Record global central bank interest rate rises are having less impact on slowing inflation and economic growth than in the past, the Bank for International Settlements has warned…“
“Evidence suggests that the unprecedented tightening in global monetary policy of last year, during which rates rose by about 2.7 percentage points in large economies, is not bringing down inflation and economic activity as much as in previous eras of spiralling prices.
“Researchers at the BIS said the higher take-up of longer-term loans with fixed-term repayments, such as mortgages, had protected parts of the economy from the immediate impact of higher interest rates. This meant businesses and consumers were less likely to cut back on spending, investment or hiring, all ways in which monetary policy works to slow the economy when inflation is running hot…
“Its findings add credence to hawkish claims from some rate-setters, who say that despite sharp declines in headline inflation expected in the America, Britain and the European Union this year, monetary policy should remain tight to fight underlying price pressures in wages and higher prices for services.”
Inflation accelerated in the US and Europe last month, highlighting sticky price pressures that will keep central bankers committed to raising interest rates.“
“Prices in the US, according to the Federal Reserve’s preferred metrics, rose 5.4% from a year earlier and the core gauge was up 4.7%, both hotter than forecast after slowing for several months. In Europe, core price growth reached a record 5.3% — more than an initial reading of 5.2%.”
Record-breaking global bond rally crumbles as fresh inflation fears grip investors…“
“Futures markets, which had previously reflected bets that the US central bank would reduce interest rates twice later this year, now predict that rates will rise to 5.4 per cent by July, with at most a single cut by the end of the year.”
Despite high inflation, Americans are spending like crazy – and it’s kind of puzzling.“
“…many Americans went on a spending spree last month, eating out at restaurants and shopping for cars. In ordinary times, that additional spending would be welcome news to an economy that’s heavily dependent on consumer dollars. But there’s a catch: All that spending threatens to put more upward pressure on inflation…”
Record-high credit card debt outpaces savings for nearly one-third of the country…“
“… more than a third (36%) of U.S. adults owe more money in credit card debt than they have saved. This is, as Bankrate indicates, a record high in its 12 years of polling Americans, and a significant jump from the last two years where that percentage was at 27% and 22% in 2021 and 2022, respectively.”
Subprime lender American Car Center has reportedly closed amid a rise in auto loan delinquencies…“
“The company — which operated 50 dealerships, mostly in the U.S. southeast — is shutting down at a time when Americans are increasingly struggling to make car payments as the cost of owning a vehicle continues to rise.”
What Will Happen When Banks Go Bust?“
“…if a bank with major derivatives risk collapses, there might be no bank assets left for the non-insured creditors; and a series of major derivative cross-defaults could wipe out the whole FDIC kitty as well.”
A fifth of UK retailers fear insolvency amid energy crisis, FRP research shows“
“…the industry faces a number of market headwinds, including increased wholesale, labour, logistics and warehousing costs. Energy will continue to be retailers’ most significant concern over the next 12 months though, with more than half (52%) citing it as the biggest anticipated pressure on their margins.”
Vegetable shortages in UK could be ‘tip of iceberg’, says farming union.“
“”Energy prices, Brexit and climate crisis mean growers lack confidence to plant crops, says NFU deputy… The NFU’s deputy president, Tom Bradshaw, said a reliance on imports had left the UK particularly exposed to “shock weather events”.”
Euro Area’s Core Inflation Problem to Come to the Fore…“
““Another likely energy-driven decline in the euro area’s headline inflation rate may do little to comfort the hawks at the ECB. With underlying price pressures still elevated, policymakers might be pushed to keep hiking rates until the start of the summer.””
Thousands protest in Berlin against giving weapons to Ukraine.“
“Thousands of people have taken part in a demonstration in central Berlin to protest against giving more weapons to Ukraine, urging the German government to deescalate the crisis by paving the way for negotiations with Vladimir Putin instead.”
Thousands in Italy protest West’s weapons supplies to Ukraine as war enters 2nd year.“
“Thousands of Italians have demonstrated across the country in Rome, Florence and Genoa against Western sanctions imposed on Russia and transfer of lethal military hardware to Ukraine, a day after the first anniversary of the Ukraine-Russia war.”
Thousands protest in Portugal over cost-of-living crisis.“
“Thousands took to Lisbon’s streets on Saturday to demand better living conditions at a time high inflation is making it even tougher for people to make ends meet. Portugal is one of Western Europe’s poorest countries, with government data showing more than 50 per cent of workers earned less than 1,000 euros ($1,054.60) per month last year.”
