Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.

6th March 2024 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“Price of gold hits record high amid geopolitical tensions and investor jitters…

“Investors piled into the “safe haven” asset on Tuesday, with the spot price reaching a record $2,141.59 (about £1,685) for an ounce, beating the previous record of $2,135 in December, before easing back again to about $2,128.”


“Bitcoin Hits Record High, Completing a Stunning Comeback…

“Bitcoin hit a record high of more than $69,000 on Tuesday, capping a remarkable comeback for the volatile cryptocurrency after its value plunged in 2022 amid a market meltdown.”


“People are worried (again) about bond market liquidity… But what they should be thinking about are the consequences…

“Historically, the focal point of most financial crises has always been banks. Given how disastrous their mass failure can be, central banks therefore almost always (if reluctantly) backstop the industry. But now that markets do more of the heavy lifting, central banks will increasingly have to wade in there to keep the financial system from imploding…”


“The world is at risk of another financial crisis caused by US lenders’ reckless exposure to stricken commercial property markets, the IMF has warned.

“In a research paper on financial stability, the IMF said that a “weak tail of banks” had gorged on US commercial real estate and could create a repeat of the chaos last year triggered by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.”


“A hidden crisis in US housing… In places most prone to wildfires and hurricanes, state “insurers of last resort” are absorbing trillions of dollars in risk.

“… even as states have assumed more and more risk, they’ve largely dodged a fundamental question: How will they cover claims in the wake of a truly major catastrophe?”


“US banks abandon ‘bare minimum’ environmental standards project, alarming climate groups.

“Four of the world’s biggest banks have left the Equator Principles, a set of minimum industry standards and safeguards for financial institutions to address environmental and social risks in countries where they finance fossil fuel and mining projects.”


“Canadian Banks’ Fossil-Fuel Exposure Outpaces US, European Peers…

“The five Canadian banks committed most of the financing to domestic oil and gas companies, the report found, with pipeline operators Enbridge Inc. and TC Energy Corp. and oil producer Cenovus Energy Inc. receiving a combined $61.9 billion in financing via the Big Five banks between 2020 and 2022.”


“Why Britain is ‘literally crumbling’ before our eyes… More tax cuts could cripple UK’s parlous public services, economists warn…

“Many believe there is no more fat left to trim and further cuts risk enraging voters as the fabric of the state unravels further. Public services are already a mess.”


“Over 170 councils call for urgent extension of Household Support Fund.

“Ahead of the Spring Budget, more than 170 council leaders have called on the Chancellor to extend an essential scheme to help protect vulnerable households across the country before it expires at the end of this month.”


“Uzbekistan is the only nation more miserable than Britain as the Dominican Republic tops the world wellbeing charts, a ‘worrying’ global report has found.

“The UK only ranked 70th out of 71 countries in terms of mood, outlook on life and self-esteem in 2023, scoring only 49 on the mental wellbeing score when the global average was 65.”


“The European Union could block exports of weapons to Britain if war breaks out with Russia, it was announced on Tuesday.

“A top official said plans had been drawn up to prevent overseas shipments of arms and civilian technologies to make up for the bloc’s own shortfalls in a “security crisis”.”


“Ukraine war briefing: Macron says don’t be ‘cowards’ as he digs in over ground troops remark…

“Emmanuel Macron has urged Ukraine’s allies not to be “cowards” in supporting its fight against the Russian invasion. He “fully stood behind” remarks made last week not ruling out the deployment of western troops.”


“NATO is growing reckless over Ukraine – and Russia’s German military leak proves it…

“NATO’s strategy has lost all coherence. This is the moment when such wars run out of control. For two years now, western leaders have polished their macho images at home by visiting and goading Kyiv’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy to seek total victory with their help.”


“Russia’s Chinese Yuan Funding Lifeline Is Getting Too Expensive.

“Yuan financing is becoming costly and sparse in Russia, choking off a pathway to foreign capital for companies that are already facing much higher domestic interest rates and a wave of debt due this year.”


“Russia says it is considering putting a nuclear power plant on the moon with China.

“Russia and China are considering putting a nuclear power plant on the moon from 2033-35, Yuri Borisov, the head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said on Tuesday, something he said could one day allow lunar settlements to be built.”


“China’s deflationary trap could snare the global economy…

“This time, a Chinese deflationary shock threatens to unleash dangerous political currents in western economies. China’s tried-and-tested method to slash export prices to help to bolster its struggling manufacturing industry is a way of exporting deflation to the rest of the world.”


“Chinese and Philippine coast guards clash amid regional dispute with water cannons fired.

“Philippine and Chinese coast guards have clashed once more over the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, ahead of a regional summit where leaders were going to raise Beijing’s aggression at sea.”


“Blackouts in Tajikistan Highlight Energy Woes.

“Tajikistan confronts many of the same issues as neighboring Kyrgyzstan, where water levels at critical reservoirs are approaching dangerous lows. Tajik authorities, however, are less transparent about the situation, as illustrated by the lack of comments on the blackout last week or available information regarding water levels at Nurek.”


“Yoav Gallant, the Israeli defence minister, has said that Hezbollah’s continued attacks on Israel are pushing the country to a “critical point” in deciding to pursue military action in Lebanon…

“During the meeting at Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv, Mr Gallant also warned Hochstein that the Lebanese militant group is “dragging the parties to a dangerous escalation,” according to his office.”


“Can Israel afford to wage war? As the battle continues, costs are spiralling…

“In the next few weeks, Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, hopes to gain final parliamentary approval for an emergency war budget.. it… contains a startling break with the past. Everyday welfare spending (long generous in Israel, owing to its socialist foundations) will be slashed to fund the country’s armed forces.”


“Houthi attacks reveal murky world of ship nationality…

“The missile that struck the Rubymar near its engine room on February 19 forced the 20 crew and four security guards to abandon the vessel. It had been chartered by a Saudi commodities company, had picked up its cargo in the United Arab Emirates and was heading to Bulgaria.”


“Crucial Red Sea data cables cut, telecoms firm says…

“Several undersea communications cables in the Red Sea have been cut, affecting 25% of data traffic flowing between Asia and Europe… Hong Kong-based HGC Global Communications said it had taken measures to reroute traffic after four of the 15 cables were recently severed. The cause is not yet clear.”


“War in Sudan Risks Sparking Hunger Crisis for 25 Million People.

“Sudan’s war has put food security at risk for 25 million people across Sudan, South Sudan, and Chad, making it the biggest hunger crisis worldwide, World Food Programme Executive Director Cindy McCain said, calling for unimpeded access and more funding to help communities.”


“Egyptians Are Buying and Selling Gold Just to Stay Afloat.

“Clamor for the precious metal is growing as the buying power of the country’s currency plunges in value against the dollar, and inflation eats away at savings… The turbulence has turned many people into reluctant speculators, their lives ruled by uncertainty and rumors.”


