G7 Summits began in the crisis years of the mid-1970s, bringing Western leaders together to tackle the big issues of the day – oil price crises, the Cold War with the Soviet Union and many others. Then, as stability returned in the 1980s with the BabyBoomer-led economic SuperCycle, they became forward-looking. The agenda moved to […]
Tag Archives | Germany
“We should not forget the historic nature of what is at stake. “Its about whether a country can leave the euro zone and what that means for the future of an incomplete and flawed European Monetary Union. “Its about whether there may soon be a failed state in southeastern Europe with all the geopolitical consequences […]
My 4 May post was titled “‘Sell in May and go away?’ as US, German bond yields jump“. Since then, US interest rates have continued to soar and the US stock market is starting to wobble, as I discussed last week. Now emerging markets are in the line of fire. $9.3bn was withdrawn last week – […]
The blog’s 6-monthly review of global stock markets highlights the narrow nature of the advance since September 2008, when the blog first began analysing developments. It shows their performance since the pre-Crisis peak for each market, and the performance of the US 30-year Treasury bond. Remarkably, only the US, India, Germany and the UK stock markets […]
The blog, like most people, doesn’t like change. Change creates uncertainty, and makes us all nervous. Thus in recent years it has privately hoped that its forecasts about (a) the inevitability of the subprime crisis and (b) the transition to the New Normal, would prove wrong. Life would be so much easier if nothing changed. Thus it is distressed to see developments at […]
Germany is the world’s 4th largest economy ($3.4tn), and so is the next to be studied in the blog’s series on the impact of demographics. Its population is almost as old as Japan’s: Germany’s median age is 45.7 years, compared with Japan at 45.8 years. The reason is shown in the chart above: German women have […]
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 […]
Last week saw the 20th EU ‘Crisis Summit’. Like the previous 19, it achieved little. Yet everyone at the meeting knew what had to be agreed: • A banking union which operates across national borders • The issuing of joint Eurozone bonds, guaranteed by all euro members • Adoption of a Federal budget and economic […]
April was another bad month for EU auto sales. As the chart shows, based on ACEA data, sales were down 7% in April (red square) and down 8% versus 2011 (green line) in January – April. The only bright spot remains Germany, were sales were up 2% in the Jan-Apr period. It is now 24% […]
New analysis by Bloomberg supports the blog’s view last month that the arrest of former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) probably marked a critical turning-point in the Eurozone debt crisis Not only was DSK no longer able to persuade German chancellor Merkel that the problems needed just “a little more time, a little more money”. […]
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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 as 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.