Posts in Asia
Let's stick to what we know

Investors have found it difficult to resist the temptation to become armchair generals in response to the recent flurry of geopolitical volatility. I have some sympathy for that. Political experts told us that Mr. Trump would mark the beginning of a new U.S. isolationism, and even speculated about the emergence of a new Monroe doctrine. The president's "America First" discourse, the statement that NATO is obsolete, and the rapprochement to Russia were all pivots watched ominously by other world leaders, especially in continental Europe.

This story, however, increasingly feels like ancient history.

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Manipulate This - What Really Drives Global Capital Flows

I am generally a tolerant guy, but when it comes to a debate on international capital flows I am a raving lunatic. I have no time for amateurs, and it is my clear impression that president Trump’s trade advisors, and those who agree with them, are just that. You need to understand where I am coming from, though. Specifically, you need to read my two essays about QE, population ageing and the global paradox of thrift. Here is a summary if you don’t want to read the whole thing; read it carefully.

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Is reality catching up with investors' favourite narratives?

I am still willing to give Mr. Trump the benefit of the doubt. We have no actual policymaking to judge yet, and at least some of the people he is surrounding himself with look capable. I admit, however, that the burden of evidence is getting heavy. The president-elect's tweets, on their own, are evidence that he has tendency to act long before thinking. Last week's presser also provided a timely reminder that we are dealing with a volatile character. I understand that infuriating "soft" liberals, such as yours truly, is exactly what Mr. Trump and his strategists want. I have no doubt that the incoming administration's communication "style" is carefully planned. The base loves it! But problems are brewing, chiefly among which is the growing chasm between Mr. Trump and the intelligence apparatus upon which he will so desperately depend for policymaking when he takes office. 

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Trade the "Maybes" at your peril

I am in New York this week to see clients and prospects, which is why I haven't yet had time to say much about Mr. Trump snatching the prize or the crazy market moves that have followed. I don't see much change . The espresso in Murray Hill, served by Chinese immigrations, is exquisite as ever and New Yorkers remain notoriously impatient, and bad, drivers. I do notice a big increase in TV-ads for Range Rover and Jaguar, though, so maybe there is a concrete sign of the alleged rapprochement between the U.S. and the U.K. in the aftermath of Brexit and Mr. Trump's victory. 

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