“Nigeria battles to halt spiraling currency crisis and rising food insecurity…

“Inflation hit an annual 29.9% in January, driven by soaring food prices that have triggered a cost-of-living crisis in Africa’s largest economy. The naira currency, meanwhile, plunged to an all-time low of around 1,600 against the U.S. dollar in late February.”


“Cuba turns off some public lighting as energy crisis worsens…

“Minister of Energy and Mines Vicente de la O Levy told a council of ministers meeting the measure was one of many that included shuttering thousands of state services and shifting production to lessen the blackouts roiling the country, according to state media.”


“Top Haitian gang leader warns of civil war, ‘genocide’ unless PM resigns…

“The stark comments from Jimmy Cherizier, known as “Barbecue,” came as Henry appeared to be struggling to fly home, with the main airport under attack and neighboring Dominican Republic refusing permission for him to land.”


“The environmental cost of AI.. Data centres are becoming some of the biggest consumers of power and water…

“The International Energy Agency says data centres, cryptocurrencies and AI accounted for almost 2 per cent of global power demand in 2022 — and this could double by 2026 to nearly match the electricity consumption of Japan. Ireland, a favoured location for server farms, is now limiting new data centre connections to the power grid; others are exploring whether to do the same.”


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!

4th March 2024 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“Fractures in global trade deepen as WTO musters only a small win…

“Meetings in the capital of the United Arab Emirates – positioned both geographically and geo-economically between US-European Union and China-Russia alliances – were dominated by disorder and confusion, according to several participants, who asked not to be named speaking about the private talks.”


“Global Labor Shortages Intensify Supply Chain Challenges Amid Climate Change.

“As the world grapples with evolving economic landscapes, global supply chains face unprecedented pressures, notably from labor shortages exacerbated by demographic shifts and climate change.”


“OAPEC Secretary General: World Economy Will Fall in Deep Slump without Oil, Gas.

“Jamal Issa Al-Loughani, Secretary General of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), predicted that the world would become primitive if oil-producing countries listened to climate activist demands and stopped producing gas and oil. He said the world will witness major power outages, companies would be forced to close and global trade would come to a halt.”


“OPEC+ members extend production cuts in bid to boost oil price…

“Opec+ members led by Saudi Arabia and Russia have extended the latest round of voluntary cuts to oil production for another three months, as they attempt to boost prices that have remained subdued despite ongoing geopolitical tensions.”


“Will the immigration crisis bankrupt U.S. cities as federal funds fall short?

“The recent surge of migrants has put major cities across the U.S. under significant financial pressure. Watch the video above to see just how much financial pressure cities across the U.S. are facing due to the ongoing migrant crisis.”


“The U.S. national debt is rising by $1 trillion about every 100 days.

“The debt load of the U.S. is growing at a quicker clip in recent months, increasing about $1 trillion nearly every 100 days. The nation’s debt permanently crossed over to $34 trillion on Jan. 4, after briefly crossing the mark on Dec. 29, according to data from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.”


“UK Chancellor faces struggle to defuse Britain’s ticking debt time bomb…

“Last financial year, the Government received just over £1,023bn in tax and other receipts. On the other side of the ledger, outgoings were £1,151bn, leaving a shortfall of £128bn. The national debt meanwhile stood at £2,251bn and rising.”


“Ministers are being urged to lay out their contingency plans for Thames Water, as fears mount that the supplier’s potential collapse will cost taxpayers billions of pounds.

“A group of MPs are pushing for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to reveal details of “Project Timber”, the contingency plan drawn up by the Government in case of the utility giant’s failure.”


“‘It’ll be a shortlist of one!’ Villagers in England fear nuclear dump proposal…

“When Ian Harrison returned to the Lincolnshire coast to care for his parents a decade ago, he didn’t expect to spend his own retirement fighting plans to dig a £50bn nuclear waste dump near the beaches of his childhood.”


“Left-for-dead uranium mines are being revived as prices soar, countries eye nuclear power to address climate change…

“As countries increasingly consider nuclear power to address climate change, demand for uranium is expected to skyrocket. The International Atomic Energy Agency estimates the world will need more than 100,000 metric tons of uranium per year by 2040 — an amount that requires nearly doubling mining and processing from current levels.”


“Leaked Audio Alleges German Bundeswehr Plotted Crimean Bridge Strikes Amid NATO’s Denial.

“In a revelation that could escalate tensions, Margarita Simonyan, chief editor of Russia North and Russia Today, claims to possess an audio recording of German Bundeswehr officers discussing plans to bomb the Crimean bridge.”


“Swedish home with cold war bunker attracts buyers as Russia fears grow.

“…n the last two years, since the invasion of Ukraine and Sweden’s subsequent Nato membership – expected to be completed within days – growing fears of a Russian attack on Swedish soil have prompted a surge of interest in such shelters.”


“Newly enlarged NATO starts drill in Finland, Norway and Sweden in defense of its Nordic turf.

“NATO will kick off Monday an exercise to defend its newly expanded Nordic territory when more than 20,000 soldiers from 13 nations take part in drills lasting for nearly two weeks in the northern regions of Finland, Norway and Sweden.”


“Seoul, Washington begin military drills amid peninsula tensions.

“The armies of South Korea and the United States began their large-scale Freedom Shield spring military drills on Monday, the first since Pyongyang announced it was scrapping a bilateral military agreement with Seoul. The exercises, the start of which was confirmed to reporters on Monday…”


“Global Impact: China’s ‘two sessions’ rolls around at decisive moment for the world’s second-largest economy…

“With the world clouded with uncertainty as conflicts rage in the Middle East and Ukraine, nearly 3,000 Chinese lawmakers and other members of the political elite are set to converge on Beijing. There, they will deliberate on plans to maintain stability in the world’s second-largest economy.”


“Newly elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif highlighted the country’s alarming debt crisis on Sunday.

“While addressing the financial crisis in the country, Sharif said that even the expenditures of the National Assembly were being paid by borrowed money… He further said that the perpetrators of the May 9 riots will not be forgiven, vowing action against all those who were involved in the violence.”


“Iran Hard-Liners Tighten Parliament Grip as Turnout Hits New Low.

“Only 41% of eligible voters participated in Friday’s poll, down from 42% in 2020, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported. That reflects growing political apathy among Iranians after a crackdown on anti-regime protests in 2022 and worsening living conditions under Western sanctions…”


“‘Every girl in Iran is born into a cage’: exiled Kurdish women fighting for freedom in Iraq.

“Kurdish women living in Iran face discrimination for their ethnicity as well as their gender. The photographer Keiwan Fatehi spoke to those who were forced to leave their homeland due to oppression, lack of rights or fear for their safety and joined the peshmerga military.”


