Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.

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

“Group of 20 countries agree to increase clean energy but reach no deal on phasing out fossil fuels.

“Group of 20 leaders have agreed to triple renewable energy and try to increase the funds for climate change-related disasters but maintained the status quo with regards to phasing out carbon spewing coal.”


“Biden Says Climate Change Poses Greater Threat Than Nuclear War…

“The president added “we’re going to be in real trouble” if, in the next decade or two, warming goes above the 1.5C temperature increase that scientists consider a tipping point for increasing the chances of extreme weather events.”


“Climate Systemic Risks Are Mounting [picture from Greek floods].

“Climate change is not only destroying lives and livelihoods, but also introducing new systemic risks to the financial system and the broader economy. The warning signs of another 2008-scale financial crisis are flashing red across multiple economic sectors, and behind them looms the collapse of Earth’s natural systems.”


“The Permanent Crisis Economy. We’re still living in 2008… Fifteen years after the 2008 global financial and economic meltdown, many say that America has recovered well…

“But while a building may look sturdy from the outside, what holds it up is what matters. Over the past decade and a half, politicians from both parties, with Federal Reserve help, doubled down on their pre-2008 economic strategy: they rebuilt the American economy on cheap debt.”


“Bank of England bond sales creating a ‘selling gold at the bottom’ moment…

“Among all the central banks, the Bank of England has been the most aggressive in selling the bonds purchased to bolster the economy during the quantitative easing era, according to Christopher Mahon of Columbia Threadneedle… “Selling bonds on this scale has never been done before, nor has it been tried when bond markets have had to digest the ramifications of both high inflation and substantial rate hikes,” he said…”


“With sinking savings and investment, Britain risks becoming like Argentina…

“We have singularly failed to save enough to pay for old age… signs of degradation are everywhere to be seen. And not just in crumbling infrastructure and a public sector which on multiple fronts no longer seems to function. The macro-economic picture also looks increasingly disturbing…”


“Millions of parents in Britain are struggling with their mental health, a survey suggests, amid the rising cost of living, a lack of childcare and fewer support services.

“Sixty-one per cent of respondents revealed concerns about their mental health, with those on lower incomes most likely to be affected, a poll for the charity Unicef UK found.”


“How British chicken got caught in the country’s economic storm…

“More than most other products, the industry’s problems encapsulate not only the fragility of the UK’s food systems but the issues plaguing the broader economy: inflation, labour shortages and rising wages.”


“TUC complains to UN watchdog over ‘undemocratic’ UK anti-strike law…

“The government introduced the laws after a year of the biggest wave of industrial action seen in Britain in three decades, in which a range of employees – including rail workers, warehouse and port workers, Royal Mail employees, junior doctors, teachers and barristers – went on strike in protest over pay and working conditions.”


“Rishi Sunak tells G20: UK will resist ‘hair shirt’ policies on net zero pledge.

“Rishi Sunak has said he will resist “hair shirt” policies designed to reduce carbon emissions and achieve Britain’s net zero pledge, amid an intensifying Tory row over the party’s commitment to tackling the climate crisis. Tensions have been growing within the party all summer over its green policies…”


“Investors and unions press Labor [Australia] to invest $100bn to compete in global green economy.

“The Albanese government is being pushed to provide an extra $100bn over 10 years to boost jobs and reduce emissions including through investments in clean industries and manufacturing of renewable energy components.”


“The Inflation Crisis Is Fraying Europe’s Climate Consensus…

“Polls show most European voters want action on climate change as heat waves, wild fires and floods make the impact of emissions ever clearer — but they’re reluctant to bear the cost of switching to less-polluting technology.”


“Dutch police detain 500 activists on second day of climate protests.

“Dutch police on Sunday said more than 500 climate activists had been detained on a second consecutive day of protests against government subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. Hundreds of protesters marched on the A12 highway into The Hague around midday, ignoring warnings from authorities not to block the major traffic artery into the Dutch seat of government.”


“Germany’s Stop-Start Economic Motor Is Probably in Reverse Again…

“The country that was formerly Europe’s motor now finds itself braking its growth, wincing from the headwinds of poor demand in China and a lingering energy crisis. Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel was last week forced to refute the suggestion that the country once again deserves the “sick man of Europe” label…”


“ECB grapples with knife-edge decision on interest rates…

“There are potential pitfalls for the ECB in whichever decision it makes: keeping rates on hold invites criticism that it is giving up too early in the fight against inflation, but raising them risks making a looming economic downturn worse.”


“Polish zloty’s fall highlights tricky balancing act of central banks.

“The Polish zloty has fallen nearly 3 per cent against the euro since the National Bank of Poland’s shock decision to slash interest rates on Wednesday, highlighting the delicate balancing act that central bankers face in trying to shore up growth while inflation remains high.”


“Russia Set To Slash Diesel Exports In September.

“Amid refinery maintenance and rising domestic fuel prices, Russia is set to cut its diesel exports from its ports on the Baltic and Black Seas by nearly 25% in September compared to the export plans for August, Bloomberg reported on Friday, quoting industry data it had seen.”


“Residents of Mayotte Island, France’s overseas territory, on Saturday organized a rally to protest against the water shortage on the island.

“The residents demanded a solution to the “water crisis” which has been going on for months, Franceinfo reported… The island has repeatedly experienced periods of drought for many years…”


“Egypt inflation hits record high of nearly 40%.

“It comes immediately after the previous record of 38.2 percent was recorded in July, and over a year into an unrelenting economic crisis that has seen the currency shed half its value against the US dollar since early last year.”


“Social unrest warning for South Africa as budget cuts loom.

“The government might have to cut back on spending for social services due to budget constraints, which could lead to social unrest and increased frustration with the status quo. This is according to economist and head of policy analysis at the Centre For Risk Analysis Chris Hattingh.”


“‘We need food and shelter’: farmers flee for their lives as terrorists attack villages in Mali.

“There was no warning. The raiders came late in the night, shouting and shooting. The unarmed farmers of Bujo had no chance to defend themselves, and those who were too slow to flee died.”


“At least 35 people have been killed after a crowded market in Sudan’s capital was hit with “explosive weapons”, a medical charity says.

“Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) described it as “carnage”, saying that more than 60 people had also been wounded in the attack. Local residents say a military aircraft bombarded the Qouro market in southern Khartoum on Sunday.”


“Darfur refugees recount ethnic violence as Sudan’s civil war reignites genocide fears.

“ADRÉ, Chad — Barely five months ago, this parched patch of land sat largely empty, next to the nearby town of Adré, home to a few thousand people. Today, it takes almost a half-hour by car to cross the packed settlement, where more than 200,000 civilians who fled the civil war in neighboring Sudan have taken refuge.”


