Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.

15th July 2024 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“AI’s ‘Oppenheimer moment’: autonomous weapons enter the battlefield…

“Growing conflicts around the world have acted as both accelerant and testing ground for AI warfare, experts say, while making it even more evident how unregulated the nascent field is. The expansion of AI in conflict has shown that national militaries have an immense appetite for the technology…”


“AI’s Rapid Growth Threatens Energy Industry, Economy, and Climate… due to its high energy consumption.

“The tech sector’s decarbonization goals are challenged by AI’s power demands, with Google reporting a 48 percent increase in carbon emissions over the last five years.”


“The World’s Power Grids Are Failing as the Planet Warms…

“Hotter summers mean spikes in demand for cooling, as high temperatures cause wires to sag and risk sparking forest fires. Upgrades to power infrastructure haven’t kept pace, even as efforts to reduce use of fossil fuels make electricity distribution more crucial.”


“Are We Already In Recession? [US]

“…fast food menu prices — a go-to indicator for foreign exchange investors — are up between 35% and 50%. People posting grocery receipts online say it’s actually more than 50%… our current $2 trillion deficit is, on paper, automagically boosting GDP by nearly 7%. But the spending isn’t making us richer — it’s making us poorer as physical resources get squandered.”


“Famous tourist spot votes on banning cruise ships as locals grow increasingly angry [Alaska]…

“A proposal that would prohibit cruise ships carrying 250 or more passengers from docking in Juneau on Saturdays has been approved for the October 1 municipal ballot. This sets the stage for a discussion about the extent of tourism in a city that is directly experiencing the effects of climate change.”


“Barcelona residents call for ‘tourism degrowth’ to combat overtourism.

“Civil groups behind June protests are calling for higher tourism taxes, cruise ship restrictions and tighter control of the short-term rentals that have disrupted Barcelona’s housing market.”


“Greece Declares Tourism Crisis Amid Growing Tensions…

“As 2023 brought over 7 million tourists to Athens, Greece has issued a stark warning about a mounting tourism crisis. Shop fronts in Athens now bear graffiti reading “No more tourism,” reflecting local resentment…”


“Why Taylor Swift might shape the future of UK interest rates…

“…analysts are concerned that the Eras tour may slow progress on services inflation. “Taylor Swift may have stalled services disinflation,” economists at Capital Economics said… For example, there have already been reports of the price of hotel rooms tripling for the nights when Taylor Swift is performing.”


“German city bans ‘silent fox’ gesture in schools over similarity to far-right sign.

“A city in northern Germany has become the first to issue an all-out ban on the use of a hand gesture used to encourage silence in the classroom because of its close resemblance to a far-right Turkish gesture.”


“Finnish lawmakers approve controversial law to turn away migrants at border with Russia.

“Finnish lawmakers have narrowly approved a controversial bill that will allow border guards to turn away third-country migrants attempting to enter from neighboring Russia and reject their asylum applications.”


“Huge blaze engulfs food processing plant in south Poland…

“This year has seen a string of high-profile arson attacks across the continent, with Germany, UK and the Baltic States all reporting incidents linked to the Kremlin. Poland, too, has been impacted.”


“Kremlin Says NATO Summit Outcome Is ‘Threatening’ to Russia…

““The alliance is demonstrating its determination to remain an enemy for us,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a prerecorded interview on state TV with reporter Pavel Zarubin published on Telegram.”


“Russia has warned that Europe’s capital cities ‘are the potential victims’ if the US deploys long-range missiles on the continent…

“Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov said: ‘We have enough potential to deter these missiles. But the capitals of these (European) states are potential victims.'”


“How the war in Ukraine is reviving Russia’s rustbelt. Poor regions such as Chuvashia experience a boom as Soviet factories are fired up again for the military…

““On the one hand, it’s war, and people — even my relatives — are dying,” said Anton, whose uncle was killed in Ukraine. “But then . . . there is this rebirth of manufacturing,” he said…”


“Trillions in Hidden Debt Drove China’s Growth. Now It Threatens Its Future.

“Local governments racked up as much as $11 trillion in off-the-books debt to build industrial districts, resorts, transit systems and housing projects, including many that failed… Top Chinese leaders are expected to raise the looming threat at a long-awaited summit starting Monday…”


“China Home Prices Fall Sharply Despite Latest Rescue Plan…

“New-home prices in 70 cities, excluding state-subsidized housing, dropped 0.67% from May, when they slid 0.71%, the most since October 2014… The figures add to evidence that a rescue package unveiled in May has done little to boost sentiment in the real estate market.”


“New Zealand prime minister vows to name and shame China over spying…

““Our view is very strongly that what happens in the Euro-Atlantic has an impact on the Indo-Pacific,” said Luxon, who pointed to the example of North Korea providing weapons to Russia as one serious concern.”


“World’s Last Uber-Hawk Is Preparing a Pivot. New Zealand’s economy is in trouble — again…

“If you needed confirmation that central banks also need to worry about jobs, New Zealand has provided it. There’s only so much pain an economy can take before even the most ardent price-busters have to rein in their ambitions.”


“North Korea threatens to boost nuke capability in reaction to US-South Korea deterrence guidelines…

“North Korea threatened Saturday to boost its nuclear fighting capability and make the U.S. and South Korea pay “an unimaginably harsh price” as it slammed its rivals’ new defense guidelines that it says reveal an intention to invade the North.”


“Irked by power outages, people stage sit-in on railway tracks [Pakistan]…

“Long and unannounced load-shedding by Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO) continues even during the month of Muharram in Hyderabad. Agitated residents staged a sit-in at the railway gate…”


“Amid record heatwave, Iran facing mass power shortages…

“In some central Tehran areas, power cuts have extended to four hours, up from the previous maximum of two hours during hot seasons. The power supply situation in southern provinces is even more critical, leading to the closure of some government offices.”


“Cocked rifles and infrared cameras along Cyprus buffer zone stoke tensions that could spread farther…

“The clang of unseen assault rifles being cocked carries across the United Nations-controlled buffer zone in ethnically cleaved Cyprus, ratcheting up concerns that the embers of the island’s stagnant conflict could again be rekindled.”


“Veterans warn of echoes from 1982 Lebanon war as new conflict looms on Israel’s northern borders.

“It started with a terrorist attack, which triggered massive military retaliation, the siege of a city, the deaths of thousands of civilians and devastation and global outrage… Sounds familiar?”


“Clearing Gaza of almost 40m tonnes of war rubble will take years, says UN…

“A fleet of more than one hundred lorries would take 15 years to clear Gaza of almost 40m tonnes of rubble in an operation costing between $500m (£394m) and $600m, a UN assessment has found. The conclusions will underline the immense challenge of rebuilding the Palestinian territory…”


“Dozens dead in DR Congo clashes…

“Since mid-2023, the government has banned reporters from investigating the conflict in the region. Previously, several teams of journalists have been prevented by the Congolese security services from entering the province.”


“DR Congo detects at least 25 mpox cases in Goma…

“At least 25 cases of a dangerous new strain of mpox spreading through the Democratic Republic of Congo have been detected in the eastern city of Goma, mostly in camps housing people fleeing a surrounding conflict, health authorities said Wednesday.”


“Members of Cuba’s revolutionary generation feel abandoned by the society they created…

“Until five years ago, Martha Ortega was a receptionist in a local office of the Communist party of Cuba. Her pension is 1,575 pesos a month, but in the last three years, inflation has reduced its value to less than $5.”


