E.g., 01-12-2021
E.g., 01-12-2021
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    Gavekal Research

    The Coming UK Recession

    Thursday saw UK GDP growth for 2Q21 revised up to a perky 5.5% from a previous 4.8%. Yet all is not well in shortage-plagued Britain. While other economies facesupply chain disruption and energy shortages, the “just in time” UK economy looks to be facing a perfect inflationary storm that could deliver a recession in 2022.

    7
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    Gavekal Research

    Webinar: Having It Both Ways In Emerging Markets

    The question for emerging market policymakers is: do they follow the Federal Reserve and tighten monetary policy in anticipation of "taper tantrum II"? Or do they, instead, try and stimulate their weakened economies by keeping money cheap and hope this does not prompt a disorderly exit of capital?

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Chinese Power Problem

    The power shortages rippling across China threaten to weigh on economic growth that was already slowing more than previously expected. Manufacturing firms in provinces from Ningxia to Henan are being told they can only have limited electricity supply, and many are having to cut production in response. This combination of supply- and demand-side problems is clearly negative for growth, but if the current sharp slowdown in heavy industry continues...

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Cauterizing Evergrande

    Chinese property developer Evergrande announced that it will sell a portion of its minority stake in Shenjing Bank to a local state-owned enterprise in Liaoning province. In this Quick Take, Xiaoxi explains that while the deal wont save the firm, it exemplifies how local officials can work to soften the impact of Evergrande’s unwinding.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Avoiding Sequels

    Like many other parents, Louis has seen his share of kids' movie sequels, which unfortunately fall much too short of the of the first installment. This reminds him of two “curve-balls” that investors are now having to digest. The first is the China Evergrande debt debacle. The second is the looming shortage of energy across most of the industrialized world.

    1
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    Gavekal Research

    Q&A: China’s Investibility

    In the last few weeks, as China Evergrande’s financial troubles have deepened, Louis and Gavekal’s China team have fielded a spate of questions from clients about China’s investibility. In this paper, Louis offers a distillation of these conversations, presented in a question-and-answer format.

    16
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    Gavekal Research

    The German Interregnum

    Germany is headed for a three-party coalition for the first time since Konrad Adenauer’s governments of the 1950s. Multiple options remain on the table but a center-left figure should eventually be sworn in as chancellor. The issue is that material differences over fiscal policy mean that coalition talks could drag out well into 2022. How these divisive issues are bridged will determine the way that Germany and Europe react to growing economic...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Video: The Divergence In Central Banking

    A material difference has opened up in both the actions and signaling of global central banks, as they exit from pandemic-era monetary policy settings. On the hawkish side is the likes of the Federal Reserve and on the dovish side the European Central Bank and a raft of Asian policymakers. The question is who could be on the verge of making a policy mistake.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Developers Need Loans

    How much financial stress can China’s developers take? Thanks to strict financial regulation and slowing sales, every channel of financing for developers is now tightening simultaneously. In this piece, Xiaoxi explains how this puts pressure on policymakers to ease those financing restrictions, and why bank lending is the most likely beneficiary.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Times They Are A-Changin’

    Despite widespread fears that the troubles of property giant Evergrande will cause China's "Lehman moment", the renminbi's exchange rate against the US dollar has barely blinked, while Chinese government bonds continue their strong outperformance. Louis examines the facts and outlines the likely consequences that matter for investors.

    3
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Completing The Bond Connection

    The southbound channel of the Bond Connect program linking mainland China and Hong Kong debt markets started trading on Friday. In this Quick Take, Wei explains that although outflows are unlikely to be large in the early stages, the program should eventually carry major flows and help grow Hong Kong’s offshore bond market.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    After The German Election

    The results of this Sunday’s German federal election are unlikely to generate any shocks when markets reopen on Monday. Nonetheless, the precise colors of the coalition that eventually emerges will matter a great deal to investors. Cedric reviews the possible coalition compositions and outlines what they will mean for fiscal policy, European integration and China.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Webinar: European Course Correction, Or Steady On Ahead?

