What climate change could wreak, sooner than you think

This article in New York Magazine tells us that, unless we take “aggressive action”, our planet is headed for: Two degrees of warming used to be considered the threshold of catastrophe: tens of millions of climate refugees unleashed upon an unprepared world. Now two degrees is our goal, per the Paris climate accords, and experts […]

Alibaba is the beginning of a new global trade system

Interesting article here that sees Alibaba not simply as another ecommerce company like Amazon or ebay but as a trading platform for any business, and hence a strategic tool for China to take over world trade and banking. The platform not only provides a front end for customers to interact with businesses, the businesses deliver products […]

Was Marx right after all?

In this talk from May 2015, Chris Hedges shows how Marx may well have been right about the structural limits to capitalism as it currently exists. “The final stages of capitalism, Marx wrote, would be marked by developments that are intimately familiar to most of us. Unable to expand and generate profits at past levels, […]

Opinion on the strategic situation of oil companies

Over the past year, oil companies have seen the price of their product fall by half. Yet, the visiting professor and chair of the Kings Policy Institute at Kings College London writes, there is a “poverty of strategic thinking” on what to do about this, beyond blind trust that “prices must rise again”. “There is no serious analysis of […]

Beijing Enterprises buy German waste-to-energy group

Beijing is surrounded by rubbish dumps so large that they have been described as the city’s “seventh ring”. On Thursday Beijing Enterprises completed the largest ever Chinese acquisition of a German business, purchasing a German waste management company for €1.44bn. The target company is regarded as an industry leader in advanced technologies for filtering emissions. The firm currently converts 4.7m […]

Daimler weakens despite strong 2015 performance

The automotive sector is often a sign of the health of the overall economy. When times are hard, consumers hold back on buying a new car. When times are good, industrial buyers invest in transportation. Daimler has just reported 2015 revenues up 15 per cent and operating earning up more than 25 per cent. There was strong […]

Have commodities and mining reached bottom?

With the slowdown in China’s economy (the world’s biggest consumer of raw materials) the recent boom in commodities and mining companies has turned into “the worst commodities rout in two decades”. Glencore, a mining and commodity trading company with 2014 revenues of $221bn has just had its debt downgraded by Standard & Poor to one […]

Obama proposes $10 per barrel oil tax — unlikely to happen

President Obama’s White House has proposed “bold” $10 per barrel tax on imports of oil. “The White House said that the tax would encourage a shift away from an oil-dependent transportation system and provide revenue that it would use to pay for much-needed infrastructure investment.” With a current price of $30-$40/bbl this represents a tax […]

Banking sector continues to struggle

Since it invests in all sectors of the economy, banking is a bell-weather of that economy. It is an indicator of the performance of the system as a whole. Yesterday Credit Suisse shares tumbled to a 24-year low. Globally, the financial sector is the worst performing in the MSCI World index in 2016. Bank shares have […]

The oil bubble: bursting in slow motion

Bubbles are created when buyers overpay in the hope of finding a ‘greater fool’ to sell to later. This has happened lately in the Chinese stock and property markets. Apartments were built on borrowed money, bought and left empty as prices rose, in the hope they could be offloaded later on to a greater fool before the bubble burst. The same approach was applied in the […]