Global inventories of diesel and other distillate fuel oils are exceptionally low – meaning prices will surge higher again quickly if the economy avoids a recession in 2023… [Energy constraints are irresistible. If they can’t slow down economic activity directly, they can now, with central banks out of good options, express themselves more assertively in the financial domain, in turn slowing economic activity. At some point, a major debt crisis is triggered.]“
“Distillate fuel oil is the workhorse of the industrial economy, providing the main fuel used in trucking, railroads, manufacturing, construction, mining and oil and gas drilling… If the manufacturing cycle turns up in the next few months, fuel shortages and price increases are likely to emerge quickly, feeding through into renewed concerns about inflation…
“In 2007/08 and 2020/21, policymakers at the U.S. Federal Reserve and other major central banks were prepared to ignore inflation driven by energy price rises by characterising it as transient.
“But if energy prices drive inflation sharply higher later in 2023 or 2024, so soon after the worst inflation episode in 2022 for 40 years, it will be harder to ignore. One inflation shock might be transient, a second starts to look permanent.”
Inflation’s Slowdown Is Less Than Meets the Eye.“
“Although many economists and investors are encouraged by the latest trends, a deeper look makes clear that pressure on consumer prices is still rising… what the index shows is that domestic inflationary pressures are still climbing rapidly… They probably have further to climb.”
The Fed Will Keep Raising Interest Rates, Their Latest Minutes Show.“
“They did not state a final interest rate target, but “… all participants continued to anticipate that ongoing increases in the target range for the federal funds rate would be appropriate to achieve the Committee’s objectives [ie 2% inflation].””
US mortgage applications fall more than 13% as rate climbs to highest since November… Rate jump led to purchase applications index falling to lowest since 1995…“
“The increase in mortgages rates has put many homebuyers back on the sidelines once again, especially first-time homebuyers who are most sensitive to affordability challenges and the impact of higher rates.””
[UK] Budget supermarket food, which millions have turned to through the cost of living crisis, is seeing average annual price rises of an astonishing 21.5 per cent.“
“The figures come from consumer champions at Which?, who say they demonstrate that it is the poorest households which are being worst hit by soaring food bills.”
Eating turnips could help avoid fruit and vegetable shortages in UK supermarkets during the winter months, the Environment Secretary has suggested.“
“Therese Coffey told MPs that ongoing shortages of produce will be a temporary issue that should be resolved in two to four weeks.”
The environment secretary has suggested people struggling to afford rising food bills should consider working longer hours.“
“Asked how the government is ensuring food security after food banks in York began running out, Therese Coffey said people could increase their income by getting into work, “potentially” working more hours, or getting “upskilled”.”
Credit Suisse and the Ghost of Lehman…“
“It’s hard to believe that Alex Lehmann and other Credit Suisse executives could be unaware that large withdrawals were being made from their bank. If they were hiding the truth, they were likely doing so for the same reasons that Lehman execs hid the truth fifteen years ago.”
ECB scraps dividend after rising interest rates wipe out profits.“
“The European Central Bank made no profits for the first time in 15 years in 2022 after suffering writedowns on its bond investments, with analysts predicting years of losses following the reversal of its ultra-loose monetary policies.”
Next Bank of Japan head Kazuo Ueda calls for ‘creative’ monetary policy…“
“Many economists expect Ueda to gradually embark on monetary tightening after two decades of ultra-loose policy. The BoJ is the last major central bank still holding on to negative interest rates, currently at minus 0.1 per cent, and has ploughed massive reserves into Japanese government bonds in order to maintain yields at historically low levels.”
Almost two-thirds of people on income support are struggling to keep their homes cool in sweltering summer temperatures, a damning report from Australia’s peak body for community services has found.“
“The findings, published by the Australian Council of Social Service on Friday, also reveals the desperate lengths people are taking to cope with the high heat, as Australians feel the hip pocket pain from soaring power bills and inflation.”
Vietnam Property Debt Crisis Deepens as Major Developer Delays Bond Payment.“
“Vietnam’s property debt crisis is intensifying as the country’s second-largest developer joined the ranks of peers seeking debt extensions after failing to repay a bond on time… With billions of dollars of bonds due this year, the industry’s woes risk triggering a broader crisis for the nation’s banking sector and economy.”
Bird flu death in Cambodian child sparks global alarm…“
“The reports of a possible cluster have caused unease among scientists and health officials, especially amid a “staggering” worldwide outbreak in birds and the growing death toll in mammals… Over the past two years, the pathogen has devastated wild and farmed birds in unprecedented numbers.”
World’s largest beef exporter Brazil suspends supply to China after case of mad cow disease.“
“Brazil has announced it will temporarily suspend beef exports to China as it deals with a case of mad cow disease — otherwise known as BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy)… China is the largest importer of beef in the world. In 2022, the country bought a record 2.62 million tonnes, with Brazil easily its biggest supplier.”
