Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.

Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.
Stay current with what’s happening around the world with a quick scan of top news.

Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.
Stay current with what’s happening around the world with a quick scan of top news.

Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.
Stay current with what’s happening around the world with a quick scan of top news.

Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.
Stay current with what’s happening around the world with a quick scan of top news.

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China, U.S. lead rise in global debt to record high $305 trillion – IIF.

“The world’s two largest economies borrowed the most in the first quarter as global debt rose to a record above $305 trillion, while the overall debt-to-output ratio declined, data from the Institute of International Finance showed on Wednesday…

“”As central banks move ahead with policy tightening to curb inflationary pressures, higher borrowing costs will exacerbate debt vulnerabilities,” the IIF report said.”

https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/china-us-lead-rise-global-debt-record-high-305-trillion-iif-2022-05-18/


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Global fund managers hoard cash at 9/11 levels amid stagflation fears.

“Nervous global investors have built up cash levels last seen in the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks, amid growing fears about the twin risks of low growth and high inflation, according to Bank of America’s latest monthly fund manager survey.”

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/financial-services/global-fund-managers-hoard-cash-at-9-11-levels-amid-stagflation-fears-1.4881107


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Global banks privately prepare for ‘Dangerous Levels’ of Imminent Civil Unrest in Western Homelands’.

“Global banks and investment firms are bracing themselves for an “unprecedented” upsurge in civil unrest in the US, UK and Europe as energy and food price spikes are set to drive costs of living to astronomical levels, Byline Times can exclusively reveal.”

https://bylinetimes.com/2022/05/17/global-banks-privately-prepare-for-dangerous-levels-of-imminent-civil-unrest-in-western-homelands/


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American stocks have suffered their worst losses since June 2020 as investors panic that rocketing inflation will prompt a recession in the world’s biggest economy.

“The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 3.6% and the broader S&P 500 by 4% on Wednesday after a series of retailers posted disappointing financial results.”

https://news.sky.com/story/us-stocks-head-for-worst-day-since-2020-amid-recession-fears-12616232


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US asking rents reach record highs in April, some areas see 30% surge in prices…

“Currently, renters in popular migration spots such as Portland, Oregon, and South Florida are getting charged 30% more compared to this time last year, Fairweather said. Austin is getting hit the hardest with rents surging nearly 50% compared to 2021.”

https://jnews.uk/asking-rents-reach-record-highs-in-april-some-areas-see-30-surge-in-prices/


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U.S. natural gas prices have more than doubled this year, and they could soar another 25% or more this summer in the hotter weather…

“In the futures market, gas prices rose 4.4% Tuesday as hot spring weather in the Southern U.S. pressured a market that has already been concerned about tight supplies. The warmer weather is forecast to continue across the region.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/05/17/natural-gas-prices-have-already-doubled-this-year-a-hot-summer-could-push-them-even-higher.html


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Runaway diesel prices threaten to do a lot more than make inflation worse—American infrastructure is at stake…

“The average driver in the U.S. doesn’t rely on diesel, as it’s commonly used by truck drivers and heavy farming vehicles. But sky-high diesel prices could not only aggravate an inflation problem that is already hurting U.S. consumers—they could have dire implications for U.S. infrastructure, and the fate of the global supply chain.”

https://fortune.com/2022/05/17/diesel-prices-threaten-inflation-us-infrastructure/


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Vast Swath of US at Risk of Summer Blackouts, Regulator Warns…

“A vast swath of North America from the Great Lakes to the West Coast is at risk of blackouts this summer as heat, drought, shuttered power plants and supply-chain woes strain the electric grid. Power supplies in much of the US and part of Canada will be stretched…”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-18/vast-swath-of-us-is-at-risk-of-summer-blackouts-regulator-warns


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UK Is About to Become Stagflation Nation.

“In a world reeling from soaring inflation and weak growth, the UK holds a special place. It’s on track to be the advanced nations’ stagflation capital. Prices are expected to rise 13.1% over this year and next, the most in the Group of Seven…”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-19/stagflation-shock-to-uk-likely-to-be-among-world-s-worst


UK School meals will shrink without help to tackle rising costs, warns food boss. Soaring food inflation could force schools to choose between offering smaller portions at lunchtime and using cheaper ingredients, the boss of one of the UK’s largest food wholesalers has warned, as providers in the sector called for more funding to tackle rising costs.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/may/17/inflation-uk-schools-meal-food-bidfood


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EU new car demand falls 21% in April.

“New passenger car demand in the EU saw a significant drop in April as registration fell 20.6% to 684,506 units. With the exception of the pandemic year in 2020, this was the weakest April result in terms of volumes sold since records began…”

https://www.european-rubber-journal.com/article/2091429/eu-new-car-demand-falls-21-in-april


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EU accepts it will burn more coal in move away from Russian gas.

“Coal is the most carbon-intensive fuel but the European Commission said the EU would use 5 per cent more than previously expected over the next five to 10 years as the bloc tries to replace Russian energy imports.”

https://www.ft.com/content/5d95b294-280f-4b38-9d23-70035e077392


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Three Protests Hampered the Movement in Bulgaria Today.

