Scary as it is, the argument that inflation is here to stay is winning.“
“As the IIF warns of a global inflation storm, the fear is that raising interest rates in response could spark a recession – when governments and central banks are out of ammunition.”
Food, gas prices pinch families as inflation surges globally.“
“From appliance stores in the United States to food markets in Hungary and gas stations in Poland, rising consumer prices fueled by high energy costs and supply chain disruptions are putting a pinch on households and businesses worldwide.”
The US is facing an unlikely shortage: Santas.“
“… Allen said there are 10% fewer Santa Claus entertainers this year because some have died from COVID-19 and many aren’t doing events because of the pandemic. Many have also retired from the Santa game.”
Amid shortages, Canada is tapping into its strategic reserves. This time, for maple syrup.“
“The Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, a leading trade group, said it is releasing roughly 50 million pounds from its strategic maple syrup reserves, almost half of the stockpile, Bloomberg first reported.”
“A major crisis is coming to a head on pig farms up and down the UK. It’s a crisis that farmers warned us about, and now it’s happening.
“Their worst nightmares are coming to pass; the mass culling of healthy animals because there simply aren’t enough butchers to process them and get them off farms.”
TfL crisis latest: entire [London] Tube line may have to close and bankruptcy notice issued.“
“Closing an entire Tube line is among the options that Transport for London may have to consider as a result of its financial crisis, it has been revealed.”
Bank of England concerned cladding crisis poses risk to UK financial stability.“
“The Bank of England is increasingly concerned about the impact of the cladding crisis on financial stability and has been pressuring lenders to audit their exposure to homes that might be unsellable…”
UK’s energy system is ‘broken’, warns industrial group…“
“British heavy industries from steel to chemicals have been severely affected by the energy crisis in recent months with glass producers, whose goods tend to be lower-margin, among the worst hit.”
Britain’s manufacturers are facing a “perfect storm” crisis of rapidly rising costs and towering debts that many fear could push them over the brink, according to a new survey.“
“The leading industry trade body on Monday urged the government to introduce payment holidays on loans, warning that thousands of firms faced a “tipping point” that could make their business models unviable.”
“European gas shortage will push up fertiliser costs and food prices… Freezing in the dark while hungry does not make happy voters…
“The conundrum of cutting carbon emissions while maintaining food production has not been solved.”
“Europe’s Energy Crisis Is About to Get Worse as Winter Arrives.
With the prospect of blackouts and fights for supplies, there’s a growing sense of foreboding before the cold weather has even really hit… The region is back at the epicenter of the pandemic again… Restrictions are being tightened in some countries…”
“Lockdown resentment is growing in Europe…
“Anger has been bubbling under the surface in eastern and central Europe. But as new lockdowns are imposed and governments consider making vaccines compulsory, this resentment is now threatening to burst out into the open.”
Czech president swears in Petr Fiala as Prime Minister behind glass screen.“
“The Czech president, Milos Zeman, has appointed the leader of a centre-right alliance, Petr Fiala, as prime minister in a ceremony he performed from a plexiglass cubicle after testing positive for Covid-19.”
Toyota’s Output Slumps 26% on Prolonged Supply-Chain Snarls…“
“The world’s No. 1 carmaker said Monday it produced 627,452 vehicles in October, down from 845,107 units a year earlier. Global sales also fell 20% for the month to 677,564 units. Japanese automakers have struggled to restore production…”
China’s Economy Likely Remained Weak as Factories Slump.“
“China’s manufacturing activity likely remained subdued in November, with weak domestic demand in the economy outweighing any relief that came from an easing in energy shortages.”
“Record 2.1m Chinese sit civil service exam as economy slows, youth jobless rate climbs…
“A record number of Chinese are sitting the national civil service examination this year, in hopes of landing a secure government job amid slowing growth and high youth unemployment.”
“China urged to be ‘vigilant’ to rising grain prices in battle for food security.
“China should boost policy support, monitor global grain prices and diversify imports to maintain food security, state media say. Rising food prices are driving inflation concerns and putting average people under more economic pressure, analysts say.”
Black Market for Fertilizers Is Booming in India as Prices Soar.“
“Indian farmers squeezed by a massive shortage of fertilizers are turning to the black market and paying exorbitant prices for supplies.”
“Tomato to fuel: Inflation batters India’s middle class.
“From daily essentials like tomatoes, milk as well as edible oils to transport fuels, rising prices have hampered the financial health of ordinary middle class families in India.”
