Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.

7th June 2023 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

Higher interest rates risk another global financial crisis, says OECD.

“The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said ever-higher borrowing costs could put the global financial system under severe stress and send share and bond prices tumbling, as it expressed concern in its half-yearly update that the full impact of tougher policy was yet to felt.


World Bank offers dim outlook for the global economy in face of higher interest rates.

“The global economy is likely slowing sharply this year, hobbled by high interest rates, the repercussions of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic. That’s the latest outlook of the World Bank…”


The Tough Choices Facing the World’s Central Banks.

“…new turbulence was added by the biggest banking crisis since 2008. While the bank failures were largely limited to the US, other central banks faced difficult choices on whether to continue, pause or reverse interest rate hikes.”


Oil prices steady as fears over supply tightness counter demand woes.

“Oil prices steadied on Wednesday after the previous session’s losses, as demand concerns owing to slow global economic growth were offset by fears of tighter global supply following Saudi Arabia’s pledge to deepen output cuts.”


Commodities Slide as Investors Bet on Economic Slowdown.

“Industrial malaise, particularly in China, is draining demand for energy and metals… The S&P GSCI commodities index has fallen about 11% so far this year through Friday, as prices for energy, metals, grains and other raw materials have retreated.”


US Treasury’s $1tn borrowing drive set to put banks under strain…

““Everyone knows the flood is coming,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, a strategist at TD Securities. “Yields will move higher because of this flood. Treasury bills will cheapen further. And that will put pressure on banks.””


US Banks Face Capital Jump With More Lenders Roped In to Comply.

“Large US banks may have to boost their capital by an average 20% and a broader swath of lenders would face strict requirements for setting aside money under a draft plan from US regulators to bolster the financial system.”


US hotel developers run out of cash as construction lending dries up.

“Tighter lending standards from regional banks are making it harder for U.S. hotel developers to secure funding, slowing construction of new hotels… the financial stress on regional banks — the largest lenders to hotels and other commercial real estate markets — has forced developers to postpone projects…”


Owner of San Francisco’s Largest Hotel, the Hilton Union Square, Is Walking Away, Surrendering It to Lender.

“Virginia-based REIT Park Hotels & Resorts has opted to cease payments on a $725 million loan, as the SF Business Times reports today, essentially surrendering over 2,900 hotel rooms and hospitality facilities to its lender. This includes the 1,921-room Hilton San Francisco Union Square, which is San Francisco’s largest hotel…”


Investment slump amid higher interest rates risks finally sparking UK recession.

“A mix of factors are buffeting the UK economy right now. Spending power is being crushed by high inflation eroding family finances. House prices are coming off their heady heights as sellers drop prices to source buyers amid higher mortgage rates.”


High inflation and recession risk – the Bank of England’s dilemma.

“The Bank of England is trying to curb an inflation rate that is running higher in Britain than in the United States and the euro zone, without pushing the economy into a recession after having already increased borrowing costs 12 times since late 2021.”


Homeowners ‘risk death’ by tampering with gas meters to cut bills [UK].

Cash-strapped households are asking engineers to tamper with energy meters to shield themselves from soaring bills. More than two in five gas and electricity engineers have been asked to interfere with a meter, according to research carried out by insurer Direct Line in March.”


Revised figures set to show eurozone economy is shrinking.

“The eurozone economy is heading for symbolically important reversal on Thursday, when economists expect official growth figures to be downgraded to show output slightly contracted for the past two quarters.”


European Central Bank chief signals more rate hikes ahead with inflation still ‘strong’…

“Lagarde’s remarks reinforced her earlier statements indicating the ECB was not done raising rates even after inflation fell by almost a full percentage point in May, to 6.1%. The ECB has been hiking rates at the fastest pace in its history…”


Kakhovka hydroelectric dam burst [Ukraine]: What are the risks to human life?

“Water from the Kahkovka dam is used to cool reactors and spent fuel at Europe’s largest nuclear site, ZNPP… there are two possible issues: access to fresh, cool water may run out, making vital cooling more difficult, and disruption from flooding could affect power supplies needed to keep the offline plant safe.”


China’s exports plunge by 7.5% in May, far more than expected.

“Exports fell 7.5% year-on-year to $283.5 billion, customs data showed Wednesday, far worse than the 0.4% decline predicted by a Reuters poll. The decline was so sharp that export volumes came in below their levels at the start of the year…


Beijing tells banks to cut rates for Chinese savers in bid to boost flagging economy.

“The authorities have issued guidance for China’s largest banks to pay savers less interest for at least the second time in less than a year, according to Bloomberg. State-owned lenders including the Bank of China were told to consider cutting rates in an effort to encourage people to spend rather than save.”


Many tourists have canceled their travel plans to UNESCO-recognized Ha Long Bay [Vietnam] due to massive power cuts, leaving hotels desperate for business.

“Nguyen Thanh Dan from HCMC booked a five-star hotel room in Ha Long City for two weeks starting Sunday, but on the first night of her stay the power went out immediately.”


Mumbaiites blow a fuse over power cuts.

“Mumbaiites are facing power cuts due to a rise in demand for electricity, leading to disruptions in power supply in parts of the city affecting thousands of consumers. The power distribution companies are unable to meet the rise in load, especially during evening hours when contributions from solar power drops.”


Israel Admits to Prioritizing Religious Communities During Planned Power Outages.

“The widespread power outages over the weekend led the Israel Electric Company to disconnect mostly secular communities from the grid in favor of mostly religious ones, according to the company’s CEO.”


Police Open Fire Killing Student During Protests Over Power Blackouts [Kenya].

“A form three student was on Sunday, June 4, shot dead during protests over prolonged blackouts in Wajir Town. A report by the police indicated that the victim was shot dead near the power offices where the protest was taking place.”


Madagascar: Further rolling power cuts and sporadic interruptions likely through June.

“Jirama, Madagascar’s national electricity utility… has reportedly explained that a drop in water reserves, in solar energy production, and limited reserves of fuel, have meant it has not been able to match the increased demand for electricity during the winter months.”


South Africa dodges first quarter recession, but outlook grim.

“…economists and analysts warned that the country faced major growth-crippling challenges for the remainder of the year. Africa’s most industrialised economy is in its worst power crisis on record with up to 10 hours a day of rolling electricity cuts, largely due to breakdowns in state utility Eskom’s ailing fleet of coal power stations.”


