Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.

17th September 2022 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

FedEx warned that a global recession could be coming, as demand for packages around the world tumbles.

Shares of FedEx (FDX) plunged 21% Friday — the biggest one-day drop in its history — after the company warned late Thursday that a slowing economy will cause it to fall $500 million short of its revenue target.

“The weakening global economy, particularly in Asia and Europe, has hurt FedEx’s express delivery business. The company said demand for packages weakened considerably in the final weeks of the quarter.

What’s more, FedEx said it expects business conditions to further weaken in the current second quarter, which runs through November.

https://edition.cnn.com/2022/09/16/business/fedex-warning/index.html


Global cargo market sags as softer economy points to gloomy Christmas…

“The Christmas holiday season is usually frantic for air cargo and shippers moving newly launched smartphones, toys, and apparel from factories in Asia to the United States and Europe. But Western retailers including Costco Wholesale Group and Macy’s Inc have found their shelves overflowing with unsold merchandise, suggesting they misjudged demand…”

https://www.tbsnews.net/world/global-economy/global-cargo-market-sags-softer-economy-points-gloomy-christmas-497446


Oil prices and financial markets brace for recession.

“…a broad range of financial indicators from fixed income, equity and commodity markets, as well as individual share prices for bellwether companies, all point to a significant slowdown in the cycle in the next six months.”

https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/oil-prices-financial-markets-brace-recession-kemp-2022-09-15/


The World Bank has warned that leading central banks risk sending the global economy into a “devastating” recession next year if policymakers raise interest rates too high over the months ahead and stress financial markets.

“The Washington-based organisation called on monetary authorities in the big economies to co-ordinate their actions to reduce the overall amount of tightening.”

https://www.ft.com/content/d95de774-e4e4-4864-a5fd-a0f696ee6728


[US] Mortgage rates surpass 6 percent for the first time since 2008.

“Mortgage rates shot above 6 percent this week for the first time in 14 years as inflation has remained resistant to the Federal Reserve’s efforts to tamp it down. The dramatically swift escalation has chilled what had been a hot U.S. housing market, increasing pressure on an economy plagued by unremitting inflation.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/09/15/mortgage-rates-6-percent/


Fears that the British economy is already in recession after a slump in retail sales last month triggered heavy selling of the pound on international money markets taking it to a 37-year low against the dollar.

“With average UK wages continuing to fall behind rising prices and the Bank of England expected to push up interest rates next week, sterling fell by more than 1% against the US currency to $1.135, its lowest since 1985.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/sep/16/pound-falls-as-weak-retail-sales-raise-fears-uk-economy-is-in-recession-dollar


The number of companies in England and Wales declared insolvent jumped by 43% in August, according to government data, which adds to concerns for the health of the UK economy.

“Economists are concerned that businesses will increasingly struggle as consumers cut back spending amid high inflation.”

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/other/companies-declared-insolvent-in-england-and-wales-jump-by-43/ar-AA11UwHU


Wood pellet shortages in France cause prices to soar.

“The price of wood pellets is soaring in France due to a growing shortage of the wood-burning stove and pellet stove fuel as people prepare early for winter and more households entering the wood pellet market.”

https://www.connexionfrance.com/article/French-news/Wood-pellet-shortages-in-France-cause-prices-to-soar


Aluminium Shortages are Here (and could get much worse). Europe’s Power Crunch Cuts Zinc and Aluminum Capacity in Half.

“Europe has lost about half of its zinc and aluminum smelting capacity within the past year, and a further surge in power prices could knock more plants offline over winter, the region’s biggest metal producers warned.”

https://intelligencequarterly.com/metals/metalsmaterials/aluminium-shortages-are-here/


German drinks makers suffer as energy crisis hits carbon dioxide supplies.

“A shortage of carbon dioxide is causing German drinks manufacturers to cut production and warn of bankruptcies, in the latest sign of how Europe’s energy crisis is sending shockwaves through the region’s economy.”

https://www.ft.com/content/e1009754-3721-4769-a008-c4934284fb25


How gas rationing at Germany’s BASF plant could plunge Europe into crisis…

“BASF-produced chemicals are used to make anything from toothpaste to vitamins, from building insulation to nappies. It is one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of ibuprofen for painkillers, and its single largest customer industry is the automobile industry…”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/sep/15/gas-rationing-germany-basf-plant-europe-crisis


Germany takes subsidiary of Russian oil giant Rosneft under state control.

“Germany has taken the German subsidiary of the Russian oil giant Rosneft under state control, putting three refineries into a trusteeship ahead of a partial European embargo on Russian oil at the end of the year. The federal network regulator will become the temporary trust manager of Rosneft Germany…”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/16/germany-takes-subsidiary-of-russian-oil-giant-rosneft-under-state-control


Germany Working on Historic Takeover [ie nationalisation] of Three Gas Companies [Uniper, VNG AG and Securing Energy for Europe GmbH]…

“The three companies are central pillars of Germany’s energy infrastructure, bringing gas from all over the world to fire Europe’s power stations, run factories and heat homes. Their physical assets help store and transport energy, while their teams of traders buy and sell billions of euros of contracts each year to keep the continent’s economy afloat and societies stable.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-15/germany-working-on-historic-takeover-of-three-gas-companies


China’s property woes deepen in August as prices, sales and investment drop.

“Woes in China’s property market worsened in August, with official data showing home prices, sales and investment all falling in August, as a mortgage boycott and developers’ financial strains further hurt confidence in the sector.”

https://uk.sports.yahoo.com/news/china-august-home-prices-fall-015649745.html


Coronavirus in China: food shortages and chaos reported in locked down Lhasa.

“People are confined to their homes or in hospitals but officials and volunteers are falling sick, leading to supply breakdowns. The city of 860,000 has recorded more than 540 infections so far, along with many more asymptomatic cases.”

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3192715/coronavirus-china-food-shortages-and-chaos-reported-locked-down


Indonesian gig drivers fear hardship after fuel price hike…

“”I sometimes don’t eat a proper meal the whole day to allocate my cash for fuel. If I don’t have fuel, how can I work?,” asked Ridwan, a contractor for Gojek — which alongside Singapore’s Grab is among Asia’s most valuable start-ups.”

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220916-indonesian-gig-drivers-fear-hardship-after-fuel-price-hike


What is happening in Venezuela?

The humanitarian crisis in Venezuela was triggered by the economic collapse that began in 2014 and has been deepening ever since. A quarter of the population is in need of aid… The country’s health system has collapsed, and hyperinflation paired with shortages of essential resources such as water, fuel and medicine continue, causing social unrest.”

https://www.rescue.org/article/what-happening-venezuela


Lenders urged to cancel Zambia debt as country faces economic collapse.

“More than 100 economists and academics have urged international lenders to crisis-stricken Zambia to write off a significant slice of their loans during financial restructuring talks this month. Zambia is seeking up to $8.4bn (£7.3bn) in debt relief from major lenders, including private funds…”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/16/zambia-debt-lenders-urged-to-cancel


Zimbabwean bakers’ profits crumble amid Russia-Ukraine crisis…

“The southern African country is already in the throes of an economic crisis due to high inflation. Ninety percent of the country is unemployed, according to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and its manufacturing output is on a decline.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2022/9/16/russia-ukraine-crisis-melts-profits-of-zimbabwean-bakers


Nigerian inflation hits 17-year high.

“Inflation in Nigeria hit a 17-year high of 20.5 per cent in August, driven by soaring prices of food, diesel and a weakened currency, data released by the statistics agency on Thursday showed. The Nigerian currency has depreciated by almost 25 per cent against the dollar since the start of the year…”

https://www.ft.com/content/3c376495-b544-4bc6-a2b4-dca2c94e10cb


‘The country is being suffocated,’ say Tunisians weary of food shortages…

“Rationing has become commonplace, while supermarkets and small local shops have yawning gaps on shelves once crowded with everyday products. Government announcements on the food shortages have been confusing, attributing the absence of basic foodstuffs both to speculators and selfish hoarders.”

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2022/sep/16/tunisia-food-shortages-rationing


Lebanese banks to close next week after more branches are stormed.

