Hu is Xi?

By | 2018-03-12T08:13:47+00:00 March 12th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Who is Xi Jinping? VOA News. Source: Wikimedia Xi Jinping is the General Secretary of Communist Party in China. He presides over the largest country in the world by population and the second largest economy in the world. He grew up during the tumultuous Mao Zedong years. His father was a high-ranking Party official in the ‘50s, but was purged from Party and sent to work in a factory in the interior of China when Xi was 10. His home was ransacked by students, [...]

Online Medical Leadership

By | 2018-02-09T07:45:57+00:00 February 9th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Can we learn something from Chinese innovation? Shenzhen Skyline. Photo: Wishva Da Silva. Source: Wikimedia Tencent is a Chinese internet company based in Shenzhen, which owns WeChat, QQ, and most of China’s online music services. With a market cap of $500 billion, it’s the fifth most valuable company in the world, behind Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. They own most of an online healthcare services firm called We Doctor that will soon go public in Hong Kong. We Doctor provides a host of medical [...]

On the Horizon

By | 2017-12-29T07:46:32+00:00 December 29th, 2017|Global Market Update|

What does 2018 look like? Photo: Dave Meier. Source: Picography On its face, next year looks a lot like this year, just starting from a higher level. The economy – already growing well – should accelerate. A coordinated global expansion is currently underway. This will lead unemployment to fall and wages to rise. That will push inflation marginally higher, but not too high. The Fed will respond with a couple of rate hikes, but new Fed Chair Jerome Powell will have his hands full. [...]

Making Records

By | 2017-12-28T08:31:59+00:00 December 28th, 2017|Global Market Update|

What kind of year was 2017? Vinyl record-cutting machine. Photo: JacoTen. Source: Wikipedia Looking back, it was a year of records. The stock market is closing at or near its all-time high; the Dow hit a record level 69 times this year (so far). And for the first time in a long time, the US wasn’t the strongest large market in the world. While the S&P 500 is up 22%, the Chinese stock market is up 24% in local terms and 31% in dollar [...]

China Futures

By | 2017-12-14T07:27:09+00:00 December 14th, 2017|Global Market Update|

What’s happening in China? Pudong Skyline. Photo: Pjt56. Source: Wikipedia China is the second largest single economy in the world and over half the size of the US economy. It’s home to some of the largest – and fastest growing – tech companies: Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu, and others. And of course, over 1.4 billion people live there, the most populous nation on the planet. They import and export over $3.7 trillion of products every year. China’s growth over the past 30 years has been [...]

Collective Losses

By | 2017-09-29T07:16:35+00:00 September 29th, 2017|Global Market Update|

Are people just selfish? Soviet propaganda poster from the 1930s. Source: Eurasianet That’s the question I asked when looking back at the some of the big collectivization movements in the 20th century. After the Communist Revolution in Russia, the central government set food prices too low. Peasants in the countryside chose to consume their produce rather than sell it, and there were food shortages in the cities. The government’s response was to collectivize the farms – giving farmers a small share of a larger, [...]

Trade Uber Alles

By | 2017-09-08T07:36:36+00:00 September 8th, 2017|Global Market Update|

How did Germany get so lucky? Source: Global Sourcing Blog China entered the World Trade Organization in 2001. This has an immense, positive impact on their exports. With trade came growth, and China’s growth meant low-skilled jobs were at risk. In the US, workers who lost their jobs had a hard time finding new employment, and often dropped out of the workforce. Our labor participation rate peaked in the year 2000, and has fallen steadily since, despite our growing economy. But this didn’t happen [...]

Rebooting Expectations

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:31+00:00 January 12th, 2017|Global Market Update|

What’s happening in the global economy? JP Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI. Source: Bloomberg It’s no secret that the US stock market is approaching record levels. Business news reports seem to be obsessed with the Dow’s flirtation with the 20,000 mark – which first neared about a month ago. But far more important than Disney or IBM’s price – stock prices, after all, determine the level of the Dow Jones Industrial Average – is the status of the global economy. And the world economy has [...]

The Great Wall of Debt

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:37+00:00 November 8th, 2016|Global Market Update|

What effect does China’s debt have on its economy? Photo: Severin Stadler. Source: Wikipedia The Great Wall of China was built over the course of several centuries to protect the Chinese Empire from invasion by mostly northern nomadic tribes. It stretches about 1,500 miles, although with all the extensions and branches, there are over 20,000 miles of fortifications. In the short run, the Great Wall served to discourage raiders and helped rulers manage trade. In the long run, however, it became economically unsustainable—absorbing labor [...]

Great Expectations

By | 2017-07-17T12:21:39+00:00 October 21st, 2016|Global Market Update|

Is the market suffering from a case of mistaken identity? Public Domain. Scene from “Great Expectations.” Source: Wikipedia In Charles Dickens’ novel “Great Expectations,” his main character Pip is a poor orphan who suddenly starts to receive money from an unknown source. He thinks his mysterious benefactor is the cold and eccentric Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham is wealthy but mysterious, and she had taken Pip on as a companion for herself and her adopted daughter, Estella. In reality, though, Pip’s money was coming from [...]