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E.g., 29-05-2020
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    Gavekal Research

    Webinar: Global Investment Roundtable, May 2020

    Yesterday Louis Gave, Charles Gave and Anatole Kaletsky joined Arthur Kroeber at the Global Investment Roundtable. They discussed different scenarios for how and when the world’s major economies can exit the Covid-19 crisis and what it means for investors.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Renminbi As Collateral Damage

    The rise in US-China tensions over the past week is taking a toll on China’s currency, which has weakened to CNY7.15 to the dollar from around CNY7.10, approaching its lows of last September. This has raised a worrying question: is China about to use currency depreciation as a weapon in its widening dispute with the US?

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Kitsune Market (Part IV)

    Over recent weeks, Louis has examined in detail nine “Kitsune” tail risks which could blindside financial markets in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. But in contemplating these tail risks, Louis has been forced to wonder if he has missed the forest for the trees, overlooking perhaps the greatest risk of all for investors: that the 40-year inverse correlation between equities and bonds may be breaking down.

    4
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Infrastructure Faces Fiscal Constraints

    Hopes for an infrastructure boom are rising after China’s legislature approved a record amount of bond sales. But as Wei explains, the Ministry of Finance’s conservative budget targets will still limit how much localities actually spend. Infrastructure investment is headed for around 10% growth in 2020, not enough for a very strong recovery.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    Hong Kong And The Ethic Of Responsibility

    German sociologist Max Weber made the distinction between the ethic of conviction, based on the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, and the ethic of responsibility, based on consequentialist philosophy, a grandchild of Aristotelian logic. The distinction between the two may help investors to determine their response to developments in Hong Kong.

    10
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    Gavekal Research

    The Death Of Old Hong Kong

    On Monday morning, the streets around Gavekal’s offices in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district teemed with harried commuters rather than baton-charging police and political protesters. Unfortunately, uncertainty about Hong Kong’s future as a free society will linger longer than the tear gas that had drenched the area a few hours earlier. There is now a fair chance that China’s imposition of a new national security law in Hong Kong will cause a chain...

    2
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Truth About Unemployment

    China’s government is promising to deliver stability in employment this year, although it has not made a full accounting of how the Covid-19 lockdown affected jobs. In this report, Ernan presents comprehensive estimates of the scale of job losses: in the range of 60-100mn. This is far more than China’s social safety net is designed to handle.

    2
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Aiming For Stability Without A Target

    The coronavirus has made a mockery of China’s annual growth target, so the leadership has done the only sensible thing: given up on it. In this Quick Take, Andrew explains how that decision, and the fiscal measures rolled out at the National People’s Congress, show how China is not trying to drive a rapid rebound to its previous growth trend.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Corporate Bond Crisis That Wasn’t

    China’s corporate bond market has not been bothered by the biggest shock to the economy in decades. In this piece, Xiaoxi explains why, since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been no surge in defaults, spreads have barely widened and new issuance has surged. A continued bull market in government bonds will be more good news.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Surviving A US$100bn Funding Gap

    Developing economies are struggling from reduced trade and harder access to capital. They also face a US$109bn cut in remittance income this year as construction sites in the rich world close, ships stay in port and restaurants are shuttered. This could spur a spiral of poverty and protest that ends with debt defaults that even suck in well-managed emerging markets.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    A US Full-Court Press Against China

    The US-China relationship has deteriorated rapidly, and the main reason seems to be that Donald Trump has decided that a “tough on China” approach should be central to his reelection campaign. Acrimony between the two countries is likely to get much worse between now and November, and US actions are starting to spread from technology to finance.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    April’s Fitful Recovery

    China released economic data for April showing a continued recovery in industry and investment as well as a surprising recovery in exports. In this Quick Take, Thomas argues that with exports headed for a substantial decline, this upwards trajectory is likely to plateau in May.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The World Has Changed, Quick! Buy More Of The Same

