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The world is ‘standing on the precipice’ of multiple crises, former UN chief warns

““We are standing on the precipice of all these crises … I hope that global leaders should have far-reaching global visions, that we are in this world together, we are all in this together, otherwise, we will all be a failure. Therefore, I’m really urging political leaders to do their best, lead by example,” said former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/19/ban-ki-moon-world-is-standing-on-the-precipice-of-multiple-crises.html


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Lenders recouped far less from US companies that went bust during the pandemic than in previous economic downturns, a new report has revealed

“The average recovery rate for the holders of bonds and loans was 45 cents on the dollar, rating agency Moody’s found, down from 59 cents in the 2008-09 financial crisis…”

https://www.ft.com/content/9075329d-ef6b-481e-91ee-a8f02ac621d6


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On paper, Americans have never been richer. Their household assets topped $130 trillion at the end of December, up 10% in a year, according to the Federal Reserve [but]

Sooner or later, the day will arrive when much of these apparent riches vanish in a puff of smoke.”

https://www.reuters.com/breakingviews/chancellor-beware-hyperreal-financial-market-2021-05-18/


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Former Washington Mututal CEO sees a housing bubble forming because the Fed is ‘hooked’ on low interest rates

“‘Everybody wants to have asset prices forever going up and the cost of financing to be next to nothing,’ Kerry Killinger says.”

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-former-ceo-of-washington-mutual-foresees-another-housing-bubble-and-he-blames-the-fed-11621287287


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Is the UK heading towards a house price crash?

Annual house price growth in March hit 10.2pc, according to official figures – the highest rate of growth recorded since August 2007. It is a comparison that sparks fears of an overheated market.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/house-prices/uk-heading-towards-house-price-crash/


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Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey said that quantitative easing has not reached its limits, but that he would like to reduce the stimulus to give the bank more tools if there is another economic hit.

“The Bank pumped billions of pounds into buying bonds during the Covid-19 crisis.”

https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/andrew-bailey-quantitative-easing-not-164809966.html


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There’s an inflation timebomb at the heart of our [UK] economy – and I fear it has started to tick

“…the threat of an inflation surge, followed by higher interest rates and a tightening of the amount of money being pumped into the UK economy, is becoming very real… if history teaches us anything, it is that profligate money creation can end badly.”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-9597783/ALEX-BRUMMER-Theres-timebomb-heart-economy-fear-started-tick.html


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Eurozone in double-dip recession as Mediterranean economies risk another lost summer.

“Risk of widening divide between industrialised economies like Germany in the north and tourism-dependent countries like Spain in the south.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/05/18/eurozone-double-dip-recession-mediterranean-economies-risk-another/


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Greece banks on tourists for bad loan relief.

“Rhodes ferry operator Paris Kakas cannot afford another summer lost to the pandemic if he is ever to repay the millions of euros he owes: “When the bank comes asking, we say: sorry.””

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/greece-banks-tourists-bad-loan-relief-2021-05-18/


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ECB warns pandemic debt burden creates financial stability risks.

“The rising debt levels of eurozone governments and companies have made it more likely that economic aftershocks from the coronavirus pandemic could trigger financial instability, the European Central Bank has warned.”

https://www.ft.com/content/de2ddeb2-c557-4f7e-af6b-54d3cbaaaa78


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‘Syria is not safe’: Protests grip Denmark over plans to deport refugees.

“Scores of Syrian refugees have already been rounded up and sent to ‘return centres’ where they will wait indefinitely, as Denmark has no diplomatic relations with Syria.”

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/protests-grip-denmark-over-plans-deport-syrian-refugees


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Migrants reach Spain’s Ceuta enclave in record numbers.

“At least 6,000 migrants have reached Spain’s Ceuta enclave from neighbouring Morocco, a record number over a single day, Spanish officials say. They say the migrants… either swam around the border fences that jut out into the sea or walked across at low tide.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-57150051


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More than 50 feared drowned after migrant boat sinks off Tunisia.

““There are 33 survivors, all apparently from Bangladesh,” Flavio Di Giacomo, a spokesperson for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), told AFP. “At least 50 are missing.””

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/18/migrant-boat-sinks-off-tunisia-mediterranean


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Japan’s yo-yoing economy shrinks as the virus spreads and vaccinations lag.

“Japan’s economy shrank in the first three months of 2021, continuing a swing between growth and contraction as its plodding vaccination campaign threatened to stall its recovery…”

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/18/world/japans-yo-yoing-economy-shrinks-as-the-virus-spreads-and-vaccinations-lag.html


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There’s No Vanishing Act for China’s Hidden Debt

“In practice… it’s almost impossible, or at least financially unviable, to turn this troublesome debt — involving infrastructure projects across the country — into the mainstream variety that can be sold on the bond market to earn some returns.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-05-19/china-s-huge-off-balance-sheet-debts-won-t-vanish-with-an-accounting-change


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China’s $2.14tn of bonds coming due unnerves foreign investors… The problem of heavily indebted state-backed companies in China is starting to spook investors in global corporate bonds…

A sudden spike in defaults by big corporate borrowers in China could rattle global markets.”

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Markets/China-debt-crunch/China-s-2.14tn-of-bonds-coming-due-unnerves-foreign-investors


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Argentina bans meat exports for 30 days in an attempt to curb inflation.

“The Argentine government of President Alberto Fernández has announced all meat exports will be banned for the next 30 days in an attempt to slow down inflation as domestic prices went up 20% owing to foreign demand.”

https://en.mercopress.com/2021/05/18/argentina-bans-meat-exports-for-30-days-in-an-attempt-to-curb-inflation


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Diesel shortages paralyze Venezuelan farms, prompting sanctions debate.

“With farmers warning they may not have the fuel needed to plant staple corn and truckers sounding the alarm about difficulty transporting food, aid groups and some U.S. Democratic lawmakers have pressed President Joe Biden to end the ban on [crude oil for diesel] swaps.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/venezuela-diesel-agriculture/feature-diesel-shortages-paralyze-venezuelan-farms-prompting-sanctions-debate-idUSL1N2N12TY


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The Colombia Uprisings Offer a Warning About Post-Pandemic Unrest Across the Developing World

“Across the globe, economic recoveries from the pandemic are increasingly unequal, placing a disproportionate burden on the poor and middle class… hopes of change are beginning to wane, and human suffering is growing.”

https://bylinetimes.com/2021/05/19/colombia-uprisings-offer-a-warning-about-post-pandemic-unrest-across-the-developing-world/


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These invisible whales could sink the economy

“For the average American dealing with the ravages of life under Covid, the story of Bill Hwang and Archegos may seem like just another Wall Street fat cat who got too greedy. But there may be many more Archegos-size risks – hidden from regulators, lawmakers and traders alike – now threatening to spark the next financial crisis.”

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/opinion/these-invisible-whales-could-sink-the-economy


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

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