The litmus test for the global economy

Stock markets weaken as ‘Ring of Fire’ fault-lines open

“Central banks have created a debt-fuelled ‘Ring of Fire’, and we will no doubt have felt many tremors (large and small) as a result, by the time my next 6-monthly update appears in September“. That was my forecast for world stock markets back in March, and I imagine few would argue with it today, as we review developments […]

Swiss pensions bankrupt by 2025: US Social Security by 2030

Nobody would imagine that the SFr 800bn ($840bn) Swiss pension scheme could go bankrupt.  But Swiss pension experts suggest it “will be bankrupt within 10 years (without)…a radical overhaul of the retirement system.”  The problem is simple – a combination of low/negative interest rates and an increase in life expectancy. A major analysis in the Financial Times […]

Oil consumption growth has slowed as prices have stayed high

As promised yesterday, the blog looks today at the impact of today’s high prices on oil consumption growth. As the chart, based on BP data shows, the ‘easy money’ policies of the central banks have only partially mitigated the impact of the oil price rally since 2009.  Consumption growth has not fallen to the 0.8%/year level […]

Oil price costs remain close to 5% of global GDP

Oil markets have been driven by speculative excess since 2009.  None of the factors that were supposed to create supply shortages have ever occurred.  Markets have never even been close to scrambling for product.  And the rallies are getting shorter and shorter, as this simple fact is finally being better understood. Thus traders’ most recent efforts to create […]

Pension promises unaffordable due to demographic change

As promised yesterday, the blog looks today at the impact of today’s rapidly ageing populations.  The key point is that global life expectancy been rising for over 40 years, whilst fertility rates have been falling.  A paradigm shift is thus inevitable, where future demand will be very different: 1970 Onwards.  Growth accelerated, as the population became concentrated in the […]