“Lebanese banks have said they will soon announce a three-day closure next week over mounting security concerns following a series of incidents involving people seeking access to their savings by entering banks armed with guns. On Friday, eight banks were held up by depositors who demanded their own money…”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/9/16/bank-holdups-snowball-in-lebanon-as-depositors-demand-own-money


Over 200 dead in Armenia-Azerbaijan clashes this week.

“Armenia said Friday that at least 135 of its troops died in border clashes with Azerbaijan this week, bringing the overall toll to more than 200 following the countries’ worst fighting in two years. Both sides accuse each other of initiating the clashes, which erupted on Tuesday…”

https://english.alaraby.co.uk/news/over-200-dead-armenia-azerbaijan-clashes-week


At least 24 killed in clashes on Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan border…

“Clashes on the border that began earlier this week grew into large-scale fighting on Friday involving tanks, artillery and rocket launchers. As part of the shelling, Tajik forces struck the regional capital, Batken, with rockets.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/9/16/kyrgyzstan-reports-heavy-fighting-with-tajikistan


Afghanistan blames border clash on Pakistan’s bid to build post.

“The Taliban government in Afghanistan has blamed the Pakistan army’s attempt to build a security post at their border as the reason behind Tuesday’s cross-border skirmish, causing multiple deaths on both sides, including at least three Pakistani soldiers.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/9/15/afghanistan-blames-border-clash-on-pakistans-bid-to-build-post


Sri Lanka’s economy shrinks 8.4% amid fertilizer, fuel shortages.

“Sri Lanka’s economy shrank 8.4% in the quarter through June from a year ago in one of the steepest declines seen in a three-month period, amid fertilizer and fuel shortages during the nation’s most severe financial crisis in more than seven decades.”

https://leaderpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/sri-lankas-economy-shrinks-8-4-amid-fertilizer-fuel-shortages


Traffic, water shortages, now floods: the slow death of India’s tech hub?

“Last week, after the city’s heaviest rains in decades, the Yemalur neighbourhood was submerged under waist-deep water along with some other parts of Bengaluru… flooding during the monsoon has raised fresh questions about the sustainability of rapid urban development, especially if weather patterns become more erratic and intense because of climate change.”

https://www.reuters.com/world/india/traffic-water-shortages-now-floods-slow-death-indias-tech-hub-2022-09-15/


The World Has a $1 Trillion La Nina Problem.

“It’s all but guaranteed the world will see another year of weather disasters that destroy homes, ruin crops, disrupt shipping and threaten lives… As climate change pushes weather disasters to new extremes… another year of La Nina means the world is hurtling toward $1 trillion in weather-disaster damages by the time 2023 wraps up.

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2022-la-nina-weather-risk-global-economies


Extreme hunger soaring in world’s climate hotspots, says Oxfam.

“Within the countries studied, 48 million people are currently suffering from acute hunger, up from about 21 million people in 2016. Of these, about 18 million people are on the brink of starvation, according to the Oxfam report published on Thursday.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/16/extreme-hunger-soaring-in-worlds-climate-hotspots-says-oxfam


UN food chief warns of ‘tsunami of hunger’…

David Beasley, executive director of the UN World Food Programme, said the 345 million people facing acute food insecurity in the 82 countries where the agency operates is two-and-a-half times the number of acutely food insecure people before the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020.

https://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/national/21808219.un-food-chief-warns-tsunami-hunger/


You can read the previous “Economic” thread here. I’ll be back on Monday with a “Climate” thread, although the news cycle may be somewhat slow then due to the Queen’s funeral.

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

15th September 2022 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

Water And Energy Shortages Are Fuelling a Global Food Crisis… Climate change poses an enormous and unprecedented threat to water, energy, and food, at the same time that demand for all three is steadily increasing.

The current drought conditions around the globe are putting enormous pressure on the nexus and squeezing the energy supply even tighter amid a worldwide energy crisis spurred by the Covid-19 pandemic and compounded by the Russian war in Ukraine.”

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Water-And-Energy-Shortages-Are-Fueling-A-Global-Food-Crisis.html


The Energy Market’s Next Crisis: Oil Tanker Shortages… As the EU ban on Russian oil and fuels looms, demand for tankers – particularly ice tankers – has been climbing…

“Tankers and fuels between them are about to make fuel costlier this winter as the world tries to fight inflation. Tankers and fuels won’t help that fight.”

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/The-Energy-Markets-Next-Crisis-Oil-Tanker-Shortages.html


Commodity Markets Are Contending with a Growing Liquidity Crisis.

“…underlying prices have been fraught with risks. Whether it’s the upending of trade flows from the war in Europe, China’s covid-zero policy or central bank responses to rampant inflation, the result has been a period of increasingly severe intraday swings.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-13/commodity-markets-are-contending-with-a-growing-liquidity-crisis


Power outages in the US are climbing, researchers reported Wednesday, as extreme weather gets worse due to the climate crisis, the demand for electricity climbs and the country’s energy infrastructure gets older and more vulnerable…

Researchers reported that outages in the past 10 years had increased by 64% compared with the previous decade.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2022/09/14/us/power-outages-rising-extreme-weather-climate/index.html


A looming US railway strike has already halted shipments of a critical fertilizer ingredient at a time when American farmers need it the most.

“Rail officials are no longer shipping ammonia, an important component of about three quarters of all fertilizer, because it would be dangerous if the hazardous material was stranded during a potential rail strike…”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-13/us-rail-strike-threat-puts-critical-fertilizer-shipments-on-hold


US shale bosses tell Europe: ‘There’s no bailout coming’…

The US shale industry has warned it cannot rescue Europe with increased oil and gas supplies this winter amid fears that a plunge in Russian exports will send crude prices soaring back above $100 a barrel… “It’s not like the US can pump a bunch more. Our production is what it is,” said Wil VanLoh, head of private equity group Quantum Energy Partners…”

https://www.ft.com/content/ef4fb2b8-1b28-43f3-b34f-13e98c769e63


Recession threat looms as UK grinds to a halt to mourn Queen.

“Britain’s fragile economy was already teetering on the edge of recession even before the death of Queen Elizabeth II last week. That prospect now looms a lot larger, as businesses cancel events amid the period of national mourning culminating in the bank holiday for the late monarch’s funeral.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/sep/14/recession-threat-looms-as-uk-grinds-to-a-halt-to-mourn-queen


Threat of cross-Channel power crunch as Britain and France rely on importing each other’s energy.

“Both France and Britain are looking to each other for electricity supplies this winter, raising the possibility of a cross-Channel power crunch if demand spikes on both sides at the same time. France is normally a major exporter of power to Britain and the continent, but outages on its nuclear fleet turned it into a net importer during the first half of the year.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/09/14/threat-cross-channel-power-crunch-britain-france-rely-importing/


Gas importer Uniper in nationalisation talks with German government.

“The embattled gas importer Uniper has entered talks with the German government over a possible nationalisation, the company has said. The terms under discussion would increase the state’s holding in the faltering energy giant to 50%. The German state took a 30% stake in the group in a rescue package in July…”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/sep/14/gas-importer-uniper-nationalisation-talks-german-government


Chemical Giant Cuts European Production as Gas Crisis Worsens.

“One of the German car industry’s biggest polymer suppliers is cutting production in Europe… Domo Chemicals Holding NV, which jointly operates Germany’s second biggest chemical plant, has begun filling European orders with materials shipped from the company’s facilities in North America and China, when possible, Chief Executive Officer Yves Bonte said in an interview.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-14/chemical-giant-cuts-european-production-as-gas-crisis-worsens


Europe slashes fertilizer production.

“The European Union’s nitrogen fertilizer output is being slashed by an estimated 400,000 to 500,000 tonnes per month, according to an Argus Media analysis. It started with shutdowns in Poland but has since spread across the region as companies such as Achema, Yara and Borealis shutter their plants.”

https://www.producer.com/news/europe-slashes-fertilizer-production/


From Beer to Tomatoes, Europe’s Energy Crisis Is Spilling Over.

