I am just back from my first World Economic Forum meeting, having been invited to join its global chemicals council. My first impression was astonishment - at the complete disconnect between the real knowledge of the experts at the Forum and today’s “consensus wisdom” . China is a great example. The external consensus still thinks the new leadership is focused […]
Tag Archives | Xi Jinping
As promised yesterday, the blog looks today at the potential Winners and Losers from President Xi Jinping’s ‘China Dream’. It is a complete break from the policies of the previous leadership, which ended up being based on a ‘wealth effect’ created by an unsustainable property bubble. Xi’s programme is emphatically about the longer term. There […]
A new type of leader seem to be starting to emerge in China and India. President Xi Jinping in China, and premier Narendra Modi in India, are not spending much time studying the output of focus groups or investment bank analysts. Nor do they have ‘spin-doctors’ worrying about every phrase on the 24-hour news channels. Instead, they […]
A new article by an IMF economist makes the point that in April 2008, not a single one of the mainstream economic forecasts covered by ‘Consensus Economics’ was forecasting a recession in 2009. The IMF itself expected growth to continue, as did the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development. Even by […]
The above chart is the blog’s simple guide to forecasting China’s auto sales. We know from all the data that most Chinese are far too poor to afford to buy a car out of their income. Average per capita consumer spending in the towns is just $2600/year, after all. While rural incomes are only a […]
The blog’s important eBook, ’Boom, Gloom and the New Normal: How Ageing Western BabyBoomers are Changing Demand Patterns, Again’, was published 3 years ago this month. Co-authored with John Richardson, it identified the major changes taking place in global and national demand patterns: Growth accelerated from the 1980s, as the population became concentrated in the wealth creating 25 – 54 […]
Every now and then, somebody in a senior position says something that really deserves to be noticed. Often this is when they are in a state of Denial. This was the case in the blog’s first post in the Interesting Quotes series, when CitiGroup CEO, Chuck Prince dismissed worries about subprime losses in August 2007, saying: […]
China has been primarily responsible for driving global growth since the Crisis began in 2008. Auto sales, for example, would have seen negative growth world-wide without China. And auto manufacturing is the world’s largest manufacturing industry. The chemical industry has been in a similar position. Whilst China is also now responsible for nearly 50% of global […]
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 […]
Last week the US Federal Reserve announced the second move in its so-called tapering process, and reduced its bond buying by another $10bn/month. But there was only a temporary repeat in stock markets of the enthusiastic response to its first reduction in December. We are thus about to test whether the blog’s theory of ‘two steps and a […]
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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.