40 years ago, the vast majority of the British people were in favour of joining the European Economic Community. 67% voted in favour, in the 1975 referendum to confirm the UK’s entry. Virtually all mainstream politicians were in support, with only the left-wing of the Labour Party strongly anti on the grounds that it was […]
Tag Archives | geopolitics
This morning, Greece introduced capital controls. People can only withdraw €60/day ($65) from their bank accounts. The government has also called a referendum on Sunday, after Eurozone talks on a new bailout package collapsed. The key issue is that Greece will never be able to repay its debts. These are currently estimated at €322bn ($365bn) […]
Nobody can guess the outcome of the UK’s general election on 7 May. This is astonishing, as it is only 4 months away. Currently, it seems most unlikely that either of the main parties, Conservative or Labour, will be able to form a government on their own. Indeed, 7 different outcomes have been identified as possible by the […]
Yesterday’s post described how OPEC oil producers are seeing their export sales to the US start to disappear. But this, of course, is only one side of the story. As the chart from the Wall Street Journal shows, Saudi needs a $93/bbl oil price to balance its budget. Most of OPEC needs a higher price. Only Kuwait, UAE and Qatar need […]
Its now nearly 2 years since the head of the European Central Bank (ECB) said he “was ready to do whatever it takes” to save the euro, and brought down interest rates in the weakest PIIGS economies (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain). As the chart shows, this statement had a remarkable effect in financial markets: Interest rates today […]
The IeC Boom/Gloom Index (blue column) proved its value again last month. It shot to a new record high, and this was then followed by a record high for both the S&P 500 (red line) and the Dow Jones Industrials. But now the Index has fallen sharply. This highlights the major divergence between developments in the […]
Markets have been remarkably calm ahead of Crimea’s planned Sunday referendum to leave Ukraine and join Russia. Yet as Associated Press has reported: “The Group of 7 world leaders say they won’t recognize results of a referendum for the Crimea region to split from Ukraine and join Russia. A statement from the seven nations released from […]
Oil markets have weakened significantly since they fell out of their major ‘triangle’ formation earlier this month. WTI is already within the forecast $60-80/bbl range although, as the chart shows, Brent still maintains a $10/bbl premium at $90/bbl. Of course, charts can only display the change in sentiment and direction. They cannot explain why it […]
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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 as 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.