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Warning from Kazakhstan — energy and food inflation could ignite global political unrest this year…

“High global prices for energy and food often serve as a leading indicator for outbreaks of civil unrest,” Hugo Brennan, head of EMEA Research, at global risk intelligence company Verisk Maplecroft, told the Post in an emailed statement.”

https://financialpost.com/executive/posthaste-warning-from-kazakhstan-energy-and-food-inflation-could-ignite-global-political-unrest


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Global food prices rose ‘sharply’ during 2021…

“The UN’s Food Price Index [saw] a 28.1 per cent increase over 2020… the consistently high cost of inputs, the ongoing global pandemic and ever more volatile climatic conditions “leave little room for optimism about a return to more stable market conditions even in 2022.””

https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/01/1109212


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Highest Ever Vegetable Oil Prices Risk Even Faster Inflation.

“More bad weather for the world’s oilseed growers is pushing rapeseed and canola prices to fresh records and adding to food-inflation worries… Paris rapeseed futures and North American canola notched new all-time highs on Friday.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-01-07/record-vegetable-oil-prices-risk-even-faster-inflation


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Kazakhstan Unrest Pushes Up Uranium and Oil Prices.

“Instability in Kazakhstan, the world’s biggest uranium producer, threatens to curb output and boost prices at the same time supplies of the nuclear fuel are becoming tighter.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/kazakhstan-unrest-pushes-up-uranium-and-oil-prices-11641497655


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[US] Everyone Has a Job and Nobody’s Happy Why full employment doesn’t mean what it used to…

“The majority of Americans blame President Biden for his handling of the economy, according to a recent poll, and consumer sentiment is at its lowest point in a decade… Biden is now the third straight U.S. president to learn the hard way that low unemployment doesn’t mean that people feel that they’re any better off.”

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/01/jobs-report-everyone-has-one-and-nobodys-happy.html


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U.K. Waves Goodbye to Nuclear Plant in Midst of Energy Crunch.

“Electricite de France SA will switch off the last unit at its Hunterston B nuclear power plant in Scotland on Friday, further crimping supplies in the middle of an energy crunch… expensive gas plants will need to step in to supply power when there’s not enough wind to generate renewable electricity.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-01-07/u-k-waves-goodbye-to-nuclear-plant-in-midst-of-energy-crunch


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UK household income was beginning to flatline before the pandemic and the current cost of living crisis struck, according to damning new figures that show an enormous wealth gap between young and old.

“Data from the ONS released today showed that the median wealth of British families has risen by 20 per cent since the pre-Financial Crisis period to £302,500.”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10378773/UK-household-income-flatlining-Covid-struck-according-new-official-figures.html


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Boris Johnson has been warned [by the Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies] that the growing cost of living crisis could leave Brits worse off than the financial crash of 2008.

“The 2008/09 recession was one of the worst on record, with hundreds of thousands of businesses closing and an estimated 3.7m people being made redundant as a result.”

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/2022-could-be-worse-than-financial-crisis-113251144.html


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Extra gas extraction angers Dutch region hit by earthquakes.

“The government of the Netherlands has sparked anger by announcing it may have to double the amount of gas it pumps this year from a northern province that experienced a string of small earthquakes in recent years.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/dutch-germany-groningen-b1988659.html


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Germany’s soaring energy prices force government to promise aid.

“German inflation remained close to multi-decade highs at the end of last year, forcing the government to promise aid for poorer households as energy prices continued to surge at double-digit rates.”

https://www.ft.com/content/ff33fa0c-91b8-4759-91fd-27a9be07572e


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Gas flows eastward via Russian Yamal pipeline for 18th day…

“The Yamal-Europe pipeline, which usually sends Russian gas west into Europe, was flowing east from Germany to Poland on Friday for an 18th successive day, albeit at marginally lower levels than on Thursday, data from German network operator Gascade showed.”

https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/gas-flows-eastward-via-russian-yamal-pipeline-18th-day-volume-eases-2022-01-07/


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Eurozone inflation hits new record as energy and food prices soar.

“Eurozone inflation rose to 5 per cent in December, setting a fresh record high since the single currency was created more than two decades ago and raising doubts over how quickly price pressures will ease this year.”

https://www.ft.com/content/14d1e3f5-5131-4f0f-8e57-228810898b8f


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Near-empty flights crisscross Europe to secure landing slots…

“The highly contagious Omicron variant of Covid-19 has put many off flying, and because of it, getting people and goods from point A to point B has become an afterthought for thousands of flights.”

https://www.irishnews.com/news/worldnews/2022/01/07/news/near-empty-flights-crisscross-europe-to-secure-landing-slots-2554594/


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China Urges Banks to Boost Property Loans as Default Fears Grow.

“China called on banks to boost real estate lending in the first quarter and eased a key debt restriction for developers, a sign that authorities are becoming increasingly concerned about the industry’s liquidity crisis.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-01-07/china-urges-banks-to-boost-property-loans-as-default-fears-grow


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Shimao’s debt woes deepen concerns over cash crunch in Chinese property.

