22nd November – Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“The OECD has issued a call to arms urging governments to take “bold action” to stop a global slowdown escalating into an economic emergency as it warned the recovery will stall next year.

“The inter-governmental organisation downgraded its 2020 forecast to a post-financial crisis low of 2.9pc, down from 3.5pc predicted a year ago.

“It warned of the rising risk of the economy sliding into a “long-term stagnation”, saying governments “must work together urgently”.

“The trade war, subdued business investment and persistent political uncertainty have weakened global growth and “bold action is needed” to aid the economy, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said.”


““I would bet that there would not be a [US] recession in the coming year. But I would have to say that the odds of a recession are higher than normal and at a level that frankly I am not comfortable with,” Yellen said at the World Business Forum.

“With three rate cuts this year, there remains “not as much scope as I would like to see for the Fed to be able to respond to that. So there is good reason to worry.””


“The Federal Reserve Bank of New York added $103.65 billion in temporary liquidity to the financial system on Thursday.

“The intervention came via overnight repurchase agreements, or repos, that totaled $74.45 billion, and via 14-day repos totaling $29.2 billion. The Fed took all the securities offered to it by eligible banks.”


“Hundreds of thousands of Colombians have taken to the streets in a show of support for the country’s embattled peace process with leftist rebels – and to protest against its deeply unpopular government.

“Pensioners, students, teachers and union members joined marches across the country in one of biggest mass demonstrations in recent years.”


“Supporters of ousted Bolivian leader Evo Morales marched into the capital La Paz on Thursday carrying coffins of people killed in clashes with the military and police, drawing attention to the human cost of the crisis gripping the South American nation.”


“Baghdad is familiar with war and insurgency but far less so with protests led by unarmed citizens demanding a change to the terms of the contract between citizen and state…

“In unprecedented daily demonstrations, up to 200,000 protesters at a time have called on Iraq’s leadership to hand over power to officials who would end the structural corruption and patronage networks that have whittled away the country’s vast oil wealth.”


“A spokeswoman for the EU on Thursday expressed condolences to the families of those killed during protests in Iran and called for dialogue to resolve the tensions.

“”We expect Iran’s security forces to exercise maximum restraint in handling the protests and for protesters to demonstrate peacefully. Any violence is unacceptable,” Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy, said in a statement.”


“Clashes broke out between protesters and police supporters on Friday when hundreds descended on Central to rally against the Hong Kong government.

“Demonstrators gathered at about 12.30pm on a bridge outside Exchange Square, which houses Hong Kong’s stock exchange in the city’s financial heartland…”


“Record low interest rates are forcing the world’s best pension system to take drastic action aimed at staving off cuts to payouts that were once unthinkable.

“An extended period of negative or record low interest rates has put huge pressure on pension funds in the Netherlands…”


“Investors just keep punishing hedge funds. Managers suffered the eighth straight month of client redemptions in October, the longest stretch of withdrawals since the 2008 financial crisis, according to a report from eVestment on Thursday.”


“Ray Dalio doesn’t want to use the word “recession” when talking about the global economy. But he does believe it is headed for what he dubbed the “Great Sag.”

“The billionaire hedge fund founder told CNN Business on Thursday that the world is dealing with financial challenges on a scale not seen since the 1930s, when economies were deep in the throes of the Great Depression. Pension and health care debts are piling up faster than they can be funded, he said…”


“The world is addicted to debt, which has ballooned to unprecedented levels in both developed and developing countries.

“Many developing countries are reeling under mounting debt, experts said at UNCTAD’s Twelfth International Debt Management Conference, held at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland…

“From Argentina to Zimbabwe, soaring debt levels have severely exposed many developing countries to global economic and financial volatility regardless of their income level…

““We are living in fragile times,” Mr. Schlettwein told high-level policymakers and debt managers from over 100 countries.”


Read the previous ‘Economic’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.