“The Belgian brewer of Delirium Tremens beer is facing a real risk of halting production for the first time in more than a century as Europe’s energy crisis creates unexpected ripple effects across the region… From German tomatoes to Swedish bread, Russia’s squeeze on gas supplies is starting to hit sectors well beyond utilities and energy-intensive industries.”

https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/from-beer-to-tomatoes-europes-energy-crisis-is-spilling-over


Europe Prepares Blackout Plans to Head Off Winter Energy Chaos.

“On Wednesday, France’s Reseau de Transport d’Electricite said that it will probably have to ask the country to cut consumption several times this winter to avoid rolling blackouts. Finland also ramped up its warnings about outages… “The reality is that there is not enough gas in Europe,” said Ed Birkett, head of energy and climate at Onward…”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-15/europe-prepares-blackout-plans-to-head-off-winter-energy-chaos


Harsh winter risks sparking social unrest in Europe, warns IMF.

“Europe could face social unrest if there is a cold winter, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has suggested, as Brussels prepares a €140bn (£121bn) raid on the energy industry to help solve the crisis… “There is certainly fear of recession in some countries, or even if it is not recession, that it would feel like recession this winter,” she said.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/09/14/harsh-winter-risks-sparking-social-unrest-europe-warns-imf/


Japan steps up yen ‘psychological warfare’ with calls to traders.

“A fresh collapse in the Japanese yen halted on Wednesday after authorities cranked up their warnings over a drop in the currency and called traders to quiz them on market conditions… In the past, such checks have come ahead of instructions from the Ministry of Finance to intervene directly in the market to control the exchange rate.”

https://www.ft.com/content/e7bed10d-3447-460d-a755-36b3fdea57df


Korean won sinks to worst level since 2008 financial crisis.

“South Korea is inching ever closer to a repeat of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis as the local won weakened against the US dollar to close at 1,390.9 won in the onshore market — a 17.3 won retreat from the previous session and its weakest level since 1,391.5 won in March 2009.”

https://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20220914000643


China is finally facing up to the limits of economic stimulus…

“…authorities are weary of the same old playbook after four decades. Stimulus spending over this period has produced enough bad outcomes already, including a bloated state sector and a bloated private sector; incremental economic output reliant upon more and more credit; a ratio of debt to gross domestic product that is among the highest in the world; and overly leveraged and fragile businesses.”

https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/China-is-finally-facing-up-to-the-limits-of-economic-stimulus


A worsening migration crisis in the Americas…

“This is no longer just about the US and Central America or the US and Mexico. We’ve got migrants fleeing all over Latin America now in much greater numbers and overwhelming some of the countries in the south of the region as well… …it’s also really the collapse of Venezuela… And then on top of that, you’ve got Cuba and you’ve got Haiti.”

https://www.ft.com/content/181bfa20-1e4b-41ef-9222-0e09072e33f8


Haiti sees more protests as fuel price hike worsens public anger.

“People have taken to the streets in several cities across Haiti after the government announced a substantial increase in the price of fuel that will further squeeze a population already struggling with soaring costs of living. The Haitian authorities announced on Wednesday that the price of gas will more than double…”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/9/14/haiti-sees-more-protests-as-fuel-price-hike-worsens-public-anger


Inflation Is Wiping Out Latin America’s Middle Class…

Across Latin America, a burgeoning middle-class is seeing its prospects eroded. The response risks igniting a tinderbox. From Mexico to Brazil, persistent high inflation is widening the gap between rich and poor — in what is already the world’s most unequal region. It’s stoking political upheaval that could be a foretaste of what lies ahead…”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2022-09-13/the-big-take-inflation-is-wiping-out-latin-america-s-middle-class


Global inflation pushes millions of Africans back into poverty.

“…by the end of this year up to 30mn Africans may no longer be able to afford liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to cook the food they eat. Such a development would mark an economic regression that the World Bank has said may raise the total number of Africans living in extreme poverty from 424mn before the pandemic in 2019 to 463mn this year.”

https://www.ft.com/content/21566b53-37f2-448c-a172-afdd2b3bd7ab


South Africa Suffers 100th Day of Power Cuts This Year.

“Eskom is struggling to meet electricity demand because its old and poorly maintained power stations continually break down. The energy shortages are weighing on business confidence and output, and contributed to a 0.7% quarter-on-quarter contraction in the economy in the three months through June.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-14/south-africa-suffers-100th-day-of-power-blackouts-this-year


Zimbabwe Intensifies Nationwide Power Cuts on Supply Shortage…

“Harare, the nation’s capital, is already experiencing power outages of as long as 10 hours a day because of lower output from its main electricity plants. The country is also facing higher demand for energy, particularly from mining companies as they ramp up output, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said in July.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-14/zimbabwe-intensifies-nationwide-power-cuts-on-generation-deficit


Pain for hustlers as fuel prices go up in Kenya.

Fuel prices in Kenya surged to record highs on Thursday after the new government slashed subsidies, piling on misery for a population already facing deep economic hardship… On Tuesday, President William Ruto had vowed to withdraw the fuel subsidy that has kept prices stable since July.”

https://www.thecitizen.co.tz/tanzania/news/east-africa-news/-pain-for-hustlers-as-fuel-prices-go-up-in-kenya-3949240


More Tunisian migrants head to Italy amid political and economic crisis.

“The number of Tunisian migrants landing on Italian shores jumped 23 percent to 13,500 in the first eight months of 2022 from the same period last year, a rights group said on Tuesday, adding Tunisia’s political and economic crisis lay behind the exodus.”

https://www.reuters.com/world/more-tunisian-migrants-head-italy-amid-political-economic-crisis-2022-09-13/


In crisis-hit Lebanon, woman robs bank for own savings to treat sister’s cancer [and livestreams it].

“A woman held up a Beirut bank Wednesday with a toy gun and walked out with thousands of dollars to pay for treatment for her ill sister, in a desperate heist cheered by many in crisis-hit Lebanon. It was the latest in a series of heists in Lebanon…”

https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-crisis-hit-lebanon-woman-robs-bank-for-own-savings-to-treat-sisters-cancer/


Global Companies Face Increased Threats of Violence Amid Geopolitical and Social Unrest, New Constella Survey Reveals.

“A recent survey conducted by Constella Intelligence and commissioned by ASIS International revealed that organizations are confronting a staggering increase in threats against employees, executives and physical locations.”

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-companies-face-increased-threats-of-violence-amid-geopolitical-and-social-unrest-new-constella-survey-reveals-301623312.html


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

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

13th September 2022 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

The Global Economy Has Become a Battlefield.

“Soaring energy prices in Europe, an alleged attempt to detain a Fed official in China, efforts to diversify chip supply away from Taiwan Semiconductor: We are in a global financial war…

“Anodyne words such as “globalization” obscure the gritty connections of cause and effect. Over the past two centuries we have learned how to produce food and build shelter efficiently, and we now feed and house eight billion people more easily than prior centuries did one billion.

“The causes were industrialization, mechanization, electrification and automation, joined with the ability to finance such innovations [plus a colossal, rising throughput of energy, mostly from fossil fuels]…

“The sophistication of this system is also its vulnerability.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-global-economy-has-become-a-battlefield-russia-china-financial-war-income-borrowing-sanctions-energy-taiwan-credit-natural-gas-11662986911


Beijing rebukes U.S. over alleged cyberattack on Chinese university.

“China denounced the U.S. Embassy in Beijing following a joint report from two of the country’s most prominent cyber authorities accusing the National Security Agency of stealing “sensitive information” from Chinese institutions.”

https://therecord.media/beijing-rebukes-u-s-over-alleged-cyberattack-on-chinese-university/


Currency shifts add to global economic woes… The US dollar still has an outsized influence on trade and finance…

“As if the energy crisis and the highest inflation rates in four decades were not disruptive enough, the global economy is also being rattled by big realignments in exchange rates.”

https://www.ft.com/content/593010c7-72f0-4801-be30-d1175d7c1c21


The World’s Hottest Housing Markets Are Facing a Painful Reset…

“From Sydney to Stockholm to Seattle, buyers are pulling back as central banks raise interest rates at the fastest pace in decades, sending house prices falling. Meanwhile, millions of people who borrowed cheaply to purchase homes during the pandemic boom face higher payments as loans reset.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-11/world-s-hottest-housing-markets-are-down-all-over-as-interest-rates-hike


Funds cut diesel positions amid fears of economic slowdown.

