Global PC shipments saw a record decline in the fourth quarter of 2022 amid economic headwinds, global inflationary pressures and stagnant PC demand, according to a recent report.“
“PC shipments in the three months ended December 31 fell 27.8 per cent year on year to 65.2 million units, according to data from Counterpoint Research. For the full year, shipments declined 15 per cent.”
Global Foundry Sales Set to Drop in 2023 in Blow to Taiwan, South Korea.“
“Revenues in global contract chipmaking, or foundries, are projected to fall this year as demand cools rapidly for the advanced chips that have bolstered Asian technology-driven economies Taiwan and South Korea… The gloomy projection underscores the pace of the global economic downturn.”
South Korea’s early trade data showed a decline in exports persisting this month in the latest sign of a global economic slowdown…“
“Waning semiconductor demand is at the heart of the decline in Korea… Trade performance has far-reaching implications for Korea as the economy relies heavily on global commerce to drive growth.”
Google announces 12,000 layoffs worldwide as tech giants continue to slash jobs…“
“The firings add to tens of thousands of other job losses recently announced by Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook parent Meta and other tech companies as they tighten their belts amid a darkening outlook for the industry.”
Banks prepare for deepest job cuts since the financial crisis… Firings expected to be ‘super brutal’, with Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley already laying off staff…“
“And just like 15 years ago, the prospect of quickly finding re-employment for those now out of work is bleak, according to recruiters.”
A growing number of Americans face potentially crippling credit-card debt… Americans are piling on credit-card debt just as interest rates are reaching historic highs.“
“Multiple polls show American consumers sinking deeper into credit-card debt. A new survey from Bankrate, the consumer finance company, found 46 percent of cardholders carrying credit-card balances from month to month, up from 39 percent a year ago.”
Americans Are Struggling To Pay Car Loans.“
“An alarming number of Americans with auto loans are struggling to make monthly payments. Auto loan performance saw further deterioration in December, and loan delinquencies jumped. Of all loans, severely delinquent ones have reached the highest rate since the financial crisis about 15 years ago.”
Finland’s interest payments take a ‘giant leap’.“
“Interest payments are approaching record highs in Finland, taking a “giant” three-fold leap compared to last year because of the pandemic and increased government borrowing, the Ministry of Finance’s Director General Mika Niemelä said in a recent interview.”
Protests in Stockholm, including Koran-burning, draw strong condemnation from Turkey.“
“Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Saturday that a planned visit by his Swedish counterpart to Ankara has been canceled after Swedish authorities granted permission for protests in Stockholm.”
‘There is no room’: anti-immigration protesters march in Dublin.“
“Ireland has long prided itself on greeting visitors with warmth, styling itself the land of “a hundred thousand welcomes”, but now there is a new slogan: #IrelandIsFull… They are the cry of an anti-immigrant backlash that has spread across Dublin and other towns in recent weeks…”
Illegal migrants crackdown will block bank accounts, rented homes and driving licences [UK]…“
“Migrants who entered the country illegally and are working in the black market face a new crackdown on their access to bank accounts, jobs in the gig economy and public services including education and health.”
‘Eating or breathing’: energy costs force stark choices on disabled people [UK].“
“Soaring energy bills are forcing people with severe disabilities and chronic health conditions to choose in extreme cases between “eating or breathing” as they struggle to navigate the cost of living crisis, research shows.”
France protests: man lost testicle after clashes with police – lawyer.“
“Doctors had to amputate the testicle of a young man who got clubbed in the groin by a police officer during demonstrations in Paris last week, according the man’s lawyer.”
Spain: Thousands stage anti-government protest in Madrid.“
“Right-wing and far-right parties organized the rally, accusing leftist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of doing deals with coup leaders and terrorists. Spain is due for local, regional and national elections this year.”