Fallout from Senegal unrest hits economy.

“Two days of violence last week have cost “billions of CFA francs” — tens of millions of dollars — and political risk is threatening this year’s growth targets, said consultant economist Mansour Sambe. The West African state has long surfed on its reputation for stability in a region plagued by coups.”


Desperate shortages in Khartoum as Sudan battles intensify.

“Sudan’s rival military forces have engaged in battles throughout the capital as intensifying attacks and growing lawlessness add to the misery of civilians already struggling with limited water, food and medicine.”


Billions ‘use polluting fuel to cook’ and millions ‘have no electricity’.

“Up to 2.3 billion people around the world are still using polluting fuels to cook and 675 million do not have electricity, a report released by five international organisations said. At current rates, 660 million people are projected to be without electricity and 1.9 billion will not have clean cooking opportunities by 2030…”


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

If you found value in this content, please help me continue this work by becoming a patron of my work via Patreon. And if you are already a subscriber or have donated – thank you! It is an enormous help as the cost-of-living crisis ratchets up here in the UK.

5th June 2023 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

U.S., China trade blame as hopes for military dialogue fade.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin rebuked China on Saturday for refusing to hold military talks, leaving the superpowers deadlocked over Taiwan and territorial disputes in the South China Sea…

““I am deeply concerned that the PRC (People’s Republic of China) has been unwilling to engage more seriously on better mechanisms for crisis management between our two militaries,” Austin told the meeting in Singapore.”


China’s Li says clash with US would bring ‘unbearable disaster’…

“Ties between Washington and Beijing are badly strained over a range of issues, including democratically ruled Taiwan, territorial disputes in the South China Sea and US President Joe Biden’s restrictions on semiconductor chip exports.”


Taiwan Strait: footage released of near miss between Chinese warship and US destroyer…

“The US military has released video of what it called an “unsafe” Chinese manoeuvre in the Taiwan Strait on the weekend, in which a Chinese navy ship cut sharply across the path of an American destroyer, forcing the US ship to slow to avoid a collision.”


As oil prices stagnate, OPEC Plus opts to extend production cuts.

“With gas prices stagnant and oil markets relatively flat, the coalition of oil-producing nations led by Saudi Arabia and Russia on Sunday opted to extend output cuts on oil production through 2024.”


U.S. industrial recession hits energy consumption.

“U.S. manufacturing and freight activity has declined for seven months running, reflected in falling consumption of diesel and other distillate fuel oils as well as industrial electricity sales. Manufacturers reported another widespread downturn in May…”


Largest terminal at Long Beach, California port won’t open Monday after getting hit by labor turmoil.

“Ports and workers are locked in an unofficial dispute over wages, as well as safety, automation and pension benefits… The Port of Los Angeles, the nation’s largest port, processed 2.5 million containers from January through April.”


Truckers Testing Positive For Cannabis At Record Rates, 129,000 Prohibited, Exacerbating Supply Chain.

“As more potential and current truck drivers test positive for marijuana, fewer of them are going through the process of getting their commercial driver’s licenses back. And the supermarket shelves tell the story.”


[US] Shoppers are already changing their spending habits in preparation for a recession, Costco executives have warned…

“CFO Richard Galanti told investors on a call on Thursday that customers are ditching more expensive beef products and big-ticket items such as fridges and televisions.”


Hot jobs market piles pressure on Federal Reserve to raise rates later this summer.

“Unexpectedly strong hiring across the US economy has piled pressure onto the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates later this summer if it skips an increase at its forthcoming policy meeting this month.”


US banks prepare for losses in rush for commercial property exit.

“Some US banks are preparing to sell off property loans at a discount even when borrowers are up to date on repayments, a sign of their determination to reduce exposure to the teetering commercial real estate market.”


A record share of first-time buyers [UK] are taking out mortgages with terms of 35 years or more as soaring costs force more Britons to sign up to a lifetime of debt.

“UK Finance data shows 19pc of all loans taken out by first-time buyers in March were for terms of 35 years or longer.”


Why Britain’s households should expect energy bills to remain high.

“Soaring energy bills over the past 18 months have hit British household budgets hard, fuelling record double-digit inflation and a cost of living crisis… Yet at the end of last month, Jonathan Brearley, head of Ofgem, warned households not to expect bills to return to pre-crisis levels until at least the middle of the decade…”


Net zero ‘grocery tax’ will push shopping bills up by £4bn, Tories warned…

“In an open letter to The Telegraph, the British Retail Consortium suggests that a scheme to charge retailers and manufacturers for the cost of councils recycling their packaging will increase the cost of household goods when it is rolled out from April next year.”


Mental health crisis among young people leaves 185,000 unable to work [UK]…

“A new report by the Resolution Foundation found that the number of young adults who are inactive because of health issues has risen from 94,000 in 2012 to 185,000 in 2022. A quarter of 18-to-24 year olds who were out of work last year blamed ill health, up from just 8pc a decade earlier.”


Roiled by rising borrowing costs and falling valuations that wiped out $148 billion of shareholder value, European landlords are bracing for a new wave of pain.

“Property companies have about $165 billion of bonds maturing through 2026, while banks are reducing their exposure to the industry and credit costs are at their highest since the financial crisis.”


France plans major police presence for June 6 day of protest.

“French authorities plan to deploy 11,000 police, including 4,000 in Paris, on Tuesday, when unions have called a nationwide day of protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s law to raise the retirement age, the interior ministry said on Sunday.”


Hundreds of thousands march in Poland anti-government protests.

“Hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in Poland on the 34th anniversary of the eastern European country’s first post-war democratic election – a march the liberal opposition billed as a test of its ability to end nearly eight years of nationalist rule later this year.”


Turkey to send commandos to Kosovo in response to Nato peacekeeping call…

““Calm needs to be restored urgently,” the EU high representative for foreign affairs, Josep Borrell, said on Saturday. “The European Union condemns in the strongest terms the violent acts against citizens, Kfor [Kosovo Force] troops, law enforcement and media in the north of Kosovo.””


New research has shed light on the staggering number of Aussies struggling with mortgages ahead of Tuesday’s interest rate decision.

“Comparison site Finder has revealed 40 per cent of Australians – the equivalent of 1.32m households – did not make their May mortgage repayment easily. This is the highest number recorded since Finder began tracking the concerning issue in 2019.”


