Finance

IMF’s China debt warnings are eerily familiar

Christine Lagarde 6f Reuters Jacky Naegelen LLLL

The IMF has seen this horror film before in neighboring Japan and the odds of a happier ending for China are negligible. William Pesek Asia Times The International Monetary Fund shouldn’t expect much warmth from Beijing these days. Its latest annual health check on Asia’s biggest economy is blunt, sweeping and sure to ruin Xi Jinping’s month as the Chinese president tries to maintain a veneer of omnipotence and stability. The IMF’s worry, of course, is debt. It’s seen this ... Read More »

Sterling Tumbles as UK Inflation Stagnates

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The Pound dropped to a one month-low against the US Dollar and dipped below the €1.10 mark, when the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published data regarding UK inflation, the UK retail price index and the producer prices index. Miltiadis Skemperis Currency Solutions According to the ONS report, inflation in July remained stable at 2.6%, missing the market’s expectations for a rise at 2.7%. The retail price index edged up higher than expected at 3.6%, raising prospects for steep rail ... Read More »

Tough talk has lifted cost of insuring South Korean debt

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Five big themes likely to dominate thinking of investors and traders in the coming week Reuters Asia Times 1. Jaw-jaw, sell-sell An unnerving war of words between Washington and Pyongyang has pushed the cost of insuring South Korean debt against default to its highest in 1-1/2 years and the expected volatility of the Korean won is creeping higher. Gauges of market risk have been rising but are far off their peaks as the expectation still is that diplomacy would prevail ... Read More »

Hammond Backtracks on Brexit Deal

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Chancellor Philip Hammond has “bent the knee” to Brexit hardliners as he signed a joint article with Liam Fox for the Sunday Telegraph, which said that the UK will definitely leave both the customs union and the single market when it exits the European Union (EU) in… Miltiadis Skemperis Currency Solutions Hammond had called for a transitional deal which could last up to three years, keeping the current trading arrangements with the EU and the rules on movement for workers. ... Read More »

Japan’s Abenomics failure is 30 years in the making

Abe 1a Reuters Thomas Peter

This is the second in a two-part series on how world economies are relying on 30-year-old tools that won’t work today WILLIAM PESEK Asia Times Japan’s Shinzo Abe has a bad case of Yasuhiro Nakasone on the brain. It’s not that the current prime minister constantly evokes the name of the one who served from 1982 to 1987. But in word, deed and worldview, Abe has read from the playbook of a fabled leader his dad, Shintaro Abe, served as ... Read More »

Vietnam bank profits poised to pop

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Double-digit profit growth rate points to a bubbly credit boom that threatens to inflate underlying problems in the unreformed finance sector. Alan Boyd Asia Times Vietnam’s crowded banking sector is popping the champagne after reporting double-digit profits in the first half of the year, but a bubbly credit boom seems poised to pop later in the year. Pre-tax earnings of the nine listed banks grew by an average 30%, with Vietcombank reaping $232.5 million, VietinBank $212.4 million, BIDV $164.1 million and Military Bank $111.7 ... Read More »

Why China’s Commercial Sector Is America’s Real Strategic Foe

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Washington must take action to defend its national interests against malign Chinese commercial actors. Rep. Ted Yoho The National Interest Despite the furor they’ve caused, the revelations this month that North Korea has functioning ICBMs and miniaturized nuclear warheads shouldn’t come as a surprise. The foreign-policy community has watched for years as Kim Jong-un has steadily developed more advanced weapons capabilities. While most of the world has come together to constrain Kim’s nuclear ambitions, the sophistication of his weapons programs has ... Read More »

Could Brexit Lead to Another Financial Crisis?