Investors sold petroleum last week with the fastest sales concentrated in middle distillates as the economic outlook on both sides of the Atlantic deteriorated… the heaviest proportional sales were in U.S. diesel (-8 million barrels) and European gas oil (-8 million barrels) with both experiencing the fastest sales since March 8, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine.”

https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/funds-cut-diesel-positions-amid-fears-economic-slowdown-kemp-2022-09-12/


U.S. emergency oil reserves tumble to lowest since 1984.

President Joe Biden in March set a plan to release 1 million barrels per day over six months from the SPR to tackle high U.S. fuel prices, which have contributed to soaring inflation. The Biden administration is weighing the need for further SPR releases after the current program ends in October…”

https://www.reuters.com/markets/us/crude-us-emergency-reserve-falls-lowest-since-oct-1984-2022-09-12/


Pentagon needs an extra $42 bln due to soaring inflation – industry group…

“”Significant inflation is a major challenge” for the Pentagon and its thousands of contractors, compounding the challenge from COVID-19 and dealing with the supply-chain crisis, said the National Defense Industrial Association report, which was reviewed by Reuters ahead of publication.”

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/pentagon-needs-an-extra-42-bln-due-soaring-inflation-industry-group-2022-09-12/


Sweden election: Right-wing bloc starts talks to form new government.

“The anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats have already started talks with other right-wing parties about forming the Nordic country’s next government. According to Swedish media outlets, Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Åkesson met at lunchtime in Stockholm with the leader of the Moderates Ulf Kristersson.”

https://www.euronews.com/2022/09/12/sweden-election-right-wing-bloc-edges-ahead-but-final-result-could-take-days


Denmark’s Inflation Hits New High as Food, Energy Prices Soar…

““Inflation is the Achilles’ heel in both the Danish and the European economy,” Mathias Dollerup Sproegel, a senior economist at Sydbank, said in a note. Current prices mean that an average Danish family will have to spend an extra 40,000 kroner ($5,400) a year on consumer goods, compared with 2021, he said.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-12/denmark-s-inflation-hits-new-high-as-food-energy-prices-soar


There is a risk of food shortages in the UK this winter, experts have said, as the drought and high gas prices put pressure on farmers.

While growers who use glasshouses are either not sowing or waiting until spring when there are more daylight hours, the crops that would usually have sustained the country during fallow periods, such as cabbages, carrots and potatoes, are likely to have reduced yields because of the drought…”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/12/fears-drought-high-energy-prices-uk-food-shortages-winter


Staff at Britain’s biggest container port Felixstowe to strike again.

“Workers at Britain’s biggest container port Felixstowe plan to stage a second eight-day strike over pay, a notice on the port operator’s website said on Tuesday, adding to a wave of industrial unrest caused by soaring inflation.”

https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/uks-felixstowe-port-faces-eight-day-strike-2022-09-13/


More than a hundred “yellow vest” demonstrators have been arrested in Paris in a reappearance of the grassroots protest movement amid discontent around France over rising prices and unpopular reforms by President Macron.

Mobile riot police intervened swiftly to break up unannounced, and therefore illegal, protests by several hundred people wearing gilets jaunes, some in masks, around the Place de la République and also near the Champs Elysées on Saturday.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/france-trembles-as-price-rises-fuel-the-return-of-gilets-jaunes-k2h3tjrk6


Eiffel Tower goes dark due to energy crisis: Iconic Paris landmark will turn lights off an hour earlier…

“‘It’s a highly symbolic gesture – part of the growing awareness around energy sobriety,’ Jean-François Martins, the head of the tower’s management told The Guardian… Officials in other French cities are also planning to reduce the night-time lightening of important sites.”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11203451/Eiffel-Tower-goes-dark-energy-crisis.html


Germany is facing a shortage of AdBlue, a key ingredient for modern diesel cars and trucks, as soaring energy prices send shock waves through the economy.

“Truckers say suppliers are limiting deliveries of AdBlue, while some orders to gas stations are being cut, according to industry groups… AdBlue supply at gas stations is currently “tense and going to be tight in the coming months,” said Juergen Ziegner, executive director of Germany’s petrol stations association ZTG.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-12/german-diesel-drivers-truckers-hit-by-growing-energy-crisis


Italian business lobby in talks over potential gas rationing.

“Italy’s main business lobby group Confindustria is in talks with the government about potential gas rationing, the head of the organisation said on Monday. The measures would be required to reduce risks linked to a total halt to Russian gas flows in the coming winter season…”

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/italy-business-lobby-talks-with-govt-potential-gas-rationing-2022-09-12/


China gave tens of billions in secretive ‘emergency loans’ to vulnerable nations, emerging as world’s major creditor and IMF competitor.

“In recent years, China has shelled out tens of billions in opaque “emergency loans” for at-risk nations, indicating a shift to providing short-term emergency lending rather than longer-term infrastructure loans… Experts are concerned about what comes next, as many of the nations that took loans from China are facing an extraordinary debt crunch amid an era of inflation and climate change.”

https://fortune.com/2022/09/12/china-gave-tens-of-billions-in-secretive-emergency-loans-to-vulnerable-nations-emerging-as-worlds-major-creditor-and-imf-competitor/


Clashes have erupted between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, according to Russian news agencies, in a resumption of decades-old hostilities linked to the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

“Azerbaijan, which re-established full control over the territory in a six-week conflict in 2020, acknowledged casualties among its forces. Armenia made no mention of losses, but said clashes persisted overnight.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/13/deadly-clashes-erupt-in-disputed-territory-between-azerbaijan-and-armenia


The Pakistani rupee continued to slide against the US dollar on Tuesday as cataclysmic floods and continuous political instability forced the local unit to depreciate…

“Traders have said the Pakistani rupee is expected to continue depreciation against the greenback during the ongoing week as no clear strategy to turn around the economy is driving away investors.”

https://www.geo.tv/latest/439944-political-instability-floods-drive-rupees-persistent-slide-against-dollar


‘A health hazard’: Lebanon burns toxic fuel to avoid total blackout…

““This black smoke contains heavy carcinogen metals, which constitute a public health hazard in the long term”, said opposition MP Najat Saliba, a chemistry professor at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon… With the central bank’s dollar reserves dwindling, cash-strapped Lebanon is struggling to secure fuel imports for its power plants.”

https://www.thenationalnews.com/mena/lebanon/2022/09/12/a-health-hazard-lebanon-burns-toxic-fuel-to-avoid-total-blackout/


Lebanon central bank stops fuel subsidies, prices set to rise.

“Lebanon’s central bank says it has stopped providing dollars for gasoline imports, a move that will likely lead to higher and more volatile prices as well as increased pressure on the local currency, which continues to lose value as the country’s economic crisis shows few signs of abating.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/9/12/lebanon-central-bank-stops-providing-dollars-for-gasoline-imports


Crude oil exports out of Nigeria plunged to below 1 million barrels per day bpd, their lowest level on record, last month, oil export analytics firm Petro-Logistics said on Monday.

Over the past three years, Nigeria’s crude oil exports have essentially halved, according to Petro-Logistics. Persistent underinvestment in the Nigerian oil industry and the perennial problem of oil theft from pipelines have plagued the sector in recent years.”

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Nigerias-Oil-Exports-Plunge-To-Record-Low.html


Eskom May Need More State Money to Battle Costs.

Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd has spent nearly half a billion dollars (7.7 billion rand) over the past six months burning diesel in efforts to ease rolling blackouts. That amount is already above what the state-owned company had estimated it would spend for the full year…”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-13/eskom-may-need-more-state-money-to-battle-rising-costs-fin24


Soaring Food Prices in Brazil Lead Many to Take Up Urban Farming.