Incoming Bank of Japan head says merits of ultra-low rates exceed costs…“
““It’s not that I have no ideas on how to tweak the BOJ’s current policy [bless him 😂]. But the desirable tweak will vary depending on economic changes at the time,” Ueda said, adding it was premature to comment on how the central bank may shift policy.”
China’s former central bank chief sounds alarm over pension dangers…“
“Economist Zhou Xiaochuan, also a former vice-chairman of China’s top political advisory body, told a wealth management forum in Beijing on Saturday that pressure on the pension system was building as the country’s vast population aged.”
China approved equivalent of two new coal plants a week in 2022, report finds…“
““The speed at which projects progressed through permitting to construction in 2022 was extraordinary, with many projects sprouting up, gaining permits, obtaining financing and breaking ground apparently in a matter of months,” said GEM analyst Flora Champenois.”
In India, ‘phase down’ of coal actually means rapid expansion of mining…“
“At the 2021 global climate forum in Glasgow known as COP26, India publicly promised a “phase down” of coal. But that doesn’t actually mean that India will use less… In absolute terms, the country expects its coal production and consumption to expand dramatically.”
Pakistan stops salaries, pensions as economic crisis worsens.“
“The cash-strapped Pakistan government has reportedly instructed the Accountant General of Pakistan Revenues (AGPR) to halt the clearing of all bills, including salaries and pensions, of federal ministries and attached departments until further notice.”
Iran rial plunges to new lows amid unrest, international isolation.“
“Iran’s currency fell to a record low against the U.S. dollar on the unofficial market on Sunday, amid the country’s increasing isolation over its disputed nuclear programme, human rights violations and the supply of drones to Russia.”
Banks in Switzerland are holding a substantial amount of the millions of dollars Lebanese central bank chief Riad Salameh is accused of embezzling, Swiss media reported on Sunday.“
“Salameh, 72, faces investigations related to suspicions of money laundering and illicit enrichment in Lebanon and abroad after he amassed a fortune in the country mired in financial crisis.”
About 160,000 people protest against Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul in Tel Aviv.“
“Critics accuse Netanyahu of pushing the legislation in order to get out of corruption trials he is currently facing. Netanyahu denies that, saying the trials are collapsing on their own, and that the changes are necessary after judicial overreach by unelected judges.”
Hundreds of people have protested on the streets of the Tunisian capital to denounce President Kais Saied, accusing him of racist comments and hate speech against refugees.“
“The demonstrators marched on Saturday to denounce racism and demand that the president apologise for his remarks, which included claims of a plot to erase Tunisia’s identity by overrunning it with sub-Saharan Africans.”
US Embassy in South Africa issues alert to stock up on food and water.“
“The United States government has warned its citizens in South Africa to stockpile three days’ worth of supplies, including non-perishable food, 3 litres of drinking water per day, and medicine and first aid supplies. It also says it expects load-shedding to continue beyond 2023.”
Pace of spending in Guyana is not at a level that can keep up with its earnings [some discussion on oil-rich Guyana in the comments section the other day… I hadn’t realised that the world’s fastest growing economy is already overspending like crazy]…“
“Guyana is spending a third of what Walmart earns in profit in a year, while having to wait 20 years to obtain the annual revenue of the company.”
Mexicans Rally Nationwide Against President’s Electoral Overhaul.“
“Hundreds of thousands of Mexicans rallied across the country for the second time in less than four months against President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s overhaul of the country’s independent election agency, saying it will cripple its ability to organize next year’s presidential election.”
G20 meeting ends in discord as Russia and China refuse to condemn Ukraine war…“
““It’s becoming difficult for the G20 to engage in constructive discussion because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which is an act that shakes the foundations of the global order,” Japanese finance minister Shunichi Suzuki told reporters in remarks reported by Reuters.”
The Ticking Clock…“
“Undoubtedly, the spectre of the entire world divided into two opposing camps, does not augur well for world peace… The world waits with bated breath while superpowers decide its fate, because a nuclear war anywhere, can wipe out the entire human race. As Noam Chomsky had said: “There are two problems for our species’ survival – nuclear war and environmental catastrophe ~ and we’re hurtling towards them. Knowingly.””
The madness of endless economic growth on a planet of finite resources.“
“…the Earth’s resources are finite, and economic growth that relies on ever-increasing consumption and production leads to the depletion of natural resources, environmental degradation, and the exacerbation of social and economic inequalities. In fact, we are right in the middle of this crisis.”
You can read the previous “Economic” thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with a “Climate” thread.
