Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.

11th October 2023 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

Very shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden death of Michael Dowd of Post Doom. He was a stalwart supporter of this site, an effervescent character and extremely well informed. It was a pleasure and a privilege to have known him just a little. RIP Michael.

“IMF says global economy ‘limping along,’ cuts growth forecast for China, euro area.

“The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut its growth forecasts for China and the euro area and said overall global growth remained low and uneven despite what it called the “remarkable strength” of the U.S. economy…

“IMF chief economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas told reporters… said the forecasts generally pointed to a soft landing, but the IMF remained concerned about risks related to the real estate crisis in China, volatile commodity prices, geopolitical fragmentation, and a resurgence in inflation.”


“The world is hurtling towards another financial crisis, and the IMF is in denial.

“With war in the Middle East looming, energy prices once more spiking, and governments seemingly drowning in debt, the impression of all-embracing perma-crisis grows by the day. Yet at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) annual meeting… there is an almost surreal air of calm verging on outright complacency.”


“War in Israel, oil shocks, and roaring inflation, Deutsche Bank sees ‘a striking number of parallels’ with the 1970s…

“Allen’s main fear is that we could see a repeat of this type of persistent inflation during the 2020s. He pointed to a number of reasons why he’s so concerned on Monday, from the threat of another oil price shock to growing “industrial unrest” from workers that can be seen in union strikes.”


“Senator Lindsay Graham, a notable hawk in foreign policy, has called for bombing Iranian refineries in retaliation for the country’s supposed involvement in the Hamas attack on Israel this weekend.

“Speaking to the media on Monday, Graham said that if there was another attack by groups affiliated with Iran, the United States should “destroy Iran’s oil infrastructure”.”


“US bond market bomb could blow up the world economy…

“Joe Biden keeps spending while Jay Powell is raising interest rates to tame inflation… [unlike the UK gilts crisis last year] The US economy is big enough to blow up the world economy. President Joe Biden is spending up big on green projects… Unfortunately, that is blowing out the US budget deficit, which is expected to rise to more than 6 per cent of output next year.”


“Housing industry urges Powell to stop raising interest rates or risk an economic hard landing.

“Top real estate and banking officials are calling on the Federal Reserve to stop raising interest rates as the industry suffers through surging housing costs and a “historic shortage” of available homes for sale.”


“Almost half of US listed firms have negative profit margins.

“They have been able to survive in artificially low interest rates and ample liquidity environment. Things have changed though.”


“Mack Trucks workers go on strike as labor unrest drags on at Detroit automakers.

“More auto workers are on strike after union members rejected a tentative five-year contract with Mack Trucks. They now join fellow United Auto Workers members who have been striking against General Motors, Ford and Stellantis since the middle of September.”


“South Carolina nuclear plant gets warning over another cracked emergency fuel pipe.

“Small cracks have been found a half-dozen times in the past 20 years in pipes that carry fuel to emergency generators that provide cooling water for a reactor if electricity fails at the V.C. Summer plant near Columbia…”


“Union workers are set to go on strike at Chevron’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in Australia next Thursday, in renewed action that could disrupt about 7% of global LNG supply.

“Chevron (CVX) confirmed that it had received notice of industrial action scheduled to start on October 19 that would involve work stoppages and partial work bans.”


“Israel shuts down major offshore gas field amid violence.

“Chevron was instructed to suspend production Oct. 9 at the Tamar gas field off its southern coast and will seek alternative fuel sources to meet its needs, following three days of violence in the region.”


“Gas prices surged after Russia was suspected of sabotaging an undersea gas pipeline between Finland and Estonia [this is the Finnish government’s speculation; I am just reporting it].

“On Tuesday, Sauli Niinistö, the president of Findland, said that the 48 mile-long Balticconnector link between the two Nato allies has been extensively damaged by “external activity”.”


“Hundreds of thousands of [UK] households struggling with energy bills, industry chiefs warn.

“E.On and EDF revealed a recent spike in the number of customers unable to pay, as they called for Government support before bills rise further over winter. Philippe Commaret, EDF’s managing director for customers, said he has seen an increase of 100,000 in the number of struggling households. “That’s pretty stark,” he said.”


“As the cost of living increases amid an unstable economy, people are panicking about their finances. It’s taking a toll on mental health and quality of life for billions across the globe.

“…more and more people are starting to panic about their money. Financial anxiety has set in for billions of people – including some who haven’t felt the acute pressure before.”


“Bank of England flags concerns over longer mortgages and rise in credit card use.

“Consumers are taking longer mortgages and spending more on credit cards in an attempt to adapt to higher interest rates and living costs, potentially storing up debt troubles in future, the Bank of England has said.”


“Loans by Italian banks to businesses in August posted the biggest drop on record, data showed on Tuesday, as the European Central Bank’s policy of tightening bites.

“A string of hikes by the ECB, whose key rate stands at a record high of 4% since last month, make it much more expensive for firms to borrow.”


“Bank of Japan’s interest rate-rising dilemma.

“After having maintained near-zero interest rates for decades, the Japanese central bank may be forced to hike rates if inflation remains persistently high. But Japan’s enormous government debt and vulnerable banking sector mean that doing so could trigger a systemic financial crisis.”


“China’s Country Garden warns it could default on debt…

“In a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange the company said that it “expects that it will not be able to meet all of its offshore payment obligations when due or within the relevant grace periods, including but not limited to those under the US dollar notes issued by the company”.”


“Argentina’s peso has tumbled against the dollar as voters and markets brace for a possible victory by Javier Milei, a radical rightwing economist who wants to dollarise the economy, in elections on October 22…

“The gap between the official and unofficial rates has widened to 165 per cent, the largest on record.”


“Guatemala’s Arevalo says government using violence to counter protests, warns possible state of siege…

“Ongoing protests entered their eighth straight day on Monday, with Guatemalans taking to the streets to demand the resignation of authorities from the attorney general’s office, which has faced international accusations of trying to undermine Arevalo’s landslide electoral victory in August.”


“Bulgaria’s miners, energy workers plan national protest.

“Miners and energy sector workers have been blocking key roads in Bulgaria for eleven days in a row… By the end of 2038, Bulgaria has pledged to close the coal industry under its recovery and resilience plan… These plans envisage the smooth transition of regions where coal industry is located towards green energy production.”


“Coal industry faces 1 million job losses from global energy transition – research.

“The global coal industry may have to shed nearly 1 million jobs by 2050, even without any further pledges to phase out fossil fuels, with China and India facing the biggest losses, research showed on Tuesday. Hundreds of labour-intensive mines are expected to close…”


“We are not in an energy transition. We are in an energy addition.

“Energy demand keeps going up, and only a small portion of that is being covered by the increases in renewable energy. 82% of the worlds energy still comes from fossil fuels. This is not simply a matter of building out renewables. That market logic is a failure.”


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.

