Debunked: The Baltic Dry Index as an indicator of economic collapse

MikeG

Senior Member.
As part of his Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News for November 14th, Dane Wigington forecasted the collapse of the world economy.

http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/geoengineering-watch-global-alert-news-november-14-2015/
His source was a website, ACB.AZ which cites another website, Zero Hedge.

http://abc.az/eng/news_07_11_2015_92011.html
Wigington’s reliance on the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) to make his point caught my attention

Wikipedia gives some interesting perspective on the Baltic Dry Index:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic_Dry_Index
Fluctuations within this “inelastic” system are fairly routine.

The point is that, although the BDI is a leading economic indicator, it is obviously not the only one and subject to important variables that Wigington either ignored or misread.

BDI.png

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic_Dry_Index

Although it has significantly declined very recently, historical context is important for the sake of a better perspective on the BDI’s value.
 

skephu

Senior Member.
Although it has significantly declined very recently, historical context is important for the sake of a better perspective on the BDI’s value.

A recent article on Forbes.com nicely explains what's happening:
Don't Abandon Ship: What Matters Is Why The Baltic Dry Index Is Falling
Basically the Baltic Dry Index reflects the price of shipping raw materials by sea, and this price is influenced by supply and demand. Currently there is an oversupply of shipping vessels, therefore the price went down. That's all. The demand for shipping has not decreased. Just too many new ships have been built.
 

MikeG

Senior Member.
A recent article on Forbes.com nicely explains what's happening:
Don't Abandon Ship: What Matters Is Why The Baltic Dry Index Is Falling
Basically the Baltic Dry Index reflects the price of shipping raw materials by sea, and this price is influenced by supply and demand. Currently there is an oversupply of shipping vessels, therefore the price went down. That's all. The demand for shipping has not decreased. Just too many new ships have been built.

That is exactly right.

When I was researching the topic, I came across a Bloomberg News story a few days ago.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...ndex-drops-to-record-as-iron-ore-growth-slump
A pretty mundane explanation, but completely plausible.
 

skephu

Senior Member.
Yes, the Chinese demand for shipping has slowed a bit. But it's still rising, just somewhat slower than expected.

I wonder what Dane Wigington will do when the global economy won't collapse after all. I guess he will just continue predicting the imminent collapse, and he will always find new people who buy his message.
 

MikeG

Senior Member.
Yes, the Chinese demand for shipping has slowed a bit. But it's still rising, just somewhat slower than expected.

I wonder what Dane Wigington will do when the global economy won't collapse after all. I guess he will just continue predicting the imminent collapse, and he will always find new people who buy his message.

Not having the economy collapse actually is his best option. If everything does fall apart, his audience and the internet will probably go with it once the dystopian future finally comes true.

However, the current status quo is perfect for Wigington. He can continue to glean (an misinterpret data) while continually pointing to trouble right around the corner.
 
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