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.

My apologies for the lack of a thread on Saturday; incipient collapse seems to be waging a war of attrition against Climate & Economy. My Internet is still down after four days but I now have a working mobile broadband device. Sobering how we have self-domesticated and come to utterly rely on these fleeting and vulnerable technologies.

I thought the economy seemed marginally more interesting than the climate today but I’ll be back with a climate thread tomorrow.


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The latest annual survey from global communications firm Edelman found people’s hopes for their financial futures suffered a “massive collapse” worldwide over the past year, with most developed nations seeing economic optimism hit all-time lows.

“The 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer released Sunday found that citizens in half the countries surveyed had year-over-year double-digit declines in the belief that their families would be better off in five years.”

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/economic-optimism-collapsed-globally-survey-010030055.html


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Global economic slowdown ‘to force more workers into poorly paid jobs’…

“In its latest assessment of the state of the labour market, the Geneva-based ILO warned that “high and persistent” uncertainty over the state of the global economy was depressing business investment, eroding real wages and pushing workers back into informal employment…”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/jan/16/global-economic-slowdown-to-force-more-workers-into-poorly-paid-jobs


Top global companies write down billions as deals make way for gloom… With a third of the global economy forecast to be in recession this year, world leaders will this week gather in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss what the World Economic Forum has called a “polycrisis” as business leaders engage in a painful reckoning over their empire building.

https://www.ft.com/content/c6af3d0f-39b0-4552-9149-750ac5b2fd4a


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Fault lines in the Modern Financial System…

“Nobody really knows what is the leverage of these global banks (with derivative markets running in notional value in quadrillions see my article here) so there is not even a way to quantify the market. This is why Warren Buffet rightly calls derivates as ‘financial weapons of mass destruction’.

https://www.finextra.com/blogposting/23565/fault-lines-in-the-modern-financial-system


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Gold hits fresh record high in January; next target seen at $1,960.

“Bullish momentum in gold continued in the second week of January, too, as the metal continues to attract investors on its safe-haven appeal and bright prospects this year on the worrisome situation of the global economy.”

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/commodities/views/gold-hits-fresh-record-high-in-january-next-target-seen-at-1960/articleshow/97001293.cms


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Britain has been made a whole lot poorer – and there is no way out…

“The bottom line is that as a nation, we have just become a whole lot poorer. A combination of rising energy, food, and interest rate costs have eaten deep into disposable incomes. There are a lucky few who have seen their incomes rise in line with inflation, but the vast bulk of the country has not. We can no longer afford to live the way we did.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2023/01/14/britain-has-made-whole-lot-poorer-no-way/


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Buy now, pay later demand soars among all age groups in the UK…

““The fact that people of all ages are turning to buy now, pay later as they are struggling to meet payments due to rising inflation shows the need for urgent regulation of these schemes,” said Jane Goodland, trustee of the Centre for Financial Capability.”

https://www.ft.com/content/524a7e1e-4ff0-48d6-b9b1-973a9dd4e8d9


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UK coal imports rise 39%.

“Soaring energy prices might have forced the UK to increase its coal imports. BEIS data shows in the third quarter of last year, coal imports rose to 1.7 million tonnes, nearly 39% up from 2021. The US, Australia, South Africa and Colombia accounted for 78% of total coal imports.”

https://www.energylivenews.com/2023/01/16/uk-coal-imports-rise-39/


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Lützerath: German police oust climate activists after clashes near coal mine.

“Hundreds of officers cleared around 300 activists from Lützerath in an operation that began on Wednesday. Police say they removed activists waiting in treehouses, a day after clashes broke out between both sides.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-64285787


Germany’s Energy Crisis Sends It Tumbling Down Investment Rankings. The energy shortages plaguing Europe’s largest economy since 2021 have affected its attractiveness as an investment destination. According to a report in the German daily Augsburger Allgemeine, Germany now ranks 18th out of 21 countries, falling four places…”

https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Germanys-Energy-Crisis-Sends-It-Tumbling-Down-Investment-Rankings.html


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Germany’s Debt Dilemma Tempts Finance Chief Into Bending Rules…