9th October 2023 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“World can’t ‘unplug’ existing energy system: says COP28 head, Sultan Al Jaber…

“The president of the upcoming COP28 climate talks in Dubai called on Sunday for governments to abandon “fantasies” such as hastily ditching existing energy infrastructure in pursuit of climate goals. Much of international climate diplomacy revolves around the thorny issue of how and when to quit fossil fuels.


“Central Banks Are [unintentionally] Waging War On Renewables.

“Central banks have rapidly hiked interest rates, and it’s the renewable sector that is the most impacted. Multiple renewable companies, including Brookfield Renewable Corp, Algonquin Power, and NextEra Energy NEE, are witnessing their stocks hit 52-week lows in the last few weeks.”


“The world’s largest copper producers have warned that there is a lack of mines under development to deliver enough of the metal to keep pace with the clean energy transition.

“The warning comes as miners struggle with falling metal prices because of the weakness of the global economy and cost inflation…”


“Uranium prices hit post-Fukushima high on nuclear power revival.

“Uranium prices have climbed roughly 50% so far this year to a 12-year high as growing concerns over energy security spurs countries to look again at nuclear energy, an option that had been shunned since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns.”


“Saudi Arabia Willing to Raise Oil Output to Help Secure Israel Deal [this article just pre-dates events in Israel/Gaza and the deal is likely off the table].

“Saudi Arabia has told the White House it would be willing to boost oil production early next year if crude prices are high—a move aimed at winning goodwill in Congress for a deal in which the kingdom would recognize Israel and in return get a defense pact with Washington…”


“Oil jumps as Middle East strife shakes markets.

“Asian action has been dominated by news from Israel, with the usual safe-haven suspects getting a bid. With one war already raging in Europe, a new conflict in the Middle East was bound to rattle the markets. Oil led the charge with gains of as much as 5% for Brent and U.S. crude…”


“Safe-haven gold soars as investors bolt for safety from Middle East clashes.

“Gold prices climbed more than 1% on Monday as dramatic clashes between Israeli and Hamas forces over the weekend raised the risk of a wider Middle East conflict and spurred a rush to safe haven investments like bullion.”


“Bond turmoil: four risks to global markets. Investors have woken up to the fact that super-low interest rates are over. Now for the reckoning…

“Jim Reid, strategist at Deutsche Bank, said: “I struggle to see how the recent yield moves don’t increase the risk of an accident somewhere in the system.”


“Who feels the pain from the bond sell-off?

““We are watching this . . . very carefully to see if something breaks,” said Salman Ahmed, global head of macro at Fidelity International… Paper losses on the most opaque part of US banks’ bond portfolios are now close to $400bn — an all-time high, and 10 per cent above the peak at the start of the year that caused the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank…”


“Alarm bells are ringing: What markets are trying to warn us about the economy… Economic data has been resilient, but financial markets don’t believe the numbers…

“The alarm bells are telling us that something is going to break somewhere in the financial system,” said Karl Schamotta, chief market strategist at Corpay, a foreign exchange service in Toronto.”


“Mixed messages behind the headlines of a blowout US jobs report…

“The report “says something about a lack of bargaining power on the part of American workers”, said David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan, who observed that the mixed composition of Friday’s data pointed to “strength without heat”.”


“US consumers cut back on credit cards as repayment charges hit record high…

“The fall in card spending comes as consumers’ finances are being strained by both higher interest rates and debt loads, particularly when it comes to borrowing on credit cards. This debt has been rising in the past year and recently topped $1tn for all Americans for the first time.”


“Oil Traders on Edge as US Gasoline Demand Shows Signs of Cracking.

“One of the oil market’s most controversial data points of recent years — a measure of how much gasoline Americans consume — is pointing to a crash in demand that’s alarming traders the world over… What happens in the US gasoline market has implications far beyond the fuel itself.”


“Sinister stagflation is coming – Bank of Canada will be ineffective in fighting it.

“… like a mutating virus, a new strain of stagflation may be back in the 2020s, and this time with even more punch and stronger resistance to the vaccine of higher interest rates. Three factors in 2024 will continue to spur prices higher – all to the chagrin of the Bank of Canada.”


“How a huge new LNG plant spells ‘dire’ trouble for whales off Canada’s coast.

“Collisions between large whales and even larger ships have been growing more common as marine traffic increases… Now, with the opening of a huge new liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal in 2025, transforming the deep fjords of northern British Columbia into a crowded marine highway, researchers are warning of a likely “dire” increase in whale deaths.”


“A Baltic Sea gas pipeline between Finland and Estonia is shut down over a suspected leak…

“If it turns out that the detected pressure drop is due to a leak that has caused damage to the pipeline, repair work could take “at least several months” depending on the nature of the damage, according to Gasgrid Finland.”


“Green Energy Casts a Shadow Over a Cherished English Landscape.

“Residents of East Anglia fear that planned power lines for offshore wind projects will blight their rural idyll… Ms. Banks supported efforts to tackle climate change, she said, but she questioned whether erecting a ribbon of steel towers through an area known for its quiet, rural beauty is the right solution.”


“Why Britain is on the verge of a cataclysmic financial crisis…

“If it came to pass, a market crash on the scale of 1987 would prove a cataclysmic political and economic event. It would send interest rates soaring, increasing costs for mortgage holders and for highly indebted companies, especially in the property sector. Business would fail and pension funds would be hard… the already-high cost of servicing national debts would climb even higher.”


“Italy’s central bank governor urges Giorgia Meloni to heed investors’ debt fears…

“Ignazio Visco, who steps down at the end of this month after 12 years leading the Bank of Italy, told the Financial Times that the recent surge in Rome’s borrowing costs showed investors were “insuring themselves” against a spiral of weak long-term growth prospects and high debt.”


“Europe’s money-printing spree risks ending in bailouts, analysts warn…

“BNP Paribas warned there was a growing risk that some of the bloc’s biggest economies “may have to be recapitalised” as the European Central Bank (ECB) continues to shrink its balance sheet… Authorities in both Germany and the Netherlands have already acknowledged that bailouts may be necessary as losses mount…”


“Distressed Debt Anxiety Is Spreading Across Emerging Markets.

“Rapidly rising Treasury yields have brought back to emerging markets fears of a potential wave of defaults, with investors questioning which countries struggling with heavy debt loads will miss payments or be forced to restructure first… 21 emerging-market nations have sovereign dollar debt trading near distressed levels…”


“Emerging economies face $220 billion in budget cuts amid debt crisis, Oxfam says.

“Some of the world’s poorest countries face budget cuts topping $220 billion over the coming five years due to a debt crisis that has pushed dozens to the brink of default, according to an Oxfam International report released on Monday.”