19th November 2019 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

I’m going to breach protocol and start with something uplifting today – a little light amidst the gathering darkness:

“Poor neighbourhoods of Istanbul have been visited by an anonymous benefactor paying off debts at grocery stores and leaving envelopes of cash on doorsteps, at a time when desperation at the spiralling cost of living has been blamed for recent suicides.

“Residents of Tuzla, a largely working-class shipbuilding district on the Asian side of the city, were overjoyed last week to find their shopping bills in several grocery stores had been cleared by an unknown male benefactor.

““Someone came and asked me to show him the notebook where I record customers’ debts,” Coşkun Yılmaz, the owner of one of the shops, told Demirören news agency.

““There were four people with large amounts outstanding and I told him where they lived. He came back again after talking to them and paid all the debts. I also learned he gave extra cash to those families,” Yılmaz said.

““I asked him his name and he told me: ‘Just call me Robin Hood’.”

“Food prices and rent soared after the Turkish lira crashed in 2018, and while inflation has now dropped to 8.6% from a high of 25%, unemployment is still rising and electricity is 10 times more expensive than last year.”


“Half a million Algerian workers have lost their jobs, as several companies, which were subjected to corruption investigations for months, shut down their activities.

“The inquiries included companies owned by businessmen, known for their closeness to former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and who ended up being arrested. Among the detainees was the former chairman of the Forum of Heads of Institutions, Ali Haddad.”


Yet another nation erupting into protests:

“Police in riot gear on Monday clashed with anti-government demonstrators outside the Parliament buildings in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi. Water cannons were fired on the crowds as authorities attempted to break up a second day of wide-spread rallies.”


“Hong Kong’s accountants see a bleak outlook for the local economy as the city grapples with a recession caused by six months of increasingly violent protests, a slowing global economy and the US-China trade war. Two thirds of accounting professionals surveyed by CPA Australia expect Hong Kong’s economy to contract in 2020, as the recession that began in the last quarter continues.

“That represents a huge slump in economic confidence.”


“The current crisis goes back to Pinochet’s vicious neoliberal economic model, which has been effusively embraced by all post-Pinochet governments from center-left to right.

“The system has given Chile the dubious honor of being one of the countries with the world’s highest concentration of wealth.”


“Western Canada is currently facing uncertain times not witnessed since the Petro-Canada Centre, better known as Red Square, was built to house the then Crown Corporation in downtown Calgary in 1983.

“And with no resolution in sight for the five-year-long rout in oil and natural gas prices, things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.”


“Slowing shale-drilling activity is the latest damper on U.S. manufacturers that had come to rely on a booming domestic energy market.”


“The New York Federal Reserve on Monday accepted $61.043 billion in bids from primary dealers at a repurchase agreement (repo) operation, a move intended to help maintain the federal funds rate within the target range.

“Monday’s amount was slightly lower than the $68.34 repos accepted on Friday.”


“Europe will be struck by an even larger wave of debt defaults in the next downturn compared to the financial crisis after a surge in junk-rated companies, Moody’s has predicted.

“The credit ratings agency warned that the proportion of B3-rated companies, those graded as “speculative” quality, has doubled in Europe over just three years. The deterioration means the region will see “a much larger number of downgrades and defaults during the next cyclical downturn compared with the crisis in 2008-09”, Moody’s said.”


“Central banks in developed economies “are very close to being out of bullets,” Donald Amstad, head of Asian investment specialists at Aberdeen Standard Investments, tells me.

“Having saturated markets with printed money and slashed interest rates, in some cases to below zero (meaning investors pay to lend), there seems to be little left in the arsenal with which to slay the next downturn.”


Read the previous ‘Economic’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.

18th November 2019 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

The mountains of negative-yielding sovereign bonds and the protests erupting around the world are indicating that we have passed peak-growth:

“The high price raised eyebrows in bond markets. Investors had refused to lend to Greece at any price during the eurozone’s 2009-2015 debt crisis, leading to three sovereign bailouts. Now, they are paying Athens to look after their cash.

“”…the Greek bond sale is only the tip of an enormous global debt iceberg.

