Uncle Karl is back in fashion

Business, Economics, Europe, Japan, Singapore, US


Yes, indeed, with all the talk of the collapse of capitalism and with liberal economists running for cover, dear old Karl might once again be the flavour of the month.

Oh how I remember those dewy-eyed days, standing on the picket lines in the pouring rain during the 1984-1985 Miner’s Strike in the UK, believing passionately in the noble cause of the downtrodden working man as he (and she, of course – sorry sisters for putting you second) fought against the evil forces of Thatcherism.

Oh how I remember on one such occasion, a miner asking me what I did, to which I replied “a student in English Literature”, to which he replied “what do you produce? Essays? You useless…………(followed by two unmentionably rude words).

And how I remember when the forces of Thatcherism won and the miners were forced to march back to work I waited for some noble and great workers’ song as they marched, some stirring ditty speaking of the struggle against the oppressor and the honour and dignity of honest toil as opposed to the grubby and slimy pursuit of evil money.

Instead all I heard coming out of the TV during the Look North programme was a rendition of that great brain-dead football chant, “here we go, here we go, here we go”.

How our illusions can be shattered and how the illusion that pure capitalism works is also now in ruins.

This is still not The End of History as history never ends.

So why not a sensible compromise between socialism and capitalism – a workable system of regulations versus freedom to innovate? How about the Japanese model, may be, or that which is pursued in Singapore?


Even Middle East budgets are being cut


Middle East budget cuts, margin slide, financial meltdown, China demand, rising ...

Learn more

All those wasted lives - but at least you got your bonus


Mr Obscenely Rich Got Out In Tiime Banker, please look into these eyes, see the ...

Learn more
More posts
Omicron, petchems and the developing world: we might get lucky this time, but maybe not next time

By John Richardson UNTIL ALL of us are adequately vaccinated none of us are sufficiently protected i...

Benzene, the need for a new global Industrial Revolution and the big challenges that lie ahead

By John Richardson THE CHART BELOW shows that 60% of global benzene production in 2021-2040 is forec...

Global polypropylene could also move from inflation to deflation in Q1 next year

By John Richardson WE ALL NEED TO ASK ourselves whether the global patterns in polyethylene (PE) and...

Global polyethylene could move from inflation to deflation by as early as Q1 2022

By John Richardson THE BALTIC DRY INDEX, one of the excellent barometers of overall economic activit...

As China coal shortages end, polyolefins margins reach historic lows on oversupply

By John Richardson AGAIN, DON’T say I didn’t tell you. In my 11 October blog post, having talked...

Dip in Chinese PP exports only temporary with Q1 2022 resurgence looking likely

By John Richardson TRADE DATA when combined with price assessments, supply and demand estimates and ...

Global polyethylene supply could lengthen, becoming a buyers’ market, sooner than many people think

By John Richardson RARELY, IF EVER, have events felt so bafflingly complex in the global polyethylen...

China could either see net imports of 63m tonnes in 2021-2031 or net exports of 18m tonnes!

By John Richardson CONFUSED BY the above chart? Once again I certainly hope so, provided confusion i...


Market Intelligence

ICIS provides market intelligence that help businesses in the energy, petrochemical and fertilizer industries.

Learn more


Across the globe, ICIS consultants provide detailed analysis and forecasting for the petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets.

Learn more

Specialist Services

Find out more about how our specialist consulting services, events, conferences and training courses can help your teams.

Learn more

ICIS Insight

From our news service to our thought-leadership content, ICIS experts bring you the latest news and insight, when you need it.

Learn more