“As cartels take a stake in ‘green gold,’ US and Mexico rethink how avocados reach American kitchens…

“When two US avocado inspectors were assaulted and detained at a police roadblock in the Mexican state of Michoacán last month, it sparked a costly international crisis. The US paused all avocado imports from the state for more than a week…”


“US sanctions Venezuela gang for spreading criminal activity across Latin America…

“The Biden administration on Thursday sanctioned a Venezuelan gang allegedly behind a spree of kidnappings, extortion and other violent crimes tied to migrants that have spread across Latin America and the United States. The U.S. also offered a $12 million reward for the arrest of three leaders of Tren de Aragua…”


“Contempt, gagging and UN intervention: inside the UK’s wildest climate trial…

“On the days Forst visited, he witnessed three of the five defendants being arrested in court and dragged to the cells, protesters outside attempting to warn jurors they were not hearing the full case and a judge desperately trying to maintain control over his courtroom.”


“Climate activists have received months-long sentences. Are tougher laws eroding Australians’ right to protest?

“Brad Homewood describes his first steps into a maximum security facility, where he spent the first three weeks of a two-month jail sentence, as intimidating. “You’re in there with the worst of the worst,” he says.”


“Against a backdrop of intensifying climate protests targeting Wall Street, the heavyweights of US finance are pushing back against what they characterize as a fundamentally flawed debate…

“Wall Street is coalescing around a clear message: Private money will only invest in the clean-energy transition to the extent that it makes economic sense.”


“The Kuwait Oil Company yesterday announced the discovery of huge commercial quantities of light oil and associated gas in the offshore Al-Nokhatha field, the official state news agency KUNA reported.

““The reserves are estimated at approximately 3.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent,” the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai cited a senior oil source as stating.”


“Oil and Gas Are Here To Stay…

“The energy transition is showing signs of losing momentum over the past few months. EV sales are slowing, wind and solar capacity additions are not expanding fast enough, and electricity is getting more instead of less expensive. With those signs, others have been flashing red, too.”


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

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12th July 2024 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“Central banks warn over surge in global sovereign debt levels… UBS survey also finds reserve managers expect higher US deficit under a Donald Trump presidency…

““There isn’t yet any willingness among politicians to start dealing with the sustainability of public debt,” said Max Castelli, head of global sovereign markets at UBS Asset Management.”


“Central bank reserve managers are increasingly worried about the safety of their currency assets, citing rising geopolitical risk across the world, according to a UBS Group AG survey.

“The so-called “weaponization” of FX reserves was listed as a top risk by a third of the participants, double last year’s amount.”


“How is climate change affecting food prices and inflation?

“Disruption to food supplies hits both wealthy and poor nations. Climate change is disrupting food production and supply worldwide. Crops, fruit, livestock and transport are all affected. It could lead to higher inflation, as well as food security threats.”


“Food companies feel the pain as consumers reject higher prices [US]…

“…while the economy is technically strong, prices for many goods remain higher than before the pandemic and household debt has risen. Grocery prices are up 18 percent since 2020…”


“Big Banks’ Stress Tests Are Flawed [US]…

“The tests are flawed, banks still have a poor understanding of their own risks, and regulators may yet succumb to a dangerous complacency. As critics have been pointing out for years… the scenarios they test don’t always capture the full spectrum of plausible risks that the system may face…”


“The commercial real estate credit crunch: ‘There’s a tsunami coming’…

“John Brady, global head of real estate at Oaktree, is …blunt about what’s ahead: “We could be on the precipice of one of the most significant real estate distressed investment cycles of the last 40 years,” he wrote in a recent note on the U.S.”


“Lenders expect further rise in mortgage defaults in coming months [UK]…

“Mortgage default rates rose in the second quarter of 2024, and banks and building societies are bracing for the largest jump in defaults in a year over the next three months… In its bid to tame runaway inflation, the central bank’s 14 consecutive rate hikes between December 2021 and August 2023 have put pressure on household borrowing.”


“It should not be a surprise, given that the UK is deep into a cost-of-living crisis with nothing to indicate relief on the horizon, that there is also a credit crisis underway…

“The debt burden that people are now facing has become unfeasible, as more and more of those struggling with the cost of living have turned to loans and credit.”


“Is France facing a summer of political chaos and unrest?

“While the electorate did issue a firm rejection of the far-right Rassemblement National, the parliament is now hopelessly divided with no party even close to a majority and the country entering a period of political chaos and uncertainty unsurpassed since the start of the Fifth Republic in 1958.”


“Alternative for Germany has formed a new group in the European parliament, cementing a three-way split between Europe’s biggest far-right parties.

“The AfD will lead the Europe of Sovereign Nations group, party officials said on Wednesday, after a rift with France’s Rassemblement National (RN) left the German party isolated in the EU assembly.”


“Staff at the Eurozone’s central bank are battling a mental health crisis that has accelerated since they were forced to tackle historical inflation levels.

“The European Central Bank (ECB) has seen a sharp uptick in the number of workers at risk of burnout and an increase in those reporting suicidal thoughts, it was reportedly revealed in an internal survey.”


“Europe prepares for a mighty trade war…

““Let’s make no mistake: assertiveness is a prerequisite for keeping our markets open,” says Sabine Weyand, the eu’s top trade negotiator. After decades during which America supported the global rules-based trade order and European commerce thrived, the bloc now has to learn how to do business in a fractious world.”


“Biden introduces Zelenskiy as ‘President Putin’ at Nato summit.

“Joe Biden has accidentally introduced the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, as “President Putin” in a gaffe that will fuel further concerns about his mental acuity that have threatened to scuttle his presidential campaign.”


“Russia tried to assassinate CEO of German arms firm sending weapons to Ukraine, reports say…

“The plot to kill Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger was one of a series of Russian government plans to assassinate defense industry executives across Europe who were supporting Ukraine’s war effort, CNN reported…”


“Moscow angered by US plan to site long-range missiles in Germany…

“A US announcement of a plan to station long-range missiles in Germany for the first time since the cold war has set off a diplomatic furore between Washington and Moscow and elicited comparisons to the European missile crises of the 1980s.”


“Four European nations agree to jointly develop long-range cruise missiles…

“France, Germany, Italy and Poland signed a letter of intent on Thursday to develop ground-launched cruise missiles with a range beyond 500 km (310 miles), aiming to fill what they say is a gap in European arsenals exposed by Russia’s war in Ukraine.”


“Russia vows to retaliate if UK allows Kyiv to strike its territory with Storm Shadow missiles after Starmer insisted ‘it is for Ukraine to decide’ how to use the long-range weapons.

“Moscow issued a warning to new Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer today as Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there would be a response if the UK allowed Ukraine to strike Russia with British weapons.”


“Poland needs to prepare its soldiers for all-out conflict, its armed forces chief of staff said on Wednesday, as the country boosts the number of troops on its border with Russia and Belarus.

“Poland’s relations with Russia and its ally Belarus have deteriorated sharply since Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops into neighbouring Ukraine.”


“Spear-throwing migrants launch deadly attack on EU’s border guards. Polish officials believe surge in arrivals through Belarus is the latest tactic in Russia’s hybrid war with the West…

“They may be incredibly crude, but the weapons show a new level of organisation and intent from the waves of migrants arriving at the gates of the EU through Belarus.”


“Finland to vote on turning back migrants crossing from Russia…

“Finland has accused neighbouring Russia of weaponising migration by encouraging scores of migrants from countries such as Syria and Somalia to cross the border, an assertion the Kremlin denies.”


