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E.g., 27-11-2021
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    Gavekal Research

    The US Turns A Corner

    It was not surprising that the US economy grew at a mere 4% quarter-on-quarter annualized in the final period of 2020, but there was a grim recognition that the next phase of the recovery will be hard fought. There are, however, reason to be optimistic.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Uncharted Territories And Portfolio Construction

    In 2015, Charles turned 73 and felt it was time to decide what he wanted to be when he grew up. But before turning his back on finance, he decided to “download” as many of the rules and experiences that had guided his steps in the financial world, over the previous 50 years. He built a small “quant” team in Paris, whose goals were to filter the very best of his rules and distill these into simple software solutions. In this piece he shows how...

    5
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    Gavekal Research

    Webinar: French-Language Webinar, January 2021

    With Europe being hit hard by a second wave of Covid-19 and facing fresh lockdowns, Charles and Cedric assessed the outlook for the region’s growth and inflation in both the short and medium term. The webinar also focused on portfolio construction work being done by our Paris team: quantitative head of research Didier and Charles trained their sights on behavioral finance and suggested a route map for managing money in a “post-Keynesian” world.

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Webinar: The Outlook For China In 2021

    China enters 2021 having achieved a world-leading recovery, but now faces a tricky balancing act to secure its economic trajectory. Ernan, Rosealea and Wei discuss how the authorities are responding to the rebound in Covid cases, what their strategy is for a frothy property market, and how they will balance growth with financial stability.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    What The VIX Spike May Mean

    On Tuesday, Louis noted that among ill tidings for global equity markets was a rollover in European bank stocks. I want to build on this idea using portfolio construction work done by our Paris team and specifically the insight that when the VIX exceeds a critical threshold, markets globally tend to seize up.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Video: The UK — At The Center Of The Maelstrom

    It’s been an especially stormy start to the year for the United Kingdom, which finds itself at ground zero for the spread of a new and highly infectious strain of the coronavirus, even as it struggles to cope with withdrawal from the European Union’s single market and customs zone. Yet the UK’s financial markets are performing relatively respectably year-to-date as investors focus on the UK’s strong vaccination performance and look ahead to the...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Sinification Of The Hong Kong Market

    Even though the Hang Seng index fell -2.55% on Tuesday, Hong Kong is still the world’s best performing major stock market year-to-date. In Hong Kong’s media the run-up is attributed to waves of mainland Chinese money flowing into the city’s equities. In reality, Connect flows have not been the biggest force driving Hong Kong stocks higher in recent weeks. But structurally, flows of mainland capital are only going to become increasingly important...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Robinhood Versus The Sheriff Of Nottingham

    A large US hedge fund has received a reported US$2.75bn liquidity injection from Citadel and Point72 after it became subject to apparent short-squeeze attacks organized in internet chat rooms. In this piece, Louis asks why the regulators seem to be standing back from such episodes and wonders where markets are going if even big players can easily fall prey to "flash mobs".

    22
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    Gavekal Research

    Supply-Chain Risks For The Covid Vaccine

    The race to vaccinate the world in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic will be one of the most complex projects ever attempted. Most developed economies aim to fully vaccinate their adult population by year’s end. Dan outlines the manufacturing and logistical challenges involved the vaccine rollout

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Third Time The Charm?

    Wherever you look, it seems there are signs of market froth, and evidence abounds that we are in an environment of “more money than fools”. Yet amid all these signs, one is especially troubling: last year US investor margin debt rose by a record US$200bn. This is sobering because the two previous record-setting peaks in margin debt growth did not end well.

    1
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    Gavekal Research

    A Tactical Turn In The Dollar?

    Neither the United States nor the European Union got off to a flying start, but the US is out front with its vaccination program. This points to longer Covid disruption in Europe, which—in the short term—should support the US dollar versus the euro. Yet, in the longer term there remain many reasons to underweight the dollar, certainly against cheaper “risk-on” currencies.

    2
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Macro Update: Beyond The Boom

    China’s unbalanced, industry-driven recovery from Covid has been very strong but is probably close to its peak. Meanwhile, renewed outbreaks are further delaying the normalization of consumer spending and services. In the latest edition of our regular chartbook, the Dragonomics team explains how these tensions will affect the economy in 2021.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Where Europe Went Wrong

    Mass vaccination programs were always going to suffer teething troubles. But the rollout of Covid vaccination campaigns in European Union countries has been especially slow and troubled compared with the UK and US. This has left investors wondering about the reasons for the vaccine underperformance, whether it will persist and what the economic impact might be.