Peru offers $13,000 to families who lost loved ones in protests…“
“There has been at least 60 protest-related deaths, according to Peru’s Ombudsman’s office, including one police officer. Most of those deaths happened outside Lima. As of February 22, seven people died in Apurimac, ten in Ayacucho and twenty in Puno for example, according to the same organization.”
Peru on Thursday declared a “health emergency” in 13 departments in the country’s north, center and southeast due to an outbreak of dengue.“
“The emergency would remain in place for 90 days, according to an official notice, after the health ministry recorded more than 11,500 cases and 16 deaths due to the disease so far in 2023.”
First cholera death recorded in South Africa.“
“South Africa has recorded its first cholera-related death as laboratory confirmed cases increased to five… Cholera mainly spreads through contaminated or polluted water. People can become infected directly through drinking contaminated water, or indirectly through eating contaminated food.”
‘There’s not a drop left’: Petrol shortage has ground Burundi to a halt.“
“People across Burundi have been queueing for hours at petrol stations (gas stations) – hoping, but with no guarantee — that there will be some petrol when they finally reach the pump. The country has been experiencing a petrol shortage since February 11th…”
Without Gas and Cash, Fed Up Nigerians Head to Polls.“
“In Nigeria last year, 20 million children did not go to school, the currency hit an all-time low, half of adults were under or unemployed, oil production — the lifeblood of the economy — fell to a 40-year low, and gangs of heavily armed bandits had free reign over large swathes of the country.”
Tunisian police on Wednesday arrested Issam Chebbi, a prominent opposition figure, and surrounded the house of Jawher Ben Mbarek, another major critic of President Kais Saied, relatives and lawyers of both men said.“
“The arrests come amid a crackdown on prominent critics of Saied, involving more than a dozen arrests over the past two weeks including politicians, judges and media figures.”
As the “Women, Life, Freedom” protests continue in Iran, various groups continue to protest the poor living conditions and the devaluation of the national currency as inflation topped 50%.“
“On Wednesday, several cities across Iran including Tehran, Ahvaz and Arak, were scenes of protests reflecting the desperation felt by the failure of the regime to deal with crippling economic conditions.”
Crumbling Pakistan economy puts children’s futures on hold…“
“Pakistan’s finances have been wrecked by years of financial mismanagement and political instability — a situation exacerbated by a global energy crisis and devastating floods that left a third of the country under water last year.”
The post-pandemic rebound in world growth and inflation last year meant the amount of debt sloshing around the global economy saw its first annual fall in dollar terms since 2015, a widely tracked study has shown…“
“With borrowing costs on the rise, particularly for emerging markets, the retrenchment was driven entirely by wealthier countries though… In contrast, the amount of developing world debt hit a new record high of $98 trillion…”
The world faces a hunger funding gap of 53%.“
“Only 47% of hunger funding needs through the UN humanitarian system are met, leaving a hunger funding gap of 53%, according to …a report released today. The analysis also found that countries experiencing the worst hunger crises received less hunger funding (by the percentage of appeals filled) than countries with lower rates of hunger.”
Extreme weather is impacting real estate portfolios.“
“Almost half of real estate investors have seen extreme weather affect their portfolios, the annual Insights Into Real Estate Investment Sustainability Survey (IRIS) found. The survey, conducted by sustainability services company Evora Global, found 46% of real estate investors reported a climate-related impact on their holdings.”
You can read the previous “Economic” thread here. I’ll be back over the weekend with a “Climate” thread.
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Therese Coffey: Hungry? Eat turnips and work more. Because clearly you aren’t working enough hours.
I know! 😂 Unbelievable. The woman is tone-deaf and entirely lacking in empathy.
Guy McPherson just posted this video that I would like to share with you all
Imperialism has Consequences
1,379 views · 18 hours ago…more
Nature Bats Last
In my view we are trapped in our system that propels us to the cliff…like lemmings rushing forward
Thank you for the updates..
Vince, thank you and you are welcome. Guy M sounding more political there than I recall him being, although that may be my memory being faulty.
Personally, I prefer to understand our predicament primarily in biological and thermodynamic terms. I know that is a limited perspective but the battleground of competing ideologies just stresses me out.
Justin, In my younger years Ed Abbey was an author that symbolized the standard bearer of critical judgement of the norms of American society.
Also, Professor McPherson had a passage of radical Professor, Scott Nearing, co author of Living the Good Life along with wife, Helen. Both were great influencers of my outlook.
Suppose it’s just coincidence that he has brought them up, since he, himself, has lived part of their life experiences himself.
