  The problem is that no policymaker is prepared to admit this obvious fact, as […]

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Bank of Japan admits stimulus policy is modelled on Peter Pan

‘Peter Pan’ is one of the world’s most-loved children’s stories.But I hadn’t realised it had also become an economics textbook, at least in Japan.  Yet the Governor of the Bank of Japan (BoJ), Haruhiko Kuroda, described his stimulus policy last week as follows to an invited audience: “I trust that many of you are familiar with […]

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