“Azerbaijan starts bombing Nagorno Karabakh and at least 25 people die.

“The Azerbajain Ministry of Defence has stated that this is a military operation “against terrorism”, and according to the Armenian People’s Advocate, Azerbaijani army bombs have already killed 25 people. The Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh have been in lockdown for at least nine months…”


“Kamala Harris issues sharp rebuke of Israel over ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ in Gaza.

“US vice-president Kamala Harris has bluntly called out Israel for not doing enough to ease a “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza as the Biden administration faces increasing pressure to rein in its close ally while it wages war with Hamas militants.”


“Italian warship forced to shoot down Houthi missile in Red Sea.

“An Italian warship participating in the EU naval protection force in the Red Sea was forced to shoot down a Houthi missile on Saturday in a rare engagement by the country’s navy, which has largely avoided direct action since the second world war.”


“Rubymar’s sinking poses ‘major environmental crisis’ in the Red Sea.

“The ship creates a triple threat to the Red Sea – with its bunker fuel already creating a 30 km slick, its cargo of fertiliser posing a potential ecological disaster, and the wreck itself becoming a hazard to other ships passing by. The ship was carrying 21,000 metric tons of ammonium phosphate sulphate fertiliser when it was struck last month.”


“Mountains of plastic are choking the Himalayan States…

“Rapid and unplanned urbanisation and changing production and consumption patterns are responsible for the plastic waste crisis in the Indian Himalayan Region. A quantum jump in tourist footfalls is another reason for exacerbation of the problem.”


“Gauteng’s Water Crisis Worsens: Municipalities Owe Rand Water R3 Billion [South Africa]…

“Rand Water, the primary water utility serving Gauteng and other regions, is grappling with a significant financial crisis due to unpaid debts by multiple municipalities, highlighting a growing water supply concern that could affect thousands.”


“Thousands protest Tunisia’s falling living standards.

“Thousands protested deteriorating living standards outside the prime minister’s office in Tunis on Saturday following a call from Tunisia’s main trade union confederation. “The economic and social situation continues to worsen,” the confederation’s head, Noureddine Taboubi, said in a speech to protesters.”


“Armed gangs storm Haiti’s main prison in latest escalation of violent conflict with police…

“The jailbreak marked a new low in Haiti’s downward spiral of violence and came as gangs step up coordinated attacks in Port-au-Prince, while embattled Prime Minister Ariel Henry is abroad trying to salvage support for a United Nations-backed security force to stabilize the country.”


“A $1.5 Trillion ‘ESG’ Debt Market Has Started Bleeding Clients [environmental, social and governance]…

“Extra regulatory requirements, fewer financial incentives and the risk of being accused of greenwashing are putting off clients who just a few years ago were champing at the bit to attach an environmental, social or governance label to their financing, according to bankers and lawyers close to the market.”


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!

1st March 2024 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“How complacency has set the stage for another financial crisis…  The global economy is on the brink of a perilous financial collapse, and the lack of curiosity about the true risks has allowed a dangerous situation to fester.

“The facade of stability is deceptive as strong headline gross domestic product (GDP) numbers, job growth data and declining inflation figures mask an imminent financial crisis fuelled by excessive government spending and restrictive credit conditions.

“Debt-to-GDP ratios have reached levels not seen since the Second World War…”


“G-20 Stays Quiet on Debt After China Delegates Raised Objections.

“Global finance chiefs are poised to march out of their Group of 20 meeting with a sense of collective reticence to talk about just how much they’re borrowing… The omission is all the more remarkable considering the fiscal legacy of pandemic and inflation-related support that has left a mountain of borrowing across many of the world’s biggest economies.”


“Global Savings Glut’s Demise Threatens Higher Borrowing Costs…

“Aging populations, an embattled Chinese economy and an increasingly fragmented global one are among the factors threatening to turn the surplus of savings the former Federal Reserve chair identified almost 20 years ago into a shortfall.”


“New York Community Bancorp goes from bad to worse.

“For a $100 billion bank to lose both its chief audit officer and chief risk officer might be considered a misfortune. For the same bank to then lose its CEO, while admitting that it had no “internal control over financial reporting,” looks like carelessness.”


“Nearly one in 10 English councils expect to go bust in next year, survey finds…

“The Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) annual poll of local authority leaders and top managers reveals a near-total collapse in confidence in the financial viability of councils as they grapple with “desperate” pressures and shrinking budgets.”


“Labour will inherit ‘worst economic situation since Second World War’, shadow chancellor warns…

“Labour will inherit the worst economic situation of any incoming government since the Second World War, Rachel Reeves warned today, accusing the Conservative Party of “burning the house down” during its time in government.”


“Sunak unveils police crackdown on protests at democratic venues…

“Rishi Sunak on Wednesday set out plans for a police crackdown on protests that cause “alarm or distress” at venues including parliament, as the government sought to toughen its approach to pro-Palestinian demonstrators following Israel’s war against Hamas.”


“Switzerland must strengthen its banking controls, a global financial watchdog said on Thursday, highlighting the risk a failure of UBS would pose to the country in the starkest warning yet of the perils arising from its rescue of Credit Suisse.

“UBS Group opens new tab last year emerged as Switzerland’s one and only global bank, after a state-backed move to avert the biggest banking collapse since the global financial crisis.”


“Private equity-owned German real estate lender Aareal Bank warned there was “more to come” after one in four of its US office loans went into default last year.

“The warning highlights how the strains in US commercial real estate are being felt outside North America…”


“Germany to deploy troops in Lithuania, first move of its kind since World War II.

“As NATO allies continue to reject calls to send ground troops into Ukraine, around 5,000 German soldiers are preparing to relocate to Lithuania in 2027, in a historic move that will see the first permanent deployment of German troops since the Second World War.”


“The picturesque Swedish town being turned into a strategic military hub.

“By the end of this week Sweden could be a member of NATO, ending 200 years of neutrality and military non-alignment. But even before it cleared the final hurdle, the Nordic nation was already busy reordering its defences – transforming the central town of Ostersund into a military hub.”


“Western leaders “shouldn’t be afraid” to stand up to Russia and “shouldn’t be afraid of own power,” Estonia’s prime minister has told Sky News.

“Kaja Kallas, whose country borders northwestern Russia, said everything should be considered when it comes to how the West supports Ukraine’s war effort.”


“Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday warned NATO against sending its troops to help Ukraine, in an explicit nuclear threat.

“”There has been talk of sending NATO contingents to Ukraine. But we remember the fate of those who sent contingents [in the past]. Now the consequences for the interventionists will be much more tragic,” Putin said in a speech to Russia’s parliament.”


“Germany Attacks Houthi Targets for the First Time.

