“Central banks have to be mindful that too long a period of very low interest rates can have undesirable consequences in the context of ageing societies. For pensioners, and those saving ahead of retirement, low interest rates may not be an inducement to bring consumption forward. They may on the contrary be an inducement to […]
Tag Archives | Greece
Who would pay the bill, if Greece defaulted on its current €320bn debt ($340bn)? This is no longer just a theoretical question. Of course, we have all known since 2012 that Greece would never be able to repay its debt. But the EU covered up this hard truth by a ‘pretend and extend’ policy: The default deal deferred repayment […]
We all learnt one crucial lesson from Syriza’s victory in the Greek election last week - voters can halt the European Central Bank (ECB). Or in other words, protest coalitions can trump elite consensus. In places like Spain and France, this effect may not work through immediately, but it is being absorbed. Thus Greece and the Eurozone crisis […]
A political earthquake hit Europe in the European Union elections on Sunday night: For the first time since the War, mainstream parties were beaten in major countries In France, the National Front won 25% of the vote, with conservatives 21% and ruling socialist party only 14% In the UK, the Independence Party (UKIP) won 28%, […]
Back in April, the blog suggested that capital controls might remain for rather longer in Cyprus than the “few days or weeks” suggested by the central bank. And a month later, the bank was still unrealistically claiming they would be lifted “as soon as possible”. Today, the blog’s own view that they could be in place “for […]
On 7 September 2008, in its now famous warning that a financial crisis was imminent, the blog noted that “‘Deleveraging’ is an ugly word, and it has ugly implications“. The chart above shows just how ugly these implications are becoming for the PIIGS countries (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain). It is based on data produced […]
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 […]
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 […]
Greece’s debt default saga seems never-ending. And it is tempting to hope that it only matters to those suffering in Greece and the PIIGS countries (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain). But a look at auto sales trends since 2005 gives a different picture. As the chart shows, based on ACEA data, sales in the 5 […]
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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.