“‘I feel hopeless’: Living in Laos on the brink…

“The economic crisis has been caused by a rash programme of government borrowing used to finance Chinese-backed infrastructure projects which has begun to unravel. The crisis shows little sign of easing, with public debt spiralling to unsustainable levels, resulting in government budget cuts, sky-high inflation and record-breaking currency depreciation…”


“In Bangladesh, climate dangers menace ‘extremely vulnerable’ Rohingya refugee camps…

“This year also saw budget cuts that forced the UN World Food Programme to steeply reduce humanitarian aid to the Rohingya camps, with rations now US$8 per refugee monthly, down from US$12 at the start of the year. The refugees are not allowed to legally take up work, so most are completely at the mercy of these rations.”


“Angola police crack down on anti-government protests.

“The local interior ministry of the eastern Lunda Sul province said in a statement a group had “entered the public highway… creating obstacles for passers-by and causing security problems”. The protesters, also including children, were demonstrating against the government, high living costs, alleged state corruption and service delivery.”


“Mali crisis: Life in Timbuktu and Gao under siege by Islamist fighters.

“The blockades have come as fighting intensifies between the army, who are backed by Russian Wagner mercenaries, and both Islamist groups and ethnic Tuareg separatist fighters. For nearly two months, Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) has been trying to completely cut off the historic northern city of Timbuktu…”


“Conflicts, protests, election woes stifle Africa growth.

“The multiple coups, conflicts, and protests witnessed in several countries across Africa in the recent past have stifled the continent’s economic growth… the decade to 2025 could be a lost one for Africa as no growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita has been recorded since 2015.”


“Sudan war spreading as death toll tops 9,000…

“The fighting has displaced almost 4.3 million people within Sudan and around 1.2 million more who have fled across borders. In recent weeks, the violence has also moved further south, threatening the fragile safety of more than 366,000 people who have sought shelter in Al Jazira state just south of the capital.”


“Israel-Hamas war live news: Gaza under ‘non-stop bombardment’

“Israel says it struck more than 500 targets in the Gaza Strip, while fierce battles with Hamas fighters continue in several areas in southern Israel. The intense bombardment has so far displaced more than 120,000 people in the besieged Palestinian enclave.”


“Turkey says it ‘neutralised’ 58 Kurdish militants in northern Syria…

“Turkey this week said all targets belonging to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militia and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia were “legitimate targets” for its forces, after the PKK claimed responsibility for Sunday’s bombing in Ankara which wounded two police officers and killed the two attackers.”


“In Nagorno-Karabakh We Just Saw What the World Is About to Become…

“…despite appearances, the conflict is not a Samuel Huntington-style clash of civilizations. Instead, in its emboldening of traditional regional powers like Turkey, scrambling for geopolitical spoils after the retreat of superpowers, it’s a harbinger of the coming world disorder.”


“Fragmenting global economy a real and present danger.

“At a time of increasing and interconnected crises, leading economists are warning that trade fragmentation threatens to further undermine growth prospects. Sadly, they are whistling in the wind as powerful countries continue to dig deeper protectionist trenches.”


“IMF clings to a hopeful agenda as crisis follows crisis.

“At the fund’s annual meeting this week in Morocco, ambitions for climate and debt relief may be overwhelmed by events – again… The list of possible flashpoints is long: a recession as the sharp increase in interest rates over the past two years bites; a financial crash as investor confidence is punctured; a developing-country debt crisis; a catastrophic climate event; an escalation of the war.”


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 October 2023 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“WTO slashes growth forecast for global goods trade by more than 50%.

“The 164-member trade body slashed its estimate from April that predicted the global trade in goods would grow by 1.7% in 2023, saying it needed to be scaled back to 0.8%.

“Persistent inflation had kept interest rates higher for longer than expected in most trading nations, the WTO said, while a strained Chinese property market and the war in Ukraine also cast a shadow over its outlook.”


“In 2023, there will be a global recession, like that in 2009. And it may continue in 2024 as well. As per the UN’s latest Trade and Development Report 2023, the world economy growth is projected to be 2.4 per cent.

“The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) — that brought out this annual report — has termed this growth as “stalled speed”. A global recession is defined as when the growth rate hits 2.5 per cent and below.”


“Swiss Re warns insurers over severe global recession or stagflation threat.

“The risk of a severe global recession or 1970s-style stagflation remain “elevated”, and both could present challenges to (re)insurers, according to Swiss Re.”


“Oil Falls Most in a Year as Economic Storm Clouds Imperil Demand.

“Oil plunged the most in more than a year as early signals that demand is flagging exacerbated markets’ unease over the prospect of a punishing stretch of high interest rates.”


“The supply-side management of the oil market from OPEC+ in recent months could lead to demand destruction as fragile economies may not be able to bear with high oil prices much longer, Hardeep Singh Puri, the oil minister of the world’s third-largest crude oil importer, India, has told Argus in an interview.

“It is the right of the OPEC+ producers to decide how much oil they would pump, but they should not be “unmindful of the consequences,” the minister said.”


“Diesel Prices Could Keep Inflation High…

“Businesses facing higher fuel costs are more likely to raise prices on groceries, consumer goods and other things. That, in turn, could force the Federal Reserve and other central banks to raise interest rates or keep them high for longer.”


“Central banks ‘risk global recession unless they relax 2% inflation targets’.

Economic arm of UN says pro-growth stance needed, with interest rate rises increasing inequality… “At this moment, pushing down on the fiscal brakes and keeping interest rates high is the wrong policy combination for steadying the global economy.””


“Biden’s borrowing binge sinks bonds as US debt spirals out of control.

“…Biden’s fiscal largesse is catching up with him. American bond markets are in turmoil as traders refocus attention on the scale of US borrowing and debt amid a 156 per cent jump in the federal deficit over the last year.”


“US corporate bond spreads widen as hopes dim for soft landing…

“”If rates continue to move higher or simply remain at these elevated levels for a significant period of time, it is going to have a pronounced effect on the credit worthiness of corporate borrowers, particularly in the high yield space,” Krieter noted.”


“The US may no longer avoid a recession.

“An intense period of rising interest rates, high oil prices and a stronger dollar is pushing the financial market consensus on US economic growth away from the comforting notion of a soft landing.”


“Why the Fed will again have to slash rates to zero and relaunch QE.

“A very slow-burning fuse has finally, and suddenly, reached the powder keg… Investors have belatedly, and suddenly, woken up to the shocking implications of a structural budget deficit heading for 8pc of GDP even before any trouble starts.”


“A new financial crisis is upon us – and our political class can no longer lie…

“…governments are about to face a terrible fiscal reckoning. It is becoming much more expensive for states to borrow, threatening to trigger another financial crisis, and in time to force many countries to slash their spending.”


“Shares of Britain’s Metro Bank were briefly suspended from trading twice early Thursday, in a volatile session that saw the stock shed more than 29% from the Wednesday close…

“The halts followed reports that the bank was trying to raise £600 million ($727 million) in debt and equity, according to Reuters.”


