Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.

19th June 2023 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

The world is experiencing a surge in civil unrest incidents driven by a cost-of-living crisis, according to specialty (re)insurance group Chaucer.

“A recent analysis by the company revealed that incidents of global civil unrest have risen by 3% in the past year, reaching 30,376 compared to 29,535 in the previous year.

“The cost-of-living crisis, characterised by double-digit inflation and rising interest rates, has significantly eroded real incomes in many developed countries. Particularly affected are several European nations, with the Eurozone’s annual inflation rate hitting a record high of 8.4% in the previous year.

“France and Germany have witnessed significant spikes in civil unrest incidents in the first quarter of 2023 when compared to the same period in the previous year.”


New report links compounding global crises to modern slavery.

The Global Slavery Index reveals the number of people living in modern slavery has grown since 2018 against a backdrop of increasing and more complex conflicts, widespread environmental degradation, climate-induced migration, a global rollback of women’s rights, and the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”


Why It Seems Everything We Knew About the Global Economy Is No Longer True…

“While the previous economic orthodoxy has been partly abandoned, it is not clear what will replace it. Improvisation is the order of the day. Perhaps the only assumption that can be confidently relied on now is that the path to prosperity and policy trade-offs will become murkier.”


Time-warped: how modern life shortens our perspectives.

One temporal stress that we now face daily is the sense that we live in a period of concatenating crises: financial crisis, pandemic crisis, climate crisis, Ukraine crisis, cost-of-living crisis – each one blending into another.”


The Daily Mail investigates a booming business – prepping the preppers…

“How could a rational guy, like John Ramey, align with the stereotype of a right-wing, gun-toting conspiracist preparing for the apocalypse, friends asked. After all, Ramey was once an adviser to the White House and Pentagon during the Obama administration.”


Is a full-blown 2008-style banking crisis just around the corner?

“Clearly, none of this is particularly reassuring. While the Fed insists that the banking system is “sound and resilient, with strong capital and liquidity” and described SVB as “an outlier”…the continued concerning behaviours of lenders suggests that further fatalities from this crisis are just around the corner.


Wave of empty offices hits global market. Vacancy rates log post-Lehman highs in 60% of big cities…

“Office demand has fallen around the world as more people work from home and businesses accelerate job cuts to cope with slow growth. At the end of March, vacancy rates hit the highest levels since the global financial crisis of 2008 in 10 of 17 major cities.”


US National Debt Hits $32 Trillion, up $572 billion since Debt Ceiling Suspended. TGA Starts Refilling, Drains Liquidity from Markets.

“The U.S. national debt spiked by $572 billion since the debt ceiling was suspended two weeks ago after the sarcastically named “Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023” was signed into law, the Treasury Department reported Friday evening. The total government debt now exceeds $32.0 trillion – hallelujah, we made it


A record 1.5m over-65s [UK] are still in the workforce as the cost of living crisis puts retirement out of reach for many.

“More than one in ten people aged 65 or over were either in work or job hunting in the three months to April, new analysis by Rest Less of Office for National Statistics data shows.”


First shrinkflation, now drinkflation: Beers get weaker as brewers scramble to cut costs.

“Between soaring energy bills, rising mortgage rates, and products on supermarket shelves getting smaller, people seem to be getting less for their money wherever they look. Yet even those hoping to drown their sorrows may struggle: some of Britain’s best-known beers are being made weaker in a trend that has been dubbed “drinkflation”.”


The National Grid will ask factories and businesses to voluntarily cut their electricity usage this winter under an expansion of a service previously pioneered by households.

“In a bid to help keep Britain’s lights on, the Grid has confirmed it will urge heavy industry to sign up to the so-called demand flexibility service this coming winter.”


Britain heading for ‘mortgage catastrophe’, Tory MP warns…

“Lucy Allan criticised the “complacency” of the Bank, saying that if it continued to put up interest rates thousands would be forced to sell their homes. But Michael Gove, the Levelling Up Secretary, said that while the Government would keep the issue under review, there were no plans for cash help for struggling homeowners.”


The German economy, Europe’s biggest, will shrink this year and inflation will stay above 2% at least through 2025, the Bundesbank said on Friday in a biannual update of its projections.

“The new forecasts came just a day after the European Central Bank lifted interest rates for the eighth straight time and promised even more tightening…”


Police fire tear gas as thousands in France protest against high-speed Lyon-Turin train…

“Supporters say it will greatly ease freight road traffic but opponents say the ecological damage risks being devastating and that springs are already starting to dry up due to the works.”


Hundreds of Pakistanis dead in Mediterranean migrant boat disaster, official says.

“More than 300 Pakistani nationals have been killed in the sinking of a overcrowded fishing trawler off the coast of Greece, the latest tragedy to expose the refugee crisis confronting the European Union as tens of thousands seek sanctuary from war, persecution and poverty.”


Dollar crunch to force import suspension of eatables, drinks in Pakistan.

“Owing to the non-availability of dollars, commercial importers have announced to stop the import of all eatables and drinks from June 25, The News reported Monday. According to a statement issued by Karachi Wholesale Grocers Association Secretary Farhat Siddique, all banks have refused to provide them with dollars.”


Why dollar crisis persists despite declining imports [Bangladesh].

“The country’s banking sector has been experiencing higher outflow than inflow in foreign currency due to repayment pressure of private sector short-term foreign loans when external borrowings of banks declined substantially after Moody’s downgraded the banking system.”


Middle-class Sri Lankans are fleeing their country.

“At the height of the economic crisis in Sri Lanka last year, winding queues for fuel and cooking gas were matched only by lines at the immigration and emigration department. The nearly 875,000 passports it issued in 2022 was an all-time high.”


Analysis: Argentina faces crunch IMF talks to defuse looming debt bomb.

“…with net foreign currency reserves estimated to be in negative territory, hit by a major drought that sunk the key soy and corn harvests, Argentina is at risk again of missing debt repayments, with $2.7 billion due to the fund this month alone.”


Milton Morrison: “Heat causes blackouts in the Dominican Republic”…

“¨EDESUR had yesterday the historical record of demand. The impact of this energy increase is great. This forces us to increase the government subsidy and look for a lot of US$ money to buy energy from generators, increasing the sector’s fiscal deficit to maintain the 99% supply we have today. Before, 84-86% of the demand was supplied,” he emphasized.”


The financial viability of Karpowership’s floating gas powerships project in SA – mooted by the government as an emergency measure to plug electricity shortages – hangs in the balance.