China’s May imports to fall again, exports slip into red.

“The pessimistic outlook for exports suggests that Chinese exporters have caught up on unfulfilled orders after last year’s COVID-19 disruptions and global demand is insufficient to sustain a recovery in outbound shipments.”


Bangladesh power cuts may last two more weeks on fuel shortages.

“Bangladesh could face power cuts for two more weeks, its power minister said late on Sunday, as higher electricity consumption because of rising temperatures has caused a fuel shortfall for generation plants.”


Kashmir battles alarming drug addiction crisis.

“…officials say drug addiction is becoming a serious worry in Kashmir, devastating the lives of young people. They also say there is a sharp rise in the consumption of hard drugs such as heroin.”


Afghan women face ‘pandemic of suicidal thoughts’.

“”I just want someone to hear my voice. I’m in pain, and I’m not the only one,” an Afghan university student tells us, blinking back tears. “Most of the girls in my class have had suicidal thoughts. We are all suffering from depression and anxiety. We have no hope.””


Morocco: Hundreds in Casablanca protest high cost of living…

“Coming from all over the country, trade unionists from the left-wing Confédération Démocratique du Travail gathered in the historic center of the economic capital. “We’re here to voice our discontent at soaring prices and attacks on purchasing power”, explained Abdellah Lagbouri, a CDT member…”


The death toll in the Senegal violence has risen to 15 as supporters of convicted opposition leader Ousmane Sonko and police continued to clash, the government said on Saturday…

“Rights groups have condemned the government crackdown, which has included arbitrary arrests and restrictions on social media.”


Fighting escalates in Sudan’s capital after ceasefire expires.

“Fighting intensified in several areas of Khartoum on Sunday after a ceasefire deal expired, residents of Sudan’s capital reported, and activists said a new outburst of violence in North Darfur state had left at least 40 people dead.”


Transnet seeks state intervention amid surge in corridor ‘sabotage’ [South Africa]…

“Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) is seeking state intervention after an alarming spike of cable theft incidents along the railway line that connects Durban to the economic hub of Gauteng nearly led to the collapse of its operations over the past two weeks.”


World Financial System: Is disintegration imminent?

“The above challenges call for a substantial international and financial framework rethink. Without this, the Bretton Woods institutions and the global economic system will continue to disintegrate, which may lead to a collapse of the system.”


Prepare for doom: AI is already taking control of your money.

“In the spring of 2020, as Covid-19 swept across the world, artificial intelligence (AI) systems working for one of the world’s biggest credit scoring companies noticed an unexpected surge in online shopping.

“The AI bots concluded that this could only mean one thing – a huge digital crime wave. They instructed the company to block millions of transactions, most of which were from ordinary shoppers scrambling for essential goods.

“In the event, human analysts at Fico noticed the errors and reversed most of them, allowing shoppers to get their toilet paper. But the incident is a vivid foretaste of what could go wrong

“With big banks and other institutions already using it for everything from detecting fraud to making high-speed trading decisions, future financial markets could become the playground of duelling AI systems “making complex investment decisions based on patterns that may not be apparent to humans”.”


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

If you found value in this content, please help me continue this work by becoming a patron of my work via Patreon. And if you are already a subscriber or have donated – thank you! It is an enormous help as the cost-of-living crisis ratchets up here in the UK.

2nd June 2023 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

The Global Economic Growth Deficit.

World Bank President David Malpass recently worried on these pages about the slowing global economy and the lack of pro-growth policies. His warning is already coming true, as China is slumping while Germany slips into recession.

“The post-Covid boom many expected in China appears to be fizzling. Data this week suggests a manufacturing slump is becoming deeper [manufacturing also contracting in UK, US and Eurozone], while services are losing buoyancy. Urban youth unemployment is at a record high, and the real-estate market limps along.”


The global economy has likely been spared a US debt default. It still faces a mountain of risks.

“While an immediate crisis has likely been avoided, the litany of problems that had been temporarily overshadowed by the specter of a US default — among them, high inflation, rising interest rates and sluggish growth — haven’t gone away.”


More gloom for container lines as long-term freight rates ‘collapse’.

Long-term container freight rates have logged their biggest ever monthly drop. The contracted cost of shipping containers dived 27.5% in May in the largest ever monthly fall recorded on the by Xeneta’s Shipping Index. The drop followed a massive monthly fall of 40% in the value of long-term rates to the US market.”


Major central banks renew rate hike push in May…

“All six of the central banks overseeing one of the 10 most heavily traded currencies and that met in May hiked rates. Central banks in Australia, New Zealand and Norway joined the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve in lifting benchmark rates last month by 25 basis points each, for a cumulative 150 bps.”


The world is sliding into a new age of nuclear risk — in which miscalculation or accident could lead to catastrophe.

“The latest retreat came in Minsk, Belarus, on May 25, when Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin signed a formal agreement paving the way for Russia to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus.”


US cuts data sharing with Russia under New START nuclear deal.

“The United States will stop providing Russia with some notifications required under the New START nuclear arms control treaty, including updates on missile and launcher locations, in what Washington describes as a retaliatory “countermeasure” due to Moscow’s “violations” of the accord.”


Biden has an “appetite” to cross Putin’s red lines…

“As US officials explain, the key reason for ignoring Putin’s threats is the fact that the Russian president does not keep his promises to punish the West for providing weapons to Ukraine. His bluff assured American and European leaders that they could continue to do so without any serious consequences.”


U.S. banks sink on concerns about office real estate loans.

“Investors worried about potential losses among banks from office real estate loans after comments from executives, including Wells Fargo & Co’s (WFC.N) Chief Executive Officer Charlie Scharf and Blackstone President Jonathan Gray at a Sanford C Bernstein investor conference.”


The US banking crisis is far from over, with more banks slated to collapse in coming months as the global economic outlook worsens.

“Over in the US, the debt ceiling crisis has occupied the minds of global and local economists in recent weeks but the banking crisis is also still a huge risk, experts have warned.”