“The Bank of England has criticised UK banks for failing to heed its warnings and take action across their businesses to address the flaws in risk management systems exposed by the Archegos hedge fund scandal…

“It also comes as regulators across the world warn about the heightened risks to markets as economies continue to adjust to an era of raised interest rates.”


“Eurozone, Going Headlong Into Stagflation.

“Central banks have gone from sustaining aggregate demand by all means (huge injections of liquidity, even at negative rates) to strangling it, to suffocating it by raising interest rates and draining funds which, also at any price, are now seeking to reduce inflation.”


“Euro$ Collateral System is flashing red alarms, and it’s time to pay attention.

“Japanese govt bills are the epicenter, but this issue runs deeper. Brace yourself, because the global collateral system, which is vital for the financial world, is sputtering. Collateral isn’t just about USTs;; it’s about a complex web of interconnected components.”


“‘Europe isn’t profitable’ – Solar industry warns of hurdles to EU’s green tech drive.

“Europe’s bid to expand its green tech industry faces a host of challenges, including high energy costs and supply chain issues, solar industry representatives gathered in Madrid warned on Thursday.”


“Germany extends emergency coal capacity for another winter…

“The emergency measure decided last year will be extended for the coming winter, keeping some 1.9 GWs of lignite capacity at the ready – adding to Germany’s existing 45 GW of coal power plants, according to a decision announced on Wednesday (4 October) by the German government.”


“Gas supply disruptions continue to be a risk for Germany, the chief executive of the country’s biggest utility, RWE, told German publication WirtschaftsWoche in an interview published on Thursday.

““We don’t have any buffer in the gas system,” RWE’s chief executive officer Markus Krebber told WirtschaftsWoche, adding that Europe’s biggest economy must accelerate the construction of gas import infrastructure to avoid future shortages.”


“Germany is on the route to recession, economists have warned, after data revealed that its exports contracted more than feared over the summer.

“The volume of products sold abroad dropped by 1.2 per cent in August and 5.8 per cent annually, much worse than analysts’ forecasts, according to Destatis, the German statistics agency.”


“Evergrande, the ‘runaway’ developer that could become a wrecking ball for China’s economy…

“Since regulations were tightened in 2020, companies responsible for about 40% of Chinese home sales have defaulted, and another major firm, Country Garden, has also battled to avoid missing massive debt repayments, raising the prospect of the risk of contagion.”


“China’s Property Market Crisis Leaves Malaysian Megaproject in Doubt.

“The future of a $100 billion development on Malaysia’s coast is in doubt due to growing concerns over the financial stability of its largest backer, China’s Country Garden. The property giant has reported billions of dollars in losses — but insists that its showpiece Forest City project in Malaysia is safe.”


“Guatemala protests intensify, demanding prosecutor resignations.

“Tens of thousands of Guatemalans marched peacefully on Thursday for the fourth consecutive day, demanding the resignation of powerful senior prosecutors accused of working to undermine President-elect Bernardo Arevalo’s ability to take office.”


“Blackout Risk Pushes Brazil to Diesel as Amazon Drought Worsens.

“Two power plants that burn the fuel will enter in operation to guarantee enough electricity in Rondonia and Acre states during hours of peak demand, as recommended by country’s grid operator, known as ONS, in a statement late Wednesday. Earlier this week a major hydroelectric dam on the Madeira river was shut due to low water levels…”


“Health crisis in Lebanon is ‘catastrophic,’ head of parliamentary committee warns.

““Funds allocated for purchasing medications for cancer, (other) chronic diseases and kidney dialysis are nearly depleted,” Bilal Abdullah, the head of Lebanon’s Parliamentary Health Committee said on Thursday as he warned that the health situation in the country “is catastrophic.””


“Pakistan has ordered all unauthorised Afghan asylum seekers – an estimated 1.7 million people – to leave the country by November.

“A spike in attacks along the two countries’ border, which Islamabad blames on Afghanistan-based operatives, has escalated tensions this year. It has also fuelled resentment in Islamabad, which on Tuesday announced a crackdown on “illegal” migrants.”


“The looming data centre crunch…

“Vast arrays of servers are stored in rows of energy-intensive “racks” that produce incredible amounts of heat. This heat requires specialised cooling systems to regulate. A data centre needs to be kept between 18 to 27 degrees Celsius in order to stop the hardware deteriorating.”


“Achieving net zero will not solve all our climate problems…

“What is required from politicians worldwide is a realisation that we as a world are heading for disaster and that immediate action is required to REDUCE global temperatures. Reassuring the Titanic passengers by having the orchestra playing is not enough.”


“The convergence: climate and economy become one [a very flattering piece by Ben Shread-Hewitt]…

“Climate & Economy.com is a punchy roundup of news. Focusing each alternate day on one of its titular subjects (excluding Sundays), the blog is a vital resource for anyone studying either sector… Given the breakneck speed of climate and economic turbidity, this rapid-fire platform is just about the only way to stay up to date with the headline news on both.”


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.

4th October 2023 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“Bloodbath: Fear is rising that markets are about to break something.

“The continuing sell-off in the US bond market, where yields are hitting levels not seen since 2007, is steadily increasing the risk that something within the financial system will break.

“The yields on two-year US Treasury notes were already at 16-year highs. Overnight, yields on 10 and 30-year bonds joined them, with the benchmark 10-year bond yield reaching 4.8 per cent. It was last at that level in August 2007.”


“Global stocks sink as US bond yields hit 2007 levels…

“The surge in US government borrowing costs weighed down on stock markets across the world. In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 430 points or 1.3pc to close at 33,002.38, its biggest one-day decline since March… Equity markets also tumbled across Europe.”


“The giant asset price crash that nobody is talking about… Away from the limelight, a silent financial crisis is brewing…

“…how about this for an asset price crash: when issued less than two years ago, the March 2073 Index-Linked Gilt was priced at around £330 per unit of stock; the current price is just £62, or less than a fifth of its value when initially sold.”


“Global M&As slow as central banks tighten monetary policy.

“The total value of mergers and acquisitions worldwide fell 24% on the year to $1.19 trillion during the April to September period, marking the second straight year of declines, according to Refinitiv data compiled by Nikkei. The sharp fall highlights businesses’ reluctance to make expensive deals as interest rates rise and uncertainty grows…”


“Total US debt rises by $275 billion in ONE DAY to a record $33.44 trillion, according to Zerohedge.

“Exactly 2 weeks ago, total US debt hit $33 trillion for the first time ever. This means that the US has added $32 billion in debt per day for the last 2 weeks. At the current pace, the US will add $1 trillion of debt in a month. The debt ceiling “crisis” is far from over.”


“Opec warns of energy crunch due to US$12trn ‘underinvestment’…

“Al Ghais added that halting investment in the oil and gas sector would be a dangerous move. “Some have called for stopping investments in oil. We believe this is equally dangerous. It will lead to volatility in the future and possible supply shortages,” he told the BBC.”


