Craig Moran | Could a new carbon-capture technology really provide a viable approach to reversing the effects of climate change? That’s the ambitious claim of British Columbia-based tech company, Carbon Engineering, in a peer-reviewed paper that posits a methodology for capturing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere before combining it with hydrogen to create a carbon-neutral fuel.
There has been talk for some time about the impact of commercial tensions. But it is clear that palpable consequences remain in the future. Above all when the maintenance of a positive inertia in the global economy could lead to a situation where world trade increases further before starting to worsen.
J. P. Marín-Arrese | The latest trade offensive launched against China will inevitably escalate into full-fledged warfare. Imposing tariffs on 200 billion imports amounts to a vicious and indiscriminate attack triggered by mere irritation at the counter-veiling measures undertaken by the Asian giant. Unleashing such large-scale hostilities will raise the stakes prompting further bouts of unfettered retaliation on both sides. The US is already threatening to punish all trade flows totalling 500 billion.
Caixin | The country’s National Development and Reform Commission, together with the Ministry of Commerce, announced at the end of June a shortened “negative list” for foreign investors, which will come into effect on July 28. The newly shortened list removes restrictions on entrance to primary, secondary, and tertiary industries, and includes 22 opening-up measures in important areas, including finance, transportation and logistics, trade circulation, professional services, manufacturing, infrastructure, energy, natural resources and agriculture.
Caixabank Research consider recent trends in human capital and the outlook for the future. The quality of the US workforce has undergone a remarkable transformation: over the past 70 years, the level of training has consistently improved. However, several studies also indicate that over the next few years, the contribution of human capital to growth could be more marginal. One of the main reasons for this is the retirement of the baby boomers.
The oil price has risen 70% in the last 12 months, from 45$/ barrel for Brent in June 2017 to around 80$ in May 2018. Thus, after three years of low prices, crude has returned to levels not seen since the end of 2014. What are the forces behind this increase in oil price? Could it damage the world economy?
Pablo Pardo (Washington) | The first economy in the world has been creating net employment without interruption for seven years and eight months. For now everything indicates it will continue to do so. And best of all: there is no wage inflation. In other words, it is impossible to understand what is happening in the US, although that does not prevent various theories being advanced to explain the situation.
Neil Gandal and Tyler Moore via The Conversation | Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have grown in popularity in large part because they can be bought and sold without a government or other third party overseeing everything. But there’s a flipside: Unlike in markets for other assets such as stocks or bonds, it makes it much harder to uncover price manipulation and fraud.
Miguel Navascués | For some months we have been looking with concern at the spread of interest rates of US 10 minus 2 year bonds as an indicator of an ever closer recession. Indeed, this indicator has been moving towards zero, and if it goes negative – which seems to be the trend- it would signal the threshold of a recession. But I don’t think it is such a precise indicator.