Increasing volatility in major Western financial markets suggests they are struggling to maintain their momentum. It is certainly hard to be very optimistic about the outlook for the major Western stock markets this year. The reason is that investors are still failing to think about political risk. They continue to believe, as they did a year ago, […]
Tag Archives | boom
The stock market used to be a good leading indicator for the economy. But that was before the central banks decided to manipulate it for their own purposes. As then US Federal Reserve Chairman boasted 3 years ago on launching their second round of money-printing: “Policies have contributed to a stronger stock market just as […]
US and UK policymakers have been more upbeat recently in claiming that ”the economy was turning a corner”. Although they have not yet gone as far as in September 2009, when the G20 issued a statement that began ”It worked!”, and claimed the recession was now over. Helpfully, the IeC Boom/Gloom Index has again done its job in capturing this improved sentiment. […]
Financial markets cannot make up their minds about the outlook. As this month’s IeC Boom/Gloom Index shows, sentiment (blue column) remains exactly at the dividing line between optimism and pessimism. This parallels the behaviour of the S&P 500 Index (red line). It had recovered strongly from March 2009, but has since found it very difficult […]
The blog’s Boom/Gloom Index (blue column) reaches its 3rd anniversary this month. It was introduced to help monitor sentiment in financial markets, on the basis that “many markets are clearly being ruled by sentiment”. It has since done a good job in identifying peaks and troughs: • Peaks have been focused on periods when central […]
EU policymakers like to pretend that the Eurozone debt crisis was resolved by the adoption of last March’s new Treaty. An even more disturbing thought is that they might even believe their own propaganda. Who knows? But on the ground, it is crystal clear that the problems continue to multiply. Latest data from the Bank […]
The blog, like many readers, has become rather fond of the IeC Boom/Gloom Index since it was launched in June 2009. The aim to was to track market sentiment, and it continues to perform this task. It also throws up intriguing parallels, and sometimes disconnects, with financial markets. As the chart shows, this month is […]
There was a sustained rise in the number of wealthy Western BabyBoomers entering their peak consumption years between 1980-2000. In turn, stock market multiples rose (the US Dow Jones price/earnings ratio rose from 8 to 32), as investors valued earnings more highly. ‘Buying the Dips’ in the market became the easy way to make money. […]
The IeC Boom/Gloom Index is now 2 years old. It was developed as a measure of market sentiment, and so far its track record has been good: • It is now at an all-time high (blue column), which mirrors financial market confidence and their belief that chemicals may be in a supercycle • The austerity […]
China’s economy has been on steroids for the past 2 years. Faced with the loss of export sales after the financial crisis began in 2008, the government doubled bank lending overnight (red column above). It also introduced a $580bn stimulus programme (13% of GDP). This included subsidised sales of electrical appliances, and was great news […]
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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.