“Saudi Arabia may raise the official selling price of its flagship Arab Light blend for Asian buyers for the fifth month in a row, Reuters has reported, citing strong demand for the commodity.

“The news outlet polled five respondents who said Riyadh could raise the price of the medium sour crude for November delivery by some $0.45 per barrel.”


“Russia declines to say how long fuel export ban will last.

“Russia is setting no time frame for the fuel export ban it introduced last month, and it will remain in place as long as necessary to stabilise prices and address shortages on the domestic market, Interfax cited Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak as saying.”


“US shale bosses vow to hold back drilling despite rising oil price.

“America’s shale pioneers have vowed to keep a lid on drilling even if oil hits $100 a barrel, citing a need to maintain capital discipline and what they claim is a “war” on fossil fuels waged by the Biden administration.”


“Renewable energy stocks have sold off sharply in recent months, significantly underperforming fossil fuel companies, as higher interest rates take a toll on the sector…

““There’s a dark cloud hanging over green stocks,” said Martin Frandsen, a portfolio manager at Principal Asset Management.”


“The renewables sector is crashing…

“Embracing lofty alternative energy goals was fine when states enjoyed unlimited funding at near-zero interest rates. In such an environment, why not placate single-issue voters with expensive promises? But this dynamic changes rapidly once capital is no longer free.”


“Climate change is expected to impose “substantial financial costs” on U.S. households in the coming years, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

“Between 2018 and 2022, weather and climate disasters cost more than $617 billion, it found — a record. Within the last year, 13% of Americans reported economic hardship due to severe weather events and disasters.”


“[UK] Factories continue sharpest fall in output in 15 years…

“A reduction in export demand caused by greater uncertainty over the health of the global economy weighed on Britain’s manufacturers. The PMI noted that lower spending in Europe, the United States, China and Brazil resulted in new orders for UK exports contracting for the twentieth month in a row.”


“Quantitative easing, the policy tool deployed across the Group of Seven to stimulate economies through the financial crisis and pandemic, is rapidly falling out of favor in Britain.

“…many are cooling rapidly on the merits of the tool as its cost to taxpayers and side effects become apparent. The result is likely to make it more difficult for the UK central bank to pull the QE lever in the same way again if the economy sours.”


“The interest the [UK] government pays on national debt has reached a 20-year high as the rate on 30-year bonds reaches 5.05%.

“A rise in the cost of borrowing comes at a difficult time for the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, as he prepares for the autumn statement on 22 November. Mr Hunt has already made clear that tax cuts will not be announced in November.”


“€3 trillion: Is France’s debt out of control?

“France’s debt went from €1 trillion in 2003 to €3 trillion this year. What happened? France’s economy minister Bruno Le Maire says he wants to slash the country’s multi-trillion euro debt, starting by launching the 2024 budget plan he introduced in September.”


“Is Italy headed for a debt crisis?

“…Discounting the possibility of an Italian sovereign debt market crisis despite that country’s deteriorating economic fundamentals could be of considerable consequence for the U.S. and world financial markets, since Italy has an economy and a government bond market that is some 10 times the size of that of Greece.”


“The Japanese yield curve is the steepest it has ever been.

“…the Bank of Japan, like the fed, may be forced by inflation to listen to the bond market and pivot… Why does the BOJ care so much about Japanese yields remaining low? This is why: Japanese debt: GDP is now over 260%. This is manageable with rates at 0%, but not at any multiple above that. Unfortunately, inflation might not let them keep their current policy.”


“Japan’s central bank buys $12.7bn of bonds as yields hit highest in a decade.

“Japan’s central bank made unscheduled purchases of government debt on Wednesday as yields on benchmark bonds hit their highest mark in a decade, while a global market sell-off also continued to drive US Treasury yields to 16-year highs.”


“India’s Growth Story May Not Have a Happy Ending…

“What the data suggests… is that India’s numbers are unsustainable. They’re driven by debt-fueled household consumption and government investment. Neither can form the basis of a long-term growth strategy for India.”


“Warm Fridges And Rotten Meat: Blackouts In Tajikistan Disrupt Lives, Damage Businesses…

“People in poverty-stricken Tajikistan are used to crippling electricity rationing during the winter, when most of the country has electricity for about 10 hours a day. Officials often blame the rationing on decreased water levels in dam reservoirs.”


“Fuel scarcity hits Malawi again.

“The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) through spokesperson Fitina Khonje has said the fuel scarcity is due to forex shortage in Malawi. The country has been facing recurring fuel shortages for close to two years now with the root cause being the lack of foreign exchange.”


“South Africa culls about 7.5 million chickens in an effort to contain bird flu outbreaks…

“The outbreaks are hitting an industry already struggling due to an electricity crisis. Breitenbach said South Africa has had three major bird flu outbreaks in recent years, and the latest ones were “by far the worst,” already costing the industry losses of at least $25 million.”


“Brazil to begin dredging stretches of the Amazon fluvial network because of the drought…

“…the ministries of Transport, Ports and Airports will be investing millions to dredge the Madeira and Solimoes, crucial waterways for transporting goods and products in the Amazon region, including the Manaus Free Trade Zone and for transporting people.”


“Have some economists severely underestimated the financial hit from climate change? Recent evidence suggests yes…

“…severe climate change would be a global shock that is wholly outside our experience. Inevitably, models can’t come close to capturing the upheavals climate change could cause in markets fundamental to human life, such as agriculture.”


“Export Restrictions Causing Food Prices to Rise.

“Over a period of years, food prices change sharply. In 2007 and 2008, rice and wheat prices doubled. Glauber, who also is a former economist from the Department of Agriculture, said changes are likely to continue. “I think increased volatility is certainly the new normal,” he said.”


“At WTO, growing disregard for trade rules shows world is fragmenting.

“Nothing illustrates the crisis at the World Trade Organization more than the piling up of unresolved disputes and the growing list of what it terms the “trade concerns” of its members… The WTO has warned a “polycrisis” of pandemic, war in Ukraine and inflation is sapping faith in globalisation. The result is a growing disregard for global trading rules among WTO members.”


“India orders Canada to remove 41 diplomats from Delhi embassy.

“India has told Canada it must remove 41 diplomats from its embassy in Delhi amid a continuing diplomatic spat over Canadian accusations that India may have been involved in the killing of a Sikh separatist leader.”


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

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

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

“Once Unthinkable Bond Yields Are Now the New Normal for Markets. It was the week that bond markets finally seemed to grasp what central bankers have been warning all year: higher interest rates are here to stay.

“From the US to Germany to Japan, yields that were almost unthinkable at the beginning of 2023 are now within reach. The selloff has been so extreme it’s forced bullish investors to capitulate and Wall Street banks to tear up their forecasts.

“The implications stretch far beyond markets to the rates paid on mortgages, student loans and credit cards, and to the growth of the global economy itself.”


“I cannot stress this enough:

“The escalating risk from the global destruction in collateral value of fixed-income securities in a highly levered economy is profoundly concerning.”


