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China Targets Trade Finance

By John Richardson AT the high inflation point of any financial bubble, you tend to get outlandishly dangerous and dodgy practices designed to make even more money because most people think that “this time will be different” – i.e. that the drunken party will go on forever.  The US sub-prime disaster is, of course, a […]

China: More Credit For Less Growth

By John Richardson REMEMBER this time last year when a surge in credit availability occurred in China,  thanks to the shadow-banking system? This helped support a pick-up in economic activity in the second half of the year, including stronger chemicals and polymers markets. What a difference a year might have made. The People’s Bank of […]

The US Patient Needs An Operation

By John Richardson THE Fed’s quantitative easing (QE) programme hasn’t worked because, to use an analogy, it has been equivalent to pumping drugs into a patient that needs major surgery in order to fully recover. A steady flow of drugs creates the illusion that the patient is fine, but once the drug supply is reduced […]

China’s Post-New Year Credit Squeeze

In the first of a series of special posts on how China’s lending environment is set to change, we focus on the murky world of shadow banking. We will return to shadow banking, and to other “grey” areas of financing, in later posts in order to assess what role they have played in chemicals and […]

China And The Fed: Still Back To Front

By John Richardson THEY are still getting it the wrong way round.  Both the Financial Times and The Economist, have said over the last few days that weaker prospects for emerging markets are mainly the result of Fed tapering. We continue to think that this might be partly because of the great “unknown, unknown” that […]

China: Sweat The Lending Data

  By John Richardson AS business slowly gets back to normal following the Lunar New Year, everyone will be scrabbling around for indications about whether the January downturn in China was just a short-term blip, or something more significant. Confidence that things are back to normal might be taken from this Forbes article, which quotes […]

India: Less “Payback” For Pollution

By John Richardson IF you are convinced of the accuracy of Indian government air-quality readings, then air pollution in Delhi is nowhere near as bad as that in Beijing – despite a New York Times report to the contrary. Government measurements, published in response to the NYT article, show that the concentration of harmful particulates […]

Thailand Solution Seems Out Of Grasp

By John Richardson THAILAND looks as if it is likely to be in political turmoil for at least several more months following an inconclusive General Election last Sunday. The election failed to resolve the crisis because of low voter turnout and some seats being uncontested. Other obstacles to a quick political fix include legal challenges […]

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