Question: Why will Starbucks reduce the menu price for its venti green-tea frappucino in Japan next Tuesday, when the price is actually going up? Answer: Because the government hopes the lower menu price will fool people into thinking the price has gone down It is, of course, a nonsense. And no doubt most Japanese will be quite annoyed that […]
Tag Archives | deflation
A major debate is underway in Eurozone financial markets about the imminent approach of deflation. As the chart above shows, Eurozone inflation has ben falling steadily for the past 2 years. Yet most still fail to recognise that today’s demographics make this development more or less inevitable. The Financial Times has kindly printed the blog’s […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Demographics drives demand. If it doesn’t, then its hard to think what does. So forecasting economic growth depends on two key variables: If you have lots of young people in your adult population, then you should have fast growth If you have lots of older people, then you will be lucky to have any growth […]
Investing in today’s financial markets is relatively easy. You simply have to believe that governments in the US, Japan and Europe will continue to provide plenty of free cash to investors as part of their Recovery Scenario of a quick return to ‘normal growth’. It doesn’t matter whether the investor believes in the Scenario, the driver is simply the fear of […]
The last in the blog’s series on things that we think we know, but may not, looks at the prospects for inflation. A new survey this week of the world’s wealthiest individuals summed up the consensus view: “If there are two factors that make the rich stand out, on this survey, it is their fear […]
The blog’s new series on the likely demographic impact on the world’s Top 5 economies today moves across NEA to focus on Japan – the world’s 3rd largest economy ($6tn). As the chart shows: It has seen life expectancy (red column) increase by a third since 1950, to reach 82 years today At the same time, its […]
Milton Friedman received a Nobel Prize for economics in 1976, partly on the basis of his analysis that ‘inflation is everywhere and always a monetary phenomenon’. It sounds an appealing insight, but of course it is wrong. The reason is that it confuses cause and effect. The above chart presents a different view, highlighting the […]
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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.