    7
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Restraining The New Fad In Tech

    The Chinese government has responded quickly and negatively to community group buying platforms, the latest business-model fad among China’s consumer internet companies. In this report, Ernan explains why subsidized pricing on the platforms has drawn regulatory attention and how this will affect future growth prospects for China’s big tech firms.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Risks In The Biden Era

    In December, Anatole outlined 10 disparate risks that could derail the bull market in 2021. That was before the Democrats won full control of the US government, paving the way for approval of Joe Biden’s new super-size stimulus package. In light of the developments over the last month, Anatole reassesses his 10 risks.

    9
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    Gavekal Research

    Webinar: Global Investment Roundtable, January 2021

    A Democratic US administration is set to control all arms of the US government for the first time since 2010. Will this mean a fiscal blowout, causing big changes in the pricing of treasuries and the US dollar? Louis, Anatole and Will assess the possibilities.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Turn In Asian Inflation

    Over the last year, a collapse in oil and commodity prices slashed inflation in Southeast Asia and buoyed real interest rates. As a result, regional central banks were able to cut policy rates and mitigate the impact of massive Covid disruption. However, this disinflationary tailwind is set to abruptly reverse in the coming months as inflationary pressure inevitably builds up. Ultimately, this rise in prices may wash through the system as a “...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Video: The Good And Bad News For Emerging Markets

    US president Joe Biden’s planned US$1.9trn fiscal support package for the American economy may provide a metaphorical shot in the arm for at least some emerging markets, partially offsetting the negative economic effects caused by the delayed rollout of actual coronavirus inoculations. Udith assesses the conflicting forces affecting emerging economies.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Webinar: Europe’s Cruel Winter

    As the pandemic intensifies across Europe growth prospects in the first quarter are dimming, but investors are focused on a potential economic reopening by the spring. In yesterday’s webinar, Anatole Kaletsky, Nick Andrews and Cedric Gemehl discussed whether markets are overly optimistic since the European Union seems to have botched its vaccine procurement strategy.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Logos, Idiotes And Demagogues

    Charles revisits the idea of the Greek "logos", "idiotes", demagogues and citizens, and how the Greeks believed that those who controlled the logos—the language used to describe the world—ipso facto controlled the political system. Problems arise when a new, competing logos started to emerge.

    8
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    Gavekal Research

    Towards Stealth Debt Cancellation

    The grand panjandrums of the European Central Bank meet Thursday amid growing calls for them to cancel the vast sums of eurozone member governments’ debt they have bought over the last year. There is zero chance they will formally agree to any debt cancellation, but the ECB may do so by stealth.

    9
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    Gavekal Research

    Flows Will Still Favor Indian Equities

    Indian cows tend to be scrawny beasts, but India’s equity bulls have rarely looked fatter. Stocks scaled record highs last week after a 10-week binge on easy foreign money. The feeding frenzy has faded since Friday, but local benchmarks remain up 25% in US dollar terms since the start of November, and foreign investors’ appetite for Indian assets does not yet look sated. While the vigorous rebound in India’s economy from last summer’s slump may...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Follow The Money

    After last spring’s lockdowns, the Federal Reserve undertook a huge liquidity response and the US government borrowed hand over fist to keep a range of economic actors afloat: US companies got forgivable loans, households received cash grants and the jobless were offered enhanced unemployment payments. Even after this splurge, the Treasury is still left with wheelbarrow-loads of cash. In the year ahead, how these record sums of money are...

    6
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Small Borrowers Still Struggling

    Even after a dramatic economic recovery, many of China’s smallest businesses are still struggling. In this piece, Xiaoxi shows how the government’s financial-support measures did little to improve small businesses’ access to financing, which is already tightening. But the policies are helping banks avoid a potential spike in bad loans.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Biden’s United Front Against China

    As the outgoing Trump administration exits with a flurry of executive actions directed against China, Beijing is not sitting around hoping for Joe Biden to spark a new era of détente with the US. The recent tightening of control in Hong Kong shows that President Xi Jinping has no intention of giving an easy early ride to a leader who has pledged to build a “united front of US allies and partners” to constrain a resurgent China. The European...

