26th November 2019 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“World trade is stuck in its longest slump since the financial crisis after another setback in September suggested the global economy is yet to turn the corner.

“Volumes slipped back sharply in September compared with August, falling 1.3pc to cut short a two-month rebound, according to CPB’s World Trade Monitor.

“The monthly fall was the second-sharpest this year, while a fourth consecutive year-on-year drop in trade volumes marks the worst run since 2009.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/11/25/world-trade-worst-run-since-2009-us-china-row-hits-economy/


“Car sales around the world are expected to see their steepest year-over-year decline in 2019 since the financial crisis as consumer demand from the U.S. to China softens.

“Global car sales are expected to fall by about 3.1 million in 2019, a bigger drop than in 2008, Fitch Ratings economics team said Monday…”

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/25/global-car-sales-expected-to-slide-by-3point1-million-this-year-in-biggest-drop-since-recession.html


“The market for securities backed by the riskiest US car loans is booming, as yield-crazed investors shrug off nagging concerns over the health of the American consumer…

“Still, concerns are mounting that consumers may have taken on more debt than they can handle. Data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York show that the total proportion of consumer auto loans more than 90 days late — classed as “seriously delinquent” — has been steadily rising.”

https://www.ft.com/content/59f3a084-0d80-11ea-bb52-34c8d9dc6d84


“China’s central bank has warned over the dangers of a rapid build-up in the country’s household debt, urging greater oversight of mortgages and consumer loans to decrease risks to the country’s financial system.”

https://www.ft.com/content/8c95a21c-0ff6-11ea-a7e6-62bf4f9e548a


“Hainan Airlines Holding has said it is in talks with investors to resolve an unpaid CNY1 billion (USD143 million) privately placed bond issued to an affiliated firm.

“The Haikou-based carrier told news site The Paper that it would handle the issue after the 21st Century Business Herald reported that the firm had failed to pay interest or repay principal for the three-year bills, which were issued to Grand China Air and expired yesterday.”

https://www.yicaiglobal.com/news/hainan-airlines-says-it-is-talking-with-investors-after-flunking-on-private-bond


“Mexico’s economy entered a mild recession during the first half of 2019 and was flat in the third quarter, revised data from the national statistics agency showed on Monday, handing a setback to the plans of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador…

“Alberto Ramos, a Goldman Sachs economist, said in a note to clients the bank now expected no growth to be registered in Mexico in 2019.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-economy-gdp/mexico-entered-recession-in-early-2019-dealing-blow-to-president-idUSKBN1XZ1JF


“Argentina will finish 2019 at 55% annual inflation, the country’s treasury minister said on Monday, capping off a tumultuous year for Latin America’s No. 3 economy that also saw voters usher in a new leftist government.

“The inflation forecast is higher than the government’s previous estimate of 53%…”

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-argentina-inflation/argentina-2019-inflation-seen-at-55-treasury-minister-says-idUKKBN1XZ2FD


“A teenager who became a symbol of ongoing protests in Colombia when he was injured by a teargas cannister died of his wounds late on Monday, after President Ivan Duque met with unions and business leaders on the fifth straight day of demonstrations.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-colombia-strike/colombia-protests-enter-fifth-day-duque-meets-with-unions-business-leaders-idUSKBN1XZ2AN


“From Chile to Sudan, Lebanon to Colombia, mounting anger and frustration over rising economic and social inequality, political corruption and disillusionment with democratically elected and authoritarian governments have led to a wide array of mass protests in recent months.”

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2019-11-25/iran-chile-hong-kong-protests-around-the-world


“Riot police used water cannons on anti-government protesters outside Georgia’s parliament building in the capital, Tbilisi. Thousands of people demonstrated on Monday evening calling for reform to the country’s electoral system…

“Rallies have been held for the last two weeks, with activists demanding proportional representation.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-50554510


“What do Indian onions and Chinese pigs have in common? They could be straws in the wind over the next global food price shock, according to researchers at investment bank Nomura. India… the world’s biggest exporter of the bulb slapped a ban on overseas sales after monsoons hit crops, pushing up domestic prices. Last week it extended the ban until February, sending prices up all over Asia.

