“Central banks ‘risk tipping UK and other developed countries into recession’… Stance on inflation poses threat to “soft landing”…
“The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said the chances of policymakers getting it wrong were “pretty high” and posed a threat to its central “soft landing” forecast for the global economy.”
“Keep interest rates high or risk a return to 1970s inflation crisis, IMF warns…
“The Fund has urged central bankers to “pay the most attention” to the lessons of history, which suggest it takes “years to ‘resolve’ inflation by reducing it to the rate that prevailed before the initial shock”.”
“Why are US banks hoarding liquidity?
“…So what gives? Why would a bank hoard liquidity if (at least in theory) they’re losing money on it? He attributes this in part to the more-than-half-trillion-dollar elephant in the room: unrealised losses on bond portfolios.”
“New York’s Near Zombie Apocalypse…
“…wells in the Marcellus and Utica shale deposits that supply much of the eastern U.S. with natural gas froze, reducing production by 23% to 54%. While gas supply fell, demand for electricity and heating surged, causing the pressure in interstate pipelines that supply downstate New York to plunge.”
“Economist at Major Bank Warns of Possible Civil Unrest Over Housing [Canada].
“CIBC’s Benjamin Tal Tells Real Estate Forum Affordability Issues Require Urgent Action. An economist from one of Canada’s Big Five banks said housing affordability issues are now so acute civil unrest is a possibility.”
“Do they know something we don’t? UK health chiefs issue guidance on what to do in a radiation emergency amid escalating WW3 fears…
“Brits will be told to ‘go in, stay in, tune in’ if the UK is hit by a ‘radiation emergency’, according to new advice from health chiefs. The guidance was published today by UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).”
“Chart of the week: Exploding debt [UK].
“Our chart this week takes a look at how UK public debt has exploded since the financial crisis to more than quintuple from £0.6trn in March 2008 to a projected £3.1trn in March 2029.”
“Sweden’s economy shrank in the third quarter of 2023 to mark the second time of contraction and signal that a recession may have hit the country.
“Data released Wednesday by Statistics Sweden showed that the country’s gross domestic product declined by 0.3% in the period ending in October.”
“Europe’s Longest Recession Grips Estonia as Region Suffers…
“The Baltic nation of 1.3 million registered its seventh-straight drop in gross domestic product in the third quarter, declining 1.3% from the previous three months, the statistics office said Thursday. The figure is down more than 4% from its peak at the end of 2021, according to the Bank of Estonia.”
“Slovak truckers to block Ukraine crossing, joining Polish protests…
“Slovak drivers staged a symbolic protest earlier this month but will begin their blockade at the Vysne Nemecke/Uzhhorod crossing from 3 p.m. (1400 GMT) on Friday. “The purpose of the protest is to join truck carriers from Poland,” UNAS said in a statement on its Facebook page on Wednesday. “We cannot leave them alone in the fight.””
“Euro-Zone Crisis Doom Loop Revisited by S&P in Warning for 2024.
“Euro-zone countries haven’t broken the link between public finances and banks that dominated the region’s sovereign debt crisis, and investors could refocus on that vulnerability next year, S&P Global Ratings said.”
“France ‘omits’ renewable energy target in 2030 energy-climate plan…
“Instead, France defined a “decarbonised energy” target corresponding to a 58% share of its final energy consumption, thus conflating renewables and nuclear in the same calculation. In doing so, France appears to dodge the EU’s renewable energy directive…”
“How Colombia’s dirty coal fuels Germany’s energy transition.
“At El Cerrejon, Latin America’s largest open-pit coal mine, reports of human rights abuses and environmental destruction are piling up. Is that compatible with Germany’s values-driven foreign policy and Supply Chain Act?”
“In China’s coal country, full steam ahead with new power plants despite climate pledges…
“Surrounded by cranes, the main building at the 3 billion-plus yuan ($419 million) Yushen Yuheng plant is taking shape, part of a spate of new coal-fired power construction in China even as the country pledges to begin reducing coal use during its next five-year plan, beginning in 2026.”
“China’s factories fall deeper into contraction, more policy support expected.
“China’s manufacturing activity shrank for a second straight month in November and at a quicker pace, suggesting more stimulus will be needed to shore up economic growth and restore confidence that the authorities can ably support industry.”
