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Chemicals and the Economy

More Greek debt passes to the European Central Bank

Stock markets soared after the eurozone meeting this week. But the head of the German central bank warned “The envisaged leverage instruments are similar to those which were among the origins of the crisis, because they temporarily masked the risks.” It is clearly far too early to assume that EU leaders have really decided to […]

Oil prices remain in their triangle

A year ago, Petromatrix highlighted the short-term ‘triangle’ that was being drawn by oil prices. This describes a period when sellers and buyers are evenly balanced, and neither side can gain momentum to take prices in their favoured direction. It usually leads to a sharp move, either up or down, when one side wins. At […]

Budgeting for Austerity – the Opportunities

The 2012-14 Budget period offers great opportunities, as well as great challenges. Will companies continue to focus on short-term developments in financial markets? Michael Porter’s Shared Value concept instead offers us a powerful model for creating future growth. Will policymakers stop focusing on the 24 hour news cycle and instead begin to set out the […]

Budgeting for Austerity – the Challenges

The 2012-14 Budget period offers great opportunities, as well as great challenges. In the short-term, the challenges may well seem more important. But they should not blind companies to the fact that the opportunities have probably never been greater. Of course, it is hard to be very optimistic about the shorter-term outlook for the global […]

US financial markets defy gravity

Blog readers can choose their favourite leading indicator this week. In financial markets, the US S&P 500 index continued its recent rally. If you believe the bullish analysts; a Greek default, lengthy arguments between Germany and France, and the need to expand the Eurozone bailout fund into the €1-2trn range ($1.4-2.8trn), are all good news. […]

Budgeting for Austerity, and New Opportunities

SUMMARY The global economy does not seem to be in good shape. Policymakers seem to fail to grasp the importance of the demographic changes that are underway in both the Western and emerging economies. Yet demographics drive demand. The result of this failure by policymakers is that the world seems to be heading towards a […]

Europe’s austerity packages start to bite

Its the ‘big picture’ issues that we need to watch these days, no longer detailed forecasts of individual product growth rates. They are driving chemical product sales in every major region. The chart above from the Financial Times highlights Europe’s drive towards austerity. Long gone are the days of the 2009 G20 meeting, when everyone […]

Lower earnings, pensions, hit US consumers

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, […]

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