Europe Is Bracing for a Sharp and Abrupt Real Estate Reversal… Borrowers face crunch as valuations fall and lending tightens…“
“Loans, bonds and other debt totalling about €1.9 trillion ($2.1 trillion) — nearly the size of the Italian economy — are secured against commercial property or extended to landlords in Europe and the UK, according to the European Banking Authority…”
Brazil and Argentina will this week announce that they are starting preparatory work on a common currency, in a move which could eventually create the world’s second-largest currency bloc.“
“South America’s two biggest economies will discuss the plan at a summit in Buenos Aires this week and will invite other Latin American nations to join.”
Police violently raid Lima university and shut Machu Picchu amid Peru unrest…“
“Amid the demonstrations and with roadblocks paralysing much of the country, Peruvian authorities on Saturday ordered the closure “until further notice” of the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu and the Inca trail that leads to the world heritage archeological site…”
Glencore halts operations in Peru due to violent protests.“
“Following Friday’s attack that set on fire a worker housing area, Glencore announced that it has halted operations at the Antapaccay copper mine in southern Peru… Prior to this incident, Glencore’s mine, one of the country’s largest, was operating only with 38% of its workforce due to protests.”
The Cuban government is facing a high-stakes court case over unpaid commercial debt…“
“The legal battle is over a portion of Cuba’s unpaid commercial debt dating back to the 1980s. If Cuba loses, it could ultimately cost the island nation billions in long overdue payments — and, in a worst-case scenario, lead to the seizure of government-owned assets such as oil tankers and in-bound wire transfers.”
‘I gasped for air as the cyanide kicked in’: South Africa’s battle against murderous corruption.“
“Hours after resigning as chief of his country’s troubled national power generator [Eskom], Andre de Ruyter suddenly began to feel violently ill… Mr de Ruyter told The Telegraph he had underestimated Eskom’s problem with crime and corruption when he took on the top job.”
Ramaphosa Urges Delaying South Africa Power-Price Increases.“
“President Cyril Ramaphosa has appealed to the board of South Africa’s cash-strapped power utility to suspend its biggest electricity-price increase in more than a decade as the nation faces two more years of rolling blackouts.”
Nigerians Count Losses as Power Grids Collapse Again…“
“Today’s reality is that Nigerians continue to rely heavily on generators, which consume vast amounts of resources due to the high cost of diesel and petrol, and there is no public power.”
Economic crisis: Is Egypt the ‘new Lebanon?’“
“Food prices doubled, salaries halved, banks restricting withdrawals: Egyptians now have the same problems as the Lebanese. But if things get worse here, the fallout will be far more damaging.”
Lebanon’s recovering drug addicts risk relapse as economic crisis destroys hope…“
“Across Lebanon, drug consumption has increased in line with the country’s financial crisis, which has seen a collapse in the value of the Lebanese pound that has plunged the majority of people into poverty. At the same time, the deterioration of the healthcare system has made relapses more frequent and made treating addiction harder.”
Erdogan Readies Debt Relief for Millions as Turkish Election Approaches.“
“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is preparing to announce what could be his costliest pre-election giveaway yet with a plan to offer debt relief to millions of people… his party has lost support among the poor, who’ve typically been among its most stalwart backers.”
Iran’s currency hits record low amid tensions with the West.“
“Iran’s currency has reached an all-time record low amid increasing tensions with the West and the unrest gripping the country. On Sunday, the United States dollar went past the 450,000-rial mark for the first time on the open market.”
Pakistan has suffered nationwide power outages due to a “major breakdown” of the national grid…“
“…the country lacks resources to run its oil and gas-powered plants, and the sector is heavily in debt. Inadequate investment in infrastructure and power lines has also resulted in the national grid suffering frequent breakdowns.”
Pakistan on the brink of mass deaths? ‘Only two days of medicine stock left in the country’…“
“The Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association raised an alarm, saying that they have only two days’ worth of medicines left in their stock. PPMA warned that the situation will worsen in the coming days if Letters of Credit are not released by the State Bank of Pakistan within a fortnight. This comes after the shortage of wheat…”
‘Afghanistan Is Disintegrating. It Can’t Afford to Give Up Opium’…“
“The economy of Afghanistan is 80 or 90 percent agrarian, and opium is a hefty slice of that. There are no other sources [of income]. Afghanistan hardly has a raison d’etre without the drug trade and its auxiliary industries.”
