Featured Articles Archive

Brothers in Energy


China used to call Russia its ‘older brother’. However, never again since the fall of the USSR. In an effort to portray its status as a less powerful yet assuredly more senior neighbour, Russian officials have recently begun referring to their country as China’s ‘elder sister’. The new term has proven less popular in China.

Remember September (for Jobs Data)


Let's admit that the monthly non-farm payroll report is among the most difficult for economists to forecast.  There are not many reliable inputs as it is the first piece of real sector data for a new month. 

Nevertheless, it is an important piece of economic data, and which, as we saw earlier in the year, a significant downside miss could freeze the Fed.  

Move Over Oil, It's LNG


During this year’s G7 summit, Japan announced its vision of creating a LNG market to meet increasing energy demand. Natural resource markets are a foundation for trade and economic development. What is less well known is the close link between the natural resource markets and the currency markets.

Does Japan's Democracy Have Room for Women and Children?


A wave of political activism has animated East Asian politics: Taiwan’s Sunflower Student Movement in 2014, South Korean 2015 street protests against President Park’s new labour law, and protests in Japan in 2015 against Prime Minister Abe’s security bills. Youth activism was common to all these movements. Facing challenges in a stagnating economy, the younger generations have developed a deeper political awareness from a sense of marginalisation from political decision-making processes.

Are You Ready for Renminbi?


On October 1, the Chinese renminbi officially joins becomes the fifth international reserve currency. Until recently, Washington played geopolitics to defer the renminbi’s internationalization. However, what about Wall Street? 

Could the Outcome of the Algiers Talks Move Oil Prices?


Saudi Arabia and Iran may yet come to terms on some sort of production arrangement, but the outcome of the negotiations in Algeria this week may not do much to rescue oil prices. Following the media spectacle, the oil markets may have to shift their attention back to the supply and demand fundamentals, which are not reassuring.

It's an Italian Thing


Italian Prime Minister has set the date for the constitutional referendum as late as practically possibly.  It will be held on December 4.  The issue is the perfect bicameralism that gives as much power to the Senate as the Chamber of Deputies. 

Japanese Businesses Express Concern about the Chinese Relationship Direction


The Japanese business community is increasingly pessimistic about the Japan–China relationship. For the past three years the US-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Japan-based Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Nikkei) have surveyed Japanese business people about their attitudes to the bilateral relationship with China.

Results from the most recent 2016 survey, released in July, reflect a Japan that has grave fears about the political, security and economic dimensions of the relationship with its most important neighbour.

Singapore Maintains the Appearance of Democracy


When Lee Hsien Loong collapsed during the National Day Rally speech on 21 August 2016, it shocked not only many Singaporeans, but also leaders from around the world. Although he recovered quickly and was able to finish his speech after a short break, the incident drew attention to the issue of leadership succession in a country that has long experienced predictable politics with little change.

TPP Passage Less Likely


When President Barack Obama said, ‘The TPP means that America will write the rules of the road in the 21st century’, he was not speaking metaphorically. Large passages in the final text were lifted verbatim, sometimes en masse, from past US free trade agreements (FTAs).