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    Asia

  • Health Intel Asia

    What Three Different Approaches To Senior Care in China Tell Us About The Market Opportunity Today And Tomorrow – Part 2 (Forbes)

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  • East Asia Forum

    Where there’s a will there’s a way to reform

    Author: Zhao Changwen, DRC The further reform of China’s state-owned enterprises has attracted a lot of attention and triggered debate since it was discussed last year at the third plenary session of the Chinese Communist Party’s 18th Central Committee (the Third Plenum). Three areas need to be addressed if reforms are to be meaningful and comprehensive: reforming the property rights system of SOEs by developing a ‘mixed ownership economy’; shifting from managing state assets to managing state capital; and promoting a modern corporate system. At this stage the key to reforming the property rights system of SOEs under the ‘mixed ownership’ model lies in continuing the transformation from an old traditional enterprise system to the modern enterprise system. T...more

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  • East Asia Forum

    What will Abe deliver now?

    Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum After a decisive election victory on 14 December, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would seem to be in an extremely sweet spot to deliver on both his main domestic and international policy agendas. While the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) did not increase its majority in the Diet, the governing LDP-Komeito coalition maintained its two-thirds majority needed to get major measures through both houses of parliament. The election which nobody wanted to have achieved just what Abe wanted it to: ending up pretty well with what he virtually had status quo ante — a gain of just one seat for the coalition (326 as opposed to 325 in 2012), a marginal loss for the LDP (291 seats in 2014 compared to 294 in 2012) and a small gain for the K...more

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    Republic Day Thoughts on Reading the Constitution

    January 26th, 2015 is the 66th “Republic Day” of India: the Constitution of India came into force on this day in 1950 as the supreme law of the land, replacing the Government of India Act of 1935. I doubt that very many Indians actually know what the Republic Day has to do with the constitution. If you doubt that, ask a few Indians what’s celebrated. To most, it is just a holiday with parades, patriotic songs and the same old politicians pontificating on television. Constitution? Well, we don’t worry about that. But we need to because the constitution matters. In a very strict sense, it is the most important institution that determines the fortunes of the state. It does so by constraining what laws politicians can enact, and therefore constrains...more

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  • East Asia Forum

    What now for Abe third time round

    Author: Nobumasa Akiyama, Hitotsubashi University Shinzo Abe’s second term as prime minister of Japan, unlike his first, was a modest success through till 2014. But he will have to bring real and tangible outcomes for Japan and the Japanese economy if it is to succeed the third time round. After Abe’s snap election on 14 December 2014, the rising star of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Shinjiro Koizumi, accurately characterised the election as ‘the election with no enthusiasm, an overwhelming victory with no fanaticism’. Voter turnout was a record low at 52.8 per cent. Voters had no real choice in electing a new government, or in selecting alternative economic policy. The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) failed to present itself as a responsible,...more

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    A Day of Shame and National Mourning for India

    India will teach us the tolerance and gentleness of mature mind, understanding spirit and a unifying, pacifying love for all human beings. – Will Durant. 1885-1981. American writer, historian, philosopher. The first bit of news I got today through twitter was that Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister of the Islamic State of Pakistan had declared a day of national mourning and ordered the Pakistani flag to be flown at half mast because the king of Saudi Arabia died. Typical, I said to myself. A beggar state like Pakistan has to acknowledge the debt it owes to its benefactor state. Pakistan gets life-support from the Saudis. And support for its death-dealing terrorism that it routinely directs at India. It has to kowtow, beg, grovel, bow and scrape before its masters. ...more

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  • Atanu Dey On India's Development

    The most dangerous man to any government

    The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost invariably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And if he is not romantic personally, he is apt to spread discontent among those who are. ― HL Mencken And usually these troublemakers are the ones who need to be muzzled through suppression of speech and expression. ...more

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  • The Peking Duck

    Peter Hessler’s China Daily “article”: how low can they go?

