Economic Steroids

28 August 2012

For the next year or two, it looks like the economic steroid may still be needed, especially in the face of slowdown in other major economies, not an advantageous environment for the US economy to restore its strength. 

Overvalued AUD

27 August 2012

It started in a major way when BHP Billiton announced the decline of their annual profit by about a third followed by postponement of major resources projects to the tune of $30 billion. 

Charisma of Credit Rating Agencies

24 June 2012

They could still repair their reputation by quickly getting back on their radars and really place appropriate ratings on various securities and prove to the market that they could to a large extent anticipate significant events. 

Rise of Myanmar

19 May 2012

They could also see what went right in other natural resources rich nations and followed from the good examples in order for them to reach higher prosperity levels sooner. 

CNY Competitiveness

15 May 2012

The likely path chosen by the Chinese irrespective of what any US candidate is going to say is that the CNY remain at the present 6.3 level against USD. 

Greek Exit

14 May 2012

The exit of weaker economies such as Greece could actually be good news for the euro. If they could really go back on track to strict disciplines, then in the long run it will stand a chance to be a currency which can preserve buying power better than many other major currencies. 

Hidden Risk in International Banking

12 May 2012

These days the pressure to produce trading profits is enormous. No wonder then that the risk tolerance in major financials could not be expected to moderate much, if at all. 

CHF New Ceiling

06 October 2011

Perhaps by raising the ceiling of EUR/CHF once again to 1.30, albeit still a level deemed too strong for the CHF, they could trigger more broad based CHF selling, e.g. via the USD cross towards parity. 

US Mortgage Rates Below 4%

06 October 2011

If and when such private sector spending is successfully reinitiated, the US could be on its way towards more sustainable economic recovery. 

Chinese Economic Slowdown

30 September 2011

As evidence, one could see that key commodities have been declining. Whereas usually the Chinese were quick to snap up these vital sources of materials for their construction, relentless growth, this time it could be different. 

Equity Valuation

14 September 2011

So now is probably an attractive time for genuine investors to start accumulating shares of such companies.  

US Economic Dominance – Is It Over?

14 September 2011

If a much longer historical path was to become any guide, the US has proven from time to time to be able to invent ways to benefit them and propel them to levels unseen before. 

AUD To Soar?

13 September 2011

So for AUD to continue overshooting, it’s not just that it could be detrimental to the economy down under, in my view, we might in fact have seen the peak, so in contrary to the overly bullish commentary.

Greek Sovereign Default

13 September 2011

As to the Asian region, I don’t think we can afford to be complacent at all over here. This time things can actually get worse than during GFC. 

Asian Properties Cooling Down

07 September 2011

The news coming from Singapore too, despite a new record high price for the upper luxury segment at SGD 6,400 psf for a unit in The Marq, seemed to indicate some slow down, especially due to increasing nervousness in the global financial market in the last few weeks. 

CHF Intervention, Upper Limit

07 September 2011

Some estimated that the SNB might need to buy up foreign currency to the tune of something like USD 500 billion – 1 trillion. In effect, such unsterilized intervention would increase their money supply dramatically, effectively giving blessing for other major nations to also keep printing money. 

Chinese Economic Bubble?

03 September 2011

The Chinese in particular has been on overseas buying spree. They are the dominant force in property markets in many gateway cities of the world. Their dominance has far surpassed the dominance of the SE Asians even during their heydays. 

Possible Rebirth of Deutschemark

29 August 2011

Some commentators appear to be focused mostly on Greece. Some have raised the possibility of Greece getting out of the monetary union, thus regenerating its drachma. That scenario is almost certain to lead to drachma collapsing under the enormous debt burden. 

Cost of War, Opportunity to Rebuild

27 August 2011

Following the fall of the strong men who have long dominated the oil rich nations, one would logically deduce that the nation should have better chances of spreading the prosperity from their petrodollars to their people. 

African Economic Growth

23 August 2011

And actually, it is quite wrong for one to simply associate Africa with the term 'poverty'. You simply have to look up exclusive residential properties in South Africa and note that the prices can be on par with some other globally popular locations. Millions of USD for a residence can be common in those places. 

The New Global Economy

23 August 2011

It has been a story of continuous changes over hundreds of years and it's truly remarkable how we somehow have arrived to where we are today with so much high tech going on in this world, and the speed of which financial transactions could be carried out. 

The Golden Currency

12 August 2011

One should recall sometime 10 years ago the USD was trading at around 1.80 figure against the CHF. 

US Economic Recovery

12 August 2011

Having both the housing and equity markets back to better strength can then help fuel a more sustainable consumption driven recovery albeit probably at a lower than historical GDP growth rate over the next decade. That is still better, though, than Japan’s two lost decades. 

