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How Debt and Climate Change Pose a ‘Systemic Risk to the Global Economy’

“How does a country deal with climate disasters when it’s drowning in debt? Not very well, it turns out. Especially not when a global pandemic clobbers its economy.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/07/climate/debt-climate-change.html


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Nearly a quarter of all unemployed workers in the U.S. have been out of work for at least a year, a stretch of joblessness dating to the early days of the Covid pandemic.

The dynamic speaks to persistent — and rising — long-term joblessness even as the national unemployment rate falls.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/06/24percent-of-unemployed-workers-have-been-jobless-for-over-a-year.html


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Yellen’s Global Tax Plan is on the level of Trump’s Trade War with China: If you expected the administration of President Joe Biden to be a return to normalcy on trade issues after the drama of Trump-era tariff battles and tweet diplomacy, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has other ideas.

That’s because her plans announced Monday to introduce a global minimum corporate tax rate represent quite as much of a shock to the international economic order as Trump’s decision to wage trade war on China.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-04-06/yellen-s-global-tax-plan-is-on-the-level-of-trump-s-trade-war-with-china


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The U.S.-China Trade War Isn’t Over Yet… observers who have been hoping the new administration will mark a return to normalcy on trade issues after the drama of tariff battles and tweet diplomacy of the Trump-era will be sorely disappointed.

“…the U.S.-China cold war remains alive and well despite a change of guard.”

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/The-US-China-Trade-War-Isnt-Over-Yet.html


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Trump’s steel tariffs could be a big boost to Biden’s infrastructure push

China is by far the world’s leading producer of steel: In 2019, the country produced 996.3 million tonnes, with India in second at 111.2. Japan, U.S., and Russia rounded out the top five…”

https://money.yahoo.com/trumps-steel-tariffs-biden-infrastructure-201252383.html


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After a year of head-spinning volatility in American petro-diplomacy, a reversion to normal is under way. The US wants cheap oil again.

““I had a productive call with Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman al-Saud today,” tweeted US energy secretary Jennifer Granholm last week. “We reaffirmed the importance of international co-operation to ensure affordable and reliable sources of energy for consumers.””

https://www.ft.com/content/53580ff1-670b-43ba-b7a6-b7bccc6c191f


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The Trump-era order Biden is using to turn away most migrants: Title 42, invoked last year amid COVID pandemic, allows US to immediately return adults and families at the border…

“In February alone, US authorities sent more than 72,000 people back across the southern border.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/4/7/the-trump-era-rule-biden-is-using-to-turn-asylum-seekers-away


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Northern Ireland executive to meet after sixth night of unrest

“Boris Johnson also condemned the violence. The prime minister tweeted: “I am deeply concerned by the scenes of violence in Northern Ireland, especially attacks on PSNI who are protecting the public and businesses…”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/apr/07/bus-set-on-fire-in-belfast-on-sixth-night-of-unrest-in-northern-ireland


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Unemployment has continued to rocket among older workers [UK] with another 107,000 over-50s made redundant during the lastest lockdown.

The redundancy rate for those older than 50 has been higher than all other age groups.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/over-50s-unemployment-soars-another-100000-pushed-workforce/


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Turkey sells gold amid currency crisis

“Turkey sold almost 11.7 tons of gold in February as its currency was hammered by an ongoing economic crisis, new data show.

“While central banks were net buyers of the precious metal during February, Turkey bucked the upward trend…”

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1839031/business-economy


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India joins the money printers:

“QE – once the preserve of reserve currency central banks, is now becoming pretty mainstream. India yesterday joined the ranks of Indonesia and the Philippines in Asia who have dabbled with this policy.”

https://think.ing.com/opinions/india-joins-the-money-printers/


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Argentina’s pandemic strategy shifts for second wave – Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez was clear when COVID-19 first hit the country early last year: saving lives at all costs trumped any economic concerns.

“Now facing a second wave of infections, the South American nation has adjusted its strategy to prioritize protecting its fragile economy.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-argentina-economy/economy-in-focus-argentinas-pandemic-strategy-shifts-for-second-wave-idUSKBN2BU1HS?il=0


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A Cornered Bolsonaro Is Bad News for Brazil’s Democracy:

“As Brazil heads into a perfect storm—an out-of-control pandemic combined with economic collapse and growing political discontent—Bolsonaro appears to be surrounding himself with loyalists who are willing to protect him and his four sons, all of whom are under investigation for crimes ranging from embezzlement of public funds to nepotism and money-laundering.

