“The return of global catastrophe: Seven great crises and the one that’s coming.
“The only question is: where will be the flashpoints that spark an all-round global crisis? There are many candidates…. it is safe to say that, if this pattern holds, sometime between now and the 2030s there is an odds-on likelihood that there will be a cataclysmic world crisis.
“Many would say that since 2020, it feels as if we have entered a period of prolonged, intense crisis, although what we may be actually living through is the accumulation of conditions that are the precursors to a full-blown global upheaval.”
“The great disruption has only just begun… History has shown that stability is, more often, the exception…
““As far as recent decades go, this sense of disorientation is new,” says Adam Tooze, a fellow FT columnist… In a recent column he revived an old buzzword, “polycrisis”, to capture the current sensation of multiple cascading shocks. This disruption is not the frothy creative destruction championed during the unicorn start-up era. This disruption is bad.”
“U.N. body says slowdown in global trade to worsen in 2023.
“The ongoing slowdown in global trade is expected to worsen in 2023, the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said on Tuesday. “While the outlook for global trade remains uncertain, negative factors appear to outweigh positive trends,” UNCTAD said in a trade update.”
“Global Debt Market Lost at Least $75 Billion of Business in 2022… Borrowers shelve financing plans amid war, inflation concerns… More debt financing was cancelled or postponed globally in 2022 than even during the tumultuous pandemic period.”
“Global Recession in Focus as Central Banks Set to Moderate Rate Hikes This Week.
“Some investors and economists see a ray of hope in the current market rallies, but a persistent yield curve inversion is stubbornly warning that a recession is on the way. Recessions come in many forms, and the best many hope for is a soft landing with just a mild downturn and a minor increase in unemployment.”
“US Fed hikes interest rates by 0.5 percent, says more to come…
““Taken together, today’s statement and economic projections tell a simple, but persuasive story: this Fed isn’t prepared to ‘pivot’ in any meaningful way until it sees sustained and conclusive evidence of a reversal in inflationary pressures,” said Karl Schamotta, chief market strategist at Corpay.”
“Bank of England readies another rate hike even as recession hits.
“A ninth interest rate hike in a row by the Bank of England looks to be a foregone conclusion on Thursday and investors will be looking for clues on how many more will be needed with the economy sliding into recession but inflation still above 10%.”
“Business insolvencies skyrocket [up by over a fifth] in November across England and Wales as firms are grapple with ‘cost-wary’ consumers and high inflation…
“”‘We are seeing an increasing number of worried directors who are struggling to keep their businesses afloat.’ ‘These are good companies but facing serious and continuing increases in energy costs, wage demands and interest rates.'”
“UK strikes intensify with walkouts by postal and rail workers…
“Consumers have been warned to prepare for late deliveries of Christmas presents amid action by postal workers, while commuters are struggling with travel misery owing to strikes by rail employees. On Thursday, the first nationwide strike by NHS nurses organised by the Royal College of Nursing is due to go ahead…”
“The majority of [UK] hospitals are not protected by the Government’s emergency power plan, The Telegraph has learned.
“Just 15 per cent of hospitals across the country are on the official “protected sites” list, meaning they would qualify for power during a national electricity shortage.”
“Germany plans record debt issuance in 2023 as energy crisis bites.
“Germany plans record debt issuance of more than 500 billion euros ($533 billion) next year to fund costs associated with the energy crisis and the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, German Finance Agency issuance plans published on Wednesday showed.”
“Rain and Blackouts Strand Third of Ukraine’s Corn Crop in Fields.
“Growers have been hit by a series of hurdles: Record autumn rainfall muddied fields. The war has depressed how much farmers can fetch for their goods. And strikes on the country’s infrastructure limited electricity needed to dry soggy grain.”
“Russia’s wartime economy: learning to live without imports.
“Rather than provoking a dramatic collapse, international sanctions are causing a steady degradation of the country’s productive capacity… “Life will be simpler and there’ll be less money. People will make do with less. There will be more paper in the sausage,” says a Russian oligarch who is under sanctions.”
“China’s Covid Pivot Set to Worsen the Global Energy Crunch.