    Now this is chutzpah: China Daily asked author Peter Hessler to participate in a Q & A with his friend and translator Li Xueshun comparing aspects of Egypt and China (both countries where Hessler has worked as a New Yorker correspondent). China Daily then had the nerve to take Hessler’s replies and shape them into what looks to the reader like a bylined article by Hessler. Li’s replies were totally removed. From Hessler’s Facebook page: [I]t omitted crucial parts, including the most important point: that I believe it’s harder to make a political change in China, where the system is deeper rooted than in Egypt, and thus the flaws are also more deeply rooted. I said that this is the reason why the current anti-corruption campaign will be a failure...more

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  • Michael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETS

    Inverted balance sheets and doubling the financial bet

    On Tuesday the National Bureau of Statistics released China’s 2014 GDP growth numbers and reported growth consistent with what the government has been widely promoting as the “new normal”. According to the preliminary estimation, the gross domestic product (GDP) of China was 63,646.3 billion yuan in 2014, an increase of 7.4 percent at comparable prices. Specifically, the year-on-year growth of the first quarter was 7.4 percent, the second quarter 7.5 percent, the third quarter 7.3 percent, and the fourth quarter 7.3 percent. As nearly every news article has pointed out, GDP growth of 7.4% slightly exceeded consensus expectations of around 7.3%, setting off a flutter in the Shanghai Stock Exchange that reversed nearly a quarter of Monday’s disastrous drop of almo...more

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  • China Matters

    North Korea Financial Sanctions: Same Sh*t Different Decade

    [Updated Jan. 17 & Jan. 20, 2015--CH]A couple days ago I was interviewed by The Real News on the current round of sanctions against North Korea.  Link here. I talked about a few things that I’ve covered in China Matters and on my twitter feed, not all of which made it into the report: the whiff of bogosity in the North Korean attribution in the Sony case, and the apparent need for a rapid-response, evidence be damned attribution process in the case of cybercrimes.  I speculate that a more immediate explanation for the quick sanctions slapdown was that Kim Jung Un had compounded his diplomatic crime of trying to split and circumvent the Six Party Talks united front through unilateral outreach by dealing with the Monster of the Century (actually monster o...more

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  • China Matters

    In Honor of Martin Luther King's Birthday

    Martin, Thurgood…and J. Edgar? The Preacher, the Black Cardinal, and the Grand InquisitorI highly recommend Gilbert King’s Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America.  Reading it in the context of Ferguson, Garner, etc. this book really f*cked me up, as they say nowadays.  Based on my experience, I’d recommend just picking up the book and reading it, without googling “Groveland Boys” or looking at some reviews of the book.  All I can say is that, despite that determinedly sunny subtitle, it will take you into some very dark places.Actually, what I will say is that the book also offers some more fascinating insights into the relationship between J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI and the civil rights movement.&...more

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  • Health Intel Asia

    What Three Different Approaches To Senior Care in China Tell Us About The Market Opportunity Today And Tomorrow – Part 1 (Forbes)

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    Good sense on Docomo vs. the rule of law

    by Bhargavi Zaveri and Pratik Datta. The World Bank's Doing Business report downgraded India's ranking from 140 in 2014 to 142 in 2015. This has not disheartened the government, which continues its campaign aimed at attracting interest in India as an investment and business friendly destination. The campaign has started rubbing off to other arms of government. Even RBI. Recently, the Reserve Bank, in a show of investor friendliness, has reportedly shown an inclination to exempt the Japanese investor, Docomo, from the onerous pricing guidelines applicable to foreign investors exiting India. While this may bring much cheer amongst investors, such ad-hoc reactions are dangerous for three reasons: This exemption, if granted, would have legal consequences for Ind...more

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  • North Korean Economy Watch

    DPRK also acknowledges Shin was in Camp 18 (unintentionally)

