Dear readers, a heads-up that this will be my penultimate economic thread for a while (final one on Monday), as I am taking a holiday and will be away from Tuesday 19th to Thursday 28th Sept inclusive. I’ll be back with an economic thread on Friday 29th Sept. Thank you all for bearing with me, especially my donors and subscribers – you are appreciated!
A small group of volunteers will very kindly be filling in for me when I’m away, so you can continue to follow climate and economic news here in our usual fashion.
[picture from the Netherlands, where 3,000 climate protesters have been arrested this week].“Global climate protests demand world leaders phase out fossil fuels
“Climate protesters were set to take to the streets in more than 50 countries from Friday to Sunday, in a weekend of demonstrations to demand that governments phase out the burning of fossil fuels heating the planet.
“In a year of mounting deaths and economic destruction from record-breaking floods, wildfires and drought, protesters have planned more than 500 gatherings in 54 countries – from Pakistan and Nigeria to the United States.”
“‘Extremely risky’: OPEC criticizes IEA forecast that fossil fuel demand will peak before 2030…
““Such narratives only set the global energy system up to fail spectacularly. It would lead to energy chaos on a potentially unprecedented scale, with dire consequences for economies and billions of people across the world,” OPEC Secretary General Haitham al-Ghais said.”
“Uranium prices hit 12-year high as governments warm to nuclear power…
““You have a focus on energy security colliding with a focus on clean energy,” said Grant Isaac, chief financial officer at Cameco, the world’s second-largest uranium producer. “The days of buying $40 uranium are over — and probably also for $50 or $60. We’re going to need new supplies,” he added.”
“Global diesel shortage boosts prices.
“Distillates such as diesel, gasoil and heating oil are the primary fuels used by the industrial economy and inventories are normally strongly correlated with the manufacturing cycle. But stocks in all the major consuming regions were severely depleted in August, despite a prolonged slowdown in manufacturing activity and freight movements over the previous year.”
“Oil surges as analysts warn of stagflation risk…
“Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, said while Opec can control supply, they have limited influence on demand. “With inflationary pressures from higher energy prices on the rise again, the timing of peak rates may suffer another delay while later rate cuts may end up being less than expected. All developments that carry the risk of stagflation, i.e. low growth and stubbornly high inflation.””
“US inflation in August rose to 3.7% amid sharp increase in energy prices.
“…an increase in inflation means the US economy is further from the Federal Reserve’s target rate of 2% and will probably make officials consider pushing interest rates up later this year. The price of energy commodities, including gas and oil, jumped up 10.5% over the last month.”
“Cost crunch prompts mass rethink of US offshore wind contracts.
“Offshore wind developers have faced rising costs and interest rates since the COVID-19 pandemic that have sliced profit margins in agreed power contracts. Delivery delays are hampering some projects and a lack of transmission investment…”
“The Bond Market Has Never Sounded Recession Alarms for This Long…
“…for 212 straight trading days, no matter what the indicators have said, the Treasury market has delivered what is widely understood as a starkly different message: The economy is veering toward a contraction, since 10-year yields have held below 3-month ones.”
“Subprime-Focused Car Dealer U.S. Auto Sales Goes Bankrupt.
“U.S. Auto Sales Inc., a car dealer that catered to consumers regardless of their credit history, quietly filed for bankruptcy late last month as more Americans fall behind on their car payments.”
“Workers start strike at US motor industry giants…
“Work has been stopped at three plants owned by General Motors (GM), Ford and Stellantis. It came after labour contracts expired on Thursday night… The fight threatens to trigger higher prices for buyers and major disruption for the motor industry giants.”
“Canada could impose new taxes on major grocery chains if they do not come up with a convincing plan to limit the rise of food prices, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday.
“Trudeau said the heads of the largest chains would be summoned to Ottawa with a plan to address rising prices. The deadline for this is Oct. 9, he said…”
“A Concrete Crisis Has the UK Literally Crumbling…
“As it rolls from one political crisis to another, it’s hard not to think of Britain as metaphorically crumbling. Now, it seems, significant pieces of the country are literally structurally unsound. More than 150 schools, colleges, and nurseries in England have been ordered to close…”
“Britain’s university crisis is reaching a tipping point…
“Unhappy students; angry lecturers; unmarked exams; poisonous industrial relations; cancelled courses; a lack of student housing and ballooning debt. As UK universities begin the academic year, the crises are piling up.”
“The European Central Bank has raised interest rates to the highest level since the launch of the euro to tackle stubbornly high inflation, despite fears over a slowdown across the single currency bloc.
“It marks the 10th consecutive rate rise for the bank, as the ECB warned inflation remained too high…”
“Wellington City Council told to drastically cut capital spending amid ‘financial crisis’ [NZ]…
“Cr Diane Calvert …said councillors do not know “the specifics” but received a behind-closed-doors briefing yesterday on the state of the council’s finances.“We are facing significant challenges coming up and we are going to have to make significant decisions.””
