Problems in the housing market aren’t just confined to the US, UK, Germany and China. The average house price/income ratio is now back to the highest level since records began. And the problem for homeowners is that potential buyers are already starting to disappear as mortgage rates rise – and affordability reduces.
Chemicals and the Economy
Energy and financial markets are exacerbating the risks ahead. Oil prices at current levels – as the chart confirms, they now account for more than 3% of global GDP – have historically led to recession as the chart shows. The reason is that consumers have to cut back on their discretionary spending, which drives economic growth, in order to heat their homes and travel to work and school. Today’s high levels of natural gas prices add to this risk.
This is why we are facing a K-shaped recession. Companies and investors have a difficult time ahead. They not only have to navigate a potentially major downturn. But they also have to completely reposition their portfolios for the New Normal world that will follow.
OPEC+ oil producers saw prices tumble $10/bbl (13%) on Friday as the world woke up to the fact that the next phase of the pandemic may be underway. And this is not the only challenge that they face. OIL PRICES HAVE ONLY BEEN HELD UP BY MAJOR SUPPLY CUTBACKS The first is the challenge from […]
“What goes up, comes down” is usually a good motto when prices start to reach for the skies. As the great investor Bob Farrell noted in his 10 Rules, they usually go further than you think. But they don’t then correct by going sideways. The charts showing US lumber prices, China coal prices and the […]
China’s economy has been ‘subprime on steroids’ since the financial crisis in 2008. And essentially, this has morphed into a giant Ponzi scheme, where some property developers used deposits paid by new buyers to finance the construction of apartments they’d already sold. Now the world’s most indebted property developer, Evergrande, has warned it may default […]
‘Business as usual’ seems a most unlikely outcome as we look forward over the next 6 months. The pandemic may well bring further trials for us to endure. We also have to set budgets for the next few years, and so we will need new strategies and business models to respond to the Net Zero […]
In January, “everyone knew” that inflation was about to take off, and that the US$ was going to collapse. Last week, the great Bob Farrell’s Rule No 9 proved its worth, yet again. US interest rates fell sharply and the US$ bottomed for this cycle. The two charts above tell the story – because they […]
Everyone who has ever played the Beer Distribution Game on a training course knows what is happening in supply chains today. A small increase in underlying demand is rapidly leading to a massive increase in ‘apparent demand’. As the New York Times reports, “the pandemic has disrupted every stage of the (supply chain) journey.” And […]
Each year, it seems there is only one candidate for Chart of the Year. And 2020 is no exception. It has to be the CAPE Index developed by Nobel Prize winner, Prof Robert Shiller. As the chart shows, it is nearly at an all-time high with Tesla’s addition to the S&P 500. Only the peak […]