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Friday, 19 August 2016

Brexit Just Another Non-Event

 Illustration by Robert G Fresson

Brexit Armageddon was a terrifying vision – but it simply hasn’t happened

Unemployment would rocket. Tumbleweed would billow through deserted high streets. Share prices would crash. The government would struggle to find buyers for UK bonds. Financial markets would be in meltdown. Britain would be plunged instantly into another deep recession.
Remember all that? It was hard to avoid the doom and gloom, not just in the weeks leading up to the referendum, but in those immediately after it. Many of those who voted remain comforted themselves with the certain knowledge that those who had voted for Brexit would suffer a bad case of buyer’s remorse.
It hasn’t worked out that way. The 1.4% jump in retail sales in July showed that consumers have not stopped spending, and seem to be more influenced by the weather than they are by fear of the consequences of what happened on 23 June. Retailers are licking their lips in anticipation of an Olympics feelgood factor.


Some manufacturers would respond to tariffs and other protectionist policies by simply moving existing overseas jobs to other countries, rather than back to the US. Other powerful forces working against large-scale increases in US manufacturing jobs include regulatory costs and an absence of suppliers in the US.
But even if manufacturing did return, the jobs may not, thanks to advancing technology.

If you look at recent airline statistics, you’ll think that a far higher number of planes are arriving on schedule or early than ever before. But this appearance of improvement is deceptive. Airlines have become experts at appearance management: by listing flight times as 20-30 per cent longer than what the actual flight takes, flights that operate on a normal to slightly delayed schedule are still counted as arriving ‘early’ or ‘on time’. A study funded by the Federal Aviation Administration refers to the airline tactic as schedule buffering.

Jan Vos, the main politician behind the bill, believes the ban will likely become law, according to Yale Climate Connections. Though he admits that the ban alone won’t be enough to phase out petrol and diesel cars. Electric cars to also be affordable to all customers if the government is to enforce the ban.
The Netherlands already has one of the lowest levels of CO2 emissions from new cars in the European Union. The country has seen a recent surge in electric car sales, which reached an all-time high last December.



The Oilfield Service Struggle: $110B in Debt; Depressed By Market Pressure



Mounting debt among oilfield service companies coupled with soft oil prices squeezes the sector. Oil prices hovering close to $40 per barrel is compounding the problems that dozens of struggling oilfield service and drilling companies face in a market that might not bounce back until late next year. The strained oilfield services (OFS) sector faces a debt wall of about $110 billion that will mature or expire during the next five years, according to a report from Moody’s Investors Service released Aug. 9. Sixty-seven OFS companies have more than $60 billion in bond and term loans, about half of which will mature between now and 2019. More than a third of those companies will have a debt-to-EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) ratio above 10 this year. That’s twice what is considered a strong ratio, and consequently, those companies have the most risk of default. “There’s so […]


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