    On October 26, 2014, Uriminzokkiri uploaded two videos to YouTube to discredit human rights activist Shin Dong-hyuk. Video one is here. Video two is here. Below are some notes I took from the videos (back in October). I shared them with a couple of friends, but never published them. Point number 4 seems most relevant to the news this weekend, that Shin spent time in Camp 18. 1. Shin’s father, Shin Kyong-sop (신경섭?) claims he was born in Ryongbuk-ri, Mundok County: 룡북리, 39.498574°, 125.455410°. However, this ri was made part of Chongnam District. Chongnam District was initially carved out of Mundok County in 1980. In 1998 it was abolished and reincorporated into Mundok County. However, in 1999 Chongnam District was re-established with Ryongbuk-ri an...more

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  • China Matters

    Everybody Wants Their Own Stasi

    When it comes to intelligence, everybody, be they democracies, dictatorships, or in between, wants it all.  That includes the intelligence agencies--who treasure data as the wellspring of their effectiveness, influence, and leverage--and the presidents and prime ministers at the top of the heap—who are supposedly looking out for Joe Sixpack and his rights.  No leader relishes the potential political cost of having presided over the “Next Pearl Harbor”.   So Western intelligence services have gotten themselves on a hopeless treadmill, where their mission is defined as the forensically and legally dubious task of preventing attacks (as opposed to the constitutionally unambiguous and straightforward job of investigating actual crimes i.e. th...more

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  • The Peking Duck

    Is it a police state?

    The best post I ever wrote (and I realize that’s not saying very much) is this one. Its simple point is that underneath a veneer of happiness, prosperity and optimism there can lurk a much darker and more dangerous side. People can be content and appreciate their government while being oblivious — willfully or not — to what it is going on beneath the surface. There have been a rash of articles in recent months of a severe crackdown in China on civil rights lawyers, professors, journalists and activists. A story from yesterday drove this home: As the year came to a close, at least seven prominent Chinese human rights lawyers rang in the New Year from a jail cell. Under President Xi Jinping, 2014 was one of the worst years in recent memory for China’s ...more

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    Call for research proposals on the economics of Indian bankruptcy reform

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  • Ajay Shah's blog

    Work on building new government institutions at the Macro/Finance Group at NIPFP

    The Macro/Finance Group at NIPFP is recruiting. Background In March 2011, the Government of India setup the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission to review, rewrite and harmonise financial sector legislations, rules and regulations. In its recommendations, the FSLRC proposed that the draft Indian Financial Code, an umbrella legislation, replace the bulk of existing financial laws and improve the ease of doing business in India. One of the key provisions of the IFC is setting up of various regulatory agencies. In order to build these regulatory agencies, the Ministry of Finance, Government of India announced a group of Task Forces. These Task Forces are implementation teams which will design and build these institutions. Macro/Finance Group at NIPFP is the...more

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  • North Korean Economy Watch

    Kim Jong-un’s new runway

    Satellite imagery of the east coast of Korea dated 2014-7-4 has recently been uploaded to Google Earth. Among the more noticeable items is that Kim Jong-un had a new runway built at his family compound in Wonsan right next to his private train station.   In the top picture you can see a small helipad (where Dennis Rodman landed) which was torn down to make way for a runway,  approximately 560m in length. The new runway should be able to accommodate small aircraft and helicopters. Although Kim Jong-il favored trains, the North Korean media has shown Kim Jong-un traveling by car, boat (military and yacht), and plane (even sort of flying one). Last summer Kim’s guidance tour schedule seemed to suggest he was spending much of the time in Wonsan. With a runway li...more

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  • North Korean Economy Watch

    DPRK expands trade with China up to 2013

    According to Yonhap: More than 90 percent of North Korea’s exports were bound for China in 2013, a report showed Wednesday, indicating that Pyongyang’s trade dependence on its main ally has deepened significantly over the past decade. According to the report compiled by the Beijing office of the Korea International Trade Association, North Korea exported 90.6 percent of its products to China in 2013, much higher than the 50.9 percent tallied in 2003. North Korea’s exports to China were estimated at US$400 million in 2003, but they jumped by more than sixfold to $2.9 billion in 2013, the report said. Despite the increase, North Korean products accounted for only a small portion of China’s imports. The ratio of North Korean products in China’...more