“After an almighty bond rally this year, about $11.5tn of debt — more than a fifth of total debt issued by govern­ments and companies around the world — trades at negative yield. This means investors who hold it to maturity are guaranteed to lose money.

“The rise of sub-zero yields turns standard economic logic on its head…

““Greece selling at negative yields is absurd,” says Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz and former boss of bond investing giant Pimco. “It shows you the extent to which markets are distorted. One by one, things that seemed impossible a few years ago have happened.”

“Bond prices have soared as central banks have responded to a slowing global economy with increasingly aggressive easing measures. These have included negative interest rates and huge asset purchases in Japan and the eurozone…

“With global yields at record lows, many investors question whether markets can rally much further. If they cannot, investors buying today are guaranteed to make a loss…

“If there is a pushback, says El-Erian, it will come from the primary market, where investors buy new debt from countries and companies. “That’s where the really big investors get their allocations… If you get a buyers’ strike it will be a sign that people have lost faith in the effectiveness of central banks. Things will get messy very quickly.””


The plunge in interest rates since the financial crisis is wreaking havoc on pension funds…”


“Yellow vest (gilets jaunes) rallies took place nationwide on Saturday, a year after they first erupted. Tear gas and water cannon were used by police in Paris, where thousands of protesters thronged the streets.

“Rioters unleashed some of the worst violence the city has seen in months.”


“Hundreds of thousands of Czechs thronged the streets of Prague in one of the largest anti-government protests in the country since the fall of communism, calling on their billionaire prime minister to step down.

“The… demonstrations… are part of a global wave of discontent triggered by corruption and abuses of human rights and the rule of law.”


“Bad loans in Turkey have almost doubled since last year’s currency and financial crisis lopped off roughly a third of the Turkish lira’s value, making repayment of loans denominated in dollars or other foreign currencies much more difficult…

“Many of the delinquent loans have been restructured.”


“Karim Daya was one of the last of his friends and family still in Lebanon. Now that his job is gone, he’s packing his bags. “That’s it. It’s just getting worse and worse, and where are we headed?

“Nobody knows,” said Daya, 27, a graphic design graduate. “I’ll be very sad. But there’s no future for me here.””


“Protesters have once again blocked the entrance to Iraq’s Umm Qasr commodities port near Basra, preventing employees and tankers from entering and bringing operations down by 50%, two port sources told Reuters on Monday.

“If the blockage goes on until the afternoon, operations will come to a complete halt…”


“Silence hangs over Quchr, a village in Iranian Kurdistan west of Divandarreh. The people here have seen a considerable suicide toll in recent years…

“Economic instability has been identified as a leading factor behind Iran’s suicide toll as a whole and in the western Kurdish region in particular.”


“Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has backed 50% petrol price increases that have sparked protests across Iran, claiming opponents of the Islamic Republic and foreign enemies were guilty of sabotage…

“Khamenei said on Sunday: “Some people are no doubt worried by this decision … but sabotage and arson is done by hooligans not our people.””


“The causes of [India’s] slowdown are largely known… Economists blame the cash squeeze in non-banking financial companies, which was accompanied by a global demand slowdown.

“Not much can be done about global growth woes. But delayed transmission of interest rates by banks is hampering domestic demand revival, they say.”


“Hong Kong police have trapped hundreds of people inside a university in the city, firing teargas at any protesters trying to escape the campus…

“Hundreds were still trapped inside on Monday, following overnight clashes at Polytechnic University during which protesters launched petrol bombs and arrows at police who threatened to begin using live rounds.”


“Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido led thousands of his supporters through the streets of the country’s capital on Saturday to demand the departure of President Nicolas Maduro.

“In a speech, Guaido called on his supporters to remain in the streets in the upcoming days, reminding them how civilian action ousted Bolivia’s Evo Morales only six days earlier.”


“Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on Sunday vowed “no impunity” for security forces that used excessive force and violated the rights of protesters during weeks of violent riots over economic policies and social injustice that have left more than 20 dead.”