“…commercial banks and other financial institutions are becoming nervous about providing funding to Karpowership to help it to set up ships in Richards Bay, Ngqura and Saldanha Bay. These ships use gas as fuel to generate electricity.”


Runaway price hikes worsen in Zimbabwe.

“The collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar against major currencies has fueled inflation, sparking long queues at banks due to the shortage of cash. Businesses and economists say that’s the reason why the country is experiencing this latest crisis.”


It’s One Meal A Day For Most Families, As Cost Of Living Rises [Kenya]…

“The high cost of living is forcing many families in Nairobi and in the countryside to ration meals; eating only one meal a day. According to some of the families who spoke to Wananchi Reporting, ‘fasting’ is fast becoming a common practice in most households.”


Angola fuel hike protesters clash with police.

“Angolan police fired tear gas in the capital Luanda and other cities Benguela and Namibe as thousands of protesters took to the streets a week after clashes over a recent fuel hike killed at least five people… Africa’s second biggest crude oil producer earlier this month joined its larger continental rival Nigeria in reducing gasoline subsidies…”


Benin feeling the pinch as Nigeria ends fuel subsidies.

“Sitting on top of a yellow jerry can of fuel, Jeannine waits for customers on a sidewalk in Benin’s economic capital Cotonou, but business is slow. The motorbikes and cars she normally supplies are no longer stopping to stock up on her cheap gasoline, which is smuggled in from neighboring Nigeria…”


Ghana seeks agreement with bilateral creditors in coming weeks.

“The gold, cocoa and oil-producing nation is in talks with its creditors to restructure its debt as it struggles under its worst economic crisis in a generation… Ofori-Atta said Ghana will continue discussions with private creditors, Eurobond investors on external debt…”


Sierra Leone gears up for presidential election amid economic crisis, looming protests.

“With mounting frustration due to an ailing economy, rising unemployment and looming deadly protests, Sierra Leoneans are heading to the polls on Saturday, June 24, to select their next president.”


Children die daily at a South Sudan border camp while they wait for international aid…

“Set up a week into the fighting in Sudan, when desperate families arrived seeking shelter, the Renk transit camp near the border of South Sudan and Sudan was not supposed to hold more than 3,000 people. It now houses more than double that.”


‘Anyone want to buy?’: Turkish lira falls as traders await uplift in economy.

“Mood is tense among currency traders in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, with country reeling from economic crisis… “Is anyone buying dollars?” yells a man in a Galatasaray sports jacket as he leans against the bazaar’s 500-year-old stone wall.”


Despite suffering the worst financial crisis in its history, the Lebanese remain the world’s biggest spender on cigars…

“Ali Assaf, managing director at La Cubana, an importer of cigars, explained that most cigar demand comes from people whose revenues are paid in U.S. dollars, so a depreciating local currency has little impact on them.”


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.

16th June 2023 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

UN chief attacks oil and gas industry ‘planet wreckers’ over fossil fuel expansion.

UN secretary-general António Guterres attacked oil and gas industry attempts to justify fossil fuel expansion with carbon capture technology as “proposals to become more efficient planet wreckers”, in a speech that appeared to be a thinly-veiled critique of the UAE hosts of COP28.

“The industry’s stated plans to deal largely with the emissions behind global warming by capturing them, rather than phasing out production, were undermining the climate agenda, Guterres said.

“The UAE COP28 president-designate Sultan al-Jaber, who is also the head of the state oil company Adnoc, has consistently reflected the industry view that the focus should be on the control of emissions.”


Shell plans to increase fossil fuel production despite its net-zero pledge.

“Oil giant Shell plans to boost fossil fuel production even as the company says it still aims to zero out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Critics concerned about climate change say to meet that target, the company should be cutting production, not increasing drilling for oil and gas.”


Major central banks not done with rate hikes just yet.

“Inflation is easing but major central banks remain hawkish, with a long-awaited pause from the U.S. Federal Reserve this week coming with a warning by the world’s most influential interest rate setter that the tightening cycle may not be over yet. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank on Thursday hiked rates by 25 basis points (bps).”


Don’t forget about the banking crisis as the Fed pauses rate hikes…

“JEROME POWELL: Our job generally involves worrying about a lot of things that may go wrong, and that would include the banks. It might be hard for me to identify something that we don’t worry about rather than that we do worry about. So we’re watching those things very carefully.”


“Young families and renters face unprecedented cash flow pressure as financial stress hits new high [Australia]…

“”Even through the Global Financial Crisis, or even through COVID, the pressures were less extreme than they are today,” DFA Principal Martin North said. “When it comes to mortgage stress amongst young growing families, 88 per cent of them [with a mortgage] are now in mortgage stress, and 65 per cent in the rental sector, are in rental stress.””


New Zealand falls into recession, as impact of cyclones takes toll…

“The economic downturn was exacerbated by the effects of extreme weather that hit the country through February and March, devastating some of New Zealand’s key fruit and vegetable-growing regions and causing extensive damage to the road network, analysts said.”


Northern Ireland struggles with fiscal crisis as politicians boycott executive.

“More than a year of political crisis in Northern Ireland has not only raised fears of irreparable damage to struggling public services in one of the UK’s poorest regions but has also highlighted how its volatile politics have undermined its ability to manage its finances.”


Thurrock council hid losses as it gambled millions on risky investments [UK]…

“Bankrupt Thurrock council recklessly gambled hundreds of millions of pounds on risky commercial investments while covering up evidence of its losses and attempting to silence critics, a devastating official review has concluded.”


This is the worst mortgage crisis since the 1980s – but the stakes are higher [UK]…

“Mortgage rates are nearing 6pc, with experts likening the pain for today’s borrowers to that felt during the 1980s crash. Except this time around, homeowners are leveraged to the hilt – having borrowed more than double the amount their predecessors needed to secure a property four decades ago.”


National Grid in talks with Drax to revive coal-fired units.

“National Grid has held talks with Drax over bringing two coal-fired units at its vast power plant in North Yorkshire out of retirement to prevent power cuts and confirmed it will again run its scheme to help avert blackouts this winter.”


European natural gas prices soar 30% as key source to close permanently after hundreds of earthquakes.

“Europe’s biggest natural gas field is set to shut down on October 1, sources told Bloomberg, sending prices for the key energy source higher on Thursday. A final decision has not yet been made concerning the Groningen field in the Netherlands, but a government cabinet meeting later this month will make it official, the report said.”