    Germans will soon go to the polls, while the European Central Bank has denied media reports that it is considering raising interest rates early. In other words, there is no shortage of news and events that may make markets jittery. In this webinar our Europe team attempt to make sense of it all and plot Europe’s likely fiscal and monetary course.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Volatility In A Changed Economy

    It’s been a chastening, if not decisive, month for investors in US equities. The S&P 500 index has recovered ground, but still endured a -4% fall from its September 2 peak. On a historic basis, the drawdown was small but we have not seen many of them in the last 18 months. Bulls hope that having weathered worries about China and the Federal Reserve’s asset purchase taper, the ground has been set for US equities to hit new highs. My aim today...

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Don’t Call It A Tech Crackdown

    China’s regulatory onslaught against companies like Ant Group, Didi Chuxing and Tencent has been widely referred to as a “tech crackdown.” In this piece, Dan argues that the government’s actions are less a sign that it has turned against tech than they are a rejection of the idea that the consumer internet is the peak of technological achievement.

    6
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Webinar: The Evergrande Crisis

    Markets have reacted violently to China Evergrande Group starting to default on US$300bn of obligations. The worry is that a disorderly failure causes a systemic crisis that dents Chinese growth and upends other emerging markets. Our team of analysts think such a chaotic denouement is unlikely and a managed solution remains the most likely outcome. In this webinar, they explain their thinking.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Liquidity And Shortages

    It is possible the US equity market was simply confused on Wednesday, when it rallied after the Federal Open Markets Committee unfurled its communiqué. Or perhaps it was just oversold. Either way, the Federal Reserve revealed itself to be as hawkish as could have been expected. Asset purchases will be tapered “soon” and likely occur at a faster pace than last time around. Interest rates could be hiked next year and the Treasury will soon become...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Video: Asia’s Diverging Covid Strategies

    Asian economies are often lumped into the collective bucket of following “zero-Covid” elimination strategies. That has certainly been the case in most of the region’s big economies. However, there is increasingly an impetus by the better-vaccinated countries to fully reopen. Vincent surveys the landscape and draws some conclusions regarding preferred currency plays.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Anglosphere Doubles Down

    The “Aukus” security partnership sparked a diplomatic explosion when it was unveiled by Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States last week. As the smoke clears, America’s strategy to counter China is becoming clear. But the diplomatic fallout from Aukus also reflects a new reality. How does Europe fit into this brave new world, and how will China respond?

    10
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Reversal In Iron Ore

    Over the past two months, iron ore prices have tumbled as China’s property market slows and local authorities expand restrictions on steel output. In this report, Rosealea explains why falling steel demand should cause prices to continue their decline, eventually settling at around levels of US$70-80/ton.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Evergrande’s International Risks

    The troubles of debt-laden Chinese property developer Evergrande are no Lehman moment, but they do pose a significant risk of international contagion across emerging markets, which investors would be rash to ignore.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Investing In Today’s Inflationary Environment

    Investing in a topsy-turvy macro environment can feel like a crapshoot. One way to seek order among chaos is to draw lessons from economic history. Louis examines the underlying causes of financial crises since the late 1990s and applies the lessons to consider the way in which the global economy and markets emerge from the pandemic.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    No Escape From The Evergrande Effect

    Fears about the potential systemic risks posed by troubled property developer Evergrande reverberated through global financial markets on Monday. Unless China’s regulators seriously mismanage the situation, a systemic crisis in the country’s financial sector is not on the cards. Nevertheless, lenders will not be able to escape the costs.

    1
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    Gavekal Research

    Out Of The Congressional Quagmire

    Eight months after Joe Biden’s inauguration, the US president’s economic agenda remains bogged down, with two flagship spending bills stuck in Congress amid infighting among Biden’s fellow Democrats. In the coming weeks, however, there is a good chance of a compromise that will see one of the two cleared through the House of Representatives.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Going Electric In The Land Of The F-150

    The US government and the auto industry are now pulling in the same direction of decarbonizing transportation. In this piece, Yanmei asks if the emerging government-industry alliance can accelerate vehicle electrification, where the US has fallen behind Europe and China, and whether they can catch up to Tesla and foreign competitors.

