The Ghost in the Machine Q2 2022

Welcome to the Q2 2022 edition of the Ghost in the Machine

With the terrible war in Ukraine, US-China tensions over Taiwan, and the cost of living crisis in much of the world casting a long shadow of uncertainty about the economic and political outlook.

With price pressures remaining obstinate around the world, we review how legendary Fed Chairman Paul Volcker’s initial steps to quell the inflation dragon were anything but assured and required a good deal of brow beating from then German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt.

We take a closer look at the challenges facing the dairy sector, with an ageing farmer demographic serving to rapidly shrink productive capacity, consumption still being very wasteful and how automation and better education could offer solutions.

Sugar analysts are still scratching their heads as to how early year estimates for the current crop season proved to be so wide of the mark, and this in turn is creating a good deal of uncertainty about new season prospects, above all due to uncertainties about Brazil and the world economic outlook.

The pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine has served as a timely reminder that energy supply security and infrastructure is not only critical to each and every economy, but also that any disruption has a profound impact on the formation of most other commodity prices.

There have been wild forecasts about the immediate impact of recent sanctions on Russian oil supplies, but the bigger issue is that the lack of investment, dwindling reserves and lack of access to technology point to its oil sector being in long-term decline.

After a tumultuous H1, risk appetite appears to be improving at the start of H2, but are there risks that markets and investors are perhaps turning a blind eye to?

Risk Warning: Investments in Equities, Contracts for Difference (CFDs) in any instrument, Futures, Options, Derivatives and Foreign Exchange can fluctuate in value. Investors should therefore be aware that they may not realise the initial amount invested and may incur additional liabilities. These investments may be subject to above average financial risk of loss. Investors should consider their financial circumstances, investment experience and if it is appropriate to invest. If necessary, seek independent financial advice.

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