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Navigating a near perfect storm

时间:1个月前   阅读:8   评论:2

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,Why so? With inflation running at a four-decade high in the United States and the eurozone and central banks on an aggressive rate hike path, economic data points are beginning to show the weakening global economy with talk of recession dominating most discussions.

AS global markets ended the first half on a relatively sour note, market strategists and economists are now busy plotting their respective market views for the second half of this year as we head towards a near-perfect storm.

Why so? With inflation running at a four-decade high in the United States and the eurozone and central banks on an aggressive rate hike path, economic data points are beginning to show the weakening global economy with talk of recession dominating most discussions.

Some have placed bets that the US will enter a recession next year while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) believes the United States will just narrowly avoid recession this year and in 2023.

The IMF itself will be releasing the revised gross domestic product (GDP) growth data for the year and 2023 later this month while the World Bank had lowered its 2022 projection to just 2.9% from 4.1% it predicted in late January this year, while growth for 2023 is now estimated at 3% against 3.2% six months ago.

The lowered projection comes on the back of the protracted Russian invasion of Ukraine, the lockdown of several cities in China to contain the new wave of Covid-19 outbreak, supply chain disruptions as well as the strong dollar, which by and large is driven by the US Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hike expectations.

The question on everyone’s mind is whether we are in for a soft landing scenario, as what is being desired by the Fed, or a hard landing as the global economy is now going through some dark clouds midway through the 2022 flight path.

The turbulence we are riding on now can be devastating if we are not able to manoeuvre the near-perfect storm ahead of us.

Focus on supply constraints

While the Fed is dead serious in raising rates to bring down inflationary pressure and pulling away liquidity via its quantitative tightening measure, one wonders if that is the right policy, especially at a time when inflation pressure itself is caused by cost-push factors.

Higher commodity prices, logistical issues as well as economic disruptions caused by war or lockdowns due to covid-19 measures taken by certain governments are supply-driven constraints pushing production costs higher globally.

Sky-high commodity prices have also pushed other raw material prices to the roof, resulting in a higher cost of goods for finished products.

Hence, raising interest rates is not the solution to tackle inflationary pressure as it does not help to bring manufacturers’ costs down.

On the contrary, a higher borrowing cost will disrupt businesses and increase the cost of doing business, which in the end will push finished product prices even higher.

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  • 2022-08-27 01:18:33

    归纳起来,蓝石小说中的叙事人“我”(他确实爱用第一人称)大致是一个早年在沈阳(丰城)后来移居北京的青年形象。这一青年形象奔波于“两点一线”——北京—火车—沈阳。而且该青年形象不涉及“我”眼下的实际年龄,只事关小说人物的“黄金时代”以及心理感受。一方面,几乎所有的故事主体都发生在主要人物的青年时期(即便蓝石在《极度寒冷》中动情地描述了头发稀疏的李响和广场大妈王亚丽,也仅仅是为了反衬二人曾经拥有过的青春)。另一方面,衰老究竟是否降临及其景象如何?好像并非蓝石所关心的,其价值和意义在蓝石那里目前还是游移不定的。“我”有时是小说的男主角,如《夜火车》,有时看起来也不是,《别杀人》是刘宇,《故乡一夜》是李响,《极度寒冷》是常宏。但整本书读完放下来,唯一的男主角确实是“我”。“我”既是整本书的“胡同串子”,也是唯一的“幸存者”。而且,在某种层面上,“我”是一分为二的:在沈阳,无论过去还是现在,“我”是一个经验过各种暴力和生死并将继续见证这一切的人,是一个地道的东北“混混”;在北京,我则是一个记者、画画的或白领那种所谓的文化人。两个身份不是对立关系,也没有因果关系,更不存在孰优孰劣。一定要说,二者互为镜像。在镜中,“我”所看到的另一个“我”,高度相像,又似乎毫无关系。必须要伸手穿越镜面触摸到对方,“我”方能略感踏实。这里太友好了