“As a teenager in the Manguinhos slum community in northern Rio de Janeiro, Leonardo Ferreira said he used to spend his mornings packaging cocaine between shootouts with the police. Now, he tends to his lettuce in the favela’s vast vegetable garden, one of thousands of urban farms…

““People are desperate. We sell the vegetables cheap to the locals at a fair on Fridays—it’s normally all gone within 30 minutes,” said Mr. Ferreira, 26, who swapped his assault rifle for a garden hose under pressure from his wife.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/soaring-food-prices-in-brazil-lead-many-to-take-up-urban-farming-11662936478


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

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

10th September 2022 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

Get ready for blackouts from London to LA, as the global energy crisis overwhelms grids and sends energy prices skyrocketing.

“Stock up on batteries, candles, and non-perishable snacks. Blackouts are coming. For the first time in decades, the western world is preparing for widespread and rolling energy shortages… the worst of the energy strain is likely still to come.”

https://www.businessinsider.com/global-europe-energy-crisis-power-electricity-outages-blackouts-energy-grid-2022-9


Wildfire fears and power outage concerns weren’t just confined to California on Friday. In Oregon, the threat of high winds prompted intentional power outages that could affect tens of thousands of customers

“Power shut-offs due to extreme fire weather, common in California, are relatively new to the Pacific Northwest.”

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2022/09/09/oregon-residents-face-power-shutoffs/8038151001/


U.S. diesel stocks critically low after failing to recover over summer.

“U.S. inventories of diesel and other distillate fuel oils are now critically low after failing to recover during the summer driving season… But exports remain high as refiners respond to shortages around the world caused by the rapid rebound from the pandemic, disruptions caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and China’s coronavirus lockdowns.”

https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/us-diesel-stocks-critically-low-after-failing-recover-over-summer-kemp-2022-09-09/


Shock Waves Hit the Global Economy, Posing Grave Risk to Europe…

“While growth is slowing worldwide, “in Europe it’s altogether more serious because it’s driven by a more fundamental deterioration,” said Neil Shearing, group chief economist at Capital Economics. Real incomes and living standards are falling, he added. “Europe and Britain are just worse off.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/08/business/economy/russia-ukraine-global-economy.html


The second Elizabethan era ends with UK economy in turmoil.

“The death of Queen Elizabeth has come at a bad time for the United Kingdom. Against a backdrop of soaring inflation, a slumping currency and the worst cost-of-living crisis in decades, the country has lost one of its few markers of continuity and stability.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2022/09/09/economy/uk-economy-queen-mourning/index.html


Why post-Brexit Britain could be source of next financial crisis…

“Jerome Booth, a veteran emerging markets investor, said the main difference between developed and developing economies was that risks were priced in for emerging markets… However, successive financial crises in developed economies and increasing political and economic instability in the United States and Europe have startled investors…”

https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3191763/why-post-brexit-britain-could-be-source-next-financial-crisis


The UK government has insisted its new £40bn facility to bolster electricity producers’ financial liquidity should only be used as a “last resort” as it became the latest country to announce emergency measures to prevent power companies from running out of cash.

“The Treasury and Bank of England are working on a joint scheme to provide short-term financial support to electricity generators that face “extraordinary” collateral requirements on the futures exchanges where they hedge their supply contracts.”

https://www.ft.com/content/d85aa182-0e37-45bd-b667-fc00d20969ea


Power firms warn about ‘unprecedented’ liquidity crisis in Europe…

“Skyrocketing gas prices are not only harming the purchasing power of households, they are also putting electricity firms under an “unprecedented liquidity strain,” which is triggering “extreme so-called margin calls,” said Kristian Ruby, secretary general of Eurelectric, the EU power industry association.”

https://www.euractiv.com/section/electricity/news/power-firms-warn-about-unprecedented-liquidity-crisis-in-europe/


German gas importer VNG applies for state aid as energy crisis deepens.

“VNG, one of Germany’s biggest importers of Russian natural gas, on Friday asked the government for aid to stay afloat, the latest European energy firm to seek state support because of Moscow’s supply cuts… VNG has been hit by a sharp drop in Russian gas deliveries, forcing it to fill the gap in the spot market at much higher prices.”

https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/german-gas-importer-vng-apply-state-aid-energy-crisis-intensifies-2022-09-09/


European rail sector calls for government support to combat energy crisis.

“In a statement, the Community of European Railways and Infrastructure Companies (CER) and the European Rail Freight Association (ERFA) state that rail’s modal share “is at serious risk” due to energy price movements.”

https://www.railjournal.com/policy/european-rail-sector-calls-for-government-support-to-combat-energy-crisis/


ECB raises interest rates across eurozone by record margin…

“Setting aside concerns that higher rates would add to the current squeeze on consumers’ disposable incomes and increase the depth of a looming recession, the central bank’s 25-member governing council raised its key benchmarks by an unprecedented 0.75 of a percentage point to 1.25%.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/sep/08/ecb-european-central-bank-interest-rates-eurozone


‘Nothing is decided’: EU energy ministers clash over price cap on Russian gas…

Countries that import large volumes from Russia, including Hungary, Slovakia and Austria, have spoken out against the cap proposal because they fear the Kremlin would halt all gas flows, plunging their countries into recession.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/09/nothing-is-decided-eu-energy-ministers-clash-over-plan-for-price-cap-on-russian-gas


Hungary To Reduce Gas Use by One-Quarter to Mitigate Energy Crisis. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff has signaled the government’s intention to curb most institutional and commercial gas consumption by one-quarter “as fast as possible” as cutoffs and other energy fallout spread from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

https://www.rferl.org/a/hungary-reduce-gas-one-quarter-russia-energy-crisis/32024165.html


Switzerland considers jail sentences for those heating their homes unreasonably.

“A spokesperson for the Federal Department of Finance, Markus Sporndli told news site Blick that if the country is forced to ration gas, it will have to take drastic action to ensure residents make the necessary savings.”

https://bnn-news.com/switzerland-considers-jail-sentences-for-those-heating-their-homes-unreasonably-238297


France bracing for ‘catastrophic’ food shortages following drought, farmers and unions warn…

“Geoffroy d’Evry, a farmer in the Oise region and president of potato-growers’ union UNPT, said: “We have never experienced a situation like this. “We were preparing to spend the winter without heating or electricity, and now we discover that there may not even be potatoes for dinner?”

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/france-bracing-catastrophic-food-shortages-following-drought-farmers-and-unions-warn


Europeans are moving to Spain’s Canary Islands to avoid winter heating bills.

“Italians, Germans, Brits and other Europeans are looking to spend as much of autumn and winter in the Canaries as a means of not having to pay the sky-high gas and electricity prices most of the continent will face as the mercury drops.”

https://www.thelocal.es/20220908/europeans-are-moving-to-spains-canary-islands-to-avoid-winter-heating-bills/


Evergrande crisis deepens as lender seizes headquarters.

“Evergrande’s Hong Kong headquarters has been seized by a lender after the struggling Chinese property developer defaulted on a loan and twice failed to sell the building, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.”

https://www.ft.com/content/661c1773-31ca-40ec-93df-b4f0063a5c44


Authorities in the Chinese city of Guiyang have apologised after a snap lockdown and delayed food deliveries left hundreds of thousands of residents without food.

“In a press conference on Thursday, officials from the city’s Nanming district government said the food shortages in the Huaguoyuan residential area were caused by a lack of delivery workers due to Covid-19 restrictions.”

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3191814/officials-apologise-after-covid-lockdown-causes-food-shortages


India curbs rice exports in new blow for world food prices…

“India banned exports of broken rice and imposed a 20% duty on exports of various grades of rice on Thursday as the world’s biggest exporter of the grain tries to augment supplies and calm local prices after below-average monsoon rainfall curtailed planting.”

https://www.dailysabah.com/business/economy/india-curbs-rice-exports-in-new-blow-for-world-food-prices


How Sri Lanka’s economic crisis hits daily life.

Unaffordable rice: This woman from Wanathamulla, a neighborhood near the capital Colombo, is struggling to feed her three children and grandchild. Her husband left her after a cooking gas explosion left her injured. She has no steady income and tries to keep the family afloat by doing casual jobs.”

https://www.dw.com/en/how-sri-lankas-economic-crisis-hits-daily-life/g-63054734


Lebanon bid for IMF deal hits snags.