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  • Health Intel Asia

    What Does 2015 Have In Store For China’s Healthcare Economy? (Forbes)

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  • Michael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETS

    Interview on Chinese CPI and PPI data for December

    The National Bureau of Statistics released today CPI and PPI data for December 2014. People’s Daily summarizes the CPI data, which came in pretty close to market expectations: China’s consumer prices grew 2 percent in 2014 from one year earlier, well below the government’s 3.5 percent target set for the year, official data showed on Friday. The increase was also below the 2.6-percent growth registered in 2013. Growth in the consumer price index (CPI), the main gauge of inflation, rebounded to 1.5 percent in December from November’s 1.4-percent rise, its slowest increase since November 2009. On a monthly basis, December’s CPI edged up 0.3 percent against the previous month, reversing a downward trend reported since September. The People’s Dail...more

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  • Michael Pettis' CHINA FINANCIAL MARKETS

    My reading of the FT on China’s “turning away from the dollar”

    The Financial Times ran a very interesting article last week called “China: Turning away from the dollar”. It got a lot of attention, at least among China analysts, and I was asked several times by friends and clients for my response. The authors, James Kynge and Josh Noble, begin their article by noting that we are going through significant changes in the institutional structure of global finance: An “age of Chinese capital”, as Deutsche Bank calls it, is dawning, raising the prospect of fundamental changes in the way the world of finance is wired. Not only is capital flowing more freely out of China, the channels and the destinations of that flow are shifting significantly in response to market forces and a master plan in Beijing, several analysts and a senior...more

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  • The Peking Duck

    Shaun Rein wants your help marketing The End of Copycat China

    The End of Copycat China is the name of Shaun Rein’s new book that will be available come October 20. I am flattered that Shaun has included me on the mailing list he uses to blast information to his friends and colleagues, and I wanted to draw attention to how he wants his fans to do the marketing for his new book for him. Over the last three months Shaun has sent out two lengthy email blasts and I find their content to be intriguing, and to confirm some of my own thoughts about Mr. Rein. Perhaps most revealing was this paragraph: If you or a friend are looking for a keynote speaker, consider me. If organizations buy 1000 copies of my book to give to attendees between October and December, I will waive my standard speaking rates at my speaker’s bureau (my...more

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  • All Roads Lead to China

    Foxconn Moving Direct to Consumer

    I remember having conversations years ago about what Foxconn would do going forward, and whether or not they would be happy as the manufacturer to brands.   The WSJ article, Amid Margin Squeeze, Foxconn Designs Its Own Fate, puts this question to rest. Recently, the $130-billion-a-year in revenue company has ventured into handset accessories under its own brand, and sales and distribution of mobile phones. It also plans to offer telecommunications services in Taiwan. For me, this has always been a bit of a no brainer.  Foxconn has an amazing amount of talent in the firm that is not just managing the supply chain and assembling gadgets for their customer, but have for years also been bringing designs to the brands that they feel would sell well in the market. Partner ...more

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  • All Roads Lead to China

    Bites of China. Finally a Show Worth Watching!

    A couple of weeks back, while riding the G train back from Nanjing, something caught my eye.  An advertisement by CCTV for what I believe could be one of the best produced shows China has put together.  At first, I had no idea what the advertisement for, but what was clear was that it was celebrating the various food flavors of China, and those who are tilling the fields and preparing the dishes. The show is called Bite of China, and I cannot recommend it enough. Sure, China is known for its fair share of food failures, including recycled oil, but watching this show has restored a bit of my love for the flavors here.  Flavors that were actually the basis for one of my earliest posts, and have provided a never ending hunt for me and my wife as we look to try new thin...more

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  • All Roads Lead to China

    What Do China’s Millennials Want ?