Another Cold, Dark Winter That Central Asia Will Not Forget…“
“In Tashkent, Central Asia’s largest city with around 3 million people, residents have been seen cooking meals on open fires on the street, echoing scenes from early December 2002 in the city of Ekibastuz, Kazakhstan, where a power plant went offline for the best part of a week.”
Will the World Face More Debt Crises in 2023?“
“…A catastrophic debt crisis for developing nations is predicted for 2023, which will be made worse by a confluence of high interest rates, fast inflation, weak growth, and a strong currency [dollar, I assume]. This implies that even if the economic problems in borrowing nations worsen, attempts to reduce debt will have a very tough time succeeding.”
You can read the previous “Economic” thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with a “Climate” thread.
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Good morning panopticon…. when I think of your ‘ name’ I always immediately think of the period when my work involved me a lot with prisoners. Sometimes they would stay in those few architectural panopticon that the Netherlands still has, all devised by the ‘utilitarian’ Jeremy Bentham.
Bardi recently wrote a rather ‘jumpy free-association’ blog about utilitarianism.
Your chosen interesting article on Egypt brought me to the following question.
You will agree with me that the economic implications of the war between Russia and Ukraine are huge for numerous countries, such as, in the case of Egypt, rising grain prices The economic implications for the EU and the former East European Soviet satellite states (colonies) are also huge.
However, I rarely read in your economic selections articles devoted to the let me call it the ‘ economy of destruction’ (referring to Tooze’s truly brilliant study) for both Russia and the EU.
Certainly you hear little about Russia, nor about the ‘ aid packages’ to Ukraine from, say, the IMF.
Are there few articles about that or do you have another reason for ‘reporting’ little about that.
Good morning, Zip. I chose the name Panopticon on a whim, not knowing a huge amount about them. My intent was to convey a sense of being all-seeing and I hadn’t fully appreciated that their primary function is penal. I subsequently did a bit of research and was intrigued to discover that the largest one ever constructed is located off the south coast of Cuba and can still be seen in its dilapidated form:
Re Russia and Ukraine, you are astute in your observation. I have shied away somewhat from reporting on at least some of the economic ramifications of the war. This is for two reasons: firstly, I am acutely aware that the conflict has had a polarising effect on those on the outside, looking in, as it were. It seems to be part and parcel of these times that the big issues of the day become viciously divisive (see Trump, Brexit, Covid vaccines etc.) and I haven’t wanted to add fuel to the fire or appear partisan; secondly, and of course not unrelatedly, because war begets propaganda, the articles I read leave me constantly second-guessing the motives and objectivity of the author.
Do any other readers have strong views about this? If the general feeling is that I should be going down this rabbit hole, too, then I will do so. Albeit gingerly. 😆
Your reservations are well-founded, so perhaps you could side-step them. It is my firm belief that that environment, economics and energy are inextricably intertwined like a triple helix, so since you have a day for environment (climate), and economic, perhaps on one day, (Saturday, perhaps?) you could do one on energy, which is what the conflict in Ukraine is basically all about (all 3 of the Petro states of Russia, the USA, and bone-Sawdi Arabia are currently engaged in Wars … no coincidence there, I would suggest), so having a day for energy would automatically cover the war without making it the sole subject of that category, n-est-pas? In any case, great work, you really fill a huge hole the MSM prefers to leave gaping. For that I thank you.
Robert, thank you for the very kind words. There is so much interplay, as you say, between our various converging crises. Let me ponder… Energy is often already at the forefront of my mind as I put together these economic threads… I could perhaps look more closely at trade wars, armed conflicts and geopolitical friction in general.
JP, one of the reasons I enjoy your daily blog is because I have never yet found myself confronted with a ‘peanut gallery’ commentariat, and the wide diversity of your reports in summary/headline format enables me to quickly dig deeper as I choose, instead of the single-focus format so popular elsewhere. Thirdly, I have to come over time, to trust your sources.
