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The pandemic has skewed economic statistics around the world, leaving governments and economists struggling to determine policy and performance at a crucial point in the crisis.

“Just when policymakers have to make some of the most important decisions on the economic effects of Covid-19 vaccines, and on lifting restrictions and stimulus to fuel recovery, official and unofficial data are giving inconsistent and potentially misleading signals.

“Problems in data collection, the effects of coronavirus support policies themselves and a breakdown in previously cast-iron relationships between data and business performance are making accurate assessments elusive.”

https://www.ft.com/content/3e0a81a9-85b3-47a6-a480-445407024899


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Inflation risks are mounting in the U.S. after unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus, according to economists who are also growing increasingly concerned about a corresponding surge in government debt

“Earlier this month lawmakers effectively added to the U.S. budget deficit when they enacted a new $1.9 trillion economic stimulus measure.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-22/u-s-inflation-risks-mount-along-with-debt-concern-survey-shows


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To help Venezuelans, Biden can go beyond granting temporary immigration status

“According to the United Nations, 5.4 million Venezuelans have fled their country for political and economic reasons. Most have crossed borders to Colombia and Brazil… but many have come to the US as well.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/21/opinions/biden-venezuelans-tps-amanda-mattingly/index.html


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Cubans are embarking on treacherous sea journeys as the economic crisis worsens… a worsening economic climate could push more Cubans to make the desperate voyage to the US, despite having lost their preferential status.

In 2020, the economy shrank by 11%, according to Cuban government figures…”

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/19/americas/cubans-dangerous-journey-latam-intl/index.html


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The Biden administration is reportedly considering sending migrants to states near the Canadian border for processing amid a rush of attempted crossings at the southern border.

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is requesting planes that would allow it to transport the migrants to the northern states, The Washington Post reported Friday.”

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/544094-biden-team-considering-sending-migrants-to-canadian-border-for


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The Calgary Police Service says it strongly condemns racism and hate, releasing a statement Sunday after more anti-lockdown protests over the weekend.

“Police said there was a “verbal and physical confrontation” between two groups away from a protest on an unidentified date.”

https://globalnews.ca/news/7710572/calgary-police-condemn-racism-weekend-protests/


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Each day of lockdown is costing the UK economy more than £500million, according to research for the Daily Mail.

“The Centre for Economics and Business Research found that output is £521million a day lower than it was before the pandemic. One in four businesses remains closed and six million workers are on furlough.”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9386907/The-521m-DAY-hit-economy-Thats-cost-lockdown-British-businesses.html


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Almost one in 10 Londoners are set to be unemployed by the end of the year as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the economy, grim new figures have revealed…

“… a worst case scenario could result in unemployment hitting 11.8 per cent.”

https://www.cityam.com/almost-one-in-10-londoners-to-be-unemployed-by-the-end-of-the-year/


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UK Police came under attack from demonstrators as a rally in Bristol against plans to increase powers for dealing with peaceful protests spilled over into violence.

“The “Kill the Bill” event in Bristol saw a police station attacked, officers suffer broken bones and a number of police vehicles set alight.”

https://news.sky.com/story/kill-the-bill-protests-spill-over-into-violence-in-bristol-12253138


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Protests continued across France on Sunday against Islamophobia and a controversial bill that has been criticized for targeting Muslims.

“Demonstrators took to streets in the capital Paris, Marseille, Lille, Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Lyon.”

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/france-protests-against-controversial-bill-continue/2183676


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Demonstrators took to the streets in several European cities on Saturday to protest Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, with clashes between demonstrators and police erupting in the German city of Kassel while in London, police arrested dozens of people for breaching pandemic restrictions.

Protests also erupted in Austria, Belgium, Britain, Croatia, Finland, Poland, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland as European authorities confront a third coronavirus wave.”

https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20210321-anti-lockdown-protests-erupt-across-europe-as-tempers-fray-over-tightening-restrictions


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Outlook darkens for Europe’s virus-stricken economy

“Economists are cutting growth forecasts for the eurozone economy as a third wave of Covid-19 infections and vaccination delays spur tighter restrictions in several countries including France, Italy and Germany.”

https://www.ft.com/content/e818cea3-998f-4eef-ac0f-8f11894ac9af


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European Banks Urged to Recognize Loan Losses Following Covid… EBA’s Campa expects ‘significant’ increase in bad loan ratios

“Campa’s position and recent warnings from the European Central Bank show that European authorities are preparing for the full effect of the pandemic to reverberate across the economy once temporary relief measures expire. The EBA is also resuming stress tests of banks this year.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-22/european-banks-urged-to-recognize-loan-losses-following-covid


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The ECB’s Financial Self-Destruction… At a time of emerging lockdowns in the rest of the world, the EU is badly behind in its vaccination programme and is unlikely to fully emerge from its lockdowns before next winter, and possibly beyond…

The only thing that holds the Commission together is the magic money tree that is the ECB… It really is a horror show in the making.”