    As countries around the world, and some US states, are starting to emerge from their enforced Covid-19 hibernation, investors have to choose between one of three potential outcomes. Either the virus re-emerges and causes new lockdowns, the post-Covid-19 world is not growth friendly, or pent-up demand and supportive policies leads to global growth ripping.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    The Chinese Bond Rally Is Not Over Yet

    China’s bond market is selling off on rising optimism about the nation’s recovery from the Covid-19 lockdown. But Wei argues that this rise in bond yields looks like a false alarm: China’s economy is not about to begin a V-shaped recovery and its central bank is not yet finished with monetary easing. The bond bull market still has some way to run.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Webinar: The Kitsune Market — Tail Risks In An Unnatural Time

    Most of the world’s big economies have been shut down in response to a pandemic disease—a truly unprecedented event. This led to extreme market moves and also generated an unusually large array of tail risks. Louis likens these to the nine tails of the magical kitsune or fox of Japanese mythology. In yesterday's webinar he elaborated on this idea.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Services Recovery Gets Back On Track

    China’s government is substantially relaxing restrictions on travel, retail and other consumer services as its Covid-19 outbreak gets further under control. In this Quick Take, Rosealea outlines the near-term outlook for a recovery in consumer services, as well as the factors still weighing on that recovery.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    The Kitsune Market (Part III)

    In this third part of a series assessing risks thrown up by massive government interventions to stop Covid-19 lockdowns turning into an economic depression, Louis turns his sights on efforts to prevent bankruptcies at all costs. He also considers the rapidly fraying US-China relationship and existential choices faced by Saudi Arabia as it decides how to handle a collapse in oil prices.

    5
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Return Of Special Treasury Bonds

    China’s government will once again issue “special treasury bonds” this year, a tool last used in 2007, but has not yet revealed how the funds will be used. In this piece, Wei surveys the options on the table and argues these special bonds are more likely to fund indirect support to the economy rather than to ramp up direct fiscal stimulus.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Webinar: China And Emerging Markets Update

    China has started to reopen its economy, but it is proving hard to get Chinese consumers and small businesses up and running again. He Wei and Andrew Batson provided the latest updates on policy efforts to revive China’s economy. Udith Sikand reviewed the broader outlook for emerging markets.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Video: Pandemics, Protests And Outperformance

    Hong Kong’s GDP contracted almost -9% year-on-year in the first quarter, as the impact of the coronavirus hammered an economy already severely weakened by the last year’s anti-government street protests. In this video interview, Tom examines the storms battering Asia’s premier financial center, and accounts for the resilience of its financial system.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Hard Times For China's Soft Power

    Public opinion over China’s responsibility for the Covid-19 pandemic has hardened across the developing world. On the African continent matters have been made worse by simmering rows over the treatment of Africans by Chinese, both in China and in Africa itself. As the resentment spreads, writes Tom, it threatens to undo decades’ worth of effort by Beijing to apply “soft power with Chinese characteristics”.

    9
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Military Fusion Sparks US Reaction

    The US government has unveiled new rules that will make it more difficult for US companies to sell high technology to Chinese firms with any military connections. In this piece, Dan explains the risks of these new rules for both US companies and the many Chinese firms participating in their government’s “military-civil fusion” campaign.

    2
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Earnings Crunch Arrives

    Earnings season for China’s listed companies has finished, and the numbers are not pretty: the aggregate net profits of non-financial firms fell by 51% YoY in Q1. In this Quick Take, Thomas assesses the damage to earnings and outlines the consequences for the corporate sector.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    Strategy Monthly: Emerging Markets Under Pressure

    Aside from China, emerging markets have not been hit as hard as rich countries by Covid-19, but their asset markets have been hammered. An optimistic view holds that undervalued EM assets can now bounce back. Udith and Vincent are more cautious: a dollar-squeeze could yet hurt markets that have otherwise decent fundamentals and attractive valuations.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Benefit Of Panicking Early

    Among industrialized nations, Taiwan stands out as the least affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Taiwan chose to “panic early” by barring entry to foreign travelers, enforcing strict quarantines and assiduously tracking potential infections. The payoff has been no material disruption to domestic activity, which should lead to continued outperformance of the Taiwan dollar.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Truth About Banks And Bonds

    As I elucidated last week Knut Wicksell’s key idea was that in any market economy there are not one, but two key interest rates, whose relative position drives the cycle. The theory makes good sense, but computing the two rates is tricky. My insight is that I don’t need to compute these two rates but instead measure the structural performance of bank equities in each market.