“At least eight people have been killed in violent clashes in Bolivia after security forces opened fire on supporters of the former president. Evo Morales stepped down following allegations of electoral fraud in the 20 October presidential election that he claimed to have won…

“Those demonstrating said police fired when protesters, including farmers supporting Mr Morales, tried to cross a military checkpoint.”


The slowdown in dividend payouts by the world’s biggest companies continued in the third quarter as waning profit growth hit shareholder payouts.

Investors are bracing for further headwinds in 2020 as the global economic picture darkens.”


Read the previous ‘Economic’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.

15th November 2019 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“…The global economy is showing few signs of rebounding from its slowdown, as fresh figures indicate that China continues to cool and Germany and Japan are close to stagnation.

“Talks between the U.S. and China on resolving their trade dispute and signs that the U.K. may leave the European Union on agreed terms have eased fears of a further sharp slide in global growth. But recent economic data suggest the diminished risk of a major rupture in the world trade system has yet to lift the outlook for 2020.”


“With the –5.9% decline in October, following the string of declines in May through September (ranging from -3.0% to -6.0%), we repeat our message from the previous five months:

“…the shipments index has gone from “warning of a potential slowdown” to “signaling an economic contraction.””


“Amid a roaring stock market and ever-increasing levels of corporate and government debt, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday he does not see signs of bubbles brewing or immediate dangers being posed by trillion-dollar deficits.”


“Mexico’s central bank cut the benchmark interest rate in a split vote among board members after inflation slowed to target and growth stumbled.”


“Chile’s peso slid to a new historic low against the U.S. dollar on Thursday despite intervention by the country’s central bank a day earlier, a sign of continuing concern over a deepening economic crisis.

“Weeks of protests that have left at least 20 people dead and wrought billions of dollars in damages prompted Chile’s central bank on Wednesday to inject $4 billion…”


“Supporters of Bolivia’s former president Evo Morales have called for a civil war as those loyal to him clashed with police hours after the interim president was sworn in to office.

“Violent clashes erupted between Morales loyalists and police in Bolivia’s capital La Paz that raged well into the night.”


“According to data released this week, the Eurozone hovers over the prospect of a recession, and there is no policy consensus over how to react…

“Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands oppose the ECB’s bond-buying program, which has subdued yields, easing the pressure on heavily indebted economies, such as Italy.”


“Lebanon’s Defense Minister said on Thursday the country was in a “very dangerous situation” and compared street unrest of recent days to the start of 1975-90 civil war…

“One month after the start of nationwide protests, Lebanon is in serious political and economic trouble with no indication of its leaders agreeing on a new government… “


“Thousands of supporters reached the [Pakistani] capital Islamabad on Oct. 31, holding a two-week sit-in on the city’s main highway.

“Rehman ordered them to disperse across the country on Wednesday to cripple key roads, in what he called ‘Plan B’ to topple Khan over allegations of voter fraud and economic mismanagement – claims he denies.”


“Hong Kong confirmed on Friday its economy plunged into its first recession in a decade in the third quarter, weighed down by increasingly violent anti-government protests and the escalating U.S.-China trade war…

“Tourists are cancelling bookings, retailers are reeling from a sharp drop in sales and the stock market is faltering.”


“The hope that China’s economy had put the worst behind it was dashed on Thursday by a series of disappointing economic figures that rounded off a miserable week for policymakers in Beijing.”


“China’s central bank extended 200 billion yuan (£22 billion) through its medium-term lending facility on Friday, the second time it has done so this month, while keeping the lending rate unchanged.”


“…emerging markets now take a far bigger share of total global debt than they did even before the Asian crisis.

“Tightening liquidity in emerging markets, along with a strong dollar and weak emerging currencies, therefore combine to spell potential serious problems, particularly if the trade war cannot be steered to a safe conclusion.”


“Shinzo Abe may be about to become Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, but he also looks set to lead the world’s third-largest economy into a downturn, with little sign that his much-vaunted “Abenomics” stimulus policies will help turn things around.”


