Economics

21 September 2016

Japan’s LDP could Use Some Competition

For close to 40 years after 1955, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) dominated Japan’s competitive party system. Opposition parties were not able to mount a successful challenge to LDP rule at the national level, but they had an important impact...

21 September 2016

Can Negative Interest Rates be Beneficial?

The ultra-low and negative interest rate environment in advanced economies and its implications for the rest of the world are currently among the top concerns of financial market participants and policy makers worldwide. Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank...

20 September 2016

Indonesia and Singapore need to Think Long Term

Relations have been good between Singapore and Indonesia, but challenges still lie ahead. The upcoming leaders’ retreat for Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Indonesian counterpart, President Joko Widodo, will coincide with the golden anniversary (50 years) of...

20 September 2016

Japan Challenges China’s African Influence

Africa is becoming a new strategic playground where economic and geopolitical rivalry between Asian powers compels Japan to compete in a contemporary struggle for influence. Japan’s decision to hold the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) on African...

20 September 2016

The BOJ Unknown and the FOMC Sort of Known

Tomorrow's Bank of Japan and Federal Reserve meetings are serving to dampen activity in the foreign exchange market.  The US dollar is little changed against the euro, yen, and sterling.  The Antipodeans are firm. Tomorrow's Bank of Japan and Federal...

19 September 2016

Merkel’s Support Fades, as does the Dollar’s

The US dollar, which finished last week on a firm note, is under pressure to start the new week that features Bank of Japan and Federal Reserve meetings.  The slighter stronger August CPI reading helped lift the greenback ahead of...

19 September 2016

Do the Capital Markets have a Political Limit?

In our age of disparity, it may be easy to accept that all time is not equal.  Touch a hot surface; time seems to move slowly.  Time doing an enjoyable activity goes by lickety-split.   Another inequality of time is inflection...

16 September 2016

Hanjin’s Ships are Stranded, but Why?

The collapse of South Korean company Hanjin Shipping has left ships, cargo and crews stranded around the globe. It highlights the complex consequences of a shipping company going bankrupt, with Hanjin’s creditors and customers waiting to see whether the business...

16 September 2016

Canada’s Trudeau Gets the Balance Right with China

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s eight-day official visit to China in August 2016 was, by most accounts, full of substance and style. The Trudeau government portrayed the visit as part of a refocus to China after a somewhat tumultuous previous...

15 September 2016

The Fed Meeting is Overshadowing European Politics

Yellow lights are flashing.  Bonds remain heavy despite a weak spate of data that would seem to remove nearly any chance that Fed will hike rates next week.  The implications of the disappointing retail sales data indicates that estimates for...

15 September 2016

The Day’s Data/Events Likely not to Push the Needle

Looking at the diary, today is the most important day of the week. The Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank meet.  The UK reports retail sales.  EMU reports CPI figures.  The US reports retail sales, industrial output, and...

14 September 2016

Less of a Problem than You May Have Heard

There has been much discussion in the US presidential campaign about immigration, especially from Mexico.  Trump has proposed a wall for the 2000-mile border.  Different types of fences are on about a third of the border as it stands today. ...

14 September 2016

Searching for Stability

The markets are trying to catch their collective breath after yesterday's dramatic moves.  The sharp slide in US equities may have weighed on Asian markets, but losses are mild. Still, the MSCI Asia-Pacific Index was off 0.8%, the fifth consecutive...

13 September 2016

Maxed Out Monetary Policy

The market has not changed its mind.  Following Brainard's comments yesterday the market had downgraded the chances, which were already modest, of a Fed hike next week.  The September Fed funds futures is unchanged on the day.  The implied yield...