“Five months after Lebanon’s draft IMF deal raised hopes it could finally pull together an economic reform plan to address its financial meltdown, political and financial elites are obstructing prospects of securing any rescue package.”

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20220908-lebanon-bid-for-imf-deal-hits-snags/


Syria on the cusp of hyperinflation: economists…

“Syria is in an extreme state of stagflation… Based on the soaring commodity prices in Syria today, the current type of inflation is an extreme case of stagflation (recession-inflation), one of the worst economic conditions a country can reach, according to economic researcher Zaki Mahshi.”

https://english.enabbaladi.net/archives/2022/09/syria-on-the-cusp-of-hyperinflation-economists/


Return of fuel crisis to Sanaa [Yemen] threatens efforts of extending the truce.

“The Yemen Petroleum Company in Sanaa activated September 4 “an emergency system” as a need to manage the remaining fuel stock after the Saudi coalition prevented the entry of fuel ships into Hodeidah port since August 2.”

https://english.almayadeen.net/articles/feature/return-of-fuel-crisis-to-sanaa-threatens-efforts-of-extendin


Brace for Fuel Shortages – Kenya Pipeline Warns Motorists.

“Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC) in a letter addressed to Petroleum principal secretary Andrew Kamau, has warned of a looming fuel shortage. KPC’s Managing Director Macharia Irungu attributed the impending crisis to the government’s failure to remit funds appropriated for fuel subsidies.”

https://www.kenyans.co.ke/news/79424-brace-fuel-shortages-kenya-pipeline-warns-motorists


In Venezuelan oil town, solar-powered car offers escape from fuel lines.

“In Maracaibo, the once wealthy Venezuelan oil city, two innovators are trying to push a new trend: small electric and solar-powered cars that offer an alternative for people fed up with regular fuel shortages and long lines as the gas station.”

https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/venezuelan-oil-town-solar-powered-car-offers-escape-fuel-lines-2022-09-08/


Clashes erupt during new round of student protests in Chile’s capital.

“Chanting “a dignified education” and “there’s money for the pakos (police) but not for education,” nearly 1,000 youth set off from the Los Heroes metro station with the intention of reaching the Education Ministry. Their path was blocked, however, by a heavy police presence.”

https://www.laprensalatina.com/clashes-erupt-during-new-round-of-student-protests-in-chiles-capital/


How Food and Energy are Driving the Global Inflation Surge…

“With rising prices continuing to squeeze living standards worldwide, taming inflation should be the priority for policymakers. Tighter monetary policy will inevitably have real economic costs, but these will only be exacerbated by delaying corrective action. As a recent Chart of the Week shows, central banks have dramatically pivoted this year toward tighter policy globally.”

https://blogs.imf.org/2022/09/09/how-food-and-energy-are-driving-the-global-inflation-surge/


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

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

8th September 2022 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

Global economy slides into contraction, price pressures ease to 1½ year low.

“Global economic output contracted in August for the first time since June 2020, according to the latest PMI survey data. Although only modest, the downturn reflects an increasingly broad-based deterioration of output and demand conditions both by sector and region

“…central banks are hiking interest rates into an economic downturn which, while bearing fruit in terms of helping lower inflation, is adding to the risk of a deepening global contraction and possible recession.”

https://ihsmarkit.com/research-analysis/global-economy-slides-into-contraction-price-pressures-ease-to-1-year-low-August22.html


Shipping rates are still falling, in another sign that a global recession may be coming…

“Freight rates have continued to fall as global trade volumes slow as a result of shrinking demand for goods, the latest data from S&P Global Market Intelligence showed.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/08/shipping-rates-are-still-falling-in-another-sign-that-a-global-recession-may-be-coming.html


Alarm Bell Sounds on Treasury Market Trading Conditions.

“Analysts at Bank of America are worried about the state of the U.S. Treasury market. “In our view, declining liquidity and resiliency of the Treasury market arguably poses one of the greatest threats to global financial stability today, potentially worse than the housing bubble of 2004-2007,” they wrote in a report Wednesday.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/alarm-bell-sounds-on-treasury-market-trading-conditions-11662578202


More Americans tapping buy now, pay later services for groceries ‘shows the height of personal desperation,’ Harvard researcher says…

““The fact that there’s a large number of Americans that simply can’t afford to buy food highlights the desperation that this economic climate creates,” said Marshall Lux, a fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/07/harvard-fellow-using-bnpl-for-food-shows-personal-desperation.html


Canadians are turning to credit cards for financial stress relief — and debt is on the rise.

“As high inflation rates drive up the cost of essentials, consumers are putting purchases small and large on their credit cards to alleviate some immediate financial pressure. A Tuesday report by credit bureau Equifax Canada shows the practice is driving Canadians into debt as balances begin to outpace the ability to pay credit off.”

https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/rising-credit-card-debt-in-canada-1.6571516


The UK is preparing a huge energy bailout that could cost $172 billion.

“The United Kingdom’s new prime minister is reportedly preparing to commit as much as £150 billion ($172 billion) to shield households and businesses from soaring energy bills, increasing government borrowing at a time when investors are already on edge about the country’s finances.

https://edition.cnn.com/2022/09/07/energy/uk-energy-crisis-liz-truss/index.html


Major warning on [UK] economy as gilt yield curve turns upside down.

“A key warning sign of looming financial disaster was flashing red today as nervy investors bought heavily into long-term dated government debt. Yields on UK gilts have been moving higher for weeks, a sign that investors expect a higher rate of return for lending to the government.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/business/major-warning-on-uk-economy-as-gilt-yield-curve-turns-upside-down-b1023433.html


Welcome to Liz Truss’ Britain. Everyone’s going on strike…

“Across the country, rail workers, barristers, dockhands, bus drivers, garbage collectors, Amazon employees, and even journalists at the infamously anti-union Daily Express newspaper are walking out over stagnant wages in the face of soaring inflation…”

https://www.politico.eu/article/britain-strike-liz-truss-prime-minister/


Brits must NEVER face rocketing energy bills again, Liz Truss to pledge as she unveils energy revolution that will freeze bills at £2,500, launch a new dash for North Sea gas, and restart fracking

“‘Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine and weaponisation of the gas supply in Europe is causing global prices to rise – and this has only made clearer that we must boost our long-term energy security and supply.””

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11191181/Liz-Trusss-energy-revolution-Prime-Minister-freeze-bills-2-500-restart-fracking.html


You’ll ‘freeze,’ Putin warns West over energy sanctions.

“The European Union’s effort to slap a limit on the price of Russian pipeline gas drew a furious response from the Kremlin on Wednesday. “We will not supply anything at all if it is contrary to our interests,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “No gas, no oil, no coal, no fuel oil, nothing.”

https://www.politico.eu/article/commission-president-ursula-von-der-leyen-announced-five-immediate-moves-to-tame-eu-energy-prices/


Europe tops up gas stocks, but winter demand cuts essential…

“Inventories are likely to end the refill season at their third-highest level since 2011, enabling the region to cope with even a colder than normal winter. But the volume of stored gas will not be enough to ensure supply in the event pipeline deliveries from Russia are ended completely.

https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/europe-tops-up-gas-stocks-winter-demand-cuts-essential-kemp-2022-09-07/


Europe’s banks dim lights as they brace for winter blackout.

“Some of Europe’s biggest banks are preparing back-up generators and to dim the lights as they brace for potential power cuts and energy rationing that threaten the money system underpinning the region’s economy.”

https://www.reuters.com/business/finance/europes-banks-dim-lights-they-brace-winter-blackout-2022-09-07/


Europe’s Reaction to the Energy Crisis Is Turning into A ‘Ponzi Scheme’.

“The European Union is struggling to find effective ways to alleviate its ongoing energy crisis. Countries have already passed windfall taxes and energy subsidies to little avail. Some are warning that the bloc’s proposed solutions are comparable to a Ponzi Scheme.”

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Europes-Reaction-To-The-Energy-Crisis-Is-Turning-Into-A-Ponzi-Scheme.html


Energy Trading Stressed by Margin Calls of $1.5 Trillion.

