No country has received more praise and criticism than China. For the last thirty years, China has become the second largest country in the world. With its surprisingly high growth, it has captured much attention. To some outside of China, it is rather difficult to understand the rapid development. This economic success, however, did not occur by chance.
President Dilma Rousseff won a runoff election held in late October with 51.6 percent, after failing to win an outright majority at a first-round of voting earlier in the month. The PT-led coalition retained its majorities in both congressional chambers at legislative elections held simultaneously with the first round of presidential voting. And the trimming of the number of parties in the governing alliance from 17 to just nine may facilitate the process of steering legislation through the Congress.
The launch of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect takes China a step closer to capital freedom. Before the new trading link, officially known as the Mutual Market Access (MMA) program, investment opportunities for foreign investors have been limited to a select group of fund managers. Now all foreign investors can directly buy shares listed in Shanghai via the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Likewise, capital is now freer to move southward into Hong Kong.
Every few months news report claim we’re on the verge of another dot com bust or too much money is being pumped into too many start-ups that are destined to fail. These reports often are greatly exaggerated and demonstrate a total lack of understanding of the current startup market.
Since August 2011, the value of the U.S. dollar has continued to rise. In the past, a strengthening dollar meant imported sweaters from Bangladesh would be cheaper. In turn, it was anticipated that American retailers would buy more of them, boosting the trade deficit. On the export side, a rising dollar was a curse for an American producer, who’s overseas prices would go up pushing sales down. But today, the impact isn’t so clear.
Animal spirits is a phrase coined by economist John Maynard Keynes in the 1930s in reference to risk taking, which is an essential part of any economic and financial system. Choosing which risks to take and which to avoid determines the fate of economies, companies and investors. In the 1930s, there was obviously a reluctance to take on a lot of risk, thus the lack of animal spirits. Similarities exist today.
Markets that are suitable for manufacturing alone will never compete effectively in today's global, knowledge-based economy. That's why Malaysia's leadership embarked in 2010 on its Economic Transformation Programme, which aims to elevate the country to high-income status by 2020. It will do this chiefly through implementing 12 National Key Economic Areas (11 critical industry sectors and the Greater Kuala Lumpur area) that contribute significantly to national income and by making Malaysia more competitive through Strategic Reform Initiatives with policies that support the country's commercial environment and global competitiveness.
President Obama recently hosted the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. He welcomed over 40 African heads of state and their outsized entourages to what was a festive affair. Indeed, even the Ebola virus in West Africa failed to dampen spirits in the nation’s capital. Perhaps it was the billions of dollars in African investment, announced by America’s great private companies, that was so uplifting.
Monthly U.S. headlines trumpeting the death of inflation hide a painful truth for American families: rapidly rising food prices. News reports rarely mention this pain because the economists’ preferred inflation metric, so-called “core CPI,” omits both food and energy due to concerns about their volatility.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) recently announced that it would start reporting a new data series as part of the U.S. national income accounts. In addition to gross domestic product (GDP), the BEA will start reporting gross output (GO). This announcement went virtually unnoticed and unreported — an unfortunate but not uncommon oversight on the part of the financial press. Yes, GO represents a significant breakthrough.
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