“Australia charges Russian-born married couple with espionage.

“Australia said on Friday it had arrested a Russian-born married couple on espionage charges, alleging the woman who was an information systems technician in the Australian Army sought to access defence material and send it to Russian officials.”


“China says NATO statement about its role in Russia-Ukraine conflict are ‘malicious’.

“China on Thursday criticized a communique from the NATO summit in Washington that described it as decisive enabler of Russia’s war effort in Ukraine as biased and ‘sowing discord’. Beijing continues to pose systemic challenges to Europe and to security, the planned communiques also said.”


“China says India has no right to develop contested border region…

“”South Tibet is China’s territory,” a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement. It said India had no right to carry out development there and the establishment of what India calls Arunachal Pradesh on Chinese territory is “illegal and invalid”.”


“Confrontations in South China Sea surge, raising fears a miscalculation could lead to conflict…

““The recent tensions have been much more physical, there’s been a lot more contact between Philippine and Chinese ships,” said Harrison Prétat, deputy director and fellow with the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative…”


“China and Japan ignite Asian hypersonic arms race…

“China’s cutting-edge missile defense radar and Japan’s hypersonic missile test may spark a new East Asian arms race, potentially escalating regional tensions.”


“South Korea to deploy ‘StarWars’ laser weapons to target North Korean drones.

“South Korea will deploy laser weapons to shoot down North Korean drones this year, becoming the world’s first country to deploy and operate such weapons in the military, the country’s arms procurement agency said on Thursday.”


“Myanmar Banks Restrict Cash Withdrawals as Financial Crisis Intensifies…

“Bank customers in Myanmar are also reporting that ATM machines are out of cash. The customer of a KBZ branch in the capital, Naypyitaw, said he could not withdraw cash from the bank’s ATMs.”


“‘I feel betrayed by the west’: Iran’s freedom protesters react to their new president…

“Oppression isn’t beautiful and the horrors that I’ve been through and witnessed my friends go through at the hands of the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] will never be forgotten. Some of us may have been blinded by pellets, but our memories are alive.””


“Iraq condemns Turkish military ‘incursions’ into north…

“The Turkish army has been mainly conducting strikes against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is listed as a “terrorist” group by Ankara and several Western allies, in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region.”


“As fears mount of an Israel-Lebanon war, Hezbollah’s arsenal looms large…

“Analysts estimate Hezbollah has between 130,000 and 150,000 rockets and missiles, more than four times as many as its ally Hamas was believed to have stockpiled before the war in Gaza. And the Lebanese group says it commands more than 100,000 soldiers…”


“US says it will not reopen makeshift aid pier to Gaza…

“A US effort to deliver aid to the besieged Gaza Strip using a makeshift pier in the Mediterranean will soon be wound up after American troops tried and failed to reattach it to the shore this week.”


“Ships Fleeing the Red Sea Now Face Perilous African Weather…

“Storms near the African coastline are playing havoc with the key route that vessels have been using to avoid attack by Yemen’s Houthi militants in the Red Sea. Container ships in particular have diverted thousands of miles around the continent…”


“Poundland sales sink as disruption in the Red Sea leaves summer shelves bare…

“Pepco said the delays were partly to blame for a 4.3 per cent sales slump in the quarter to June 30. Sales fell even more at its 800 Poundland stores in the UK, which saw a 6.9 per cent drop.”


“Egyptian authorities on high alert ahead of ‘Friday of dignity’ protests.

“Egyptian authorities are on “high alert” after activists on social media urged citizens to take to the streets on Friday, 12 July, to protest against deteriorating socioeconomic conditions in the country.”


“Kenyan president sacks cabinet after weeks of deadly protests…

“The youth-led protests against planned tax rises began peacefully but turned violent. A least 39 people were killed in clashes with police last month. Some demonstrators briefly stormed parliament before Ruto abandoned the new taxes.”


“Millions of lives upended as Sudan’s civil war leads to major displacement crisis…

“According to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, there are about 10 million internally displaced people in Sudan, making it the country with “the largest internally displaced population ever reported”. More than 7 million have been internally displaced since the war began…”


“Mali advises airlines to refuel elsewhere due to aviation fuel shortage…

“Mali is currently unable to refuel commercial aircraft in its capital Bamako due to fuel shortages and is asking airlines to refuel elsewhere until next week, its transport ministry told Reuters.”


“Nigeria: Fuel shortage, queues worsen in Lagos, Abuja, others…

““Snake-like queues have been seen at filling stations across the country. The situation has worsened traffic in states as the long queues spilt on major roads, hindering vehicular movement just as thousands of people were stranded at bus stops with transport fares doubling the previous amounts.”


“Nuclear fusion’s hope – The dream of endless clean energy.

“Along with a major German project, W-7X, a new wave of start-ups are vying to be the first to produce clean, inexhaustible energy. The film explains how nuclear fusion works and what role it could play in the energy landscape…”


“Our Dystopian Overlords Just Created Something Scientists Say Is ‘Too Dangerous To Release’…

“Microsoft’s artificial intelligence innovation VALL-E 2 can allegedly recreate human voices so convincingly, from just a few seconds of audio… By reaching human parity… Microsoft’s VALL-E 2 poses huge potential for misuse.”


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!

10th July 2024 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“Biden promises new air defenses for Ukraine in forceful NATO speech.

“Joe Biden has announced that NATO countries will provide Ukraine with five new strategic air defense systems as leaders began a summit in Washington where the alliance was expected to declare Ukraine’s path toward NATO to be “irreversible”.”


“NATO looks at how to make itself ‘war-ready’.

““The biggest cost and the greatest risk will be if Russia wins in Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said… “We cannot let that happen.” The push comes after high-ranking Western military officials – including Germany, Poland and Sweden, stressed that NATO members need to be ready for war within the next decade.”


“Intelligence on Russian sabotage threat prompted increase in security at US military bases in Europe.

“The intelligence the US received suggested that Russia had included US bases and military personnel as options to attack via proxies, the sources said — similar to plots that have been carried out or disrupted across Europe in recent months.”


“Russia’s China envoy slams ‘irresponsible’ West for ‘blackmailing’, touts BRICS bloc.

“Russia’s ambassador to China accused the West of “constant blackmailing and pressure” during a peace forum in Beijing on Sunday, and attempted to position the Brics bloc of major emerging economies as an inclusive force that seeks to shape the future world order.”


“Australia and its allies, including the US and Japan, on Tuesday accused the Chinese spy agency of large-scale cyber espionage, targeting government and business networks…

“In March this year, the US and UK also accused China for state-sponsored cyberattacks which Beijing rejected and said it was itself the victim of such actions.”


“Beijing steps up probe into EU brandy imports as trade tensions deepen after tariffs on Chinese EVs.

“The Chinese commerce ministry will hold a hearing on July 18 to discuss the probe into claims that European producers are selling brandy in China at artificially low prices, according to a statement from the ministry Friday.”


“Saudi Arabia threatened to sell off European debt if G-7 seized Russian assets…

“The veiled threat was passed along from Saudi Arabia’s finance ministry earlier this year to some G-7 counterparts, as the group weighed seizing Russian assets designed to support Ukraine. Saudi Arabia specifically signalled out the euro debt issued by France…”


“The UK and France now have to deal with very uncertain futures…

“The [UK] economy has grown only 1.8 per cent since the 2016 Brexit vote. For context, the US economy has expanded nearly 9 per cent over that period. Living standards have declined and public infrastructure and services have deteriorated badly…”


“Rachel Reeves warns UK public finances in worst state since second world war…

“In her first major speech in the role, the UK chancellor prepared the ground for tough choices on the public finances this year as she vowed to prioritise growth and unblock housing developments and onshore wind farms.”