“Aside from fanning inflation, the biggest energy crisis in decades is sucking up capital to guarantee trades amid wild price swings. That’s pushing European Union officials to intervene to prevent energy markets from stalling, while governments across the region are stepping in to backstop struggling utilities. Finland has warned of a “Lehman Brothers” moment, with power companies facing sudden cash shortages.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-06/energy-trade-risks-collapsing-over-margin-calls-of-1-5-trillion


Germany’s Energy Crisis Deepens as Local Utilities Cry for Help.

“Germany’s fears that soaring power and gas prices could trigger a deeper crisis is starting to get real. Several hundred local utilities are coming under strain and need support, according to the head of Germany’s largest energy lobby group.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-06/germany-s-energy-crisis-deepens-as-local-utilities-cry-for-help#xj4y7vzkg


No tulips from Amsterdam? Gas crisis hits Dutch greenhouses.

“Greenhouse owner Pieter Wijnen would like to focus on growing vegetables, but since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, his life has revolved around gas and electricity prices rather than his red and yellow bell peppers or mini cucumbers.”

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/no-tulips-amsterdam-gas-crisis-hits-dutch-greenhouses-2022-09-07/


Some farmers in Europe are shutting operations and reducing production because of the energy crunch, adding to the global food crisis.

“Nordic Greens Trelleborg, a top Swedish tomato producer, said it will not be planting a winter crop this year because it would be running at a loss given current electricity prices, Swedish newspaper Afton Bladet reported on Sunday.”

https://www.businessinsider.com/food-energy-gas-crisis-europe-farmers-shut-operations-reduce-production-2022-9


Polish Households Face Energy Poverty as Gas Prices and Inflation Bite…

“According to analysts, skyrocketing energy bills, which could leave many more struggling to heat their homes this winter, are still an “optimistic scenario” as the country might soon face fuel shortages and blackouts.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lidiakurasinska/2022/09/07/polish-households-face-energy-poverty-as-fuel-prices-and-inflation-bite/


Firewood prices, shortages spell cold winter for Europe’s poorest.

“High prices are seen across Europe but could hit central and eastern European harder, as many households in these countries, particularly in the lowest income brackets, rely on biomass for heating. ““Energy poverty is a major danger this year, and people are going to die.”

https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/news/firewood-prices-shortages-spell-cold-winter-for-europes-poorest/


Japanese Yen Plunge Worsens Despite Strongest Government Warnings Yet.

“The yen has slumped to a level that leaves it on track for its worst year on record, prompting the strongest warnings to date from senior Japanese government officials aimed at stemming the slide… Japan’s currency has slumped 20% this year, and fell past its previous worst annual drawdown in 1979.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-06/yen-set-for-worst-year-on-record-as-traders-eye-intervention


China’s Big Four banks feel property pinch from failing loans.

China’s biggest four banks have been hit by a more than 50 per cent increase in overdue loans from the property sector over the past year, as the real estate market’s liquidity crunch spills into the financial sector.”

https://www.ft.com/content/2f0eb985-ac20-4b09-8955-3be8925f1a12


China export growth slows sharply in August, as global demand weakens…

“The weakness in trade comes as global demand for Chinese products weakens with energy prices soaring and the United States facing the threat of recession. At the same time the domestic property sector — which accounts for about a quarter of the world’s number-two economy — continues to struggle with firms staggering under vast amounts of debt.”

https://english.alarabiya.net/business/economy/2022/09/07/China-export-growth-slows-sharply-in-August-as-global-demand-weakens


Emerging Markets debt crisis around the corner…

“The dollar’s rise has been turning the screws intolerable tight this year, up some 20% since the start of this year. And much of this debt is owed to International Financial Institutions (IFIs) that usually don’t accept haircuts when doing debt restructuring deals. Of distressed sovereigns, multilaterals hold more than 25% of the debt of Mozambique, Tunisia, Ecuador, Ukraine and Tajikistan, reports Oxford Economics.”

https://www.bne.eu/em-debt-crisis-around-the-corner-255795/?source=russia


Chile students disrupt metro with protests in wake of constitution defeat

“Chilean students protested in several subway stations in the capital on Wednesday, demanding reforms to the education system days after voters rejected a proposed constitution that had roots in student demonstrations three years ago.”

https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/chile-students-disrupt-metro-with-protests-wake-constitution-defeat-2022-09-07/


Thousands of people in Haiti’s capital and other major cities organized new protests on Wednesday to demand safer streets, more affordable goods and the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

“The occasional crack of gunfire mixed with the shouting and clapping of protesters as they marched through streets blocked by rocks, trucks and burning tires.”

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/thousands-haiti-demand-ouster-pm-protest-89473620


Tunisian shops and supermarkets are struggling with massive shortages of basic food supplies such as cooking oil, sugar, coffee and bottled water.

“Most of the goods running short are state-subsidised, which analysts say highlights the growing dysfunction in the state-administered purchasing and distribution of food. They also say there is a growing black market in subsidised goods.”

https://www.thenationalnews.com/mena/2022/09/06/tunisia-hit-by-subsidised-food-shortages/


Power Cuts Resume in South Africa After Three-Week Respite.

“South Africa announced its first rolling blackouts in almost three weeks on Tuesday, hours after the nation’s statistics office published data that showed the economy contracted in the second quarter when was hit by record power outages.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-06/power-cuts-resume-in-south-africa-after-three-week-respite


Malawi Seeks to Raise $50 Million as Fuel Crisis Deepens.

“Fuel shortages, which have plagued the southern African nation since April and dragged on the economy, have worsened in recent days, with motorists across the country sleeping at pump stations and forming long queues to refill.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-07/malawi-seeks-to-raise-50-million-as-fuel-crisis-deepens


No kerosene, no food, say Sri Lanka’s fishermen.

“Fuel shortages and runaway inflation mean they are struggling to procure kerosene oil, needed to power the boats that provide their livelihood. “Everything’s difficult at the moment – there’s no kerosene, there’s no food at home,” said 73-year-old Soosaipillai Nicholas, nicknamed Sornam.”

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/asia/sri-lanka-fishermen-kerosene-inflation-fuel-shortages-2924406


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

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

6th September 2022 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

Russia will not resume gas supplies to Europe until sanctions lifted, says Moscow…

“Speaking to journalists on Monday, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesperson, blamed sanctions “introduced against our country by western countries including Germany and the UK” for Russia’s failure to deliver gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/05/russia-will-not-resume-gas-supplies-to-europe-until-sanctions-lifted-says-moscow


Gas prices surged on Monday and the pound and euro slumped after Russia shut down a big pipeline indefinitely…

“The threatened cuts to supplies of gas from Russia have prompted a scramble by European countries to store as much gas as possible before winter, as well as efforts to find alternative supplies.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/sep/05/gas-prices-pound-euro-fall-russia-nord-stream-pipeline


Europe heading for recession as cost of living crisis deepens.

“The euro zone is almost certainly entering a recession, with surveys on Monday showing a deepening cost of living crisis and a gloomy outlook that is keeping consumers wary of spending… the ECB faces the prospect of raising interest rates aggressively just as the economy enters a downturn.

https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/europe-heading-recession-cost-living-crisis-deepens-2022-09-05/


Big rate hike won’t save euro as energy shock deepens.

“The hit to the euro zone economy and its currency from a deepening energy crisis is so severe that more aggressive monetary tightening from the European Central Bank will do little to stop the euro’s slide. The euro on Monday fell below $0.99 for the first time since late 2002…”

https://www.euronews.com/next/2022/09/06/eurozone-markets-euro


Metal Plants Feeding Europe’s Factories Face an Existential Crisis.

“In the aluminum industry, closing a smelter is an agonizing decision. Once power is cut and the production “pots” settle back to room temperature, it can take many months and tens of millions of dollars to bring them back online. Yet Norsk Hydro ASA is preparing this month to do exactly that at a huge plant in Slovakia. And it’s not the only one…”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-04/energy-crisis-europe-s-aluminum-smelters-are-struggling-to-survive


Europe’s Energy Crunch Squeezes World’s Largest Particle Collider…

“CERN is also considering how it could idle the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest accelerator, if necessary, said Serge Claudet, chair of the center’s energy management panel. “Our concern is really grid stability, because we do all we can to prevent a blackout in our region,” Mr. Claudet said.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/europes-energy-crunch-squeezes-worlds-largest-particle-collider-11662294416


EU seeks sweeping powers over business for use in crises.

