alarm bell

 
 

No choice but to invest in oil, says Shell CEO

LONDON, Oct 15 — Royal Dutch Shell still sees abundant opportunity to make money from oil and gas in coming decades even as investors and governments increase pressure on energy companies over climate change, its chief executive said. But in an…


Spooked Trump insist US recession not in the cards

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday insisted that recession — a potentially dangerous blow to his reelection next year — is not in the cards. But he indicated he’s preparing just in case.

“I think the word recession is inappropriate,” Trump told reporters in the White House. “We’re very far from recession.”

With approval ratings consistently below 50 percent and polls showing him getting thumped by potential Democratic candidates, Trump enters the 2020 campaign season facing significant headwinds — except on the economy.

Growth has been on the upside for a decade now and Trump happily takes credit for low unemployment and what he repeatedly claims to be “the hottest” economy in the world.

But he doesn’t want to discuss accumulating evidence of bad news.

An alarm bell went off in the US Treasury bond market last week when 10-year bond yields briefly fell below the yields offered on a two year-bond — the inverse of what normally happens.

The so-called “inverted yield curve” is a statistical phenomenon that has previously been an accurate herald of eventual recession.

Add in growing fears of fallout from the US-China trade war and Germany’s own recession warning, plus Britain’s Brexit chaos, and suddenly the “R” word has become a regular part of the conversation.

Unless your name is Donald Trump.

Just on Tuesday morning, he tweeted or retweeted more than a dozen boasts about the booming economy.

“#Trump has this Economy humming like a fine tuned engine,” one of the retweets claimed, while crediting the president with “Super Human like Energy.”

In extensive comments to reporters, Trump piled on the superlatives, saying the “incredible” economy was doing “fantastically” and was “number one in the world.”

Blame game

Trump, though, is spooked.

How can you tell? He’s already blaming people for the recession he says won’t happen.

Target number one is the Federal Reserve, which Trump, in one of his many breaks with convention, has been browbeating for months over its reluctance to cut interest rates.

Last week, the president branded Fed chief Jerome Powell “clueless,” and tweeted in all caps: “CRAZY INVERTED YIELD CURVE!”

On Tuesday, he insisted that a deep rate cut would unleash “a tremendous spurt of growth.”

Villain number two is the US media, which Trump and his aides accuse of trying to whip up recession fears deliberately to hurt him.

“They’re pushing a recession lie. The fact is, so many on the left want these horrible things to be true,” Trump deputy spokesman Hogan Gidley said on Fox News Tuesday.

Tax cut solution?

A survey by the National Association for Business Economics on Monday showed that 72 percent of economists believe there’ll be a downturn before the end of 2021, with about half of them predicting the recession for 2020, in time for Trump’s reelection battle.

And despite claiming that nothing’s broken, Trump confirmed Tuesday that he’s rummaging around the tool box.

He told reporters he’s considering a cut to capital gains taxes by indexing them to inflation.

“We’ve been talking about indexing for a long time and many people like indexing,” he said, adding that he believes this would not require congressional approval, unlike another measure he favors — a cut to the payroll tax.

Even then, Trump was careful to stress that this would have nothing to do with a downturn he believes will never happen.

“Whether or not we do it now, it’s not being done because of recession,” he said. – AFP


Asian shares fall on recession fears, eyes on Fed minutes

SYDNEY, Aug 21 — Asian shares fell today as fresh worries about a global recession led investors to dump risky assets, with US President Donald Trump showing no signs of backing down in his trade war with China. Trump said yesterday he had to…


Stimulus hints drive European stocks higher

BERLIN, Aug 19 — European stock markets rose for the second session running today, with Frankfurt shares leading a recovery from last week’s six-month lows as investors cheered signs of moves by Germany and China to counter slowing growth….


Stock markets find a floor as Chinese data soothe nerves

LONDON, Aug 8 — Stock markets enjoyed a tentative recovery today after better-than-expected Chinese export data and a steadying of the yuan restored some calm to global markets. European markets followed Asia higher in early trade, helped by data…


Asia stocks paralysed, bonds electrified by recession risk

SYDNEY, Aug 8 — Asian shares braced for more volatility today as eye-catching easings by central banks stoked fears of global recession, driving US yields to near-record lows and lifting gold past US$1,500 (RM6,284) for the first time since 2013….


'Canary in the coal mine': Singapore woes ring trade alarm bells

SINGAPORE, July 21 — A plunge in exports and the worst growth rates for a decade have fuelled concerns about the outlook for Singapore's economy, with analysts saying the figures offer a warning that Asia is heading for a slowdown as China-US…


China digs in for protracted trade fight with US

BEIJING, May 26 — China is digging in for a tough period of deteriorating ties with the United States, fanning the flames of patriotism with Korean War films, a viral song on the trade war, and editorials lambasting Washington. The trade spat has…


Global investors seek safety on threat of wider US-China spat

NEW YORK, May 23 ― Global equity markets slid yesterday as investors sought safety in bonds, the Japanese yen and Swiss franc amid renewed worries over the US-China trade standoff after reports the United States has another Chinese tech firm in…


China’s island cities: Treasure or trouble for Asia?

COLOMBO, April 25 — A high-rise city the size of central London rising out of the ocean next to Sri Lanka’s capital is laying down another marker for China’s global infrastructure ambitions whose epic scope is sounding alarm bells in Asia and…