This week’s news provided more evidence to support the blog’s fear that the global economy is close to recession: • The German economy, Europe’s motor, saw negative growth in Q4 • US retail sales grew just 0.1% in December, despite good auto sales • China’s auto sales fell in Q4, and house prices fell in […]
Tag Archives | credit bubble
China’s economy is slowing rather fast. That’s the only conclusion to be drawn from the above chart. It shows a major collapse in producer price inflation (PPI), from July’s 7.5% peak to just 2.7% in November. The decline from September’s 6.5% level has been particularly dramatic, with the index down nearly 2/3rds in just 2 […]
Long-standing readers may remember the video posted in January 2010 showing ‘China’s empty city’. This was the new city being built in Inner Mongolia, to help ensure local officials met China’s GDP growth target. Unlike the West, GDP in a communist country is a target, not a result. Thus East Germany under communism was alleged […]
It seems increasingly clear that China’s economic policy took a wrong turning 10 years ago, when it joined the World Trade Organisation. 2001 was also the year when the Western BabyBoomers (those born between 1946-70), began to leave the peak consumption age group of 25-54 years. As they entered the 55+ age range, and the […]
Financial bubbles are like balloons. Only instead of air, they need to be constantly pumped up with new lending. Otherwise they begin to deflate, and the Minsky Moment occurs. The above chart of China’s bank lending shows, as discussed last month, that the Minsky Moment is getting close. August’s lending (red square) was exactly the […]
China’s growth in electricity consumption is a much better guide to its economic growth than the published GDP figures. This was confirmed by likely next premier, Li Keqiang. It has been a major reason for the blog’s long-standing focus on this key area. The problem with GDP is that it is a target for local […]
China’s credit bubble is one of the largest the world has ever seen. This is true not only of its total size, but also in relation to GDP. The history of credit bubbles is very clear about what happens next. Anyone who has followed the US subprime lending disaster will know the script already. But […]
The blog continues to worry about signs of a slowdown in China. Major commodity trader, Glencore, said this week “we see a pullback in China and it will continue“. This challenges the views of Dow CEO Andrew Liveris last month, and Rhodia CEO Jean-Pierre Clamadieu – who said last week he saw “no material signs […]
Last November, the Chairman of the US Federal Reserve justified his $600bn QE2 programme to boost financial markets by claiming “higher stock prices will boost consumer wealth and help increase confidence“, whilst also leading to “lower mortgage rates“. And stock prices have indeed risen. As the above chart from PetroMatrix shows, there has been an […]
70% of China’s women regard “housing, a stable income and some savings” as vital for any man wanting to get married. And they probably don’t regard architect Dai Haifei’s $300 Beijing ‘egg house’ (pictured) as their ideal. The data comes from the “2010 China Marital Status Report“, which adds that the man’s personality and morals […]
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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.