“The Guardian view on globalisation: the world system risks undoing itself… Today’s system appears to be sowing the seeds of its own destruction. Since the 1980s, US-led financialisation has seen rising inequality…
“Rising disparities in countries heighten trade conflicts between them. In many nations, the underlying political struggle is between the owners of financial assets and ordinary households – between the very rich and everyone else.”
“Global defence orders surge as geopolitical tensions mount…
“The order books of the world’s biggest defence companies are near record highs after growing by more than 10 per cent in just two years because of rising geopolitical tension, including the conflict in Ukraine.”
“Will the world see more wars or unrest in 2024? Here are 5 hotspots to watch…
“As a result of the focus on these two conflicts [Gaza and Ukraine], other countries have dropped off the radar for many people. Some of these nations have been dealing with simmering unrest, however, which could erupt in 2024 and seize the global spotlight.”
“A financial crisis could boost far-right authoritarians, threatening economic stability.
“A populist surge is partly an understandable response to rising within-country inequality and reduced social mobility… The growing appeal of populist movements… could pose an “existential threat” to democratic governance, civil liberties, and the liberal world order.”
“Central banks rethink forecasting after failures on inflation.
“Central bankers are rethinking their approach to economic forecasting after their high-profile failures to spot the most recent inflationary outburst, as officials argue for greater candour with the markets about the uncertainties they are confronting.”
“Why an erratic Fed could pose biggest risk to global economy in 2024.
“Given the US bubble economy, a rising fiscal deficit and foolish behaviour of markets, the Federal Reserve faces a tough balancing act. It has already had to walk back some dovish statements, and further policy mistakes risk damaging the entire world.”
“Financial disaster is looming for American commercial real estate. Here’s what experts see happening next.
“Experts have been increasingly sounding the alarm over US commercial real estate. Those woes could also spill over into the banking industry, which is heavily exposed to the sector.”
“US and Mexico look to stem ‘unprecedented’ migrant flow.
“The US and Mexico have vowed to crack down on migrant smugglers as a growing migration crisis causes chaos on their shared border… The high-level meeting came as pressure grows on the White House to stem the influx of migrants to the US.”
“Thousands in Argentina protest Milei’s ‘mega-decree’ of economic reform, deregulation…
“Marching at the behest of labor unions, the protesters demanded the courts intervene to invalidate the mega-decree they say would carve away at worker and consumer protections. Congress is sitting in an extraordinary session this week…”
“Venezuela warns of ‘provocation’ as UK sends warship to Guyana.
“The Venezuelan government has described the visit of HMS Trent, a British patrol ship, to Guyana as “an act of hostile provocation” and said that in response it would begin its own military exercises in the Atlantic.”
“Nearly 30,000 businesses will fail in 2024, economists warn [UK]…
“Company insolvencies are predicted to surge by 15pc over the next 12 months, according to a forecast by PwC, as debt pressures take their toll. Small businesses are most likely to go under, with one in four hotel and catering companies at risk, the new report said.”
“Zero onshore wind plans submitted in England since de facto ban was ‘lifted’…
“Analysis of the government’s renewable energy planning database shows that no applications for new onshore wind projects have been submitted since the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, claimed that the government would overturn the onshore wind ban in September 2023.”
“Riots, protests and climate uprisings: 2023 was a tumultuous year in France.
“France encountered severe turbulence over the past 12 months, roiled by a long and bitter battle over pension reform as well as crippling droughts, sizzling heatwaves and nationwide rioting.”
“Spain confirms nuclear power phase-out, extends renewable projects deadlines…
“The management of radioactive waste and dismantling of the plants, whose shut down will begin in 2027, will cost about 20.2 billion euros ($22.4 billion) and will be paid for by a fund supported by the plants’ operators, the government said.”
“Credit crunch gets worse across Italy says Bank of Italy…
“Banks are tightening credit standards for businesses and households across the country and demand for loans and mortgages is falling, said the central bank’s regional bank lending survey for the first half of 2023.”
“‘Liquid gold’ rush: Greece’s surging olive oil price lures exporters — and thieves.
“Extreme weather has reduced harvests and hit production across the Mediterranean… Some farmers have experimented with GPS trackers concealed in plastic olives to track thefts of their crops, and supermarkets have begun fitting antitheft mechanisms to olive oil containers…”
“China’s December factory activity likely contracted for third month.