“Global Bond Yields have increased at the fastest pace in history! What a time to be alive.”


“What could break under higher-for-longer interest rates?

“…the strain from interest rate hikes has just started to come through and with central banks signalling that rates will likely stay higher for longer, the notion of something “breaking” remains strong… Here’s a look at some pressure points on the radar.”


“This is incredible: Interest rates were literally at 5,000 year lows over the last decade, according to Bank of America. Now, we are right around the historical average. However, rates have been rising near the fastest pace in history.

“Many people have not experienced inflation this high and interest rates at these levels in their adult lives. This is why rising rates are coming as a shock to consumers. The era of low rates and “free” money is officially over. Higher rates are the new (and old) normal.”


“Australian economy faces multiple threats to recovery amid global ‘paper cuts’…

“…the era of cheap money may not return any time soon, hurting the ability of households and businesses to borrow and expand, and making it harder for governments to service debts.”


“England’s Slow-Motion Debt Crisis Rolls Into View… Call it a Lehman moment for UK local government….

“The slow-motion debt crisis rippling through England’s local governments is getting too big to ignore. Over the past two years, a handful of authorities responsible for essential services, such as social care, waste collection and maintaining roads, have declared they are unable to balance the books…”


“As many as 2m outpatient appointments and operations have been cancelled as a result of NHS strikes – double the official total – hospital bosses believe…

“This week’s action will be even more disruptive to NHS services than usual because radiographers are also striking on one of the three days – Tuesday – that both types of doctors are withdrawing their labour.”


“Drug gangs make hay from death of the High Street…

“The discovery last week of a cannabis farm inside a former Marks and Spencer store was just the latest in a string of similar raids by police… There have been similar discoveries inside a former Job Centre, police stations and even a grammar school.”


“Europe Is Being Battered by the US Bond Hurricane…

“While Italy and France have posted some concerning budget deficit estimates, there is nothing novel in Europe’s economic backdrop. What’s different now is the relentless climb of US Treasury yields and the strength of the greenback.”


“How will Europe weather a second winter without gas from Russia?

“EU states have worked hard to secure supplies and storage – while the UK seems just to be hoping it stays mild… But observers warn that the energy crisis is not over yet: Europe may have dramatically cut its reliance on Russian gas, but it has never been more exposed to price shocks in the global market.”


“Russian gas production so far this year has slumped to levels not seen since the 1970s.

“The country’s state energy giant Gazprom said in its latest report that gas production in the first half of 2023 was 179.45 billion cubic meters (bcm). Gazprom added that this represents a year-on-year decrease of nearly a quarter (24.7 percent), and a 26.5 percent drop in gas supplies to the domestic and foreign markets.”


“Netherlands halts Groningen gas extraction over quake concerns. The Netherlands halted extraction from Europe’s biggest gas field on Sunday…

“Authorities are keeping 11 extraction wells open at the Groningen gas field for another year, however, in case of a severe winter, before shutting its gates for good against a backdrop of geopolitical tensions.”


“Austrian chancellor says cheap McDonald’s meals show food poverty doesn’t affect his nation…

“Karl Nehammer was seen in a leaked video dismissing reports of child hunger in the wealthy Alpine republic… He also targeted women who don’t have children and work part-time, saying “hard-working people [are] pulling the lazy ones along”.”


“Tent-dwelling migrants join protest over Portugal’s housing prices…

“Portugal is one of Western Europe’s poorest countries with an average monthly wage of around 1,200 euros ($1,268), and a 65% increase in Lisbon rents since the start of the tourism boom in 2015 has made apartments unaffordable for many. Sale prices have skyrocketed 137% in that period…”


“Serbia’s president denies troop buildup near Kosovo, alleges ‘campaign of lies’ in wake of clashes…

“Both the United States and the European Union expressed concern earlier this week about what they said was an increased military deployment by Serbia’s border with its former province, and they urged Belgrade to scale down its troop presence there.”


“Asia faces worst economic outlook in half a century, World Bank warns.

“The World Bank has cut its forecast for China’s growth next year and warned that east Asia’s developing economies are set to expand at one of the lowest rates in five decades, as US protectionism and rising levels of debt pose an economic drag.”


“Beijing’s stabilization efforts tested as Caixin PMIs highlight growing economic challenges…

“Wang Zhe, Senior Economist at Caixin Insight Group, elaborated on the data, stating, “Both manufacturing and services PMIs tumbled despite remaining in expansionary territory, with the latter falling at a more pronounced rate.” He further pointed out the concerning trend in the manufacturing sector’s employment dynamics, which has affected the overall job market.”


“How China’s Property Crisis Is Testing Its Too-Big-to-Fail Banks…

“The scale of China’s property problems — enormous levels of debt, an oversupply of apartments and consumers increasingly wary of buying — means the government could be forced in the coming years to spend huge sums of money bailing out banks.”


“China is investigating whether founder of Evergrande attempted to transfer assets offshore.

“…people with knowledge of Beijing’s decision-making said authorities are investigating whether Hui Ka Yan attempted to transfer assets offshore while the company was struggling to complete unfinished projects.”


“Why hard-right libertarian Javier Milei wants to dollarise Argentina’s economy.

“…when Milei brandishes a chainsaw as he promises to cut state spending, or when he flourishes giant 100-dollar bills bearing his own face, he inevitably attracts some degree of sympathy in the face of a disoriented political class that no longer has any solid answers to offer Argentinians a way out of an endless economic crisis.”


“Turkey increased natural gas prices for businesses and electricity producers, adding to inflationary pressures that had forced the central bank to raise interest rates sharply.

“The announcement by state-run gas company Botas late Saturday includes major industries and small and medium-sized enterprises. It follows a 20% increase in electricity prices for industrial consumers that comes into effect Sunday.”


“Saudi Arabia to tap international debt markets as deficits return…

“Some analysts have predicted the kingdom’s economy would shrink for the first time since 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, although a hefty dividend from state oil producer Saudi Aramco (2222.SE) could offset some of the deficits.”


“Nigeria braces for fuel scarcity as NUPENG joins nationwide strike.

“The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has directed its members to prepare for an indefinite strike starting on October 3rd. The strike is the labour union’s response to the Nigerian government’s removal of fuel subsidies, which has led to a sharp increase in fuel prices.”


“Scarcity Of Eggs Hits Niger As Poultry Farms Close Down Over Rising Cost Of Feeds, Transport… supply from the southern states, especially Oyo, had reduced drastically due to the cost of fuel following the removal of fuel subsidy…

“It was gathered that also affecting the production is unfavourable weather conditions for poultry farming in the state, causing high mortality of birds…”


“Extreme weather hits lovers of sweet treats in the pocket…

“The price rises have been driven by supply fears as the El Niño sea temperature phenomenon, coupled with rising temperatures resulting from climate change, bring extreme heat to parts of Asia and diminished rainfall to West Africa, threatening yields of sugar, cocoa and coffee.”