“Chevron Australia LNG workers escalate strikes, 24-hour stoppages possible.
“Workers at Chevron’s two liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in Australia plan to escalate industrial action from Thursday to anything from a total strike to hours-long work stoppages, their union said, increasing the risk of disrupted output from facilities accounting for over 5% of global supply.”
“China’s LNG Buying Spree Threatens Global Gas Market Stability.
“Following a record slump last year due to Covid-19, China’s gas consumption is rising again, putting pressure on a fragile global natural gas market as Europe faces its own supply concerns… the situation is precarious, with warnings of potential gas shortages and high volatility.”
“Chinese banks shun Beijing’s flagship property bailout fund…
“…almost a year after the programme was launched, less than 1 per cent of the funds have been disbursed to banks, which were supposed to match the PBoC loans with their own lending but have been unwilling to issue further debt to the ailing sector, according to former PBoC and current banking officials familiar with the situation.”
“Argentina’s annual inflation rate shot up to 124.4% in August and hit its highest level since 1991, stoking a painful cost-of-living crisis in the South American country.
“The soaring prices, which rose more than expected, are forcing hard-hit shoppers to run a daily gauntlet to find deals and cheaper options…”
“Inflation, capital flight hobble Tanzania’s economy…
“In reality, the fuel crisis is a story foretold. Moreover, it’s one that reveals a long-lasting US dollar shortage in Tanzania. A massive trade deficit and the growing international debt have put upward pressure on the Tanzanian government’s spending. Meanwhile, the rising value of the US dollar has put the government in an even more vulnerable position.”
“South African township resists police over illegal power cables…
“To the woman and other locals unable to pay utility bills it represented a lifeline. But authorities in a country facing a severe energy emergency regarded it as a burden on public coffers and the overstretched energy grid.”
“Nigeria experienced a nationwide power outage Thursday after the country’s electrical grid collapsed due to technical failures, the West African nation’s electricity distribution companies reported.
“The outage affected all of Nigeria’s 36 states and the capital city of Abuja. The grid has collapsed multiple times, and it was not clear when power would be restored.”
“UN investigates reports of 13 mass graves in Sudan’s Darfur region…
“The mass graves are believed to contain civilians from the ethnic Masalit tribe who were killed in attacks by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and allied Arab militias, according to UN envoy Volker Perthes.”
“Sudan’s descent into violence poses new threat to volatile Sahel region…
“Sudan’s descent into violence and the growing threat to Chad risks connecting the conflict zones into a vast corridor of instability that stretches from the Red Sea to the Atlantic. This would heap fresh misery on the inhabitants of some of the world’s poorest countries while threatening more prosperous west African states such as Ivory Coast and Togo.”
“Deadly fighting continues in Lebanon’s Ein el-Hilweh Palestinian camp…
“Clashes intensified on Wednesday as a ceasefire fell apart in Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp on the outskirts of the southern port city of Sidon. Scores of civilians have been forced to flee to safer areas as multiple ceasefire agreements have failed to hold.”
“Three injured in Syria as shots reportedly fired at anti-Assad protesters.
“Three people have been wounded by bullets that were sprayed at anti-government protesters in the southern Syrian city of Suwayda, activists and local journalists have said, in the first reported use of violence in weeks-long demonstrations there.”
“Kremlin says Karabakh tensions rising, Armenia warns of ‘critical’ humanitarian situation.
“The Kremlin expressed concern on Thursday that tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh were increasing, as Armenia’s prime minister described the situation in the blockaded territory as “critical”.”
“Subway launched a three-inch sandwich in inflation-battered Pakistan, the first time the fast-food chain has launched a mini version globally.
“The bite-size sandwich, which appeared on Pakistani menus and social media posts with little fanfare last month, provides “value” to Pakistani customers, a spokesperson for Subway told Bloomberg News on Wednesday.”
“The number of new corporate defaults globally reached 16 in August, the highest August monthly number since 2009, S&P said in a report released on Wednesday, the latest sign that corporate stress is building.
“While defaults tend to slow down during the summer, last month’s number was well above the 8.6 average for August seen in previous years.”
“This year’s bank turmoil showed some boards and senior management failed in their most basic responsibilities and more regulatory guidance may be needed, a global watchdog said.
“A handful of banks with more than $1 trillion in assets, including Credit Suisse and Silicon Valley Bank, either collapsed or were rescued between March and May of this year, sending shockwaves through global markets.”
“Global debt reaches $367 trillion as calls grow for restraint.
“The world’s governments, businesses and households have been urged to wind back their debt levels for fear of risking the global economy after the International Monetary Fund revealed borrowers owe a record $367 trillion… It equates to every man, woman and child on the planet owing $45,308.”
You can read the previous “Economic” thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with a “Climate” thread.
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