“The prime minister and chancellor have been briefed by Whitehall officials that the poor state of Thames Water presents a “critical risk” to the country, the Guardian understands.

“Fears about the company go beyond its precarious financial position and include the management of sites that provide drinking water and sewage treatment for millions of customers…”


“Rwanda says UK migrant deal did not stipulate return of funds…

“British Prime Minister Keir Starmer had announced on Saturday that the plan …was “dead and buried”.London has already paid Kigali £240 million (US$306 million) since former prime minister Boris Johnson first announced the plan in April 2022.”


“France is one accident from calamity…

“The scenario I worry about the most is a sovereign debt crisis between now and 2027. It would be a eurozone crisis on steroids. France falls into the category of countries that are too big to fail, and too big to save.”


“The State-Backed Debt Pile Causing Restructuring Pain in Italy…

“With interest rates likely to remain elevated, more companies that took out state-backed loans are likely to need help with repayments. Some firms… have been delaying the problem by repeatedly asking creditors for covenant waivers and resets on their loans.”


“Top ECB official sounds alarm on rising risks from shadow banking…

“A senior European Central Bank official has said the “remarkable” growth of private funds and other sources of finance outside the regulated banks is the biggest threat to the stability of the Eurozone’s financial system.”


“€130 Billion Nuclear Dream in Europe Meets Financial Reality…

“European nuclear projects are also notorious for construction delays and ballooning costs. In Slovakia, for example, a new unit at the Mochovce site was delayed by a decade and cost twice as much as the projected €2 billion.”


“Parade of Serbian army troops in Bosnia sparks outrage among Muslims.

“Serbian army troops held parades in Bosnia & Herzegovina’s towns of Bratuncac and Prijedor as part of a commemoration of the martyrdom of Serbs in the Podrinje area, sparking fresh unrest in the highly unstable Balkan country.”


“A Chinese man accused of buying spray paint which was used to write the word “toilet” on a controversial Japanese shrine has been arrested, local media reports.

“The incident at the Yasukuni shrine – which honours the country’s war dead, including some convicted of war crimes – sparked outrage in Japan.”


“China’s dormant job market inflames anxieties, simmering social tensions to surface…

“The reaction of Chinese social media users to a recent series of violent attacks reflects widespread dissatisfaction over the country’s economic downturn and worsening employment prospects.”


“A scandal over the handling of cooking oil has renewed concerns over food safety in China and cast a harsh spotlight on a major state-owned company.

“An undercover report by the state-backed Beijing News alleged that it is an “open secret” that “to save costs,” tankers used to transport fuel and chemicals are also used to move cooking oil and syrup without any cleaning.”


“India races to build hydro-power plants in region claimed by China…

“The Indian government is pushing projects in the eastern region following reports that Beijing could construct dams on a section of the Brahmaputra river, known as the Yarlung Tsangbo in China, that flows from Tibet through Arunachal Pradesh.”


“India’s climate crisis: New coal mining spreads as heat waves drain hydro dams…

“According to data from federal grid regulator Grid-India, analyzed by Reuters, hydro’s share of India’s total power output fell to a record low of 8.3% during the fiscal year ended March 31…”


“India Poised to Secure Long-Term Uranium Supply From Russia.

“Russia and India are likely to agree on a long-term uranium supply pact for a nuclear power plant coming online in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, said senior officials with knowledge of the matter.”


“New Caledonia on the brink of civil war…

“On 7 July 2024, the French National Assembly elections witnessed a historic victory for Emmanuel Tjibaou, a pro-independence leader… Analysts warn that global tensions and political instability may impact France’s long-term military strategy in the Indo-Pacific, with concerns that French Pacific territories may pursue independence.”


“Milei’s absence from Mercosur presidential summit sows doubt about bloc’s future…

“South American free trade bloc Mercosur held its presidential summit on Monday in Paraguay without Argentina’s President Javier Milei, who was in Brazil for a conference of Latin American conservatives. The snub was slammed as “complete foolishness” by Brazil’s leader Luis Inacio Lula da Silva and underlines the political frictions within the bloc.”


“Pristine forests and grinding poverty: why shouldn’t Brazil’s Amapá state embrace oil wealth?

“The state’s dilemma sums up a core problem faced by the president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva: how to reconcile environmental commitments with the need for development.”


“In Venezuela, hunger stalks presidential election.

“Venezuela votes for its next president on July 28 – and the dire straits in which many live will be top of people’s minds. Despite a recent economic recovery that has been much touted by the Maduro government, many families are going hungry and depending on aid to feed themselves.”


“Africa, Middle East emerging as battleground for US-China ‘enterprise tech trade war’ — experts.

“While the growing geopolitical tensions between the US and China have not yet erupted into an actual physical conflict, analysts have warned that there are “signposts of a struggle” in the region as the two superpowers fight for dominance…”


“US troops leave Niger base at Niamey…

“US troops have completed a withdrawal from their base in Niger’s capital of Niamey and will fully depart from Agadez in the north before a September 15 deadline set by the country’s military rulers, both countries said Sunday.”


“New Sahel block leaves West Africa more divided than ever.

The creation of a Sahel confederation on Saturday plunged West Africa into an unprecedented crisis that could threaten the free movement of people and goods in the region… On Sunday, ECOWAS warned against the “diplomatic and political isolation” of AES countries and the loss of millions of euros in investment.”


“Thousands of Rwandan Troops Fight in Congo, UN Report Shows…

“Thousands of Rwandan troops are backing a rebellion in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo that has displaced millions of people and brought the two countries to the brink of war, a United Nations report showed.”


“Sudanese refugees hiding in Ethiopian forest to escape bandits and militias…

“Refugees who spoke to Al Jazeera say at least 7,000 people left the camps and some 3,000 are still in the forest where they live alongside “wild animals” like hyenas, scorpions and snakes.”


“Yemen’s Houthi group on Tuesday said they have attacked three ships in the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden.

“The targeted ships were “Maersk Sentosa, Marthopolis, and MSC Patnaree,” said Yahya Sarea, the Houthi spokesperson, in a televised statement aired by the Houthi-run al-Masirah TV.”


“Renewed Israeli offensive sees Gaza City health care crumble…

“The resumed military offensive, which forced tens of thousands to flee, has sown chaos among sick and injured Palestinians, as the city’s remaining medical facilities have been caught up in Israeli-ordered evacuation zones while others struggle to get fuel and medical supplies.”


“Inside Israel’s underground blood vault and hospital, as the country prepares for new war with Hezbollah.

“Israel is preparing for war with Hezbollah by storing blood underground amid repeated attacks from across the border with Lebanon. A subterranean car park in Haifa, just 28 miles from the border, has been converted into a five-acre hospital…”


“World’s largest oil company bets on the enduring power of petrol…

“Saudi Aramco says combustion engines will be around for ‘very, very long time’ after Horse Powertrain investment… with growth in electric vehicle sales slowing and trade protectionism rising, the future of ICEs is looking less bleak.”