“Challenges Escalate For The Wind Energy Industry…

“Europe and the United States risk missing their ambitious wind power installation targets as soaring costs, supply chain delays, and low electricity prices at auctions hamper development and lead to a cancelation of offshore wind projects.”


“Slumping Lithium Prices Signal Angst Over China’s Demand Outlook…

“Lithium prices are spiraling down toward the lowest level in two years on concerns over the strength of Chinese demand for the material, a key ingredient in electric vehicle batteries… Demand for lithium typically picks up in the fourth quarter in China… But this year, that hasn’t happened.”


“EV Battery Factory Will Require So Much Energy It Needs A Coal Plant To Power It.

“A $4 billion Panasonic electric vehicle battery factory in De Soto, Kansas, will help satisfy the Biden administration’s efforts to get everyone into an EV. It also will help extend the life of a coal-fired power plant.”


“The clean energy economy is really a metals energy economy that isn’t going to be as clean as many think…

“What is not often discussed is the vast number of new mines which will have to be discovered, developed and operated in the coming years… And when economically viable deposits are found, their development and operation will consume a large amount of liquid fuels…”


“Challenging the accepted wisdom: why economics isn’t ‘up to the job’ of tackling climate change…” Extraordinary quote from Jakob Wegener Friis (deputy head of cabinet for the European Commissioner for Economy):

““I’m not sure that our profession of economics and its founding ideas are really up to the job: factoring in the end of the physical world is not part of what we do… We are talking about scarcity of resources, and how we exploit scarce resources to generate income, which accumulates in wealth. But what if the externalities are so overwhelming that it leads to a turning point in terms of climate change? You know, I don’t think the profession is necessarily up to the job.””


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

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

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

Thank you all for bearing with me in my absence; my batteries needed a recharge, and a huge thank you to Kali and team for holding the fort so diligently in my absence. On to today’s thread:

“Government borrowing costs soared around the world yesterday as mounting concerns over the global economy wreaked havoc on the bond markets [picture is of UK Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt].

“As investors fretted over persistent inflation and ‘higher for longer’ interest rates, bond yields rose in the United States, Britain and across Europe. That threatens to push up borrowing costs for households and businesses – further denting the economy.”


“Collateral damage and the mounting risk of a global ‘Liz Truss’ accident. A perfect storm is emerging in America’s turbulent bond market…

“Yields on 10-year Treasuries – the anchor price of world money – have risen by 120 basis points since mid-May, touching a 15-year high of 4.7pc this week. This is a greater credit shock than the stress that triggered the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and its regional peers in February.”


“Extreme fear is haunting markets again. Here’s why investors are running scared.

“CNN’s Fear and Greed Index, which tracks seven indicators of market sentiment in the United States, tipped into “extreme fear” Thursday for the first time since March, when a banking crisis was sowing panic among investors.”


“Moody’s warns of ‘systemic risk’ from leveraged lending market…

“Credit rating agency Moody’s has warned of a “race to the bottom” between banks and private credit funds financing risky leveraged buyouts, a contest it believes will increase systemic risks across the US financial system.”


“Surging oil prices: a new concern for central banks.

“Surging oil prices have become a new concern for central banks, aggravating the current ‘trilemma’ of how to balance slowing economies, still too-high inflation and the delayed impact of unprecedented rate hikes.”


“Saudi Arabia and Russia Win Big in Gamble on Oil Cuts.

“Saudi Arabia and Russia have raked in billions of dollars in extra oil revenues in recent months, despite pumping fewer barrels, after their production cuts sent crude prices soaring… The extra funds are also ensuring Russian President Vladimir Putin can sustain his war in Ukraine.


“Shale Isn’t Coming to the Rescue…

“U.S. shale companies aren’t rushing to drill more. That means that unlike in past years when frackers flooded the market with crude and alleviated pressure, oil prices might remain elevated until someone else adds production or demand ebbs [or demand craters if we have a major debt crisis].


“America’s emergency oil reserve is at a 40-year low — and that could inflate oil prices, Goldman Sachs says.

“America’s emergency oil stockpile has plunged to 40-year lows. The shrinking Strategic Petroleum Reserve is limiting Washington’s ability to shield consumers from the fallout of Saudi Arabia’s aggressive supply cuts, according to Goldman Sachs.”


“JUST IN: US net interest payments as a percentage of government receipts rise to 15%.

“This percentage has doubled over the last 2 years and now is at its highest since 1998. The US is about to see its first ever year with $1 trillion+ in interest expense. At the same time, US Federal tax receipts are now down 8.4% on a 12-month basis. We have rapidly rising debt levels with rising rates and falling government revenues. What’s the game plan here?”


“There’s a 90% chance of a government shutdown: Goldman Sachs.

““A shutdown this year has looked likely for several months, and we now think the odds have risen to 90%,” Jan Hatzius, chief economist and head of global research at Goldman Sachs, wrote in a note to investors. Hatzius and his team say the most likely scenario is the government will shut down on Oct. 1.”


“Costco is selling gold bars and they are selling out within a few hours.

“Costco is well-known as a place to get bargain prices on any variety of items, from food to luggage to appliances to gold bars. Wait, gold bars? Yes, the retail warehousing giant is your one-stop shop for 1 ounce gold PAMP Suisse Lady Fortuna Veriscan bars, handsomely detailed and ready for purchase.”


“US consumer spending was much weaker in the second quarter than previously estimated…

“…consumer spending, America’s economic engine, was revised much lower, to a 0.8% annualized rate, according to data released Thursday. That’s down from the 1.7% rate reflected in the previous estimate. Spending in the second quarter grew at its weakest pace since the first quarter of 2022, when it was flat.”


“US mortgage rates surged to their highest level in nearly 23 years this week as inflation pressures persisted.

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 7.31% in the week ending September 28, up from 7.19% the week before, according to data from Freddie Mac released Thursday. A year ago, the 30-year fixed-rate was 6.70%.”


“London is suffering an office ‘recession.’ Meta just paid $181 million to dump a lease.

“London’s office market has plunged into a “rental recession,” with the share of empty space hitting its highest level in three decades, investment bank Jefferies said in a note Wednesday. The New York-based firm said vacancies in the City of London, the UK capital’s historic financial district, accounted for 10% of the area’s total office space…”


“Too much [UK] government borrowing is undermining faith in official economic forecasts, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned.

“The think tank said a raft of unexpected and expensive policies rolled out by recent Chancellors had led to a surge in the size of the state and fuelled Britain’s deficit, while also making forecasts less accurate.”


“Watering down water – how Rishi Sunak’s reneging on climate commitments makes zero difference… What no-one is admitting… is that the UK’s net-zero plans along with those of every government on the planet, were already 100% inadequate…

“Put simply, far worse things are happening far, faster than expected but our ‘net-zero’ targets and related actions remain based on old, massively out-of-date (aka wrong), much less severe projections.”


