World running out of sand, making it the black market’s hot commodity

A global shortage of sand is prompting black-market gangs to steal large amounts from rivers and beaches. Scientists are warning that the global supply of sand is slipping through our fingers. Statistics show that worldwide, we go through 50 billion tons of sand every year – twice the amount produced by every river in the […]

ZTE shares tank in Asian markets after it agrees to pay $1.4 billion settlement to the US

REUTERS/Sergio Perez Investors wiped about $ 3 billion off embattled Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE Corp’s market value as it resumed trade on Wednesday after agreeing to pay up to $ 1.4 billion in penalties to the U.S. government. ZTE was crippled when the United States imposed a seven-year supplier ban on the company in April after it […]

Italy’s political crisis is roiling financial markets once more

HERE we go again. Financial markets don’t much like uncertainty. Thanks to Italy’s politicians, in recent days they have had plenty. By May 30th some calm had returned: it seemed possible that a pair of populist parties, the Five Star Movement and the Northern League, would form a government after all (see article). Markets had […]

Italy’s political turmoil is sending shock waves through global markets

Franco Origlia/Getty Yields on Italy’s 2-year debt rose by almost 50 basis points overnight. Yields on longer-term Italian 10-year debt also spiked, rising to around 2.77% — the highest level since 2014. European markets are under pressure amid the rising political uncertainty in Italy and Spain. When markets opened a short time ago, the dramatic […]

Markets may be underpricing climate-related risk

AS A citizen, Dave Jones worries that climate change may imperil his two children, and theirs in turn. What exercises him, as California’s insurance commissioner, is the way in which a transition to a low-carbon economy might affect the financial health of the state’s 1,300-odd insurers. On May 8th he unveiled an examination of how […]

When should your startup expand into international markets?

GUEST: Startups from countries with a population of less than 50 million go international twice as fast as startups from countries with a population of more than 50 million: 1.4 years as opposed to 2.8 years. Smaller countries need to think internationally from an early stage. A founder in the U.S. or China can focus 100 […]

Donald Trump is sending shockwaves through global commodities markets

THE notion that the gentle flap of a butterfly’s wings can cause chaos on the other side of the world is well known. But commodity markets have been tested in recent weeks by what could be called the 800-pound-gorilla effect: the idea that chest-beating in the White House can unleash turmoil in global metals, agricultural […]

It’s time to start paying attention to the stock market’s ‘biggest risk’

Thomson Reuters Credit spread is the difference between yields with the same maturities and varying quality.  The credit spread has widened over recent weeks.  A widening credit spread is the “biggest risk” to the stock market, according to one analyst.  Tightening credit conditions could mean bad news for the stock market.  The credit spread, which […]

Stock markets ‘right on the brink’ of 50% crash, financial expert warns

US stock markets are currently passing through the same peaks they faced 11 years ago, right before the massive sell-off that triggered the 2008 financial crisis, according to Phil Town, who sold his stocks before the crash. “I think we are right on the brink. The logic is pretty straightforward from a fundamental point of […]

American sanctions, and fears over Syria, roil Russian markets

ON APRIL 6th America imposed harsh new sanctions on Russia in response to its “malign activity” abroad. Rattled investors sent stocks tumbling when the Moscow exchange reopened on April 9th. The principal stockmarket index fell by 8.3% that day. The rouble sank sharply. Oleg Tinkov, a banker, lost $ 250m, but brushed it off with […]