“America’s reckless borrowing is a danger to its economy—and the world’s…

“How has it come to this? The costs of wars, a global financial crisis and pandemic, unfunded tax cuts and stimulus programmes have all piled up… America’s fiscal mess is home-made. But make no mistake: it is the whole world’s problem.”


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!

8th July 2024 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“All eyes will be on President Joe Biden at NATO summit – and the risks of missteps are huge… This coming fortnight has all the ingredients to be historically consequential.

“We can expect big announcements on Ukraine from the NATO leaders meeting in Washington. We will discover who Donald Trump’s running mate will be and we will watch President Biden fight for his political life.”


“The age of drone warfare is disrupting the defence industry…

“Traditional weapons programmes take years, sometimes decades, to develop and rely on substantial government budgets as well as large research and testing facilities. By contrast, drones are cheap, lethal and quick to make, helping to level the field between smaller players and established industry giants.”


“US Drones Will Create a ‘Hellscape’ in the Taiwan Strait…

“in the Pentagon’s vision (if indeed it pans out), metal and plastic would do most of the burning, sinking and expiring, instead of American bodies. “I want to turn the Taiwan Strait into an unmanned hellscape,” says Admiral Samuel Paparo, the new US commander in the Indo-Pacific region.”


“The U.S. Air Force Has a Big Problem It Can’t Solve: Its Fleet of Warplanes Is Old…

“…there are growing concerns that much of the fleet is outdated and ill-equipped for modern conflicts, especially against advanced air defense systems like those in China.”


“‘I had to downgrade my life’ – US workers in debt to buy groceries…

“Ms Ellis works full-time as a nurse’s assistant and has a second part-time job. But she needs to economise. She has switched stores, cut out brand-name items like Dove soap and Stroehmann bread, and all but said goodbye to her favourite Chick-fil-A sandwich.”


“‘Like lockdown’: Aussies reveal how cost-of-living crisis is hitting household budgets…

“Whichever way you cut it, Aussie households are under incredible stress at the moment. While the Reserve Bank last month decided to officially keep interest rates on hold at 4.35 per cent, economists have warned that we are teetering on a “knife’s edge” when it comes to entering a recession.”


“I’m hungry, cold and have multiple disabilities. Does Keir Starmer’s promise of real change include me? [UK]

“…Personal independence payments (Pips) should cover the additional costs of my disabilities, such as a chiropractor to manage the pain of my fibromyalgia, or holistic therapy for my mental health. But the cost of living is so high they never stretch that far.”


“Labour’s £10 Billion Crisis Bill Just the First Fiscal Challenge…

“…many crises are so acute there’ll be no choice but to tackle them immediately. In particular, a series of tricky short-term decisions await on public sector pay, fuel duties, and healthcare and prison funding.”


“France elections latest: ‘Instability, political chaos and gridlock’ likely as Le Pen suffers shock loss.

“Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally have fallen short in the French parliamentary election while the leftist New Popular Front (NFP) have emerged as the dominant force, according to exit polls – but France is likely to have a hung parliament.”


“Clashes break out in France following left’s surprise election win…

“Serious riots and clashes broke out at rallies in Paris and other cities on Sunday following the second round of the French parliamentary elections which saw the left-wing New Popular Front (NFP) pull of a surprise win, according to initial projections.”


“German defence budget slammed as inadequate by military leader…

“”Defence Minister Boris Pistorius asked for an additional £6-7 billion. He received £1 billion. This will not prepare us for war,” he emphasised, adding that there will be gaps at every turn. “It worries me greatly,” he confessed.”


“Latvian president urges more EU defense spending…

“Athens and Riga agree that European defense spending should be exempt from fiscal rules… Rinkevics furthermore said that regardless of who wins the upcoming presidential elections in the United States, Europe will need “to be more serious about its own defense and security.””


“Ukraine wants Poland to protect its skies near border…

““If NATO is not ready to admit Ukraine during the war, we have to demand that the allies ensure sufficient measures to stop and overcome the enemy,” Olga Kondratyuk [deputy speaker of the Ukrainian Supreme Council] wrote on Facebook.”


“China and Belarus hold ‘anti-terror’ military drills on Polish border…

“Belarus’ Ministry of Defence said that the 11-day “joint anti-terrorist exercise” would start on Monday and “improve coordination between Belarusian and Chinese units”. Chinese media said the exercises would be held in Brest, on the Polish border.”


“Satellite images reveal China’s military build-up near Pangong Lake, India’s western border…

“China’s military is preparing for the long haul in the area surrounding Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh, having built subterranean bunkers to store weapons and fuel, as well as hardened shelters for armoured vehicles at a crucial base in the region.”


“In the wake of a deadly knife attack on a school bus full of Japanese children near Shanghai last month, Japan’s consulate in the city issued a stern warning to its citizens…

“Last August, assailants threw eggs at a Japanese school in Suzhou, while in Qingdao, eastern Shandong province, another school was targeted with stones after Japan began to release radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.”


“Japan protests China’s installation of buoy over its continental shelf…

“Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters in Tokyo it was “regrettable” that China set up a buoy at a location in the high seas surrounded by Japan’s exclusive economic zone, or EEZ, “without explaining its purpose and other details.””


“Japan and the Philippines sign a defense pact in the face of shared alarm over China…

“The Reciprocal Access Agreement, which similarly allows Filipino forces to enter Japan for joint combat training, was signed by Philippine Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa in a Manila ceremony witnessed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.”


“The yen’s collapse this year to a nearly four-decade low is undermining Japan’s plans for its largest military build-up in postwar history.

“The government has slashed orders for aircraft, and officials warn that further cuts may be imminent. Japan buys much of its military equipment from American companies, in transactions done in dollars.”


“Iran, Pakistan deport nearly 12000 Afghans within four days.

“Rights group fear a humanitarian crisis which in turn make situation inside Afghanistan worse. The country is currently going through a financial crisis and even basic services are not available to majority of the population.”


“Man buries 15-day-old daughter alive as he had no money for treatment [Pakistan]…

“Pakistan has been facing a major financial crisis for the past few years. The sharp fall in the central bank’s foreign exchange was the main reason for Pakistan’s financial crisis… the common people are in crisis due to the shortage of essential items like food and medicine.”


“The struggle for mental health in Lebanon’s multiple crises…

“The tremendous pressure since the start of the financial collapse has left millions of people unable to afford basic healthcare services. Already before this, Lebanon’s healthcare system catered to the privileged few.”


“Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement said on Sunday it launched its “largest” air operation, sending explosive drones at a mountaintop Israeli military intelligence base in the occupied Golan Heights.

“It is the latest incident among escalating cross-border exchanges of fire that have triggered global alarm.”


“Fears of long war in Gaza as new chapter opens and ‘intense fighting’ eases off…

“Palestinians and Israelis alike fear that the coming chapter in the conflict could amount to a long period of insurgency-style warfare and indefinite occupation.”


“Red Sea tension pushed up container prices 120% over last 6 months…

“Container traffic in the Red Sea almost came to stop as ships shifted their routes to the Cape of Good Hope due to attacks on Israeli ships by Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, said new figures announced on Friday, Anadolu Agency reports.”


“South Africa’s Eskom May Post $825 Million Annual Loss, FT Says.

“The energy crunch has hurt households and businesses and in turn weighed on economic activity in Africa’s largest economy, In 2023 it contributed to a drop in GDP growth to just 0.7%…”


“Blackout as national power grid system collapses again [Nigeria].

