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Numbers guy. Likes charts. Occasionally makes the mistake of deploying irony on Twitter. Books: edmundconway.com/books/ DMs open. Email: ed.conway@sky.uk

Deep in a spreadsheet
Joined July 2007
🧵THREAD OF THREADS🧵 A collection, in no particular order, of some Twitter threads from days gone by. 1. The unpalatable reality is that getting to net zero will involve far more mineral exploitation than ever before. Inc some stunning pix from Chile.
🔋THREAD🔌 The inconvenient truth about climate change is that solving it will involve digging, blasting & leaching more minerals from the skin of this planet than ever before. No one much likes to talk abt this. But talk about it we must. ⛏👇
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This, from Chip War by ⁦@crmiller1⁩ is so good. Read the whole thing.
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Hmm. Results of latest UK govt debt auction are in (£3.5bn of 3yr gilts) and is there a hint here of diminishing appetite? Lowest bid-to-cover ratio since 2020. 1.89 bids for each bond available. Not worryingly low, mind. But this is before the big flood of debt coming next year
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Ed Conway retweeted
EXCLUSIVE: Manchester United’s owners, the Glazer family, are to explore a sale of the club as part of a review of options that could also include selling a minority interest. An outright sale would bring an end to 17 years of controversial ownership. news.sky.com/story/mancheste…
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Ed Conway retweeted
Humans mined 700 million tons of copper over the last 5,000 years. The same 700 million tons will need to be mined over the next 22 years to meet energy transition targets using wind, solar, & electric vehicles. bit.ly/3aJT6gY
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Ed Conway retweeted
With Newport chip factory back in the news, a reminder that this article by @EdConwaySky is a brilliant explainer about the differences between specialising in power silicon (what Newport does) and manufacturing high-end processors (which TSMC does) news.sky.com/story/without-t…
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Ed Conway retweeted
Why does it take so long to build new infrastructure in the UK? Answer: The planning system for major infrastructure projects simply isn’t working. 🧵
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Ed Conway retweeted
Fascinating thread about graphite production in the Humber (close to where I grew up!). h/t @BuizzaLeonardo
The Humber Refinery in NE England. This place looks and smells like a ghost of fossil fuel history. It's where they turn crude oil into petrol, jet fuel & many other petrochemical products. It won't seem the obvious place to start a thread abt batteries. But bear with me 🧵
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Ed Conway retweeted
Replying to @EdConwaySky
It's not a deal. It's an attitude.
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The whole point of a “Swiss-style Brexit deal”, as papers are calling it today, is that a Swiss-style relationship IS NOT A “DEAL”. It’s not an off-the-shelf plan. It’s a hodgepodge of arrangements, built up over decades.
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You don’t just “get” a Swiss-style deal. It evolves over the course of many discrete negotiations on stuff so trivial no-one pays much attention. The Swiss never sought a “Swiss-style deal” with the EU. They gradually ended up there following various bilateral treaties.
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The other interesting dynamic here is that the EU really dislikes the Swiss hodgepodge and has been pushing to consolidate it into a “common institutional framework” which WOULD look a little more like a “deal”. The Swiss rejected that, preferring to stick with the hodgepodge.
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Ed Conway retweeted
By holding so many bonds already, the BoE currently lacks the firepower to go “big and fast” with more QE in response to fresh market dysfunction (a point BoE governor Bailey talked about in 2020). The “liquidity” channel is a key way in which QE has worked in the past…
Replying to @EdConwaySky
The @bankofengland already owns nearly half of the gilts markets it’s bought into. Nearly 60% of the 3-7yr bonds! Massive. & at that level there’s a legitimate question about whether the market can function with so few liquid assets left for other investors. Chart: @DaniRussell16
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Quite what happens next, no one knows. But this is only one dimension of the biggest story of our era: the end of easy money. If you're wondering why suddenly so many bubbles from crypto to tech unicorns are deflating... end of QE is at least part of the answer.
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Anyway, more on this in the @thetimes today. It's a useful reminder too that for all the "fiscal conservatism" in the Autumn Statement actually in practical terms Britain's govt debt situation still looks precarious thetimes.co.uk/article/debt-…
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Good question. & of course it’s possible/plausible the @bankofengland stops selling off its bonds and opts instead to tighten monetary policy purely with higher interest rates. HOWEVER even if this happened the net total would still be a record👇
Replying to @EdConwaySky
Why does the BOE need to seell the Government bonds it holds? What would happen if it simply hung on to them?
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That brings me to another point. Some are asking: well, maybe the BoE will just have to buy more debt - eg restart QE. Leaving aside the fact that the MPC is way too worried about inflation to do anything like that any time soon, there’s a bigger problem: it’s not clear it COULD
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The @bankofengland already owns nearly half of the gilts markets it’s bought into. Nearly 60% of the 3-7yr bonds! Massive. & at that level there’s a legitimate question about whether the market can function with so few liquid assets left for other investors. Chart: @DaniRussell16
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So: even if the Bank wanted to do more Quantitative Easing there are technical factors which might prevent it. Or it would have to buy other assets it’s always been too nervous about. In other words the button it’s often pressed in previous emergencies might not work. Argh!
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