“…Hong Kong pork prices have doubled thanks to the African swine fever ravaging Chinese herds. Exports to the city have dropped by more than half over the year.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/11/26/will-rising-food-prices-leave-bad-taste-world-economy/


“Earlier this month the CME looked at the results of negative rates in four regions: the eurozone, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland. They all went negative between 2014 and 2016.

“None of the four “have achieved their inflation targets as a result of negative deposit rates,” the CME writes.

“Moreover, the negative-rate experiment so far has failed to stimulate growth sustainably.”

https://www.forexlive.com/news/!/negative-interest-rates-arent-working-20191125


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

25th November 2019 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“[US] Unemployment’s at a half-century low. Inflation is near its target of 2%. And, at about 125 months, the U.S. is charting its longest economic expansion since at least the 1850s.

“Look under the hood, however, and things look very troublesome.

“Numerous trade wars have cost U.S. companies, farmers and consumers dearly. The manufacturing industry – once America’s job engine and ostensibly the sector the trade war was supposed to support – is seeing its worst year since 2009.

“And looking abroad, the situation is even worse, with the global economy slowing and the International Monetary Fund warning there’s little ammunition left to fight a recession…

“A key cause of the 2008 financial crisis was too much debt in the housing market, much of which ultimately went bad.

Today, the problem is in corporate America. Since 2008, when the Fed drove its target interest rate to a record-low 0.25%, markets have been flooded with cheap money. That was too much to resist for U.S. companies, which went on a borrowing binge.

“All American companies are currently sitting on a record US$15.5 trillion in debt, equivalent to about two-thirds of U.S. GDP. Unfortunately, this debt was not primarily used to finance expansion and growth but more commonly to jack up stock prices through dividends, stock buybacks and acquisitions.

“The problem will come when the party stops – when interest rates begin rising and companies, particular the ones that took more risks, can’t refinance or pay back their debts. This is what turns a credit boom into a financial crisis, as happened in 2008.”

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/why-fed-must-keep-cutting-interest-rates-98262


“Canada’s $1.7 trillion economy has long been closely tied to the ebbs and flows of global trade. …

“Export shipments grind to a halt, stunting already weak growth. Fallout may chop a quarter point off GDP in only three weeks.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-23/canada-s-economy-could-end-up-big-loser-as-rail-strike-drags-on


“A curfew has been imposed in Bogota following a second day of anti-government protests in the Colombian capital.

“At least three people died in the demonstrations in the Valle del Cauca, in the western part of the country, according to a statement issued on Friday by Colombia’s Minister of Defense Carlos Holmes Trujillo.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/23/americas/bogota-colombia-curfew-protests-intl/index.html


“Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Saturday his government is alert and prepared for any possible social unrest after weeks of protests that have sent shockwaves across the region in recent weeks, but added he was not concerned…

““These are not demonstrations, they are acts of terrorism,” Bolsonaro said.”

https://www.euronews.com/2019/11/23/bolsonaro-says-brazil-is-prepared-in-case-of-protests-but-not-worried


“On the sidelines remain the majority of the world, particularly in poor regions such as Latin America.

“Today, our continent faces the impossible task of becoming competitive on a global scale with an absolute lack of infrastructure, limited credit, cramped capital investment for decades, and galloping inequality that has given birth to a generation of young people stuck in the poverty trap…”

https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/opinion-and-analysis/the-myth-of-latin-american-prosperity.phtml


“One year after the launch of the Yellow Vest protest movement in France, their compatriots in Reunion Island are still mobilised.

“FRANCE 24 reports from a roundabout in the city of Le Tampon, where protestors live at a makeshift camp and continue to denounce a poverty rate higher than that of mainland France.”

https://www.france24.com/en/20191123-france-yellow-vest-protest-reunion-island-tampon


“Security forces fired tear gas early on Monday amid confrontations in central Beirut between supporters of Hezbollah and Amal, and demonstrators protesting against Lebanon’s political elite.

“Lebanon has faced five weeks of anti-government protests, fuelled by anger at corruption…”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/11/lebanon-protesters-hezbollah-amal-supporters-clash-beirut-191125024849508.html


“Iraqi security forces have opened fire on protesters in southern Iraq, killing at least five people, amid ongoing anti-government demonstrations.

