The paradigm shifts are already starting to impact most businesses. China is also changing, and will no longer power global growth. So there are no ‘Business as Usual’ options for the future. Instead, companies have to develop new business models for today’s New Normal world.
Chemicals and the Economy
Bubbles are great fun while they last. But they are much less fun when they burst. For the past 20 years, central bank stimulus has created some of the largest bubbles ever seen. But now, led by developments in Japan and China, they are bursting
The downturn in the global smartphone market highlights the need for companies to focus on the Value segment and Services as the Middle Market disappears. iPhones are now 49% of the booming second-hand market, allowing Apple to gain more Services revenue via its App Store.
Taylor Swift’s concerts are creating massive short-term demand as people reconnect after lockdowns. But the chemical industry is warning that deflation could be round the corner, due to the over-capacity created by 20 years of stimulus
Central banks have spent 15 years telling us that debt and demographics “don’t matter”. They claimed they could always create demand via stimulus. But now the policy has run out of road. Homeowners and stock traders who thought rates would stay low forever, will be the ones to suffer
The Ukraine war highlights how the real world can often be a very messy place. Issues such as geopolitics and demographics aren’t easy to understand. It can be hard to understand the detail of how key industries and markets are operating.
So it’s no surprise that most policymakers have preferred to stay in the world of theory.
Food prices have stayed high due to the disruption caused by the war. They are unlikely to fall back quickly as the war continues and economic volatility intensifies.
Essentially, China’s move to self-sufficiency, and the need to deal with the issue of plastic waste, means there is no ‘business as usual’ option. Winners and Losers are already starting to emerge, as companies react to the challenges of today’s New Normal world.
The Presidential Cycle is now over. Instead, worries about the recession and the US debt ceiling talks are moving centre-stage. But Asian currency markets are sending a warning signal. A rising US dollar and US interest rates, and a falling yen and yuan, could soon raise the risks of a major Asian debt crisis.
Chemicals are telling us that all the world’s major economies are in a major downturn. And the downturn is starting to accelerate as companies cut back spending and fire people. Real estate, autos and other key areas are already suffering along with the banking system.