If you found value in this content, please help me continue this work by becoming a patron of my work via Patreon. And if you are already a subscriber or have donated – thank you! It is an enormous help as the cost-of-living crisis ratchets up here in the UK.
The madness of endless economic growth…..
YouTube talk of Dr William Rees…covers all points on our situation.
Rather long but for those interested, well worth the time.
Was unaware with many aspects of his lecture/talk
Will Modern Civilization be the Death of Us? (Part 1 — with Dr. William Rees
Actually, if one wishes to thumb through it you will not be disappointed.
Worth saving for reference.
He not only covers the physical but psychology aspect of the path we are on.
Sorry to disagree about being “middle of the crisis”…perhaps looking in the rear view mirror would be more appropriate…but it gives our leaders another reason to come together at a global conference to make more meaningless resolutions and proclamations
Many thanks for that, Vince. Dr Rees made a very good guest appearance on Nate Hagens’ show recently:
Thanks Justin, Just took in Herman Daley short video clip with Nate that was very interesting on the mindset of the World Bank..
In the end best to drop the whole thing!
Thanks for the overview.
1.Guyana is an interesting country to follow though. Can the country escape the ‘resource curse’. Also known as the paradox of abundance or the poverty paradox, is the phenomenon that countries with abundant natural resources have less economic growth, less democracy or worse development outcomes than countries with less natural resources. (Angola, Nigeria, Iraq, Venezuela etc etc).
Guyana experienced the highest GDP growth in the world in 2022 – a whopping 57.8 per cent – thanks to steadily increasing production from an ExxonMobil offshore field.
Guyana’s oil reserves are so large that the country’s daily production is expected to rise from the current level of about 360,000 barrels per day to about 1 million barrels per day by 2027, dethroning Kuwait as the country with the highest per capita oil production worldwide.
For now, things do not look favourable.In 2016, the government agreed to a deal with ExxonMobil and partner companies under which Guyana gets an unusually low share of profits from an oil-rich exploration zone, the Stabroek Block. Each quarter, the companies will pay 2 per cent royalties to the government on the proceeds of oil produced in the block. They are allowed to use 75 per cent of that revenue to pay for their development and ongoing exploration costs
This led to criticism that led to the Afro-Guyanese government being voted out in 2020 and replaced by Indo-Guyanese-backed government. The latter now has to be more mindful of new oil contract auctions running until May. The draft rules include a 10 per cent royalty levy for the government, set the cost recovery portion of revenue at 65 per cent instead of 75 per cent, and introduce a 10 per cent corporate tax.
But yes then the spending your article is about. The government glosses over everything and spends a lot of oil money without clearly accounting for it.
The government claims to have used about $600 million from the fund for its 2022 budget, an increase of about 44.3 per cent. The Stabroek news you quoted writes “Ideally, the proceeds should be used to steer the economy away from oil and gas so that in 30 years, when industry … should be decommissioned, agro-industry, high-end manufacturing and financial and technological services will be the key features.” Well we are going to see…. The booby traps are everywhere : crime corruption etc 🙂
2. The Netherlands experienced something similar in the 70s after the ‘gas boom’ that at once made ht country the world’s leading gas exporting country….
The country fell behind economically, the guilder became too expensive and the gas money earned was squandered in rigging the healthcare society. There was even an official name for that. I remember it well, there was a lot of unemployment and all sorts of economic problems. Now that is all over, the gas tap is closing and there are big political problems in dealing with the earthquake damage in Groningen
The dutch disease:)
“The government claims to have used about $600 million from the fund for its 2022 budget, an increase of about 44.3 per cent.”
Not to cast particular aspersions on the Guyanese, about whom I know very little, but you wonder if corruption is a factor here.
I should probably post more about corruption. It is often a feature of collapsing civilisations and I am aware of a *lot* of it as I trawl through the news these days.
Re the earthquakes in Groningen, I spotted this: “Residents affected by earthquakes caused by operations at Europe’s biggest gas field were “structurally ignored” for decades, “with disastrous consequences”, according to the findings of a Dutch parliamentary inquiry.”
I am surprised anything is functional today as our infrastructure crumbles to dust. I shake my head every morning as things get worse daily. I would not want to be in any government or elected official as things deteriorate daily.
Politicians are somehow going to find a way to “get real” with their populaces – not easy when you are seeking votes. Otherwise there’s going to be an ever greater disconnect between reality and what politicians are promising, which can only be combustible. I’m no fan of Macron but at least he’s being somewhat honest about the future with the French people.