Europe is already in producer price deflation and a deepening credit crunch…

“The ECB no longer pays attention to the money supply. It if did, it might be chastened by the collapse of M1, which has been contracting at an annual pace of nearly 11pc since November. Broad M3 money has fallen for the last five months. These aggregates point to a deepening disinflationary downturn through the rest of this year and into 2024.”


France presses EU to declare trade war against China…

“France is ratcheting up pressure on Brussels to hit back against what it sees as China’s unfair advantages in export sectors such as electric vehicles — but the EU is wary about the risks of triggering an all-out trade conflict with Beijing.”


Chinese economic data fuels gloom over recovery.

“China’s central bank has cut its main policy rate for the first time in 10 months as new data reinforced concerns over a stalling post-Covid recovery in the world’s second-largest economy.”


China Holds Urgent Meetings on Economy With Business Leaders.

“Senior Chinese officials are soliciting advice from business leaders and economists on how to revitalize the economy in a flurry of meetings attendees have characterized as unusually urgent in their tone. Top officials have held at least six consultations in recent weeks with the executives…”


Tumbling exports feed worker unrest in world’s factory China.

“Strikes at Chinese factories have surged to a seven-year high and are expected to become more frequent as weak global demand forces exporters to cut workers’ pay and shut down plants, one rights group and economists say… “Bosses want to cut costs by simply dumping workers.””


Protests by Mexican farmers over grains prices shut down Sinaloa airport.

“Dozens of flights at an international airport in the northern Mexican state of Sinaloa were suspended Wednesday as protests by farmers demanding guaranteed prices for grains ramped up a standoff with the government.”


Venezuela’s economic crisis has led to a surge in suicides.

“On a weekend in May, a 15-year-old boy and a 37-year-old man both jumped to their deaths off a viaduct in Mérida. Nearly 40% of Venezuela’s suicides happen in this mountain city south of oil-rich Lake Maracaibo.”


Angola: Further protests, clashes over increased fuel prices likely nationwide through June.

“Increased security is likely nationwide, at least through June. Any protests in urban areas will likely involve the blocking of roadways, causing localized transport disruptions. Security forces will likely deploy to protest hotspots to remove blockades and disperse protesters, possibly through the use of tear gas and rubber bullets.”


Massive strike pits African fishers against ‘superprofitable’ EU firms…

“Not only were they protesting over poor pay and working conditions in one of the world’s most dangerous jobs, they also said the agreements from the EU aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. They accused the EU fleet of unsustainable practices, and urged the EU commission to listen to NGOs and investigate.”


Sudan slips into crisis with critical shortages as conflict enters third month.

“The war between rival generals enters its third month on Thursday with no end in sight in Sudan, where planes bombed a southern town for the first time and the regular army accused paramilitaries of “abducting and murdering” a governor in Darfur.”


Egypt’s Banking System Is Getting Closer to the Edge.

“Egypt’s ongoing sovereign debt crisis has compromised its ability to protect struggling domestic banks in the event of a crisis. If President Sisi is not able to implement reforms soon, he may be facing an avalanche of private defaults which the state will not be able to arrest.”


Turkey’s new finance team faces huge challenge to fix economy.

“Steering Turkey towards a sustainable economic path will require a sharp rise in borrowing costs and a further lira depreciation, with the country’s foreign currency war chest “dangerously” depleted by unorthodox policies and at least $23bn used to prop up the lira before May’s election.”


IMF criticises Pakistan budget as pressure mounts for bailout package.

“The IMF has said Pakistan’s proposed budget needs more work before it can secure a critical bailout that many analysts believe is necessary to avoid default, in a significant setback as the government battles a deepening economic crisis.”


Sri Lanka’s economy shrinks 11.5% in first quarter as financial crisis continues.

“…the country remained in the grip of its worst financial crisis in decades. The downturn was driven by high inflation and high interest rates, the rising cost of components, as well as restrictions on imports and lower earnings from apparel exports, Census and Statistics Department said in a statement.”


Measures under way to stabilise ‘serious’ situation at Zaporizhzhia plant, IAEA chief says…

“Grossi — who has held talks with both Russia and Ukraine officials — had previously proposed measures for the facility’s safety but the initiative has so far stalled. He said he wanted the world to be “aware of the danger” that there could be “a major accident.””


Belarus starts taking delivery of Russian nuclear weapons – president… The deployment is Moscow’s first move of such warheads… outside Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union

“”We have missiles and bombs that we have received from Russia,” Lukashenko said.. “The bombs are three times more powerful than those (dropped on) Hiroshima and Nagasaki…””


Global investors remain bearish on economic growth: BofA…

“As of now, the FMS believe the biggest tail risk (36%) is high inflation keeping central banks hawkish. Bank credit crunch and global recession followed at 22%. Worsening geopolitics, in terms of Russia/Ukraine and China/Taiwan, was 17%, while systemic credit event was the fourth risk at 13%. AI/tech bubble was the smallest tail risk at 9%.”


Quiet quitting is a nearly $9 trillion suck on the global economy, Gallup estimates…

“There may be many factors driving quiet quitting. With layoffs roiling the jobs market, one industry at a time, morale and engagement among employees have taken a hit even among employees who kept their jobs as they grapple with higher stress levels at work.”


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.

14th June 2023 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

Return of El Niño Threatens New Levels of Economic Destruction.

“As the world struggles to recover from Covid-19 and Russia’s war in Ukraine grinds on, the arrival of the first El Niño in almost four years foreshadows new damage to an already fragile global economy…

“Combined with more extreme weather and hotter temperatures due to accelerated climate change, the stage is now set for the world’s costliest El Niño cycle since meteorologists started keeping track. It also adds to the dreaded risk of stagflation, in which inflation stays high even as the economy contracts.


The Climate Crisis Will Be the Mother of All Financial Crises…

What happened to Silicon Valley Bank and the others will happen again and again in the future. Contagion to other banks will be more and more frequent and, with higher prices, will happen by other means as well. Household debt is increasing to combat high prices.”


Recent shortage of cancer drugs leaves patients around the world vulnerable.

“The recent, abrupt shortage of critical cancer drugs highlights a broken business model in generic drugs that leaves patients in the U.S. and all over the world more vulnerable to similar shortages.”


CDC Report: 9 Million Americans Not Taking Medications as Prescribed Due to Cost.