Default wave imminent, will peak in 2024 – Deutsche Bank…

“A wave of debt defaults by companies in the United States and Europe is imminent, due in part to the fastest monetary tightening cycle in 15 years… The estimate for a U.S. loan peak default rate of 11.3% would be a near all-time high, compared to a peak of 12% during the 2007-2008 global financial crisis…”


How a fossil fuel pipeline helped grease the debt ceiling deal…

““We got Mountain Valley Pipeline done,” McCarthy told Rep. Carol Miller (R-W.Va.), according to people familiar with the conversation. The speaker was referring to a controversial gas pipeline that the debt limit deal sought to fast-track.”


Stagflation emerges as OPEC’s big economic risk after US debt reprieve…

“The economic phenomena of low growth and entrenched inflation that wreaked havoc in the 1970s may be back with a vengeance. For OPEC and its allies led by Russia, global stagflation is very bad for business. It invariably means tepid demand for crude oil in the major industrialized nations most affected, or even worse demand destruction.”


OPEC reporters from three large news organizations have not been invited to the oil producing alliance’s meetings this weekend…

“…reporters who normally cover OPEC from Reuters, Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal did not receive invitations as of Wednesday night, according to people familiar with the matter who did not want to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue.”


Sweden is heading for a severe power crunch from the middle of this decade as new capacity won’t be sufficient to satisfy soaring consumption.

“After a mild European winter helped avert a crisis last year, the biggest Nordic nation is facing a large deficit from 2025-2026 that can’t be met by increasing imports…”


UK mortgage lending hits record low in sign of housing market stress.

“The UK’s housing market is showing growing signs of stress, with mortgage lending collapsing to the lowest monthly level on record, and property valuations falling at the fastest annual rate in almost 14 years.”


Manufacturing downturn deepens amid weak demand for UK goods…

“”Lacklustre” overseas demand for products made in the UK and a shift in spending away from goods to services in the country were among the reasons, according to the S&P Global/CIPS UK manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI).”


UK inflation: Food prices causing problems for farmers…

“…since the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, food production costs have jumped. For fertiliser we were paying £290-odd and it shot up to £900 for that same bag,” said Tessa, whose family has run Cresswell Barn Farm for more than 40 years.”


Food-loving French tighten belts as supermarket prices soar.

“France prides itself on taking its food seriously, but many consumers are now tightening their belts or skimping on quality, hit by a record inflation rate that threatens to serve up another political headache for the government. Adjusted for inflation, household spending on food fell year on year by a record 10% in April…”


Thousands of Bulgarians gathered in front of the presidency on May 30 to protest against what many see as a coordinated effort to block the creation of a pro-Western coalition government.

““This is not Moscow,” chanted protesters, accusing President Rumen Radev of becoming openly pro-Russian and working in the interest of Moscow, not of Sofia.”


Violent Clashes Trigger Fears of New War in Europe…

“Tension has flared up in the region ever since Kosovo seceded from Serbia, another ex-Yugoslav state, in the late 1990s… The latest flare-up has raised fears in Western capitals that the possibility of conflict could create an opening for Russia to reignite one of Europe’s unresolved flashpoints.”


ECB Warns BOJ Policy Change Could Test Global Bond Markets.

“A rare European Central Bank warning about the bond market risk of a Bank of Japan policy change comes at a time when Japanese outflows from the region are already at record levels… With inflation pressures in Japan persisting, a majority of investors believe the BOJ will eventually have little choice but to join peers in hiking borrowing costs…”


Japan passes law to use nuclear reactors past 60 years.

“Japan’s parliament has passed legislation allowing the country’s nuclear power operators to continue using reactors beyond their maximum lifespan of 60 years, by excluding the time spent having increased safety scrutiny in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.”


China’s 11.6m graduates face a jobs market with no jobs.

“With a master’s degree in applied linguistics from one of Australia’s top universities, Ingrid Xie did not expect to end up working in a grocery store. But that was where she ended up after graduating from the University of Queensland in July last year.”


Half of China Cities Face Debt Service Difficulty, Rhodium Says.

“Financial stress faced by China’s local governments is limiting fiscal support for the economy’s recovery, with half of cities facing difficulty in managing the interest payments on their debt last year.”


As default looms, Argentina’s fiscal discipline slides.

“The country’s economy was already weak before a serious drought hit. Now it is broke, and the question in Buenos Aires isn’t whether finance minister Sergio Massa can muddle through to the presidential election at the end of October, it is whether he can make it to the primaries in August before a full-blown financial crisis.”


‘The situation is becoming unbearable’: criminals dump bodies in Cape Town suburb beset by power outages.

“Residents of Macassar, a small suburb 40km outside Cape Town plagued by repeated power outages on top of load-shedding, are not only gatvol with Eskom but fear criminals are taking advantage of the darkness to dump bodies there.”


Ghana: More deaths feared as power cut hits hospitals over non-payment.

“An attempt by an electricity firm in Ghana to recover debt from customers including state-run hospitals by cutting power has resulted in the death of two newborns.”


Nigeria: Anger over high fuel prices, shortages.

Pump prices have doubled, even tripled in some areas following an announcement by President Bola Tinubu that a subsidy which kept prices down was coming to an end… “The reality is that from today the government can no longer afford to pay for fuel subsidies,” the CEO of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Mele Kyari told reporters on Tuesday.”


Nine killed in Senegal clashes after opposition leader sentenced.

“After Thursday’s verdict, clashes broke out between police and protesters, buses were set alight in the capital Dakar, and disturbances were reported elsewhere including the city of Ziguinchor, where Sonko has been mayor since 2022.”


The United States has imposed the first sanctions related to the conflict in Sudan, warning that it will “hold accountable” all those undermining peace in the northeast African country.

“Thursday’s sanctions targeted two firms associated with the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and two others linked to the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).”


Tunisia’s financial crisis leaves the sick struggling to find medicine.

“Sick Tunisians face a frantic struggle to find some medicines because the cash-strapped state has reduced imports, leaving doctors unable to control debilitating health problems and patients turning to informal markets for their medication. Hundreds of medicines have been missing for months…”


Turkey’s Erdogan faces struggle to meet Syrian refugee promise.

“President Tayyip Erdogan played up his plans to repatriate a million Syrian refugees as he rode a wave of nationalism to his third decade in power, but he could struggle to make good on the promise as conflict lingers on in neighbouring Syria.”


In crisis-hit Pakistan, rogue loan apps add to financial pain.

“…while the apps offer quick, collateral-free credit to the largely unbanked, the boom has led to a surge in complaints about illegal lenders that routinely abuse customers’ data and use aggressive recovery tactics including threats and blackmail.”


