Tag: commodities

The Chinese credit crisis gets messy

The Chinese credit crisis gets messy

No one has denied that China was overdue for a credit shakeout due to the Chinese government’s desire to stem excess credit growth as the economy rebalances. The question has always been about how much of a shakeout Chinese policy makers are willing to accept and how destabilizing the shakeout would get regarding economic growth and employment. We seem to be reaching another level in terms of jitters with bank runs and commodities sector bankruptcies. Some thoughts below

Economic and market themes: 2014-03-14

Economic and market themes: 2014-03-14

US data have been better

European periphery market access continues to improve

Dollar weakness may be China-related

Gold continues to get safe haven bid

China’s slowing more likely to be abrupt

Ukraine has become a military issue; contagion will increase

A full-blown emerging markets crisis is now likely

On wage growth in US and Japan and China’s shadow lending

On wage growth in US and Japan and China’s shadow lending

I had four big topics in today’s links: Japan, China, Ukraine and Spain. I want to concentrate here on the two Asian countries over the European ones. The wage issue in Japan is an important one because it informs the policy choices in the US and Europe. And the Chinese slowdown is having a big impact on commodity markets, softening growth prospects in emerging markets and commodity exporters.

More on the Ukraine conflict

More on the Ukraine conflict

Today’s links carry a widely-diverging set of opinions about the moral issues surrounding the situation in Ukraine. But since this is a finance site, I want to discuss the economic issues. I continue to believe the Ukrainian situation will have only a modest impact on the global economy unless war breaks out. Moreover, Europe’s trade linkages to Russia make sanctions a trickier subject for Europe than the US. Expect to see diverging views within NATO and no meaningful economic penalty as a result.

Economic and market themes: 2014-02-14

Economic and market themes: 2014-02-14

Themes for today:

Commodities: soybean prices could fall due to increased supply. This would be troublesome for Argentina.
Emerging markets: Of the fragile five, India is looking better, Brazil is still a big concern.
Developed Markets: House price inflation makes France, the UK, Australia and Canada vulnerable to real economy shocks.
US: Consumers are only supporting 1-2% growth. Q1 will be weak. Inventory builds are still the big story.

The emerging markets crisis has three causes

The emerging markets crisis has three causes

On Friday, I wrote about the slowdown in China, the bear market in commodities, and the volatility in emerging markets as being all interrelated. Of course, there is more to the selloff in emerging markets than just the slowdown in China and commodity prices. Much of the problem is political and has to do with macro imbalances in particular markets. But the perceived tightening in the US and now the UK has also brought a new risk-off source of volatility as well.

The slowing of Chinese growth and the rout in commodity currencies

The slowing of Chinese growth and the rout in commodity currencies

I am less and less concerned about the eurozone periphery over the medium term because recovery in Europe looks poised to last. On the other hand, the slowdown in China could have wide-ranging consequences, particularly for countries dependent on commodities for growth. The currencies of commodity producers are declining, making interest rate policy trickier as their economies slow.

Australia: Is this the end of the natural resources boom?

Australia: Is this the end of the natural resources boom?

In yesterday’s commentary, I wrote that China was attempting to rebalance its economy, which ultimately means a slowdown in its use of commodities. This has hit the commodities currencies particularly hard, with the Australian Dollar down over 16%. Commodity producers are going to be the biggest losers from a Chinese rebalancing. And the question then is what happens to their economies. Let’s look at Australia