“In a notice to its customers, the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company Plc (EEDC), stated: “EEDC wishes to inform her esteemed customers of a general system (national grid) collapse which occurred at 15:09 hours today, 6th July, 2024.”


“Sudan is now confronting its most severe food security crisis on record…

“There is also a high risk of famine in multiple regions if immediate action is not taken. Famine is a severe and widespread lack of food that leads to extreme hunger, malnutrition and increased mortality in a population.”


“West Africa bloc warns of regional ‘disintegration’ as juntas form ‘Confederation of Sahel States’.

“ECOWAS said on Sunday it feared the consequences of the creation of a “Confederation of Sahel States” by the military rulers of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, warning that it could lead to political isolation and increased insecurity.”


“Violence, rape, thirst, even organ theft: Migrants face lethal risks in Africa…

“If not left to die of dehydration or illness, migrants on the dangerous land routes through northern Africa toward the Mediterranean and Europe risk rape, torture, sex trafficking and even organ theft, according to a new report…”


“Fuel shortages a bitter pill for Cuba’s sugar cane producers…

“…the industry is teetering on the brink with Cuba in the grips of a crushing economic crisis marked by frequent power blackouts and severe shortages of basic supplies such as fuel, fertilizer and pesticides.”


“La Rioja issues Argentina’s first emergency ‘quasi-currency’ in 20 years…

“La Rioja’s new BOCADE — known as “chachos” because the bills feature local strongman Ángel Vicente “Chacho” Peñaloza — can be used for purchases in any store within the province. The government also said people can pay provincial taxes and public services with them.”


“Battery maker LG Energy Solution Ltd.’s second-quarter profit missed analyst estimates, as sales of electric vehicles continued to slow.

“Operating profit for three months ended June 30 dropped 58% from a year earlier to 195.3 billion won ($141 million), the Seoul-based company said Monday.”


“Battery maker SK On declares ‘emergency’ as EV sales disappoint…

“A leading South Korean producer of electric vehicle batteries has declared itself in crisis as its customers struggle with disappointing EV sales in Europe and the US… chief executive Lee Seok-hee announced a series of cost-cutting and working practice measures last Monday, describing them as a state of “emergency management”.”


“China’s Solar Sector Unlikely to Recover Soon as Glut Persists…

“China’s floundering solar sector is unlikely to return to profit anytime soon, as the market may remain oversupplied for up to two years, analysts cited major manufacturer Longi Green Energy Technology Co. as saying.”


“Another Green Bubble Is Deflating in Biofuels…

“After the stock market debacle for wind companies in 2023, the biofuel sector is the next deflating green bubble. The industry is battling several problems: significant cost overruns and engineering shortcomings, and a glut of biofuels as rosy forecasts for demand never materialized.”


“Private Credit Funds With No Skin in Game a Worry: Credit Weekly…

“Watchdogs including the Bank of England have spent months examining how private markets interact amid wider concerns about the risks that shadow banking, which encompasses everything from insurers to money market funds, pose to the financial system.”


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!

5th July 2024 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“Political Unrest Worldwide Is Fueled by High Prices and Huge Debts.

“Economic turmoil is spreading across the globe, and the response has been protests, attempted coups and elections of far-right politicians… a common thread is clear: rising inequality, diminished purchasing power and growing anxiety that the next generation will be worse off than this one.”


“US-Led Debt Increase Across G-7 Stokes S&P and Scope Concerns.

“The analyses of Group of Seven and equivalent economies intensifies the spotlight on their borrowing in a week when two face elections, and after the Bank for International Settlements cautioned that governments are vulnerable to a precipitous loss of confidence.”


“The Great Oil Shortage: Are We Ready for the Next Crisis?

“…Globally, the competition for crude oil is intensifying, particularly between the U.S. and China. China has been aggressively securing oil imports from key producers such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Iraq.”


“‘We don’t see a pathway’ to coal phaseout, says US utility…

“The US investor-owned utility sees no pathway to phase out coal amid growing demand for more around-the-clock power fuelled by data centres for artificial intelligence and new manufacturing.”


“Australian regulator warns east coast to face gas shortage by 2027…

“The ACCC warning came in two weeks after Australia’s energy market operator said the east was facing an immediate gas shortage following a cold snap that drove up demand for heating. Meanwhile, supply dipped due to an extended outage at the region’s main gas plant.”


“Climate protest trial turns to chaos as defendants defy court rules [UK]…

“There was chaos in the courtroom at a climate protest trial when two defendants stood and made statements defying the authority of the court… Daniel Shaw said: “Climate change represents an existential threat to humanity. The court agrees with that. Why are you not trying the people causing this crisis?”


“The U.K. North Sea Oil Industry Is in Decline…

“In 2023, U.K. North Sea oil output fell to its lowest level since the 1970s, when production first began. The quantity of accessible reserves is rapidly depleting following decades of intensive drilling…”


“Councils Locked Out of Funding Signal Crisis for UK After Vote…

“Some of Britain’s most cash-strapped town halls are being locked out of a vital source of short-term funding, foreshadowing a major financial headache awaiting the UK government after the July 4 election.”


“As Europe turns right, why has a center-left party won by a landslide in the UK?

“…Britain suffers from many of the same problems as other European countries. If Starmer falters as prime minister, there is every chance that the popular right could continue to capture the public’s imagination, as it has elsewhere in Europe.”


“French election turmoil to have prolonged impact on stock and bond markets…

“No matter which party comes out on top in Sunday’s French parliamentary election, some investors are betting the vote marks the beginning of a more turbulent period for the country’s stock and bond markets.”


“Far-right France risks paralyzing EU’s Green Deal…

“National Rally (RN), which along with its allies bagged one in three votes nationwide in the initial round of the French election last Sunday, has vowed to overhaul the country’s energy and climate policies if given the opportunity to govern.”


“Swiss government will allow financial institutions to self-regulate greenwashing…

“Switzerland’s financial institutions can self-regulate on greenwashing policies, the government said, in a move that was welcomed by industry leaders but lambasted by climate advocates.”


“European central bankers have warned that risks including trade tensions and high government debt are piling up for the region’s economy.

“…most viewed the French elections as the sign of a broader shift in a more populist, protectionist and turbulent direction that is likely to hit Europe harder than most parts of the world.”


“Poland seeks border guard help from Germany, Greece, Finland…

“Poland hopes to bring in border guards and police from Finland, Germany and Greece to help patrol its frontier with Belarus, a senior official said on Thursday, amid mounting concerns over migration pressures from the east into Europe.”


“As Biden slips toward the edge, NATO holds its collective breath…

“Now, says one senior administration official who had been involved in the planning, the NATO summit will be a moment of trepidation and peril. Every European eye will be on Biden, wondering whether he can recover physically and politically.”


“China and Russia highlight ‘tectonic shifts in global politics’…

“The presidents of China and Russia urged allies to resist external influence saying the global centres of power are changing and a multipolar world is on the horizon… Xi called on the countries to “resist external interference” while Putin said “new centres” of political and economic might are on the rise.”


“Russian central bank’s daily yuan swap volume hits record high…

“Russia’s central bank provided banks with a record 19.5 billion yuan ($2.68 billion) on Wednesday under currency swap transactions, data showed, as lenders seek alternative ways to replenish their foreign currency reserves after dollar and euro trading was restricted.”


Taliban regime is our trusted ally against terrorists, says Putin.