“China’s manufacturing activity likely contracted for the third consecutive month, a Reuters poll showed on Thursday, weighed by soft demand for manufactured goods, a reading that would embolden calls for more policy support.”
“Foreign investors unwind $33bn bet on China growth rebound.
“Nearly nine-tenths of the foreign money that flowed into China’s stock market in 2023 has already left, spurred by mounting doubts about Beijing’s willingness to take serious action to boost flagging growth.”
“North Korea’s Kim Jong Un orders military and nuclear weapons forces to ramp up war preparations.
“North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered his country’s military, nuclear weapons forces and munitions industry to accelerate war preparations to counter “confrontational moves by the US”, state media has said.”
“India Conducts Inaugural BRICS Local Currency Oil Payment to UAE.
“India has executed its first-ever local currency payment for crude oil to the UAE, marking a significant move away from the US dollar in bilateral trade between the two countries, as part of the BRICS nations’ efforts to de-dollarize.”
“Iraq’s PM says government working to end presence of US-led coalition forces in the country.
“The Iraqi premier’s announcement comes amid heightened tensions and an escalation in attacks between the US military and Iran-backed militias, with the latter group insisting that the Iraqi government should set out a clear timetable for the withdrawal of coalition troops.”
“US cracks down on money flow to Iran-backed Houthis.
“The US has slapped sanctions on groups in Turkey and Yemen allegedly responsible for funnelling money to Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in a crackdown driven by their attacks on commercial vessels passing through the Red Sea.”
“Half of Red Sea Container-Ship Fleet Avoids Route After Attacks…
“The diverted journeys around Africa can take as much as 25% longer than using the Suez Canal shortcut between Asia and Europe, according to Flexport. Those trips are more costly and may lead to higher prices for consumers…”
[not endorsing; just posting to illustrate hawkish view]…“The West may now have no option but to attack Iran
“Only if Israel, America, Britain, and others show they possess the resolve and capability to impose significant costs on Iran, as punishment for its aggression, will they persuade the ayatollahs that proceeding further will bring them intolerable pain. Very likely, only direct military force, applied against critical targets inside Iran, will impose such costs…”
“Iran threatens Mediterranean closure over Gaza, without saying how.
“An Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said the Mediterranean Sea could be closed if the United States and its allies continued to commit “crimes” in Gaza, Iranian media reported on Saturday, without explaining how that would happen.”
“As Gaza war grinds on, tensions soar along Israel’s volatile northern border with Lebanon…
“Israeli officials are stepping up threats against the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, warning that Israel is running out of patience as the two sides continue to trade fire along Israel’s volatile northern border.”
“‘The revolution will continue’: Syrian protesters vow ahead of 2024…
“On Friday, people carried red flowers, flags and banners as they headed towards Freedom Square in the city centre to take part in a demonstration filled with songs and chants calling for the overthrow of the Syrian regime.”
“Sudan civilians rush for arms as paramilitaries advance.
“The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have seized most of Sudan’s southern Al-Jazira state including its capital Wad Madani and begun pushing further south into Sennar state in their war against the army.”
“Ethiopia defaults on sovereign debt after deadline expires on $33mn payment.
“Ethiopia has become the third African country to formally default on its debt in as many years, after missing the deadline this week to make a $33mn interest payment on its only international bond… Despite a truce to end its two-year civil war late last year, its economy is under pressure…”
“Central Africa Blames Fuel Shortage on Supply Disruptions, Smuggling.
“Central Africa has, for months, been plagued with acute fuel shortages that have stifled regional economic growth, disrupted local businesses, and contributed to rising food prices and social unrest.”
“Congo: Protesters, police clash as instability grows in east.
“The opposition has denounced the [presidential and legislative elections] vote as a “sham” and the Catholic Church has called it a “mess,” as early results show President Tshisekedi in the lead. As protests sweep the nation, tensions are growing in the east.”
“Political crisis in Nigerian oil capital sparks fears of more economic woes.
“On October 30, oil-rich Rivers State, Nigeria’s oil capital, became the latest hub of political drama in the country following the state parliament’s attempted impeachment of Siminalayi Fubara, who had been governor for only five months.”
“Food Inflation Is Slowing. El Niño and the Fed Could Undo That…
“As inflation cools, the cost of food is rising more slowly. But elevated energy costs, abnormal weather patterns, and potential interest rate cuts in 2024 could keep prices higher than expected.”
You can read the previous “Economic” thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with a “Climate” thread.
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