I try, myself, not to get too stressed out…I realize that, “we are not in control”, as you have alluded to. Overshoot is built in our biological makeup and rust never sleeps
“I realize that, “we are not in control”, as you have alluded to. Overshoot is built in our biological makeup and rust never sleeps.” Thanks, Vince – that’s my kind of analysis. 😆
When it comes to pointing fingers at the patriarchy or Neoliberalism or whatever it may be, I tend to opt out. I’m not saying that those grievances aren’t valid; it’s just that the blame-game bums me out.
For those, like me, who have not heard of Ed Abbey:
“Edward Paul Abbey (January 29, 1927 – March 14, 1989) was an American author, essayist, and environmental activist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues and criticism of public land policies. His best-known works include Desert Solitaire, a non-fiction autobiographical account of his time as a park ranger at Arches National Park considered to be an iconic work of nature writing and a staple of early environmentalist writing…”
Should add this influence in establishing the 1980s Dave Foreman movement called “Earth First!” Through his book “The Monkey Wrench Gang”.
Earth First! Was never really a organization but forum to stop the destruction of the planet by it’s adoption of the Industrial military lifestyle
Ah yes that former health minister, who now dabbles in green and rural issues…she does not excel in any position in helpful statements is so my opinion.
In the Netherlands a few years ago there was a minister of social affairs who claimed that people who received meagre pensions and had to rely on the food bank should just pay off the mortgage on their house and get a vegetable garden. Perhaps she suggested everyone should start thinking of other ways to keep yourself overeidn as a pensioner!
It was not received with thanks and led to a storm of outrage.
Well…. and then Nigeria. There is as you know on OFW and others, time and again, the discussion and analyses about collapsing ‘complex’ systems. This is then always about ‘ our’ complex banking and energy systems.
I have always been puzzled by that.
To watch ‘ complex’ social systems collapse you don’t have to look very far, unless of course you think that complex sustems are reserved for eh….. us
The list of’ failed countries’ is now so long that there is hardly any point in listing them.
Nigeria is one such country. I worked there for a time….from Lagos to Port Harourt which you had a post about a few days ago…. a hell on earth where chaos, local warlords, crime etc etc prevail with no prospect of improvement.
In our global economic and political explanatory ‘rhetoric’ which also always comes through in almost every link you present to us, we frantically try to provide some kind of rather hollow global economic explanations to keep it at least somewhat ‘consumable’.
The fact is that ever larger areas and countries are decaying into total perspective-less chaos and ciminlity….there’s really no need for you to air sophisticated ‘ western’ nonsense theories with references to the Roman Empire etc.
Next time, perhaps something about those recurring problems at Eskom, another fine example of a collapsing society….
In the link something reassuring about our vegetable gardens….and our ‘ excitement’ with greetings to Coffey and her forgotten vegetables
Poor Nigeria – a post-peak oil producer with a rapidly growing population of over 215 million, almost divided in half between Christians and Muslims… it’s a recipe for disaster. This weekend’s election is going to be interesting:
“A senatorial candidate from Nigeria’s opposition Labour Party has been killed by unknown gunmen in southeastern Enugu State ahead of the country’s national election, according to police and a party official.”
Panopticon by the way, do you have a link to an insightful article on the issue of the ‘naira’? That E naira is really a Houdini act as far as I can tell
It’s a country where everyone pays with cash…. often in quantities of shoeboxes full 🙂 tricky and lengthy counting I can assure you. Energy theft is also an interesting issue in the Harcourt region with Shell as a big brother.
Zip, I don’t have time to dive into this deeply as my youngest needs shepherding towards bed but I recall the IMF saying that uptake of the E-Naira was very poor. This article isn’t hugely detailed but it does suggest a few reasons for that:
“A lack of infrastructure, merchants and interest [I can well imagine, as you say, Nigeria being a culture that particularly embraces physical cash] may all be reasons why more people in the country aren’t using the digital currency.”
Nigeria 🙁 I only know what I see through their film industry : ‘Nollywood’ (I’m a lifelong film buff).
As for e-currency & the “cashless” economy, methinx Australia has been there for a long time, very early adopters – hardly ever use cash these last few years, or even decades? Especially coins. I can’t even buy a new wallet/purse with a coin pouch.
Some months ago, I started clearing out junk, long unused garden tools, and other household items – to sell them on local Buy/Sell/Swap webpages and wandering through garage/yard sales etc – thinking I would be collecting a chunk of cash. Had to learn a ‘new trick’ (for me, anyway!!) on my smartphone called ‘PayID’ here, doesn’t even need its own App – direct personal bank-to-bank transfer in 2 or 3 clicks.
Which led me to wonder how the charity donation boxes, the homeless, and street entertainers/buskers etc were doing?
Good question, Rain. And one wonders in turn how they would fare if we became entirely cashless societies. Not well, I assume. I doubt the digital currency enthusiasts are factoring them into their analyses.