“The Russian president told journalists after meeting regional leaders in Kazakhstan that the ruling regime in Kabul could help the Kremlin fight ISIS-K amid a rise in terrorist attacks in Russia… Moscow has been quietly improving links with the Taliban for years, even supplying weapons secretly through back channels as it fought Nato forces.”


“EU brushes aside risk of China trade war over electric vehicle tariffs.

“The EU’s top trade official, Valdis Dombrovskis, has brushed aside concerns of trade-war retaliation from Beijing against European business, after the European Commission imposed duties on Chinese electric vehicles.”


“Why Chinese banks are now vanishing. The state is struggling to deal with troubled institutions…

“Some 3,800 such institutions [small, rural banks] dot the Chinese countryside. They have 55trn yuan ($7.5trn) in assets—13% of the total banking system—and have long been mismanaged, accruing vast amounts of bad loans.”


“Japan finance minister Suzuki says weak yen is pushing up import costs.

“Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said on Friday that a weak yen is pushing import costs up and also affecting the economy and prices in the country. The minister also reiterated that he “will closely monitor stock and forex markets with vigilance.””


“‘This is very serious’: Tensions spike in the buffer zone between North and South Korea…

“Stationed in a hut just metres from the North Korean border, Burgener and the NNSC have a frontline view of how the frozen conflict has developed. Since the start of the year, they have noticed a significant remilitarisation on both sides of the DMZ.”


“New Delhi’s water crisis spotlights threat to India’s booming economy as climate change takes toll…

“A report by international ratings agency Moody’s stated late last month: “India is facing a growing water shortage as water consumption increases amid rapid economic growth and increasingly frequent natural disasters due to climate change.””


“Iraq’s climate vision aims to diversify energy sources and move twards clean alternatives.

“Chairman of the Investment Commission, Haider Makiya pointed out that “the development of new industries is linked to hydrogen production in addition to creating new job opportunities and strengthening the local economy…””


“Hezbollah says it has fired 200 rockets into Israel after killing of commander…

“The militant group said it launched 100 Katyusha rockets at an Israeli military base in Golan and its Iranian-made Falaq missiles at another base in the town of Kiryat Shmona near the Israel-Lebanon border.”


“Egypt overhauls cabinet as economic pressures, power cuts persist.

“Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi swore in a heavily reshuffled cabinet on Wednesday that includes new finance and foreign ministers in a government facing challenges including the Gaza war on its border, economic woes and daily power cuts.”


“Kenya’s mass protests expose African fury with IMF.

“William Ruto is latest president of developing country caught between multilateral lenders and angry population… As live rounds crackled and police deployed tear gas in Nairobi’s streets, 25-year-old protester Job Muremi said: “The IMF is involved in bringing this chaos upon Kenya.””


“US intervened in Congo mine sale to Chinese arms group…

“The US has intervened in the sale of a Congolese copper mine to a Chinese arms manufacturer in an effort to prevent Beijing from further increasing its control of critical minerals, according to people familiar with the matter.”


“Congo fears escalation as M23 seizes key towns…

“This ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and throughout the region has intensified – leading to widespread displacement and raising serious concerns about the humanitarian situation in North Kivu Province in particular.”


“Climate change is exacerbating security challenges in central Africa…

“There are massive and dynamic climate variations being experienced across the region. At the same time as there is crop flooding in northern Cameroon there are rising temperatures and drought in much of Chad…”


“Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, is grappling with a severe food crisis exacerbated by two formidable challenges: rampant insecurity and devastating floods.

“These twin threats have not only disrupted agricultural production but also intensified the country’s struggle to achieve food security…”


“West Africa: Terrorists attacks kill 7,000 in five months…

“The Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar… emphasised the need for collective action against terrorism and violent extremism, which threaten the stability and development of West Africa.”


“The jihadis are stalking Benin…

“Bandits from the Northern Nigerian hotspots of Zamfara and Katsina states are crossing over into northern Benin, buying up property and recruiting young men. Is this the moment that the Lake Chad Basin crisis merges with the wider Sahelian one?”


“At least 89 migrants dead after boat capsizes off Mauritania, state news agency says…

“More than 5,000 migrants died while trying to reach Spain by sea in the first five months of this year, or the equivalent of 33 deaths per day, according to Caminando Fronteras, a Spanish charity.”


“Global tax war is looming; it could hit big tech hard…

“If no global agreement goes into effect, some countries will begin to compete for revenue from large multinationals by lowering taxes in what is sometimes called a “tax war.” It will also mean that large tech companies will have to contend with inconsistent tax codes around the globe…”


“Seabed mining: a new geopolitical divide?

“Coastal states have rights over resources located in their exclusive economic zones; beyond that, the sea is a common zone where the status of mining remains to be defined. Yet it is a zone rich in resources…”


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!

3rd July 2024 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“Climate change is pushing up food prices — and worrying central banks.

“Shifting weather patterns are reducing crop yields and squeezing supplies, creating what could become a permanent source of inflation.”


“Climate and capacity: Why power outages are surging around the world…

“Countries in Europe, Africa, Middle East, South Asia and other parts have experienced large-scale blackouts in recent weeks. Main cause is high demand spurred by adverse weather combined with inadequate generation capacity.”


“US court hits Biden’s climate plans as it ends LNG permits pause…

“According to US media reports, Judge James Cain in Lake Charles, Louisiana, sided with 16 Republican-led states and said the US Department of Energy’s freeze on LNG export approvals was “without reason or logic”.”


“U.S. manufacturing activity edged lower in June, deepening a recent slump on continued weak demand, according to industry survey data published Monday.

“The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing index came in at 48.5% last month, down 0.2 percentage points from May.”


“America’s freight recession is showing no signs of ending.

“Overcapacity, bad weather and less consumer spending impacted the truck freight market… JB Hunt, a leading trucking firm, was one of the first to warn of this “freight recession” in 2023. Its problems persisted into 2024, when the firm posted both a profit and sales miss in the first quarter.”


“US expels more than 100 Chinese migrants in rare mass deportation…

“The flight, which happened over the weekend, comes amid intense political debate ahead of the US presidential election over the issue of Chinese immigration.”


“U.S. will fund deportations from Panama, expanding migrant crackdown.

“The Biden administration will begin paying for Panama to detain and deport more of the migrants streaming through Central America en route to the United States, the latest White House effort to curb illegal crossings at the southern border, officials said Tuesday.”


“In Britain’s election, dental care has emerged as a top issue.

“Layla Waters pulled out five of her own teeth after not being able to get an appointment with a National Health Service dentist. This kind of do-it-yourself dentistry has become increasingly common in the United Kingdom.”


“Twitchy, Truss-scarred UK bond market awaits a Labour government…

“A bond market crisis that rocked Britain’s economy two years ago has cast a long shadow over the country’s July 4 election… Spooked by plans by the ruling Conservative Party’s then-Prime Minister Liz Truss to slash taxes in September 2022, the scars of the bond rout remain.”


“Borrowing costs surged across Europe yesterday after Marine Le Pen crushed Emmanuel Macron in the first round of parliamentary elections in France.

“The yield on French ten-year government bonds – a key measure of how much it costs the state to borrow – hit 3.35 per cent for the first time since November last year.”


“Hundreds of candidates pull out of French run-off in bid to foil far right.

“France’s left-wing and centrist parties have withdrawn hundreds of candidates from Sunday’s parliamentary elections, in a move aimed at thwarting the formation of the country’s first far-right government since World War II.”


“New Dutch government sworn in amid concerns over far-right ministers…

“The development aid minister has argued that development aid should be abolished, the asylum and immigration minister has referred to “population replacement”, and the housing minister was a vocal anti-lockdown campaigner.”