“Prescription drugs can be expensive, especially in the U.S. In fact, research shows that Americans spend more on prescription drugs per capita than people in any other country—or about $1,200 more per person.2 And these high costs are not without consequences.”


[US] Housing has become so unaffordable that over 75% of homes on the market are too expensive for middle-income buyers…

“Of the 1.1 million listings on the market in April, middle-income buyers could only afford 23% of them, the report said. That’s less than half of what the group could afford five years ago, when around 50% of all listings on the market were considered affordable for that group.”


JPMorgan’s Bob Michele manages $700 billion—and today’s bull run reminds him of the calm before the Lehman collapse…

““This does remind me an awful lot of that March-to-June period in 2008,” Michele told CNBC in an interview on Friday, citing the three-month rally that followed the Bear deal. “The markets viewed it as: there was a crisis, there was a policy response and the crisis is solved.””


A “Quiet Credit Crunch” May Be Underway…

“Credit is the lifeblood of the economy. When it’s flowing, companies and consumers tend to splurge, pumping up growth. But when the credit taps run dry, the economy gasps for air, and companies and consumers can struggle to repay the debt they hold.”


US Junk-Bond Maturities Shrink to Record Low as Debt Mountain Grows.

“US junk bonds have the shortest average time to maturity on record, signaling that companies will have large amounts of debt to refinance in the next few years… Frozen capital markets led to corporate defaults during the global financial crisis of 2008, Kricheff pointed out.”


UK government borrowing costs have risen above the levels hit during Liz Truss’s disastrous premiership, after stronger than expected jobs and pay figures reinforced expectations that the Bank of England will raise interest rates next week…

“Fuelled by bumper pay rises in the City of London for employees in finance and business services, the latest snapshot showed total pay, including bonuses, also increased by 6.5% [in the three months to April].”


Summer Rate Hikes Threaten to Push UK Housing Market to Breaking Point…

“The pressure is building fast amid a fresh jump in mortgage rates and a rush by lenders, including HSBC Holdings Plc and Banco Santander SA, to pull products as bond yields rise to levels last seen in 2008. That’s setting up borrowers and homebuyers for a nerve-racking summer…”


Older people hired as ‘money mules’ by gangs as cost of living crisis bites…

“Fraud experts say that among the increasing number being recruited as “money mules” – those who allow their bank details to be used to transfer criminals’ cash – are older account holders, as well as business owners who use company bank accounts.”


China’s southern cities call for power saving as grid stress increases.

“Industrial and oil refining cities in southern China are urging firms and citizens to curb electricity, while Hainan province called for less power usage at peak times, as grids become more stressed due to persistent searing hot weather.”


Power outages grip [Indian] states amid scorching heat.

“Several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, and Odisha, have been grappling with severe power outages because of soaring temperatures and the resulting surge in power consumption. Parts of the national capital have also seen frequent power cuts, although officials attribute it to local faults.”


Noted economists have said that government borrowing from the Bangladesh Bank (BB) has been increasing alarmingly, reaching a mark this year that it has not reached in the last 50 years [since independence].

“At a post-budget discussion on Tuesday in Dhaka, they suggested rethinking the cheap borrowing from the central bank for budget financing and trimming budget expenditures…”


Honduras rations power as drought dries hydroelectric dams…

“The rationing is set to affect the whole country for a maximum of three hours every three to four days. The move follows a series of blackouts across some cities and towns that have in recent weeks sparked protests and highway blockades.”


The fuel shortages in Cuba are worse than you think.

“Leading up to May Day, a massive storm swept through the island, causing emergencies that the Cuban government couldn’t effectively deal with because of the lack of fuel. We sat through multiple power outages, even in a hotel that had decent fuel access.”


As gang wars tear Haiti apart, stalemate over who should intervene.

“It’s been eight months since interim Haitian President Ariel Henry first requested an armed intervention. The government now controls only small pockets of Port-au-Prince, and violence has spread out of the slums into virtually every corner of the city.”


South Africans are using a power outage notification app to sell weed, find odd jobs…

“EskomSePush was launched in 2014 to keep South Africans informed about load-shedding or controlled power blackouts.

“Today, it has just over 7 million active users.”


Angola’s kwanza is Africa’s worst-performing currency so far this year.

“Angola’s kwanza is Africa’s weakest currency against the dollar so far this year after a 21% plunge in the past month, with analysts flagging low oil prices and an increase in debt payments pushing the central bank to stop propping it up.”


Kenya’s Once-Booming Stock Market Buckles Under Dollar Shortages.

“Nairobi’s All-Share Index has plunged 19% this year, the steepest drop among the almost 100 global indexes tracked by Bloomberg. The nation is in the grip of a foreign-exchange crunch, with major companies and investment firms facing weeks of delay to repatriate dividends and capital gains.”


Syria in crisis: Food ration cuts set to plunge millions into severe hunger.

“Fast-depleting funds are forcing the World Food Programme (WFP) to cut food and cash-for-food assistance for nearly half of the 5.5 million people it supports in Syria, from July. The move is a last resort that will harshly impact up to 2.5 million people dependent on what are already half-rations on which they can barely survive.”


Developing countries have hit the financial rocks.

“What can justly be called a “polycrisis” has “dealt an enduring setback to development in emerging and developing countries, one that will persist for the foreseeable future. By the end of 2024, economic activity in these economies is expected to be about 5 per cent below levels projected on the eve of the pandemic.”


West must acknowledge: ‘Comfort zone’ is already gone…

“The 2008 global financial crisis, followed by a surge in terrorist acts and the subsequent impact of the “two black swans,” namely the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, emphasize a crucial realization that Western countries must now acknowledge after 14 years: The comfort zone we once knew has long ceased to exist.”


Global distillate stocks low despite industrial slowdown.

“Global distillate fuel oil cracks have strengthened slightly over the last month as inventories have not risen as much as expected given the scale of the manufacturing and freight downturn across the major economies.”


A Few Months Away From Potential Start Of Global Energy Crisis.

“I predict a massive energy price spike starting this fall and going into next year, with both oil and gas prices potentially setting new all-time highs. Factors contributing to this potential outcome include OPEC+ cuts, collapsing US shale drilling, and Europe’s precarious natural gas situation. If my predictions are correct, this could lead to a severely damaging stagflationary trap going into next year…”


The Destruction of a Ukrainian Dam Is a Global Catastrophe.

“It’s a humanitarian crisis. It’s an energy emergency. And it might be Ukraine’s “worst ecological disaster since Chernobyl… The floodwaters bore “pesticides, chemicals, oil, dead animals and fish,” and even detritus from graveyards…”


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.