“China edges towards a big bail-out…
“According to Bloomberg, banks are being asked to supply unsecured short-term loans to a handful of developers. Prices of developer bonds traded in Hong Kong have risen recently on reports that authorities are drawing up a list of 50 firms eligible for new financing through banks, bonds and equities.”
“Two Chinese business executives at companies controlled by the embattled financial conglomerate Zhongzhi have gone missing, according to statements by their respective firms.
“The development comes just days after Chinese authorities launched a criminal investigation into the troubled shadow bank, one of China’s largest. Last week, Zhongzhi told its investors that it is “severely insolvent.””
“Argentina will not be joining the BRICS bloc of developing economies next year as scheduled, a senior official in President-elect Javier Milei’s team said Thursday…
“The move appears to be a preview of the drastic shift in foreign policy that will be implemented in Argentina once right-wing populist Milei takes office.”
“Brazil set to join OPEC+ in 2024.
“Brazilian Energy Minister Alexandre Silveira made the announcement on Thursday during a rescheduled OPEC+ meeting convened to discuss the oil output strategy for next year. Brazilian President Lula da Silva had already given consent for his country to join OPEC+, the minister said.”
“Sudan’s warring sides forcibly recruit civilians, even refugees who return.
“The two warring sides in Sudan have been forcibly recruiting civilians to join the fight, and conditions in some refugee camps outside the country are so awful that some men who fled have returned to Sudan, only to be captured and pressed into combat, refugees said.”
“UN warns of humanitarian ‘tsunami’ as Israel-Hamas hostilities resume…
“Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees, said the population of Gaza had been weakened so much that he feared many people would start dying from diseases as well as Israel’s bombardment of the enclave.”
“Cargo vessels are being warned to be extra vigilant sailing near Yemen and Somalia after a spate of attacks on merchant shipping in the vicinity of Israel’s war in Gaza.
“On Wednesday the UK navy issued a security notification warning of multiple reports of small vessels acting suspiciously in the Gulf of Aden, which connects the Red Sea with the Indian Ocean.”
“Why Kenya Power is teetering on brink of collapse…
“The corporation has suffered losses for seven consecutive years, totaling a staggering Sh4.43 billion before taxes. The report by the auditor general reveals alarming financial statistics, raising concerns about the company’s long-term sustainability. These worries persist despite the country’s frequent power outages.”
“Air Pollution Crisis Worsens As Iranian Winter Bites. The use of dirty low-quality fuels to produce electricity amidst a natural gas shortage raises risks as winter months require ever rising heating demands for families across the country.
“The National Crisis Management Center this week forecast a surge in air pollution levels across industrial hubs such as Tehran, Karaj, Arak, Esfahan, and Tabriz, coupled with a deterioration in air quality.”
“Kashmir’s oxygen-reliant patients in dire straits amid unscheduled power cuts…
“Patients and their families said they are grappling with the challenge of managing power backup solutions and ensuring the safety of their loved ones. While some have resorted to alternative power sources, these solutions come with their own set of challenges, and not everyone can afford generators or backups…”
“India turns to coal as hydro generation falls.
“India produced a record amount of electricity from coal in October to make up for a shortfall in hydro generation following lower-than-normal monsoon rains. Coal remains fundamental to the country’s energy security, despite rapid deployment of wind and solar generation, underscoring the challenge of reducing emissions.”
“Fossil fuels still dominate global power systems.
“Over 60% of global electricity generated so far in 2023 was produced by fossil fuels, despite the ongoing aggressive roll-out of renewable energy sources in every major economy. Several key countries have sourced well over half of their electricity from fossil fuels this year, including the United States (59%), China (65%), India (75%), Japan (63%), Poland (73%) and Turkey (57%)…”
“Oil and gas companies stall on net zero plans…
““Progress on emissions has stalled,” says Mike Coffin, a former BP geologist who is now head of oil, gas and mining at Carbon Tracker, a think-tank. “We’ve seen incremental progress from some people and some new net zero goals,” following on from initial targets, he notes, but very few commitments to cut production.”
“Yara announces world’s first clean ammonia-powered container ship…
“It’s far from a perfect solution; diesel still carries twice as much energy by weight and about two and a half times as much by volume. But ammonia can be burned cleanly in a combustion engine, provided the process is well managed to avoid producing nitrous oxides, it delivers enough energy to cover *some* shipping routes, and it’s a widely produced chemical for agricultural use, so it’s relatively accessible even today.”
You can read the previous “Economic” thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with a “Climate” thread.
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