“Germany deployed a naval frigate to the Red Sea for the first time to confront Houthi attacks, becoming the second European country, after France, to carry out such operations… The Western strikes have included over 300 raids targeting Houthi sites in Sanaa, Hodeidah, Taiz, Hajjah, Saada, and Dhamar.”


“UN calls for investigation after reports Israeli troops ‘fired on Palestinians waiting for aid’.

“The UN secretary-general has called for an independent investigation into an incident that allegedly left 100 Palestinians dead. Gaza officials say Israeli forces fired into a crowd of people waiting for food aid – while Israel said aid truck drivers “ploughed” into the crowd.”


“Israeli forces have hit Iran-backed militia in two locations near Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported.

“Syria’s defense ministry also reported Israeli strikes near Damascus Wednesday night, marking the latest in a series of attacks against Iran-backed forces in the region.”


“One person killed at anti-government protest in Syria’s Sweida province.

“At least one person has died of gunshot wounds sustained in an anti-government protest against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the southern province of Sweida, according to local news outlets and monitoring groups.”


“Hardliners set to tighten grip in Iran vote as frustration mounts…

“The election is the first formal measure of public opinion after anti-government protests in 2022-23 spiralled into some of the worst political turmoil since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Iran’s rulers need a high turnout to repair their legitimacy, damaged after nationwide protests.”


“Somalia has signed security deals with the United States, Turkey and Uganda in recent weeks as multiplying tensions in the Horn of Africa raise fears of possible armed conflicts in the region.

“An agreement signed with Washington commits the U.S. to building five military bases for the Somali army to bolster the counter’s military capacity…”


“South Sudan warns of economic collapse due to disruptions in oil pipelines…

“Minister Lueth revealed that the pipelines transporting South Sudan’s crude oil to the international market face difficulties due to the ongoing war in Sudan. This war has hindered efforts to maintain and repair pipelines affected by the conflict.”


“Chad fighting: Heavy gunfire in N’Djamena after attack on security HQ.

“Several people were killed in Wednesday’s attack, the government said – blaming the opposition Socialist Party Without Borders… The unrest comes a day after the announcement that Chad will hold presidential elections on 6 May.”


“Ghana president addresses nation amid worst economic crisis in decades.

“Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo said he was taking personal responsibility for the country’s economic crisis, the worst it has seen in a generation, as he delivered a state of the nation address in parliament on Tuesday.”


“Fuel Crisis in Lae [Papua New Guinea]: Motorists Face Rationing, Operations at Standstill Amidst Shortage…

“This shortage is part of a larger crisis affecting the country, with major fuel importer Puma Energy halting further supplies, leading to widespread operational challenges across various sectors.”


“Cuba’s government has for the first time asked the UN’s food programme for help as food shortages on the Communist-run island worsen.

“The request is a sign of the seriousness of Cuba’s economic crisis. As well as a shortage of milk, fuel and medicines are also running low… from Friday, the fuel that is available will cost five times as much as a price hike comes into effect.”


“”There are no winners in the current globalization crisis,” says Brazilian Finance Minister at G20 summit…

“Haddad said that the poorest countries are bearing increasing environmental and economic costs, while their economies are under threat from a growing wave of protectionism on the part of the rich countries… The minister also warned that a significant portion of the poorest countries’ income is seriously compromised by debt servicing…”


“The world’s carbon dioxide emissions from energy rose yet again to a new high in 2023 despite fossil fuel use falling in the advanced economies of the EU and US, the latest International Energy Agency report shows.

“This runs counter to the need for emissions to be cut by almost 45 per cent by 2030 to limit long-term global warming to no more than 1.5C since the pre-industrial era.”


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! 

29th February 2024 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

“The amount of frigid winter air is near a record low, and shrinking… Analysis reveals the second-smallest pool of cold air on record above the Northern Hemisphere, a clear sign of climate change…

Nine of the 10 smallest winter cold pools since 1948-1949 have occurred in the 2000s, continuing a trend of shrinking winter cold pools that Martin identified in a 2015 study published in the Journal of Climate.”


“Scientists Are Freaking Out About Ocean Temperatures.

““It’s quite scary, partly because I’m not hearing any scientists that have a convincing explanation of why it is we’ve got such a departure,” he said. “We’re used to having a fairly good handle on things. But the impression at the moment is that things have gone further and faster than we expected. That’s an uncomfortable place as a scientist to be.””


“Did a marine heatwave cause 7,000 humpback whales to starve to death?

“Populations were recovering, but a new study reveals that numbers dropped by 20% coinciding with a period of record temperatures in the North Pacific. In 1972, a humpback whale nicknamed Festus was first spotted off the mountainous coast of south-east Alaska…”


“Alaska’s melting glaciers that rip homes apart.

“Qasa Alom meets a team conducting research on Alaska’s changing environment. Melting glaciers are causing catastrophic damage, ripping homes from the banks of the river, leaving locals to question what the future will hold.”


“Historic warmth in Canada, QUEBEC had its warmest February day on record with 20.5C [69F].

“Monthly records trounced in Ontario as well: 21.4C Windsor; 20.7C Sarnia; 19.5C Harrow; 18.0C Kemptville; 15.8C Peterborough.”


“Warm winter weather leads to chaos in energy trading as demand craters for heating.

“”I don’t know what you guys are doing with the weather over there, but it’s been causing havoc throughout the futures market and the natural gas market,” FOX Business Contributor and author of The Energy Report, Phil Flynn, told FOX Weather.”


“Warmest winter ever. Minnesota has beat out the “Year Without a Winter,” setting new record…

“While this story was written three days before the official end of meteorological winter, there was no doubt as of early this week that a record that dates back nearly 150 years, to the winter of 1877-78, was going to fall.”


“”Insane”: Historic winter heat wave smashes records across U.S…

“Omaha (80°F), Des Moines (78°F), Minneapolis (65°F) and Abilene, Texas (94°F), saw their hottest winter temperatures on Monday… In Springfield, Ill., the high on Tuesday reached 80°F, while Detroit, Flint and Saginaw, Mich. had their hottest winter days on record Tuesday, with a high of 73°F.”


“Madison sees record-breaking temperature swing. It could be the new normal…

“…temperatures reached a high of 70 degrees on Tuesday and dropped to 11 degrees early Wednesday morning: A 59 degree difference… An expert said these weather patterns will have direct impact on the farming industry.”


“How record February heat is priming the US for crop-wrecking ‘whiplash’…

“For crops, he added, “the risk is a freeze: They have this ‘false spring’ when things unusually warm, things start to bloom — then they get below-freezing temperatures, and the crop is damaged.””


“Ron DeSantis says Citizens Insurance is ‘not solvent’… The Governor continues to raise questions about the state insurance company’s ability to weather a significant event…

“…raising new questions about Citizens Property Insurance ahead of what is expected to be an active hurricane season.”