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

If you found value in this content, please help me continue this work by becoming a patron of my work via Patreon. And if you are already a subscriber or have donated – thank you! It is an enormous help as the cost-of-living crisis ratchets up here in the UK.

31st May 2023 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

Climate change is accelerating inflation in dozens of countries around the world, new research says. And the trend is expected to continue as the world heats up…

““Future climate change will amplify the magnitude of such heat extremes, thereby also amplifying their potential impacts on inflation,” the report says, both of which have major implications for price stability and “wider social welfare.””


Higher interest rates test the system.

“…high interest rates are testing the financial system and balance sheets around the world. Balance sheets and financial structures created in a period of near-zero interest rates now face rates closer to 5.0% in the US and UK.”


As Interest Rates Rise, The Era Of ‘Deficits Don’t Matter’ Is Over…

At some point, the voters are likely to say “enough” when it comes to escalating debt payments. And that’s when a country gets either hyperinflation or a sovereign debt crisis. In the meantime, that interest bill is just going to keep getting bigger.”


America’s Faustian Pact with runaway debt is coming due…

“America’s net international investment position has gone from near balance a generation ago to minus 62pc of GDP. Part of that is the distortion of the strong dollar. A big chunk is not. America is selling the family silver to live (so is Britain).”


Swedish Household-Lending Growth Hits New Low as Rates Rise.

“After decades of virtually unbroken price gains in the nation’s housing market, prices started falling in the second quarter of 2022… Most economists now expect the decline to resume as households remain under pressure from rapidly rising consumer prices as well as higher mortgage costs.”


Almost 800 UK mortgage deals pulled as concerns mount over interest rate rises…

“In an echo of the crisis that engulfed the sector last autumn after the mini-budget that brought down Liz Truss, the number of residential mortgage deals has fallen by almost 7% in a week, according to figures from the financial data provider Moneyfacts.”


At least 30 NATO troops injured in clashes with Serbs in Kosovo…

“Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic spent the night with his troops on the border with Kosovo. They were placed on the highest state of alert on his orders last week. Vucic said 52 Serbs were injured in the clashes, three seriously.”


Orban blamed by Budapest deputy mayor as city faces bankruptcy.

“The city of Budapest is facing its worst financial crisis in decades. City officials say that to avoid bankruptcy, they will stop paying taxes to Hungary’s finance ministry and seek a loan to keep essential services running.”


Recession in Germany is a sign of Europe’s de-industrialisation…

“the recession that is currently looming over Europe is fundamentally different from previous iterations. The coming recession is no simple turning of the business cycle. Instead, it could be the beginning of the deindustrialisation of the European economy, which no longer has access to cheap Russian energy.”


SVB’s collapse was one thing, Credit Suisse’s quite another.

“…if Credit Suisse can suffer a run even though it was liquid and well capitalised, then the same thing can happen to any other bank, anywhere, at any time. The bank runs in March and April were unusually fast…”


Shadow bank funding creates risks for big eurozone lenders, warns ECB… ECB warns of hit to top European banks if funds run into trouble…

““Any turmoil in the NBFI sector is likely to disproportionately affect large, complex, systemically important banks, as asset exposures, funding linkages and derivative exposures are concentrated in this group,” the officials said.”


Home prices may slump in euro zone as rates rise, ECB says.

Home prices in the euro zone may be headed for a “disorderly” decline as high mortgage rates make purchases unaffordable for households and unattractive for investors, the European Central Bank (ECB) said on Wednesday.”


Eurozone sentiment survey for May adds to growth worries.

“The eurozone likely saw negative growth over the winter. Economic sentiment in May unfortunately does not suggest that a vibrant recovery is underway. Weak growth and a falling inflation outlook both add to expectations that the peak in ECB rates is getting near.”


Sino-European Relations Souring as Russia-Ukrainian War Intensifies…

“As Europe redefines its relationship with China, the balance between reciprocity and market access, and strategic cooperation in climate change will shape the continent’s strategy moving forward. In any event, Europe’s future relations on China promises to be more stick, less carrot.”


US-China trade talks end in more chip war salvos.

“US-China commerce chiefs fail to de-escalate tensions as both sides resort to trade and tech war complaints soon after their meeting… Mao Ning, a Chinese government spokesperson, said on Monday that Japan and the US should not undermine other countries to perpetrate hegemony or protect what she characterized as “selfish” interests.”


A $15.3 trillion local government debt crisis looms in China…

“Chinese bond investors are becoming increasingly concerned about the financial robustness of local government financing vehicles (LGFVs), which are saddled with an estimated $US10 trillion ($15.3 trillion) in debt.”


China’s three ‘grey rhinos’ – demographic crisis, debt and decoupling – are growing, threatening economic growth.

“The nation’s birth rate is plunging, its debt bubble is threatening to burst, and its allure as the world’s factory is losing its shine. Chinese authorities have already taken measures to prepare for these highly probable, high-impact threats, but more needs to be done.”


Hundreds of police have clashed with protesters in a Muslim town in south-west China amid anger at plans to partially dismantle a 14th-century mosque…

“Videos posted on western social media showed police with riot shields and protective gear clashing with hundreds of protesters outside the mosque. Some of the protesters were throwing chairs and stones. Several people were reportedly arrested.”


China’s Factory Slump Worsens as Fears Mount Over Recovery…

“The PMI figures confirm the economy’s recovery cooled in the second quarter after a burst of consumer activity early in the year. Exports remain weak, a rebound in the property market has faded and the government has slowed spending on infrastructure. Businesses are also being hit by falling profits and heightened tensions with the US and its allies.”


It’s not a good time to be a steel mill or coal mine in China.

“China’s raw materials producers are at the forefront of falling industrial profits as poor demand and price deflation tear into margins at steel mills, metals smelters, chemicals firms and coal miners.”


Oil Holds Deep Slump on Weak Demand Signals Ahead of OPEC+ Meet…

“Markets are worried that China’s commodity demand is weakening more quickly than anticipated,” said Vivek Dhar, director of mining and energy commodities research at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “Views that OPEC+ may not look to cut oil production” also weighed on prices, he added.”


Saudi-Russia Tensions Growing Ahead Of Key OPEC+ Meeting.

