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E.g., 22-05-2019
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    Gavekal Research

    Are We Entering Into Revolutionary Times?

    In A Study of History, Toynbee explains that the role of a society’s elite is to rise to the challenges of the times, and find solutions fitting to those times, even if this involves a radical break with the past. Meanwhile, the modus operandi for most leaders is to try and maintain the status quo, and restore the “old order” that prevailed before the disruption. But if the problems are large enough, this does not work, and the same challenges...

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    Gavekal Research

    Microsoft, Skype and Change

    While Microsoft’s purchase of Skype (a messaging and voice/video chat program) is not fresh news, it is still curious news as many question the logic behind an US$8.4bn (its largest acquisition to date) purchase of a “freemium” company that derives the majority of its modest US$264mn profit from less than 5% of its customers (560mn total registered users). But while Microsoft may not have plans to directly benefit from Skype’s face value profit...

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    Gavekal Research

    Daily - Euro Crisis Spreads: Is France Next?

    In a reflection of the times, last week a client wrote in and asked what assets would be best to short to hedge the risk of a Euro implosion. Our answers varied. Charles said sell German equities, as eventually the burden will fall to the strongest state. Louis recommended Italy as the most likely “whale”. Francois reluctantly offered some short ideas, including on Spanish and Italian markets since the weight of financials and quasi-governmental...

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    Gavekal Dragonomics

    DragonWeek - H2 2011 Data

    DragonWeek: An opinionated weekly guide to China's economic news

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    Gavekal Research

    Daily - The Unfolding Liquidity Squeeze

    Over the years, we have come to believe that there may be few indicators as important as the change in central bank reserves held at the Federal Reserve. Indeed, each time that this rate of change moves into negative territory, we have witnessed either a) a contraction in global trade (and consequent global recession) and/or b) a liquidity squeeze which pushes the more levered companies/countries into bankruptcy. Now as we have been highlighting...

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    Gavekal Research

    Monetary Policy: Steady as She Goes -

    Despite last week’s strong growth numbers, many investors still believe China is near the end of its tightening cycle. In turn, they say the Chinese markets are set to rally: after all, liquidity has been the main driver of A-shares in the last decade. But the end of tightening does not necessarily mean the start of loosening. In fact, we believe that tightening will now pause to allow policymakers to evaluate risks in both the domestic the...

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    Gavekal Research

    Much Less Visibility on China's Inflation

    China’s CPI continued to rise, to +6.4% in June, but since this high figure is widely expected to be near the peak for this year, many remain optimistic that tighter monetary policy will be over soon. We have long been expecting the CPI to come down in the second half of 2011, but the uncertainties around this scenario have been increasing rather than decreasing as the year goes on.

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    Gavekal Research

    South Korea's SOE Debt Problem

    After recording three years of budget deficits during Asian crisis in the late 1990s, South Korea has kept its fiscal budget in balance for more than a decade, and now is often highlighted by international organizations like the OECD and the IMF as one of the few governments with sound and stable fiscal policy. While the average G20 country’s debt-to-GDP rose sharply from 78% in 2007 to 97% in 2009, and is expected to rise to 115% in 2015, Korea...

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    Gavekal Research

    Japan's Government Further Hampers Recovery

    Japanese corporations have generally been slow to embrace the offshoring benefits of globalization, and instead they have preferred to maintain production close to home. However, in the past few years, these preferences have been worn down by a stubbornly high Yen (at least relative to the Korean Won), which has persuaded companies to increasingly move segments of their supply chain outside of Japan (see A Catalyst for a Structural Shift in...

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    Gavekal Research

    Daily - Italy's Tough Choice

    Looking at the choices facing the latest EMU crisis country, Italy, provides a cross experiment for what Greece might do in two years’ time. Unlike Italy, Greece has a primary deficit—in other words, it depends on external financing to meet its budgetary needs. This has led some investors to express a certain cynicism vis-à-vis Greece’s motives: Sure, Greek lawmakers may be promising reforms now, but two years down the line, when the country...

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    Gavekal Research

    A Review of Ben Bernanke's Latest Speech

    We received a number of questions on Ben Bernanke’s speech yesterday. Below is Will’s take on it:

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    Gavekal Research

    Daily - No Choice But Reform for the OECD Welfare State

    These days, it is easy to feel despondent about the fate of the developed world, what with the bills rising for the bailout of the weaker EMU countries, Japan struggling under Herculean debt loads as it rebuilds from natural disaster, and now Moody’s putting the US on watch for a credit downgrade as Congress and the administration haggle over a debt-ceiling deal. And unlike even just three years ago, rich-nation governments now have much less...

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    Gavekal Research

    Urbanization Special - Two Views of a Housing Boom

    Urbanization and housing markets in China

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    Gavekal Research

    The Euro's Design Flaw

    Since we are on the topic of Italy, let us look at the country’s structural growth rate (the seven-year average annual nominal GDP growth) against trends in its trade balance. First, here is a chart of the Italian coverage ratio (i.e., the ratio of exports to imports):

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    Gavekal Research

    Daily - A Summer of Ultimatums

    In the past 24 hours, we have seen the Greek deputy finance minister announce that Athens would fall far short of planned asset sales (this can only come as a surprise to investors born yesterday) and the Greek prime minister publish an open letter to Eurogroup Chairman Juncker warning that Greece has done all that it could. Mr Panandreaou went on to say that the onus is now on European policymakers to meet in a closed forum, with no damaging...

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    Gavekal Research

    Italy's Twin Deficits

    It was just a matter of time before the lack of economic growth in Italy produced a credit warning and it was thus not surprising to see Moody’s putting its Aa2 rating for Italy under negative credit watch last month. After all, Italy’s GDP grew by only +1% over the last four quarters, versus +2.75% in the rest of the Euroarea, and has effectively flatlined since end-2003 compared to a +10% GDP expansion for its EMU peers. Moody’s has logically...

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    Gavekal Research

    China's Agricultural Efficiency

    Thus far, China has largely succeeded in remaining self sufficient in grain despite significant land, water, know-how and technology constraints. It has done this by constantly improving yields (production per unit area) through irrigation and other technical improvements, while moving out of soybean production to focus on corn, wheat and rice. China now has by far the highest wheat yields in the world at 4.75mn tons per hectare, compared to 2....

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    Gavekal Research

    Murdoch Stumbles

    When the aging leader of a wolf pack suddenly stumbles, the other wolves sense his weakness. When they do, they turn on him and tear him to pieces. Rupert Murdoch, universally regarded as the world’s most powerful media magnate, stumbled last week with his audacious decision to close down the News of the World following the tabloid’s phone-hacking and bribery scandals. Instead of limiting the damage at News Corporation’s British papers, the...

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    Gavekal Research

    The Clouds Descend on Operating Systems -

    With the winds of change upon them, it is not a coincidence that some of the world’s leading tech companies have announced new cloud-leaning operating systems (OS) within the last month: including Google, Microsoft and Apple, with HP expected to roll out an OS offering quite soon, and thereafter possibly China’s Baidu. These moves represent the most serious steps taken yet in an unmistakable pivot away from the decentralized boxed software model...

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    Gavekal Research

    'Lazy Brits' and Undervalued Gilts

    Nearly a year ago, after Britain’s new Conservative government spelt out in full its highly restrictive fiscal policy, we noted that consolidation would be good for the economy in the long-term, but would also put Britain at greater risk of a double-dip recession than any other G7 country. Thus we argued that monetary policy would stay easier for longer in Britain than in the US or Europe, and concluded that British Gilts were probably the world...

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