“The number of people arriving in Ethiopia due to the conflict in Sudan has reached 78,598, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

“As of Aug. 29, as many as 78,598 crossings have been made by returnees, refugees and asylum seekers from conflict-affected Sudan to its neighboring country Ethiopia, the OCHA said in its latest update issued Friday.”


“Saudis use ‘sportswashing’ to paint over alleged killings… Instead of providing refuge, the country’s border force has been murdering Ethiopian refugees…

“While hundreds of Africans are murdered or dehumanised at the border and in Saudi homes, Saudis are pouring billions into a different set of Africans — football stars such as Sadio Mané, Édouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly and Hakim Ziyech.”


“Shipping industry legal action surges as Ukraine war drives ‘emotive’ disputes…

“Sanctions on trading certain goods with Russia and the increased danger to vessels in the Black Sea region, as well as pressure to mitigate a fall in earnings amid a widespread economic slowdown, were behind the tensions, shipping lawyers say.”


“The US and China Are Waging a Cold War That Is Truly MAD…

“A major crisis over Taiwan would have immediate and dire financial consequences before a shot was even fired. But to assume that this prospect will prevent an escalation from Cold War II to World War III risks making the same mistake as the nuclear theorists of the 1960s — who were blissfully unaware of just how close mutually assured destruction had come over Cuba.”


“Nato to launch biggest military exercise since cold war.

“It will start in spring next year and is expected to involve between 500 and 700 air combat missions, more than 50 ships, and about 41,000 troops, Nato officials said. It is designed to model potential manoeuvres against an enemy modelled on a coalition led by Russia, named Occasus for the purposes of the drill.”


“Scientists find new strains of influenza A virus in pigs, potentially posing a pandemic risk.

“Scientists from Duke-NUS Medical School and their collaborators have uncovered several previously unknown strains of swine flu viruses that have been circulating unnoticed in Cambodian pig populations over the past 15 years, potentially posing a pandemic risk. The strains include viruses that have been passed by humans to pigs…”


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.

8th September 2023 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

Overlapping crises could fracture the global financial system. Like the Titanic, we have an apparatus that is declared unsinkable, but is far from being so…

“International leadership seems to think that if two or more crises flare up simultaneously, the system will still float. This assumption is patently wrong. The interplay of the climate crisis with financial fragility alone threatens potentially insurmountable dangers unless immediate action is taken.

“Global debt has hit unprecedented levels, weighing down a system still shaken by the pandemic. A shadow banking system of “non-bank financial intermediaries” emerged following the financial crisis of 2008, and now dominates about half of global financing. The unregulated financing attributable to NBFIs is about $240tn…

“…a worse-than-predicted climate crisis could bring the global financial system to its knees [pictures from Greece’s floods this week].

“The 16 climatic tipping points, identified by a group of researchers in an article in Science, are triggers for a possible collapse in highly leveraged global financial markets. The markets, including regulators and central banks, have failed to integrate the physical, transition and liability risks from climate change into the observable market data.

“Take one example: imagine if five of the largest property and casualty insurance companies and the three largest reinsurers failed following previously unlikely ice sheet melt and permafrost collapse, which would lead to flooding. The insurance companies would face unprecedented claims and a decimated investment portfolio, wiping out their capital bases.

“Furthermore, the effects of climate change on food shortages and supply chain collapses would render the system even more fragile.

Price levels would rocket due to a massive injection of liquidity in the global financial system, as a result of defensive actions such as central bank bailouts. Banks would be knocking on central bank doors to fend off the impact of insurance company defaults.”


“Saudi Cuts Send World Diesel Prices Soaring.

“One corner of the global energy market is getting especially squeezed by Saudi Arabia and Russia’s oil-production cuts: diesel. Diesel prices have climbed more than 40% in the U.S. and Europe since May, when surprise output cuts by Saudi Arabia and some other members of the OPEC+ oil cartel took effect…”


“‘There’s No Plan B’: Oil Chiefs Sound Alarm on Refining Woes.

“An increasingly stretched global refining system means fuel-price volatility is set to become more common, according to top oil executives. A lack of spare crude-processing capacity due to under-investment, and shutdowns happening more frequently.”


“The US is now paying ~$2 billion PER DAY in interest expense on federal debt.

“This has doubled since the pre-pandemic levels of ~$1 billion per day. Since 2020, the US has added a historic $9.1 TRILLION to the national debt. Meanwhile, 31% of outstanding debt is going to mature within the next year. Refinancing this debt will come with much higher interest rates.”


“[US] Bank Deposits Fell for Fifth Straight Quarter in Q2.

“Deposits at Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)-insured banks were down for the fifth straight quarter in the period ended June 30, while net income fell by double digits, the FDIC’s latest Quarterly Banking Profile showed.”


“Real-Estate Doom Loop Threatens America’s Banks…

“Banks’ exposure is even bigger than commonly reported. The banks are in danger of setting off a doom-loop scenario where losses on the loans trigger banks to cut lending, which leads to further drops in property prices and yet more losses.”


“[US] Mortgage Applications at Lowest Level in 28 Years.

“Despite the drop in 30-year fixed mortgage rates last week, weekly mortgage applications decreased by 2.9% to the lowest level since December 1996. That’s according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Sept. 1.”


“Pressure on US consumers from higher interest rates is the most since the financial crisis, economist says…

“The chart below from Steven Blitz, chief U.S. economist at TS Lombard, shows the central bank’s tightening has pushed borrowing costs relative to incomes to their most since the global financial crisis — a height that has caused households problems in previous cycles.”


“U.S. Stagflation Risks Rise As Service Sector Falters Alongside Manufacturing Downturn.

“Growth of business activity in the US came close to stalling in August, according to the final reading of S&P Global’s US PMI. Looking at the broad split of the data, manufacturing output slipped back into decline after a brief resumption of growth in July.”


“Texas paid bitcoin miner more than $31 million to cut energy usage during heat wave…

“Riot said on Wednesday that the state’s power grid operator paid the company $31.7 million in energy credits in August — or roughly $22 million more than the value of the bitcoin it mined that month — to cut its energy consumption… The strain on the grid persists. On Wednesday, Texas officials declared an emergency as sky-high temperatures again threatened to trigger rolling blackouts across the state.


“‘Biggest clean energy disaster in years’: UK auction secures no offshore windfarms…

“Britain’s offshore wind industry suffered a blow after ministers failed to heed warnings from some of the world’s biggest renewable energy developers that the annual auction was set too low to reflect their soaring costs. No energy companies submitted bids…”


“Swedish utility Vattenfall AB is in early-stage talks to sell one of the UK’s largest offshore projects, which it halted in July because of soaring costs.

“The company is negotiating with possible buyers of its Norfolk Boreas site, according to people familiar with the matter. Conversations are at an early stage…”


“UK ‘completely uncompetitive’ for oil and gas investment, says EnQuest CEO.

