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Macro Macchiato 29/04/19: Forget the Ides of March, What about the First of May?

I received several calls on Friday and over the weekend asking for my view on the US announcement that it intends to stand by its decision not to renew the eight-country waiver on sanctions for buying Iranian oil. Flattered as I am by these calls, my guess is as good as yours as to how the US will police the sanctions and whether any of the waiver nations will take any notice. But it’s worthwhile thinking through the situation. First of all, what are the US motivations for rescinding the waiver? The Trump administration has a bee in its bonnet about Iran. It has ignored all the evidence presented to it suggesting that Iran has kept the terms of its agreement with the Western powers. It has n

Seminar invitation: Marine Data Technologies - Practical Applications for Claims and Loss Prevention

We are delighted to announce our MD, Mark Williams, will be speaking at this free afternoon seminar on Wednesday 1 May 2019. In recent years the use of marine data for incident investigation has become routine but approaches used in response to claims can also assist with loss prevention. Join us to discuss the types of data available and highlight some recent developments in the use of marine data across the insurance industry. Topics include: The use of AIS data for incident investigation Big data for marine risk analysis Autonomous vessels Please join us after the seminar for drinks. Registration: 1.45pm Seminar: 2.00pm Drinks: 5.30pm Location: Reed Smith, Broadgate Tower, 20 Primrose Str

Macro Macchiato 15/04/19: Where is Shipping Demand Going to Come From?

Ten most populous countries in 2018 (Source: World Economic Forum) There are now about 7.5 Billion people alive and almost six in ten of them live in the ten most populous countries, according to this data from the World Economic Forum. Over a third live in just China and India combined. Nigeria, which is seventh on the list, is home to Lagos, the world’s fastest growing megacity. Bangladesh is a noteworthy entry since it has one of the densest populations, with 1,140 people per square kilometer of land. Still plenty of room to urbanise though - London has about 1,500 people per km2, Shanghai about 3,850 and New York City about 11,000. The good news for western liberals is that most of thes

Macro Macchiato 08/04/19: There's No Such Thing As A Good Forecast

In 1999 I completed my MSc in Operational Research, having gone back to college part time because, with a BA and MA in Literature with Linguistics and an as yet unexamined PhD studying the literary output of Huguenot refugees in England in the first half of the eighteenth century, I had few hard skills for the world of work. Still, that was the nice thing about the English educational system before fees: one could spend several years enjoying higher learning and then go off and learn a trade. At my 30th anniversary dinner in Oxford recently, I was told by the college barman that today’s students rarely drink, join societies or participate in the college community because they want a first-cl

Macro Macchiato 01/04/19: The Asian Century and Shipping

I’ve been spending some time thinking about the longer term changes to our industry which are based on the rise of the emerging markets to a position of dominance in the global economy and in our industry. I wrote in our Macro Macchiato about how the BRICs are still relevant to shipping. But they are not alone. A decade ago I would talk in conferences about the BRITVICS – Brazil, Russia, India, Turkey, Vietnam, Indonesia, China and South Africa – as the regions that would drive the shipping industry into the 21st Century. With the benefit of hindsight, a handy nine letter acronym doesn’t always hold water as a forecast. But the gist was that access to energy and positive demographics would

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