“Power Outage: Winter Is Starting To Look Colder And Darker For Kyrgyzstan…
“…because Kyrgyzstan had deals to import electricity from Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, it seemed to have solved some of its critical energy problems this winter. Now all three of those countries recently stopped sending electricity to Kyrgyzstan…”
Food Inflation [Iran] at 60% Marks Biggest Rise Among 12 Goods, Services Groups.“
“The average goods and services Consumer Price Index [Iran] of “food and beverages” in the 12-month period ending Nov. 21… increased by 60.1% compared with the corresponding period of the year before.”
“Is Turkey on the brink of hyperinflation?
“…Analysts warn that if President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refuses to abandon his fixation with low interest rates, Turkey could be headed towards hyperinflation. The country is heavily reliant on imports and other raw materials that are becoming increasingly expensive as the lira slides.”
“Turkish lira crisis hits Idlib in Syria.
“Turkey’s fiscal crisis has spilled over into opposition-held Idlib in neighbouring Syria, which adopted the Turkish currency more than a year ago. Some 4.4 million people live in Idlib, about half of them are displaced.”
“East Africa’s top retail banks booked more than $125 million of bad loans in the nine months to September this year, as borrowers struggled to repay their loans…
“This comes as regional banking regulators in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda have raised concern over the rise of bad loans, which is now threatening the financial sector.”
Uganda is seeking to amend a loan agreement it signed with China in 2015 to ensure the government doesn’t lose control of the nation’s only international airport…“
“The East African nation borrowed $200 million from the Export-Import Bank of China to expand the Entebbe airport, according to the report.”
Leftist Tops Poll for Polarized Chile Presidential Runoff Vote…“
“The runoff will take place amid a backdrop of social unrest, as well as the drafting of a new constitution. Regionally, it comes ahead of 2022 elections in Colombia and Brazil that together may shift Latin America’s balance of power.”
Honduran Election Sparks Worries of Unrest and Further Migration…“
“U.S. officials fear that the election could touch off violence and instability that would prompt further migration by Hondurans to the U.S. The outcome could also determine whether the small Central American nation continues to recognize Taiwan or switches allegiance to China…”
Fiji sends troops to Solomon Islands as hunger fears grow…“
“The Solomons crisis erupted last week with three days of deadly rioting in Honiara blamed partly on poverty, hunger and frustration with government policies in the nation of 800,000.”
Myanmar’s army is weaponizing starvation against its own people…“
“The Special Advisory Council for Myanmar, an international group of Myanmar observers, reports that military forces have targeted food supplies, including killing livestock, while also destroying distribution infrastructure.”
Now led by an alleged torturer, Interpol becomes world’s authoritarian secret police.“
“Aside from his brutal history of using torture, Interpol’s new president Major General Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi will ensure Interpol becomes a tool for authoritarian rulers and legitimise the abuse of ‘red notices’, writes Anthony Harwood.”
“From blocking websites to forcing companies to share user data, governments – including democracies – are increasingly resorting to “authoritarian” methods to control the internet…
“Those threats are coming from the Western world too, said Javier Pallero, policy director of advocacy group Access Now. “A lot of democratic governments are now acting as authoritarians…””
“We’ve asked the Federal Reserve to clean up America’s biggest economic disasters — from the supply chain crisis to inequality.
“But it’s clear they’ve run out of power to fix anything…”
Markets are more fragile than investors think.“
“Investors have been blithely skating into the Christmas period, basking in another remarkable rally across financial markets. But the ice underneath may be thinner and brittler than many realise, as Friday’s violent sell-off showed.”
“A banking crisis isn’t just bad for business, it can also poison politics.
“The failure of Germany’s second biggest bank in 1931 was a factor in the rise of the Nazis.
“Financial crises are a really bad idea…”
Omicron Covid-19 variant underscores fragility of global recovery…“
“Even before the South African scientists announced last week that they had identified a new Covid-19 variant of concern, coronavirus infections were on the rise in Europe, the UK and in parts of the US.”
‘Perfect storm’ created for global food collapse, panel hears.“
“Hikes in oil prices, conflicts, emerging diseases, poor governance, and disruption in supply chains due to transportation blockages during the pandemic have come together to create a potentially devastating scenario for the global food system, a panel on food security heard.”
You can read the previous ‘Economic’ thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with a ‘Climate’ thread.
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