“At issue is how Christian Lindner, who leads the business friendly Free Democrats in a coalition government with the Social Democrats and Greens, uses accounting gymnastics to reconcile restoring the debt brake with the €200 billion ($215 billion) he has unleashed to cushion businesses and households from the energy crisis.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-01-16/germany-s-debt-dilemma-tempts-finance-chief-into-bending-rules


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Credit Suisse set to cut 10% of European investment bankers…

“The crisis-plagued Swiss lender announced in October that it planned to cut as many as 9,000 roles globally over the next three years from its 52,000 workforce. But those plans have stepped up in recent weeks as the bank prepares to announce its second consecutive annual loss next month.”

https://www.ft.com/content/828b49ce-f256-4c38-b34f-92660f6053e3


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France is about to show Britain how bad industrial unrest can really get… For all their differences, the two nations face similar looming economic challenges…

“On both sides of the channel it is a popular pastime to compare national performance with the neighbour across the water. In today’s troubled times, this is especially interesting.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2023/01/15/france-show-britain-how-bad-industrial-unrest-can-really-get/


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Tens of thousands of Spanish health workers protest for better future.

“Tens of thousands of health workers protested in Madrid on Sunday over what they say is the destruction of the public health system by the conservative regional government.”

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/tens-thousands-spanish-health-workers-protest-better-future-2023-01-15/


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EU Ban on Russian Diesel Nears, Whether Market’s Ready or Not…

“In less than three weeks, the EU is banning Russian diesel and other refined fuels, and it’s not clear the market is ready for the shock. Historically, Russia was Europe’s biggest supplier of diesel and the continent has continued to buy big volumes right up to the cutoff. The new Feb. 5 sanctions will prompt a massive rerouting of global diesel flows — at a risk of higher prices.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2023-01-16/eu-ban-on-russian-diesel-nears-whether-market-s-ready-or-not


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Bank of Japan’s yield curve control in danger as policy backfires…

“The BOJ is in a bind. Further cosmetic tweaks could simply ignite market expectations of a near-term rate hike. But raising the yield targets would run counter to its narrative that stronger wage growth must accompany rising inflation before it can overhaul or phase out YCC.”

https://www.reuters.com/markets/rates-bonds/bojs-yield-curve-control-danger-policy-backfires-2023-01-16/


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Energy crisis roils Kepco and local debt market…

“South Korea’s state-owned electricity monopoly Kepco announced the largest quarterly price increase in over 40 years last month, as turmoil in global energy markets threatens a central pillar of the national export model that built Samsung, LG and Hyundai. It was the latest sign of a crisis that has also roiled the country’s bond market, which has had to absorb a record amount of debt issuance…”

https://www.ft.com/content/2b7367b9-fc33-4ca1-81d5-25e96e694903


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Growth in 2022 likely to mark China’s weakest in 40 years…

“Ten experts interviewed by Agence France-Presse (AFP) forecast an average 2.7% year-over-year rise in the gross domestic product (GDP) for the world’s second-largest economy, a sharp plunge from China’s 2021 growth of more than 8%. It could also be China’s slowest pace since a 1.6% contraction in 1976 – the year Mao Zedong died.”

https://www.dailysabah.com/business/economy/growth-in-2022-likely-to-mark-chinas-weakest-in-40-years


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China Home Prices Slump After Covid Outbreaks Stifle Rescue…

““Struggling property developers get to breathe some air temporarily after Chinese authorities made efforts to ease their liquidity pressure,” said Esther Liu, credit analyst at S&P Global Ratings. “But the only path lifting them out of the current crisis is a revival of sales.””

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-01-16/china-home-prices-slump-after-covid-outbreaks-stifle-rescue


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Victims of bank Ponzi-like scheme in China unable to withdraw money from frozen accounts…

“Since April last year, at least 40 billion yuan ($8.5 billion) has been frozen in four of the small-sized banks, including Mr Kang’s bank, Yuzhou Xinminsheng Village Bank, as well as Shangcai Huimin Village Bank, Zhecheng Huanghuai Village Bank and Kaifeng Xindongfang Village Bank.”

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-01-15/demand-deposit-frozen-in-banks-china/101843356


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Peru declares state of emergency in Lima after deadly protests.