12th June 2023 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

Manufacturers around the world are contending with weakening demand as the economic outlook for the industry darkens.

“Factories in the United States and across the eurozone reported a decline in new orders for manufactured goods in May… S&P Global data showed that the US manufacturing sector fell into contraction territory in May. A similar survey released by the Institute for Supply Management showed the industry contracted for the seventh consecutive month in May, at a faster pace than in the prior month…

“Among manufacturers in the eurozone, production, new orders and backlogs all fell in May as the sector contracted at a faster pace that month, according to S&P Global figures… The indicator measures the output of manufacturers, miners, and utility companies.

“The situation isn’t a whole lot better in China. China’s shaky trade figures reflect weak demand for Chinese goods, and that’s on top of other economic troubles the country faces such as rising unemployment and a deep slump in its property sector.”


Looming recession will force central banks to pump massive liquidity…

“The extraordinary government shutdowns, massive fiscal and monetary stimulus, and aggressive rate hikes have led some to correctly contend that the data is misrepresenting the state of the economy. Many economists argue the Fed is not focusing enough on forward-looking inflation indicators as the deteriorating economic conditions paint a bleak picture for the masses.”


The Global Financial System Is A House Of Cards [the picture is of Charles Ponzi]…

“The global financial system is built on a foundation of debt and leverage. Governments, corporations and individuals borrow money to finance their activities and financial institutions use leverage to magnify their profits. The result is a network of debts and obligations that are susceptible to contagion and collapse.


Economists forecast at least two more US rate rises to quell stubborn inflation.

“The US Federal Reserve will need to take tougher action than expected to root out inflation, according to a majority of leading academic economists polled by the Financial Times, who predict at least two more quarter-point interest rate increases this year.”


Hedge funds extended their record selling streak of short-dated Treasuries amid bets the Federal Reserve’s fight with inflation is far from done…

“Leveraged investors boosted their net-short two-year Treasury positions for an eleventh straight week in the period to June 6, the latest Commodity Futures Trading Commission figures compiled by Bloomberg showed. That’s the longest run on record…”


[US] Recession is inevitable, say biggest bond managers, bucking Goldman’s call…

“By their reckoning, the damage from 10 straight increases has been done and the collapse of three US lenders in March was just a taste of the bigger crisis to come as central banks stay hawkish until something else breaks. “Something akin to a credit crunch is what I’m most concerned about,” said Steve Ellis, global fixed-income chief investment officer at Fidelity International…”


U.S. Shale Is Slowing Down Due To Factors Beyond Its Control…

“…six straight weeks [of declining active rigs] is definitely a trend… Even if global demand should suddenly begin to recover strongly during the 2nd half of the year, factors would mitigate against shale producers suddenly jumping back into a drilling boom in response.”


Rate hikes, property strain and banking stress — signs of recession in Ireland…

In my opinion, a global recession is coming. But the world economy is not a physical system in which a given set of inputs produce a certain set of outputs along a predictable time path; it is a complex, social system in which history doesn’t repeat itself — but it does rhyme.”


Britons are cancelling holiday plans and literally tightening their belts by buying less foods as the cost-of-living crisis continues to eat away at their comfort and security.

“New polling for Mail Online reveals the extent to which families are economising in the face of high inflation, interest rates and energy bills. More than half of Britons have been cutting back on food shopping…”


Revealed: The military personnel turning to food banks as cost of living crisis hits.

“Some military personnel and their families have been forced to use food banks as high inflation and rising costs tip members of the Armed Forces into crisis, Sky News can reveal. An unofficial food bank even exists at a large Royal Air Force base in Lincolnshire, a defence source said.”


Police in Great Britain could be given ‘near total discretion’ over protests…

“Secondary legislation in parliament this week will empower police to impose conditions – including changing timings, locations and routes, and imposing noise restrictions – on protests they believe “may” cause “more than minor” disruption.”


Thousands of Afghan refugees in UK set to be made homeless. Downing Street crisis meeting hears that about 8,000 who arrived under Operation Warm Welcome [oh, the irony!] will be evicted this summer with nowhere to go…

“…about 8,000 Afghan refugees, allowed into the country in 2021 under the slogan Operation Warm Welcome, are due to be evicted from hotels as early as August…”


Controversial EU migrants deal cracks Olaf Scholz’s coalition…

“More than 700 party members wrote to the Greens’ co-leaders – as well as Annalena Baerbock, the country’s foreign minister – and called on them to veto the EU deal. Instead, the three-party coalition government backed an agreement, which allows asylum seekers to be deported from Europe’s borders if their application fails, in a process that should last a maximum of 12 weeks.”


The European Union is weighing a €1 billion deal with Tunisia to help stem the flow of illegal migrants and prop up the country from economic collapse.

“In a visit to Tunis, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, announced the bloc could help tackle people smuggling and small boat crossings in the latest financial arrangement with a bordering country.”


Fitch downgrades Tunisia rating to ‘CCC-‘, confirming fears over economic collapse…

“The downgrade of Tunisia’s IDRs, which is becoming a failed state, comes after failure of Tunisia’s authorities to mobilize sufficient funding to meet its large financing requirement, said the global rating agency in a press release.”


Nigeria’s Suspended Central Bank Governor Taken Into Custody…

“The secret police have been investigating Godwin Emefiele for alleged wrongdoing related to multibillion-dollar public lending programs initiated by the governor. Emefiele’s suspension is a “sequel to the ongoing investigation,” the presidency said…”


Senegal: Invaluable archives destroyed during unrest at Dakar’s main university.

“One week after the end of a deadly unrest that shook Senegal, the country still counts its losses. Volunteers and staff from Dakar’s Cheikh Anta Diop University are trying to salvage what can still be out of some 200,000 university archives. Youths armed with Molotov cocktail allegedly set ablaze the building.”


Egypt has received over 200,000 Sudanese refugees: Sisi.

“Egypt President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said on Saturday that the country received about 200,000 Sudanese refugees over the past eight weeks, stressing that security should be restored to neighbouring countries.”


Rohingya in Bangladesh protest to be sent home after UN aid cut…

“On June 1, the World Food Programme cut the monthly food allocation to $8 per person from $10 earlier. In March, the ration cut had been reduced from $12 to $10 due to a reduction in global aid for the refugees.”


Why the Red Cross’ crisis is causing aid groups to rethink their financing.

