June 30th, 2008
07:19 AM GMT
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Anyone who has listened to me doing commentary on CNN or read these blogs knows I am bearish, and have been for a long time. It's been the right call, and I have no reason to feel any optimism now.


Stock markets which rallied sharply following the rescue of Bear Stearns in March, have stumbled badly again.


The belief that the worst of the credit crunch was over has been proven wrong. Banks continue to reel from their ill judged decisions, with predictions that the write downs from the sub-prime crisis could total $1.2 trillion, or about three times the current amount.


Oil prices as I write are now over $140 a barrel, and could rise as high as $170 a barrel in the coming months, according to Chakib Khelil, president of OPEC.


Add in high food prices and inflation has become a primary worry for investors.


The rise of inflation is a global phenomenon. Close to thrre billion consumers are now living with double digit rates of inflation, according to economist Joachim Fels of Morgan Stanley.


Fifty countries now have inflation running at more than 10 percent, accounting for 42 percent of the world's population and including six of the world's most populous countries.


How far central banks will go in terms of fighting inflation is unclear, but it's a big worry for investors.


Rising inflation comes at time when worries over growth now have some talking about the possibility of stagflation in major countries like the United States. Hopes of a second half rebound in the U.S. have now faded.


It's the worst of possible worlds for investors, and anyone who thinks the worst is over, better think again.


Tell me what you think.

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