    1
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    Gavekal Research

    Europe’s New Political Cycle

    After a six-month respite, European political risk is back on the radar screen. Last Wednesday, ministers from the Italia Viva of former prime minister Matteo Renzi walked out of Italy’s cabinet in a dispute over how EU Covid recovery funds should be spent, leaving the coalition government of prime minister Giuseppe Conte scrabbling to survive. On Friday, the cabinet of Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte resigned over a scandal involving the over-...

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    A Two-Speed Recovery

    China’s Q4 GDP growth surpassed pre-Covid rates, with housing and manufacturing leading while services lagged and infrastructure investment slowed. In early 2021, this divergence is likely to continue as consumers stay home for the Chinese New Year and poor credit growth drags on infrastructure investment.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Biden’s Spending Plan

    In a speech late Thursday, US President-Elect Joe Biden called on Congress to approve an additional US$1.9trn of federal spending to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic and support the US economy. If approved, Biden’s package will bring US government stimulus spending since the start of the pandemic to more than US$5trn. Heavy on support for households, Biden’s proposal would avert the risk of a first quarter contraction in the US economy and prime the...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The First, And Last, Line Of Defense

    US equity valuations are stretched and bond yields are rising. This has always proved an ominous combination. What’s different this time is that the Federal Reserve continues to inject vast amounts of liquidity into the system. But will the Fed’s infections continue? And if they do, as the pandemic recedes will they prove big enough both to finance economic reopening and to keep asset prices afloat?

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Video: China's Post-Pandemic Roadmap

    A year after Covid-19 was first revealed in China, the country has emerged as one of the key economic winners of the global pandemic. In this video interview, Arthur assesses how it did this and looks at the new priorities for Chinese industrial development in a world that has become less open and more suspicious of Chinese intentions. He seeks to answer these questions with reference to US trade and technology policy toward China as a new...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    A Debate On The US Dollar

    In investment, few things can prove as dangerous as a “safe bet” in the foreign exchange market. So, when 2021 began with a firm consensus that the US dollar was destined to fall, only for the DXY index to rally 1% over the last week, people quickly began to question the prevailing consensus. Within Gavekal, this sparked a spirited debate on the direction of the dollar. Readers will not be surprised to learn that there was a range of views, with...

    12
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    For Exports, It’s Stronger For Longer

    China’s exports have been boosted by two side effects of the Covid-19 pandemic: a shift of consumer spending to goods from services, and the failure of manufacturing in other countries to get back to full capacity. How long can those advantages last? Thomas argues they will continue to boost exports through the first half of 2021.

    2
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    New Ceilings For Property Financing

    China’s policymakers are expanding their restrictions on bank financing of the property sector, imposing limits on mortgage lending in addition to curbs on borrowing by developers. In this report, Rosealea explains why the new regulations do not shift her expectations of flat property sales and a modest decline in construction activity in 2021.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    The Squeeze Of Old Hong Kong

    Last Wednesday Hong Kong police arrested scores of pro-democracy activists for joining forces to try and win a local parliamentary election and thereafter block government legislation. The use of a tough new national security law to suppress routine political organization threatens more international opprobrium that will further cut the city off from the Anglosphere.

    3
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    Gavekal Research

    The Paradox Propelling Asian Currencies

    This year, the world is likely to see a sharp bifurcation in economic performance. In developed economies, mass vaccination programs enable a return to economic normality, while in emerging markets, vaccine supply and distribution problems will slow recovery. Paradoxically, EM economic underperformance will favor the outperformance of emerging Asia’s currencies.

    2
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    Gavekal Research

    Did Big Tech Just Jump The Shark?

    For investors, the last decade has been the era of Big Tech. But since September, US social media and consumer-related stocks essentially went nowhere. The unexciting performance belies all the attention these companies have been attracting lately. Following last week’s upheavals in Washington, several Big Tech firms took action to block people and services.

    6
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    Gavekal Research

    The UK After Brexit

    Four and a half years after the vote, Britain is properly out of the European Union and moving into a new era. It will surely be a freer nation, says Charles, but in this piece he asks: will it be a richer one? Spoiler alert, he thinks the upshot will be the City of London emerging as the world’s über financial capital.

    9
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    Gavekal Research

    The Road Ahead For US Yields

    Friday’s US labor market figures showing a surprise 140,000 contraction in December’s non-farm payrolls emphasized just how tough the winter months are going to be for the world’s largest economy as coronavirus infection rates and resulting hospitalizations continue to accelerate. Yet the grim near-term economic outlook notwithstanding, the first week of 2021 saw inflation expectations push higher, with the 10-year breakeven inflation rate...