“Peru has declared a state of emergency in the capital Lima and three other regions as protests against President Dina Boluarte spread around the country. More than 42 people have been killed during the unrest triggered by the ousting and arrest of leftist former president Pedro Castillo…”

https://www.ft.com/content/178ed206-971c-4e77-9d0e-6aee188a4e60


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‘Command your troops, damn it!’ How a series of security failures opened a path to insurrection in Brazil…

“The violence has shocked the country, with many wanting answers as to how so many people managed to enter some of the most highly securitized buildings in the country, with practically no resistance. Questions are mounting as to whether members of the security forces tasked with protecting the area and their leaders were just overstretched, incompetent or even actively assisted the protesters.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2023/01/14/americas/brazil-congress-riots-timeline-intl-latam/index.html


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Violent protests erupt in Phoenix [Durban, South Africa] as residents go 40 hours without electricity…

“Residents of Phoenix have closed off roads by burning tyres following service delivery issues. Videos of burning tyres and rubble have gone viral on social media… It is alleged some Phoenix residents have been without electricity for two weeks. Yesterday, residents blocked off Phoenix Highway.”

https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/kwazulu-natal/watch-violent-protests-erupt-in-phoenix-as-residents-go-40-hours-without-electricity-1bbc73f9-3d83-4a5b-a0b4-7f0856c42c32


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Ramaphosa Ditches Davos as ‘Extreme’ Blackouts Hobble Economy.

“South African President Cyril Ramaphosa canceled his attendance at this year’s World Economic Forum to deal with an escalating energy crisis that’s hobbling the nation’s economy. Ramaphosa will meet officials from the state power utility, Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., the National Energy Crisis Committee and political party leaders this week…”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-01-16/ramaphosa-ditches-davos-as-extreme-blackouts-hobble-economy


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Kenya, Nigeria tread a fine line after Ghana debt default, analysts say.

“Ghana’s domestic debt restructuring followed by a default on most of its international debt has focused attention on the sustainability of African government finances… Kenya, Egypt and Nigeria are the African sovereigns which “stand out” due to the high proportion of government revenue used to make interest payments…”

https://www.theafricareport.com/275477/kenya-nigeria-tread-a-fine-line-after-ghana-debt-default-analysts-say/


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Tunisia: Anti-gov’t protests take place on revolution anniversary.

“Thousands of protesters are marching in the Tunisian capital against President Kais Saied‘s increasingly authoritarian drift, demanding he step down. Protesters are also marking 12 years since the Arab Spring revolution erupted across the region.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/1/14/thousands-protest-tunisian-president-on-revolution-anniversary


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Egypt sentences 38 people to life in prison over 2019 protests…

“Authorities arrested hundreds of people at the time in Cairo and across the country. Many were released but others were referred to trials… Egypt’s government has in recent years jailed thousands of people, mainly Islamists, but also secular activists involved in the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.”

https://www.france24.com/en/africa/20230115-egypt-sentences-38-people-to-life-in-prison-over-2019-protests


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Tens of thousands of Israelis have rallied in three cities to protest plans by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to implement changes to the country’s legal system and weaken the Supreme Court.

“Saturday’s protests in the cities of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa present an early challenge to Netanyahu and his ultranationalist national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir…”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/1/14/thousands-protest-israeli-govt-plans-to-overhaul-legal-system


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Yemen parliament speaks up against fuel, power, water price hike plan.

“Yemen’s parliament has publicly condemned the government’s plan to hike fuel and utility prices, among other revenue-generating methods, the latest in a string of outraged responses to the policies.”

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2232951/middle-east


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Natural Gas Shortage In Iran Shuts Schools, State Organizations.

“While Islamic Republic officials predicted a bad winter in Europe, offices, and schools in Iran have been closed for days due to a serious natural gas shortage. Gas supplies to homes, which the government tried to protect in past cold season crunches, have also been interrupted in some regions.”

https://www.iranintl.com/en/202301142188


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In an acknowledgement of just how hard this cold winter is hitting, authorities in Tajikistan last week announced the suspension of an electricity-rationing regime.

“While power utility company Barki Tojik has said households will receive uninterrupted supplies of electricity, it pleaded with the public on January 11 to avoid excessive use so as not to strain the grid.”

https://eurasianet.org/tajikistan-cold-weather-precipitates-end-to-power-rationing


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

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