“Is a global food crisis the new normal?
“A looming question haunts nations worldwide: is a global food crisis becoming the new normal? Alarming trends in agriculture, climate change and supply change disruptions have led experts to raise concerns.”
“World Bank warns oil price could soar to record $150 a barrel.
“Oil prices could soar to a record high of more than $150 a barrel if the war between Israel and Hamas leads to a repeat of the full-scale conflict in the Middle East witnessed 50 years ago, the World Bank has warned.”
“Yemen’s Houthis enter Mideast fray, hardening spillover fears.
“Yemen’s Houthis have waded into the Israel-Hamas war raging more than 1,000 miles from their seat of power in Sanaa, declaring on Tuesday they had fired drones and missiles at Israel in attacks that highlight the regional risks of the conflict.”
“Warning of crisis, 300 economists urge government to reallocate nonessential spending [Israel].
“A group of about 300 senior economists on Monday appealed in a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich to immediately halt all nonessential expenditure items in the state budget, and reconsider spending priorities in order to cope with a looming economic crisis during the ongoing war…”
“Cash-strapped Lebanon unprepared as threat of war looms.
“A gruelling, four-year-long economic collapse, widely blamed on the governing elite, has left Lebanon ill-prepared for another disaster, and volunteers and local authorities are scrambling to fill the gap with limited means.”
“Egypt’s natural gas imports have ground to a halt, the cabinet said Sunday, in a development that reflects the impact of the Gaza conflict on the North African nation and could dash hopes of a resumption of exports to Europe…
“The halt in the gas imports appears linked a decision earlier this month by Israeli authorities to shut down the offshore Tamar gas field…”
“China leads record central bank gold buying in first nine months of year.
“China has spearheaded record levels of central bank purchases of gold globally in the first nine months of the year, as countries seek to hedge against inflation and reduce their reliance on the dollar. Central banks have bought 800 tonnes in the first nine months of the year…”
“China’s economy stumbled again in recent months with factory activity falling and foreign investment plunging 34%…
“Factory activity dropped through the month of October, with China’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index falling to restrictive territory at 49.5… Meanwhile, foreign direct investment plunged 34% year-over-year in September… That’s the largest monthly decline ever recorded…”
“Overnight borrowing costs for some Chinese financial institutions jumped to as high as 50% on Tuesday, as a month-end scramble for cash squeezed liquidity and stressed money markets.
“In addition to seasonal factors, the cash shortage was caused by an upcoming flood of government bond issuance, and traders also pointed to market fears of default by cash-strapped institutions.”
“The United States is entering a tax crisis with skyrocketing deficits and debt…
“The public deficit doubled last year due to the fall in tax revenue; debt held by the public is on track to surpass the World War II high, and long-term interest rates, due to a mix of factors, have hit 5%. With the aging of the population and the political deadlock in Congress… the problem is only set to worsen.”
“We broke the money printer in 2008 when GDP stopped moving up in line with M2. Now, money supply is contracting for the first time since 1933.” [US]
“62% of Americans are still living paycheck to paycheck, making it ‘the main financial lifestyle,’ report finds.
“High inflation and higher interest rates continue to weigh on American households. As of September, 62% of adults said they are living paycheck to paycheck, according to a new LendingClub report. The figure is unchanged from last year.”
“Consumer lending increased by 7.3 per cent in the year to September, which marked the highest annual growth rate since November 2008 at the height of the financial crash, new data from the [Irish] Central Bank shows.
“Net consumer lending amounted to €48 million in September, which contributed to the increase in the annual growth rate to 7.3 per cent from 6.8 per cent in August.”
“Britons in Most Arrears Since Financial Crisis, Credit Firm Says.
“Britain’s cash-strapped mortgage holders are missing payments and having their debit cards rejected as high interest rates squeeze finances… “We expect the situation to get worse before it gets better,” said Gerry McHugh, chief executive officer at Pepper Advantage.”
“The number of British businesses in financial distress has rocketed to levels not seen since the financial crisis in 2009.
“Official figures showed the number of company insolvencies in England and Wales jumped 10% year-on-year to 6,208 in the third quarter.”
“Eurozone Money Supply Continues To Contract For Third Consecutive Month.
“… the effects of the ECB’s official rate hike are being passed on to the money market. Specifically, if we look at the evolution of loans, it is worth noting that credit to non-financial firms entered negative territory in September, falling by -0.4% year-on-year-year.”