“This could have troubling implications for Bolsonaro’s political fortunes and, more importantly, for Brazil’s democracy.”

https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/29550/a-cornered-bolsonaro-is-bad-news-for-brazilian-democracy


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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has acknowledged his country was facing the worst-ever situation as he addressed thousands of grassroots members of his ruling party during a major political conference in Pyongyang…

“Experts say Kim is facing perhaps his toughest moment as he approaches a decade in rule…”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/kim-says-north-korea-facing-its-worstever-situation-kim-jong-un-north-korea-south-korea-seoul-pyongyang-b1827671.html


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Myanmar teeters toward state collapse and civil war

“In a dramatic development, the anti-coup movement won the backing of multiple militia groups that claim to represent various marginalized ethnic minorities scattered around the country’s borderlands.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/04/07/myanmar-protests-coup-analysis/


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Egypt announced on Tuesday that the latest round of talks with Ethiopia and Sudan over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Kinshasa ended with no progress being made

Egypt fears the dam will imperil its supplies of Nile water…”

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1838451/middle-east


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Yemen at ‘tipping point’ as second Covid-19 wave hits war-torn country just weeks ahead of expected cholera season… In the past month, coronavirus cases have increased 22 fold in the past month…

“The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warned that more than 16 million people in Yemen will go hungry this year, with some half a million already living in famine-like conditions.”

https://www.itv.com/news/2021-04-07/yemen-at-tipping-point-as-second-covid-19-wave-hits-war-torn-country-just-weeks-ahead-of-expected-cholera-season


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Record Number of People in DR Congo Face Acute Hunger

“The World Food Program reports a record 27.3 million people in Democratic Republic of the Congo are facing acute hunger and are in urgent need of food aid.”

https://www.voanews.com/africa/record-number-people-dr-congo-face-acute-hunger


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Government Admits Zimbabwe Dollar Collapse, Pegs Passport Fees In US$…

“The government on Wednesday admitted the Zimbabwe dollar has indeed collapsed, adding it was not helping in procuring passport production material which have seen the travel document applications’ backlog surpassing 250,000…

“Thousands of Zimbabweans require travel documents to escape the country worsening economic and political crises.”

https://www.newzimbabwe.com/govt-admits-zim-dollar-collapse-pegs-passport-fees-in-us/


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Hunger spreading as Mozambique crisis reaches tipping point

“….thousands [are] sheltering in displacement camps with limited food supplies across Cabo Delgado, where an armed group known locally as al-Shabab has plundered villages and towns since 2017.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/4/6/hunger-spreading-as-mozambique-crisis-reaches-tipping-point


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Lex Greensill boasted to staff that his company had “enormous” liquidity just three weeks before the finance firm collapsed into insolvency, according to reports…

The Australian financier reassured Greensill Capital staff in an internal video on 15 February that a funds held by Credit Suisse were robust, the Financial Times reported.”

https://www.cityam.com/lex-greensill-boasted-of-companys-enormous-liquidity-before-collapse/


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Morgan Stanley dumped $5 billion in Archegos’ stocks the night before massive fire sale hit rivals..

Morgan Stanley sold about $5 billion in shares from Archegos’ doomed bets to a small group of hedge funds late Thursday, March 25, according to people who requested anonymity to speak frankly about the transaction.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/06/morgan-stanley-dumped-5-billion-in-archegos-stocks-before-fire-sale.html


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Ballooning global debts need to be restructured before it is too late… The world is in a monstrous fiscal bind

“I suspect that global debt ratios have passed a point of no return.

“At some juncture two or three big beasts will get into trouble at the same time and trouble will spread.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/04/08/ballooning-global-debts-need-restructured-late/


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Underneath the global economic recovery lurks concerns about debt that have intensified through the pandemic, including a lack of transparency around the debt and its conditions, as well as the risks building up outside of the banking sector

“While the unprecedented amount of fiscal stimulus pumped into the global economy last year averted a debt crisis, economists at a virtual briefing suggested it was too early to sound an all-clear, especially amid concerns some countries may not be able to grow fast enough to deal with their burgeoning debt levels.”

https://www.barrons.com/articles/debt-risk-lurks-under-uneven-global-recovery-heres-where-the-imf-is-looking-51617749342


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

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