“Britain has given the go-ahead to develop the UK’s biggest untapped oilfield off Shetland, sparking outrage from environmental campaigners.

“The UK oil and gas regulator’s decision to grant the Oslo-listed Equinor and the British firm Ithaca Energy permission to develop the Rosebank oil and gas field in the North Sea was condemned by the Green party MP Caroline Lucas as “the greatest act of environmental vandalism in my lifetime”.”


“Germany Seeks to Lock In LNG Deals to Avoid Cargo Diversions…

“Germany wants to lock in contracts for liquefied natural gas with a delivery obligation, an effort to deter profit-chasing traders from diverting shipments elsewhere as the nation boosts its commitment to the fuel.”


“German economic slump will be worse than feared, warn economists…

“Oliver Holtemöller at the Halle Institute for Economic Research said the recovery from the energy crisis has been painfully weak. He said: “The most important reason for this revision is that industry and private consumption are recovering more slowly than we expected in spring.””


“Germany announces border controls to combat migrant surge.

“Germany will introduce new border controls with Poland and the Czech Republic this week, the German interior minister announced on Wednesday, saying that more should be done to protect the European Union’s fragile system of open borders.”


“Italian PM steps up crackdown on migrants with deportation decree.

“Foreigners who lie about their age to benefit from a protection scheme reserved for unaccompanied minors arriving in Italy will be deported under a security decree expected to be approved by Giorgia Meloni’s cabinet on Wednesday as part of her far-right government’s crackdown on irregular immigration.”


“European bond market hit by Italy’s plans for higher borrowing.

“European government bond prices dropped sharply on Thursday as investors took fright at Italy’s larger than expected budget deficit and mounting concerns that central banks will keep interest rates high for an extended period.”


“Eurozone bank lending still under pressure from higher rates.

“Bank lending to businesses in the eurozone dropped sharply in August while household borrowing ticked up slightly. Overall, higher rates and weak economic activity will dampen investment in the quarters ahead, keeping economic activity sluggish at best.”


“Wow chart! Based on SWIFT international payments, we are witnessing ‘de-euroization’ and not ‘de-dollarization’. The euro’s share in SWIFT global payments has dropped to 23% from 38% at the start of the year.

“Are Russia’s SPFS and China’s CIPS eating up the euro? By the way, China’s share in SWIFT payments reached an all-time high of 3.47% in August!”


“Fuel Hoarding Unnerves Polish Refiner in Push to Cut Prices.

“Poland’s state-controlled refiner Orlen SA appealed to Poles to refrain from hoarding fuel following reports that its bid to hold down prices is causing shortages of diesel at some gas stations… Orlen’s attempt to shield Poles from rising global oil prices ahead of a parliamentary election on Oct. 15 is starting to backfire.”


“Moscow Mulls New Steps to End Domestic Fuel Crisis…

“Moscow is proposing a number of additional measures to resolve the crisis on the domestic oil products market on top of the gasoline and diesel export ban introduced last week… proposed steps include increasing the duty for the so-called “gray” exporters that buy products on the domestic markets for sale outside the country…”


“China’s Latest Move Could Further Raise Global Diesel Prices…

“China may not issue additional fuel export quotas this year, which could further raise global diesel prices amid tight supplies and a still unknown duration of a Russian export ban currently in force. The Chinese authorities have already told the biggest oil refiners in the world’s top crude oil importer not to rely on more fuel export quotas for the rest of the year…”


“China’s economic activity again weakened in September, China Beige Book survey shows…

“China’s small economic rebound appears to have stalled in September, with retail sales and pricing power as well as manufacturing production and loan growth weaker than the print for the month before, according to the monthly China Beige Book survey released Friday.”


Evergrande founder ‘being investigated for suspected crimes’…

“Evergrande Group, which has more than $300bn (£245bn) in total liabilities, did not say whether Hui Ka Yan was still in a position to run the company, or what crimes he was being investigated for. The news came hours after trading in shares of the company was suspended following a report that Hui had been placed under police surveillance.”


“Souring Global Office Bets Raise Risk of Korean Liquidity Crunch…

“Investors in few, if any, countries in the world have been burned as badly by the collapse in the commercial real estate market as those in South Korea. Its pension funds, insurance companies and asset managers all plowed billions of dollars into properties across the globe just before the pandemic drove down their value.”


“Rising poverty grips Argentina as runaway inflation takes its toll.

“Homeless shelters in Argentina’s capital are seeing demand soar as more people are struggling to make ends meet amid an annual inflation rate above 100% that is pushing more people into poverty.”


“Brazil minister says oil and green ambitions are not contradictory.

“…in the same week that Lula was telling the UN General Assembly that the climate crisis “knocks on our door, destroys our homes, our cities, our countries, kills and imposes suffering on our brothers”, Silveira was arguing that exploratory drilling in an ecologically sensitive area where the Amazon river meets the Atlantic should go ahead.”


“Cuban officials have warned that blackouts on the island will increase significantly due to a lack of fuel, potentially worsening the country’s plight as it deals with food and medicine shortages.

“Local governments have already begun announcing restrictions on power usage at state-run companies and other entities, including moves to postpone sporting events and university classes.”


“Broken infrastructure, drought cause power rationing in Tanzania, official says.

“Maintenance issues and climate change-induced water shortages have caused a 400-megawatt electricity shortfall in Tanzania, triggering power rationing across the East African nation, the state power supplier said… only 38% of Tanzanians have power, according to the World Bank.”


“Serbia observes national day of mourning after clashes in Kosovo…

“The killing of a Kosovo police officer and an ensuing gun battle at a monastery in a village close to the Serbian border marked one of the gravest escalations in the former breakaway province in years. Three Serb gunmen were killed in an hours-long firefight with Kosovo police…”


“Over half of Nagorno-Karabakh’s population flees as the separatist government says it will dissolve.

“The separatist government of Nagorno-Karabakh said Thursday it will dissolve itself and the unrecognized republic will cease to exist by year’s end after a three-decade bid for independence, while Armenian officials said over half of the region’s population has already fled.”


“Malaysia grapples with rice shortage amid global price surge…

“Ameer Ali Mydin, managing director of Mydin, a chain of large supermarkets, told Nikkei Asia the shortages are caused by the growing gap in prices between locally produced rice and imported varieties… The country mostly imports white rice from India, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.”


“Climate change, El Nino, Russia war fuel food price surge…

“How do you cook a meal when a staple ingredient is unaffordable? This question is playing out in households around the world as they face shortages of essential foods like rice, cooking oil and onions. That is because countries have imposed restrictions on the food they export to protect their own supplies…”


“Households lost a record €6.6 trillion across the world in 2022…

“2022 was a “turning point” for global wealth, says German financial company Allianz in its latest Global Wealth Report. 2022 was a horrible year for savers as asset prices fell, cutting down savings across the world.”


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.