“The vulnerability of global growth to trade conflicts and dependence on U.S. momentum were exposed as Asia’s biggest economies faltered and Germany barely dodged a recession.”


How will foreign nations react to this loss of income and who are the most dependent nations on Oil revenues?

“… the economic, social and future strains this creates for many nations become even more severe – at a time when an economic contraction is taking place. This type of commodity price collapse could lead the world into a chaotic economic mess if it is prolonged.”


“Two decades ago, total government debt was estimated to sit at $20 trillion. Since then, according to the latest figures by the IMF, the number has ballooned to $69.3 trillion with a debt to GDP ratio of 82% — the highest totals in human history.”


“Despite the sell-off in the bond market since September, yields are still showing caution….

“The Institute of International Finance came out with its quarterly look at the mountain of global debt, concluding that it rose by about $7 trillion in the first half of the year to a record of just more than $250 trillion.

“That increase is more double the $3.3 trillion expansion for all of last year. It pegs global debt, which it sees expanding to $255 trillion by the end of the year, at a lofty 320% of global GDP. It’s no surprise that the world is awash in debt, but yields show there seems to be a dearth of it for the public because of massive purchases by central banks.”


Read the previous ‘Economic’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.

14th November 2019 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

I usually try to lead with a story related to the global economy in its entirety but the situation in Hong Kong is so bananas now that it is worth focusing on, particularly as Hong Kong is a key hub for international finance and a political flashpoint between China and the US:

“Salvos of tear gas Thursday heralded the start of Hong Kong’s fourth day of continuous, territory-wide unrest and transport disruption as anti-government protesters escalated their efforts to force political concessions from the Beijing-backed government. Students also erected defenses at university campuses, stockpiling homemade weapons.

“Early morning volleys of tear gas were fired near the Polytechnic University, where police came under attack from students armed with bows and arrows…

“Commuters meanwhile endured yet another morning of cancelled buses and trains, and gridlocked traffic, as protesters blocked roads and hurled objects onto railway tracks. Many stations have been heavily damaged by protesters, and the station serving CUHK has been virtually destroyed…

“In scenes that are now worryingly common, a mob beat up an elderly man for arguing about the protests. There were also reports of pro-government gangs in a northern suburb roving through the streets and attacking young people.

“The deteriorating situation has prompted the government to draft a batch of correctional services officers as special constables, in order to relieve the burden on a desperately stretched police force.

“Citing unnamed sources, China’s state-backed Global Times also said Thursday that the Hong Kong government was preparing to announce a curfew in response to the unrest.”


“Cracks are starting to emerge in Hong Kong’s money markets, as traders speculate the local dollar’s resilience to increasingly violent protests won’t last.

“Hong Kong stocks were already showing signs of stress, losing 5% over the past week. Now, liquidity conditions in the foreign-exchange market are the tightest since the late 1990s, or the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis. Interbank rates are climbing — making funding costs more expensive for banks — while a gauge of expected swings in the Hong Kong dollar is near its highest in a month.”


“Growth in China’s industrial economy fell sharply in October, as a broad-based slowdown in manufacturing was again clear in figures released on Thursday…

“…while the manufacturing slump has dominated headlines this year, the sag in investment will be of real concern to policymakers in Beijing.”


“Reports of a spate of bank runs and regulators scrambling to contain the mess underscores the stresses in the world’s largest banking sector as slowing growth, weak exports and crimped cash flows pressure the ability of borrowers to service China’s very large mountain of debt…

“Jitters about the financial health of banking minnows in the provinces of Liaoning and Henan are just the latest data points highlighting the pressures on China banks.”


“Trump is making sure that the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act doesn’t see the light of day. This bill – already approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – would lead to sanctions against those in Beijing responsible for the Hong Kong crackdown.

“It’s been stopped in Congress precisely because its passage would put the nix on any trade deal between the U.S. and China. So right now, the Hong Kong protests are being completely hijacked by the trade war, which is also devastating Hong Kong.”


“The South Korean economy is entering a phase where interest rates, inflation and growth rates are no longer growing. The nation used to be concerned of high growth and inflation as a result of its high economic growth, but now is fearful of deflation.