“Although the International Committee of the Red Cross’s crisis can partly be blamed on the war in Ukraine and resulting inflation, it also reflects a much more worrying problem plaguing the world’s humanitarian aid groups: with the world more in need of humanitarian action than ever before, donations are failing to keep up with demand.


Dhaka dwellers [Bangladesh] face water crisis amid power cuts.

“Farhin Antara… has been experiencing water crisis in her locality for the past few days. Water is only available once a day. Due to her busy schedule at the office, she cannot store water and faces difficulties when she returns home. As a result, she has to go to her mother’s home in the neighbouring area to bathe and wash clothes.”


Vietnam Economy Hit By Slumping Exports And Power Blackouts.

“Severe power outages due to a protracted heatwave have compounded the near-term challenges facing Vietnam’s manufacturing sector, with many factories having been hit by recurring power blackouts… Exports to mainland China also showed a significant decline…”


Fueled by Long Credit Binge, China’s Economy Faces Drag From Debt Purge.

“China finds itself facing a protracted period of what economists call deleveraging—the painful process in which borrowers divert income to pay down debts instead of spending and investing. Total credit to the nonfinancial sector was $49.9 trillion last September, more than triple the level 10 years ago… But the figure has begun to drop…”


China’s Interest Rate-Pivot Risks Following in Japan’s Footsteps…

“Chinese banks’ net interest margins… hit 1.74 percentage point last quarter, the lowest in modern records… That threatened to crimp the extension of credit, and therefore hurt growth. So lower deposit rates should be helpful in that respect. But it betrays something more fundamentally concerning: an increasing parallel to Japan in the 1990s. As savers get hurt by weaker returns, their appetites for spending will diminish, as happened in Japan.”


What if China declared a protectionist trade war on the US and the West?

“China has perhaps more to lose than the US but in economic wartime, national interest and economic security concerns can triumph over reason. Besides, China has a secret weapon: it can devalue the yuan.”


UN climate conference organisers are pitching for top corporate sponsors for the Dubai summit at the same time as the United Arab Emirates attempts to combat rising criticism of the petrostate’s leadership of COP28.

“The UAE COP28 has offered sponsorship packages ranging up to $8.2mn (Dh30mn) for a principal partner to enjoy privileged access in the controlled “blue zone”…”


More companies setting ‘net-zero’ climate targets, but few have credible plans, report says.

“A growing number of companies are pledging to cut their greenhouse gas emissions to ” net zero ” as part of global efforts to tackle climate change, but that goal is rarely supported by a credible plan, according to a report published Monday.”


Airlines hope that sustainable fuels will propel them to a guilt-free future…

“…the magic elixir is SAF – sustainable aviation fuel – which Walsh affirmed would “be the biggest contributor to net zero success”. However, in broad terms right now, it “basically doesn’t exist”, as Iata’s chief economist, Marie Owens Thomsen, put it.”


Greenhouse gas emissions are at an all-time high and Earth is warming faster than ever, says researcher…

“These changes mean that the remaining carbon budget for 1.5°C—the amount of carbon dioxide global society can still emit and keep a 50% chance of holding temperature rise to 1.5°C—is now only around 250 billion tons. At current emission levels, this will run out in less than six years.”


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

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

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

Eurozone sinks into recession as cost of living crisis takes toll.

“The eurozone slipped into recession in the first three months of the year, after official figures were revised to show the bloc’s economy shrank as the rising cost of living weighed on consumer spending.”


‘Black city’: Polish port Gdansk chokes on coal dust…

“Most of the foreign coal used to come from neighbouring Russia but after Moscow invaded Ukraine, Poland banned Russian supplies. Faced with soaring energy prices, it turned to Kazakhstan, Colombia and Indonesia for supplies, with port authorities storing coal closer than ever to residential area.”


Germany faces electricity shortages that will see critical industries ditch the country after the government decided to shut down the last remaining nuclear power plants in favour of renewable energy sources, business chiefs have warned.

“The head of energy firm RWE said he fears that Germany will face a shortage of electricity that will see prices in the already struggling country soar.”


France says nuclear power is ‘non-negotiable’.

“French nuclear power is “an absolute red line” and non-negotiable, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Thursday (8 June), following Franco-German disagreements over the role of nuclear energy in Europe.


The UK government is refusing to reveal any plans it had to protect disabled people who rely on life-saving medical equipment in their homes if there were power blackouts during the winter fuel crisis.

“Even though the risk of power cuts is now over until next winter, the Department of Health and Social Care is refusing to say what action it was proposing to take if the threatened three-hour blackouts had taken place.”


Woking council declares bankruptcy with £1.2bn deficit.

“Woking council has declared it is in effect bankrupt after admitting a risky investment spree involving hotels and skyscrapers overseen by its former Conservative administration had left it facing a deficit of £1.2bn.”


UK house prices set to slide 10%, Moody’s warns.

“House prices in Britain are likely to fall 10% over the next two years and a more severe downturn in the housing market could trigger a lengthy recession, credit ratings agency Moody’s said on Thursday.”


Bank of Canada raises interest rate to highest in 22 years.

“The Bank of Canada on Wednesday hiked its overnight rate to a 22-year high of 4.75 percent, and markets and analysts immediately forecast yet another increase next month to ratchet down an overheating economy and stubbornly high inflation.”


IMF urges Fed, central banks to keep tightening to reduce inflation.

“The International Monetary Fund on Thursday urged the U.S. Federal Reserve and other global central banks to “stay the course” on monetary policy and remain vigilant in combating inflation… The IMF warned in April that lurking financial system vulnerabilities could erupt into a new crisis and slam global growth this year…”


Central banks’ pandemic interventions averaged 6% of GDP.

“New International Monetary Fund research published on June 2 details the scope and management of central bank interventions in the pandemic. The work finds central bank balance sheets grew far more during 2020–21 than during the global financial crisis.”


Delinquent Office Loans at Five-Year High Trouble Commercial Mortgage Bond Market [US].

“Near-empty office buildings, already a problem plaguing US cities, are becoming a worry for mortgage bondholders as landlords fall behind on repayments at the fastest rate in five years and the difficulty of refinancing the loans grows.”


Consumers are keeping the U.S. out of a recession. It’s getting harder.

“The widely predicted U.S. recession remains out of sight as the first half of 2023 winds down, but the consumer sector that has fueled a remarkable recovery from the pandemic shutdowns may finally be showing signs of fraying.”


