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Chemicals and the Economy

Fed sees US recovery, chemicals see weak markets

And then there were two….  When history comes to be written, 29 April 2011 will have a strong claim to be selected as the date that the central bank liquidity programmes began to visibly fail. Most executives joined the workforce during the 1983-2007 SuperCycle, and came to believe that constant growth was now “normal”.  The US economy saw just […]

Boom/Gloom Index remains in no-man’s-land

This month’s IeC Boom/Gloom Index continues to flash warning signs over the state of global financial markets: The US S&P 500 Index (red line) and other markets have been supported by $10tn of central bank liquidity programmes (orange arrows) since March 2009 In addition, individual governments have spent further $tns on stimulus packages to support consumer […]

Global operating rates continue to slip

There has been “$33tn in fiscal and monetary stimulus” since the financial crisis began in 2007 according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  Yet global chemical operating rates (OR%) remain well below their 91.1% average since 1987, and are also lower than in 2012, as the above chart from the American Chemistry Council shows: Global OR% were 87% […]

Rising US interest rates will weaken house prices again

“The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”  These words of wisdom from the great statesman Winston Churchill well describe the US housing market today.  Luckily, thanks to the work of Prof Robert Shiller, we can put them into practice, as the chart shows: Shiller measured prices since 1890, […]

Federal Reserve signals asset price support is ending

The blog was speaking at 2 major financial conferences on Wednesday and Thursday last week.  This provided the perfect opportunity to understand the professionals’ view of recent market events.  The key conclusions were: All felt that the Federal Reserve was planning to end its stimulus They did not believe its later statements that ‘nothing had […]

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