“At least two people died and some 50 others were injured near the Gulf port city of Basra on Sunday. Late on Saturday, at least three protesters were killed and more than 40 others injured in Nasiriya.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-50536334


“Turmoil in Baghdad, paralysis in Beirut and flames of unrest in Tehran; it has been a bad few months for Iran at home and elsewhere in the Middle East, where more than a decade of advances are being slowed, not by manoeuvrings on battlefields or legislatures – but the force of protest movements.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/24/street-protests-threaten-iran-middle-east-power


“Hong Kong’s pro-democratic parties swept the board in highly anticipated local elections seen as a barometer of public opinion after nearly six months of increasingly violent protests that have polarised the semi-autonomous Chinese territory…

“As of 12pm (04:00 GMT), pro-democracy candidates had won a clear majority with 390 seats of the 452 district council seats, according to local broadcaster RTHK.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/11/months-protests-hong-kong-heads-key-polls-191124051609941.html


“The cost of living in China has outstripped the 3% government target for the first time in a decade, and a big part of the problem is the soaring price of pork, which is being driven up by a widespread outbreak of African swine fever.

“Pork is a big deal in China…”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/nov/23/china-pigs-african-swine-fever-pork-shortage-inflation


“A troubled Chinese state-own firm is giving bondholders a stark choice on $1.25 billion of dollar bonds: take a haircut of as much as 64% or accept delayed repayment with sharply reduced coupons.

“Tewoo Group Corp., which is owned by the Tianjin local government, proposed the exchange/tender offer on Friday on three dollar bonds due to mature over the next three years as well as a perpetual note.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-25/china-s-tewoo-seeks-debt-haircut-of-up-to-64-on-dollar-bonds


“Bundles of yuan notes were stacked high behind the counters of branches of Yingkou Coastal Bank earlier this month, as the northeast China lender fought off a run on deposits while onsite government officials battled rumors of a funding crunch.

“Yingkou was the latest small bank to have its deposit-reliant funding base undermined by depositors, spooked by the funding crunch that led to the shock state-led rescue of tiny regional lender Baoshang Bank.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-banks-analysis/specter-of-funding-crunch-looms-over-runs-at-chinas-small-banks-idUSKBN1XZ0Q5


“Tens of millions more pensioners and savers around the world are facing the same retirement insecurity, as plunging interest rates since the financial crisis wreak havoc on the funding of schemes.

“As average life expectancy increases, pensions have become a defining political issue in countries as diverse as Russia, Japan and Brazil.”

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2019-11-24/their-house-is-on-fire-the-pension-crisis-sweeping-the-world


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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/11/21/oecd-calls-bold-action-halt-global-economic-slump/


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

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

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/21/yellen-good-reason-to-worry-about-us-economy-sliding-into-recession.html


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

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

https://www.wsj.com/articles/fed-adds-103-65-billion-to-financial-system-11574351917


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

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

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/21/colombia-protests-ivan-duque-government


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

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bolivia-politics/supporters-of-bolivias-morales-march-with-coffins-of-dead-protesters-idUSKBN1XV1O3


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

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

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/21/even-isis-wouldnt-shoot-at-us-medics-on-frontline-of-baghdad-protests


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

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

https://www.dw.com/en/iran-protests-eu-urges-end-to-violence/a-51350160


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

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

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3038920/hong-kong-protesters-and-pro-police-group-clash-during


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

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

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/21/investing/pensions-crisis-negative-rates/index.html


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

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-21/hedge-funds-hit-by-investor-redemptions-for-8th-straight-month


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

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

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/21/economy/ray-dalio-economy-great-sag/index.html


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

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

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

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

https://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=2243


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/18/call-me-robin-hood-mystery-patron-pays-debts-of-istanbul-poorest


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

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

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20191119-half-a-million-algerian-workers-jobless-following-corruption-investigations/


Yet another nation erupting into protests:

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

https://www.euronews.com/2019/11/18/georgia-protests-crowds-gather-outside-parliament-buildings-thecube


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

“That represents a huge slump in economic confidence.”

https://www.scmp.com/business/banking-finance/article/3038240/hong-kongs-battered-economy-will-continue-shrink-next-year


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

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

https://theglobepost.com/2019/11/18/chile-economic-model/


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

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

https://business.financialpost.com/investing/investing-pro/alberta-is-facing-a-full-blown-economic-crisis-and-it-needs-support-not-condescension