Strength of JPY and CHF

10 August 2011

The JPY returned to pre intervention level within just 2 days, rendering the intervention useless despite the authorities spending record amount estimated to be in the region of JPY 5 trillion. 

Market Psychology

09 August 2011

Can property prices go down? Sure. Following GFC, the prices in Singapore and Vancouver, for instance, dropped significantly. They have since recovered virtually all the losses but the point is, they did drop and nobody can be so sure that this won’t ever happen again.

US Credit Rating Downgrade

08 August 2011

So the response of the G7 was too much on the dramatic side. The ECB's reponse, meanwhile, was more sensible. It had not much choice to contain the rout except by effectively doing quantitative easing, albeit by not buying the Italian and Spanish bonds directly from their respective governments. 

Economic Predictions

03 August 2011

The so called 'long-term' in my view is now considerably shorter. Perhaps investing for 5-10 years with asset reallocation once a year at least is more realistic even for those who are among the category of very infrequent traders. That way one can adapt more flexibly to the realities of the world.  

US Debt Deal

03 August 2011

Conventional economics would suggest that more stimulus is needed in the face of growth slowdown. However, the finances of the US federal government simply does not allow that much manouvre if it is to keep the world's faith in the most widely used reserve currency which so far has fallen too much against virtually all major currencies especially the Swiss Franc. 

Japan's Sovereign Debt Risk

11 July 2011

However, one day when the market wakes up fully to this fact and starts gunning on Japan, nobody can predict for sure what can happen. Surely debt at over 200% of GDP is not sustainable and has to be brought down somehow, sometime, and probably sooner rather than later. 

Vietnamese Property Market

11 July 2011

Based on the information shown in the TV program, it appears that foreign buyers in Vietnam can purchase properties on 50 year leasehold while the locals can get freehold titles. So his colleague jokingly suggested that perhaps one could just marry a Vietnamese and then buy several properties freehold. 

Hong Kong Property Investment

11 July 2011

Based on the figures he illustrated, there was actually a sense that to make money in Hong Kong property market is not a straightforward matter. In fact, this type of investment is certainly not for the faint hearted as property prices in Hong Kong, at least in the past, proved to be volatile in the order of tens of percentage points. 

Sovereign Debt Crises

29 June 2011

Perhaps the government, particularly in the US, can see how much cash is being hoarded by their corporates, to the tune of nearly US$ 2 trillion and figure out ways to encourage, incentivise them to spend it in economical way which will generate economic value for them and lift the nation's growth once again.


G7 Intervention

20 March 2011

Within the day of the intervention itself USD/JPY spiked only as high as 81.90. By the time the markets closed for the weekend, the rate dwindled back to 80.58, still dangerously close to previous record low of 79.75 set in 1995, and precariously still close to 76.25 due to the historically rapid pace that it took to get there.

Singapore's Draconian Measures

17 January 2011

Psychologically this will definitely hit the market across many segments. We can expect to see transaction decline over the next few weeks at least as many participants are simply forced to recalculate their financial commitments. Not just buyers, however, many sellers too will withdraw from the market and hold on to their properties.

QE2 & Asian Economies

22 November 2010

In these times of economic weakness, perhaps a slightly stronger dollar to regain confidence and hence more investment capital into the US could do a better job of turning the economy around.

Global Overflow of Stimulus

16 November 2010

In this highly interconnected world, the actions on other major governments, private sectors and central banks are crucial. If they could coordinate appropriately in addressing the fundamentals behind the 2008-9 global financial crisis, which so far resulted in almost nothing, perhaps we could avert another major meltdown down the line. However, as things stand, the cycle of boom and even worse bust on the global scale looks set to continue, perhaps several years down the track.

Currency War?

28 October 2010

it seems that whilst the US has been vocal in telling others not to restrain strength in their currencies, it is probably them who should not be tempted to get into benign neglect mode in letting the dollar decline beyond what it has already done, as it appears to be already undervalued against quite a few of the world’s high volume currencies.

Rising Sovereign Risks

30 April 2010

US, UK will eventually lose their much coveted AAA rating. And when the day comes, the long-held doctrine that the US Treasury bond is the benchmark of the risk free rate and thus the anchor of the other asset pricing measurements can go down the drain

Dubai Debacle

17 December 2009

Contrary to Dubai, a state with not much oil and thus aspiring to diversify away into financial services and tourism, Abu Dhabi controls approximately 8% of the world’s oil and one of the largest Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF).

Global Predictions ?

29 August 2009

It remains to be seen how the RBA will go about doing that using all tools at their disposal. They deserve to be mentioned as one of the most credible central banks, though, as seen by them being so far effective in guiding long-term interest rates, thus reflecting the market’s trust in them.