“Speaking at Offshore Europe, the head of the North Sea operator set out challenges for the sector – predominantly the windfall tax, which saw EnQuest drop to a $21m loss this week, reversing last year’s $200m profits… “We clearly now are completely uncompetitive in the upstream oil and gas business,” said the EnQuest CEO of the UK regime.”


“Build hydrogen ‘caves’ or risk blackouts, Britain warned.

“Britain must set up a vast network of hydrogen-filled caves to guard against the risk of blackouts under the net zero shift, according to the country’s premier science body. The Royal Society has said 900 caverns filled with hydrogen will be needed to ensure the UK can keep the nation’s lights on…”


Ireland’s dairy farmers in crisis over EU nitrogen cap.

“Irish dairy farmers face the prospect of having to reduce their herds in the next four months after the government said there was no chance of overturning an EU decision to apply tougher limits on nitrogen. Farmers say 3,000 dairy producers will be affected, which could cost Ireland’s rural economy nearly €240mn…”


“Eurozone faces recession as growth falters.

“Andrew Kenningham, chief Europe economist at Capital Economics, said: “With business surveys having turned down sharply in July and August, construction and industry struggling and the labour market easing, we suspect that the economy will slip into recession in the second half of the year.””


“European private loan market falters as corporate credit stress mounts.

“Direct lending, a key but expensive source of credit for riskier European firms that banks often shy away from, is running out of steam, a fresh sign that aggressive interest rate rises may be starting to cause funding stress and exacerbate economic pain. Fundraising and deal-making have dropped sharply…”


“Feeble German Economy Faces Fresh Contraction as Factories Falter.

“Germany’s embattled economy, once Europe’s main engine of growth, looks set for a fresh contraction as its all-important manufacturing sector continues to weaken. After stagnating since the end of last year, Germany’s output is likely to contract this quarter as its factories face higher energy costs…”


“Russian farm minister says fuel shortages threaten harvest and sowing…

“”We already have problems with the availability (of fuel). We will now stop harvesting, and we will not sow winter crops. It will be a disaster,” he was quoted as telling the joint session of parliament’s monitoring and agriculture committees. “Maybe it’s time to temporarily stop exports of oil products until we stabilise the situation on the domestic market.”


“China asks fertilizer makers to halt urea exports on price surge

“China has asked some fertilizer producers to suspend urea exports after domestic prices jumped, a move that’s likely to restrict supplies and boost costs for farmers in key buyers such as India. Some major Chinese fertilizer producers have halted signing new export deals from early this month following a government mandate…”


“China’s renminbi hits 16-year low after exports tumble in August.

“China’s currency has fallen to its lowest point against the dollar since 2007 after exports shrank for a fourth straight month in August, showing how the manufacturing sector in the world’s second-largest economy is struggling to regain momentum… China’s exports dropped 8.8 per cent in August compared with a year ago.”


“Indonesia has nearly halved output at a major coal-fired power plant near the capital Jakarta after the city faced major pollution spikes in recent weeks, its operator told AFP Wednesday…

“The megalopolis of about 30 million people topped global pollution rankings several times last month, according to Swiss-based air quality monitor IQAir, as a toxic smog crisis threatened to overshadow the ASEAN meetings.”


“Colombia mulls future of massive coal mine as water dries up.

“Gigantic black craters scar the earth in La Guajira, northern Colombia, after four decades of coal extraction that has sucked up large quantities of water in an already-arid region hit by a wave of extreme droughts.”


“South Africa to Face Pressure From Trade Partners to Ditch Coal.

“South Africa must accelerate its transition to renewable energy to avoid export penalties being threatened by key trading partners, a government official said on Wednesday… The European Union plans a levy on certain carbon-intensive imports…


“Crime in South Africa. Security compromised during blackouts.

“Eskom’s indefinite implementation of Stage 6 blackouts has created a haven for criminals. Joburg residents say their security has been compromised and break-ins, hijackings, and smash and grabs have all increased. Continued darkness has also made it difficult for private security services to operate effectively.


“Tunisia’s president tightens grip on power by jailing rivals while economy falters.

“Democracy in Tunisia is under pressure. The North African country was long considered a trailblazer for democracy in the Arab world, but now its president has launched an authoritarian crackdown that has jailed political rivals, wrecked the economy and caused people to flee.”


“‘We are starving to death:’ Residents of Nagorno-Karabakh fear for future under blockade.

“…as shortages of food, fuel and medicines caused by the months-long blockade take an increasing toll on the region’s population, officials there have reported the first death from malnutrition on August 15, according to Gegham Stepanyan, the ombudsman of Artsakh, who CNN reached by phone.”


“Pakistan shuts Afghanistan crossing as deadly clashes raise tensions.

“Pakistan closed a key northwestern border crossing with Afghanistan after border guards from the two sides exchanged fire Wednesday, while elsewhere near the border in northern Pakistan clashes killed four Pakistani soldiers and 12 militants, authorities said.”


“Pakistan army vows to assist government in foreign investments, curbing ‘illegal activities’ harming economy.

“Pakistan Army’s top leadership on Thursday vowed to assist the government in foreign investments and its crackdown against “illegal activities” hampering economic growth and stability, a statement from the army’s media wing said.”


“How central banks are already deploying artificial intelligence…

“While these use cases are promising and may improve central bank operating models, they harbour issues about the quality and protection of data, the assumptions guiding AI systems and the possible convergence of AI systems. All of this may pose a threat to financial markets, as organisations like the Securities and Exchange Commission have argued.”


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

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

6th September 2023 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“Fears about the health of the global economy have intensified following downbeat news about service sector activity in China, the eurozone and the UK.

“Share prices fell in Asia and the pound dropped to a 12-week low against the US dollar after fresh signs of weakness in China triggered speculation that its post-lockdown recovery was running out of steam.”


“The world’s most powerful financial watchdog has warned of “further challenges and shocks” in the months ahead, as high interest rates undermine economic recoveries and threaten key sectors including real estate…

“Klaas Knot, chair of the Basel-based Financial Stability Board, said: “The global economic recovery is losing momentum and the effects of the rise in interest rates in major economies are increasingly being felt.”


“Is this how globalisation ends?

“…if you were to sum up the headwinds faced by globalisation during this period in two words, these would be: populist backlash. Successive crises, and policymakers’ management of those crises, created mounting popular discontent with the operation of the global economic system.”


“Oil hits $90 for first time in 2023 as Saudi Arabia and Russia extend cuts…

The move, which threatens to reignite inflation concerns globally, is the latest effort by two of the world’s largest oil producers to boost prices despite much of the world grappling with higher energy costs.”


“Orsted CEO says abandoning US wind projects a ‘real option’…

“Denmark’s Orsted, the world’s largest offshore wind farm developer, is prepared to walk away from projects in the U.S. unless the Biden administration guarantees more support, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday, citing the company’s CEO.”


