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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Governments must stop their “relentless” borrowing or risk plunging the world into a debt crisis, a top central banker has warned.

“Agustin Carstens, who leads the Bank for International Settlements, a global club of central bank bosses, warned global leaders that interest rates would not return to their recent lows soon.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2024/03/18/cut-borrowing-face-debt-crisis-warns-top-central-bank/


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“The next global crisis is here. Debt for the poorest means blowback for us all.

“There is a debt crisis looming across the global south, and its effects are already catastrophic for the world’s poorest people. Last year the IMF reported that, out of 73 of the world’s lowest-income countries, 55 were in “debt distress” or at high risk of it.”

https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/the-next-global-crisis-is-here-debt-for-the-poorest-means-blowback-for-us-all/


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“Greenhouse gas emissions in Global South countries are linked with International Monetary Fund lending policies…

“Borrowers under pressure may resort to extracting natural resources to compensate, Soener said… While increased emissions occurred across all market sectors, agriculture had a greater and more immediate impact. Increases in greenhouses gases associated with industry took somewhat longer…”

https://phys.org/news/2024-03-greenhouse-gas-emissions-global-south.html


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“Zambia says $13bn debt stand-off is ‘indictment’ of global system…

“The southern African country has become a symbol of the failures of the G20-endorsed common framework that is meant to expedite solutions to debt crises in poor countries. The impasse has underlined how tensions between Beijing and Washington over a range of issues are complicating negotiations…”

https://www.ft.com/content/c528daac-fd80-490e-aee1-29a18154f79b


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“Central banks face a horrible choice, warns the prophet of the Great Recession…

“The invidious choice facing the Federal Reserve, he [Bernard Connolly, esteemed consigliere to hedge funds and central bankers across the world for the last quarter century] warns, is either to allow a deep economic slump to unfold, or slash rates to the bone before inflation has fallen back to target.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2024/03/19/central-banks-face-horrible-choice-warns-bernard-connolly/


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“[US regional] Banks are in limbo without a crucial lifeline. Here’s where cracks may appear next.

“The forces that consumed three regional lenders in March 2023 have left hundreds of smaller banks wounded, as merger activity — a key potential lifeline — has slowed to a trickle… the high interest rates that caused the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and its peers in 2023 are still at play.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2024/03/19/where-cracks-in-the-banking-sector-may-appear-without-more-ma.html


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“How credit card debt has become a burden for Americans — and Joe Biden…

“US consumers paid almost 50 per cent more in credit card expenses last year than in 2020… The rise in credit card costs has come as the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates to a 23-year high but lenders have pushed consumer borrowing rates higher still.”

https://www.ft.com/content/34c57911-dcda-4c29-b75d-bef830608a5a


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“Western countries ‘too optimistic’ on nuclear projects, warns engineering chief…

““Clients, governments and ourselves as the industry players . . . we all become too optimistic. We have this optimism bias towards being able to deliver faster,” Ian Edwards, chief executive of the Canadian engineering company, told the Financial Times.”

https://www.ft.com/content/0a3bbb63-c7bb-45ae-901a-dfe2f416ecfc


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“Why Britain Is Struggling With Nuclear Power.

“The government wants more nuclear plants to help tackle climate change, but delays and soaring costs are complicating the effort… nuclear energy’s track record in Western Europe and the United States is not encouraging, with delays and staggering cost overruns plaguing recent projects.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/22/business/uk-nuclear-power.html


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“[UK] Army must ‘prepare genuinely for war’, ex-defence and security chiefs warn…

“The intervention comes amid growing concern about a failure by Rishi Sunak’s government to increase defence spending in the Spring Budget, despite Defence Secretary Grant Shapps warning the UK was in a “pre-war world” and Russia still waging a full-scale war in Ukraine.”

https://news.sky.com/story/army-must-prepare-genuinely-for-war-ex-defence-and-security-chiefs-warn-13098365


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“German schoolchildren should be prepared for war to “strengthen our resilience”, the country’s education minister has said as tensions with Russia continue to soar.