“Texas battles second-biggest wildfire disaster in state history.

“A rapidly spreading Texas wildfire has killed one person, forced residents to evacuate, cut off power to homes and businesses, and briefly paused operations at a nuclear weapons facility… Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 60 counties.”


“Insanity in MEXICO. Dozens of records brutalized from North to South. Nothing like this had ever happened.

“Some examples: 39.2 Ciudad Victoria; 36.3 Huajuapan de Leon 1600m; 34.4 Morelia 1915m asl! 32.2 Aguascalientes. Most extreme event in North American history.”


“Never ending record heat in South America from North to South. Mind blowing 35.4 [95.7F] at St Laurent FRENCH GUIANA It broke the monthly record more than 10 times!

“In PARAGUAY monthly record broken at San Estanislao with 39.4. Mildest day of summer in ANTARTICA with 14.8 at Esperanza.”


“Nearly 3,000 fires in Brazilian Amazon in February, new record.

“Brazil’s INPE space research institute said Wednesday its satellites had picked up 2,940 fires so far this month, 67 percent more than the previous high of 1,761 recorded in February 2007 and four times more than in the same month last year.”


“At least 12,000 families have been displaced from their homes after torrential rains caused rivers and streams to overflow, the Brazilian state of Acre said.

“The government said on Tuesday that 17 of the state’s 22 municipalities remained under a state of emergency caused by the devastating rainfall.”


“The Scottish government’s climate change advisers have raised “serious concerns” about cuts to tree planting.

“It was announced in December that the woodland creation budget was being slashed by 41% from £77.2m to £45.4m. Ministers have admitted the cut means they will fall well short of next year’s target of 18,000 hectares of new woodland…”


“France’s changing climate: Fewer cold temperature records are being set…

“Météo-France’s national weather monitoring stations recorded 55 monthly cold records, compared with 2,451 warm records over the whole of 2023. In January 2024, despite a “wintry episode” at the beginning of the month, there were only nine cold records, compared with 170 heat records.”


“February 2024 was so warm in Germany that it would rank as the 8th warmest March on record since records began in 1881. Just plain ridiculous.”


“Switzerland sees warmest February since records began in 1864…

“The first half of February was extremely mild, with excess temperatures of between 3 and 7C, according to the MeteoNews weather service. Overall, the average temperature was found to be nearly 5C higher than the 30-year average for this time of year.”


“HUNGARY broke more records including the first 20C [68F] in February in Debrecen and in Napkor.

“Tomorrow it can be even hotter and records can fall in Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary and Balkans.”


“Risotto crisis: the fight to save Italy’s beloved dish from extinction.

“Ferraris realised the full extent of what he was about to lose only at the end of May 2022, when his rice fields had not turned their usual luxuriant green. “They were all brown,” he says. “It all looked like dry straw.””


“Sicily drought leads to withering oranges, cows going hungry.

“Marilina Barreca has two grim options: feed her cows tainted fodder or set them to graze on barren hillsides as Sicily battles a crop-devastating drought which is sucking reservoirs dry.”


“Catalonia’s farmers demand more help over drought.

“”We’re now in a situation where we have a full-on drought,” says Xavier Oliva, an artichoke farmer who owns land just outside the city.

“”If it doesn’t rain you can’t plant anything.””


“It’s simply unprecedented what AFRICA is living:

“Hundreds of records falling every day from North to South no stop. Today again GHANA and BENIN had their hottest February night in climatic history with Tmin of 30.5C at Tamale (also 29.8 Yendi) and 29.5C at Cotonou.”


“NATIONAL MONTHLY RECORD HEAT IN TOGO. Shortly after its hottest February night ever with a min. of 30.0C [86F],TOGO wasn’t satisfied and beat also the record of highest maximum for February with 43.0C at Sansanne Mango.

“It’s a month like no other: 214 Countries/territories broke heat records.” 


“Nigerians warned of exhaustion, dehydration associated with heatwave…

“Mr Ameh said the extreme temperatures, amid the epileptic power supply, could trigger diseases, threaten livestock and even lead to death. The physician said the heatwave and scorching sun experienced by residents could also trigger severe dehydration and respiratory infections aside from high temperatures.”


“Locals from Nyakayojo, Mbarara City South Division in Mbarara City [Uganda] face starvation and financial crisis following a hailstorm that destroyed their crops and property worth millions.

“This disaster has caused panic among the residents and farmers who are scared of impending hunger. Those who were earning through farming also face financial stress.”


“Emergency declared in Gwadar after record-breaking rainfall [Pakistan]…

“The recent heavy rainfall in Balochistan’s Gwadar and Kech districts has triggered severe damages, disrupting normal life and traffic along the Coastal Highway. The downpour, exceeding 160mm [6.3 inches] in just 12 hours, overwhelmed the region’s infrastructure…”


“After so many Niños and record hot seasons, the February record high of the Sri Lanka executive capital Colombo of 36.2C [97.2F] had resisted since 23 February 1915.

“But nothing is spared to the madness currently going on, sweeping every record: after 109 years, today it fell.”


“Phuket MP issues fire warning as heatwave grips island.

“Somchart Techathavorncharoen, a Move Forward MP in Phuket, has issued a warning about the risk of fire during the current heatwave. Just looking at most of the hills around the island you can now see plenty of brown spots where there has been no proper rain for many months.”


“Nearly every tropical country had its highest February TMIN this month. Today national records of High Minimums:

28.6 MALDIVES; 28.2 VIETNAM; 27.9 SRI LANKA; Hottest February day; 36.4 Colombo SRI LANKA; 33.6 Male MALDIVES; 38.5 Phuket THAILAND; 37.8 Launglon MYANMAR.”


“Vietnam’s Mekong Delta ‘rice bowl’ cracks in monster February heatwave.

“Southern Vietnam’s hot weather peaks in April or May, with temperatures around 39 degrees Celsius, but February saw ‘abnormal’ highs of 38 degrees. More than 80 canals have dried up in one district of Ca Mau province, where agricultural production is entirely reliant on rainwater.”


“The record books have been smashed in Brisbane this morning, with the mercury failing to fall below 20 degrees Celsius for the 60th night in a row.

“Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) senior forecaster Pieter Claassen said New Year’s Eve was the last time the temperature had cooled to below 20C in the Queensland capital — when it dropped to 19.9.”


“Extreme weather events take enormous toll on Australia, State of Weather and Climate Extremes report shows…

““What was unusual about 2023 is how intense some of these events were and how they kept pushing records,” centre director Andy Pitman says. While it’s challenging to determine the cause of each extreme event, he says they seem to have occurred with increased frequency in 2023.”