“The Coming Green Energy Bailout…

“According to a report late last month by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (Nyserda), large offshore wind developers are asking for an average 48% price adjustment in their contracts to cover rising costs. The Alliance for Clean Energy NY is also requesting an average 64% price increase on 86 solar and wind projects.”


“US [corporate] Bankruptcy Tracker: Courts See Busiest August on Record.

The month of August saw at least 23 big bankruptcy filings… Last week’s filings — those with at least $50 million of liabilities — included a Dallas-area hospital that issued muni bonds and Mallinckrodt, the drugmaker that went bankrupt just two years ago…”


“Rising US consumer credit delinquencies spark new subprime crisis fears.

“Americans are increasingly failing to make payments on their credit cards and auto loans, according to recent data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The New York Fed reported that the rate of new credit card delinquencies reached 7.2% in the second quarter of 2023…”


“UK petrol station drive-offs at record high amid cost-of-living crisis.

“Petrol station crime in the UK has hit its highest level since records began – with an increase of 4.7 per cent in the number of fuel thefts, say campaigners. It comes as motorist were hit by one of the sharpest jumps in fuel prices in more than two decades last month, on top of a continuing cost-of-living crisis.”


“Councils in England in crisis as Birmingham ‘declares itself bankrupt’ [this is the largest local government government body in Europe].

“The council’s head of finance took the dramatic decision on Tuesday to issue a section 114 notice, indicating that it did not have the resources to balance its books. Woking, Croydon and Thurrock are among the other councils to have made similar announcements recently…”


“German government announces major budget cuts to avoid future ‘iceberg’.

“Germany’s budget for next year includes spending cuts in all areas except defence in anticipation of growing future debt, the government announced on Tuesday, but critics worry about extra-budgetary ‘special funds’ not counted in the official budget.”


“Mallorca town halls facing a liquidity crisis…

“Selva, Joan Rotger, speaks for many of the island’s mayors when he says that… “Practically all projects we have had under way for two years have required increased allocations.” Use of cash from budget surpluses is required to meet the higher costs. “It’s a matter of necessity. Without the surpluses we could face financial collapse.””


“Debt Crisis Threatens to Engulf China’s Surviving Developers…

“Out of the nation’s top 50 private-sector developers by dollar bond issuance, 34 have already suffered delinquencies on offshore debt, according to Bloomberg-compiled data as of Sept. 1. The remaining 16, including Country Garden Holdings Co., face a combined $1.48 billion of onshore and offshore public bond payments for either interest or principal in September.”


“Why South Africa is back on Stage 6 load shedding – and when it might end…

“Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has attributed the current round of Stage 6 load shedding to ramped up planned maintenance overlapping with unplanned breakdowns at several power plants.”


“Nigerian unions strike again to protest soaring costs after subsidy removal.

“The Nigeria Labour Congress has begun a two-day “warning strike”, their second in more than a month, to protest against the growing cost of living caused by the government’s removal of petrol subsidies.”


“At least two killed in Guinea anti-junta protests on eve of coup anniversary.

“At least two people were killed in Guinea’s capital Conakry when armed security forces attacked the neighbourhoods of political activists on the eve of planned demonstrations against the junta that seized power in 2021, protest organisers said on Tuesday.”


“At least 53 members of Burkina Faso’s security forces have been killed during heavy clashes with rebel fighters in the country’s north, according to the army.

“Seventeen soldiers and 36 volunteers assisting the military were killed during an “attack” in Koumbri commune in Yatenga province on Monday, the army said in a statement on Tuesday.”


“Long-standing tensions between Morocco and Algeria have moved up a notch with a deadly confrontation at sea last week between the Algerian Coast Guard and several men on jet skis.

“Algeria’s Ministry of National Defence has acknowledged that its forces fired on a group of people on jet skis who strayed into Algerian waters from Morocco on Tuesday and that a body was later found. The shooting has provoked national anger in Morocco.”


“Tunisia’s bad economy hits coeliac sufferers with rice shortage.

“For Siwar Derbeli a national rice shortage is not just another inconvenient symptom of Tunisia’s stretched national finances but a source of hunger because the coeliac disease she suffers from means it is one of the few staples she can comfortably eat.”


“Protesters in southern Syria smash statue as they mark 2015 assassination of anti-government leader.

“Hundreds of angry protesters in southern Syria smashed the statue of Syria’s late president on Monday as they they marked the 2015 assassination of a prominent anti-government Druze leader.”


“Pakistan in uproar as protests over soaring energy prices turn violent.

“Pakistan is in the midst of political and economic turmoil, with a record inflation rate of 36.4% and the prime minister, Imran Khan, ousted in April last year after a vote of no confidence. The country was also devastated by floods last year, which submerged much of the country.”


“Is the IMF setting Sri Lanka up for a second car crash?

“Sri Lanka is bankrupt and restructuring its debts. But there’s a high risk that this restructuring will not be thorough enough, leaving the country with a festering problem that will probably just lead to another default.”


“UN food agency cuts rations to 2 million Afghans as funds dry up.

“The U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) had to cut rations to another 2 million Afghans this month and is warning of a “catastrophic” winter if funding runs out with little food for remote communities in place, the agency’s country director said.”


“Sugar Jumps to 11-Year High as Top Trader Sees Shortages.

“Sugar has surged to the highest in more than a decade. Alvean, the world’s largest trader of the commodity, forecasts another year of shortages.”


“The total-return of the catastrophe bond market is now above 14% for the first eight months of 2023, meaning that the cat bond market’s investment performance remains on-track to set new all-time records this year…

[“Catastrophe bonds provide elements of disaster recovery for the insured risk and thus transfer weather and other catastrophe risk from the insured entity to financial investors willing to bear that risk.” – The Man Group]


“How the market is underestimating the impact of environmental risk on sovereign bonds…

“The risk in question is the failure of countries to adequately protect their natural capital, putting water, air and soil resources in jeopardy and impacting key sectors such as agriculture, a team of analysts led by Maggie O’Neal, Barclays’ global head of ESG research, wrote in the report published on Monday.”


“Invasive species costs global economy $423 billion per year – UN report.

“Fishing grounds choked by water hyacinths. Songbird eggs gobbled up by rats. Power plant pipes clogged by zebra mussels. And electrical lines downed by brown tree snakes. These are just a few examples of the environmental chaos sown by invasive species, whose spread around the world has seen economic damages quadruple every decade since 1970, scientists said on Monday.”


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 September 2023 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

Modi’s unifying message for the G20 summit looks dated as globalisation falls apart.

“India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, will have the unenviable task of forging agreement between the world’s biggest developed and developing countries when G20 leaders gather in Delhi for their annual summit later this week.