Inflation, unemployment, interest rate hikes: is it any wonder Australia’s misery index is rising?

“Disturbing news this week that Australia’s “misery index” has experienced significant growth. This was even before the Reserve Bank slugged households with its 12th interest rate rise in 13 months.”


El Niño is coming. We must plan for the worst to protect Australia’s energy system.

“The Bureau of Meteorology this week declared a 70% chance of an El Niño developing this year. It’s bad timing for the electricity sector, and means Australians may face supply disruptions and more volatile energy prices.”


Japan’s harvest of nori, the seaweed genus which is integral to Japanese cuisine, hit the lowest level in 51 years…

“Nori is made from Pyropia, a genus of red algae, and the slump in production was due to a red tide outbreak in the Ariake Sea – Japan’s biggest seaweed producing region – caused by low rainfall and high ocean temperatures, the news channel has reported.”


China’s factory deflation steepens as demand wanes.

“China’s factory gate prices fell at the fastest pace in seven years in May and quicker than forecasts, as faltering demand weighed on a slowing manufacturing sector and cast a cloud over the fragile economic recovery.”


Forget inflation – deflation is the real danger…

Chinese goods deflation is hitting a slowing world economy. JP Morgan’s index of input prices for global manufacturing has fallen below the boom-bust line. We learned today that the eurozone has been in recession since the fourth quarter of last year…”


Tim Watkins’ article in somewhat similar vein is worth a read: “If you thought inflation was bad…”


Global Economy’s ‘Precarious’ Year Echoes 1997 Crisis…

“As the World Bank’s latest views attest, the trajectory for developing Asia and beyond is particularly “worrisome.” Rising yields are pushing highly indebted economies back toward the brink.”


Vietnam factories near Hanoi told to cut power 50% on blackout risk…

“The Thang Long Industrial Park north of the capital, operated by Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp., has received a request from Vietnam Electricity to cut power use in half from Friday morning to Sunday evening.”


Army is the only thing standing between Manipur and chaos. Time for [Indian] govt to review approach.

“After five weeks of mutual ethnic cleansing – Kukis from the Imphal valley and Meiteis from the hills – Manipur is on knife’s edge. The state government, bureaucracy, police, and all politicians – including those from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party – stand divided on ethnic lines.”


Pakistan army vows to punish ‘planners’ of violent protests.

“The Pakistani military has vowed to punish the “planners and masterminds” of the violence that erupted last month after former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s brief arrest in a corruption case led to widespread unrest.”


Pakistan failing in every economic index: key survey.

“Pakistan failed to meet any economic growth targets for the fiscal year 2022-23, according to a key government report released Thursday — a day before the new budget is to be presented to the national assembly.”


Turkey Braces for the Shock of Normal.

“The meltdown in Turkey’s currency is dramatic and scary. It compels the nation’s new economic managers to embark on a wholesale shift in policy. One thing the lira’s swoon shouldn’t be is a surprise: Loose monetary settings and years of flawed prescriptions for scandalously high inflation have been storing up big problems.”


Dangerous times as tensions boil between Israel and Iran over nuclear programme.

“Benjamin Netanyahu has not ruled out military action against Iran – which earlier this week claimed it had developed a hypersonic missile capable of breaching Israel’s Iron Dome defence system.”


A US aid agency is suspending food aid to Ethiopia, because it says donations are being diverted from those in need.

“Ethiopian government agencies and the military are behind the scheme, according to a leaked memo.”


A ‘Dystopian Nightmare’ Unfolds in Sudan’s Battered Darfur Region…

“The fighting has decimated many areas of the capital, Khartoum. But the war between the military factions has also swept across the country to the long-suffering western region of Darfur — an area already blighted by two decades of genocidal violence.”


Dozens killed in violent clashes in Chad: army.

“Chadian army said on Wednesday, its forces have killed 23 rebels in week-long violent clashes in Tibesti region (north) of the Central African nation. Army spokesman Azem Bermandoa Agouna told local media that eight government forces were wounded, and six rebel vehicles recovered during the clashes…”


Motorcyclists in Cameroon have reportedly protested the removal of the petrol subsidy in Nigeria…

Petrol from Nigeria is alleged to be regularly smuggled into nearby countries including Cameroon, Ghana, Benin Republic, and as far as Sudan. In Benin Republic, TheCable reported how the product is being sold for 700 CFA or 800 CFA — up from a previous price of 450 CFA.”


Angola: Protests over fuel price hike leave 5 dead.

“Protests against the removal of fuel subsidies in the city of Huambo, in Angola, escalated into deadly conflict between taxi drivers and the police, resulting in five deaths, and eight injuries.”


Power cuts hit Venezuela’s west, cutting air conditioning during heat wave.

“Daily power cuts have returned to west-central Venezuela, shutting air conditioners during a heat wave and hitting factories, households and utilities as poorly maintained thermal plants fail to compensate for weak hydroelectric generation, residents, engineers and analysts said.”


Cloud outages are on the rise. Here’s why…

“Natural disasters can’t be ruled out. Unpredictable and extreme weather has wreaked havoc on data centers, causing millions of dollars of damage and contributing to cloud outages. Heatwaves in Europe last summer recorded temperatures of 104.4 degrees Fahrenheit, causing Google and Oracle data centers to go offline.”


A global satellite blackout is a real threat — can hackers help?

“Billions of people will have a terrible time if the satellite communications networks encircling our planet ever go down. Mobile phones will stop chirping, navigation systems will crash, television screens will go dark and financial transactions will fail.

“The three most likely ways this might happen are: an intense geomagnetic storm resulting from a solar flare like that which occurred in 1859, known as the Carrington event; a cascading collision of space debris, called the Kessler effect; or a deliberate cyber attack.”


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.

7th June 2023 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

Higher interest rates risk another global financial crisis, says OECD.

“The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said ever-higher borrowing costs could put the global financial system under severe stress and send share and bond prices tumbling, as it expressed concern in its half-yearly update that the full impact of tougher policy was yet to felt.


World Bank offers dim outlook for the global economy in face of higher interest rates.

“The global economy is likely slowing sharply this year, hobbled by high interest rates, the repercussions of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic. That’s the latest outlook of the World Bank…”


The Tough Choices Facing the World’s Central Banks.

“…new turbulence was added by the biggest banking crisis since 2008. While the bank failures were largely limited to the US, other central banks faced difficult choices on whether to continue, pause or reverse interest rate hikes.”


Oil prices steady as fears over supply tightness counter demand woes.