Global Wealth Shift 2008-9

16 August 2009

There are shifts in the concentration of millionaire population. While US, Japan and Germany still account for 54% of HNWIs in the world, China has now moved into 4th position surpassing UK. Similarly Brazil has now moved ahead of Australia and Spain in the 10th position.
The study also forecasts that the HNWI wealth will recover to $48.5 Trillion by 2013 and the Asia-Pacific will overtake North America as the largest region for HNWI financial wealth.

Investment Strategies, Performance

06 August 2009

The truth is, it may no longer be the case that equities form a part of the so called sure win strategy subject only to holding period. This strategy, going forward, is likely to demand more attention, insights in order to pay off.

Bomb Blast in Jakarta

17 July 2009

Indonesia has been surprisingly resilient and has slowly made its way back towards economic growth despite the political, economic and financial instability a decade ago following the Asian financial crisis, and bombings in Bali, J.W. Marriott, and Jakarta stock exchange building. So one has many reasons to remain confident that Indonesia, being a resource rich nation, will once again make its way back again.

World Economic Recovery?

24 June 2009

In the new global macroeconomic framework, we may see increasing importance of domestic demand in each major economy, thus providing the US with the chance to be more fiscally responsible without overly choking its economic participants with higher duties, reversal of past tax cuts, among other things.

Shifting Pillar of Stability?

25 May 2009

For decades, the US consumers have been the engine of the global economic growth. In process they have got themselves into a huge pile of household debts. Thus in effect while factory workers in China have been working very hard to send all those goods to the US (they have since fortunately widened their market elsewhere too, e.g. Europe), the US in turn have been sending back paper IOU's, hence the massive accumulation of reserves by China and other Asian countries far beyond what they could possibly need to cover many many months of imports.

The Threat of the Swine Flu

28 April 2009

One projected worst case scenario is a Spanish flu style contagion similar to 1918, possibly killing as many as 71 million people and costing the world economy $3 trillion. Let’s hope we are not heading that way.

Thoughts on the Indonesian Economy

17 April 2009

In retrospect, we recently have also observed how China is increasingly utilizing its massive foreign exchange reserves to go shopping for raw materials, namely in the shares of the producers, to secure supplies for its long-term growth objectives. So naturally a very largely populated developing nation like Indonesia needs to consider that too except that actually there are already lots of possibilities to be done within the nation itself since it is very much blessed with resources to be managed properly.

The World’s New Super Currency System

01 April 2009

The dollar system which we have had for so many decades have unfairly benefited the Americans as blatantly evident in the current global financial malaise where their fiscal and monetary policies are set only for their own sake, in complete disregard to the rest of the world holding and using their dollar on daily basis in faith on their responsibility in maintaining the currency’s integrity.

Economic Solutions / Financial Games?

24 March 2009

Stocks have been rallying in the past 10 days.

The US S&P 500 in particular has experienced the longest 10 day rally since 1938. It has been profitable for the bulls so far who entered at near the bottom.

Global Economic Conditions: Recent Highlights & Outlook

04 March 2009

Recent headlines today were along the lines of US President talking up the stockmarket, Australian economy’s unexpected negative growth and possibly yet a new stimulus package by the Chinese government.

Global Stimulus Packages – Will They Work?

17 February 2009

On the first part of the question, there is no doubt that the sheer size of the government deficits create stupendous amounts of public debt in these countries which will have to be repaid by the corresponding governments and these will be serious burdens to shoulder unless of course, the authorities resort to long unused trick to unilaterally reduce their debt. And that is, to monetize the debt, i.e. print money.

Indonesia’s Enormous Tourism Potential

20 January 2009

Indonesia is the one of the largest countries in the world and is the one with the most number of islands. It is extremely rich in diversity of culture, heritage, and places of interest. From the far west of Sabang to the far east in Merauke, the country has a variety of culture that is as vast as the color spectrum in a rainbow. Although the majority of the population is Javanese, there are cultures which are simply very different from those of the Javanese as evident in the dialects, architect...

Earth Issue: Global Warming

15 January 2009

Prior to the world getting busy with the global economic crisis, the public had been swamped with serious discussions, debates on global warming, particularly the economic consequences. In fact, political leaders recognized this as a hot topic and announced various agenda to address the issue according to what they think is best. Some appear to do it to earn political points to get elected. Others seem to do it because they understand that it is a real, very serious issue that the world must uni...

The Global Economic Malaise 2009 & Beyond?

13 January 2009

2009 started off with some degree of cautious optimism that the global economic difficulties will bottom out relatively soon, with most pundits penciling mid 2009, and stock market indices moving higher. With President-elect Obama’s announcements of various stimulus plans in seriously massive scales by any standard, things appear to be back on track. Furthermore, commodities did bottom out temporarily, and commodity currencies as proxy of world economic growth soared. Risk appetite began to retu...