The Philippines is Out in Front with Women in Politics

This is supposed to be the Asian century, with East Asian countries leading the way. The world admires many East Asian countries for their miraculous economic growth, democracy-building and cultural innovation. However, can East Asia also provide a model for developing women’s rights and political power? East Asia has no coherent pattern to boast or export.

St. Louis Fed President Bullard's 'Regimes'

The dot plot the recent FOMC meeting was curious.  We noted right away that inexplicably there was one official that apparently anticipated one hike this year and then no hikes in 2017 or 2018.  There was also one dot that was missing for a long-term view.   

U.S. Fed and RBA Traveling a Similar Path

A familiar theme of this column has been the significant uncertainty about the global economy that is leaving investors - and to some extent, consumers - standing on the sidelines. That in turn means lower growth, which validates the decision to stand on said sideline. Moreover, the vicious circle continues.

This week’s events provided further evidence for that view.

Where did You Intern?

In today’s hyper competitive job market, internships are becoming a must-have on almost every job applicant’s CV. However, when should a worker be paid for an internship, and is the rise of unpaid internships simply broadening the gap between those who can afford to work for free and those who can’t? We explore these and other issues in this Internships Investigated series.

ASEAN's Diversity Challenge

As 2015 ended, members of ASEAN announced the realisation of the ASEAN Community, although it shall remain a ‘work in progress’. The ASEAN Community idea sets a roadmap for continuing the work of regional integration over the next decade.

ASEAN+3 Strengthens its Surveillance Unit's Powers

The first half of 2016 saw two notable steps in the development of regional financial institutions in Asia. The first occurred on 9 February 2016 when the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO), the independent surveillance unit of the ASEAN+3 countries, was upgraded from a company registered in Singapore to an international organisation, which is not bound by the legal system and practices of any one member country.

Australia Proposes a Quickie Bankruptcy

The proposed federal government changes to insolvency that reduce the bankruptcy period from three years to 12 months need to be questioned.  It has been argued the shortened default period will have the desired impact on encouraging entrepreneurial activity and reducing the associated stigma of being a bankrupt.

Searching for Equilibrium

The Federal Reserve modified its stance yesterday without changing rates.  It is not just about how fast the Fed sees itself normalizing monetary policy but also where the level of the equilibrium rate.

Long-Lasting Headwinds

The US dollar is higher against the major currencies but the Japanese yen and the New Zealand dollar.  The dollar fell to new two-year lows against the yen to JPY103.55 before bouncing in the European morning back to JPY104.40.

Now Can We Expected a Slower Tightening Cycle?

The Federal Reserve anticipated a more gradual tightening path going forward.  This weighed on the dollar and lifted equities.  August Fed funds futures imply less of a chance of a hike next month.  It is now consistent with an 8% chance of a hike, which is less than half the probability assigned at the end of last week.