    0
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Covid Headaches Continue

    China diagnosed 527 new cases of Covid-19 in the first 10 days of 2021, mostly in Hebei province, in the biggest local outbreak since July 2020. In this Quick Take, Ernan explains why this outbreak is challenging China’s Covid-19 playbook and why its timing is particularly concerning ahead of the Chinese New Year.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Bitcoin, Gold Or Fiat?

    Governments and central banks are giving users of fiat money reason to consider alternative mediums of exchange and stores of value. And it seems entirely possible that Bitcoin can rally even harder than it already has. But are there the makings of a good money? Because if the answer is “no”, then bitcoin is running on fumes.

    29
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    Gavekal Research

    Strategy Monthly: Darkness Before Dawn? The Covid Vaccine Outlook

    As a new wave of Covid infections grips major economies, and social restrictions return, the hopes for a return to pre-pandemic normal rest on the rollout of vaccines. With vaccine production ramping up, most developed economies could reach herd immunity by late in 2021. But many emerging economies will take longer, and several risk factors could still derail the rollout.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Portfolio Construction Over The Next Two Years

    On Thursday, Anatole set out his view that undivided Democratic Party control of both the executive and legislative branches of the US government opens the door for unconstrained Keynesian stimulus, which will be highly positive for the US economy and equities. It will probably come as little surprise to Gavekal clients that I should dispute whether such unconstrained Keynesianism will be good news either for the economy or for US equities

    4
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    Gavekal Research

    Investors Should Welcome An Undivided US Government

    With undivided Democratic Party control of the White House and both chambers of the US Congress now confirmed, the Biden administration will have free rein to pursue stimulus spending. Yet the balance of power in the Senate means tax hikes are off the table for at least two years. Anatole argues this is highly bullish for US equities.

    1
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    Gavekal Research

    After The Storming Of The Capitol

    The sight of a ragtag army of diehard Donald Trump supporters storming Capitol Hill unopposed and seizing the floor of the US Senate shocked observers to their core on Wednesday. Yet despite widespread fears that chaos and political violence are set to become the norm, there were important indications late Wednesday that US democracy and rule of law will prevail and endure.

    12
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Not As Hawkish As Feared

    The People's Bank of China is one of the world’s most hawkish central banks—but just how hawkish will it be in 2021? Bond market investors worry that the PBOC, eager to normalize policy, will be pushed into hiking rates by higher inflation. In this piece, Wei argues those worries are misplaced, and that bond yields have more room to fall.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    Europe’s New Lockdowns

    On Tuesday, Germany followed the United Kingdom by imposing fresh restrictions on activity and movement that in effect amount to a new lockdown comparable—and in some areas even stricter—than the anti-coronavirus shutdown imposed over the second quarter of last year. With infection rates across Europe stubbornly high despite the controls already in place, and with fears mounting about the spread of new viral strains, the risk is high that other...

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Senate Upheaval

    With some trepidation, Yanmei and Will offer their view on the economic consequences of Georgia, assuming that the Democrats have indeed secured a wafer-thin majority in the Senate. While the fiscal restraints will now surely be released and tax hikes are more likely, the real winners of this election will be centrists in the Democratic Party, who in effect wield veto power over its more liberal instincts.

    3
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    The Renminbi Races Out Of The Starting Gate

    The renminbi gained 1% against the US dollar in the first two trading days of 2021, leading China’s central bank to signal a pushback against appreciation by tweaking foreign-lending limits. In this Quick Take, Wei explains that such moves are likely to slow than stop the currency’s gains, as fundamentals still favor the renminbi.

    0
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    Gavekal Research

    The Asch Experiment We Inhabit

    In the 1950s, US social psychologist Solomon Asch conducted a seminal experiment which showed that people were susceptible to conform with the group consensus, even when their eyes told them the answer was wrong. Looking at the Western response to Covid-19, policymakers have badly failed the Asch experiment. The conclusion must be that political risk in the Western world is now as great as it has been for a generation.

    17
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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    Decoding The Assault On Alibaba

    The antitrust investigation into Alibaba, following close on the heels of the cancellation of the Ant IPO, has raised big questions about the changing political environment for Chinese internet companies. In this piece, Andrew considers the best- and worst-case scenarios, and concludes that at a minimum, growth prospects have dimmed.

    8
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