“The Shanghai Stock Exchange suspended trading in several bonds of Chinese property developer Shimao, a day after the company’s failure to make a loan payment increased fears that a cash crunch will spread more widely across the country’s embattled real estate industry.”

https://www.ft.com/content/4d938920-1085-449e-867d-39b729247740


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China property debt crisis: R&F warns its asset sales may not meet bond repurchase deadline in a slumping real estate market.

“Guangzhou R&F Properties said it may not be able to sell assets in time to buy back some of its offshore bonds, as one of China’s largest and most indebted developers struggles to meet its debt obligations amid a sinking real estate market.”

https://www.scmp.com/business/banking-finance/article/3162339/china-property-debt-crisis-rf-warns-its-asset-sales-may


China’s First City-Level Restructuring Shows Effect of Slowdown. A city in China’s northeast rustbelt became the latest casualty of the economy’s slowing growth, with local media and analysts reporting it recently began a fiscal restructuring.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-01-07/china-s-first-city-level-restructuring-shows-effect-of-slowdown


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Drowning in debt, South Korean businesses revolt over COVID rules…

“In mid-December, the South Korean government reimposed a business curfew as COVID-19 cases surged to record highs across the country. Restaurants and bars must close after 9pm. Violators face fines or the suspension of their business.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2022/1/7/south-koreas-small-business-rage-as-covid-rules-drag-on


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India’s jobs crisis is more serious than it seems…

“…jobs are diminishing… India’s unemployment rate crept up to nearly 8% in December… “This is way higher than anything seen in India, at least over the last three decades, including the big [economic] crisis of 1991 [when the country did not have enough dollars to pay for imports],” Kaushik Basu, former chief economist of the World Bank, said.”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/india-s-jobs-crisis-is-more-serious-than-it-seems/ar-AASvKlv


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Uzbekistan has halted exports of natural gas in order to meet domestic energy needs, the Interfax agency reported on Thursday.

“The announcement comes as protests rage in neighbouring Kazakhstan, spurred initially by gas price hikes.”

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/business/uzbekistan-temporarily-suspends-gas-exports-cover-domestic-needs-ifx-2418861


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Turkey’s State Gas Importer Races for Funding as Prices Surge.

“Turkey’s national gas company is trying to raise billions of dollars to pay an import bill due early this year, following a surge in energy prices and a collapse of the lira.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-01-06/turkey-s-state-gas-importer-races-for-funding-as-prices-surge


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Brazil extends coal use to 2040 under new ‘just transition’ law…

“Broadly, “just transition” is a process aimed at ensuring the benefits of a green economy shift are shared widely, while supporting those who may lose out economically, whether nations, regions, industries, communities, workers or consumers.”

https://www.reuters.com/markets/deals/brazil-extends-coal-use-2040-under-new-just-transition-law-2022-01-06/


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Brazil’s Industrial Production Unexpectedly Drops Amid Recession.

“Brazil’s industrial production fell in November for the sixth consecutive month, raising concerns about the extent of the recession in Latin America’s largest economy.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-01-06/brazil-industrial-production-unexpectedly-drops-amid-recession


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Brazilian Army fears social unrest if Bolsonaro not reelected…

“According to press reports, senior military officials fear political polarization might unleash on a “Capitol Hill scene,” in reference to actions undertaken Jan. 6, 2021 by supporters of former US President Donald Trump, who stormed the building to prevent Joseph Biden’s win from being certified.”

https://en.mercopress.com/2022/01/07/brazilian-army-fears-social-unrest-if-bolsonaro-not-reelected


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Argentina raised its benchmark interest rate for the first time in over a year as it faces calls from the International Monetary Fund to tighten its monetary policy.

“The Central Bank lifted the key Leliq rate to 40 percent from 38 percent, the level it had stood for over a year even with annual inflation running at around 50 percent.

https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/economy/argentinas-central-bank-hikes-rate-for-first-time-in-a-year.phtml


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Cubans turn to natural remedies in midst of prescription drugs shortage…

“Today, with many prescription drugs in short supply—especially during the COVID-19 pandemic—plant-based medications and alternative treatments such as acupuncture, cupping, and therapeutic massages have become increasingly important.”

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/cubans-turn-to-natural-remedies-in-midst-of-prescription-drugs-shortage


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New Studies Find Unprecedented Impact from Supply-Chain Turmoil.

“International shipping costs have swung far more sharply during the pandemic and amid recent supply-chain disruptions than in the wake of the financial crisis over a decade ago, according to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-studies-find-unprecedented-impact-from-supply-chain-turmoil-11641587220


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Covid-19 Hit Supply Chains Hard. Climate Shocks May Hurt More…

“Consider that last year alone saw Hurricane Ida, a typhoon near Chinese ports, the Texas freeze, British Columbia flooding, and freak December tornadoes across the U.S., and it’s clear that global trade is struggling to cope with much more than a health crisis.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-01-06/supply-chain-crisis-faces-next-risk-after-covid-pandemic-climate-change


You can read the previous ‘Economic’ thread here. I’ll be back on Monday with (probably) a ‘Climate’ thread.

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