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4415251-the-ecbs-financial-self-destruction


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Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Istanbul on Saturday after Turkey pulled out of an international agreement designed to protect women from domestic violence. The move has sparked outrage both in Turkey and around the world.

“Demonstrators voiced their anger at the U-turn by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after originally Turkey ratified the treaty in 2011.”

https://www.euronews.com/2021/03/21/protests-over-turkey-s-withdrawal-from-women-s-treaty


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Turkey’s currency has tumbled as much as 14% after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sacked the country’s central bank governor over the weekend.

“Naci Agbal had been credited as a key force in pulling the lira back from historic lows… Erdogan replaced him in a surprise move on Saturday, the third central bank governor exit in under two years.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56479702


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Emerging markets may be about to enter a fresh period of volatility as central banks struggle to hold inflation in check while keeping the growth fires burning

“…hikes in borrowing costs in Russia, Turkey and Brazil underscored the dilemma. Policy makers in Thailand, South Africa and Mexico are among those meeting to decide rates this week.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-21/emerging-markets-caught-in-flux-as-central-banks-walk-tightrope


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China’s Crusade Against Risk Is Tormenting Financial Markets… Divining the targets of Beijing’s latest de-risking campaign is becoming an essential trading strategy.

“Those who failed to take heed of warnings about asset bubbles by officials were steamrolled by a $1.3 trillion rout in Chinese equities, with the most popular stocks bearing the brunt of the selloff.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-21/china-s-crusade-against-risk-is-tormenting-financial-markets


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Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil exporter, is no longer the world’s most profitable company.

“After a pandemic year that slashed fossil fuel prices—and drove up demand for consumer technology—that distinction now falls to Apple.”

https://qz.com/1987007/saudi-aramco-is-no-longer-the-worlds-most-profitable-company/


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Risky US oil companies snap up $20bn in junk bond record

“Lowly rated US energy companies that struggled for survival last year are finding renewed optimism among investors after a surge in oil prices, helping them raise a record amount of debt to fend off bankruptcy.”

https://www.ft.com/content/03173caa-2622-4e68-bbaf-b6e56d856042


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The world’s largest airlines have built up a mountain of more than $300bn in net debt, a sign the pandemic will hamper recovery for years as carriers face paying back huge bills from rescue financing and state support…

“Recovery may take years as industry grapples with rescue finance and state loan bills.”

https://www.ft.com/content/0a334f3e-3bb3-4ff3-96ed-39a5b3fe821b


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Unvaccinated sailors risk deepening global supply chain crisis

“Of the world’s 1.7m seafarers, 900,000 are from developing nations, where vaccines might not be available for all until 2024, according to the International Chamber of Shipping, a trade association.”

https://www.ft.com/content/72feaabd-5f94-40ad-9073-0178db969b23


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Renesas Electronics, one of the world’s largest makers of chips for the automotive industry, has warned that a fire at one of its factories could have “a massive impact” on global semiconductor supplies and halt production for at least a month.

The timing of Friday’s fire at the advanced chip facility in Japan could not be worse for carmakers, which were already wrestling with widespread disruption to supply chains caused by the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the US cold snap that led to mass blackouts in Texas [and the drought in Taiwan].”

https://www.ft.com/content/51762983-00bc-4017-aeab-12be802c3cc5


Central banks’ contest with the markets: Investors are betting that loose monetary policy cannot lastthe policy dilemma of markets front-running the economy is sharpening. Other central banks are facing it too.”

https://www.ft.com/content/a9041dd8-9e5e-40e7-9949-0376877c15a1


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Amid the rash of Covid-19 anniversaries, it was easy to miss that the pandemic’s scariest financial moment just turned one. On March 19 last year… the market looked to have broken down. For some reason there had been massive selling of Treasuries at a time of extreme high risk, which would normally be exactly when investors would be expected to buy.

Getting to the bottom of that accident is proving maddeningly difficult.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-03-22/bond-market-s-weird-and-scary-2020-breakdown-is-still-a-mystery


You can read the previous ‘Economic’ thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with a ‘Climate’ thread.

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