“Riyadh has grown increasingly frustrated with Russia, which apparently hasn’t kept its end of the deal and isn’t reducing oil production as pledged, complicating the Saudi efforts to lift oil prices to at least the Kingdom’s oil price breakeven level of $81 per barrel.”


Japan’s Factory Output Drops on Hit From Global Slowdown…

“Wednesday’s results likely reflected impact from the global slowdown, overshadowing the positive effects from improving supply chains. The weakness in domestic production is a potential drag for the Japanese economy, which has recently shown some signs of recovery.”


Nigerians panic buy fuel after Tinubu says subsidy to go.

“Long fuel queues returned to Nigeria’s cities on Tuesday as motorists rushed to fill their tanks while some retailers hiked prices amid uncertainty on the timing of the removal of a fuel subsidy that new President Bola Tinubu said would be scrapped.”


Sudan army suspends participation in Jeddah ceasefire talks.

“Sudan’s army has suspended its participation in talks over a ceasefire and humanitarian access, a Sudanese diplomatic source told Al Jazeera, raising fears of renewed fighting that has displaced tens of thousands of people.”


The World is at Risk as War in Sudan Threatens to Spread, U.N. Forces Warn.

“As reports of new clashes shatter hopes for yet another ceasefire effort in Sudan, the heads of United Nations Peacekeeping and its three largest missions tell Newsweek a worsening conflict will have grave implications not just across Africa, but potentially around the world as well.”


The World Food Programme has said that more than 200,000 refugees in Tanzania would receive only half rations from next month because of a lack of donor funding.

“Food allocations for refugees in Tanzania – of whom 70 percent are from Burundi and the rest from the Democratic Republic of Congo – have been steadily reduced since 2020.”


South Africa’s Rand Hits Fresh Record Low as Risks Stack Up…

“The latest setback for investors is the government’s plan to provide diplomatic immunity to attendees of BRICS meetings as it prepares to host Russian President Vladimir Putin at an August summit. That’s added to power cuts that are hurting the economy, concerns over China’s growth and renewed gains in the US dollar.”


South Africa’s power crisis is a warning for the world…

“Even countries with ample natural resources face political hurdles and government mismanagement in delivering power to businesses and individuals. Without power, delicate social relations are at risk in many societies worldwide.”


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

If you found value in this content, please help me continue this work by becoming a patron of my work via Patreon. And if you are already a subscriber or have donated – thank you! It is an enormous help as the cost-of-living crisis ratchets up here in the UK.

29th May 2023 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

Global trade to GDP level nears 2008 crisis levels…

“The Russia-Ukraine war, the covid pandemic and trade tensions between the US and China dragged the trade-to-gross domestic product, or ‘trade openness’ ratio, to levels last seen during the 2008 global financial crisis, according to the World Bank’s recent policy research paper.”


Major central banks were expected to pause rate hikes soon. Now it’s not so clear cut…

“With inflation continuing to prove stickier than the government and the central bank had hoped, now almost double the comparable rate in the U.S. and considerably higher than in Europe, traders increased bets that interest rates will need to be hiked further in order to curtail price rises.”


Emerging markets warned against swift rate cuts until inflation is under control.

“Tight labour markets and loose fiscal policies will prolong inflation in some developing countries, warn analysts, with underlying price pressures remaining stubbornly entrenched even as food and energy prices fall from last year’s highs.”


The Frantic Push to Solve Sovereign Debt Crises Irks Wall Street…

“As government defaults rise to a record in the developing world, the debate is growing frantic over how to solve these debt crises. Restructuring talks are stalling, with some countries turning to old-school sweeteners and others calling to revamp the Group of 20’s Common Framework.”


Debt Deal Adds Brake on US Economy Already at Risk of Recession.

“The cap on government spending in Washington’s deal to raise the federal debt limit adds a fresh headwind to a US economy already burdened by the highest interest rates in decades and reduced access to credit.”


Canada’s big banks log 13-fold rise in loan loss provisions… All of the big Canadian banks singled out elevated risks in North America’s commercial real estate (CRE) sector as a reason for ratcheting up credit loss reserves.”


Ireland’s drug shortage is ‘worst yet’ as pharmacists sound alarm.

“A serious shortage of medicines, including a life-saving breast cancer drug, is the “highest it has ever been”, say industry experts across Ireland who have sounded the alarm over a “frightening” lack of critical supplies. The Sunday Times has learnt that more than 300 items are out of stock…”


Sunak urges supermarkets to cap prices of staple items as food inflation remains ‘worryingly high’ [UK]…

“The policy is not expected to be mandatory, with No10 saying that any proposals would be optional for UK supermarkets… food inflation remains “worryingly high” and at 19.1 per cent, it is close to reaching a record high.”


The Bank of England is poised to intervene if last week’s chaos in the bond market persists – as beleaguered governor Andrew Bailey faces even more embarrassment.

“The Old Lady was forced to step in last autumn to save the pensions industry from collapse with the promise of a £65 billion package, following an earlier episode of bond market turmoil after Liz Truss’s ill-fated mini-Budget.”


France in ‘close talks’ over debt rating.

“France is in “very close talks” with debt rating agency Standard and Poor’s, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said Sunday, after a downgrade from rival Fitch reignited government finance concerns in the EU’s second-largest economy.”


France cuts red tape for nuclear power despite cracks in reactors…

“The crack at Penly… is 155mm long – a quarter of the circumference of the pipe – with a maximum depth of 23mm. It means that if the circuit was ever used in an emergency, the pipe, holding mildly radioactive hot water under 50 bars of pressure, would be at risk of leaking.”


Serbian border troops on high alert after ethnic clashes inside Kosovo…

“Kosovo police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd and let the new officials into the offices. Several cars were set ablaze. Kosovo Serb hospital officials said about 10 protesters were injured. Police said five officers were injured as protesters hurled stun grenades and other objects. A police car was burned.”


Turkey’s lira sinks to near record low as Erdogan is re-elected…

““We have a pretty pessimistic outlook on the Turkish Lira as a result of Erdogan retaining office after the election,” Wells Fargo’s Emerging Markets Economist and FX Strategist Brendan McKenna told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia.””


‘I feel abandoned’: Lebanon’s elderly have few options to survive.

“Hekmat Skaff sits all day behind the counter of his grocery store in Achrafieh, a central district of Beirut. He knows the prices of all items by heart and, as clients walk in and out, adds them up on a piece of paper. At 80 years old, he simply cannot stop working.”