“The scale of the challenge will be reflected in two significant no-shows. Vladimir Putin will not be leaving Moscow and nor will Xi Jinping be flying in from Beijing. The theme of the meeting is “One Earth, One Family, One Future” but in truth the G20 is riven by conflict and struggling to remain relevant.”


Economists grow gloomier on 2024 as central banks delay rate cuts…

“The caution centres on the belief that persistently high demand will keep inflation higher for longer, forcing rate-setters in advanced economies to keep borrowing costs elevated well into next year… In many countries, including the US, “there will be a recession, it’s just going to come later”, said Sheets.”


“U.S. deficit explodes even as economy grows… A strong economy usually reduces the deficit. Not this time…

“The unexpected deficit surge, which comes amid signs of strong growth in the economy overall, is likely to shape a fierce debate on Capitol Hill about the nation’s fiscal policies as lawmakers face a potential government shutdown this fall and choices over trillions of dollars in expiring tax cuts.”


“US credit card debt has officially surpassed $1 trillion. This is not sustainable with credit card rates above 20%.”


“Home insurers cut natural disasters from policies as climate risks grow.

“Some of the largest U.S. insurance companies say extreme weather has led them to end certain coverages, exclude natural disaster protections and raise premiums.. Major insurers say they will cut out damage caused by hurricanes, wind and hail from policies underwriting property along coastlines and in wildfire country…”


“It looks like a commercial property crash is looming for Dublin…

“This is not [purely] an Irish phenomenon. It’s particularly acute in San Francisco (where vacancy grew from about 4 per cent pre-pandemic to 31.8 per cent now), and Manhattan (22.4 per cent). Office blocks in Manhattan are being offloaded at knock-down prices.”


“UK on recession alert after big falls in factory output and house prices.

“Policymakers in the UK have been put on recession high alert after surging interest rates triggered a slump in factory output and the biggest annual drop in house prices since the global financial crisis of the late 2000s.”


“Oil production has slumped to a record low as the UK industry’s future hangs in the balance.

“In the first six months of this year, 17.4 million tons of crude was extracted from the North Sea and the mainland, according to Department for Energy and Net Zero estimates. This compares with 20 million tons in the same period last year and nearly 50 million tons in 2003.”


“Germany, Italy highlight growing European nuclear divide.

“Germany’s place as the leader of Europe’s anti-nuclear lobby has been further solidified as Chancellor Olaf Sholz doubled down on his view that nuclear has no place in the country’s energy mix, while Italy has vowed to speed up its integration of nuclear.”


“A winter energy crunch in Europe looks a distinct possibility…

“According to politicians like the German energy minister, Robert Habeck, the worst of the energy crisis is over. Yet, as we shall see, it’s a little early to be so confident… The harsh reality is that for at least another two or three winters, Europe will have to hope for mild weather…


“German business urges help for crisis-hit building industry.

“Business groups and economists have called on the German government to intervene to help the crisis-hit construction industry, as a wave of insolvencies claims a growing number of high-profile property developers.”


“China property downturn spreads to trophy office buildings…

“While cost-cutting by companies represents a sensible response to tougher times, it threatens to make things worse in China just as growing fears about the property sector have prompted global banks to scale back their forecasts for growth in Asia’s largest economy.”


“China’s biggest banks are extending billions of dollars to Russia as sanctions pressure western lenders to exit the country, according to a Financial Times report…

“The four biggest banks in China have quadrupled their exposure to Russia’s banking sector since the war in Ukraine began, according to data analyzed for the FT by the Kyiv School of Economics.”


“With Russia and the West distracted, 120,000 face [Armenians] ‘ethnic cleansing’ — here’s why.

“Azerbaijan has cut off the disputed region’s [Nagorno-Karabakh] link to the outside world, leaving its Armenian majority facing desperate shortages of food, fuel and medical supplies as winter draws in.”


“The multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk [Iraq] has seen a tumultuous night of protests and violent clashes that have left at least four Kurds dead and scores injured.

“The unrest erupted when Kurdish demonstrators took to the streets on Saturday to denounce the closure of the Kirkuk-Erbil road by Arab and Turkmen factions.”


“Syrian protesters call for Assad’s removal as economic crisis spirals.

“Hundreds of protesters gathered in southern Syria this weekend calling for President Bashar al-Assad’s removal, as demonstrations that erupted over the country’s economic crisis entered their third week… Demonstrators have burnt photographs of Assad and attacked the ruling party’s local office.”


“Clashes in Northeast Syria between army, pro-Turkey fighters kill more than 20.

“The violence comes amid days of separate clashes in Kurdish-held parts of neighbouring Deir Ezzor province after US-backed, Kurdish-led fighters detained the head of a local military body there.”


“Turkish Inflation Is Staying on Uplift That’s Taking It Past 55%.

“Turkish inflation probably accelerated to the fastest since January, underscoring the central bank’s challenge as it raises interest rates to try to end a cost-of-living crisis. With food and energy costs on the rise, the pace of annual price gains probably soared to near 56% last month…”


“Cyprus police have arrested 20 people after a march against migrants and refugees on the island’s second-largest city, Limassol, turned violent with mobs vandalising property.

“Five people were injured during the unrest on Friday evening after about 500 people took to the streets for the march, the police said.”


“More than 140 people have been wounded in clashes between Eritrean asylum seekers and Israeli police in Tel Aviv.

“The violence broke out near the Eritrean embassy when protesters were stopped from reaching the building ahead of a cultural event set to take place there.”


“Climate change fuels fresh community clashes in Somalia.

“Central Somali state of Galmudug is at the epicentre of climate-induced upheaval in the Horn of Africa where water scarcity threatens herders and villages. The pastoral community of central Somalia’s Galmudug state is getting pulled ever deeper into a complex web of conflict as a result of climate change.”


“Dozens of civilians killed in past two days in Sudan’s Khartoum…

“The Sudanese Armed Forces control the skies and have carried out regular air strikes while RSF fighters dominate the streets of the capital. Western countries have accused the paramilitaries and allied militias of killings based on ethnicity in the western Darfur region, and the International Criminal Court has opened a new probe into alleged war crimes.”


“Dozens killed in new clashes in northern Chad…

“At least 35 people, including six soldiers, were killed today in northwestern Chad in a new clash between the regular Army and the rebel group Military Command Council for the Salvation of the Republic (CCMSR), according to military sources the Army, whose figures were denied by the insurgents.”


“Huge protests in Niger call for French forces to leave after coup.

“Tens of thousands of protesters gathered outside a French military base in Niger’s capital Niamey on Saturday demanding that its troops leave in the wake of a military coup that has widespread popular support but which Paris refuses to recognise.”


“Coups and instability in the Sahel threaten the West too…

“There is now a chain of military-run countries stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea… It is likely to mean higher flows of migrants and the threat of more terrorism…


“Lagos traffic jams disappear. But this isn’t good news for Nigeria.