“US’s terrorist listing of European far-right group signals fears of rising threat − both abroad and at home…

“The Biden administration designated the Nordic Resistance Movement as a terrorist group shortly after EU parliamentary elections, in which far-right political groups made significant gains. Far-right groups, such as Germany’s Alternative for Germany, won seats – 15 of them – for the first time.”


“Europe’s aggressive blueprint to bolster its nuclear fleet for the energy transition is jeopardized by a lack of key components: skilled workers.

“Atomic power producers in France, the UK and Sweden are having trouble finding the hundreds of thousands of welders, engineers and planners needed…”


“Shell has paused the construction of one of Europe’s largest biofuel plants which was expected to convert waste into green jet fuel and biodiesel by the end of the decade…

“Instead, Shell’s chief executive, Wael Sawan, is planning to shift its focus towards high-profit oil projects and expanding its gas business to exploit higher global oil and gas prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”


“Germany should take more leadership to defend Europe’s Eastern border, says Poland’s Tusk…

“Speaking alongside Scholz after the joint talks, Tusk said that he was pleased to hear from Scholz, that Germany was ready to take responsibility for the protection of the EU’s eastern borders along with other EU member states.”


“Ukraine has a month to avoid default…

“War is exacting a heavy toll on Ukraine’s economy. The country’s gdp is a quarter smaller than on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s invasion, the central bank is tearing through foreign reserves and Russia’s recent attacks on critical infrastructure have depressed growth forecasts.”


“Ukraine war: Sanctions against Russia failed to achieve goals, claims Moscow’s UK ambassador.

“Andrei Kelin says “business is pure business” as an investigation reveals glaring loopholes in the restrictions regime, which has allowed British companies – legally – to help keep Russian gas flowing and generate huge revenues for the Kremlin’s war machine.”


“Leader of Russia’s Dagestan blames attacks on ‘international terrorists’…

“Western security experts said the attacks were further evidence that Russia, preoccupied with its war in Ukraine, faces a growing problem with Islamist militant violence at home. But Melikov insisted the threat was an external one.”


“Chinese and Russian troops hold joint drill targeting cross-border terrorism…

“China and Russia have conducted a joint military drill focused on cross-border terrorism, as concerns grow in Moscow over terror attacks… The drill came just days after terror attacks in Russia’s southern Dagestan region on June 23, in which at least 22 people were killed…”


“Taiwan says China has seized fishing boat, escalating tensions…

“Chinese officials boarded and then seized a Taiwanese fishing boat operating near China’s coast close to a Taiwan-controlled island and took it to a Chinese port, the Taiwan coast guard said late on Tuesday in a further escalation of tensions.”


“Lao central bank governor removed amid economic crisis…

“Laos’ economic problems are now affecting “the future of its food security and nutrition” in the country, according to the Asian Development Bank, or ADB.”


“Anti-coup forces allege Myanmar military using banned, restricted weapons…

“Doctors told Al Jazeera that the men experienced rapid onset necrosis, an effect not normally seen in a blast wound. Necrosis causes the deterioration of most or all of the cells in an organ or tissue due to disease or the failure of the blood supply.”


“Turkish aircraft airstrike several areas in the Iraqi Duhok governorate in a likely foreshadowing of military activity in the region…

“Turkish aircraft conducted several airstrikes Monday targeting the Iraqi Duhok governorate in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, namely in the Metin Mountain, purportedly in pursuit of the Kurdistan’s Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters.”


“Turkish police arrest hundreds after anti-Syrian riots in several cities.

“…after a Syrian man had been accused of harassing a child. Turkey, which hosts around 3.2 million Syrian refugees according to UN data, has been shaken several times by bouts of xenophobic violence in recent years.”


“Turkey closes Syria border after violence flares in both countries…

“…hundreds of angry Syrians took to the streets in several towns in the rebel-held northwest Syria, an area where Turkey maintains thousands of troops and has carved out a sphere of influence that has stopped Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from regaining control.”


“Shadow of war with Israel looms over anxious Lebanese.

“For months, the question of whether Lebanon will be dragged into another war has dominated life in this country. It is what people often describe as “the situation”, a constant backdrop casting a shadow across the whole place.”


“Israel risking disastrous war against Hezbollah for political reasons, says former US official.

“Israel risks going to war against Hezbollah to ensure Benjamin Netanyahu’s political survival, but it would be a miscalculation that could lead to mass civilian deaths in both Lebanon and Israel, a former US military intelligence analyst has warned.”


“Houthis Mount Biggest Month of Attacks on Ships This Year…

“Attacks by the Houthis ramped up in June… The attacks are helping to contribute to the second-largest increase in a gauge of global sea transport on record as vessels sail thousands of miles extra around Africa.”


“Kenya police clash with protesters as tax bill unrest continues…

“Police have fired tear gas and water cannon at protesters across Kenya as demonstrations against a controversial finance bill continue, even after the president said he would not sign it.”


“[Kenyan] Treasury faces looming budget crisis in the wake of Gen Z uprising.

“President William Ruto’s embattled administration faces a Herculean task in the months ahead in funding public services, implementing development projects and programmes and paying public debts.”


“Clashes between police and protesters disputing Mauritania’s presidential election result kill 3.

“Clashes in Mauritania between security forces and protesters rallying against the reelection of President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani left three people dead, authorities said Tuesday. An unspecified number of people were reported injured.”


“Cuba announces new measures for “war-time economy” amid growing crisis…

“Cuba`s government said late on Sunday it would double down on price controls and continue to fight tax evasion in an increasingly desperate bid to tamp down on a ballooning fiscal deficit and spiraling inflation that have devastated its economy.”


“New Cuban radar site near US military base could aid China spying – report…

“Satellite images appear to show that Cuba is building a new radar site likely to be capable of spying on the US’s nearby Guantánamo Bay naval base, in the latest upgrade to the country’s surveillance capabilities long thought to be linked to China.”


“After a stop in Cuba, 2 Russian ships dock in Venezuelan port as part of ‘show the flag’ exercises…

“Two Russian naval ships docked Tuesday in the Venezuelan port of La Guaira after exercises in the Atlantic Ocean that Moscow said were to “show the flag” in remote, important regions, and an initial stopover in Cuba.”


“Economic turmoil in Bolivia fuels distrust in government following coup attempt…

“…as a political feud continues between rivals, the country’s deepening economic crisis and President Luis Arce’s refusal to admit there is one, are fuelling the public’s distrust in the government.”


“Bolivia recalls ambassador to Argentina over Milei’s coup comments.

“The Bolivian government on Monday recalled its ambassador to Argentina, Ramiro Tapia, for consultations following the recent statements by Argentine President Javier Milei about the failed coup in Bolivia on June 26.”


“Nine in 10 top global companies failing to uphold human rights, report says…

“More than 90 percent of the world’s 2,000 most influential companies, including Amazon, BMW, Nestle, Rio Tinto, Pfizer, Shein, and Standard Chartered, are failing to meet societal expectations towards human rights, working conditions and corporate ethics, a first-of-its-kind assessment has found.”


“Obsession with growth is enriching elites and killing the planet. We need an economy based on human rights…

“The endless quest for growth at all costs, and the escalating use of the natural resources it demands, is pushing our planet way beyond its limits. Six of the nine “planetary boundaries” – Earth’s life-support systems – have already been crossed.”


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

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