“China’s pivot away from Covid Zero is poised to boost natural gas demand in the world’s biggest importer, potentially curbing supply to Europe and other Asian nations. China National Offshore Oil Corp. is now looking to secure more shipments of the super-chilled fuel for next year.”
“China’s economy faces ‘greater challenges’ in 2023 as risk of global recession, debt crises grows…
“While China has been affected by aggressive rate hikes in the West, its economy has suffered more from rigid coronavirus controls, such as lockdowns… Though the government made a sudden about face last week, the economy is in for a bumpy road as zero-Covid comes to an end.”
“India is covering up the true extent of border clashes with China to avoid panicking the public, senior Indian Army sources have told The Telegraph.
“Several incidents are taking place in the northern state of Arunachal Pradesh every month, the sources said, with soldiers from the two nuclear-armed countries sometimes engaging in violent hand-to-hand combat, often using clubs and other homemade melee weapons.”
“Mongolia unrest looking eerily like a color revolution…
“Mongolia presents a combustible mix where all the key elements of the United States’ confrontation with Russia and China are present, ranging from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s mission creep to the Asia-Pacific to the BRI and Russia’s energy exports and of course the vast deposits of rare earths in the steppe.”
“Tajikistan: Families freeze while energy independence chimera remains ever distant…
“President Emomali Rahmon informed the public that they should expect yet another winter of power rationing on October 24 in the town of Nurek, site of the Soviet-era power plant that still provides the country with most of its electricity.”
“Blackouts in Karachi! Amid acute crisis, Pakistan’s economic hub gets 2-hr gas supply daily.
“Pakistan‘s economic hub Karachi is facing an acute gas crisis… The Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) announced that domestic consumers would get gas supply only for eight hours a day — morning, afternoon, and evening — during “meal timing”.”
“Turkey Prints its Highest-Value Banknote at Record Rate Amid Runaway Inflation.
“Turkey is printing its highest-denominated banknote at the fastest rate on record, flooding the country with cash as inflation of over 80% forces consumers and businesses to pay more for less. The number of 200 lira ($10.73) notes in circulation almost doubled year on year in November…”
“Jordan truckers strike over costly fuel, some shops shut in solidarity…
“Truck drivers have launched partial work stoppages and sit-ins over the last week, mainly in Jordan’s impoverished southern provinces, to demand that the government reduce diesel prices, saying mounting costs have led to losses for their businesses.”
“As elections approach, Tunisian market shelves are still bare…
“President Kais Saied has previously blamed speculators for the food shortages, but his opponents say he is to blame for failing to revive the country’s economy, ahead of parliamentary elections on Saturday. Most of the opposition will be boycotting, saying the vote is illegitimate.”
“Chief executive of South Africa’s Eskom quits as blackouts surge.
“The chief executive of South Africa’s struggling state power monopoly has resigned as the country suffers its worst ever blackouts, throwing into doubt efforts by President Cyril Ramaphosa to fix the collapsing energy supply.”
“Peru declares nationwide state of emergency as crisis deepens…
“Peruvian defence minister Alberto Otarola announced the new 30-day measure on Wednesday, which he said involved “the suspension of freedom of movement and assembly” and could include a curfew due to “acts of vandalism and violence”, including roadblocks.”
“Petrol stations quiet on Rarotonga as petrol runs out.
“The Cook Islands has run out of petrol.
“The next confirmed shipment of petrol is not due to arrive in Rarotonga until Sunday, leaving providers struggling with lack of supply.”
“Bangladesh arrests head of largest Muslim party amid crackdown.
“The leader of Jamaat-e-Islami (Bangladesh Islamic Assembly), Bangladesh’s largest Muslim party, has been arrested days after he announced the party would join opposition-led protests demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.”
“Sri Lanka’s Recession Likely Deepened Amid High Rates, Inflation…
“Sri Lanka, which is weathering its worst economic meltdown in decades, tried to forestall further deterioration in the quarter, even as protests and fuel shortages ground activity to a halt. Authorities pledged to implement strong fiscal and reform measures to lock-down an initial bailout deal from the International Monetary Fund.”
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.