Think back over the past 5 years. Can you remember a single time when oil supplies were actually difficult to find? If you can’t, then you have the same memory as the blog. Official statistics support this view. Thus last week’s US EIA report noted that “U.S. crude oil inventories are near the upper limit […]
Tag Archives | pensions
We all hope to live long enough to receive a pension. But few of us have any real idea of how much money is needed to fund our retirement. Many happily assume that savings of $250k, for example, will easily fund round-the-world travel and major home improvements, whilst also providing plenty of spending money each […]
The chart above should be of great interest to anyone who hopes to retire on a pension. It should also be required reading for any executives planning their business portfolio for the future. Published by the Financial Times, it shows the actual performance of pension funds in selected OECD countries since 2001: • The blue […]
There has never been any fundamental basis for the rise in oil prices over the past 3 years: • At no time has there been any actual shortage of product • In fact, inventories have always been at comfortable levels They rose only for two reasons: • The investment banks found they could make a […]
Pensions were one of the great inventions of the past century. Now the European Central Bank (ECB) has issued a ‘wake-up call’ on the affordability issues that lie ahead. The reason is very simple. As we note in ‘Boom, Gloom and the New Normal’, pensions were introduced first introduced in Germany in 1889, and then […]
Increasing life expectancy is an enormous benefit for today’s population. We can all, whether in developed or developing countries, expect to live a decade or more longer than our grandparents’ generation. Yet pension systems haven’t adapted to this change. The money we now save is still only enough to pay for a few years of […]
Wall Street analysts have their bonuses to consider at this time of year. So it is no surprise that they are talking up the prospects for the Christmas season – the peak shopping period of the year in the West. But those involved in shipping goods don’t see the same rosy picture: • In August, […]
Next week, the blog publishes Chapter 5 of its ‘Boom, Gloom and the New Normal’ eBook, co-authored with John Richardson. This looks in detail at the major changes taking place in demand patterns as the BabyBoomers (those born between 1956-70) enter the 55+ age group. This cohort already includes 272 million people, 29% of the […]
The pension funding crisis is causing problems for companies, as life expectancy increases. So the blog was interested to learn that drinks giant Diageo is to hand over whisky worth £500m ($750m) to its pension fund, to help bridge the deficit. Apparently the pensioners won’t be expected to drink it, in lieu of their pension. […]
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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.