However, I do not have strong views one way or another regarding you expanding to geopolitical affairs.
If you do, I will certainly read them too! 🙂
I am reminded of a year or more ago, when I became interested in economics, (something lacking in my own education and life experience to that date), and having to wade through an enormous amount of toxic waste before finding you, and your helpful links to other sites and commentaries eg ourfiniteworld
when my personal research and reading on the energy basis started to piece together into a more coherent big picture – and yes, the view from the Panopticon 🙂
I didn’t realise the panopticon structure was mostly penal either!
Anyway, I found the following article on the war in Ukraine early in my research, and it made sense to me after going back and revisiting the initial invasion of the Donbas region and Crimea in 2014, when Ukraine’s previous President was pro-Russian. Also I did google for resource maps of Ukraine, and how they were starting to explore and drill the eastern regions when Russia started sabre-rattling, only to escalate after Zelensky became President.
Rain, thank you for the kind words. I had no formal training in economics either but, given how energy and systems-illiterate a lot of mainstream thinking is, there is an argument that you are better off approaching the problem without that baggage.
The Foreign Policy article makes a lot of sense – scratch the surface of any conflict and resources are going to be a key part of the dynamic. However, as I read it, I am keenly aware that some readers will find its characterisation of Russia’s invasion as primarily a cynical resource-grab motivated by greed unfair. And here’s the kicker – I just don’t have the expertise to tease out who is more “right”.
This is why I tend to pull the lens back and try to look at the totality of our predicament as a species rather than get too embroiled in the geopolitical details.
Hmm… As we start heading down those LtG curves I suppose everything the newspapers write about becomes relevant. War and the consequences of war is not part of the LtG model (or Gail Tverberg’s model or Tim Morgan’s model). But it’s very difficult to isolate war and the effects of war from everything else that’s happening to the economy. What a mess!
Since you’re just one person you probably have to limit your scope somehow. A limited scope may also make the site more interesting than if all sorts of stuff get included. And it’s probably a good idea to avoid issues that are too divisive, as you say (although things like Covid or the war in Ukraine no doubt belong to the overall picture in a multitude of ways).
I’m not sure what you should do. Perhaps you could take a week or two off from the roundups and try to rewrite the ‘About Economy’ section?
Snufkin, that’s it exactly – once you are viewing the news through the prism of limits to growth, it is hard not to see them at work everywhere, with only the degree of attribution uncertain.
And you are right – I must re-write the “About” section. I had completely forgotten!
LTG models exist within complex social and economic processes and events and do not exist ‘ in isolation’ as if they were the ‘ ten commandments’ carved in stone and valid forever.
This is also the limitation of Gail Tverberg and Tim Morgan’s ‘iteration exercises’. It will all be fine….
People just keep dancing around the golden calf even though the Mozisses of our time see that grinding to stamp with their sticks and splitting rocks.
Basically, working too tightly within frameworks regularly lead to a somewhat dogmatic, schematic and cramped way of reasoning, which does injustice to complex human and historical processes
War is such a complex process… the annoying thing is that reporting on it regularly degenerates into yet other dogmatic ideological models.
Still, I think that within the frameworks within which Panopticon researched and published there is little danger to fear….His stream of posts represents a pleasant versatility with an eye for details and larger issues, and in that sense is objectifying and danger-free because it is neither his own opinion nor his own texts.
If you can post about a protester’s testicles in France, why not about the war in Ukraine? is, of course, the key question.
“His stream of posts represents a pleasant versatility with an eye for details and larger issues, and in that sense is objectifying and danger-free because it is neither his own opinion nor his own texts.”
Thank you for the vote of confidence, Zip. I am certainly happy to offer my opinions if asked for them, although with the caveat that I am a jack of all trades and master of none. My preference, as you say, is to just lay it all out there and let the Internet hive-mind speak for itself.
As for that poor chap and his testicles, my intention is not to sensationalise but I am mindful that I do not want the threads to become too repetitive or monotonous, so I am ever watchful for headlines that are a little, shall we say, quirky.