Mass protests against Israeli government’s plans to change legal system enter 21st week…

“Organizers of grassroot protests bill them as a movement to save democracy. They say the government’s plans to weaken the Supreme Court would destroy the country’s system of checks and balances and compromise Israeli democracy.”


Iran Tightens Gasoline Rationing Amid Shortages.

“An Iranian official said Sunday that in addition to a limit on cheap gasoline for citizens, more expensive fuel will also be rationed, and limited to 150 liters per month. Gasoline and other fuels are heavily subsidized in Iran, which coupled with refining limitations, has led to shortages this year according to the government.”


In a shocking turn of events, Pakistan’s per capita income has witnessed a staggering decrease of $198 in the current fiscal year, reaching a record-breaking low.

“The Federal Bureau of Statistics has released a report revealing that the per capita income for Pakistan stood at $1,568, compared to the previous fiscal year’s $1,766, marking an alarming 11.38% decline in just one year.”


[Indian state of] Kerala borrowing limit halved: CPI(M) says Centre trying to suffocate state; CM calls it ‘sadistic approach’.

“Following the Union government halving Kerala’s borrowing limit, leaders of the ruling CPI(M) — including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan — have criticised the decision saying it was an “attempt to suffocate the state” financially by any means necessary.”


At least 40 killed in clashes with troops in India’s Manipur.

“The far-flung states of northeast India – sandwiched between Bangladesh, China and Myanmar – have long been a tinderbox of tensions between different ethnic groups. New Delhi rushed thousands of paramilitary and army troops to the state of 3.2 million people. It imposed a curfew…”


Humanitarian crisis worsens as fighting in Myanmar’s civil war ramps up…

“The Civil War in Myanmar intensified this week as resistance fighters attack the governing military hunta’s forces. The United Nations estimates that nearly 18 million people need humanitarian aid as a result of the fighting, which is now entering its third year.”


The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is warning that an extensive new cut in food rations for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh will have a deadly impact.

“According to the World Food Program (WFP) the UN agency has been forced to make additional cuts to the already decreasing food assistance due to critical funding gaps.”


China’s economy loses steam as concerns mount over Covid recovery…

“Industrial production and profits, property sales and credit growth have all fallen short of analysts’ projections in April and early May, recent data showed, sapping confidence in the growth prospects for the world’s second-largest economy.”


Chinese Stocks in Hong Kong Extend Slump, Approach Bear Market.

“A gauge of Chinese shares traded in Hong Kong inched closer to bear-market territory as a wobbling economic recovery, intensifying geopolitical tensions and a weaker yuan keep investors away… As losses deepen, Chinese equities are losing their bullish strategist calls.”


China’s Wuhan finance regulator urges hundreds of firms to repay debt, local media report…

The rare action from Wuhan’s finance bureau on Friday comes as local governments in China become increasingly pressed by higher debt and expenses… Like most places in China, Wuhan government’s revenue has taken a big hit in recent years…”


Argentina Economic Chief to Fly to China for Swap Line Talks…

“Facing inflation over 100%, Argentina’s central bank has no liquid cash reserves left, according to local economists’ estimates. With the official peso exchange rate down 25% so far this year, one of the government’s last-resort tools to prevent a more severe peso devaluation is Argentina’s existing China swap line worth 130 billion yuan ($18.4 billion).”


Brazilian Households Default Grow Amid High Interest Rates.

“Brazilians are struggling to pay their debts on time, with four out every ten adults facing default, as central bankers keep monetary policy tight in an effort to bring inflation back to their target… Household debt in Brazil has lingered around all-time highs for months, according to data from the central bank…”


South Africa Braces for Winter With Severe Power Outages…

“The persistent blackouts across the country affect not only homes. The power crisis is a main contributor to South Africa teetering on the brink of recession, as not only heavy industries but also agriculture, forestry, mining and fishing have had to limit their work.”


‘They set us on fire and took everything’: The harrowing stories inside Chad’s refugee camps as thousands flee Sudan [Brutal heat in these regions currently, too].

“Around 90,000 people have fled Sudan’s West Darfur state into eastern Chad seeking safety from regional violence fuelled by the war between the army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces. Many have fled brutal violence and each has their own story of survival.”


Why do more than 800 million people live in hunger?

Hunger levels are rising around the world. As many as 828 million people – or 10 percent of the world’s population – go to bed hungry each night, 46 million more than the previous year, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.”


Global Investment in Coal to Increase by 10 Percent: IEA…

“Investment in global coal production and supply in 2023 is expected to increase by about 10% from the $135 billion spent in 2022, the International Energy Agency said. IEA, in its World Energy Investment 2023, said nearly 90% of this investment will likely be in the Asia-Pacific region, notably in China and India…”


End Times by Peter Turchin review – can we predict the collapse of societies?

“…In the US, he suggests – and by association the UK – these “factors started to take an ominous turn in the 1970s… The data pointed to the years around 2020 when the confluence of these trends was expected to trigger a spike in political instability. And here we are.””


We asked Google Bard if a global economic collapse will occur in 2023…

“The tool emphasized that determining the likelihood of a collapse, specifically in 2023, remains uncertain but highlighted several factors that could contribute to such a scenario… According to Bard, key indicators of a potential collapse encompass high inflation, the ongoing war in Ukraine, and the upward trajectory of interest rates…”


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

If you found value in this content, please help me continue this work by becoming a patron of my work via Patreon. And if you are already a subscriber or have donated – thank you! It is an enormous help as the cost-of-living crisis ratchets up here in the UK.

26th May 2023 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

It Just Had an Energy Crisis, Now Europe Faces a Food Shock…

“The continued surge in food prices has caught central bankers off guard and pressured governments that are still reeling from the cost of last year’s emergency support to come to the rescue. And it is pressuring household budgets that are also under strain from rising borrowing costs.”


The central banks are frightened, so they are slowing the economy… They have been very wrong in underplaying the danger of inflation…

Just this week the head of the German Bundesbank, Joachim Nagel, said that the European Central Bank would have to increase its rates “several” more times to control inflation.”


“The debt problem is shifting to core Europe”…

“France and Germany are still spending money by the bushel full. The debt problem is shifting to core Europe, and on top of that, growth here is weaker than on the periphery. That can’t keep going the way it is, and politicians have finally got to tell people so.”


