Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.

Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.
Stay current with what’s happening around the world with a quick scan of top news.

Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.
Stay current with what’s happening around the world with a quick scan of top news.

Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.
Stay current with what’s happening around the world with a quick scan of top news.

Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.
Stay current with what’s happening around the world with a quick scan of top news.

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“Higher interest rates are here to stay, so we need a rethink…

“The possibility that a sharp rise in interest rates would dramatically increase interest payments on existing debt, including debt held by central banks as bank reserves, was simply dismissed. But here we are: the Fed, which previously paid zero interest on these reserves, is now paying more than 5%…

“While it is feasible to expand social programmes or boost military capabilities without running large deficits, doing so without raising taxes is not costless. We are likely to find out the hard way that it never was.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/dec/08/higher-interest-rates-inflation-debt


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“Andrew Bailey [Bank of England] has joined a growing chorus warning of the risk to the [global] financial system of a collapse in the £1.8 trillion private credit market, which boomed in the era of rock-bottom interest rates.

“The scale of these loans, which are often considered high-risk and take place behind closed doors rather than in banks or in public debt markets, has more than tripled globally since 2015.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2023/12/06/families-face-240-increase-mortgage-bills-bank-of-england/


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“How deglobalization could ripple across the economy.

“Major economic powers, including the U.S., are turning inward — a trend sped up by the pandemic and efforts to boost domestic industries… These geopolitical divides could create a more brittle global economy, warned IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva and other leading thinkers at a Council on Foreign Relations event on Wednesday.”

https://www.axios.com/2023/12/07/deglobalization-risks-china-economy


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“Global central banks maintain gold buying momentum in October: World Gold Council…

“The People’s Bank of China continued its trend as the largest purchaser of gold in October, adding 23 tons to its reserves. This marked the twelfth consecutive monthly addition, bringing the year-to-date purchase of gold by PBoC to 204 tons, with its overall reserves reaching 2,215 tons.”

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2421276/business-economy


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“U.S. consumers are still spending freely, and they’re using their credit cards to do it.

“U.S. consumers added another $2.9 billion to their revolving debts—mainly credit cards—in October, bringing the total to a fresh record high of nearly $1.3 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. It was the smallest rise in credit card debt since June’s decline.”

https://www.investopedia.com/card-debt-hits-another-record-high-as-consumers-keep-putting-purchases-on-plastic-8412281


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“The income needed to afford a typical home in the US hits a record 41.4% in 2023. This is up from 21.1% in 2012 and 28.5% in 2020, according to Redfin.

“On a POST-TAX basis, homebuyers are spending nearly 60% of their income on home payments. A homebuyer would need to make at least $110,000 per year to spend 30% or less of their income on home payments. How is this sustainable?”

https://twitter.com/KobeissiLetter/status/1732793607055175742


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“Doomsday company seeks ‘average’ buyers for its 575 bunkers — for $55K each.

“In South Dakota’s Black Hills mountain range, an end times-focused real estate agency of sorts called Vivos is looking to offload hundreds of catastrophe-ready apartments… Unlike other bunker retailers, they’re not targeting billionaires or Armageddon-obsessives — but basic buyers who are aware that the world is a mess and it’s good to be ready for whatever may come.”

https://nypost.com/2023/12/07/real-estate/doomsday-company-seeks-average-buyers-for-its-575-bunkers/


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“‘It’s a crutch to lean on’ – The Irish Prepper Community is growing.

“When you think of preppers, people who live their lives in a state of readiness for a catastrophe, one’s mind wanders to images of Americans in massive bunkers. But did you know that Ireland has an active prepper community of 3000 people.”

https://www.newstalk.com/podcasts/highlights-from-moncrieff/its-a-crutch-to-lean-on-the-irish-prepper-community-is-growing


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“‘We never drop below 30 toilet rolls’: the Britons stockpiling for a crisis…

“Kathryn puts a lot of thought into what goes into her family’s stockpile. “I’ve finessed the stash as time has gone on and it’s now both streamlined and all-encompassing,” she said. “I’m confident that my family and I could now live quite comfortably from it for at least two months, if not longer.””