    10
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    Gavekal Research

    Webinar: Modeling Projections For The Covid-19 Epidemic

    Gavekal Intelligence Software is collaborating with ETH Zurich and Shenzhen's Southern University of Science & Technology to track the spread of Covid-19. GIS principal Didier Darcet presented the findings in a conversation with Louis Gave

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    New Infrastructure, Old Problems

    China is promising a boost in so-called “new infrastructure,” of which 5G network development is a major component. Dan explains how the scale of spending involved in building 5G infrastructure is too small to provide a meaningful boost to growth, and why any possible economic benefits from a faster mobile network will not be realized anytime soon.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Kitsune Market (Part II)

    Last week, Louis introduced the Kitsune, Japan’s mythical nine-tailed fox, and outlined four tail risks which could upend investment after Covid-19. Today he examines two more important tail risks: that the pandemic might not prove deflationary but inflationary, and the risk that the market’s “don’t fight the Fed” mentality could collapse under the weight of its own contradictions.

    10
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Why The Recovery Slowed In April

    Every economic indicator in China bounced upward in March, as the government relaxed its lockdown. But the trajectory of the recovery since then has not been as strong: many high-frequency indicators have plateaued in April. In this piece, Ernan explains how China’s cautious policymakers have kept many restrictions on daily activities in place.

    5
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    Gavekal Research

    The Kitsune Market

    The Kitsune, the mythical Japanese fox which portends a change of fortune, has nine tails. Inspired by the unnatural conditions in markets, Louis has identified nine tail risks which could upend the investment world over the short to medium term. In the first installment of a two-part series, he outlines four tail risks that investors should consider hedging against.

    12
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    No Swift Recovery For Corporate Profits

    Broad equity indexes in China seem to be faring much better than they should, given the poor Q2 outlook for Chinese corporate profits. Thomas surmises this is due to investors’ belief that policy stimulus will grow to 2009 levels and continue into Q3—a belief that is likely to disappoint, leading to a potential correction in H2.

    2
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Steel Prices Signal Stability

    Steel prices have stabilized after falling around 10% from their peak, reflecting a relatively rapid recovery in construction activity from the Covid-19 lockdowns. In this piece, Rosealea argues that the steel market is signaling a stabilization in China’s domestic demand from improving housing sales and a boost to infrastructure spending.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Webinar: Outlook For The US Economy And Global Markets

    In Tuesday's webinar, Will Denyer reviewed the economic situation in the US and suggested how investors should position their portfolios, and Louis Gave presented his global macroeconomic view, taking into account the remarkable developments in the oil market.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Macro Update: Climbing Out Of The Hole

    After lockdowns produced a historic contraction in activity in February, China’s economy began climbing out of its deep growth hole in March. In this chartbook, the Dragonomics team outlines the shape of the recovery, explains which sectors are leading and which are lagging, and breaks down the policy response and implications for markets.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Shape Of Things To Come

    As the US and Europe prepare to enter their second month of lockdown, the good news is that social controls, where they are imposed, are working. The less good news is that the exit from lockdowns is going to be long and arduous. It is likely that in most major Western nations, economic activity will remain at levels significantly below normal until well into the fall.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    The Pressure For Debt Relief

    Pressure is growing from struggling developing economies for a new round of debt relief. The difference with past campaigns is that the world’s biggest creditor to such nations is China, which could be owed at least US$380bn. China is likely to adopt a pragmatic approach and negotiate one-on-one forbearance agreements that end up costing it tens of billions of dollars.

