Research reveals that Glencore could have lost a daily $42.5m last year on average when measured by the so-called “value-at-risk” measure, much more than the average $25.7m put at risk each day in 2010 in commodities trading by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Barclays Capital and JPMorgan.
Glencore, a Swiss-based company is aiming to sell a stake of 15-20 per cent, worth up to $12.1bn.
In net terms, the markets are likely to treat this mix — of a durable reduction in security threats and some possibility of isolated disturbances — as involving a net overall reduction in risk premia. This would bolster equity prices worldwide while placing some pressure on those government bond markets that traditionally benefit from flight to quality.
The company explained a network configuration change caused the shutdown and described what it is planning to do to prevent similar technical problems from happening again.
Notwithstanding government life-support initiatives, US consumers seem headed for years of retrenchment. Consumption’s share of US GDP currently stands at a sharply elevated 70%. While that’s down from the high of 71.3% in early 2009, it remains fully four percentage points above the 66% norm that prevailed in the final quarter of the twentieth century.
Reversion to that earlier share is likely as American consumers make the transition from the insanity of the boom to the sanity required of the bust. That spells subdued growth in US consumption for years to come – with a predictably massive impact on global consumption. While the US accounts for only 4.5% of the world’s population, its consumers spend $10.3 trillion annually – by far the most in the world.