“Will 2024 be the year the global economy’s luck runs out?
“…though geopolitics have returned with a vengeance over the past two years, neither wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, nor US-China tensions, nor the financial sanctions and export controls associated with these events, have been capable of interrupting global growth. The odds are low that we will be so lucky again in 2024….
“On the measure of trend growth, outcomes have disappointed since roughly the time of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. 2024 may give us an early reading on whether actions taken recently by governments and market actors ameliorate or exacerbate this problem.”
“‘Systemic shocks should be anticipated’: how will the financial system fare in 2024?
“Harvey Knight, partner and UK head of the Financial Services Regulatory Group at Withers warned that the financial system would face “ongoing stresses and strains” stemming from the “definitive shift away from a decade and more of low interest rates”.”
“Global factory job losses gather pace as demand weakness persists at close of 2023.
“Global manufacturing remained firmly in the doldrums in December, according to the latest JPMorgan Global Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index compiled by S&P Global. The headline PMI – a composite index based on five survey variables – registered 49.0, down from 49.3 in November…”
“Global trade flows fell again in October after two months of increase, a sign that the value of goods moving across international borders likely fell in 2023 as a whole…
“The decline is a fresh signal that the global demand for goods remains weak… Consumer demand has also been weakened by rising prices and higher borrowing costs.”
“The Panama Canal is enmeshed in a crisis that’s disrupting global trade. But it will take years and billions of dollars to fix.
“… there are no easy solutions. The Panama Canal Authority is weighing potential fixes that include an artificial lake to pump water into the canal and cloud seeding to boost rainfall, but both options would take years to implement, if they’re even feasible.”
“Maersk halts Red Sea shipping until further notice after Houthi militant attack.
“Maersk will pause all shipping through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden until further notice after one of its vessels came under attack from militants over the weekend, the company announced Tuesday.”
“Iranian warship enters Red Sea as tensions rise.
“Iran dispatched a naval frigate to the Red Sea amid an escalating standoff between Western nations and Tehran-backed militants that has seen maritime traffic attacked by drones, missiles and speedboats.”
“Saudi Arabia formally joins BRICS bloc amid geo-political tensions.
“The BRICS bloc previously included Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, but is set to double with Saudi Arabia joining the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Iran, and Ethiopia as new members.”
“China Reinstates Coal Tariffs, Impacting Global Suppliers.
“The reinstated tariffs include a 6% levy on coal for electricity and heating and a 3% tariff on coking coal used in steelmaking. Russia, South Africa, Mongolia, and the United States will be impacted by these tariffs…”
“China Condemns U.S. Actions in Semiconductor Industry as Undermining Global Trade.
“ASML Holding NV, a leading Dutch semiconductor equipment manufacturer, found itself in the eye of the storm when it was compelled to cancel shipments of critical equipment to customers in China. This move followed significant pressure from U.S. officials…”
“US National Debt Hits Record $34 Trillion as Congress Gears up for Funding Fight…
“”So far, Washington has been spending money as if we had unlimited resources,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at Loyola Marymount University. “But the bottom line is, there is no free lunch,” he said. “And I think the outlook is pretty grim.””
“British defence stocks have risen to a record high as tensions in the Middle East and the war in Ukraine continue to stoke global demand for military hardware.
“The UK benchmark for defence and aerospace companies surged 1.4pc to 8,710.43 points on Tuesday, the highest figure on record.”
“The British Army’s newest Apache helicopter was blown over in high winds as Storm Henk hit southern Britain.
“The Apache AH-64E attack helicopter, declared “ready for front line duty” by the Army in October, was knocked onto its side while stationary at the Army Aviation Centre in Middle Wallop, Hampshire.”
“Paris New Year’s Eve Marred by Riots, Global Cities on High Alert.
“…the French capital witnessed a tense standoff between the rioters and the police… numerous other countries grappled with their own security concerns… celebrations in Berlin were under the watchful eye of 4,500 police officers, preventing a repeat of last year’s riots. Moscow’s Red Square, usually a beacon of festive cheer, was silent…”
“Mass riots in Netherlands on New Year’s Eve – Over 200 people arrested.
“During the riots in several cities in the Netherlands, police were attacked with fireworks and stones. Dozens of law enforcement officers were injured. Police in Rotterdam said that more than 100 cars and other vehicles were set on fire…”
“Nationwide Transportation Strike: Fuel Shortages, Violence, and Disruptions Grip Major Cities [India]…
“Cities nationwide witnessed long queues forming outside petrol pumps as fuel supply faced a severe crunch due to the ongoing strike. Commuters grappled with uncertainty as they queued up for hours, grappling with the repercussions of the transportation standstill.”
“Record borrowing by Indian states to widen spread over govt bond yield – traders.
“Indian states’ borrowing in the last quarter of the current fiscal is likely to prompt investors to seek higher premiums over federal government debt, leading to a wider yield spread, several traders said on Tuesday.”
“Record half-million migrants crossed Latin America’s dangerous Darien Gap in 2023.
“A record 520,000 migrants crossed the treacherous jungle between Colombia and Panama known as the Darien Gap in 2023, more than double the number reported the year before, according to government figures seen by Reuters on Tuesday.”
“Cuba’s Santeria priests foretell crime and disease in new year.
“Priests from Cuba’s Afro-Cuban Santeria religion on Tuesday warned that rising homicides and a spike in illness could worsen an already punishing economic crisis that has pushed historic numbers of Cubans to migrate abroad.”
“Africa 2024: Volatile elections threaten democracy…
“The new year is shaping up to be an interesting one in Africa. In West Africa, mass protests have already broken out in Senegal ahead of the election scheduled for February… What’s being billed as one of the continent’s most important elections will take place in South Africa in May.”
“France closes embassy in Niger amid rising tensions after coup.
“France announced Tuesday the closure of its embassy in Niger until further notice. The decision comes in the aftermath of the souring relations between the two nations with colonial history after the July coup in Niger, which resulted in the overthrowing of President Mohamed Bazoum’s administration.”
“Sudan is the Worst Crisis in the World That Receives The Least Amount of Attention.
“Nearly 7 million people have been displaced, hunger is widespread and a hallmark of this civil war has been ethnic cleansing that may have crossed the threshold to genocide. Despite being a calamitous catastrophe, Sudan has not received much media attention…”
“Somalia has promised to defend its territory by “any legal means” and recalled its ambassador to Ethiopia after Addis Ababa struck a deal with the breakaway region of Somaliland.
“Mogadishu called the surprise pact, which would give landlocked Ethiopia long-sought access to the Gulf of Aden, a “clear violation” of its sovereignty…”
“Global Banks Sever Ties with Lebanon’s Central Bank Amidst Economic Crisis.
“Major international banks, namely HSBC and Wells Fargo, have decided to sever their business ties with Lebanon’s central bank. This move comes amidst Lebanon’s alarming economic crisis and growing concerns over financial stability and reputational risks.”
“Hamas freezes talks with Israel after deputy leader killed in Beirut.
“Hamas announced a freeze on ceasefire negotiations with Israel after the faction’s deputy chief, Saleh al-Arouri, was killed Tuesday evening in an Israeli attack in Lebanon, a Palestinian source told Xinhua.”
“‘The beginning of the end’: The preppers who fear global meltdown in 2024 caused by ‘perfect storm’ of war, soaring costs of living and the migrant crisis – plus a presidential election which threatens to tear America in half…
“…some aren’t just braced for hardship ahead, they’re convinced the ‘perfect storm’ of crises will herald a catastrophe like no other.”
You can read the previous “Economic” thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with a “Climate” thread.
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