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‘Wuhan lab leak’ may be the biggest economic shock for decades: If intelligence services find a Chinese lab really did create Covid then global trade would collapse, triggering a huge financial crisis

“Here is the important question for the markets… and one no one is thinking about yet: what if it is true? It would be the biggest shock to the global economy in decades. Why? Because governments would surely have no choice but to retaliate with sanctions and demands for full-scale reparations.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/05/31/wuhan-lab-leak-may-biggest-economic-shock-decades/


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‘There are ghosts in the land’: how US mega-dairies are killing off small farms

“Across the US, dairy farmers have struggled beneath the weight of an industry-wide economic crisis. T​he cause ​is the massive overproduction of milk by large dairy operations, which has​ ​saturated the market, ​driving prices ​down well below the cost of production.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jun/01/there-are-ghosts-in-the-land-how-us-mega-dairies-are-killing-off-small-farms


Americans stress over ‘unshakeable burden’ of student loan payments. Borrowers are awaiting relief from the Biden administration while the pause on federal student loan repayment is set to expire 30 September.”

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2021/may/30/us-student-loan-payments-pandemic


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UK water retailers face collapse due to unpaid bills

“Most participants in the market were lossmaking before the pandemic but an increase in non-payments during lockdown has piled on the pressure. There is now a “material risk of systemic retailer failure”, said the report by the consultancy Economic Insight.”

https://www.ft.com/content/3d4b3a6d-105a-4458-a663-167a9ebdb517


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Call for protection on Covid loan debts [UK] as the bounce-back payback begins

“…campaigners say banks may find it difficult to do right by struggling borrowers, given the pressure to recover cash, [which] could lead to a run of bankruptcies.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/may/30/call-for-protection-on-covid-loan-debts-as-the-bounce-back-payback-begins


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France Is Ready to Start Cutting Back Crisis Aid, Minister Says.

“France is ready to start reducing financial support to businesses and workers hit by coronavirus restrictions as its vaccination program offers a route out of the crisis, Labor Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Sunday.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-05-30/france-is-ready-to-start-cutting-back-crisis-aid-minister-says


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How [Australian] housing prices could crash if China takes revenge and cuts off Australia’s iron ore – and it’s only a matter of time

The communist superpower has indicated plans to axe Australia’s biggest export earner and diversify its iron ore supplies as tensions between the two nations continue to simmer.”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9638179/Housing-prices-crash-China-takes-revenge-cuts-Australias-iron-ore.html


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China’s factory activities growth started a slowdown in May as Chinese firms are struggling with higher raw material costs

“Although China continues its economic recovery from COVID-19, officials warn that the foundations of the recovery are not secure due to higher raw material prices and the outbreak of COVID-19 in parts of the world.”

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/china-factory-activities-slow-down-022529766.html


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China’s ruling Communist Party will now allow couples to have three children instead of two in a drive to reverse its ageing population.

“According to state-run news agency Xinhua, the change in policy was approved during a politburo meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping.”

https://news.sky.com/story/china-to-allow-couples-to-have-three-children-as-it-scraps-two-child-policy-amid-ageing-population-12321308


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“Cash shortage threatens a banking crisis in Myanmar

“Myanmar is in the grip of a cash shortage. Since the military overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi’s government in February and tens of thousands of people walked off their jobs, banks have placed caps on withdrawals, causing crowds to gather at branches every day.”

https://www.ft.com/content/7632c1b0-4581-434f-86d6-bdceaff8e947


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Horses starve to death as pandemic hits Bangladesh tourism.

“The South Asian nation of 168 million people is battling a fresh wave of coronavirus infections that has stretched its healthcare system and triggered a nationwide lockdown. The horses’ owners said they were struggling to afford fodder for their animals…”

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210530-horses-starve-to-death-as-pandemic-hits-bangladesh-tourism


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Hunger stalks India’s poor in pandemic double blow

“The coronavirus has killed 160,000 in eight weeks, overwhelmed hospitals and shut many businesses in India. Experts warn that another crisis is looming, with rising levels of hunger among poor Indians already reeling from a first lockdown last year.”

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210530-hunger-stalks-india-s-poor-in-pandemic-double-blow


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The Giant of Africa Is Failing.

Nigeria is in big trouble… Criminals, separatists, and Islamist insurgents increasingly threaten the government’s grip on power, as do rampant corruption, economic malaise, and rising poverty.”

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/africa/2021-05-31/giant-africa-failing


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Colombian troops tighten grip on Cali following more protests.

“Colombian President Ivan Duque deployed troops in Cali and other parts of the country following the latest round of violent anti-government protests. Dozens of demonstrators died in a month of rallies, many at the hands of security forces.”

https://www.dw.com/en/colombian-troops-tighten-grip-on-cali-following-more-protests/av-57718137


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The global chip shortage, which has affected electronics companies all over the world, may continue for the next two years, Intel chief executive officer (CEO) Pat Gelsinger has said…

“Gelsinger also said that the entire supply chain will have to “rise to the occasion” to get past the shortages.”

https://www.livemint.com/companies/people/global-chip-shortages-may-continue-for-the-next-couple-of-years-intel-ceo-11622447120007.html


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Crypto Assets a Great Concern, Says Ireland’s Central Bank Enforcer.

““Crypto assets are quite a speculative, unregulated investment,” and people should be “really aware they could lose the whole of that investment,” the central bank’s director general for financial conduct said in an interview.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-05-31/crypto-assets-a-great-concern-says-central-bank-enforcer


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Banks block payments to crypto exchanges

“Banks are cracking down on transfers to cryptocurrency exchanges by suspending payments to the sector amid rising fears that it has become a hotbed for financial crime… Customers of banks including Barclays, Monzo and Starling are among those to have been blocked…”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/05/29/banks-block-payments-crypto-exchanges/


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CEO pay rises to $12.7M even as pandemic ravages economy

“…pay packages rose yet again last year for the CEOs of the biggest companies, even though the pandemic sent the economy to its worst quarter on record and slashed corporate profits around the world.”

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/ceo-pay-rises-to-12-7m-even-as-pandemic-ravages-economy-01622315522


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

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