Brussels is proposing wide-ranging powers to require businesses to stockpile supplies and break delivery contracts in order to shore up supply chains in the event of a crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic. Draft legislation seen by the Financial Times would give the European Commission considerable leeway to declare an emergency…”

https://www.ft.com/content/984aa02b-31e2-4622-91d0-dd0776482ca8


European power producers call for collateral change to avert ‘Lehman’ moment… Kristian Ruby, secretary general of Eurelectric, which represents more than 3,500 European utilities, said the ballooning sums that power producers were required to post as collateral because of extreme price volatility in wholesale energy markets was of “grave concern”.”

https://www.ft.com/content/3ef49eed-6698-49f5-aac1-12854d84f897


Sweden, Finland step in to avert Lehman-like situation for power companies…

“Finland is aiming to offer 10 billion euros ($9.95 billion) and Sweden plans to offer 250 billion Swedish crowns ($23.2 billion) in liquidity guarantees. “This has had the ingredients for a kind of a Lehman Brothers of energy industry,” Finnish Economic Affairs Minister Mika Lintila said on Sunday.”

https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/sweden-offer-23-bln-liquidity-guarantees-energy-firms-2022-09-04/


Denmark’s supermarkets go dark in protest against sky-high energy costs.

“Hundreds of Coop Denmark’s Dagli’Brugsen supermarkets across the country switched off lights on Monday to protest rising energy prices, said a press release from the company. Starting at noon, approximately 300 shops participated in the protest… The move also involved disconnecting and removing from the stores over 2,000 coolers.”

https://english.news.cn/20220906/6605e9bfe46f41ff9edae9b18f05318c/c.html


Thousands protest in Hungary in solidarity with teachers demanding higher salaries.

“According to the teacher’s union PSZ, young teachers are living off a monthly salary of around €500 after taxes. And the amount is becoming harder to survive on as inflation reaches 14 percent in the country… The country’s unions also announced that they are organizing a national strike.”

https://www.euronews.com/2022/09/04/thousands-protest-in-hungary-in-solidarity-with-teachers-demanding-higher-salaries


The Czech Republic is facing an autumn of discontent after an estimated 70,000 demonstrators gathered in Prague to protest at soaring energy bills and demand an end to sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine.

“Far-right and extreme-left elements coalesced at a “Czech Republic First” rally to call for a new agreement with Moscow over gas supplies and a halt to the sending of arms to Ukraine…”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/04/czech-republic-prague-protest-sanctions-energy-crisis-gas-russia


Germans revive Cold War Monday demonstrations amid inflation.

“Protesters from Germany’s left and the right have called for regular Monday protests against the rising cost of living. These evoke the peaceful revolution in East Germany but also of recent anti-immigrant rallies.”

https://www.dw.com/en/germans-revive-cold-war-monday-demonstrations-amid-inflation/a-63025218


UK Police forces are braced for a rise in crime, a breakdown in public order and even corruption in their ranks this winter as they draw up emergency proposals to deal with the cost of living crisis.

“Contingency planning among police chiefs is under way to deal with the fallout that could result from millions of households falling into financial difficulties.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/police-fear-hard-winter-surging-crime-civil-unrest-cg56xmrkz


This Morning [UK daytime talk/news show] criticised as ‘dystopian’ for offering viewers the chance to have their energy bills paid…

“One caller who took part in the segment said he was extremely “worried” about the cost of energy bills, saying: “I’ve got one of these prepayment meters and it’s absolutely murder.” After the wheel landed on energy bills, the viewer replied: “Oh my God, fantastic, what a relief, thank you very much”.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/this-morning-energy-bills-itv-phillip-schofield-holly-willoughby-b1023250.html


British Pound Falls to Lowest Level Since 1985 as U.K. Economic Pain Mounts.

“The British pound slid to its lowest level against the U.S. dollar since 1985, a reflection of the U.K. economy’s dire economic situation. Investors are braced for sterling to weaken even further to a nadir not seen in more than two centuries of trading across the Atlantic.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/british-pound-falls-to-lowest-level-since-1985-as-u-k-economic-pain-mounts-11662327439


UK at risk of Emerging-Markets-style ‘sudden stop’…

“”With the current account at risk of posting an almost 10% deficit, a sudden stop is no longer a negligible tail risk. The UK is increasingly at risk of no longer attracting enough foreign capital to fund the external balance. If so, sterling would need to depreciate materially to close the gap in the external accounts. In other words, a currency crisis typically seen in EM.””

https://www.ft.com/content/0309f777-2101-4eea-9e59-97840fc3189b


China policymakers see renewed urgency for economic support.

“Chinese policymakers signalled a renewed sense of urgency on Monday for steps to shore up the flagging economy, saying this quarter was a critical time for policy action as evidence points to a further loss of economic momentum.”

https://www.reuters.com/world/china/china-vows-more-policy-support-covid-ravaged-economy-2022-09-05/


Asia Coal Price Hits Record as Global Hunt for Fuel Escalates.

“Thermal coal in Asia advanced to a record as a threat of supply disruptions adds new risks to a global energy sector already engulfed in crisis. Spot physical coal loaded at Australia’s Newcastle port was priced at $436.71 a ton on Friday, an all-time high…”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-06/asia-coal-price-hits-record-as-global-hunt-for-fuel-escalates#xj4y7vzkg


Thousands Protest Indonesia’s Fuel Price Hike in Test For Jokowi.

“Thousands of people protested across Indonesia with crowds converging in the capital to pressure the government to reverse a decision that raised fuel prices by more than 30% in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-06/thousands-protest-indonesia-s-fuel-price-hike-in-test-for-jokowi#xj4y7vzkg


Protests in India over rising food and fuel bills, as unemployment soars.

“Thousands have rallied under opposition leader Rahul Gandhi at a demonstration on Sunday in New Delhi, where he has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of allowing food and fuel prices to rocket by up to 175%.”

https://news.sky.com/story/protests-in-india-over-rising-food-and-fuel-bills-as-unemployment-soars-12689781


Skyrocketing prices of tomatoes, potatoes and onions are putting food out of reach in flood-ravaged Pakistan and raising the specter of inflation hitting 30%…

“The South Asian nation already reeling from dwindling currency reserves and the fastest inflation in almost five decades faces a food shortage after torrential rains submerged a third of the country and destroyed crops.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-05/500-jump-in-onion-costs-to-worsen-pakistan-s-inflation#xj4y7vzkg


Turkish inflation tops 80% for first time in 24 years…

“The consumer price index increased at an annual rate of 80.2 per cent last month, according to data published by the government statistics agency — the highest level since President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took power almost two decades ago.”

https://www.ft.com/content/0d217384-7815-44b1-9b3e-d45236342f9f


The Cuban peso is at its weakest against the US dollar since the 1990s, a currency tracker said Sunday, as the communist island struggles through its worst economic crisis since the fall of the Soviet bloc

“Cuba is undergoing its worst economic crisis since the 1990s, with food and medicine shortages and daily blackouts.”

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220904-cuban-peso-at-weakest-in-decades-as-economic-crisis-persists


OPEC and allied oil-producing countries, including Russia, made a small trim in their supplies to the global economy Monday, underlining their unhappiness as recession fears help drive down crude prices

“The amount of oil per day “may seem negligible, but the message from today’s cut is clear: OPEC+ thinks [prices have] fallen enough,” Columbia University energy policy expert Jason Bordoff tweeted.”

https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-covid-health-economy-prices-89c2cf3eeecb02e9d01c3ed01e7d7506


Industrial metal prices melt as global recession fears flare up. A brief summer rally in industrial metals prices has sharply reversed as the worsening energy crisis in Europe and signs of a slowdown in manufacturing behemoth China spook traders…

“This is all about recession and recession fear,” said Clive Burstow, head of natural resources at Barings, an investment management firm. “The fear is we are in an energy crisis driving us to a recession.”

https://www.ft.com/content/d204f3f0-f03e-4c9d-846a-eca425fb48e4


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

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