Archive | December, 2012

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The blog in 2012

The blog is now close to celebrating its 150,000th visit. Its readership also continues to grow and it is now read in 146 countries. Readers remain very loyal, with 50% visiting every week and 28% visiting on a daily basis. The main event of the year has been the completion of its eBook, ‘Boom, Gloom […]

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Italy’s oil consumption back at 1967 levels

The wrong diagnosis can often make the problem worse not better, as doctors know very well. But the message hasn’t got across to policy makers. They refuse to believe that ageing populations spend less and save more – even though all the evidence confirms this commonsense observation. So instead, they have convinced themselves the world […]

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“Growth won’t save us – there won’t be any”

Merryn Somerset Webb, editor-in-chief of Money Week and also a Financial Times columnist, has devoted her latest post to the implications of the ageing Western population: “I can’t be sure of much about next year. But here’s one fact you can’t argue with: 2013 will be the year that we get old. “How’s that? 2013, […]

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The Cycle of Deflation continues to develop

In January, the blog suggested that political issues would continue to gain increased importance. Its argument was that the strong economy between 1982-2007, when the US suffered just 16 months of recession, meant political and social issues took a back seat. Money was easily available to ‘solve’ most problems. Since then the global economy has […]

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Global auto sales remain slow as China boosts exports

Auto sales continue to struggle in 3 of the world’s main markets. The chart shows combined sales by month in China, US, EU, Japan and India. These were 76% of global demand in 2011. Overall, volume is up 6% versus last year: • China’s sales are up 7% at 13.1m, as its economy remains slow […]

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China’s leaders aim for “greater political courage and wisdom”

China’s new leaders have made a good start. Its too early to say whether they will really tackle the key issues, but the change in style is noteworthy in itself: • New premier Li Keqiang made his first official trip to Shenzhen, visiting the statue of Deng Xiaoping along with new president Xi Jinping • […]

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US Fed’s doubling of QE3 fails to impress markets

Over the past 4 years, 18 men (no women are involved) have run the global response to the financial crisis, as politicians refused to take a lead. Instead, the world’s leading central bankers felt forced to establish their own Economic Consultative Committee (ECC). They represent countries comprising 75% of the global economy ($51tn). They now […]

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High oil prices present recession risk

Oil prices are heading for a second successive year of record annual prices. Last year, Brent averaged $111/bbl and it is averaging similar levels so far in 2012. History suggests this is very bad news for consumers, for companies and for the global economy. The reason is that consumers in most major economies are now […]

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ACS Chemistry & the Economy webinar today

The blog’s regular Chemistry & the Economy webinar with the American Chemical Society (ACS) takes place today at 14.00 hours Eastern Time. As always, it will be moderated by friend and colleague Bill Carroll – chair of the ACS and Vice President of Occidental Chemical. Today’s webinar will look back over 2012, and highlight the […]

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Demographics drive robot development in Japan and China

Changing demographics are leading to major growth in robot development in both Japan and China: • In Japan, the ageing population means there is a shortage of people to do the heavy lifting required when people become ill • Equally important, as shown in the above Financial Times video, is the role of innovation in […]

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