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

https://www.wsj.com/articles/manufacturers-face-new-threat-from-fracking-slump-11574083303


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

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

https://uk.reuters.com/article/usa-fed-repo-overnight/ny-fed-accepts-61043-bln-in-overnight-repo-bids-operation-idUKL2N27Y074


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

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

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/11/18/next-crash-will-hit-europe-much-harder-financial-crisis-warns/


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

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

https://www.cityam.com/the-economy-is-slowing-can-central-bankers-fight-the-next-downturn/


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.ft.com/content/004ffbc2-f4e4-11e9-bbe1-4db3476c5ff0


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

https://www.ft.com/content/c95deea4-03e2-11ea-9afa-d9e2401fa7ca


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

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

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-50447733


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

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

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-16/czechs-demand-resignation-of-billionaire-leader-as-protests-rage


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

“Many of the delinquent loans have been restructured.”

https://wolfstreet.com/2019/11/17/as-bad-loans-explode-in-turkey-government-tries-to-recreate-debt-fueled-boom-that-let-to-its-financial-currency-crisis/


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

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

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-protests-economy/we-cant-take-it-anymore-as-lebanon-economy-skids-jobs-in-firing-line-idUSKBN1XR0I0


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

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

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-iraq-protests/protesters-block-entrance-to-iraqs-umm-qasr-port-idUKKBN1XS0LU


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

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

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/iran/17112019


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

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

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/16/protests-erupt-in-iran-after-government-raises-price-of-gas-by-50


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

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

https://www.livemint.com/news/india/-whatever-it-takes-policy-hasn-t-stopped-the-slump-11574013090725.html


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

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

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/18/hong-kong-protests-up-to-800-trapped-as-police-lay-siege-to-university


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

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

https://www.dw.com/en/venezuela-thousands-take-to-the-streets-of-caracas-for-rival-protests/a-51280074


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

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-chile-protests/chiles-pinera-acknowledges-security-force-abuses-during-protests-says-no-impunity-idUSKBN1XS03W


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

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

https://news.sky.com/story/five-dead-in-bolivia-protests-calling-for-return-of-ex-president-11862612


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

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

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/11/18/dividend-payouts-hit-global-headwinds/


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

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

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

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

https://www.wsj.com/articles/growth-in-economic-powerhouses-starts-to-diverge-11573730840


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

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

https://moneymaven.io/mishtalk/economics/recession-warning-freight-volumes-negative-yoy-for-11th-straight-month-0ZOT5dLcwE6t7RTXcErjWA/


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

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/14/powell-no-day-of-reckoning-coming-for-the-us-anytime-soon.html


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

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-14/mexico-cuts-key-rate-third-straight-time-as-consumer-prices-ease


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

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

https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/chiles-peso-hits-new-historic-low-despite-central-bank-intervention-2019-11-14


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

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

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7683999/Power-struggle-Bolivia-A-ez-home-vs-Morales-exile.html


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

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

https://www.neweurope.eu/article/eurozone-edging-towards-recession-without-policy-response-consensus/


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

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

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-protests/lebanons-crisis-is-dangerous-evokes-start-of-civil-war-defense-minister-idUSKBN1XO1YK


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

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

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pakistan-protests/pakistan-protests-block-roads-but-fail-to-oust-prime-minister-idUSKBN1XO26N


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

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

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-hongkong-economy-gdp-final/hong-kong-third-quarter-gdp-shrinks-3-2-confirms-depth-of-recession-idUKKBN1XP0S5


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

https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3037731/china-yet-hit-bottom-economic-downturn-plumbed-new-depths


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

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-china-economy-mlf/china-central-bank-injects-200-billion-yuan-to-boost-liquidity-keeps-rate-unchanged-idUKKBN1XP0CB


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

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

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2019-11-15/china-s-fear-of-minsky-moment-is-key-for-emerging-markets


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

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-japan-abe-economy-analysis/japan-may-slide-toward-recession-as-abenomics-impact-fades-idUKKBN1XO2YN


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

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-14/global-economy-on-thin-ice-with-frail-trio-from-china-to-germany


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

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

http://marketoracle.co.uk/Article66121.html


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

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/69-trillion-of-world-debt-in-one-infographic/


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

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

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

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-11-14/bonds-aren-t-believers-in-a-synchronized-upswing?srnd=economics-vp


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