““Local” Wars Keep Punishing Global Markets. It is becoming impossible to ignore how seemingly isolated foreign wars create disruptions that ripple through the global economy…
“A complete account of war’s costs must include the market shocks felt by global markets, including how conflict undermines economic performance and puts developing countries at risk.”
“Despite rising demand, arms sales hampered by production woes, says Stockholm study.
“Dr Diego Lopes da Silva, a senior researcher at Sipri, told AFP that… the slowdown in revenue was “unexpected”. “What the decrease really shows is that there is a time lag between a demand shock like the war in Ukraine and the ability of companies to scale up production and really meet that demand,” he said.”
“Gold prices notched a new record on Monday for a second day in a row — with spot prices touching $2,100 as the global rush for bullion appears set to continue…
“Prices of the yellow metal have risen for two consecutive months with the Israel-Palestinian conflict boosting demand for the safe-haven asset, while expectations of interest rate cuts have provided further support.”
“The global economy isn’t out of danger, despite what you’re hearing…
“The global economy is still grappling with the effects of significantly increased borrowing costs. In an environment where interest rates are projected to remain elevated for a prolonged period, refinancing certain debt contracts – particularly in the commercial real-estate sector – becomes increasingly difficult.”
“Global recession is knocking on the door…
“The overall global balance sheet is under stress as well. The fiscal space is shrinking with high debt levels and ever rising financing costs. The fiscal buffers are fast eroding and countries are breaching their debt ceilings.”
“Here’s why some bond traders care so much about the US government’s budget deficit…
“How do we manage the budget deficit? Does that require more tax? Can you inflate it away? Can you grow out of it? So that’s very top of mind amongst creditors. It’s not just the spending, it’s also the lack of revenue… There are a lot of moving parts and potential implications of the deficit.”
“Is the world’s most important asset market [US Treasuries] broken?
“…Debt-ceiling brinkmanship has pushed America towards a technical default. Rising interest rates and incontinent spending have seen debt balloon: the country’s total stock of it now amounts to $26.6trn (96% of gdp), up from $12.2trn (71% gdp) in 2013. Servicing costs come to a fifth of government spending.”
“What Happens If the U.S. Defaults on Its Debt?
“…A default could trigger significant volatility in financial markets. Investors might panic, leading to a sell-off in Treasury securities, which are typically considered one of the safest assets. This could also result in a sharp decline in bond prices and a spike in interest rates…”
“Billions in U.S. Funding Hasn’t Convinced Developing World to Ditch Coal.
“Wealthy nations are sending tens of billions of dollars to poorer ones for clean energy, the linchpin of a global strategy to cut greenhouse-gas emissions in the developing world. But two of the most ambitious efforts yet—in South Africa and Indonesia—are now at risk of unraveling…”
“Net zero policy for new gas projects abandoned after industry objected [Australia].
“The Northern Territory government walked away from a proposal to set net zero emissions requirements for new onshore gas developments after the industry objected, government documents show… “Unfortunately, this has a strong sense of being the tip of the iceberg.””
“UK Water companies can make sewage pollution disappear from the official figures, a BBC Panorama investigation has revealed.
“Leaked documents suggest one firm, United Utilities, wrongly downgraded dozens of pollution incidents in north-west England last year. The Environment Agency signed off all the downgrades without attending any of the incidents.”
“Thames Water told by auditors it could run out of money by April. Company is expected to face further scrutiny over its debt when it publishes its results on Tuesday…
“The parent company of Thames Water has been warned by its auditors that it could run out of money by April if shareholders do not inject more cash into the debt-laden firm.”
“The number of UK households defaulting on essential payments has increased sharply ahead of the Christmas season…
“One in 10 households said they’d missed payments on their loans, credit cards or household bills in the month to 10 November – the highest level since the Which? Consumer Insight Tracker* began in April 2020. Consumers remain worried about price rises.”
“Macron at COP28: ‘Nuclear energy is back’.
“France and around twenty other countries signed a pledge to ‘triple nuclear energy capacity from 2020 by 2050’ at Dubai’s COP28 international gathering on Saturday. This declaration, which is not legally binding, recognises “the key role of nuclear energy in achieving global net-zero…”
“Uranium hitting 15-year highs as nuclear power demand surges.
“Uranium is trading at a 15-year high of more than $80 a pound. Experts say the astonishing rise from $48 a pound at the start of the year is partly a sign of the times. After years of rhetoric about cutting carbon emissions, many countries are now setting out longer-term ambitions to use nuclear power.”
“Ukraine on Saturday (Dec 2) said that the two power lines providing electricity supply to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant were snapped overnight, and placed it at risk of a “nuclear accident”…
“The plant remained at the centre of fighting from the time it was captured by Russian forces last year, and the two sides have held each other responsible for compromising its safety.”
“China Youths Swap City Dreams for Country Living as Jobs Crisis Mounts.
“… as the world’s second-largest economy slows, young people are bearing the brunt of an unemployment crisis that’s leaving one of five of them jobless. Families who invested in college educations for their children with the promise of a middle-class life now see their hopes dimming.”