“Lagos feels different, the boisterous – often chaotic – energy that drives Nigeria’s commercial centre has been subdued by the removal of a fuel subsidy that had kept the price of petrol low for decades in Africa’s largest economy.”


“South Africa’s National Treasury said it will implement a number of cost-cutting measures to rein in government spending, including a hiring freeze, after a shortfall in revenue collection.

“The treasury, in response to an ailing economy, said it had outlined the measures in a letter addressed to national departments, provinces and public entities.”


“India burns more coal for power as dry weather sparks blackout fears.

“India has stepped up the use of coal to generate electricity in a bid to stop outages caused by lower hydroelectricity output, as an increase in renewables is struggling to keep pace with record power demand. It is unusual for India’s electricity use to spike in August…”


“Pakistani traders strike countrywide against high inflation and utility bills.

“Pakistani traders have staged strikes across the country against the soaring cost of living, including higher fuel and utility bills and record depreciation of the rupee against the dollar.”


“Child labour at ‘critical moment’ as more pushed into work: ILO…

“Gilbert Houngbo, director-general of the International Labour Organization (ILO), said there had been a “regression” in regions around the world amid global economic problems. Some of the worst forms of work involved sexual exploitation. He said urgent action was needed.”


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.

1st September 2023 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“Why India’s soaring food inflation is a global problem… Erratic climate conditions – including the driest August in more than a century – have sent food prices spiralling above 11% in India, which is a major player in global agri-trade…

“So, does India, with its aggressive defence of domestic prices, run the risk of exporting food inflation to the world? The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) believes it does, particularly with rice, sugar and onions.”


“Amid alarming food inflation: El Nino to suppress wheat, rice, palm oil harvest in Asia.

” An unusually dry August has taken a toll on cereal and oilseed crops in Asia as El Nino intensified, and forecasts for lower rainfall in September are further threatening to disrupt supplies, says Reuters in a report.”


“Extreme heat, drought take toll on US crops.

Soaring temperatures, stifling humidity and the pungent smell of rotting vegetation sounds more like an excursion through a rainforest jungle, but these were the conditions experienced by some of the approximately 100 scouts that participated in the recent Pro Farmer Midwest crop tour.”


“Norway to spend $6 million a year stock-piling grain, citing pandemic, war and climate change.

“Starting next year, Norway will start storing 15,000 tons of grain and do so yearly until 2028 or 2029, according to Norway’s minister for agriculture and food, Geir Pollestad, who said the aim is to always have a three-month worth of consumption in storage.”


“Ørsted, the owner of the UK’s biggest offshore wind farms has lost a fifth of its value after admitting that the costs of building major projects in the US was spiralling…

“Supply chain delays, a higher cost of borrowing due to rising interest rates and trouble obtaining tax credits have left it shouldering much higher costs on planned offshore wind farms in New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.”


“Interest rates put half of UK firms in debt difficulties.

“The share of non-financial UK firms facing problems servicing their debts will rise to 50% due to rising interest rates – up from 45% in 2022. The UK’s interest rate currently stands at 5.25%, up from the record low of 0.1% in November 2021, with the Bank expecting this to rise further to 6.1%.”


“Britain’s broad money supply has stopped growing for the first time in at least 13 years, a reading that will deepen concerns among monetarists urging the Bank of England to show restraint in its battle against inflation.

“Economists who predicted the surge in inflation during the pandemic after seeing money-supply growth rocket are now worried that the UK is in danger of recession and deflation.”


“The [UK] Government’s list of schools that are potentially falling apart after being built with poor quality concrete is growing all the time… after an order to shutter over 100 school buildings days before term left parents scrambling to make last-minute arrangements.

“Families have vented their fury after the Department for Education told 104 schools to close buildings made using reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete.”


“Spanish olive oil reaches new record-high surpassing USD8,880…

““The drought plus the high temperatures that we saw when the olive trees were in flower in almost all olive-growing areas in the country … means we’re headed to another bad harvest, and that is going to cause even more tension in the markets,” Cristobal Cano, the leader of the farmers’ union APA, informed Spanish daily Europa Press.”


“”All outdoor crops in Mallorca have been lost” [due to the recent storm].

“Cooperatives Agro-alimentàries Illes Balears is carrying out a first assessment of the damage that the heavy rains and winds of storm Betty caused to its members’ crops… All outdoor cultivation in Mallorca has been lost.”


“Russian oil fuels new political crisis in Bulgaria.

“Bulgarian political stability is threatened by a fuel market crisis as the ruling coalition wants to cut dependence on Russian oil, which would mean clashing with Russian private company Lukoil, which owns the Burgas refinery and has a monopoly on the wholesale market.”


“Ukraine cries foul as fuels refined from Russian oil pour into the EU.

“Diesel, kerosene and other fuels refined from Russian crude are flooding into Europe… countries like India are buying up cheap Russian crude and then refining it — which earns local companies the refining margin — before selling it to other countries.”


“Russia, one of the world’s biggest oil producers, has faced shortages of fuel crucial for gathering the harvest in some parts of its southern breadbasket…

“Traders said that the fuel market has been hit by a combination of different factors including maintenance at oil refineries, infrastructure bottlenecks on railways and the weaker rouble which incentivises fuel exports.”


“Japan’s budget demands will hit a record for the next fiscal year, exceeding 112 trillion yen ($767 billion), sources told Reuters, as rising interest rates add to debt-servicing costs and military and social security spending rises.

“The government is saddled with the industrial world’s heaviest debt at more than twice the size of its economy, adding to the urgency for Tokyo to shift from crisis-mode fiscal stimulus.”


“Manufacturing activity in Asia’s major export powerhouses continued to slump in August as weak demand persisted in the region’s key trade markets…

“Trade bellwethers Taiwan’s Purchasing Managers Index came in at 44.3 last month from 44.1 in July, while South Korea’s gauge slumped to 48.9 from 49.4 during the same period.”


“China’s factory activity shrinks for 5th month, maintains pressure for policy support.

“China’s manufacturing activity contracted for a fifth straight month in August, an official survey showed on Thursday, maintaining pressure on officials to provide support to shore up economic growth amid soft demand both at home and abroad.”


“Embattled Chinese developer Country Garden reported a 48.9bn yuan ($6.7bn) loss for the first half of the year in a stock exchange filing on Wednesday, adding to worries of a potentially catastrophic default.

“Its tenuous state has sparked fears of a collapse that could have far-reaching consequences for the Chinese financial system two years after the fall of Evergrande.”


“Side note on Country Garden earnings: The firm said it had nearly $14 billion in cash at the end of June. That covered 93% of the debt it said was due over the next 12 months. Five weeks later, it failed to pay ~$23 million on bond coupons.”