“South Korea is now facing an economy where businesses are no longer willing to take out loans from banks, no matter how low interest rates are.”


“South Korea’s $29 billion hedge-fund industry just saw its worst withdrawals ever, after its largest fund froze redemptions from investments on illiquid assets.

“Outflows from local hedge funds reached a record 700 billion won ($598 million) in the past two months…”


“Japan’s economy slowed sharply in the third quarter as overall exports continued to fall amid trade tensions..”


“In 2014, oil prices fell once again. At the same time, Western countries began introducing sanctions to push back against the Russian government’s actions in Ukraine, which further deterred investors.

“Unlike the other crises, this one was not followed by a rapid recovery. Oil prices remained low, sanctions only became more severe, and investors from Russia and the rest of the world alike directed their funds elsewhere.”


“Almost all the oil and gas exporters in Central Asia and the South Caucasus devalued their currencies following the oil price slump in 2014.

“Azerbaijan’s devaluation was particularly painful; the central bank was forced to devalue the manat twice in 2015. Kazakhstan was forced to do the same. Uzbekistan initiated a 50 percent devaluation in September 2017 at the start of its economic reforms.”


“Lebanese student Fatima Jaber’s family is struggling to pay off multiple loans with double-digit interest rates… like many Lebanese, she thinks the system is broken.

“The loss of trust is eroding liquidity in the banking sector, increasing concerns that banks may not be able to help the government fund high budget and current account deficits.”


Lots of lesser trade wars, like Japan v. Korea and Ghana v. Nigeria:

“The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has been shutting down Nigerian-owned businesses and Ghanaian officials went as far as closing almost 70 businesses belonging to Nigerians on November 11, 2019.

“Police officers and the Nigerian Mission in Ghana prevented a clash between GUTA and Nigerian Union of Traders Association in Ghana (NUTAG) members.”


“Indian economy may be heading to its worst quarterly GDP growth performance since the 2008-09 global financial crisis period that shook economies across geographies.

“That was a time when the whole world was taken by surprise by the ripple effects of Lehman crisis… Even for the government’s economists, there is no clear understanding as to what is causing a free fall in the growth.”


“It’s been over a dozen years since Susanne LeClair of West Palm Beach, Florida, was first diagnosed with cancer, she’s been fighting ever since. Now she, like many other Americans facing life-threatening illness, is bankrupt despite having health insurance.”


“Banks and other short-term dollar borrowers are becoming ever more reliant on the $3.2 trillion-a-day foreign exchange swap market, data shows, leaving them dangerously exposed should U.S. lenders stop feeding the system, even if only temporarily.

“Swaps users had a scare in September, when the U.S. Federal Reserve had to pump cash into markets as rates in the $2.2 trillion U.S. “repo” market spiked and spilled into FX swap markets, sending the premium to borrow dollars shooting higher.”


“Asked if he could see any green shoots in parts of the global economy right now, Arend Kapteyn, the global head of Economics and Strategy Research at UBS, told CNBC’s Joumanna Bercetche that “we can’t see them.””


Read the previous ‘Economic’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.

13th November 2019 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“The 2020s are set to be a decade of dramatic economic and social upheaval, reversing many of the trends of the past 40 years, according to one of the world’s largest banks.

“In what it describes as “the decade of peak”, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) analysts say a range of economic and social challenges are “all heading to a boiling point” next decade.

“”We enter the next decade with interest rates at 5,000-year lows, the largest asset bubble in history, a planet that is heating up, and a deflationary profile of debt, disruption and demographics,” the report warns.

“”We will end it with nearly 1 billion people added to the world, a rapidly ageing population, up to 800 million people facing the threat of job automation and the environment on the brink of catastrophic change.””


“Irish bankers are beginning to display echoes of pre-crisis hubris, as pressure mounts on regulators to ease back on checks and controls introduced in the past decade to prevent another financial crash, according to a senior central banker.”


