Welcome to the Q1 2022 edition of the Ghost In The Machine
Welcome to the March 2022 edition of the Ghost In The Machine, which tragically stands under the long shadow of the devastating war in Ukraine, as the world economy continues to deal with the economic fall-out of the Covid-19 pandemic.
These two themes unsurprisingly are dominant features in many of the articles, though there are also contributions which examine how decarbonization is ushering in the fourth agricultural revolution, and how ‘Cloud’ based computing solutions are starting to transform trading and systems architecture for exchanges and financial market participants.
Talking of trading, one of the eternal questions has been ‘what does it take to be a trader?’, which is examined through the lens of interviews with leading agricultural commodity traders.
The energy crisis in Europe and elsewhere, which pre-dated the threat to the supply of oil and gas due to the war in Ukraine, has prompted an unanticipated revival of demand for coal, so what is the outlook now, particularly as the practical realities of energy security impinge more heavily on the ideals of energy transition?
The energy crisis in Europe has also put a lot more focus on how this is a critical element in the production and availability of fertilizers, we take a closer look at the implications, with a spotlight on the impact in the UK.
Skyrocketing oil prices have also changed the dynamics of demand for sugar, grains and oilseeds as ethanol demand for blending purposes unsurprisingly increases, while the war in Ukraine puts an even greater focus on the fact that Russia and Ukraine are critical to the worldwide supply of both grains and oilseeds. Last but not least, the sanctions on Russia, above all the freezing of Russian central bank assets begs a whole array of questions about what is a ‘safe asset’.
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