“Bettina Stark-Watzinger also suggested, without giving further details, that “civil defence” exercises should be held in schools…”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2024/03/18/german-children-should-be-prepared-for-war/


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“German living standards plummeted after Russia invaded Ukraine, say economists.

“The energy shock caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to the biggest collapse in German living standards since the second world war and a downturn in economic output comparable to the 2008 financial crisis, a stark assessment has found.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/mar/18/german-living-standards-plummeted-after-russia-invaded-ukraine-say-economists


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“Italian bond party turns blind eye to deficit disasters…

“‘Don’t worry, be happy’ sums up the current approach of financial markets to Italian debt, with investors determined to lock in high returns on Rome’s government bonds and turning a blind eye as its public finances veer out of control.”

https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/italian-bond-party-turns-blind-eye-deficit-disasters-2024-03-19/


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“Hedge funds are piling into  the euro zone’s $10 trillion government bond market, scenting opportunities as funding needs surge and the European Central Bank retreats.

“…the lightly-regulated investors often load their bets with bank debt, tying their fortunes to lenders, at a time when there is growing regulatory concern globally about their market impact.”

https://www.reuters.com/markets/rates-bonds/hedge-funds-shake-up-euro-zones-10-trillion-government-bond-market-2024-03-19/


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“Polish farmers’ protests may disrupt traffic from Lithuania…

“Polish media report that farmers’ protests are planned in more than 500 places across the country. According to TVN Warszawa, the protestors oppose the European Green Deal and imports of cheaper agricultural and food products from third countries, calling it unfair competition.”

https://www.lrt.lt/en/news-in-english/19/2228900/polish-farmers-protests-may-disrupt-traffic-from-lithuania


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“Russia is winning the global grain war…

“The main reason why EU farmers can’t sell their own goods this year has nothing to do with Ukraine and its huge agricultural sector. Instead, it is Russia, whose own record farm output — and world-beating exports — have driven crop prices down to the point where farmers everywhere are hurting.”

https://www.politico.eu/article/russia-winning-global-grain-war-farmer-ukraine-putin-agriculture/


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“Flood of Chinese imports could renew trade tensions, threaten U.S. jobs.

“Chinese factories are flooding global markets with cars, appliances, computer chips and electronics, setting the stage for a fresh round of trade tensions with the United States and Europe, economists said.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2024/03/18/china-imports-trade-cars-electronics/


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“Debt-stricken Sino-Ocean warns of hefty losses amid plunge in home sales as turnaround eludes Chinese developers.

“Debt-stricken Chinese developer Sino-Ocean Group said it is likely to report another year of hefty losses in 2023 as home sales in mainland China plunged, signalling no immediate turnaround in the nation’s three-year industry slump.”

https://www.scmp.com/business/china-business/article/3255932/debt-stricken-sino-ocean-warns-hefty-losses-amid-plunge-home-sales-turnaround-eludes-chinese


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“Japan brings era of negative interest rates to an end with first hike in 17 years.

“As inflation rose and interest rates elsewhere went up, pressure had grown on the BOJ to wind down its negative interest rate policy (NIRP)… the landmark interest rate hike was the first since 2007. Until Tuesday, the BOJ had been the last central bank in the world to employ negative interest rates.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2024/03/18/business/japan-boj-negative-interest-rate-ended-intl-hnk/index.html


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“Argentina: Riot police confront Milei austerity protests.

“Police and demonstrators clashed in Buenos Aires on Monday as protests against social cuts by Javier Milei’s libertarian Argentinian government escalated. The violence comes one hundred days into Milei’s presidency.”

https://www.msn.com/en-xl/news/other/argentina-riot-police-confront-milei-austerity-protests/ar-BB1k7OG5


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“Commercial Bank of Ethiopia glitch lets customers withdraw millions.