“An 80-mph speed record for glacier fracture helps reveal the physics of ice sheet collapse [Antarctica]…

“The study, recently published in AGU Advances, shows that a 6.5-mile (10.5 kilometer) crack formed in 2012 on Pine Island Glacier—a retreating ice shelf that holds back the larger West Antarctic ice sheet—in about five and a half minutes. That means the rift opened at about 115 feet (35 meters) per second, or about 80 miles per hour.”


“Water scarcity threatens chipmakers like TSMC and could push prices higher, according to S&P…

“Semiconductor firms such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company are at risk of water shortages as processing technology advances, S&P Global Ratings said in a report… The chip making industry is a thirsty one…”


“Climate Change: The Great Equalizer Threatening Everyone’s Health…

“Other health impacts of climate change include, according to O’Brien, “obviously there is asthma, we had thunderstorm asthma here (in Australia), so people died who had never had asthma in their lives and didn’t know what was going on.””


“The False Promise of Carbon Capture as a Climate Solution…

“It is said that Mahatma Gandhi was once asked what he thought of Western civilization. He replied, “It would be a good idea.” The same could be said about carbon capture and storage as a solution to the climate crisis. Although it might be part of the solution down the road, right now it’s mostly a dangerous distraction.”


You can read the previous “Climate” 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.

28th February 2024 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“Global economy is weighed down by war, uncertainty and instability, trade chief warns.

“The head of the World Trade Organization warned on Monday that war, uncertainty and instability are weighing down the global economy and urged the bloc to embrace reform as elections across nearly half the world’s population could bring new challenges.”


“‘The sea, a place without borders, is under threat from geopolitical fragmentation’…

“Land conflicts are shifting to the seas. Attacks by Houthi rebels in Yemen targeting merchant vessels in the Bab al-Mandab Strait, south of the Suez Canal, in response to the war between Israel and Hamas, are the latest illustration of this development.”


“Big investors grow nervous about private credit boom [US]. Allocations to the sector have fallen as pension funds worry about the impact of higher borrowing costs…

““Widespread defaults have not yet occurred,” said the $105bn Ohio Public Employees Retirement System in a board meeting agenda last month, “however, indications point towards trouble ahead”.”


“Why economists are warning of another US banking crisis…

“Heightened interest rates have already led to the most stringent credit standards and weakest loan demand from consumers and businesses in a long time in the US. Meanwhile, banks are dealing with other major challenges such as the plunge in demand for office space as a result of home working.”


“Bank of England deputy warns of dangers posed by shadow banks.

“Regulators need more information about the threat posed by shadow banks if they are to avert a “credit crunch”, a leading Bank of England official has warned. Sarah Breeden, a deputy governor of the Bank, said that financial watchdogs were on the back foot because they lacked data…”


“Swedish property giants write down billions as prices crash.

“Two of Sweden’s largest property companies on Tuesday announced multibillion-crown writedowns in their 2023 results, as they grappled with a European property rout… For years, property in Europe and particularly Germany and Sweden boomed as interest rates fell, turbocharging demand. A sharp rise in rates has now pricked this bubble.”


“Germany’s Slow-Motion Property Crash Is a Looming Risk for Banks…

“Relatively modest adjustments and benign provisions obscure the fact that German lenders are more exposed to commercial real estate than most of their European peers and, according to one study, extended loans more aggressively.”


“First fall in eurozone loans for five months dents recovery hopes.

“Bank lending to the private sector in the eurozone has fallen for the first time in five months, signalling continued weakness for the region’s economy as record high interest rates continue to restrict demand.”


“Climate Measures Risk Sparking Social Unrest, German Agency Warns.

“The European Union is at risk of widespread backlash against its climate agenda unless politicians do more to blunt the effects of rising carbon prices on low-income households, according to the head of Germany’s Environment Agency.”


“Farmers spray liquid manure on police as clashes break out in Brussels…

“Brussels police said 900 tractors had entered the city on Monday, many bearing down on the European Council building where European Union ministers were meeting… Police in riot gear used water cannons to defend the EU’s headquarters, from behind concrete barriers and barbed wire.”


“Macron says sending western troops to Ukraine cannot be ruled out…

“French President Emmanuel Macron said sending western troops to Ukraine “could not be ruled out” and that Paris would drop its long-standing opposition to purchasing emergency artillery supplies for Ukraine from outside the EU.”


“Hungary finally approves Sweden joining Nato after months of diplomatic tensions.

“Hungary’s parliament has finally ratified Sweden’s bid to join Nato, clearing the last hurdle for a historic step after months of diplomatic wrangling. Sweden applied for membership alongside Finland in May 2022 in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”


“Serbia protests after Croatia’s foreign minister calls Vučić a Russian ‘satellite’ in the Balkans…

“Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman told N1 television on Saturday that Vučić must decide which side he is on, Russia or the European Union, “because it is impossible and uncomfortable sitting on two chairs at the same time.””


“Moldovan separatists to ask Putin to annexe their region.

“Gennady Chorba, a politician in Transnistria, which borders Ukraine, has said the rebel government will submit its request to the Kremlin on Wednesday during a special congress that last met in 2006… His statement came a few days after Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, said the rights of pro-Russian separatists in Transnistria must be respected.”


“Sri Lanka has told hundreds of thousands of Russians and some Ukrainians staying in the country to escape the war that they must leave in the next two weeks, immigration officers said…

“Just over 288,000 Russians and nearly 20,000 Ukrainians have traveled to Sri Lanka in the last two years since the war began, according to official data.”


“Russia bans gasoline exports for 6 months from March 1…

“Domestic gasoline prices are sensitive for motorists and farmers in the world’s biggest wheat exporter ahead of a March 15-17 presidential election, while some Russian refineries have been hit by Ukrainian drone attacks in recent months.”


“North Korea sent Russia millions of munitions in exchange for food: Seoul…

“North Korea has sent about 6,700 containers carrying millions of munitions to Russia since September in exchange for food as well as parts and raw materials for weapons manufacturing, according to officials.”


“South Korea Keeps Shattering Its Own Record for World’s Lowest Fertility Rate.

“South Korea set a new record for the world’s lowest fertility rate as the impact of the nation’s aging demographics looms large for its medical system, social welfare provision and economic growth. The number of babies expected per woman fell to 0.72 last year from 0.78 in 2022…”


“Country Garden liquidation petition adds to China’s property woes.

“Chinese developer Country Garden said on Wednesday a liquidation petition has been filed against it for non-payment of a $205 million loan, clouding its debt revamp prospects and undermining Beijing’s effort to restore confidence in the property sector.”


“What are shadow banks and why are they failing in China?

“…In China, the shadow banking industry accounts for about 40% to 60% of the country’s gross domestic product, although estimates vary significantly… Back in November 2023, one of China’s biggest asset and wealth management companies, Zhongzhi, revealed that it was “severely insolvent”, having liabilities of about 460 billion yuan (€59.0 billion).”