EU rules unable to shield shadow banks from market shocks, warns ECB.

“The European Central Bank has warned that rising risks at so-called shadow banks have left EU regulation “ever more insufficient” to prevent further financial market shocks from triggering a wider liquidity crisis.”


Switzerland speeds up work on liquidity backstop after Credit Suisse crash.

“The Swiss government on Thursday moved to speed up work on extending a public liquidity backstop Credit Suisse received access to in March under emergency rules to other systemically important banks and make it a permanent part of regulatory framework.”


Germany falls into recession as inflation hits economy…

“Under the weight of immense inflation, the German consumer has fallen to his knees, dragging the entire economy down with him,” said Andreas Scheuerle, an analyst at DekaBank. Germany’s inflation rate stood at 7.2% in April, above the euro area’s average but below the UK’s 8.7%.”


UK borrowing costs surged to levels last reached under Liz Truss’s ill-fated premiership after traders were spooked by unexpectedly strong inflation.

“The consumer prices index (CPI) dropped to 8.7pc last month from 10.1pc in March, but the Bank of England had expected a bigger fall to 8.4pc.”


Lack of risk taking in the City threatening the economy, warns Bailey…

“The Governor of the Bank of England said on Wednesday that regulatory reforms were needed to encourage greater risk taking by finance companies to turbocharge the Square Mile… The comments are likely to raise eyebrows, as Mr Bailey has been one of the main architects of the UK’s post-financial crisis regulatory regime, having led all of Britain’s top City regulators.”


The value of the Swedish krona has dropped steadily against the euro since summer 2021, hitting its weakest value since the beginning of 2009 on Wednesday.

“A euro now costs 11:49 kronor, up from around 10 kronor in summer 2021. This means the krona has lost around 15 percent of its value against the euro in just under two years.”


When will interest rates in Norway start to come down?

A combination of a weak krone and high inflation means that consumers in Norway may have to wait until 2025 before interest rates on loans and mortgages come down… A weak krone contributes to inflation by making the cost of important goods more expensive.”


Iceland Surprises With Biggest Rate Hike Since Financial Crisis…

“The Monetary Policy Committee in Reykjavik hiked the 7-day term deposit rate by 125 basis points, exceeding the forecasts by the largest banks and other market participants. That’s its biggest increase since the global financial crisis in 2008. The rate is now at 8.75%.”


Canada’s household debt is now highest in the G7.

The amount owed by Canadian households is also higher than the country’s entire GDP. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said high home prices are to blame for the ballooning debt.”


Australia might not be in a recession but households are about to feel as though they are…

“We are now buying about 5% less food than expected before the pandemic. It’s just costing more. This trend, sadly, is not limited to food. During the pandemic we spent like crazy on household goods. But now, not only are we reducing the volume of items we are buying, but also the dollar amount.”


US credit squeeze triggers rise in corporate bankruptcies.

“More large US companies are taking shelter in bankruptcy court, a sign of a tightening credit squeeze as interest rates rise and financial markets become less hospitable to borrowers. Eight companies with more than $500mn in liabilities have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this month, including five in a single 24-hour stretch last week.”


Charcoal cooking, week-long queues for gasoline: Fuel shortages slam Cuba’s countryside.

“Cuba’s most recent fuel shortage has crippled an already fragile economy, but it is hitting rural villages particularly hard, with residents resorting to coal fires to cook their food, scrambling to find transport to take them to work and spending days — and nights — at the gas station waiting to fuel up.”


South Africa lifts interest rates to 14-year high to fight inflation.

“South Africa’s central bank raised its main interest rate on Thursday to a 14-year high, a move Governor Lesetja Kganyago described as “bitter medicine” needed to tame inflation. The bank lifted rates by 50 basis points to 8.25% as it raised its inflation forecasts…”


Sudan’s warring sides have accused each other of being behind breaches of the latest ceasefire that was negotiated by the US and Saudi Arabia, now in its third day.

“Clashes between the rival factions broke out again on Thursday in Khartoum and neighbouring Omdurman, witnesses said, as well as the strategic city of El Obeid to the southwest.”


Lebanon to introduce higher denomination banknotes as inflation soars…

“The Central Bank is reportedly considering creating 500,000 and 1 million lira banknotes, equivalent to about $5 and $10, respectively at current parallel market rates. Lebanon’s currency has lost over 98 percent of its value since the beginning of its financial crisis in the Autumn 2019.”


In the southern port city of Aden, Yemen, a scorching heat wave and prolonged electricity outages have plunged its citizens into a struggle for survival.

“With temperatures soaring above a blistering 43 degrees Celsius, and power cuts extending to 4-5 hours, many families seek respite from the stifling heat by retreating to the beaches during the hottest time of the day.”


India’s Workers Are Trapped In a Vicious Cycle Of Coal and Heat…

““It’s hard to survive without electricity during the summer,” he said, giant trucks rumbling past in clouds of black dust. “Our production target is raised every year. Every year we’re producing more coal.””


Bangladesh is struggling to pay for imported fuel because of a dollar shortage, letters from the state petroleum firm show, with it warning of an “alarming decrease” in fuel reserves.

“It owes more than $300 million to six overseas companies, some of which have either sent fewer cargoes than scheduled or threatened to halt supplies…”


Vietnam seeks more electricity supply from China, Laos to ease summer power shortage.

“State utility Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) will ramp up its electricity imports from the neighboring countries of China and Laos in a bid to ease imminent power shortages over the summer months, Vietnam News Agency reported on Wednesday.”


Banking Turmoil Isn’t Over, Says Commercial Bank of Kuwait CEO.

“The current turmoil in the banking industry, which has seen the collapse of four US lenders and the takeover of Credit Suisse Group AG, isn’t over and growth is a concern, according to the chief executive officer of Kuwait’s fourth-largest lender.”


The global economies are “not more prepared than before” for new viruses that may cause pandemics, an expert said on Tuesday.

“Unveiling a report by the WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All, Mariana Mazzucato, the council’s chair, said that even though people are saying COVID-19 is over, “of course, it’s not over because of the interlinked crises,” such as financial, health, and climate.”


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

If you found value in this content, please help me continue this work by becoming a patron of my work via Patreon. And if you are already a subscriber or have donated – thank you! It is an enormous help as the cost-of-living crisis ratchets up here in the UK.