“The customers discovered early on Saturday that they could take out more cash than they had in their accounts at the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE). More than $40m (£31m) was withdrawn or transferred to other banks, local media reported.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-68599027


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“Famine looms in Sudan as civil war survivors tell of killings and rapes.

“Civilians caught up in Sudan’s civil war have given graphic accounts to the BBC of rape, ethnic violence and street executions. Our journalists have managed to make it to the front line of the fighting close to the capital, Khartoum.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-68606201


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“Houthis say fuel tanker in the Red Sea targeted with missiles…

“MADO is a Marshall-Islands flagged liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanker heading to Singapore from Saudi Arabia, maritime shipping trackers showed. The Houthis described it as American, but Equasis’s shipping database indicates that it is owned by Naftomar Shipping & Trading Co Ltd of Greece.”

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/houthis-target-vessel-red-sea-yemeni-military-source-says-2024-03-19/


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“Red Sea crisis rerouting adding up to $300,000 per trip in fuel costs…

“Banga estimated that re-routing through Cape Town could add around $200,000 – 300,000 fuel cost per trip from Asia to Europe, assuming 15 extra days of voyage, consumption of 30 tonnes of fuel per day and $650-700 per metric tonne of fuel.”

https://www.seatrade-maritime.com/bunkering/red-sea-crisis-rerouting-adding-300000-fuel-costs


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“Netanyahu ‘determined’ to carry out Rafah assault despite pleas from Biden…

“Netanyahu told lawmakers on Tuesday he had made it “supremely clear” to the US president “that we are determined to complete the elimination of these battalions in Rafah, and there’s no way to do that except by going in on the ground”.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/mar/20/benjamin-netanyahu-israel-rafah-gaza-attack-joe-biden


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“Jared Kushner has praised the “very valuable” potential of Gaza’s “waterfront property” and suggested Israel should remove civilians while it “cleans up” the strip.

“The former property dealer, married to Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka, made the comments in an interview at Harvard University on 8 March.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/mar/19/jared-kushner-gaza-waterfront-property-israel-negev


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“Libya-Tunisia border crossing closed amid renewed armed clashes…

“After seizing control of the Ras Ajdir border crossing with Tunisia in November, Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah’s government appointed a special security task force for the frontier point, through which Libyans travel to Tunisia, mainly for commerce and medical treatment.”

https://www.thenationalnews.com/mena/2024/03/19/libya-tunisia-border-crossing-closed-amid-renewed-armed-clashes/


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“Armenia warns of war with Azerbaijan ‘by the end of the week’…

“Nikol Pashinyan, made the comments during a meeting with residents of northern Armenia’s disputed Tavush border region, which sits close to a string of deserted Azerbaijani villages that Yerevan has controlled since the early 1990s.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2024/03/19/armenia-azerbaijan-war-nikol-pashinyan-baku-yerevan-nagorno/


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“‘Cousins at war’: Pakistan-Afghan ties strained after cross-border attacks…

““These two neighbours act like they are cousins. They cannot leave each other, but they cannot find a way to fix their relationship either. And in all this fighting, it is impacting the public-to-public relations between them,” he told Al Jazeera.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/3/19/cousins-at-war-pakistan-afghan-ties-strained-after-cross-border-attacks


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“Fractious world… It is hard to remember a more unstable, dangerous and uncertain world than the one we inhabit today…

“The global risks landscape is increasingly volatile,” says Edward Harrison, a principal at Lane Clark & Peacock LLP. “In the short term, the main driver is geopolitical tension. Longer term challenges such as climate change remain important but often get pushed down the agenda…””

https://www.financierworldwide.com/fractious-world-navigating-global-risks-in-2024


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“The Staggering Ecological Impacts of Computation and the Cloud…

““Cloud” has come to signify and encompass the full gamut of infrastructures that make online activity possible… The Cloud now has a greater carbon footprint than the airline industry. A single data center can consume the equivalent electricity of 50,000 homes.”

https://thereader.mitpress.mit.edu/the-staggering-ecological-impacts-of-computation-and-the-cloud/


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

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