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/dec/06/the-britons-stockpiling-for-a-crisis-food-toilet-rolls-supplies


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“Sellafield, Europe’s most hazardous nuclear site, has a worsening leak from a huge silo of radioactive waste that could pose a risk to the public, the Guardian can reveal.

“Concerns over safety at the crumbling building, as well as cracks in a reservoir of toxic sludge known as B30, have caused diplomatic tensions with countries including the US, Norway and Ireland…”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/dec/05/sellafield-nuclear-site-leak-could-pose-risk-to-public


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“EU Says Nuclear Energy Is Clean After All.

“27 EU member ministers agreed at a meeting this week that nuclear power should be included in the list of acceptable strategic technologies. With this new position, the number of strategic net-zero technologies available to members increases from 8 to 10.”

https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/EU-Says-Nuclear-Energy-Is-Clean-After-All.html


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“Eurozone banks ‘greenwash’ loans to big polluters, ECB says.

“Commercial banks in the eurozone that portray themselves as green are doing the most new lending to big polluters, according to a blog published by the European Central Bank on Wednesday.”

https://www.ft.com/content/82ed86c0-4141-415c-b88c-a22672c2424b


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“The EU is set to give member states powers to end gas imports from Russia and Belarus nearly two years after Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

“The proposal could provide a basis for EU energy companies to get out of contracts with Russian gas providers without having to pay hefty compensation, according to a senior official of the bloc.”

https://www.ft.com/content/d6a06e26-7256-4b97-92dd-7131fb676ad8


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“German coalition parties at loggerheads as budget crisis grows…

“The failure of talks between coalition leaders before Wednesday means it is unlikely parliament will approve a 2024 budget by the end of the year, leaving in limbo spending plans from climate projects to benefits and for local authorities.”

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/german-coalition-parties-loggerheads-budget-crisis-grows-2023-12-06/


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“Vladimir Putin and the leader of Saudi Arabia have urged members of the OPEC+ oil cartel to follow through with an agreement to cut supplies as oil prices plunge.

“The Russian president and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said other countries joining its agreement to reduce output is in the interests of the global economy.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2023/12/07/putin-saudis-plead-opec-allies-press-ahead-oil-supply-cuts/


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“Oil heads for 7th weekly loss as supply surplus, weak China demand weigh on market…

“Concerns about China’s economy and surging U.S. oil output have also fuelled the market’s downturn this week. Chinese customs data showed its crude oil imports in November fell 9% from a year earlier as high inventory levels, weak economic indicators and slowing orders from independent refiners weakened demand.”

https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/oil-prices-head-weekly-decline-signs-weakened-asian-demand-2023-12-08/


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“China’s imports unexpectedly shrank in November from a Covid-19-hit period one year ago, dashing hopes domestic demand would rebound from a low base to spur growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

“Imports in US dollar terms declined 0.6 per cent after clocking an improvement the previous month… That was much worse than economists’ consensus forecast of a 3.9 per cent gain.”

https://www.straitstimes.com/business/china-exports-grow-for-first-time-in-6-months-imports-unexpectedly-shrink


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“Chinese property is beyond repair. How can creditors delay its collapse?

“Since the beginning of 2020, at least 60 China property issuers with more than $140bn in outstanding dollar bonds have defaulted, Barclays calculates… Patch up the roof, ignore the foundations, feed the hedgies… It won’t even right-size any balance sheets. It certainly won’t help sell more houses. But it might just be enough to give the can one more kick.”

https://www.ft.com/content/f1ee18a0-69d6-4243-9a1d-934ec9ae96f2


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“Japan’s Deepest Contraction Since Pandemic Clouds Path for BOJ.

“Japan’s economy shrank at the sharpest pace since the height of the pandemic, an outcome that complicates the policy path for the Bank of Japan amid soaring speculation it is edging closer to scrapping the world’s last negative rate regime.”