“Three parallel protests took place in Sofia since the morning – of carriers, of public transport workers and of taxi drivers. Key intersections at peak hours were closed. Everyone protested against the high prices and asked for measures and help from the state.”

https://www.novinite.com/articles/215158/Three+Protests+Hampered+the+Movement+in+Bulgaria+Today


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Recession Risks Are Contagious As Japan’s GDP Stumbles—Again…

The real wake-up call here is how little Kishida and Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda can do about it. Fiscal policy options are greatly limited by a debt-to-GDP ratio well above 250%, making Tokyo quite the outlier among Group of Seven nations. In fact, the zeros are almost getting too numerous to type out here.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/williampesek/2022/05/18/recession-risks-are-contagious-as-japans-gdp-stumbles–again/


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China diverts anti-poverty funds to Covid testing as crisis deepens…

“China’s cash-strapped local governments have been forced to divert funds from poverty alleviation and infrastructure to finance mass coronavirus testing as President Xi Jinping’s zero-Covid policy causes growing financial strains.”

https://www.ft.com/content/a21aa7f0-860a-45ae-9cef-19b23b9f2292


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Chinese depositors left in dark as three local banks freeze deposits.

“Three banks in China’s central Henan province have frozen at least $178 million of deposits, offering scant information on why or for how long, leaving firms unable to pay workers and individuals locked out of savings, depositors told Reuters.”

https://www.reuters.com/markets/asia/chinese-depositors-left-dark-three-local-banks-freeze-deposits-2022-05-18/


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Poor Countries Face a Mounting Catastrophe Fueled by Inflation and Debt…

““It’s like wildfires in all directions,” said Jayati Ghosh, an economist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “This is much bigger than after the global financial crisis. Everything is stacked against the low- and middle-income countries.””

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/17/business/inflation-developing-economies.html


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Sri Lanka is poised to default on its foreign debt as the grace period for missed payments expires on Wednesday, with the government scrambling for dollars to top up depleted fuel supplies

The island, which has never missed debt payments, joins countries including Zambia and Ecuador in defaulting as the coronavirus pandemic took its toll.”

https://www.ft.com/content/89dea1c0-0b01-42c5-82ce-e27ac3eb410d


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Myanmar Fuel Importers Blame Shortages on Junta Dollar Controls…

““Imports have almost halved. Major importers now only try to keep the pumps working and they can’t sell fuel to the wholesale market like before,” said the manager. Another fuel importer said firms lacked access to dollars.”

https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/myanmar-fuel-importers-blame-shortages-on-junta-dollar-controls.html


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Is Bangladesh heading toward a Sri Lanka-like crisis?

“…The Russia-Ukraine war, which began at the end of February, has compounded the inflationary pressure. Bangladesh has been particularly vulnerable as the country imports significant amounts of goods like cooking oil, wheat and other food items, as well as fuel.”

https://www.dw.com/en/is-bangladesh-heading-toward-a-sri-lanka-like-crisis/a-61838597


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Pakistan must address its dire issues of external debt and current account deficit to avoid a Sri Lanka-like default, according to the latest report by the Institute for Policy Reforms.

“The independent and non-partisan think-tank termed resolution of the issues critical for the economic revival and security in the face of a “national emergency”.”

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2356989/pakistan-faces-national-emergency-to-resolve-economic-crisis


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Crypto crash leaves El Salvador with no easy exit from worsening crisis.

“El Salvador’s big bet on bitcoin, which the Central American nation has been buying since September, has soured in recent weeks as a cryptocurrency rout shaved over a third of the value of the government’s holdings, Reuters calculations show.”

https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/crypto-crash-leaves-el-salvador-with-no-easy-exit-worsening-crisis-2022-05-19/


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Protests continue against high cost of living in Panamanian province.

“Popular leaders of the Panamanian province of Colon said that they will maintain protests against the high cost of living and questioned the most recent meeting on the subject of the President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo.”

https://www.plenglish.com/news/2022/05/18/protests-continue-against-high-cost-of-living-in-panamanian-province/


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Ukraine war has stoked global food crisis that could last years, says UN.

“UN secretary general António Guterres said shortages of grain and fertiliser caused by the war, warming temperatures and pandemic-driven supply problems threaten to “tip tens of millions of people over the edge into food insecurity”, as financial markets saw share prices fall heavily again on fears of inflation and a worldwide recession.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/19/ukraine-war-has-stoked-global-food-crisis-that-could-last-years-says-un


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The Global Safety Net Against Hunger Is Frailer Than You Think.

“For all the sophistication of the global trade in calories, we’re still overwhelmingly dependent on half-a-dozen breadbaskets to feed ourselves — the US Midwest, South America, western Europe, the former Soviet Union, the Indo-Gangetic plain, and eastern China.

“If freak weather conditions knock out two at once, we’re more dependent on the others, plus stocks from previous years, to keep ourselves fed. Throw politics into the mix, and the margin of safety gets even narrower.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/the-global-safety-net-against-hunger-is-frailer-than-you-think/2022/05/17/e6983790-d635-11ec-be17-286164974c54_story.html


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

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