“Egypt aspired to be a natural gas powerhouse. Now the lights are out…

“Egypt was overzealous in its drive to produce and export natural gas, analysts say, failing to plan for declining fields and to diversify the energy sources that power its grid. In early summer, the electricity began to switch off seemingly at random…”


“Fuel Scarcity Hits Lagos and Ogun [Nigeria]: Residents Face Painful Queues.

“Lagos and Ogun states, two bustling regions in South-West Nigeria, are grappling with a renewed bout of fuel scarcity, causing distress among residents who must endure long and excruciating queues at filling stations.”


“Burkina Faso Crisis Continues to Spiral.

“Following two military coups d’état in 2022, militant Islamist groups in Burkina Faso have moved to encircle Ouagadougou leaving a trail of unprecedented violence in their wake… Militant Islamist groups threaten an increasing number of communities… shifting the epicenter of violence in the Sahel.


“Nigeria president suggests nine-month transition for Niger junta.

“Nigerian President Bola Tinubu on Thursday floated the idea of a transition back to democracy in neighbouring Niger similar to the nine-month period his country underwent in the late 1990s.”


“Nearly 50 killed in DR Congo crackdown on anti-UN protest.

“On Wednesday, Congolese soldiers stopped a religious sect from holding a demonstration against United Nations peacekeepers in the city of Goma… an internal army document consulted by AFP on Thursday, and verified by security officials, gave a toll of 48 people killed in the incident — in addition to the slain policeman — and 75 people wounded.”


“Army officers who seized power in a coup in Gabon on Wednesday have named Gen Brice Oligui Nguema as the country’s transitional leader…

“The deposed President, Ali Bongo, has appeared in a video at his home, calling on his “friends all over the world” to “make noise” on his behalf. The former French colony is one of Africa’s major oil producers.”


“Sudan refugees stranded without healthcare in Chad.

“Hundreds of thousands of people fleeing Sudan’s war have crossed into Chad to find themselves in overcrowded camps, sweltering in plastic huts and awaiting healthcare that never comes… The camps that house them are running low on everything — medical personnel, sanitary facilities and medicine — in scattered makeshift clinics.”


“Ethiopia’s Amhara crisis: 183 killed in unrest amid concerns about another civil war.

“Ethiopia’s restive Amhara region has seen at least 183 people killed since July in clashes, as Amhara fighters resist efforts by the federal government to disband them, the United Nations said Tuesday (29 August) as it appealed for the cessation of the killings, violence and rights abuses.”


“House prices suffer steepest fall since global financial crisis.

“House prices around the globe are falling at their fastest rate since the global financial crisis, data published today (August 31) by the Bank for International Settlements shows… Prices are falling faster in advanced economies…


“The Cost of Living Crisis Has Come for the Polycules… “It’s so hard to be polyamorous when you’re poor.”

“Obviously, money can have a huge impact on relationships, sexologist and polyamory expert Chantal Gautier tells VICE. “Spending, budgeting, saving disagreements, conflicts about money priorities – financial instability takes a toll on relationships,” she says. With polyamory, this is exponentially more difficult.”


“Decarbonising the world economy with synthetic biology…

“Synthetic biology involves the management of microbes to transform sugars or waste into useful products. Among other things, it could offer commercially viable and scalable technology for capturing emissions and transforming them into high-value products that can be sold.”


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.

30th August 2023 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“Staggeringly high government debt levels around the globe may stick — a huge shift from previous years that could come despite the warnings of economic damage this dynamic may cause…

“”Debt reduction, while desirable in principle, is unlikely in practice,” International Monetary Fund economist Serkan Arslanalp and University of California, Berkeley, professor Barry Eichengreen write in a new paper.

“Ballooning government debt worldwide won’t decline significantly in the coming years as in decades past, they argue. “Countries are going to have to live with this new reality as a semipermanent state.”


Central banks will push western economies into recession in order to be sure of winning the battle against inflation, one of [UK Chancellor] Jeremy Hunt’s advisers has warned.

“Rejecting the idea of a “soft landing”, Karen Ward, a member of the chancellor’s economic advisory council, said there would need to be signs of weakness before policymakers felt able to ease their tough approach.”


“Dallas Fed August manufacturing index -17.2 vs -20.0 prior.

High interest rates are affecting industrial production like never before. In addition to reshoring heavy activity, supply-chain issues, lack of qualified labor and interest rates have placed an inverted incentive to grow due to a major slowdown in capital equipment expenditures.”


“Chevron Evacuates Gulf Of Mexico Oil Platforms As Hurricane Idalia Approaches…

“The U.S. supermajor said on Tuesday that it had evacuated non-essential personnel from its Blind Faith and Petronius platforms, and all staff had been removed from its Genesis platform in the Gulf of Mexico.”


“With fire risk high, Northern California braces for power shutoffs amid smoky skies.

“Officials are warning that thousands across Northern California could lose power Wednesday in planned outages as the region faces a critical fire threat — while already dealing with poor air quality amid smoky skies and growing devastation from multiple ongoing wildfires.”


“Electric utilities face billions in wildfire liability with aging power lines risking another catastrophe.

“Electric companies in the western U.S. are facing mounting lawsuits alleging that their failure to prepare for extreme weather has resulted in repeated, catastrophic wildfires that have taken scores of lives and caused billions of dollars in damages.”


“Climate Change is Quickly Making Home Insurance a Luxury Item.

“As climate change accelerates, home insurance doesn’t just cost more. It’s getting harder to find at all. The national average rate for home insurance has risen 20% from last year to $1,428 annually, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. And even those skyrocketing fees don’t always guarantee a full reimbursement…”


“Climate crisis to create ‘acute’ challenges for Australia’s economy, incoming RBA governor says.

“Global heating will present the Reserve Bank with “acute” challenges, including heightened uncertainty around how the climate will change and the resulting impacts on the economy and financial system, the incoming governor, Michele Bullock, has said.”


“New Zealand is at risk of falling into a deeper recession, according to the International Monetary Fund.

“In its annual report card, the IMF said the Government needs to rein in spending or else the country faces prolonged high inflation lasting until 2025.”


“Canada Has Seen Subprime Become The Fastest Growing Borrower Segment…

“Transunion Canada data reveals an explosion of subprime borrowers in Q2 2023. Higher living costs and rising rates have combined to produce higher risk borrowers. At the same time, lenders are embracing it—with new loans to risky borrowers significantly outpacing the growth rate of high quality originations.”


“HSBC has become the latest [UK] mortgage lender to begin offering borrowers up to a 40-year mortgage term.

“The bank says its longest-ever mortgage term was launched with the intention of helping more people onto the property ladder.”


“Hundreds more flights were cancelled on Tuesday as the fallout from Monday’s UK air traffic control failure continued to disrupt travel, with the government telling airlines to take every step to help stranded passengers.

