Edition 2: Politics in the Service of Two Challenges

From the SBE discussion at Ashurst on 4 December, it was evident that two major factors that will shape China’s economic prospects are debt and deleveraging, which will play out over the course of the medium term; and growth in total factor productivity, which will be required to counteract the effects of rapid demographic changes. […]

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China Watch 1: The Sky’s the Limit?

  Debt is presently being spotlighted in commentary about China’s economic prospects. During October the governor of the People’s Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan, shocked participants at a sideline meeting he attended when he warned of a possible “Minsky Moment” for the Chinese economy. This is a situation in which the expectations about the future […]

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Asymmetric Trades and Emerging Market Risk

This post is partly a follow-up to the previous one which was about possible strategies to garner positive real returns in a world characterised by minuscule yields on “safe” assets. There have already been analyses which purport to expose which trading strategies proved to be winning strategies in the context of the market ructions that […]

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In Search of Higher Returns in a Low Yield World

This note was prompted by an essay by noted finance author Burton Malkiel that appeared in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. More on this anon. It is a real problem for those saving to accumulate a nest egg and who do not consider themselves investment wheeler dealers: Most substantial and stable economies are these […]

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Why self-drive helps electric vehicles

The main serious option for dealing with emissions from transport is electric vehicles (EVs). But they have always suffered from three big shortcomings compared to existing fossil fuelled cars (petrol/ gasoline/ diesel) and these need to be overcome if people are going to switch to EVs. The first is cost, although that problem seems to […]

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Sense and Nonsense in the Brexit Debate: Who gains and who loses?

This is not a political blog, nor do we have any intention of pegging our own colours to the mast and divulging our own inclination to vote “leave” or “remain”. But it does strike us that economic arguments being lobbed into the debate by a range of institutions from heavyweight global think tanks to HM […]

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The Breeze: Friday Music

The Breeze: Friday Music JJ Cale with Christine Lakeland. Source: musiciansolympus.blogspot.com I am posting about music again partly because we are currently working on big projects where client confidentiality is paramount, so to even write about these topics in general terms would run the risk of divulging matters that clients consider integral to business initiatives […]

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How profitable is energy storage?

Energy storage – why is it needed and how will it make money? Debates on the future of energy tend to focus on the extent to which renewable energy will replace coal, oil and natural gas. Historically, the debate has looked at how much renewable sources can produce, and how much they cost. The problem with this […]

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Miles Ahead – the Movie

Having just completed a report for a client on how credit demanded by its own client base is likely to respond as it varies the interest rate it charges, which developed into a bigger endeavour than I envisaged at the outset of the project, I felt entitled to a break, and went off to see […]

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