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/japan-deepest-contraction-since-pandemic-010046170.html


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“Thailand, Myanmar to form aid task force as border unrest intensifies…

“Violence has intensified in Myanmar’s border regions as an alliance of ethnic minority armies carry out coordinated attacks against the military, emboldening pro-democracy resistance fighters to target security forces elsewhere. The United Nations estimates more than 300,000 people have been displaced since October…”

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/thailand-myanmar-form-aid-task-force-border-unrest-intensifies-2023-12-08/


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“Peru’s Economic Miracle Destroyed by Non-Stop Political Chaos…

“Now under President Dina Boluarte, it is mired in the harshest recession in two decades excluding the pandemic. Its branches of government are all in crisis and experts are sounding alarm bells not just about its economy, but about the health of its democratic institutions.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-12-07/peru-economy-in-recession-one-year-after-attempted-coup


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“The nightmare economic in-tray awaiting Argentina’s Javier Milei…

“At the root of Argentina’s problems is the government’s chronic overspending. The size of the state has almost doubled over the past two decades, with the government expanding the public sector payroll, handing out hefty fuel and electricity subsidies and boosting welfare programmes.”

https://www.ft.com/content/4213be36-a122-4649-9214-4e763b098dc7


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“Soaring pollution in Pakistan’s Lahore fills wards with sick children…

“”We are disturbed and tense,” said Mohamad Qadeer, holding a nebulizing device to his three-year-old daughter Rameen’s nose, engulfing her face in a billow of steam delivering medication to ease her congested airways.”

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/soaring-pollution-pakistans-lahore-fills-wards-with-sick-children-2023-12-07/


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“One of Sudan’s biggest cities has been struck by a fly infestation of a size and intensity never seen before.

“Port Sudan, the northeast African country’s main seaport and the source of 90 per cent of its international trade, faces a looming health crisis as billions of flies infiltrate homes, offices and food supplies… The infestation follows a mass migration of people to the port city after vicious fighting broke out in the capital Khartoum earlier this year.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/climate-and-people/fly-infestation-port-sudan-city-plague-africa-insects/


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“Egypt Needs Cash and Gaza War Gives World New Reasons to Help Out.

“Two months ago, Egypt looked like a country in grave danger of financial collapse. Now the world has urgent new reasons to come to the rescue. Israel’s war with Hamas has put Egypt center-stage. It’s the only gateway for aid to reach Gaza, and besieged Palestinians to escape.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2023-12-07/egypt-gets-more-leverage-amid-economic-crisis-devaluation-egp-usd-worries


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“UN chief rings alarm bell on global security threat from Gaza war.

“United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made a rare move on Wednesday to formally warn the Security Council of a global threat from the Gaza war as Arab states seek to leverage that to renew a push for the council to call for a ceasefire.”

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/un-chief-rings-alarm-bell-global-security-threat-gaza-war-2023-12-06/


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“Two months of Israel-Gaza war: How divided is the world?

“The war has cleaved the world between those calling for a ceasefire, those backing Israel and some sitting on the fence… diplomatic clashes have… deepened. UN votes, public comments and major diplomatic steps over the past two months have underscored just how divisive the war has been for the world.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/12/7/two-months-of-israel-gaza-war-how-divided-is-the-world


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“Prescription Drug Prices Are Soaring – Soon, They Might Be Rationed.

“The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have indicated that they might impose discriminatory guidelines in the latest round of Medicare drug pricing negotiations. These guidelines would unfairly prioritize the care of certain patients over others…”

https://www.realclearhealth.com/blog/2023/12/08/prescription_drug_prices_are_soaring_-_soon_they_might_be_rationed_997608.html


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“Emergency hospital services are closing because of staff shortages.

“The world has faced a shortage of medical workforce for decades. Failure to tackle problems of recruitment and retention, accelerated by the covid-19 pandemic, is now manifesting in the closure of urgent and emergency services, and even whole hospitals, across high income countries.”

https://www.bmj.com/content/383/bmj-2023-078766


You can read the previous “Economic” thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with a “Climate” thread.

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