“The 2020s are set to be a decade of dramatic economic and social upheaval, reversing many of the trends of the past 40 years, according to one of the world’s largest banks.
“In what it describes as “the decade of peak”, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) analysts say a range of economic and social challenges are “all heading to a boiling point” next decade.
“”We enter the next decade with interest rates at 5,000-year lows, the largest asset bubble in history, a planet that is heating up, and a deflationary profile of debt, disruption and demographics,” the report warns.
“”We will end it with nearly 1 billion people added to the world, a rapidly ageing population, up to 800 million people facing the threat of job automation and the environment on the brink of catastrophic change.””
“Irish bankers are beginning to display echoes of pre-crisis hubris, as pressure mounts on regulators to ease back on checks and controls introduced in the past decade to prevent another financial crash, according to a senior central banker.”
“Employment in the UK has fallen at its fastest rate in four years amid growing evidence that a slowing economy is taking its toll on the labour market.
“Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that pay growth had fallen back in the three months to September, leading to speculation that the jobs market is past its peak.”
“Police carried out an operation to break up a protest by Catalan pro-independence activists on Tuesday, but the highway blockade reformed just hours later.
“French, Spanish and Catalan police intervened to clear the protest at a border point on the AP-7 highway, which blocked traffic and caused major delays for over 24 hours.”
“Zimbabweans finally got access to new low-denomination currency on Tuesday that authorities hope will end chronic cash shortages, but banks maintained an existing weekly withdrawal limit of $20, frustrating many customers…
“Shortages of cash, foreign currency, fuel and power are the most visible signs of the southern African nation’s worst economic crisis since 2008, when hyperinflation forced the government to ditch its currency.”
“Lebanon’s banks will stay shut for yet another day as the impact of the ongoing protests is felt on the economy.
“Banks were supposed to reopen on Tuesday but remained closed, impacting cash availability and overseas transfers.”
“India’s largest lender, State Bank of India, forecasts that the country’s second quarter gross domestic product growth will be 4.2%, as the country grapples with slowdown on many fronts.
“In the first quarter India’s gross domestic product growth was 5%, the lowest in six years, and this is expected to further decelerate…”
“Police in Hong Kong say the months of violent protests are bringing the city to “the brink of total collapse”, as clashes continued yet again today.
“Riot police fired rubber bullets, water cannon and tear gas at crowds who rallied outside university campuses and in the central business district.”
“Chile’s currency dropped to a record low on Tuesday as hundreds of thousands took to the streets with anti-government demonstrations showing no signs of abating.
“Citizens marched peacefully in Santiago, gathering in the capital’s Plaza Italia district, brandishing both national and Mapuche indigenous group flags. Nearby, protesters confronted police, who used water cannons and tear gas to disperse them.”
“Natural gas exploration by global oil companies in Bolivia, key to growing the country’s sagging economy, has stopped amid an escalating political crisis that has left the Andean nation rudderless.
“Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA and Repsol SA have all stopped or severely limited drilling on exploration wells, said Alvaro Rios, a former hydrocarbons minister and director of Gas Energy Latin America, a consultancy.”
“Argentina must repay $5 billion by the end of 2019. It doesn’t have much to work with. While the country’s foreign reserves total a still somewhat robust $43 billion, that figure shrinks markedly once untouchable assets such as dollar deposits of everyday Argentines and a credit line from China are stripped out.
“Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News estimate that the amount that policy makers can actually freely spend is no more than $12.5 billion. One of the analysts, Siobhan Morden of Amherst Pierpont Securities, puts the figure at as little as $6.5 billion.”
“The global economy is going through an investment drought mainly brought about by trade uncertainty causing a steep decline in growth, the Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has said.
“The organisation in Paris is due to release its bi-yearly global economic forecast next week.”
“Even as the market ascends to new heights, wealthy investors are bracing for a turbulent period that could produce a “significant drop” in equity benchmarks in the near term.
“That is according to a recent survey produced by UBS Wealth Management that finds that some 55% of deep-pocketed investors are preparing for a drop in the market before the end of the 2020…”
“….the current rally [in the stock markets] has reached a precarious cornerstone in recent weeks and months. Declining volatility and extreme levels of “greed” are also evidence of the final stage of the rally.
“The duration of this growth is now mostly dependent on the creativity of central bank policies. The central banks still have the opportunity to extend the rally of the markets for months ahead. However, they are risking to get an even less manageable drop in the future, capable of “correcting” all the growth of the last decade.”
“The world’s economic model has “broken down” as the business practices of multinational corporations and digital platforms put a growing number of workers at risk of exploitation and modern slavery, according to a leading labor rights campaigner…
“About two billion people – more than 60% of the world’s workforce – are in informal work, leaving them vulnerable to being underpaid, overworked and treated like slaves, she said.”