    3
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    Gavekal Research

    Squeaky Bum Time For The US Economy

    As Covid cases rise in the US, most indicators point to a slowing economy. After August’s payrolls came in weak, activity measures and nowcasting readings have softened, while conditions in leading sectors like housing and autos have worsened. With the Citi US economic surprise index having fallen to -44.6 from close to zero a month ago, forecasters have been caught off guard by the slowdown. As Sir Alex Ferguson, the former Manchester United...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Webinar: Questions Arise As US Growth Slows

    As renewed Covid outbreaks curtail activity and the labor market starts to normalize, the US economy is no longer generating big upside growth surprises. Will the Federal Reserve defer its retreat from super-easy monetary policy, and what will come of the Biden administration's fiscal strategy?

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Europe’s Energy Headwinds

    The United Kingdom got a sharp lesson in the perils of energy dependence on Wednesday. A fire shut down its imports of electricity—mostly nuclear-generated—from France, pushing domestic natural gas prices up by as much as 20% in intraday trading. The fire may keep as much as a third of the UK’s capacity to import power from France closed through the winter months. Given that the UK has the capacity to import 3MW from France and on average...

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    Video: Cryptos, NFTs And CyberPunks

    As investors have flipped between euphoria and dejection over the future of crypto-currencies and related digital assets, prices have had a crazy ride. In this video Will outlines a framework for thinking about valuations. Even if digital art sold as NFTs sticks around, the basic economics of their use case means they probably won't be great stores of value.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    No Profits From Payments

    Online payments were one of the first and most prominent victims of China’s regulatory onslaught against internet platforms. In this piece, Xiaoxi explains how a combination of both tighter oversight and the pending launch of the digital renminbi is limiting platforms’ ability to monetize their payments businesses.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    ‘Transitory’ Inflation And Government Intervention

    Tuesday’s US CPI release shed little light on the “transitory versus persistent” inflation debate. Airfares and hotel rates weakened on the delta outbreak. And surprisingly, rents remained muted, while used car prices rolled over even as new car prices surged. Still, US CPI gained 5.3% YoY, while core CPI rose 4% YoY. By the standards of recent decades, these are big numbers.

    5
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Window Is Closing For Structural Reform

    China’s dismal August economic figures suggest that the “window of opportunity” identified by the Politburo in April, when officials hoped to take advantage of China’s post-Covid rebound to focus on longer-term structural priorities, is now closing. However, it is still too early to expect policymakers to shift gears into a supportive stance.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Winners And Losers In India’s Dying Democracy

    As India’s economy has weakened, so too have its democratic foundations. Since Narendra Modi’s reelection victory in 2019, “the world’s largest democracy” has flirted with despotism. State institutions have been co-opted, freedoms repressed and minorities attacked. But a handful of listed companies—especially those run by tycoons with personal ties to Modi—are thriving.

    15
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    Gavekal Research

    A Mile In MbS’s Shoes

    Steve Martin once said “before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you’ll be a mile away and have his shoes”. In this piece Louis takes a stroll in Mohammed bin Salman’s shoes to see what issues Saudi Arabia has faced recently, and outlines four scenarios that affect energy prices and geopolitics.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The High Cost Of Free Money, Revisited

    It’s now more than 10 years since Charles published a seminal paper titled The High Cost Of Free Money, in which he argued that free-market capitalism could not function properly without a free-market-determined cost of capital. Today it’s clear that capital markets, at least, can continue to operate, but Charles argues this has created very little new wealth.

    6
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    Gavekal Research

    Internet Platforms Versus Policy Darlings

    China’s offshore internet platform stocks saw fresh falls in Asia on Monday morning after reports that the Chinese authorities will break up Ant Group’s Alipay business. In recent weeks, some investors have been advocating a rotation to “safer” segments of China’s tech sector, such as hardware companies favored by policymakers. But Thomas writes, these carry risks of their own.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Video: The Economics Of Germany's Election

    Ahead of Germany’s election in a couple of weeks, the center-left Social Democratic Party has recently climbed up the polls to eclipse the previously dominant Christian Democratic Union. If the polling is right, the SPD is likely to form a coalition government with Germany’s smaller parties. Nick breaks out the tea leaves to see what a political shift is likely to mean.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Webinar: Understanding China's Regulatory Crackdown

    Even by China’s high standards, 2021 has seen an extraordinary amount of government intervention in the economy, as top leader Xi Jinping moves aggressively to implement his vision of national greatness. In this webinar our China team assess the impact on the economy and markets, and discuss what could cause this crackdown to pause or reverse.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    A British Fix To Housing

    For decades, urban England has had an under-supplied and over-bought housing market. UK governments of all political stripes have tried and failed to unblock building pipelines. Britain is hardly alone in having seen home prices rocket due to pandemic effects, but there was a grim inevitability to UK home prices rising 13% in the last year. Yet, at the same juncture, there is evidence that a mixture of decent policymaking and smart market...