“Eurozone economy shrinks by 0.1%, putting it at brink of recession.
“The eurozone is teetering on the brink of a winter recession after the latest official figures showed its economy contracted by 0.1% in the third quarter of 2023. In a worse than forecast performance, the 20-nation single currency zone has now failed to grow in three of the past four quarters…”
“BASF makes deep cost cuts in response to energy crunch.
“BASF unveiled fresh cuts to investment and measures to reduce operating costs as the company adjusts to more expensive energy, higher interest rates and a slump in demand… Germany’s energy-intensive industries continue to struggle with high energy prices, even after they receded from record levels last year…”
“France’s Macron Travels to Central Asia, Seeking Friends, Uranium in Russia’s Backyard…
“After finding itself suddenly unwelcome in its traditional sphere of influence, France is casting further afield. That’s why President Emmanuel Macron will travel to energy-rich Central Asia this week to visit Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, two suppliers of the uranium that powers the country’s nuclear reactors.”
“Australia’s banks face unprecedented wave of threats, RBA warns.
“Australia’s banking industry faces emerging threats from potential rapid-fire bank runs to climate change and geopolitical tensions that are without historical precedents, a senior Reserve Bank official has warned.”
“Iran Printing Huge Sums Of Money Amid Rising Inflation.
“Iran’s former chief banker says the government has printed about $5.6 billion worth of national currency in the past year, aggravating the country’s inflation rate. Abdolnaser Hemmati, the former governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), said Monday that the annual growth of the country’s monetary base was about 41 percent in August…”
“Thousands of Afghan refugees fleeing Pakistan as deportation deadline looms.
“Thousands of Afghan refugees and migrants in Pakistan are heading to the border… Earlier this month, Pakistan’s interim interior minister, Sarfaraz Bugti, issued an October 31 deadline for all “illegal” refugees and migrants to leave, citing security concerns.”
“Sri Lanka: Protests over electricity polices to occur in and around Colombo Nov. 1… Heightened security, transport disruptions likely; clashes possible…
“Advising the protesters to carry out their activities peacefully, Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage further advised the police to make arrests in the event any protester fails to act in a peaceful manner.”
“Two garment workers die as unrest rages over minimum wage in Bangladesh…
“As the news of Russell’s death spread, the agitated workers vandalised several factories and set fire to Jamuna Fashion’s textile scrap warehouse at Konabari, the fire service and police said, citing witnesses. The protesters then stormed ABM Fashion’s factory…”
“Energy rationing costing Ecuador shrimp industry $5 million a day.
“‘This crisis requires urgent action,’ says shrimp industry executive… Ecuador’s shrimp industry is suffering losses of as much as $5 million (€4.7 million) a day because of energy rationing across the country, shrimp producers trade body Camara Nacional de Acuacultura (CNA) said.”
“South Africa’s state-owned oil company is looking to fix its energy problems by chartering in tankers to store diesel.
“PetroSA needs vessels as part of a drive to ensure there is enough supply to run generators and reduce power cuts that are harming the economy. South Africa does not have sufficient tank capacity onshore.”
“South Africa Has a Bigger Problem Than Loadshedding…
“…in business and finance circles, the country’s inability to generate enough electricity is seen as its magnum opus. That would be a mistake, though, because the country has a more serious and knotty problem: the collapse of its logistics network.”
“Conflict uproots record 6.9 million people in Congo.
“Conflict and escalating violence have uprooted a record 6.9 million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo, mostly in the east of the country, the International Organization for Migration said on Monday. Years of rebel conflict and recurrent natural disasters have helped fuel one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world.”
“Sudanese refugee children in Chad face malnutrition and trauma.
“The conflict in Sudan between the army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has reignited ethnic violence in West Darfur, where the RSF is accused of committing acts of ethnic cleansing against the Masalit community. More than 400,000 Sudanese have already crossed the border into Chad…”
“Hunger report sounds alarm on emergencies at risk of going forgotten amid crisis in Palestine…
“In addition to Palestine – now added to the countries of highest concern – other countries highlighted at greatest risk of a serious deterioration in food security and possible starvation are Burkina Faso, Mali, South Sudan and the Sudan. In total, urgent humanitarian action is essential in 18 hunger hotspots – comprising 22 countries or territories…”
You can read the previous “Economic” thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with a “Climate” thread.
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