“Employment in the UK has fallen at its fastest rate in four years amid growing evidence that a slowing economy is taking its toll on the labour market.

“Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that pay growth had fallen back in the three months to September, leading to speculation that the jobs market is past its peak.”


“Police carried out an operation to break up a protest by Catalan pro-independence activists on Tuesday, but the highway blockade reformed just hours later.

“French, Spanish and Catalan police intervened to clear the protest at a border point on the AP-7 highway, which blocked traffic and caused major delays for over 24 hours.”


“Zimbabweans finally got access to new low-denomination currency on Tuesday that authorities hope will end chronic cash shortages, but banks maintained an existing weekly withdrawal limit of $20, frustrating many customers…

“Shortages of cash, foreign currency, fuel and power are the most visible signs of the southern African nation’s worst economic crisis since 2008, when hyperinflation forced the government to ditch its currency.”


“Lebanon’s banks will stay shut for yet another day as the impact of the ongoing protests is felt on the economy.

“Banks were supposed to reopen on Tuesday but remained closed, impacting cash availability and overseas transfers.”


“India’s largest lender, State Bank of India, forecasts that the country’s second quarter gross domestic product growth will be 4.2%, as the country grapples with slowdown on many fronts.

“In the first quarter India’s gross domestic product growth was 5%, the lowest in six years, and this is expected to further decelerate…”


“Police in Hong Kong say the months of violent protests are bringing the city to “the brink of total collapse”, as clashes continued yet again today.

“Riot police fired rubber bullets, water cannon and tear gas at crowds who rallied outside university campuses and in the central business district.”


“Chile’s currency dropped to a record low on Tuesday as hundreds of thousands took to the streets with anti-government demonstrations showing no signs of abating.

“Citizens marched peacefully in Santiago, gathering in the capital’s Plaza Italia district, brandishing both national and Mapuche indigenous group flags. Nearby, protesters confronted police, who used water cannons and tear gas to disperse them.”


“Natural gas exploration by global oil companies in Bolivia, key to growing the country’s sagging economy, has stopped amid an escalating political crisis that has left the Andean nation rudderless.

“Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA and Repsol SA have all stopped or severely limited drilling on exploration wells, said Alvaro Rios, a former hydrocarbons minister and director of Gas Energy Latin America, a consultancy.”


“Argentina must repay $5 billion by the end of 2019. It doesn’t have much to work with. While the country’s foreign reserves total a still somewhat robust $43 billion, that figure shrinks markedly once untouchable assets such as dollar deposits of everyday Argentines and a credit line from China are stripped out.

“Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News estimate that the amount that policy makers can actually freely spend is no more than $12.5 billion. One of the analysts, Siobhan Morden of Amherst Pierpont Securities, puts the figure at as little as $6.5 billion.”


“The global economy is going through an investment drought mainly brought about by trade uncertainty causing a steep decline in growth, the Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has said.

“The organisation in Paris is due to release its bi-yearly global economic forecast next week.”


“Even as the market ascends to new heights, wealthy investors are bracing for a turbulent period that could produce a “significant drop” in equity benchmarks in the near term.

“That is according to a recent survey produced by UBS Wealth Management that finds that some 55% of deep-pocketed investors are preparing for a drop in the market before the end of the 2020…”


“….the current rally [in the stock markets] has reached a precarious cornerstone in recent weeks and months. Declining volatility and extreme levels of “greed” are also evidence of the final stage of the rally.

“The duration of this growth is now mostly dependent on the creativity of central bank policies. The central banks still have the opportunity to extend the rally of the markets for months ahead. However, they are risking to get an even less manageable drop in the future, capable of “correcting” all the growth of the last decade.”


“The world’s economic model has “broken down” as the business practices of multinational corporations and digital platforms put a growing number of workers at risk of exploitation and modern slavery, according to a leading labor rights campaigner…

“About two billion people – more than 60% of the world’s workforce – are in informal work, leaving them vulnerable to being underpaid, overworked and treated like slaves, she said.”


Read the previous ‘Economic’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.