“Oil prices steadied on Wednesday after the previous session’s losses, as demand concerns owing to slow global economic growth were offset by fears of tighter global supply following Saudi Arabia’s pledge to deepen output cuts.”


Commodities Slide as Investors Bet on Economic Slowdown.

“Industrial malaise, particularly in China, is draining demand for energy and metals… The S&P GSCI commodities index has fallen about 11% so far this year through Friday, as prices for energy, metals, grains and other raw materials have retreated.”


US Treasury’s $1tn borrowing drive set to put banks under strain…

““Everyone knows the flood is coming,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, a strategist at TD Securities. “Yields will move higher because of this flood. Treasury bills will cheapen further. And that will put pressure on banks.””


US Banks Face Capital Jump With More Lenders Roped In to Comply.

“Large US banks may have to boost their capital by an average 20% and a broader swath of lenders would face strict requirements for setting aside money under a draft plan from US regulators to bolster the financial system.”


US hotel developers run out of cash as construction lending dries up.

“Tighter lending standards from regional banks are making it harder for U.S. hotel developers to secure funding, slowing construction of new hotels… the financial stress on regional banks — the largest lenders to hotels and other commercial real estate markets — has forced developers to postpone projects…”


Owner of San Francisco’s Largest Hotel, the Hilton Union Square, Is Walking Away, Surrendering It to Lender.

“Virginia-based REIT Park Hotels & Resorts has opted to cease payments on a $725 million loan, as the SF Business Times reports today, essentially surrendering over 2,900 hotel rooms and hospitality facilities to its lender. This includes the 1,921-room Hilton San Francisco Union Square, which is San Francisco’s largest hotel…”


Investment slump amid higher interest rates risks finally sparking UK recession.

“A mix of factors are buffeting the UK economy right now. Spending power is being crushed by high inflation eroding family finances. House prices are coming off their heady heights as sellers drop prices to source buyers amid higher mortgage rates.”


High inflation and recession risk – the Bank of England’s dilemma.

“The Bank of England is trying to curb an inflation rate that is running higher in Britain than in the United States and the euro zone, without pushing the economy into a recession after having already increased borrowing costs 12 times since late 2021.”


Homeowners ‘risk death’ by tampering with gas meters to cut bills [UK].

Cash-strapped households are asking engineers to tamper with energy meters to shield themselves from soaring bills. More than two in five gas and electricity engineers have been asked to interfere with a meter, according to research carried out by insurer Direct Line in March.”


Revised figures set to show eurozone economy is shrinking.

“The eurozone economy is heading for symbolically important reversal on Thursday, when economists expect official growth figures to be downgraded to show output slightly contracted for the past two quarters.”


European Central Bank chief signals more rate hikes ahead with inflation still ‘strong’…

“Lagarde’s remarks reinforced her earlier statements indicating the ECB was not done raising rates even after inflation fell by almost a full percentage point in May, to 6.1%. The ECB has been hiking rates at the fastest pace in its history…”


Kakhovka hydroelectric dam burst [Ukraine]: What are the risks to human life?

“Water from the Kahkovka dam is used to cool reactors and spent fuel at Europe’s largest nuclear site, ZNPP… there are two possible issues: access to fresh, cool water may run out, making vital cooling more difficult, and disruption from flooding could affect power supplies needed to keep the offline plant safe.”


China’s exports plunge by 7.5% in May, far more than expected.

“Exports fell 7.5% year-on-year to $283.5 billion, customs data showed Wednesday, far worse than the 0.4% decline predicted by a Reuters poll. The decline was so sharp that export volumes came in below their levels at the start of the year…


Beijing tells banks to cut rates for Chinese savers in bid to boost flagging economy.

“The authorities have issued guidance for China’s largest banks to pay savers less interest for at least the second time in less than a year, according to Bloomberg. State-owned lenders including the Bank of China were told to consider cutting rates in an effort to encourage people to spend rather than save.”


Many tourists have canceled their travel plans to UNESCO-recognized Ha Long Bay [Vietnam] due to massive power cuts, leaving hotels desperate for business.

“Nguyen Thanh Dan from HCMC booked a five-star hotel room in Ha Long City for two weeks starting Sunday, but on the first night of her stay the power went out immediately.”


Mumbaiites blow a fuse over power cuts.

“Mumbaiites are facing power cuts due to a rise in demand for electricity, leading to disruptions in power supply in parts of the city affecting thousands of consumers. The power distribution companies are unable to meet the rise in load, especially during evening hours when contributions from solar power drops.”


Israel Admits to Prioritizing Religious Communities During Planned Power Outages.

“The widespread power outages over the weekend led the Israel Electric Company to disconnect mostly secular communities from the grid in favor of mostly religious ones, according to the company’s CEO.”


Police Open Fire Killing Student During Protests Over Power Blackouts [Kenya].

“A form three student was on Sunday, June 4, shot dead during protests over prolonged blackouts in Wajir Town. A report by the police indicated that the victim was shot dead near the power offices where the protest was taking place.”


Madagascar: Further rolling power cuts and sporadic interruptions likely through June.

“Jirama, Madagascar’s national electricity utility… has reportedly explained that a drop in water reserves, in solar energy production, and limited reserves of fuel, have meant it has not been able to match the increased demand for electricity during the winter months.”


South Africa dodges first quarter recession, but outlook grim.

“…economists and analysts warned that the country faced major growth-crippling challenges for the remainder of the year. Africa’s most industrialised economy is in its worst power crisis on record with up to 10 hours a day of rolling electricity cuts, largely due to breakdowns in state utility Eskom’s ailing fleet of coal power stations.”


Fallout from Senegal unrest hits economy.

“Two days of violence last week have cost “billions of CFA francs” — tens of millions of dollars — and political risk is threatening this year’s growth targets, said consultant economist Mansour Sambe. The West African state has long surfed on its reputation for stability in a region plagued by coups.”


Desperate shortages in Khartoum as Sudan battles intensify.

“Sudan’s rival military forces have engaged in battles throughout the capital as intensifying attacks and growing lawlessness add to the misery of civilians already struggling with limited water, food and medicine.”


Billions ‘use polluting fuel to cook’ and millions ‘have no electricity’.

“Up to 2.3 billion people around the world are still using polluting fuels to cook and 675 million do not have electricity, a report released by five international organisations said. At current rates, 660 million people are projected to be without electricity and 1.9 billion will not have clean cooking opportunities by 2030…”


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