“Israeli Airstrikes in Lebanon Are the Deepest in Years…

“The Israeli military said that its fighter jets had struck Hezbollah air defenses in the Bekaa Valley, about 60 miles from the Israeli border. It said that the strikes were in response to a surface-to-air missile attack that downed an Israeli drone over southern Lebanon. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for that attack.”


“Hamas and Israel pour cold water on Biden’s hopes of imminent ceasefire…

“Israeli and Hamas officials have downplayed hopes expressed by Joe Biden that a ceasefire in the war in Gaza is imminent, raising questions about whether a temporary truce can be implemented before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins in two weeks’ time.”


“One quarter of Gaza’s people one step away from famine, UN says.

“At least 576,000 people in the Gaza Strip – one quarter of the population – are one step away from famine, a senior U.N. aid official told the Security Council on Tuesday, warning that widespread famine could be “almost inevitable” without action.”


“The US used artificial intelligence to identify targets hit by air strikes in the Middle East this month, a defense official said, revealing growing military use of the technology for combat.

“Machine learning algorithms that can teach themselves to identify objects helped to narrow down targets for more than 85 US air strikes on Feb. 2, according to Schuyler Moore, chief technology officer for US Central Command…”


“UK ship sinking in Red Sea after Houthi attack drifts north – as US Navy offer help.

“The Belize-flagged ship Rubymar was hit by a Houthi missile in the Bab al Mandeb Strait on Sunday 18 February. Its last transmitted position was on the day of the attack. Since then, it has moved around 70 kilometres north.”


“Sudan: International Red Cross faces an over 40% increase in aid shipping costs amid Red Sea disruption…

“Due to escalating security concerns and attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea, our carrier has made the difficult decision to suspend operations to Port Sudan through the Red Sea route. As a result, the IRC has been compelled to seek alternative routes for the delivery of essential pharmaceutical supplies which are critical for life saving health services.”


“Sudan’s Humanitarian Crisis Deepens As The World Looks Away…

“About 25 million people, including over 14 million children, are in need of humanitarian assistance and support. About 17.7 million people (37% of the population) face acute hunger, and 4.9 million in emergency levels.”


“Jihadist attacks displace tens of thousands in Mozambique…

“”The sounds of gunshots woke us up, they began to chase people, we watched as they cut off the men’s heads with machetes, and we ran away with the little we had,” Josefina Gabriele told AFP, adding, “those terrorists are evil”.”


“Two die in clashes in Guinea Conakry as unions begin general strike against junta.

“Two youths were shot dead and others injured Monday as Guinea’s capital was paralysed on the first day of an open-ended general strike to end media censorship. This is seen as a key test for the junta that seized power in 2021 and dissolved the transitional government last week.”


“President Bio seeks financial aid from China – Sierra Leone’s economy on brink of collapse.

“Sierra Leone’s economy is on the brink of collapse as government revenue continues to fall, after years of government’s failure to bring in vital private investments into key high-growth potential sectors of the economy, including agriculture, agro-processing, and fish farming.”


“Ghana’s Economic Crisis Deepens: Leadership Criticized Amid Soaring Inflation and Poverty.

“Ghana is currently grappling with severe economic challenges that have pushed its population into deeper poverty and worsened the cost of living. The country’s leadership has been heavily criticized for its refusal to establish a Crisis Management Team…”


“Nigerians suffer along border with Niger as economic sanctions bite…

“The closure of Nigeria’s border with Niger has worsened the economic situation and insecurity in the region… Nigeria used to be one of Niger’s main trading partners, exporting $193m worth of goods to Niger in 2022…”


“Nigerian army denies report of coup plot…

“Sahara Reporters suggested that the Presidential Guard, tasked with the president’s protection, was on alert due to coup suspicions. The report alleged that emergency meetings had been held with the Nigerian president.”


“Tobago’s tourism, fishing hit as oil slick spreads across Caribbean.

“Nine days after a slick was first spotted by Trinidad and Tobago’s Coast Guard, an oil leak from a capsized barge remains unplugged… The spill has spread miles from Tobago’s shore, the area first hit by the incident. Trinidad this week alerted neighbors Venezuela and Grenada on possible impact to their coasts.”


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.

26th February 2024 Today’s Round-Up of Economic News

“Israel’s defense minister vowed Sunday to step up attacks on Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group even if a cease-fire is reached with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

“Hezbollah, which has been exchanging fire with Israel throughout the war in Gaza, has said it will halt its nearly daily attacks on Israel if a cease-fire is reached in Gaza.”


“Hezbollah fires rockets, drone at Galilee as Israeli jets pounds southern Lebanon.

“Air defenses intercepted rockets shot at towns near the restive northern border and a fighter jet shot down a drone heading into Israel as fighting along Israel’s northern border showed no sign of slowing Saturday.”


“As Lebanon teeters on the edge, a war with Israel would be catastrophic.

“Wages for Lebanon’s soldiers have fallen so low that many now have second jobs driving for Uber or working as parking valets. A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to support the country’s emergency response services. Angry depositors in Beirut have attacked the headquarters of a major bank…”


“Israel plans $60bn debt raising and tax rises to fuel defence spending…

“The hit came as the government mobilised a record 300,000 reservists; tens of thousands of people were displaced in the north and south of the country; and consumer spending slumped. About 150,000 Palestinians workers have also been prevented from entering Israel from the occupied West Bank.”


Arrests and Clashes in Tel Aviv as Thousands Protest Across Israel.

“Israeli police deployed water cannons and arrested 21 protesters in Tel Aviv on Saturday, February 24, as thousands gathered nationwide to protest against the current Israeli government. Footage released by police shows water cannons being fired…”


“Gaza death toll set to pass 30,000, as Israel prepares assault on Rafah.

“The death toll in Gaza is likely to pass the grim milestone of 30,000 this week, as negotiators try to pin down a ceasefire and hostage-release deal, and the Israeli government presses ahead with plans for an attack on Rafah.”


“US and UK strike Houthi targets in Yemen after shipping hit in Red Sea…

“This is the fourth time that the US and British militaries have conducted a combined operation against the Houthis since Jan. 12. But the US has also been carrying out almost daily strikes to take out Houthi targets, including incoming missiles and drones aimed at ships, as well as weapons that were prepared to launch.”


“Shortage of Oil Tankers at Hand as Red Sea Attacks Divert Trade.

“Longstanding warnings from the oil tanker industry that too few of the ships are being built are coming back to haunt the market after Houthi attacks on commercial shipping caused widespread diversions in global petroleum trades. Just two new supertankers are due to join the fleet in 2024…”


“Migrant crisis looms over governors’ gathering at the White House.