    For a number of years, I had it pretty good.  I had a number of teams that were under me, were stable, and were producing.  It was at a time when a lot of questions were being asked about the post 80s generation in China, but for whatever reason I was immune. But, those days are over, and just yesterday I had another millennial go AWOL on me.  So, it was perhaps interesting timing that CNBC put up the article Millennials may be more like boomers than we realize highlighting how several studies point to a generation that is looking for meaning in their job, in their company, and for balance: A new study from Deloitte also found differences in workplace attitudes between millennials and older generations, saying that the former “want to work for organizations tha...more

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  • China Rises: Notes from the Middle Kingdom

    Postcards from the National People's Congress

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  • Patrick Chovanec

    Twins!

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  • ChinaBizGov

    China's Green Car Sales in 2012

    Just a few years ago, pretty much everyone (except Chinese auto industry insiders whom I interviewed) thought China was about to take ownership of the global green car market. (Here's just one example from the excitable Tom Friedman of the New York Times.)In 2009 China's industrial planners announced plans to have 500,000 green cars ("New Energy Vehicles" or "新能源汽车" -- a combination of electrics and hybrids) on Chinese roads by the end of 2011. That obviously didn't happen, so last year, that same target of 500,000 was pushed out to 2015.So how did green car sales fare in 2012? Overall, hybrids plus electrics grew a respectable 52 percent.So while sales grew pretty well in percentage terms, it is clear that overall numbers are still inconsequential when you co...more

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  • Patrick Chovanec

    What Causes Revolutions?

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  • Patrick Chovanec

    Enter the New Year

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  • China Rises: Notes from the Middle Kingdom

    China, school violence and official reaction

    I wrote yesterday about growing questions in China about the differences between the U.S. reaction to the tragedy in Newtown and that of the tragedy in Henan Province, where, on the same say as the shooting in Connecticut, a man stabbed and slashed 23 students at a primary school. (All survived in Henan, where the weapon was a knife, not an AR-15.) As a commentary piece in the state-controlled Global Times noted: “The Chinese public has focused on the slow official response and the level of social reflection. Many are furious that while the Americans have started mourning nationwide, the Chinese appear insensitive to the Henan case.” Another story today, carried by China Daily, caught my attention. It describes an example of how profoundly off-key propaganda can ...more

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  • China Rises: Notes from the Middle Kingdom

    Postcard from a snowy Beijing

    The smell of roasting sweet potatoes in a city covered with snow put me in the mood to take a detour on my walk to work today  ...

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  • ChinaBizGov

    Comparing Corruption in China and the US

    Today's WSJ China Realtime reports on a study by a George Mason University economist who attempts to compare corruption in the US and China.  His conclusion is that corruption in America's Gilded Age (1877-1893)* was worse than corruption in China today.Perhaps the conclusion is correct, but the methodology used by this professor is flawed.  US corruption is measured by mentions of corruption in US newspapers 1870-1930.  China corruption is measured by mentions of corruption in US (not Chinese!) newspapers 1990-2011.So he is measuring corruption in two countries by the number of times the newspapers of only one of the countries mentions the word.  Even if the researcher had used Chinese newspapers, the study still would have been flawed due to Commun...more

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  • ChinaBizGov

    GM and SAIC: Trouble in Paradise?

    General Motors (GM) and Shanghai Auto (SAIC) announced in December of 2009 that they were deepening their partnership beyond their joint venture in China.  Together they created a 50:50 joint venture, registered in Hong Kong, for expansion outside of China.  Now that partnership appears to be coming apart.Initially, the plan for the HK JV was for the two sides to work together in India and possibly elsewhere in the future.  (For further insight into this particular deal, please see Chapter 4 of Designated Drivers.) As for the India venture, GM would contribute two existing factories in India, along with its Chevrolet brand, and SAIC would contribute cash -- something that GM had been seriously lacking as it had emerged from bankruptcy earlier that same ye...more

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PHåvard Halland is a natural resource economist at the World Bank, where he leads research and policy agendas in the fields of resource-backed infrastructure finance, sovereign wealth fund policy, extractive industries revenue management, and public financial management for the extractive industries sector. Prior to joining the World Bank, he was a delegate and program manager for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Colombia. He earned a PhD in economics from the University of Cambridge.