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Record-breaking drug seizures point to pandemic narcotics boom

“The global drugs trade is on fire, having survived the coronavirus pandemic with minimal disruption. Production is increasing in many places, fuelled by instability and economic crises in major drug-producing countries. Traffickers appear to be sending vast shipments, reflected in record-breaking drug seizures.”

https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/record-breaking-drug-seizures-point-to-pandemic-narcotics-boom-53058


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The uncomfortable truth about food prices in 2022: Buying food has gotten increasingly expensive. Unfortunately, going to the supermarket isn’t expected to get much cheaper in 2022.

“What’s happening: Pent-up demand, high shipping and fertilizer costs and bad weather could continue to prop up the price of products like corn, cocoa and sugar. That could keep global food prices elevated, even if inflation in other parts of the economy comes down.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/12/28/investing/premarket-stocks-trading/index.html


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China hoards over half the world’s grain, pushing up global prices.

“Less than 20% of the world’s population has managed to stockpile more than half of the globe’s maize and other grains, leading to steep price increases across the planet and dropping more countries into famine. The hoarding is taking place in China.”

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Datawatch/China-hoards-over-half-the-world-s-grain-pushing-up-global-prices


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Britons facing ‘cost-of-living catastrophe’ with average household £1,200 worse off, experts warn.

“The Resolution Foundation says rising inflation, surging energy prices and an incoming National Insurance tax rise will shave real value from the amount of money in people’s pockets and adds that it will increase the pressure on chancellor Rishi Sunak to act.”

https://news.sky.com/story/britons-facing-cost-of-living-catastrophe-with-average-household-1-200-worse-off-experts-warn-12505557


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Russian gas continues to flow east via Yamal-Europe pipeline.

“The Yamal-Europe pipeline that usually delivers Russian gas to Western Europe was sending the fuel back to Poland for an eighth straight day on Tuesday, according to data from German network operator Gascade.”

https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/russian-gas-continues-flow-east-via-yamal-europe-pipeline-2021-12-28/


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Protests against Germany’s Covid restrictions turn violent as Europe moves to stem Omicron.

“Protesters tossed bottles and fireworks at police in eastern Germany on Monday night in some of the most violent demonstrations against public health measures in Europe since the Covid-19 pandemic began.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/12/28/europe/europe-covid-germany-restrictions-intl/index.html


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Swiss-EU relationship could fall apart if talks fail, EU’s Sefcovic says.

“The European Union’s relationship with Switzerland could fall apart if negotiations over Switzerland’s place in the EU internal market fail, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic, told Der Spiegel magazine.”

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/swiss-eu-relationship-could-fall-apart-if-talks-fail-eus-sefcovic-says-2021-12-28/


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Italy industry may not restart in January amid energy crisis

“Italy’s energy-intensive industries may not resume operations after the Christmas break as skyrocketing energy prices have eroded their profit margins and competitiveness, industrial associations said on Monday.”

https://www.montelnews.com/news/1287088/italy-industry-may-not-restart-in-january-amid-energy-crisis


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Residents fire up generators as Kosovo energy crisis escalates…

“Kosovo produces most of its energy from two old coal-fired power plants outside Pristina, and normally imports 10-15% of its energy…

“…that figure has risen to 40% during the current crisis.”

https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/residents-fire-up-generators-kosovo-energy-crisis-escalates-2021-12-28/


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Bulgarian Employers: The Electricity Price Crisis is more Threatening than the 2009 Financial Crisis…

“Extremely fast, concentrated and coordinated actions of state institutions are needed to avoid the possibility that many of the first echelons and structural enterprises will not resume work in early 2022, which would lead to a chain effect, employers’ unions warn.”

https://www.novinite.com/articles/212955/Bulgarian+Employers%3A+The+Electricity+Price+Crisis+is+more+Threatening+than+the+2009+Financial+Crisis


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‘Shopping like crazy’: An inflated lira sees neighbours flock to Turkey.

“Bulgarian shoppers are crossing Turkey’s western border in packed cars and buses, taking advantage of a declining Turkish lira to enjoy their own shopping sprees. Their first stop is the currency exchange, and then it’s off to the markets and grocery stores…”

https://www.euronews.com/2021/12/27/shopping-like-crazy-an-inflated-lira-sees-neighbours-flock-to-turkey


Massive protests in Iraq are demanding the correction of the results of the parliamentary elections held last October… Most of the streets in Baghdad were blocked by burning tires and other objects, while troops were deployed to keep the flow of vehicles.”

https://www.plenglish.com/news/2021/12/27/mass-protests-in-iraq-demand-correction-of-elections-results/


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Sri Lanka shuts three foreign missions as dollar crisis worsens.

“Sri Lanka has announced the closure of three overseas diplomatic missions in a bid to save foreign currency reserves, as the country’s Central Bank slaps tighter controls on dollars needed to finance essential imports.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/12/27/sri-lanka-shuts-three-foreign-missions-dollar-crisis-forex


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Almost 10m less cars built in 2021 as supply chain issues hit production.

“Research by market intelligence group LMC Automotive estimated a 9.6m global shortfall in the number of light vehicles produced through 2021. European carmakers are expected to have suffered the biggest hit, producing 3m fewer vehicles as they struggled to get hold of supplies.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/12/26/almost-10m-less-cars-built-2021-supply-chain-issues-hit-production/


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The Next Wave of the Supply-Chain Crisis Is Building [driven by debt problems]…

“Wave two of the supply-chain crisis will come from suppliers that are profoundly degraded by the challenges of the past 20 months, where operational, reputational, and financial risks are being introduced to their customers downstream. It will happen when companies cease being able to Band-Aid over problems with cheap and historically easy to access capital.”

https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-next-wave-of-the-supply-chain-crisis-is-building-51640274503


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Global financial markets brace for a bumpy ride in 2022.

“Financial markets are poised for a bumpy ride in 2022 in the face of soaring inflationary pressure, rising interest rates and ongoing disruption to international supply chains caused by the Omicron variant of coronavirus, experts have said.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/dec/27/global-financial-markets-brace-for-a-bumpy-ride-in-2022


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Happy new year? Five economic flashpoints to beware in 2022…

“A new Covid variant derails the global economy; Inflation takes off; China hits the buffers and turns nasty; A crisis in emerging markets; A financial crash – The risk is that despite weaker activity, central banks are forced into more drastic monetary policy action by higher-than-expected inflation, thereby kicking away the prop that has been supporting richly valued assets.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/dec/28/happy-new-year-five-economic-flashpoints-to-beware-in-2022


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Oil and gas discoveries are at the lowest level since 1946.

Oil and gas firms are having their worst year for new fossil fuel discoveries in decades and reserves are dwindling. The oil and gas industry is on track to discover just 4.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) by the end of 2021, its worst performance in 75 years…”

https://qz.com/2107452/oil-and-gas-discoveries-are-at-the-lowest-level-since-1946/


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Discontinued Lego sets better investment than gold, claims study…

“Ever wondered what is the best thing to invest in? It’s not blockchain, or gold, wine, or even art. Russian researchers have claimed that second hand Lego blocks appreciate faster than any of them.”

https://www.hindustantimes.com/business/discontinued-lego-sets-better-investment-than-gold-claims-study-101640610759833.html


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

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