Governments and central banks never spot recessions till it is too late. Thus after the 2008 Crisis, for example, it was recognised that only a few independent experts such as the blog had forewarned of the danger. Today’s situation seems potentially to be as serious as in 2008. Therefore as promised yesterday, the blog has decided to present its own analysis of the […]
Tag Archives | Eurozone
My words fly up, my thoughts remain below: Words without thoughts never to heaven go These lines from Shakespeare’s most famous play, Hamlet, aptly describe the critical issue in the Eurozone crisis. This issue is very simple, as the blog discussed last July. Monetary union and a common eurozone currency cannot exist without political and […]
Last week saw the 20th EU ‘Crisis Summit’. Like the previous 19, it achieved little. Yet everyone at the meeting knew what had to be agreed: • A banking union which operates across national borders • The issuing of joint Eurozone bonds, guaranteed by all euro members • Adoption of a Federal budget and economic […]
Financial markets are telling us something important about the outlook. Profitable themes over the past month have been expectations of weakness in crude oil prices, in China’s economy, and in the financial sector; plus positive views on long-dated government bonds in the JUUGS (Japan, UK, US, Germany, Switzerland). 90% of market players probably dismiss most, […]
For 25 years, Western policymakers coasted to electoral success on the back of an economic Supercycle. The BabyBoomers’ arrival in the Wealth Creator 25 – 54 age group meant there was just 16 months of recession between 1982-2007. Politics and policy thus hugged the middle ground. Political debate became based on focus groups, rather than […]
The blog’s many friends in the petchem industry in S Europe have become more frequent visitors to London in recent months. Often, they are in the process of buying flats or houses. As one long-standing friend commented, “would you want to leave your money in Spain today?” They are not alone. A detailed analysis by […]
Last December, the blog raised the question of how a country like Greece could actually leave the Eurozone. Many people believe this is inevitable. But how would the practical issues be solved? Now Wolfgang Münchau has taken up the challenge in the Financial Times. His research suggests there are only two possible exit routes: • […]
Yesterday saw the world’s largest ever sovereign debt default, when Greece finally carried through a €206bn ($272bn) restructuring. Yet only the eurozone leaders believe this will solve Greece’s problems and those of the other PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain). Greece is still left with a debt too large to be repaid. Its economy is […]
Mahathir Mohamad is one of the Grand Old Men of the Asian political establishment. He was Malaysian premier from 1981 – 2003, and led its rapid modernisation and economic growth. Over the period, which included the Asian financial crisis, the former colony’s economy grew four-fold in real terms, and it is now the 37th largest […]
Human beings go through a number of stages when confronted by a major change such as today’s Crisis. As first described by Elisabeth Kübler Ross, the process starts with: • Denial that any change is taking place • Then Anger at the implications of the change • Bargaining to reduce its magnitude • Depression as […]
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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.