    5
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    East Africa’s Chinese Gamble

    China’s deep economic roots in Africa provoke alarm in the US and concern among debtor nations, especially as some costly infrastructure projects prove financially unviable. But our latest in-depth DeepChina report explains why China’s presence is generally welcome in East Africa, even as the era of huge loans and megaprojects draws to an end.

    7
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    Gavekal Research

    Heading In The Right Direction, Slowly

    The Covid-19 epidemic now seems firmly under control in most major economies, and the direction of the disease data is consistently positive. From an infection-control perspective, the outlook is much more positive than when we did our last major review. The path to economic recovery, however, still looks slow and rocky.

    3
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Choosing Currency Stability

    In the global crises of 1998 and 2008, China chose currency stability over competitive devaluation—and in the coronavirus crisis of 2020 it is making the same choice. In this piece, Wei argues that preventing capital outflows outweighs the PBOC’s other priorities for now, even if this means having to accept a less competitive currency.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Revenge Of The Little Grey Men

    There is a strange contradiction in most developed economic systems as they have been driven by freely assembling entrepreneurs who operate on the basis of money, which is the ultimate tool of state coercion. Charles is worried that the private, risk-taking element of our economies may be fully extinguished by responses to the Covid-19 crisis.

    5
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    A Poor Prognosis For US-China Ties

    The Covid-19 pandemic has been bad for the health of the US-China relationship, which was already in poor shape. In this piece, Arthur explains how US security hawks have seized the opportunity to hammer home the argument that China is untrustworthy, pushing the US debate over China policy in a more confrontational direction.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    An Anti-Fragile Beauty Contest

    Following the 2008 crisis, the S&P 500 bottomed on March 9 2009. Since then, an investor in physical gold would have gained 82.2% while an investor in 10-year US treasuries would have made gains of 65.6% (with coupons re-invested). But with both assets testing their pre-crisis highs, there are several reasons to believe that gold is now set to outperform structurally.

    9
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    Gavekal Research

    Webinar: The Outlook For China And Emerging Markets

    Arthur Kroeber spoke on the macro situation in China. Michael Clendenin, principal of Gavekal RedTech, presented their work on consumer sentiment and activity in China. Udith Sikand gave a rundown of what's happening in emerging markets.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    New Concerns For A New World

    We are in uncharted policy territory. Never before have we seen the kind of GDP contractions now being projected for most OECD countries, and never before have investors had to deal with such extremes of uncertainty. Against this backdrop, Louis attempts to answer 10 of the most burning questions posed by clients about the shape of the post-Covid-19 world.

    7
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Reshuffling Global Supply Chains

    Globally distributed production has already become less attractive since the 2008 crisis, and the Covid-19 pandemic will intensify the trend for global manufacturing to reduce its dependence on China. Dan argues this will encourage supply chains to become more robust, more decentralized and, ironically, more truly global.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Destroying The Economy To Save It

    Remember the American military officer in Vietnam who explained US tactics by saying “it became necessary to destroy the town to save it?” Well in the not too distant future, we may have to accept that our economic policymakers have adopted the same tactics in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

    3
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    A New Stage In The Monetary Cycle

    While the People’s Bank of China remains more conservative than other global central banks, it is now clearly signaling to the market that liquidity will remain loose for the foreseeable future. This means low interest rates and, according to Wei, favorable conditions for a Chinese government bond rally.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Webinar: Looking Through The Lockdowns

    Andrew and Rosealea discussed China’s slow return to normal, the state of the property and construction sector, and warned of the global demand shock China will face due to Covid-19. Will outlined his view on asset allocation in light of the shock to the US economy and the asset price adjustments that have taken place so far.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Rearranging The Deckchairs For Profit

    When everything is falling apart around you, the urge to do something—anything—becomes irresistible. A good solution is to start rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It may not change the bigger picture, but it keeps you busy and does no harm in the longer term. In this spirit, allow me to suggest a little rearrangement that should do no harm, and could even be very profitable.

    0
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