- A + A (June 29): The world is heading for a “turbulent period” as tightening supplies of liquefied natural gas and oil exacerbate a global energy crunch, Shell Plc Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said. Speaking in Singapore, the CEO painted a bleak picture of an energy supply that will struggle to replace large swathes of Russian oil and gas that still flow into Europe. “There will be more LNG supply coming into Europe, but will there be a lot of extra new LNG supply to plug the gap? I don’t think so,” Van Beurden, 64, said Wednesday. The world is grappling with a natural gas shortage amid supply disruptions from Russia to the US, and strong demand for the power plant fuel as economies recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Moscow has curbed gas supplies via a key pipeline to Europe amid escalating tensions related to the war in Ukraine, and that has governments across the continent preparing for a total shutdown of shipments. “Spare capacity is very … [Read more...] about Shell chief paints bleak picture on global energy supply
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- A + A NEW YORK (June 29): First Solar Inc has decided against building a new factory in the US, citing uncertainties regarding trade policy and tax incentives. The biggest US solar manufacturer is still planning a manufacturing facility in either Europe or India, and Chief Executive Officer Mark Widmar expects to make a final decision within 90 days. That would come after the company completes a third US plant early next year in Ohio and its first factory in India in the second half of 2023. The decision is a setback for US President Joe Biden’s efforts to boost domestic solar manufacturing. Solar installations have slowed this year amid a US Commerce Department trade investigation, raising the prospect of tariffs on panels imported from four Southeast Asian nations. While the White House announced this month a two-year moratorium on new tariffs and took steps to encourage American production, Widmar said the moves don’t address underlying issues that give … [Read more...] about First Solar rejects US site for new factory, eyes Europe or India instead
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Regular readers may be a little bored with me repeating my ‘Interregnum’ thesis every week, but as a framework it appears to work on a growing basis. The thesis is that in this post-globalization phase in world affairs, the boons of globalization are being quickly reversed – low inflation, low rates and geopolitical peace have given way to record high inflation, lightning rate increases and a brutal war in Europe. Another facet is the vandalisation of the pillars and sacred cows of the old globalized world order – from trade agreements to diplomatic ties and niceties. In the past week, another event has come along to confirm this framework – the attempt by Boris Johnson’s government to jettison the Northern Irish Protocol, an action that would effectively undercut the Good Friday Agreement. Many of you who do not live in or near Ireland will be forgiven for not understanding the complexity of Irish history, and the … [Read more...] about Boris Johnson Undermines Northern Ireland Peace Process
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin The July 2022 issue of the respected Foreign Affairs journal contains an article that forecasts ‘America’s ‘Coming Age of Instability’ (by Steven Levitsky and Lucian Way). That the article posits America’s descent towards Hungarian/Russian style autocracy, something that would have been surprising ten years ago, but today is the norm, chillingly so. For example, in January 2022, the front cover of the Economist magazine that shows the Republican Party in the USA ‘walking away from democracy’ It is remarkable in the sense that journals like Foreign Affairs, and the broader foreign policy community in America have habitually encouraged the spread of democracy across the world and on occasion pronounced themselves worried about democracy in Europe. More troubling for the rest of the world, that the lodestar of modern democracy is beset by institutional decay and the withering of its democracy is a grave concern. It is … [Read more...] about Is Roe Vs Wade Just The Latest Blow To Democracy?
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin For anyone who writes on the state of the world, the approach of Christmas brings with it the near obligation to sketch out the events and happenings of the year ahead. Last year, I took a traditional though cynical approach when I wrote Drinking with Dickens , the aim of which was to imagine what a vision of the year ahead would look like, whilst under the influence of some of Charles Dickens favourite drinks (i.e. ‘Smoking Bishop’). In the end, some of my comments (‘higher inflation’, ‘tension in Asia’ and ‘Boris resigns’) came close to the mark. The Folly of Forecasting This year, I have a less weary approach, partly because there are so many new, emerging trends, partly because the world is opening up travel wise and partly because there is so much at stake. The real world remains stranger than fiction, though to join the two I have added some book recommendations. JK Galbraith wrote that the only role of … [Read more...] about 2022 – What’s Next?