“Many holidaymakers remain unable to return home for several days, and Downing Street said airlines should fulfil their responsibilities to passengers whose flights have been scrapped or delayed.”


“Finland will dip into recession in the coming year, according to OP group economists.

“Their forecast suggests that Finland’s GDP will shrink by 0.3 percent this year, and will not grow at all in 2024. The group’s last prediction had been for growth of 0.3 percent this year.”


“Sweden’s GDP Contraction Driven by Sputtering Export Engine…

“Calendar-adjusted gross domestic product shrank by 0.8% in the three months through June, compared with the first quarter, according to figures published by Statistics Sweden on Tuesday. The drop is explained by lower goods exports and smaller inventories, authorities said.”


“Hungary Cuts Key Interest Rate to 14% as Record Recession Bites…

“The central bank decreased its overnight interest rate to 14% on Tuesday, matching all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey. The move brought the instrument, which was made the key rate in October to stem a plunge in the forint, one step away from the benchmark rate..”


“As Rates Near Their Peak, the Pain Begins for Europe’s Borrowers.

“Interest rates may be peaking in Europe, but for the consumers, companies and governments that borrowed trillions of euros during the era of ultra-low borrowing costs, there’s still plenty of pain in store… it’s a particular shock in Europe, where interest rates were below zero for eight years.”


“Eurozone bank lending continues to weaken as money growth turns negative.

“Higher interest rates and a stagnant economy keep bank lending on a weakening trend. Annual growth in broad money growth is now negative. This adds to expectations of a weak eurozone economy in the quarters ahead.”


“The EU is set to import record volumes of liquefied natural gas from Russia this year, despite aiming for the bloc to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels by 2027.

“In the first seven months of this year, Belgium and Spain were the second and third-biggest buyers of Russian LNG behind China…”


“High Energy Bills Force German Industry to Eye Production Abroad…

“Over half of surveyed companies say the energy transition is having negative or very negative effects on their competitiveness, according to a report by the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Among manufacturers, almost a third are considering or already executing a production shift abroad — twice as much as during last year’s energy crisis.”


“Germany begins dismantling wind farm for coal.

“German energy giant RWE has begun dismantling a wind farm to make way for a further expansion of an open-pit lignite coal mine in the western region of North Rhine Westphalia. One wind turbine has already been dismantled, with a further seven scheduled for removal to excavate an additional 15m to 20m tonnes of so-called ‘brown’ coal…”


“Locals of Austrian village of Hallstatt protest against mass tourism.

“The village, on the western shore of Lake Hallstatt in Austria’s mountainous Salzkammergut region, was rumoured to be the inspiration for Arendelle in Disney’s Frozen. Up to 10,000 tourists flock there every day – and locals have had enough.”


“Italy Determined to Combat Mass Tourism by Introducing Fees for Unruly Visitors.

“The popular country for tourism is expected to welcome a record number of tourists in 2023, and the authorities are determined to establish an environment that visitors but also residents can enjoy.”


“The Yen’s exchange rate against the dollar is back at levels that have prompted fx intervention in the past.

“The recent depreciation also puts additional pressure on the Bank of Japan to accelerate what has been a very gradual exit from its YCC (Yield Curve Control) policy regime.”


“Japan gasoline price hits record 185.60 yen per liter.

“The average retail gasoline price in Japan has climbed for the 15th straight week to its highest-ever level, industry ministry data showed Wednesday, as subsidies given to oil wholesalers taper off toward the end of September.”


“China is approving new coal power projects at the equivalent of two plants every week, a rate energy watchdogs say is unsustainable if the country hopes to achieve its energy targets…

“But after regional power crunches in 2022, China started a domestic spree of approving new projects and restarting suspended ones. In 2022 the government approved a record-breaking 106 gigawatts (GW) of new coal-fired power capacity.”


“Evergrande shares plunge further amid China economy fears.

“Shares in Evergrande fell a further 14% on Tuesday after more than $2bn was wiped off the Chinese property developer’s market value when it resumed trading for the first time in almost 18 months on Monday. Evergrande, the world’s most indebted property firm with liabilities of $328bn (£260bn), has lost more than 99% of its share market value over the past three years.”


“China Distress Mounts as Country Garden Tries to Dodge Default.

“China is flashing new signs of financial stress almost on a daily basis, with a property giant making fresh efforts to avoid default and a state-run bad debt manager suffering a bond slump on worries about its own health.”


“Chinese banks to cut existing mortgage rates as property crisis deepens.

“Some Chinese state-owned banks will soon lower interest rates on existing mortgages, three sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday, as Beijing ramps up efforts to revive the debt crisis-hit property sector and bolster a sputtering economy.”


“Drought dents Sri Lanka’s economic hopes, farmers’ livelihood…

“The island’s economy was crushed last year by its worst financial crisis in over seven decades… But even before the country’s agriculture sector could recover from sky-rocketing prices of inputs from fertiliser to power, the rains failed.”


“Pakistan: Political unrest compounds economic misery.

“Pakistan’s caretaker government needs to drum up foreign investment to help stabilize the economy, but ongoing political uncertainty is keeping many investors away.”


“Syrian protests enter second week with calls for Assad to go…

“A spate of protests and strikes across government-held areas in southern Syria have continued into their second week, with demonstrators increasingly unafraid to call for the removal of the president, Bashar al-Assad.”


“Leaked ‘secret’ meeting between Israel and Libya sparks riots in Tripoli [Libya].

“The White House is reportedly “furious” with the Israeli government after they publicised a meeting between Israeli and Libyan foreign ministers… Libya has traditionally been a strong supporter of Palestinians and has no formal ties with Israel.”


“Argentina’s Milei will need time to scrap peso if he wins.

“Javier Milei, Argentina’s radical presidential front-runner, will need time to carry out his campaign pledges of scrapping the peso currency and cutting taxes on grains should he win the election, advisers told Reuters, adding that he could avoid congressional hurdles by using executive decrees.”


“Colombia: mass protests over gas prices.

“Thousands of protesters on cars and motorbikes took to the streets of Colombia’s main cities on Monday to reject recent hikes in gasoline prices that have drastically increased the price of fuel in the South American country.”


“Turkish ‘Patanas’ Are a Pollution Bomb in Cuba.

“The formidable column of smoke that extends from the bay of Havana to the east is the most visible example of the environmental damage caused by the Turkish patanas, the floating power plants present on the Island since 2019… [they] release dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide into the island’s atmosphere.”


The race to mine the moon: How India, Russia, Europe, the US and China are battling it out to mine precious water, helium and metals beneath the lunar surface – estimated to be worth QUADRILLIONS…

“Other resources include basalt, iron, quartz and silicon, which could all be used for windows, stoneware and solar panels on Earth, while precious metals for electronics include platinum, palladium and rhodium.”


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.