“Chinese borrowers default in record numbers as economic crisis deepens…
“A total of 8.54mn people, most of them between the ages of 18 and 59, are officially blacklisted by authorities after missing payments on everything from home mortgages to business loans, according to local courts. That figure, equivalent to about 1 per cent of working-age Chinese adults, is up from 5.7mn defaulters in early 2020…”
“Global debt crisis goes well beyond China’s property sector woes.
“The crisis in China’s property sector has been in the spotlight in the past year, but the rise in global debt levels should not escape the world’s attention. Investors and analysts have been more focused on inflation, but with price rises abating, debt is likely to be the leading concern once again.”
“China on Monday said the United States was responsible for “deliberate stirring up” of tensions in the South China Sea, after a US warship navigated through waters claimed by Beijing.
““On December 4, littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords illegally entered the waters adjacent to Ren’ai Reef in the Nansha region of China without the approval of the Chinese government,” Southern Theatre Command spokesman Tian Junli said.”
“North Korea’s state media on Sunday warned that a “physical clash and war” have become a matter of time after the scrapping of a key military pact designed to reduce tensions with the South.
“The 2018 agreement, which aimed to reduce the chance of accidental military escalation along the highly-militarised border, fell apart late last month…”
“Tensions rise as Venezuelans vote on disputed territory in neighbouring Guyana.
“Venezuelans are voting in a referendum to supposedly decide the future of a large swath of neighbouring Guyana of which their government claims ownership, arguing the territory was stolen when a north-south border was drawn more than a century ago.”
“Guinea-Bissau president says this week’s violence was ‘attempted coup’…
“Clashes between the National Guard and special forces of the presidential guard broke out in Bissau on Thursday night and continued on Friday after National Guard soldiers freed two senior government officials who were detained on a corruption investigation.”
“Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio Addresses Attempted Coup…
“The president revealed that investigations carried out by the security and intelligence community strongly indicate a premeditated and coordinated effort to overthrow the democratically elected government through violent and unlawful means.”
[from BBC pidgin news]…“How life be for Niger pipo wey dey live under tough sanctions
“For July, one group of di West African kontri neighbours place tough penalties to punish di Junta – wey dey limit di kontri trade, power supply and cash inflow. Leaders of di West African regional bloc bring dem in partly to prevent any coups for di Sahel region. Since 2020, six successful coups don happun for West Africa.”
“Near Sfax, refugees scramble after violent clashes with Tunisia police.
“…the fields around Al Amra have been locked down by the police and national guard as security units comb the area for a gun and ammunition reportedly lost during confrontations with the refugees and migrants sleeping rough there.”
“Israel says its ground forces are operating across ‘all of Gaza’.
“Israel continued with its intense bombing campaign across the north and south of Gaza for a third day since the end of the truce with Hamas, killing hundreds of Palestinians in a 24-hour period, according to local officials. On Sunday night, the Israeli military also said it has expanded its ground operation to all of Gaza.”
“Three commercial vessels attacked in Red Sea by Houthi rebels, says US.
“Three commercial vessels came under attack in international waters in the southern Red Sea, the US military said on Sunday, as Yemen’s Houthi group claimed drone and missile attacks on two Israeli vessels in the area.”
“A top Sudanese general has said the United Arab Emirates is sending supplies to the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), publicly accusing the UAE of involvement in its war with its powerful paramilitary rival for the first time.
“Army leaders had previously only hinted at interference from unnamed neighbouring countries in the seven-month-old war, which has displaced more than 6 million people and triggered waves of ethnically driven killings in Darfur.”
“Cop28 president [UAE’s Sultan Al Jaber] says there is ‘no science’ behind demands for phase-out of fossil fuels…
“Al Jaber said… “There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5C… Please help me, show me the roadmap for a phase-out of fossil fuel that will allow for sustainable socioeconomic development, unless you want to take the world back into caves.””
“Smog obscures Dubai skyline on ‘Health’ day at COP28 climate summit.
“Dubai’s glitzy skyline was obscured by a blanket of smog rated as “unhealthy” on Sunday as thousands of delegates attended the fourth day of the COP28 summit, which was designated as “health” day and where topics of discussion include air quality and the unhealthy affects of climate change.”
“Sam Altman, Sugarcoating the Apocalypse…
“Altman is no longer casting himself as humanity’s watchdog. He’s running a for-profit outfit, creating an A.I. cookbook. He’s less interested in peril than investors, less concerned about existential danger than finding A.I.’s capabilities… as Musk warned last Thursday, “The apocalypse could come along at any moment.””
“Doomsday Goals. A pessimist prepares for a job interview…
“HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS ROLE? …I was perusing crossbows at a yard sale upstate when this guy came over and invited me to a private Discord group. There, I met a guy who introduced me to a guy who knew a guy who told me about the job. Oh, also via LinkedIn.”
You can read the previous “Economic” thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with a “Climate” thread.
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