《The Triumph of Vladimir Putin》
- Good year: protests seen off; Syria; NATO frustrating in Afghanistan;
- Ukraine matters much to Putin
《Sochi or Bust》
- Most expensive in history – corruption, inefficiencies；
- Tight security;
- As vulnerable as 1980s: oil & gas rent – use them to consolidate power; problem is excess of money and lack institutions; repression or democratization? Widespread dissatisfaction and discontent among elites.
《Too Big to Fail, But in a Good Way》
Koc and Sabanci: more than a quarter of Turkish market cap;
- Short positions in FX provide hedge;
- Untrammeled access to a market in EU;
- Despite of conglomerate discount, global indexes prefer to own holding company;
- Resist the vanity of owning news media and out of public facilities, governments have left them to get on with doing business – “long may that continue.”
《Deal or No Deal?》
- Polarization of two parties, obama’s promise to bypass legislature – things are getting better;
- Several deals are possible: minimum wage vs income tax credit; immigration; promoting free trade.
《The Odd Couple》
New Komeito and LDP – relations hit a low point:
- Conflict in Yasukuni shrine;
- Self defense constitution;
- Nuclear reactors;
- China policy;
Votes: bind this odd couple together – 8m members of Buddhist, Soka Gakkai.
《Physician, Heal Thyself》
- A system that inflates the cost of medicine;
- Public hospital is actually not public, doctor underpaid & higher than OECD spending on medicine;
- Kickbacks account for more than 20% of final retail price
- Promoting generic brands is difficult in China – Provincial bidding system, squeezes margins of drug companies, they would rather not make or supply the drugs
《Less Amazing than Amazon》
- Walmart New CEO, an inflection point: open more smaller stores, step up its counterattack on Amazon – But it is chasing a fast-moving target;
- Aims to – build up the market ecosystem that pulls together shops, warehouses, delivery, fleets, and technology.
《Fixing a Flat》
The departure of Lanxess CEO
- One quarter of revenues from types and auto parts;
- Oversupply when doing well causes fall in prices;
- It needs a disciplined manager to cut costs (New CEO from Merck);
- One solution: produce abroad or keep pushing those high-end products
- Most EM are far less vulnerable than they were in 1997.
- Risk factors: rising rates in America; slower growth in China.
- Policy makers used market turmoil to push through more reform;
- Yet not wholly in control, the flow of capital has more to do with what happens beyond their borders.
《Locus of Extremity》
- Rising rate impact on the Fragile Five: reducing demand for EM assets;
- As group, EM actually net exporters of capital: smoked the foreign currency but did not inhale, while some of them breath deep
- Countermeasures: ban imports, taxed luxuries, let currencies fall;
- Anticipating a more normal world – pension funds can meet their obligations and investors more reluctant to venture into anything exciting abroad.
《The Coin Has Two Faces》
- Currency traders have had little to get their teeth into;
- Policy dampens fluctuations;
- Long term investors shifted to dollar buyers;
- Last period of dollar strength was late 1990s – Internet booms, now linked to potential of shale gas;
- Negative consequence: EM struggled to peg, difficult for American exporters, and for commodity importers;
- Good news: US bonds more attractive
《The Price of Getting Back to Work》
America recovered quickly but lower in employment rate, reversed trends in UK;
- Falling productivity cushioned against job losses in recession, while resulted in high inflation;
- Declining productivity is consequence of falling real wages: lower real wages encouraged firms to use more labors and less capital, causing productivity to fall but popping up employment;
- In US, milder inflation, discourages hiring, leading to rising productivity and weak employment growth.