Sensex, Nifty, stock market news Benchmark stock indices lost nearly 9 percent in the first half the calendar year as Russsia’s invasion of Ukraine, inflation worries, faster policy tightening by central banks and fears of earnings downgrades spooked investors. The broader markets fared even worse. Under intense selling pressure, the Nifty Midcap 100 index fell 12 percent and the Smallcap 100 plunged 24 percent in the six months to June 30. The Nifty IT fell the most, by more than 26 percent, as fears of a recession in the US and Europe, the main markets for information technology firms, roiled their stocks. Realty was the second worst performer, down 20 percent, followed by Metal and Pharma, which fell 14 percent each. Bank, Infra, and Financial Services were also under pressure, losing 5-10 percent. "The current market scenario has played out broadly in line with our global inflections theme since mid-2021. The ferocity of the market correction since the start of 2022 … [Read more...] about Advance-decline ratio in favour of the bears in first half, 4 sectors outperform Nifty50
- A + A DUBLIN/LONDON (June 29): A dirty little secret in a US$1.2 trillion world of credit is getting exposed as the Wall Street rout deepens: Private debt is now the cheaper financing option for big-ticket leveraged borrowers than the ailing public market — upending industry norms. As banks get pummelled by risk aversion and sinking asset values, direct lenders are lavishing risky companies and private-equity firms with capital at rates below what’s available in the volatility-lashed high yield and syndicated loan market. These asset managers are so desperate to unleash all the billions amassed in the low-yield era that they’re increasingly putting up with lower returns than their risk-averse peers in other parts of the credit world are willing to stomach. As traditional lenders beat a retreat, the bonanza is helping power leveraged buyouts with deals including The Access Group, Davies Group, Ivirma Group and Zendesk. “We have seen a few cases in which private … [Read more...] about Private lenders are offering cheaper debt than Wall Street banks
The Associated Press MADRID (AP) — The Latest on the NATO summit in Madrid: ___ Italian Premier Mario Draghi says plans for an increased U.S. military presence in Europe don’t amount to a military escalation within NATO. Draghi says the increase announced Wednesday by the White House would amount to just 70 additional U.S. troops on Italian soil and an air defense system that had already been planned. But he added at the NATO summit in Madrid: “You have to be ready.” Draghi said overall Italy is committing 10,000 troops to NATO. That includes 2,000 divided among the Italian command of NATO in Bulgaria, its presence in Romania and staffing of air patrols over the Baltics. Another 8,000 are on standby in Italy “if eventually necessary.” ___ — Turkey lifts objections to Sweden, Finland joining NATO ahead of alliance summit — Biden, NATO to beef up force posture amid Russian aggression — Macron says Russia can’t win in Ukraine — The AP Interview: Spanish PM … [Read more...] about Live updates | Italy sees no NATO military escalation
Every year, top financial firms attract thousands of applicants for internship roles. In early 2022, Goldman Sachs reported 236,000 intern applications, a record for the company. With an acceptance rate of just 1.5%, the company accepted 2,900 globally in 2021. For those pursuing a career in finance, an internship at the top banking and investment firms is highly competitive given the opportunity to break into a high-paying field. While interns at top firms can earn over $80,000 on a prorated basis over a 10-week period, landing a job as a full-time junior banker can pay up to $150,000 in the first year. Key Takeaways The most prestigious finance internships attract thousands of applicants annually. Many have low acceptance rates, with some hovering close to 1%. Duties performed across finance internships include financial modeling, research, and company analysis. They may also include mentorship opportunities and networking events. While some finance internships … [Read more...] about Most Prestigious Finance Internships
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin In early September 1939, the financial press (i.e. Economist magazine) wrote of the robustness of financial market indices, notwithstanding the outbreak of war, and the carnage that would come. Usually, in less dramatic circumstances, markets have a tendency to fall in the buildup to geopolitical conflict, and then rally thereafter. To date, this pattern has held, though like the aftermath of the outbreak of the COVID pandemic, there is a moral dissonance between human suffering and rising equity prices. Two years ago, the COVID related rally in prices (markets doubled from their COVID lows) the rationale was that aggressive fiscal and monetary policy, in the context of an accelerated digitization of economies, would boost valuations. End of QE Now, the hangover from that stimulus - a multi-decade high spike in inflation is undercutting bond markets, and arguably should also prove more demanding for equities. … [Read more...] about High Inflation Creates A Portfolio Crisis