“The record level of migrants arriving at the US-Mexico border loomed over a gathering of governors at the White House this weekend, revealing how the issue has become prominent in states nationwide and across the political spectrum.”


“Spiralling US public debt risks action from bond vigilantes. Policymakers should start making contingency plans now…

“As well as savaging the president of the day, such a challenge could devastate the US’s role as the world’s chief provider of safe assets during global crises, while simultaneously threatening the dollar’s status as the pre-eminent reserve currency.”


“Britain to harness power of Sahara solar farms using 700ft ship…

“The 700ft vessel will lay four parallel cables linking solar and wind farms spread across the desert in Morocco with a substation in Alverdiscott, a tiny village near the coast of north Devon. Once completed, the scheme is expected to deliver about 3.6 gigawatts of electricity to the UK’s national grid – equating to about 8pc of total power demand.”


“The UK is much closer to blackouts than anyone dares to admit…

“We are heading for a big electricity crunch… every single one of our existing nuclear power stations is currently due to reach the end of its life by 2035. If Hinkley C is delayed much beyond its latest estimated completion, we could end up with no nuclear at all. That could leave us trying to power the country pretty much with intermittent wind and solar energy alone…”


“British firms say they are facing higher shipping costs and delays of up to four weeks due to Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, a business group said.

“More than a third of the firms surveyed by the British Chambers of Commerce said they had been affected. That figure rose to more than half among exporters responding to the survey.”


“Dutch central bank leader warns of global tensions’ impact on trade.

“Increasing geopolitical tensions and trade restrictions between economic blocs and countries around the world are having a negative impact on free trade and investment. Klaas Knot, president of De Nederlandsche Bank, warned of this in a speech at the Eurofi think tank in Ghent on Friday.”


“Farmers storm Paris agriculture fair as Macron promises more help.

“A major farm fair in Paris descended into clashes between riot police and farmers as Emmanuel Macron pledged greater financial help for agriculture, in the latest sign of tensions across Europe over food production.”


“Farmers’ protests in Europe and the deadend of neoliberalism…

“These are people who produce Europe’s food – whether conventionally or organically, on a small or a medium scale. They stand united by a shared reality: They are fed up with spending their lives working incessantly without ever getting a decent income.”


“Why Germany is (literally) the sick man of Europe. Increasing illness rates diagnose EU’s largest economy with wider malaise…

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an era of deglobalisation and geo-political tensions have threatened the foundations of its economic model… Germans themselves have literally never been so sick. And it’s becoming one of the biggest drags on the economy.”


“Germany could spend billions of euros to convert pipeline for Russian gas imports to carry hydrogen…

“The CEO of SEFE, a former subsidiary of Gazprom that was nationalised and renamed by the German government in 2022, has told newswire Reuters that daughter company Gascade could spend “low single-digit billion euros” on converting gas pipelines to hydrogen.”


“Tensions grow as 160 tonnes of Ukrainian grain sabotaged in Poland…

“Video and pictures online showed eight wagons of corn spilling onto the tracks near the village of Kotomierz, northern Poland, prompting Ukraine’s deputy prime minister to condemn it as an act of “impunity and irresponsibility”.”


“Ukraine’s defence minister says half of western arms arrive later than promised…

“Speaking a day after the second anniversary of Moscow’s full-scale invasion, Ukraine’s defence minister, Rustem Umerov, said his country was “losing territory” in its grinding war with Russia because “50%” of weapons promised by western partners failed to reach Kyiv on time.”


“Libya Protests Halt Wafa Oil Exports, Gas Pipeline to Italy…

“Exports from an oil field in western Libya and a subsea natural gas link to Italy were closed following protests, according to a person familiar with the matter, the latest disruptions to the North African country’s energy infrastructure.”


“Middle-class Tunisians risk shipwreck for lure of Europe…

“As Tunisia’s economy has floundered over recent years, ever more young people have gone to seek their fortune in prosperous Italy or France and the record numbers have led to a spike in deaths, with the Sfax morgue regularly filling with drowned bodies.”


“Nigeria’s economic crisis puts fuel subsidies removal under scrutiny…

“Before the west African country went to the polls last year, the IMF recommended that Nigeria’s government “permanently remove fuel subsidies through the introduction of a market-based pricing mechanism”.”


“The forgotten war. Sudan’s conflict is a threat to regional stability — and millions of lives…

“The conflict brings the anarchy that has raged in the Sahel right up to Sudan’s 650km Red Sea coastline, threatening to spread some of Africa’s worst problems into the Middle East and vice versa. The conflict has sucked in outside powers. Gulf states have lined up behind each of the two generals…”


“As Ramadan approaches in Iraq, Food prices increase amid complaints of government inaction…

“Asked by The New Arab, several people in Sulaimaniyah city in the northern Kurdistan region of Iraq complained about high prices of almost all things, especially meats and basic food materials, such as rice, bread flour and cocking oil.”


“Vast majority of Iranians want a secular government, poll reveals…

“Almost three-quarters of Iranians want a secular government instead of a theocratic dictatorship, an anonymous state-run poll has revealed. The survey also revealed that less one in 10 people think women should be forced to wear a hijab. The poll suggests a major shift in attitudes towards Iran’s religious regime has occurred since the 2022…”


“Hours-long ‘rigged polls’ protests end in Karachi after tear gas and baton charges…

“The political parties had chosen today as the protest date as the newly-elected members of the provincial assembly took oath and elected the speaker and deputy speaker. When the workers, including women, gathered in different pockets to partake in the protest, the city’s police fired tear gas and baton-charged them.”


“Thousands of Brazilians rally in support of Bolsonaro amid coup probe…

““What is a coup? Tanks in the streets, weapons, conspiracy. None of that happened in Brazil,” Bolsonaro told his supporters, who filled up six blocks of Sao Paulo’s iconic Paulista Avenue.”


“Argentine provinces threaten oil supply cuts in dispute with Milei…

“”Not a drop of oil will come out on Wednesday if they don’t respect the provinces once and for all and take their foot off our back,” Governor Ignacio Torres of southern Chubut province told television channel C5N on Saturday.”


“Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company opened its first chip plant in Japan on Saturday as it diversifies supply chains away from Taiwan amid intensifying U.S.-China trade tensions…

“Paul You, chairman of First Securities Investment Corporation said last month that the global semiconductor industry including Taiwan’s could be at risk from the U.S.-China chip war.”


“Not knowing when the global debt crisis blows up doesn’t mean it won’t…

“Financial crises have a way of creeping up on the world like a thief in the night and they come from different causal directions. The next one is very likely to come from debt problems – unless beaten to it by a stock market crash – and it is already close on our heels.

“It may not appear that way because global debt has been mounting for decades and life goes on. But the nature of the debt threat has changed relatively recently along with rising interest rates, and the figurative “thief” is now a potential killer.”


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.