    2
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Next Level Of Activist Government

    Even by China’s high standards, 2021 has seen an extraordinary level of active government intervention in the economy. With foreign investors spooked and growth slowing, how much longer can it go on? In this chartbook, Andrew takes stock of the many aspects of the current policy activism and assesses the prospects for a course correction.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    India Macro Update: A Shaky Recovery

    India is enduring a shaky, stop-start recovery. Headline GDP growth in the April-June quarter came in at a stellar 20%, but base effects are distorting the true picture. The biggest risk for investors, argue Udith and Tom, is an uncertain monetary environment. As the Fed readies to taper its asset purchases, both exports and the bond market are vulnerable to disruption.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Economy And Volatility

    US equities have gone almost 18 months without a double-digit drawdown. Such calm is likely to trouble devotees of Hyman Minsky, who showed that excessively long periods of market stability breeds countervailing episodes of violent instability. The question is what will cause the transition to a more volatile market, or dare I say it, what could trigger a “Minsky moment”?

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    Covid, Markets And What Happens Next

    Over the last 18 months, Covid developments have been a key driver of financial market performance. Louis contends that this period can be split into four distinct phases. In this piece, he asks whether we are now entering a fifth phase. To do this he weighs up both encouraging and concerning developments within the pandemic and economic policy choices that flow from them.

    6
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    What Kind Of Easing Cycle?

    It’s been clear for a couple of months now that China has begun a monetary easing cycle. What has been less clear is what kind of easing cycle will happen under the central bank’s new “cross-cyclical” policy framework. The PBOC’s guidance indicates it could start cutting rates this year, but will try to keep credit growth next year roughly flat.

    5
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    Gavekal Research

    The Split In Emerging Markets

    Animals can apparently sense impending storms and so take evasive action. Low-flying birds, sneezing cats, croaking frogs, huddled sheep and sedentary cows are all said to indicate the onset of heavy rain. In global finance, emerging markets are most exposed to sudden climatic shifts and have learned the hard way that it is unwise to be exposed when a tempest strikes. The issue today is the Federal Reserve’s well-telegraphed intention to dial...

    4
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    Gavekal Research

    Bottlenecks And Corporate Bond Yields

    It seems that not all parts of the US economy are created equal. As the Delta variant outbreak causes US Covid cases to soar, the service sector is taking a hit. In contrast, the less-exposed manufacturing sector saw job growth in August. The question for investors is how these somewhat conflicting forces impact different asset classes.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    How Markets Multiply Subsidies

    China’s government has vast ambitions for its industrial policy, yet it spends surprisingly little on subsidies and tax breaks. Instead, it relies on domestic capital markets for funding. In this piece, Thomas explains how markets can multiply those initial subsidies into much larger spending in the government’s favored industrial sectors.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    Europe’s Taper Decision

    To taper, or not to taper is the question for the European Central Bank at Thursday’s policymaking meeting. The market seems to think that monthly bond purchases will soon be lowered by about €20bn to €80bn, as shown by 10-year German bund yields rising 14bp in the last two weeks. Economic output in the eurozone is back near pre-pandemic levels and consumer price inflation in August spiked to 3%. There have even been putative sightings of the...

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    Video: The Implications Of Afghanistan

    In the same week that the US military completed its chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, President Joe Biden outlined a more contained doctrine for US foreign policy. In this video interview, Yanmei argues against a declinist view of the Kabul dash for the exit, contending that the longer-term impact may be a much-needed reset of the American imperial project.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Most Worrying Shortage

    The world’s most traded commodity, semiconductors, is running scarce, the price of the second-most important commodity, oil, is grinding higher, and the cost of moving things around the world is soaring. All this would be worrying enough, but ask any businessperson in North America or Europe about their biggest constraint, and the answer is likely to be staffing.

    9
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