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It was 10 years ago when the financial crisis hit the UK, and today, former chancellor of the exchequer, Lord Alistair Darling cautioned that there could be another. Sunny Rogers Currency Solutions Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, the former chancellor reminisced on the events that unfolded as the crash began to engulf the country, outlining “the most scary moment” of the crisis. “I had to go to one of these meetings of European finance ministers, and I was asked to ... Read More »

Watch The Exhilarating Full Trailer For A Hand-Painted Film About Van Gogh

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Get a glimpse of the gorgeous upcoming biopic exploring Vincent van Gogh’s mysterious death. Priscilla Frank HuffPost What went on in the blazing imagination of iconic post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh? A biopic seven years in the making attempts to offer a glimpse into the revolutionary artist’s beautiful mind using the medium he preferred: paint. Painter Dorota Kobiela and filmmaker Hugh Welchman are the guiding forces behind “Loving Vincent,” which is reportedly the first entirely hand-painted feature film ever made. ... Read More »

Everybody Is Talking About Blockchain, And Here Is Why You Should Care

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New technologies with all kinds of interesting names are popping up every day, but few of them are as hyped as the word “blockchain.” Sami Rusani HuffPost This technology has the capability to reinvent the Internet and technology as we know it. From startups disrupting trillion dollar industries, to massive crowd funding campaigns raising over 100 million dollars in a few hours, to solving social inequality – blockchain is on fire! To understand why it’s becoming such an important part ... Read More »

Unemployment in Europe has fallen to its lowest level since 2009

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Unemployment in the Eurozone has now fallen to its lowest level since early 2009, as the single-currency area continues along a road of economic recovery one year after the Brexit vote rattled confidence in the bloc’s future. Robin Bowman World Economic Forum In June this year, euro-area unemployment dropped to 9.1%, down from 9.2% the previous month, and from 10.1% in the same month in 2016. This pattern reflects a trend seen across the EU as a whole, where the ... Read More »

GOP clash looms over raising the debt ceiling

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Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are planning to push for a hike without accompanying spending cuts — a position at odds with GOP orthodoxy. SEUNG MIN KIM and RACHAEL BADE Politico Republican congressional leaders are quietly preparing to pass a “clean” debt ceiling increase, according to multiple senior GOP sources — setting the stage for a high-risk showdown with rank-and-file Republicans this… Trump administration officials, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are imploring Congress to raise the $19.8 trillion debt limit with ... Read More »

Sing dollar too strong: DBS currency strategist

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THE Singapore dollar (SGD) is too strong as the greenback continues to struggle and is becoming oversold, said Philip Wee, DBS Bank senior currency strategist. Year to date, the SGD has gained over 6 per cent against the US dollar (USD), and with the Thai baht are the two strongest South-east Asian currencies. SIOW LI SEN The Business Times The SGD stood at 1.3597 on Wednesday, slightly off its year high of 1.3553 on July 31. USD/SGD came under heavy ... Read More »

Brexit: Race to host EU agencies relocated from London

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EU countries have until midnight to submit bids to provide a new home for two agencies that will be relocated from the UK after Brexit. BBC The European Banking Authority (EBA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA), based in Canary Wharf in London, employ just over 1,000 staff between them. The banking and medicines agencies are seen as the first spoils of Brexit by the 27 remaining members of the EU. About 20 countries are expected to enter the bidding process. ... Read More »

Australians waste $70m a year on unused gift cards

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When I was a teenager, I loved getting gift vouchers and using them in the sales. I usually spent them in either the winter sales soon after my birthday or the summer sales after Christmas. Caitlin Fitzsimmons Brisbane Times I didn’t have much money so each voucher was carefully stored in my wallet and avidly spent. There was no way I’d let a single dollar go to waste. I would’ve been astonished to hear that Australians in 2017 waste $70 ... Read More »

Analysis: Time to ditch your interest only loan as big banks continue rate hikes

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With banks increasing rates for interest-only (IO) loans, it’s definitely a good idea to consider switching to principal and interest (P&I) loans. Vanessa De Groot Domain When you took out your IO loan it probably made financial sense because of affordability. It likely enabled you to manage the mortgage repayments and your other living costs, and perhaps you could even afford to borrow more to buy a more expensive property. That’s because the regular repayments for IO loans are significantly ... Read More »